Welcome to Week 12 of the Eat the Rainbow Fruit and Veggie Challenge!
You made it! We are in the final week of our challenge. It has gone by so fast! Hopefully you have learned a lot of great information about fruits and vegetables: why they’re beneficial, new ways to eat them, and the truth about some common produce myths.
I am excited to have Michele Rieder, from Hirsch Wellness, join me for our Eat the Rainbow graduation zoom on Wednesday, August 31st 3-4:30pm! We will discuss what you learned from the program, and Michele will teach us the calming art of Zentangle, with a produce theme! I love zentangling because it doesn’t require any artistic skill, and is like doodling. : – )
Here are some things we need from you:
- After you read this email, please Complete the End of Program Growth Level Quiz Here!
- Also, don’t forget to REPORT LAST WEEK’S FRUIT & VEGGIE INTAKE HERE!
- Are you wondering What’s Next?? Join me for my virtual physical activity program – Move More Stress Less, starting Monday, Sep 12th! Or come to my next virtual cooking class on Wednesday, September 28th at 6pm with Angela Denison, RD from Wellness House. Register for either or both at www.cancerservicesonline.org/register
For our last topic, we are focusing on another fruit and veggie myth!
MYTH: Frozen and canned fruits and veggies are bad for you.
FACT: Frozen and canned fruits and veggies are just as nutritious, if not more, than their fresh counterparts!
Fresh fruits and vegetables are often put into the spotlight, and may be considered “better” than their frozen and canned counterparts. However, this is not true!
Here are 3 reasons why:
- Frozen fruits and vegetables are just as nutrient dense (if not more) than fresh.
- Produce that is frozen is usually picked at its peak ripeness, which is when the fruit or vegetable contains its maximum nutrient content.
- Fresh produce is often picked before it is ripe since it needs to get shipped to grocery stores before it spoils, so it often never reaches its peak nutrient level.
- Canned and frozen produce is often cheaper and easier to access than fresh, allowing you to increase your daily intake.
- It may be difficult to find certain types of produce in the grocery store depending on the season. For instance, finding good quality, fresh berries in the middle of the winter can be difficult, and if you are lucky enough to find them, they are often very expensive.
- Frozen and canned produce can be found all year long due to their extended shelf life.
- Frozen and canned produce also does not need to be shipped as quickly or carefully as fresh, so it is often a cheaper alternative.
- Buying frozen and canned produce can help eliminate food waste. It lasts much longer than fresh produce, and is less likely to go bad before you use it.
- How often have you bought a bag of lettuce or container of berries only to have them spoil before you eat them? Most fresh produce cannot last much longer than a week in your fridge.
- In comparison, frozen and canned produce can last for months in your freezer or pantry! This can help you avoid unnecessary food waste.
Tip for buying frozen and canned produce: Check the label for added syrups, sugars, or salt. Try to buy frozen and canned produce that is free of additives – aka 100% vegetable or fruit.
Week 12 Challenge:
Think about it – now that you have finished the challenge, what is the best/most helpful piece of information you have learned over the past 12 weeks? It can be a fact, a new recipe, a cooking technique, etc. Write it down, and share it in our Facebook group!
Produce Highlight of the Week: Broccoli
Broccoli is yet another member of the cruciferous vegetable family. It has some powerful health benefits and contains lots of fiber, vitamin C, folate, and antioxidants. It is also one of the American Institute for Cancer Research’s “Foods that Fight Cancer” – it contains a plant compound called sulforaphane that has been shown to stop the development of certain types of cancer.
How to Use
Broccoli can be enjoyed steamed, sautéed, roasted, and raw. It is great fresh or frozen as well. Due to its sturdy structure, frozen broccoli can be a great, affordable option to pick up at the grocery store.
Sautéed Frozen Veggies
- 2 bags frozen vegetables (stir fry mixes work well, but you can use whatever veggies you would like. We recommend including broccoli!)
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Red pepper flakes to taste
- Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.
- Add onions, garlic, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Sauté, stirring frequently, for a few minutes, until onions are translucent and garlic is fragrant.
- Turn heat up to high. Add in frozen veggies. Sauté until veggies are heated through (the high heat will prevent them from getting soggy).
- Season with more salt and pepper to taste.
- Sprinkle with red pepper flakes if desired. Serve hot as a side.
-Julie & The Interns