EtR PROGRAM UPDATES:
Welcome to Week 11 of the Eat the Rainbow Fruit and Veggie Challenge!
- REPORT LAST WEEK’S (WEEK 10) FRUIT & VEGGIE INTAKE HERE!
- Be sure you register for my March Nutrition Webinar on Protein – Find registration here!
- We are getting so close to the end of the program. Keep up the good work. It’s so encouraging to see how many of you are reading the email topics and reporting your intake.
- Notice that I have another program coming up focused on physical activity, called Move More. Stress Less. You can also register for that, which starts March 6th and would be a great “next step” for anyone participating here!
WEEK 11 TOPIC: LET’S TALK ABOUT SNACKS!!
This week we are going to talk about another way to increase fruits and veggies in your diet – with snacks!
Snacks are a great way to keep yourself energized and focused throughout the day as well as keep your blood sugar stable to avoid “crashes” in energy. However, traditional snack foods aren’t always the most nutritious options. Typical snack foods like potato chips and candy contain refined carbohydrates, added sugar, and extra sodium that will leave you feeling sluggish and tired rather than motivated to move through your day.
Next time you have the craving for an afternoon pick me up, reach for fruits and veggies instead! Fruits and vegetables are high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals that will keep you feeling full and energized until your next meal.
Stuck on how to make fruits and vegetables into a tasty snack? We’ve got your back! Here are some great ideas:
- Veggies and dip: Try cutting up some of your favorite crunchy vegetables (cucumbers, carrots, bell peppers, etc.) and dipping them into hummus or another dip
- Try out this recipe for a homemade hummus
- You can also make your own greek yogurt ranch dressing – a more nutritious alternative to the classic!
- Fruit and yogurt: Chop up your favorite fruit and dip it into greek yogurt for a delicious and filling snack
- Fruit and nut butter: Try slicing up some bananas or apples and dipping them into your favorite nut butter. The healthy fats from the nut butter will keep you full and satiated!
- Make your own kale chips: These are great when you are craving something crunchy and salty
- Avocado dip and veggies: Mash up a ripe avocado with salt, pepper, and lime/lemon juice – perfect as a dip for your favorite veggies!
- Homemade granola bars: These are a great option for those moments when you want a sweet treat
Week 11 Challenge:
Replace one of your regular snacks with a fruit or veggie option this week! Try out one of our ideas above, or come up with your own. Don’t forget to take a picture and share it in our Facebook group!
PRODUCE HIGHLIGHT OF THE WEEK: CARROTS
This week, we’re diving into another vegetable from AICR’s list of foods that fight cancer – carrots. To be honest, I used to have an aversion to carrots because I only thought of them as either the dry carrot sticks I’d find in my lunchbox or mushy canned carrots of my childhood. Either way, no thanks! Fortunately, as an adult, I’ve come around and realized that there are so many ways to add carrots into your diet that are neither dry nor mushy.
Why give carrots another try? Most of us think of vitamin A when we think of carrots and for good reason. They are loaded with beta-carotene, which our bodies convert to vitamin A, an antioxidant that has many functions in our bodies, including boosting vision and immune function. They also have fiber, potassium, and vitamin K.
HOW TO USE
- Raw- Pair carrot stick with dips like hummus or homemade ranch dressing. I actually like raw carrots dipped in peanut butter for an extra protein boost.
- Slow-Cooker- add carrots to soups, stews, and roasts in the slow-cooker. The long cook time gives them plenty of time to soften up and release the natural sweetness.
- Roasted- Roasted carrots make a great addition to any meal. Drizzle carrots with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Then cook at a high temperature (400-425) for 25-30 minutes until tender.
- Add them into your favorite recipes. Check out this carrot mac and cheese recipe or carrot muffins, highlighted below!
The muffin recipe is perfect for getting vegetables into your breakfast meal. It is a combination of tasty muffin with the added nutrients that come from the carrots. These carrot muffins are super simple to make and can be made ahead for the week. This recipe can even be stored in the freezer and used for later!
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 20-25 minutes
- Total Time: 47 minute
- Yield: 12 muffins 1x
- 1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour (use all purpose if you don’t have white wheat. Or 1/2 and 1/2 with whole wheat flour)
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 1 large egg
- 1/3 – 1/2 cup milk
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups shredded carrots (~8 carrots)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
- In a large bowl whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
- Use a glass measuring cup and add vegetable oil, egg, and then fill the cup to the 1-cup line with milk.
- Add vanilla and whisk until combined
- Add milk mixture to the bowl with flour mixture and use a fork to combine. Do not over mix. The muffin batter will be pretty thick.
- Add carrots
- Divide the batter between the muffin cups filling about 1/2 full using an ice cream scoop.
- Bake for 20 minutes, then let cool for 5 minutes before taking them out of the muffin pan.
You can use half white whole wheat flour and half all-purpose if you prefer.