Category: Recipes – The BEET

Easy Ways to Incorporate More Fruits and Vegetables Into Your Diet

We all know that eating fruits and vegetables is healthy, but sometimes we end up thinking of it as a chore and it can become unappealing. But it doesn’t have to be! Although it can be daunting to try and tackle cooking a food that you’ve never eaten before, such as kale or Japanese sweet potatoes, I’m hoping that some of the tricks I use every single day to load my plate up with plants will help you out.

  1. Add greens to your smoothies. Putting in a handful of spinach is the best way to incorporate more greens into your diet. Spinach has a very mild taste and if you’re loading up your smoothing with bananas and berries and other fruit, the spinach taste will be easily masked. You’ll have a tasty, nutrient powerhouse of a smoothie.
  2. Keep it simple. We don’t need to be making kale-seaweed salad with a spirulina infused dressing to be eating more veggies. One of my favorite things to do is purchase the frozen bag of mixed vegetables and throw that over some cooked rice or sweet potatoes, making a big batch of baked sweet potatoes in the beginning of the week and then using it as the base for most of my meals. A big bowl filled with some salad greens, baked sweet potatoes, canned beans, and avocado is a healthy, cheap and delicious meal.
  3. Try something new. Sometimes it can be fun to try out a new recipe with an ingredient you’ve never used before. There are an unlimited amount of recipes for every kind of fruit or vegetable out there, so next time you’re stuck with a head of cauliflower and have no idea what to do with it, try and make some buffalo cauliflower wings. 

Vegetable Thai Curry Recipe

One of my favorite comfort foods is Thai Curry! It’s SO versatile, you can literally throw in whatever vegetables you have, add some coconut milk and curry powder and BOOM- Thai curry. All of these ingredients can be found at the grocery store for cheap and are full of nutrition to keep you healthy during these winter months.

1 onion- diced

6 small carrots, diced (I used organic multicolor carrots)

4 small potatoes- diced

1 head of broccoli

1 small carton of mushrooms

2 small zucchini

1 block tofu

1 jar of green curry paste*

2 cans of coconut milk

2 Cups Dry Jasmine Rice

Sautee the onions carrots and potatoes in a little oil or water and continually stir until soft

Add mushrooms and stir

Add broccoli and zucchini- add water as needed

Add jar of curry paste (* I had green curry paste on hand, but this would also be great with red paste too)

Add 2 cans of coconut milk and as much water as needed

Let simmer

While simmering- cube the tofu and sautée in a pan

Add tofu to curry pot.

Cover and simmer for 30 minutes (*Option: Add some chopped up kale and purple cabbage for some extra greens and veggies)

Cook Jasmine rice (Rinse rice well before cooking)

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This week’s featured fruit is the persimmon! Seasonal to fall, persimmons usually abundant in our warehouses from September to October.

Persimmons are a delicious fall fruit and are a powerhouse of nutrients and phytochemicals. Phytochemicals are non-nutritive substances found in fruits and vegetables that provide protective properties when consumed. Some of these phytochemicals include flavonoids, tannins, and carotenoids. Phytochemicals are becoming of great interest to researchers for their role in prevention and reversal of diseases such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Consuming persimmon leaves has also been shown to have beneficial effects against oxidative stress, hypertension, diabetes and atherosclerosis.

Butt, Masood Sadiq, et al. “Persimmon (Diospyros kaki) fruit: hidden phytochemicals and health claims.” EXCLI journal 14 (2015): 542.

Persimmon Bread:  From www.healthiersteps.com

Preheat oven 350 degrees F. Line 9×3 loaf pan with parchment paper and lightly grease, set aside.

Mix water with flax seeds in a bowl and set aside for 5 minutes.

In a large bowl, combine gluten-free all purpose flour, almond flour, coconut sugar, baking powder, salt

In a small bowl mix coconut oil, vanilla, persimmon puree and flax seed mixture.

Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients until fully combined. Stir in raisins and pecans.

Scoop batter into prepared loaf pan and bake for 1 hour or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.

Remove loaf from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes in the loaf pan before removing to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Bread keeps for about 5 days in airtight container and freezes well.

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Pears

Pears are tasty fall fruit in Santa Barbara County, but did you know they are also a great source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals? They are packed with  vitamins C and K, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, and folate. Pears also contain phytonutrients that protect against certain diseases and cancers.

For a quick, tasty treat, enjoy pears sliced on a cracker with honey and some cheese. This also makes a great appetizer at your next get-together!

Apple, Pear, Cranberry Cobbler

2 pounds ripe Bosc pears (4 pears)

2 pounds firm Macoun apples (6 apples)

3/4 cup dried cranberries

1 teaspoon grated orange zest

1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

For the topping:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup granulated sugar

3/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup old-fashioned oatmeal

1/2 C of coconut oil

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Peel and core the pears and apples and cut them into large chunks. Place the fruit in a large bowl and toss with the cranberries, zests, juices, granulated sugar, flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Pour into a 9 by 12 by 2-inch baking dish.

For the topping:

Combine the flour, sugars, salt, oatmeal, and coconut oil/margarine in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on low speed for 1 to 2 minutes, or until the mixture is in large crumbles. Sprinkle evenly over the fruit, covering the fruit completely.

Place the baking dish on a parchment-lined sheet pan and bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, until the top is brown and the fruit is bubbly. Serve warm.

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The blog is back in town! Meet Taylor Brower, our newest blog contributor.

Taylor is an alumni of UC Santa Barbara where she received her Bachelor’s of Science in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. She is currently studying at University of Alabama to receive a second Bachelor’s degree in Nutrition to work toward becoming a Registered Dietitian. Taylor discovered her passion for nutrition during her senior year at UCSB when she realized that food is medicine and that, when paired with a healthy lifestyle, it can prevent and reverse many common diseases that plague our country today. She is passionate about educating others on the benefits of incorporating more fruits and vegetables into their diet and loves talking about health. When she is not studying or working with the Foodbank, Taylor works at Santa Barbara Family Chiropractic and teaches swim lessons at Cathedral Oaks Athletic Club. She is an avid cyclist and can usually be found riding in the mountains during the weekends.

 

Apples are always a popular autumn fruit. They will be in season soon in Santa Barbara, which means it’s time for you to get the real #nutritionfacts. Check out this week’s post for the truth about apples and last week’s post for a delicious, innovative recipe!

“An apple a day keeps the doctor away” might be an overused phrase, but it’s actually true! Increased consumption of apples daily is associated with a decrease in risk for certain cancers such as breast, ovarian, and colorectal(1). This protection is due to the abundance of antioxidants apples contain, most of which are actually concentrated in the peel (so make sure to eat that too!). Apples are also a great source of fiber to help regulate blood sugar and make for a great snack!

  1. Gallus S, Talamini R, Giacosa A et al. Does an apple a day keep the oncologist away? J Agric Food Chem 2003; 51(3): 609-14

Contributed by Taylor Brower

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Apple Pie Overnight Oats

 

As a student-athlete who is working 40+ hours a week, it is important to me to have quick go-to meals that I can grab and have on the go, will give me enough sustained energy that will last me throughout the day and will help me recover from my workouts. Oatmeal has been one of my favorite breakfasts lately, but cooking it on the stove takes some time and so I have turned to loaded overnight oats instead of instant oatmeal packets for a time-efficient breakfast in the mornings. These oats are loaded with crisp apples that stay crunchy, and warming fall spices like cinnamon or pumpkin spice that not only add flavor but spices are packed full of antioxidants that help with exercise recovery and reduce blood pressure and blood sugar level. The pumpkin seeds are full of iron, zinc and antioxidants.

1 cup steel cut oats

1 cup plant-based milk

1Tbsp brown sugar or maple syrup

1/2 Apple diced (I like honeycrips or fuji, but green apples would also work)

1 tsp cinnamon

1tsp Turmeric (you won’t be able to taste the Turmeric, but it has such great health benefits, I try to add it to everything)

Small Handful of pepitas or pumpkin seeds

Add all ingredients into a mason jar or tupperwear container and shake to mix well. Place in fridge overnight. Add peanut butter or some other nut butter on top if desired. Grab and go in the morning and enjoy at school/work/ after the gym/ before the gym/ really anytime.

Healthy Eating: It Really is Quality Over Quantity

Many diets today focus on cutting out a specific nutrient like carbohydrates, fat, or gluten (just to name a few). This over-generalized advice puts certain foods into a category and suddenly people start avoiding very nutrient-dense, healthy foods because they have been put in the same category as an unhealthy food.

Take fruit for example. Fruit is one of the healthiest things you can eat. In the Global Burden of Disease Study (a comprehensive research program assessing mortality from different diseases and risk factors), they found that one of the main risk factors for mortality was not consuming enough fruit. Fruit is packed full of vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants, and phytonutrients, yet we have placed fruit in the same category as a cupcake or a glass of soda because of its fructose (sugar) content. This causes confusion for the general public and people just end up eating the way they always have and avoid consuming some of the healthiest foods on earth.

Instead of becoming so reductive about our food choices, we should begin to look at food as a whole instead of its parts. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes are all very nutrient dense and healthy. When a diet is centered around these foods, which are as close to nature as possible, we don’t need to worry about avoiding particular categories of food for one less-than-perfect trait.

So, for the next few weeks, we will be talking about seasonal fruits, busting myths about them, and trying out new recipes. Check back weekly for the latest updates! For comments, questions, and more info, check us out at @foodbanksbc on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Contributed by Taylor Brower

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Vegetable Spaghetti Pasta

The Vegetable Spaghetti from our Healthy School Pantry program is a must try if you’re looking for a DELICIOUS dinner idea! See the full recipe below…

 

Ingredients

1- lbs Spaghetti pasta

1/4 cup green onions, chopped

1 cup diced carrots, peeled

1 pack veggie slaw

1/2 cup corn, fresh or can

1 cup diced onion, small

1 cup celery diced, small

1 lbs Broccoli, cut into small florets

2 tbs oil

Salt & pepper

Optional (fresh garlic , dried basil or oregano )

 

Cooking Directions

1) Heat sautéed pan with oil over medium heat

2) Add prepped onions, carrots and celery in to pan mix evenly cook for 2 mins

3) Add prepped broccoli and veggie slaw cook for 1 or 2 minutes

4) Add cooked spaghetti pasta stir well for 1 minute

5) Then add spaghetti sauce or tomato sauce and cook 2 minutes

6) Season with Salt and pepper for taste

 

Cooking pasta directions

1) Bring 4 qts water to rapid boil

2) Add pasta and stir

3) Stir frequently, uncovered, for 10-12 minutes

4) Drain and run cold water over until cooled

Serving for 6

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Persimmon Bread

Persimmons are delicious, exotic fruits that do more than serve as a sweet and tasty treat; they have a wealth of vitamin and minerals packed inside them, including vitamins A C, E and B6, as well as dietary fiber, manganese, copper, magnesium, potassium and phosphorous.
INGREDIENTS
SERVINGS 10 – 2 loaves
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2cups sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1cup persimmon pulp
1 3⁄4 cups flour
1⁄2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1⁄2 teaspoon nutmeg
1⁄2 teaspoon clove
1⁄2 teaspoon allspice
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1⁄2 cup chopped walnuts
1⁄2cup chopped dates (optional)

DIRECTIONS
1. Preheat oven 350 degrees.
2. In a large bowl blend sugar and oil; add eggs and persimmon pulp.
3. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and spices; add nuts and dates then mix well.
4. Stir flour mixture into persimmon mixture. Turn into two greased and floured loaf pans. Bake for one hour or until done, testing center with a pick.
5. Turn out on wire rack to cool.

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