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Wash Journal   Fairfield Ledger
Neighbors Growing Together | Nov 17, 2017

Eat the Rainbow

Jun 29, 2017

By Melissa Boncher, Hy-Vee Dietitian

 

With grilling season in full swing, what better way to fill half your plate with fruits and veggies than to take advantage of the season. Plants contain pigments called phytochemicals that provide plants with their rich color and in turn offer us an array of healthy benefits. Each color offers its own unique benefits.

Red – Lycopene acts as an antioxidant. Studies have linked lycopene to reduced prostate cancer risk for men. Think tomatoes (also tomato sauce and juice), pink grapefruit, watermelon, etc.

Orange – Carotenoids give these foods their orange to yellow pigments. They’re rich in vitamin A, and have vitamin C and folate. Vitamins have antioxidant properties that may help fight cancers. Vitamin A is linked to vision, bone maintenance and immune function. Squash, pumpkin, orange tomatoes, cantaloupe, oranges, carrots, etc.

Yellow – These foods have many of the same nutrients as orange produce, plus vitamin B6, which helps you metabolize your food and shores up your immune system. The vitamin is also involved in brain development during pregnancy. Yellow squash, yellow tomatoes, yellow bell peppers, etc.

Green – Vitamin K and minerals such as potassium, calcium and magnesium are prevalent in these foods. Vitamin K helps blood to clot, fosters bone health and may help prevent tumor growth. All three minerals help regulate blood pressure. Green beans, green grapes, broccoli, asparagus, celery, Brussels sprouts, edamame, dark leafy greens (lettuce, kale and spinach), etc.

Red to Purple – These foods contain vitamin C, potassium and antioxidants that studies suggest help reduce inflammation and prevent damage to cells; they also may aid immunity. Blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, cranberries, pomegranates, red and purple grapes, eggplants, etc.

 

Grilled Fruit Kabobs

All you need:

1 recipe White Chocolate Dip, below

4 (12-inch) skewers

¼ medium pineapple, peeled, cored and cut into 1-inch chunks

2 nectarines, cut into wedges

4 strawberries, stemmed and halved

1 mango, peeled and seeded, cut into 1-inch chunks

4 kiwi, peeled and halved

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

Mint, for garnish, optional

 

All you do:

 

1. Prepare White Chocolate Dip. Prepare charcoal or gas grill with greased rack for direct grilling over medium heat.

2. Thread fruit onto each skewer. Grill 5 minutes or until fruit is warm and lightly charred, turning occasionally.

3. Sprinkle skewers with cinnamon and, if desired, garnish with mint. Serve with White Chocolate Dip.

 

Note: if you are using wooden skewers, soak them in water for at least 30 minutes.

 

White Chocolate Dip: In 1 quart saucepan, place 1 tbsp. coconut milk beverage and 1 oz. Hy-Vee creamy white vanilla baking chips. Heat over low heat, stirring constantly, until chips are melted and mixture is smooth. Cool slightly. Using a whisk, beat ¾ cup coconut milk and 1 (1.34-oz.) box Hy-Vee sugar-free, fat-free white chocolate instant pudding mix until mixture is blended and thickened. Stir in melted mixture until well blended and thickened. Stir in melted mixture until well blended. Fold in 2 cups fat-free whipped topping (thawed).

 

Per serving: 310 calories, 4g fat, 3g saturated fat, 0mg cholesterol, 400mg sodium, 55g carbohydrates, 7g fiber, 3g protein.

 

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