Thursday, July 26, 2007
Posted by Abby
If you’ve decided to try and eat a bit more healthily, by boosting your fruit and vegetable intake, it’s worth thinking about how to get things kick-started.
Think about which fruit and vegetables you and your family like then stock up on these. Also, think about the meals you cook that have a good fruit and vegetable content and schedule these into a meal planner for the week - just list what you will eat on each day and check if you’re likely to get up to 5 portions.
Getting more fruit and vegetables into your house and using them as the basis for your meals is really important.
Planning your meals in advance and using this as the basis for your shopping list is one approach. To be honest I’m not good at this as I choose what to cook depending on my mood. This means that stocking up on things I know I like is a good approach for me.
Thinking about how you shop for fruit and vegetables can also make a real difference. I like going to my local market and choosing which fruit and vegetables to buy based on what is in season and looks particularly good – colour, smell etc.
There are a few regular purchases I make to ensure we have a good mix of things - carrots for snacking on in the day, fresh tomatoes for salads or easy pasta dishes, plus onions, garlic, chillies, herbs and lemons to add flavour to dishes. With fruit I always stock up on bananas and apples/pears which act as the base ingredients for our daily smoothie.
If you live somewhere more rural a trip to your local farm shop or farmers market might be a good approach.
Increasingly popular are fruit and vegetable boxes. These are boxes of fruit and/or vegetables which you are delivered to your home (or office if you prefer). They usually contain fresh produce that is locally sourced and is often organic. This reduces the environmental impact your shopping is having as well as supports local business and provides you with fresh and tasty food.
The fun bit is that, because the boxes are seasonal, you never really know what you’re going to get. This is a great way to make yourself be a more creative cook and try new things. Kohlrabi is something that a lot of vegetable boxes contain at the moment and usually prompts a look of fear and confusion – thankfully most fruit and vegetable box suppliers include a wide selection of recipes on their websites!
If cost is a driver for you then both market shopping and fruit and vegetable boxes can be comparable with supermarket shopping. In fact markets, assuming you’re not exclusively using gourmet markets that stock every product imaginable but at costs to match, can be real money savers. This is particularly true if you go towards the end of the day. But, beware if you’re a bargain hunter – you may need to pick up a book about how to make jam or chutney to help you dispose of that box of apples or giant bag of peppers!
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This Post was written by Abby from eat the right stuff.