Healthy Living: Brighten Your Spring Plate

The Morning Show

CHAMPAIGN–

Beth Peralta, Registered Dietitian with University of Illinois Extension and Media Spokesperson for Illinois Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics

With only 1 in 10 US adults eating enough vegetables each day, there is no time like spring to increase your veggie and fruit intake.

1. Highlight on what’s in season

o May is really when foods start to grow more in Illinois. Keep your eyes open for local asparagus, cabbage, cherries, greens, lettuce, onions, peas, spinach, rhubarb, sprouts, strawberries, squash and radishes in the coming weeks!

2. Highlight on price tag

o Purchasing produce when it is in season can be good for your budget! When a particular food item is more readily available due to peak supply, it helps drive the price down.

o During off-season times, fruits or vegetables are shipped from other parts of the country or the world. While still good for you, the price is higher because of the extra time and effort involved with getting them into stores.

3. Highlight on flavor and nutrition

o The fresher the produce, the better it tastes! Local, seasonal produce does not travel as far to get to our stores and markets. They are also typically picked at the peak of freshness. That also leads to lower loss of nutrients due to shorter time spent traveling.

o Recipe to Share: Colorful Coleslaw

§ This recipe is a favorite of mine. It uses several spring seasonal vegetables and is a great side dish for your favorite burger or other spring meal.

§ Ingredients:

· 2 cups zucchini, shredded

· 1 cup green cabbage, shredded

· 1 cup red cabbage, shredded

· 2 green onions, thinly sliced

· ½ cup radishes, thinly sliced

· 1/3 cup mayonnaise

· 1/8 teaspoon black pepper

§ Preparation:

1. Mix together prepared vegetables in a large bowl.

2. In a small bowl, mix together mayonnaise and black pepper.

3. Toss vegetables with dressing

4. Chill at least one hour before serving. You can find more seasonal produce facts and recipes at: http://go.illinois.edu/illinois_foods

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