FOOD NUTR-VEGETABLES MI

Eating vegetables is important because they provide vitamins and minerals and most are low in calories. To fit more vegetables in your day, try them as snacks and add them to your meals. (Dreamstime/TNS)

Today is a great day to eat more vegetables! Eating vegetables is important because they provide vitamins and minerals and most are low in calories. To fit more vegetables in your day, try them as snacks and add them to your meals.

Discover fast ways to cook. Cook fresh or frozen vegetables in the microwave for a quick-and-easy dish to add to any meal. Steam green beans, carrots or sugar snap peas in a bowl with a small amount of water in the microwave for a quick side dish.

Be ahead of the game. Cut up a batch of bell peppers, cauliflower or broccoli. Pre-package them to use when time is limited. Enjoy them in a casserole, stir-fry, or as a snack with hummus.

Choose vegetables rich in color. Brighten your plate with vegetables that are red, orange or dark green. They are full of vitamins and minerals. Try butternut squash, cherry tomatoes, sweet potatoes or spinach. They not only taste great but are good for you, too.

Check the freezer aisle. Frozen vegetables are quick and easy to use and are just as nutritious as fresh veggies. Try adding frozen vegetables, such as corn, peas, edamame or spinach to your favorite dish. Look for frozen vegetables without added sauces, gravies, butter or cream.

Stock up on veggies. Canned vegetables are a great addition to any meal, so keep on hand canned tomatoes, kidney beans, garbanzo beans, mushrooms and beets. Select those labeled as “reduced sodium,” “low sodium,” or “no salt added.”

Make your salad glow with color. Brighten your salad by using colorful vegetables such as black beans or avocados, sliced red bell peppers or onions, shredded radishes or carrots, and chopped red cabbage or watercress. Your salad will not only look good but taste good, too.

Add them to your sandwiches. Whether it is a sandwich or wrap, vegetables make great additions to both. Try sliced tomatoes, romaine lettuce or avocado on your everyday sandwich or wrap for extra flavor.

Savor the flavor of seasonal vegetables. Buy vegetables that are in season for maximum flavor at a lower cost. Check your local supermarket specials for the best in-season buys, or visit your local farmers market.

Roasted Baby Carrots with Garlic

  • One 32-ounce bag baby carrots
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Combine the baby carrots and olive oil in a large bowl. Add the minced garlic cloves and stir.

Place the carrots in a single layer on a 12-by-16-3/4-inch baking pan. Roast for 30 to 35 minutes, stirring occasionally, until carrots are tender.

Makes 8 servings.

Nutrition information per serving: 60 calories, 2g fat, 82 mg sodium, 10g carbohydrates, 6 grams sugar, 1 g protein.

Cami Wells is an Extension Educator for Nebraska Extension in Hall County. Contact her at (308) 385-5088 or at cwells2@unl.edu. Visit the Hall County website at www.hall.unl.edu

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