by Kristina LaRue, RD, CSSD, founder of love & zest
Do you have intentions of adding more fruits and veggies into your diet throughout 2019? Maybe you’re focusing on plant-based eating habits for the new year and need some inspiration! Whether you’re a produce connoisseur or you’re new to the idea of eating a variety of fruits and veggies, eating the rainbow is always a good idea.
Since February is a month of love, we’re going to hone in on red fruits and vegetables! Fortunately, Sprouts has all the red produce you need to incorporate into your day-to-day healthy living routine.
Let’s Start with Red Fruits
Apples are a great and versatile option. They’re high in fiber and a high-quality source of vitamin C. There are also a number of choices when it comes to red apples—Pink Lady, Honeycrisp, Gala, Fuji, Red Delicious, Ambrosia—the list goes on! If you’re obsessed with apples, check out this refreshing recipe for Apple Crunch Slaw with Almond Butter Dressing.
Cranberries contain a substantial amount of fiber, vitamin C and manganese. They make for a convenient and nutritious snack, a tasty addition to any salad and add a hint of sweetness to your oatmeal.
Cherries are bursting with fiber and vitamin C. The options are endless when it comes to different ways to enjoy cherries. Try them in sweet and juicy desserts, as well as savory dishes such as salads and appetizers. Since Valentine’s Day is near, be sure to try this Double Chocolate Cherry Skillet Brownie.
Raspberries are packed with many nutrients including fiber, vitamin K, magnesium, vitamin C and manganese. They’re perfect for a midday snack, a tasty salad dressing, flavorful boost to oatmeal and a refreshing addition to water.
Strawberries are a very good source of fiber, vitamin C and manganese. A versatile fruit, they’re great in salads, pancakes, fruit pizza, yogurt popsicles and by themselves—you simply can’t go wrong with them.
Now for the Red Veggies
Beets are an incredible source of dietary fiber, folate, potassium and manganese. A highly nutritious vegetable, they have a sweet and earthy flavor. Try roasting them, topping a salad with them or pairing them with apples and goat cheese—you won’t regret it!
Red bell peppers are a popular and versatile pepper that can be incorporated into any dish. They’re great diced up in an omelette for breakfast, sliced on top of a salad for lunch, and grilled or roasted as a side for dinner. You’ll get a boost of dietary fiber, vitamins A, C, E and B6, as well as folate from this nutritious veggie!
Red onions are a staple veggie for many. If you’re new to red onions, you may never go back to yellow or white! Packed with flavor and vitamin C, red onions can enhance any dish with flavor and nutrients. They pair perfectly with salads, on top of burgers, and roasted with balsamic vinegar for a side dish bursting with flavor.
Red potatoes are always a good idea. Create a simple side dish by roasting some red potatoes in olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic for the perfect combination. They can also be used in a potato salad using plain Greek yogurt and your favorite seasonings.
Rhubarb can be enjoyed in more ways than just pie! Loaded with many nutrients including fiber, vitamins C and K, calcium, potassium, and manganese, rhubarb is an intensely tart spring vegetable that tastes amazing in a fruit smoothie too!
Tomatoes can be enjoyed simply by slicing and adding salt and pepper on top. They also make a perfect soup for chilly weather or a refreshing addition to a cucumber and feta salad in the summer months. They’re a very good source of dietary fiber, vitamins A, C and K, potassium and manganese.
Remember to eat the rainbow every day, and this year make Valentine’s day festive with red produce!
Kristina LaRue, RD, CSSD, is the owner of popular food and nutrition website, Love & Zest, where she shares (mostly) healthy recipes to fuel the whole family and real-life stories of modern motherhood. Kristina is a former NBA team dietitian, collegiate sports RD and cookbook author. She’s the mama to two active and hungry boys and lives in Orlando with her middle-school sweetheart. Follow Love & Zest on love & zest’s Instagram, love & zest’s Pinterest and love & zest’s Facebook, and get her new family-friendly weeknight dinner guide for stress-free meal planning.