To celebrate National Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Month, I went to a local farmers’ market. Well actually…I went because I needed some fresh goodies, but what better way to celebrate food made by Nature than at a market?!
While I was there, I overheard a conversation between two women – one apparently was a teacher and she was saying that most of her students don’t recognize vegetables in their fresh-from-the-garden state, nor had they ever had the opportunity to sample them. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing! But it must’ve been true because the vendor was nodding in agreement, replying that she had heard the same from others.
What a terrible, sad statement to make.
Not only are those children, and many adults I’m sure, missing out on a whole variety of tasty flavors and textures but they may also be missing out on a wide array of vitamins and nutrients.
Let’s fix that this month! June is National Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Month!
The perfect opportunity to expand our dietary palates and EAT THE RAINBOW!!! (And no,not Skittles)
Remember ROY G BIV from your Science class in grade school?
RED = Strawberries, Cherries, Raspberries, Rhubarb, Tomatoes, Red Peppers, Beets and Radishes are in season now; Cranberries, Watermelon, Pink Grapefruit are available other times throughout the year. They are packed with antioxidants to help fight against heart disease and cancer.
ORANGE = Now is the time for Apricots, Carrots, Mangos, Orange Peppers; later try Cantaloupe, Acorn Squash, Butternut Squash and Oranges. These have alpha and beta carotene to keep our bones, eyes and immune system healthy.
YELLOW = Corn, Ginger, Grapefruit, Yellow Peppers, Yellow Squash, Nectarines, Peaches and Pineapple can be found at your local farmer market now. Yellow Wax Beans, Bananas, Papaya and Spaghetti Squash are also delicious. Like the orange fruits and veggies, they too contain alpha and beta carotene.
GREEN & DARK GREEN = Artichokes, Arugula, Asparagus, Avocado, Broccoli, Cucumbers, Salad Greens, Green Grape, Spinach, Kale and Peas can be found in June; later Zucchini is also available. Greens contain lutein to help prevent cataracts and age-related macular degeneration, and folate to help with cell reproduction.
Blue, Indigo & Violet = Blackberries are in season now. Later in the year Blueberries, Egg Plant, Purple Cabbage,Purple Potatoes, Dried Plums/Prunes and Raisins will be available. Blue and dark purple foods contain flavonoids to help our brains function at peak performance.
Why eat a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables?
It is nature’s way of ensuring that we get all the proper vitamins and nutrients our bodies need. Without variety our bodies cannot function properly; one system breaks down,the others can’t always pick up the slack. Think of it as a piece of fine music – doesn’t matter if it’s classical or heavy metal – if everyone isn’t playing their notes properly or missing the beat, the music doesn’t sound right and the performers may even stop playing all together.
Besides, think of how boring our meals would be without some colorful variety on the plate!
What better time to expand our palettes than by celebrating National Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Month? When you go to your local market, pick one fruit you’ve never eaten before. Try a new recipe. Experiment with herbs and veggies. There are so many tasty healthy natural treats out there to try! You can find many easy recipes here like my Farm Fresh Three Bean Salad and Blueberry Sunrise Smoothie
If cooking is not your strong suite, don’t stress! I’m happy to help you learn to feel more comfortable in the kitchen. Simply sign up to receive my weekly Cooking Basics how-to tips and you’ll receive one helpful tip each week for a whole year. And in no time, you’ll be cookin’ 🙂
Enjoy and Be Healthy!