The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends adults include 1.5 to 2 cups of fruits and 2 to 3 cups of vegetables daily. Studies show that of these recommendation only 12.2% of Americans met the fruit goal and 9.3% met the vegetable recommendations.
At LifeScape we recommend consuming one to two pieces of small fruit and 3 or more cups or raw or cooked vegetables daily.
We encourage many of our patients to move towards a more plant based eating pattern. Benefits of eating this way include reduced risk for: cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer and cognitive decline.
Summer is the perfect time to dive into your own “plant medicine chest”. We have curated several recipes that help celebrate the diversity of eating a diet rich in colorful fruits and vegetables.
7 Fresh, Healthy Recipes to Make at Home
1. Sriracha-Lime Grilled Watermelon
8 1-inch- thick seedless watermelon wedges
1/2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for grill pan
1 1/4 teaspoons sriracha
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon coconut sugar
1/4 teaspoon lime zest
4 lime wedges
Rub watermelon wedges with oil and sriracha. Heat a grill pan lightly coated with oil over high heat, or preheat a grill for direct heat. Grill watermelon until grill marks appear, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a serving platter; sprinkle with salt, sugar, and lime zest. Serve with lime wedges.
2. Marinated Jicama Sticks
6 cups (3 x 1/4-inch) strips peeled jicama
3 tablespoons fresh limejuice
1/2 teaspoon sea salt, to taste
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
Combine all ingredients in a bowl; toss well. Cover and chill 1 hour.
3. Arugula Salad with Caramelized Squash & Pomegranate Ginger
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 acorn squash, sliced in 1/2-inch thick rounds and seeds removed
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1/2 cup whole pecans, chopped
1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
6 cups baby arugula
1 avocado, sliced
1 pomegranate, arils removed
1 seedless cucumber, sliced
Pomegranate Ginger Vinaigrette Ingredients
1/3 cup pomegranate juice
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
1 garlic clove, freshly grated
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/3 cup olive oil
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add coconut oil. Cover the squash slices with salt and pepper, then add them to the skillet and cook until golden, about 5 minutes per side. If desired, you can add the brown sugar to help the squash caramelize.
- Heat a small saucepan over low heat and add the pecans. Toast until they are slightly golden and fragrant, stirring and shaking the pan as they toast, for about 5 minutes. Toss them with the pumpkin pie spice.
- Add the arugula to a large bowl with a pinch of salt and pepper. Add in the avocado, pomegranate arils, cucumber, pecans and squash pieces. Cover in the pomegranate dressing.
Pomegranate Ginger Vinaigrette Instructions
Combine pom juice, vinegar, ginger, garlic, salt and pepper in a large bowl and whisk together. Stream in the olive oil while constantly whisking until the dressing comes together. Store in the fridge for up to one week.
4. Tomato Stuffed Avocados
4 ripe avocados
3 large ripe tomatoes, chopped
1 packed cup alfalfa or sunflower sprouts, coarsely chopped
Juice of 2 lemons
1 garlic clove, pressed
2 scallions, minced
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 teaspoons fresh cilantro, minced
Umeboshi vinegar for drizzling
Toasted sesame seeds
- Slice avocados lengthwise, remove pit, and set aside 4 halves. Mix remaining ingredients.
- Smash remaining avocados, and mix with tomatoes, sprouts, lemon juice, garlic, scallions, and cilantro.
- Stuff the 4 avocado halves with the tomato mixture.
- Sprinkle with umeboshi vinegar and toasted sesame seeds.
5. Roasted Asparagus Salad
1 1/2 pounds fresh asparagus
1/2 cup olive oil, divided
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil, divided
1/2 teaspoon lemon pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup halved cherry tomatoes (about 1/2 pt.)
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
1 head Bibb lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces
1 avocado, sliced
- Preheat oven to 425°. Snap off and discard tough ends of asparagus; remove scales with a vegetable peeler, if desired.
- Stir together 1 Tbsp. olive oil, 1 1/2 tsp. chopped basil, 1/2 tsp. lemon pepper, and 1/4 tsp. salt in a large bowl.
- Add asparagus to olive oil mixture, and toss gently to coat. Place asparagus on a lightly greased baking sheet.
- Bake asparagus at 425° for 13 to 15 minutes or to desired degree of tenderness. Cool 10 minutes.
- Whisk together balsamic vinegar, garlic, and remaining 7 Tbsp. olive oil, 1 Tbsp. basil, and 1/4 tsp. salt.
- Toss together tomatoes, bell pepper, onion, and 1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar mixture.
- Arrange lettuce on individual serving plates. Top with tomato mixture and asparagus. Add avocado just before serving. Drizzle with remaining balsamic vinegar mixture.
- Note: To make ahead, toss together tomatoes, bell pepper, and onion without dressing. Store these ready-to-used ingredients in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to five hours. The dressing and asparagus can also be made up to eight hours before serving.
6. Watercress, Purple Cabbage, and Edamame Salad with Toasted Sesame Seeds
1 cup frozen shelled edamame, thawed
Freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 cups tightly packed watercress
2 cups shredded purple cabbage
1/3 cup Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette
2 teaspoons sesame seeds, toasted
Rinse the edamame well and mix with a spritz of lemon juice and a pinch of sea salt. Combine with watercress and cabbage. Dress with the vinaigrette just before serving. Top with sesame seeds and serve immediately.
7. Strawberries with Balsamic Vinegar
16 ounces fresh strawberries
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
¼ cup white sugar
1/3 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, or to taste
Place strawberries in a bowl. Drizzle vinegar over strawberries, and sprinkle with sugar. Stir gently to combine. Cover, and let sit at room temperature for at least 1 hour but not more than 4 hours. Just before serving, grind pepper over berries.
Nutrition isn’t the only component of leading a healthy lifestyle. There are so many factors that contribute to our overall health. If you’re want to have whole health for a whole life, schedule a functional medical consult today to discover what you can do to lead a healthier lifestyle.
References: http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/vegetables-recipes/, http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/vegetables-recipes/, http://www.cookinglight.com/healthy-living/healthy-habits/healthy-fruit-vegetable-recipes, http://www.fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org/main-recipes, http://www.fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org/main-recipes, http://recipes.mercola.com/fruits-and-vegetables.aspx, http://www.southernliving.com/food/healthy-light/healthy-food-recipes-fruits-vegetables, http://allrecipes.com/recipes/1116/fruits-and-vegetables/, http://www.epicurious.com/archive/healthy/nutritiousdishes/nofads, http://www.everydayhealth.com/healthy-recipes/fruits-vegetables.aspx, http://www.wholeliving.com/136037/no-cook-fruit-and-vegetable-snack-recipes/@center/136761/healthy-snacks, http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20306725,00.html, http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20306725,00.html, http://www.bhg.com/recipes/how-to/cook-with-fruits-and-vegetables/fresh-vegetable-recipes/, https://greatist.com/health/new-year-detox-recipeshttps://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/66/wr/mm6645a1.htm?s_cid=mm6645a1_w&utm_source=STAT+Newsletters&utm_campaign=f26644060f-MR&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_8cab1d7961-f26644060f-150444909, https://www.rebeccakatz.com/recipe-box/watercress-purple-cabbage-and-edamame-salad-with-toasted-sesame-seeds