If you’re running out of methods to cook fruit and veggies, and are doing it the same old way every time it can get boring very quickly.
Shake it up a bit by trying a different way of cooking your favorites. Here’s 10 healthy ways to cook your fruit and vegetables:
• Sweet potato fries: Cut up into slices, season with olive oil, cayenne pepper and a pinch of salt. • Peaches: Slice in half, drizzle on some honey and sprinkle with ginger and pecans. • Potatoes: Top with broccoli and cheese. • Apples: Remove the core, and fill with fruit and nuts before baking. • Winter squash: Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with cinnamon before popping in the oven.
• Cabbage: Try seasoning with caraway seeds, salt and pepper. • Artichokes: These need steaming for around an hour to get the leaves perfect for dipping. Try them with an almond pate for something different. • Any of your favorite veggies: Add citrus juice and zest to the water for bold, new flavors. Lemon juice goes great with spinach, and orange with grapefruit, broccoli, or carrots. • A medley of vegetables: Season with herbs, and serve over couscous. • Green beans: Add chopped onion and put a clove or garlic in the cooking water.
• Apples: Add lemon juice and cinnamon, then mash them up to serve hot or chill them to serve later. • Turnips and potatoes: Mash them together and season well with salt and pepper. • Kale: add a handful of chopped currants and season well with salt and pepper. • Diced or crushed tomatoes: This will make a great base for a homemade tomato soup when boiled in vegetable or chicken broth. Add herbs and spices to taste. • Butternut squash: Simply season with salt and pepper, then add a drizzle of olive oil.
• Pear and apple slices: Peel the slices, and add to a skillet with a little butter. Fry until tender. Add marmalade and orange slices if liked, remove from the heat and serve as a tasty and quick dessert. • Cauliflower: Pre-steam the cauliflower, then sauté in oil with nutmeg. • Spinach: Fry the superfood with garlic and a dash of olive oil. • Green and yellow summer squash: Chop onion and garlic, season with salt and pepper, and place the ingredients in a pan with a little oil. Once done, serve with Parmesan cheese. For a different take, add chopped tomato and basil. • Peppers: Fry up a variety of different colored peppers with some onion, and serve as a side dish.
5. Stir Fry
• Pineapple and mango: Fry these up with some honey ginger sauce to make a perfect topping for ice cream • Zucchini: Stir-fry along with yellow squash, diced tomatoes and mushrooms. Add olive oil and herbs for extra flavor. If you like a spicy kick, add some diced jalapeno and serve over brown rice. • Broccoli: Fry in olive oil with chopped garlic. If you want it a bit zingier, add some capers. • Frozen mixed vegetables: Stir-fry, flavor with herbs, and add a dash of reduced sodium soy sauce. • Onions: Add peppers, zucchini, corn and jicama. Add some red or black beans, and season with your favorite salsa before serving over rice.
• Red peppers: Heat the oven to 450 degrees, and put the peppers in. Turn every 15 minutes until the skins turn black. Peel off the skins, slice them, then add olive oil, garlic and rosemary. Refrigerate, and use in your salads, sandwiches, or antipasto dishes. • Red potatoes: Roast whole red potatoes in the oven after tossing them in olive oil, garlic and rosemary. Roast until tender for a heavenly side dish. • Winter vegetables: Cut the veggies into large chunks. This dish works well with parsnips, carrots, rutabaga, beets, ordinary or sweet potatoes. Coat lightly with olive oil, sprinkle with your favorite herbs and roast at 425 degrees for 30-40 minutes until tender. • Brussels sprouts: Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt for a simple yet tasty side dish. • Sweet potato: Cut thin slices of sweet potato to roast into chips.
• Kabobs: For the perfect summer dish, grill tenderloin, mushrooms, bell peppers and onions. • Corn on the cob: Peel the corn husks off and clean up the cobs. Coat in a mix of seasonings such as oregano, pepper, onion, chili powder and salt. Use a touch of butter smeared on the cob to make them stick. Wrap in foil and grill until tender. • Pineapple, peaches or mango: Grill and then top with a dollop of low-fat ice cream, frozen yogurt or sherbet. • Asparagus: Grilled asparagus goes well with a salad of mixed greens, roasted peppers and toasted nuts. • Eggplant: Grill along with portabella mushrooms and zucchini for a tasty wrap filling.
• Pears: Peel, core and stew gently in cinnamon, sugar and water until tender. • Cabbage: Stew with tomatoes and garlic, and serve over rice for a side dish with a twist. • Vegetable stew: Use classic stewing vegetables such as potatoes, carrots, onions, green beans and celery. Cook them in canned tomato sauce. If you want to be meat free, add some canned beans like kidney beans or black beans instead. • Frozen corn: Stew with onions, peppers, celery and salsa. Add some red or black beans, and serve over rice. • Chickpeas: Add chickpeas to canned tomatoes, along with eggplant, peppers and oregano. Top with sliced olives and serve.
• Almonds: blanch almonds in water for 15 seconds. Peel, and enjoy a healthy snack. • Basil and parsley leaves: Blend the leaves together with olive oil, pine nuts, garlic and a little lemon juice to make a tasty pesto. • Broccoli and cauliflower: Use these blanched veggies on a vegetable platter for snacks and appetizers. • Broccoli rabe: Blanch in salted water to reduce the bitterness, then cook like ordinary broccoli.
• Chopped vegetables: Put your favorite veggies in a bowl with an egg or two and microwave for a quick yet nutritious breakfast. • Cranberries: Make a sweet cranberry relish by microwaving with orange zest, sugar and water. • Frozen or canned veg: For the busy nights sometimes only microwaving will do. • Spaghetti squash: Cut it in half lengthwise, and put face down in a dish with water. Scoop out the squash, and serve like spaghetti in a tomato sauce with Parmesan cheese. • Potato: For a quick lunch, microwave a potato and top with cottage cheese and chives. It takes around 7-10 minutes to cook a potato in the microwave.