w00t! It’s National Nutrition Month!
OK so maybe my kids aren’t cheering as loudly as I am about this fabulous news, but they did applaud the easy and relatively healthy dessert I made them last weekend with canned fruit, oats and nuts (stick around for the recipe).
Del Monte Senior Nutritionist Sarah Ludmer says the key to getting your family to eat more fruits and vegetables is to present a palette-pleasing dish. Get it? Like an artist’s palette, rather than the palate in your mouth? Oh, never mind …
Ludmer has these ideas for “painting your plate” with a rainbow of nutritious foods:
Red: Tomatoes have lycopene, which has been shown to help with certain cancers and heart disease. Ludmer says canned tomatoes can actually have more lycopene than their fresh counterparts.
Green: Dark green leafy vegetables like spinach are full of nutrients and antioxidants. Sneak spinach into turkey wraps instead of iceberg lettuce for a health boost.
Yellow: Corn is rich in vitamin B constituents, especially thiamin and niacin. Ludmer suggests adding a handful to your next salad.
Dayton Daily News fitness reporter Robin McMacken recently offered several tips on how to color your plate for a healthy meal. Click here to read her story. And Robin should know: She is also a slim-and-trim Pilates and step aerobics teacher. Oh, to have her discipline!
FUN FRUIT FACTS from the good people at Del Monte:
— Eating 20 cherries in a day can fight inflammation effectively.
— Very Cherry is the most popular flavor of Jelly Belly Jelly Beans.
— Cherries are a rich source of melatonin, a powerful antioxidant known for regulating the body’s natural sleep cycle and helping to promote restful sleep.
— Peaches are a good source of vitamins A, B, and C — good for your eyes, energy and skin.
— Pears cause the fewest allergic reactions of all fruits. Who knew?
So I’ve got Nutrition Month covered, but I fooled around and missed National Cherry Month in February. Drat.
But you don’t have to wait for the short-but-sweet summer cherry season to enjoy an inexpensive treat.
Del Monte has introduced a lower-calorie alternative to their original product, with No Sugar Added Very Cherry Mixed Fruit. It combines peaches, pears and a few cherries, and it’s a perfect addition to smoothies and parfaits.
Very Cherry Mixed Fruit Crisp, Courtesy of Del Monte
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
2 cans (15 oz. each) Del Monte Very Cherry Mixed Fruit, No Sugar Added, drained
1/2 cup flour
1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/3 cup old-fashioned oats
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/3 cup butter or margarine, softened
(I added a little fresh-ground nutmeg as well.)
(This was easy enough for my 5-year-old to do most of the prep work, even helping to open the pop-tops on the canned fruit.)
Place fruit in 8-by-8-inch baking dish or pie plate.
Combine flour, sugar, oats, walnuts and cinnamon. Mix in butter until crumbly; sprinkle evenly over fruit.
Bake at 425 degrees, 15 to 20 minutes or until topping is golden. Serve with low-fat frozen yogurt or ice cream, if desired.
For more delicious, nutritious recipes, visit solutions.delmonte.com. There’s even a link for Meals Under $10.Tweet