Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Do You Eat 5 a Day?

Summer is the easiest time to make sure you are getting the recommended 5 fruits and vegetables a day. This is the time of year when we have sweet corn for dinner almost everyday for 6 weeks. The local sweet corn has arrived at all the farmer's markets. Up til now the best sweet corn we had was from Indiana. I'm trying new ways to serve it this year not just buttered. Old Bay seasoning is an interesting new taste.

There are still some local berries available but the local strawberries are gone for another year. Their sweet strawberry flavor is so different from the Driscoll berries available year round it's hard to describe. Berries are high in fiber, Vitamin C and antioxidants. Store fresh berries in the refrigerator and rinse just before eating. They spoil quickly if you rinse them any sooner.

Locally grown melons are also sweet, juicy and refreshing now. To find a ripe melon examine the stem end. It should be smooth and show that the fruit was ripe and ready to fall of the vine. I always allow cantaloupe and muskmelons a day or two on the kitchen counter to ripen.

Fresh tomatoes are rich in vitamin C, antioxidants and lycopene. All they need is a little salt and a few basil leaves. I also like just a few drops of balsamic vinegar to bring out their sweetness. Never refrigerate fresh tomatoes for the best flavor.

Practice now to eat five fruits and vegetables a day as a part of a healthy diet. It's much more challenging in the winter!

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