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Eat the Rainbow

Savoring color, flavor and well-being this winter

There’s no better time than the present to incorporate fresh, colorful produce into your diet – it’s something we can all use more of. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, just one in 10 adults consumes the recommended amount of vegetables daily, which is two to three cups (one to three cups for children, depending on their age).

Choosing Color for Good Health

The benefits of eating fresh produce are undeniable and it’s well-known that eating foods in a rainbow of bright hues is important anytime. However, it is even more important in winter, when they help to keep our immune systems primed and ready to fight colds, flus and other viruses. They are bursting with flavor and are rich in vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. Phytonutrients are chemicals that naturally occur in plants that help them stay healthy; when we eat them, our health also prospers.

Making sure your plate is piled with a colorful array of vegetables doesn’t just make your plate look more appetizing, each color provides specific health benefits, experts say. For example, red vegetables like beets and radishes contain lycopene, which can improve heart health and lower risks for certain cancers. Orange and yellow vegetables, such as winter squash and sweet potatoes, we contain carotenoids which can help strengthen the immune system and improve vision. To help improve brain health and lower blood pressure, choose antioxidant-rich purple vegetables like eggplant and purple cabbage.

Fresh Finds

Eating in season is key to getting the best bang for your flavorful vegetable buck. Swing by the Ahwatukee Farmer’s Market on any given Sunday and you’ll find fresh produce ready for a farm-to-table experience in your own kitchen. Community supported agriculture (CSA) boxes are a great way to add vegetables to your meals. They give you a chance to try seasonal, locally grown produce you may not otherwise select. Both are great opportunities to try a new recipe based on a new-to-you vegetable.

 
Make Vegetables Even More Delicious

If you’re looking for ways to make eating vegetables more appealing – or to get your picky eaters to try something new – why not

·      Make the switch to veggie noodles or riced cauliflower;

·      Add vegetables to foods you already eat, like mixing in peas or green beans to pasta dishes;

·      Drink your vegetables blended in smoothies or pressed as juice;

·      Wrap your burgers and sandwiches in lettuce;

·      Start your day off right by including vegetables at breakfast; or

·      Make a vegetable soup and freeze leftovers for a quick meal on busy nights.

LOCAL SPOTLIGHT

Fuel Up with Flavorful Foods at Original ChopShop

Original ChopShop, the Valley-born fast-casual restaurant, is known for their fresh take on healthy nourishing foods. Their menu is filled with dietary-friendly items including gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian and vegan options, and more. They offer a variety of scratch-made entrees such as protein bowls, salads, sandwiches, acai and pitaya bowls, juices and shakes. Here, Original ChopShop shares a veggie-forward recipe you can recreate at home.

Thai Coconut Chicken Bowl

Thai Coconut Chicken Bowl Ingredients

8 oz. roasted vegetables – broccoli, cauliflower, carrot, mushroom, onion 

6 oz. quinoa or forbidden rice

4 oz. chicken 

2 oz. Thai Coconut Sauce (see recipe below)

1 tablespoon chopped peanuts

1 tablespoon chopped cilantro 

Thai Coconut Sauce Ingredients

Yield: 1 quart 

3 cups coconut milk 

2 tablespoons red curry paste 

1/3 cup agave nectar 

1/3 cup gluten-free soy sauce 

3 tablespoons creamy peanut butter 

1 tablespoon rice vinegar 

1/4 cup cornstarch 

Instructions

Fill your bowl with roasted vegetables, quinoa or forbidden rice, and chicken. Top with Thai Coconut Sauce, chopped peanuts, and cilantro.  

Visit Original ChopShop at 8738 S Emerald Dr, Tempe  

480.386.0320 | OriginalChopsShop.com

Making sure your plate is piled with a colorful array of vegetables doesn’t just make your plate look more appetizing, each color provides specific health benefits.

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