Did your mother say to you “Eat Your Greens!”? Mine did, and likely yours did too. It was drilled into us as kids and, most often, if we didn’t there would be no dessert. So, we ate the cooked broccoli, peas or green salad to get our “reward” at the end of the meal.
Times have changed and stayed the same in that Mom’s are still encouraging their children to eat nutritiously, however, now kids are taught at school to “Eat a Rainbow”, rather than just greens. Studies have found that eating a variety of vegetables is much more important than the quantity.
Expanding your colour range
With all the busyness that life holds these days, it’s easy to get caught in a routine of buying the same greens every week. Especially with the prevalence of plastic boxed, pre-washed spinach and lettuce. What could be easier than mixing pre-washed greens up with a pre-made dressing, throwing in some sunflower seeds and dried cranberries? Voila – a tasty meal! Yet - variety is key. So, what is the best way to incorporate a rainbow into your meal plans?
Understanding “why” is a good place to start. With awareness and knowledge, we are more apt to act.
Each of the 5 color groups have their own set of health benefits:
- Yellow/Orange Fruits & Vegetables help to protect your body against signs of aging and to beat chronic disease.
- Red Fruits & Vegetables play a vital role in supporting your bodies health along with protecting it from certain diseases.
- The Purple & Blue group contain powerful antioxidants that improve memory, reduce the risk of disease & slow the process of aging.
- Green Fruits & Veggies inhibit the action of carcinogens and promote healthy bodily function.
- The White group is sometimes forgotten due to its lack of hue but is important as it supports immunity and balances hormone levels.
With so many varied health benefits it’s easy to see why eating an array of colors is key to optimum health.
When shopping, the best place to start is the produce department. A powerhouse of vitamins, minerals and fiber – be sure to fill up your cart with colors from each of the 5 color groups. Challenge yourself to look at your basket before leaving to make sure all 5 are covered. If not, swap out too much of one color for another.
Meal pre-planning is a great approach. Plan meals for the week before grocery shopping. This way you can ensure a range of colors are incorporated into your daily meals. It is also a fun way to explore new recipes.
At Ocean Brands, we develop healthy recipes with a wide range of colorful fruits and vegetables. We recognize the importance of “eating a rainbow” and hope you will try some of these nutritious & delicious meals.
Salads are one of the easiest ways to add color to your cuisine. Try our top 10, 3+ color salad recipes! We’d love to hear how you like them on Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/OceansSeafood/
Gold Seal Salmon, Green Grape and Beet Salad
Ocean's Smoked Mussels, Arugula and Mango Salad
Ocean's Mussels, Kale and Roasted Tomato Salad
Gold Seal Quinoa, Tuna, and Fresh Mint Salad
Gold Seal Salmon and 6 Bean Salad
Gold Seal Southwest Tuna Salad
Gold Seal Tuna and Blueberry Salad
Gold Seal Tuna, Roasted Beets and Asparagus Salad
Ocean's Chunky Tuna and Cucumber Salad
Gold Seal Tuna and Orange Avocado Salad
Cooked vegetables work so well in casseroles and for main courses.
Try our Fisherman’s Pie recipe made with fresh and frozen vegetables – it’s very colorful!
A family favourite is Salmon Canneloni – packed with tomatoes, onion, spinach, basil and garlic.
Sneaky ways to add colour
For family members that are not always keen on fruit & vegetables, “sneaking” them into recipes works well.
Smoothies are a fantastic way to add color. Blueberries, bananas, cantaloupe or strawberries blended with plain yogurt and honey to taste is sure to please the pickiest eaters. Throwing in a handful of spinach is a great, and not easily noticed, addition.
When preparing turkey burgers or meatballs, adding grated carrot, zucchini or chopped spinach adds flavour and texture that makes them extra delicious.
Pasta sauce and casseroles are a natural for either pureed cooked or finely chopped vegetables. Adding them to an existing recipe works well.