A few months ago I heard a speaker talk about fruits and veggies. The point that resonated the most with me is that the suggested number of servings of fruits and veggies per day is 9-13.
Nine to Thirteen.
Now you're likely sitting there a little perplexed, just as I was. "No, wait!" your brain is saying. Because it's likely that you, along with I and every other American has heard that we should be getting 5-7 servings of those items daily. Want to know the truth? The government knows that we are never going to get that many servings so they pare it down to 5-7 for us. That's right. They believe that we would never ever achieve that and therefore decided to set a smaller amount that we should be shooting for.
The sad thing? Most Americans don't even get that 5-7. And when they do, it's from sources like fruit/vegetable juices and are mostly fruit versus vegetable.
Check out this article from the Virginia Co-Op Extension about servings of fruit and suggestions on how to get more.
Check out this page from the same site about vegetables.
Cooking Light has a great series on how to get more fruits and vegetables into your daily diet.
Lately I've been eating a lot of roasted vegetables. I take whatever I have and chunk it up into 2 inch by 1 inch chunks. Toss with a tiny bit of olive oil (just barely enough to coat). Place on a sheet tray that's big enough to spread all the vegetables out so they're not touching. The bake at 425 for 40-50 minutes. They get lovely brown and caramelized. The flavors intensify and t a certain extent this brings out the natural sugars and makes them "sweet". My favorites lately are brussel sprouts, parsnips, carrots, red & yellow beets, cauliflower and red onion. Although there really isn't a vegetable I don't like.
My challenge to you is this: Take a week and plan out some meals that include fruits an vegetables. Figure out a way to get at least 7 servings a day (and only 3 of those fruit, the rest vegetables). Eat a new fruit/vegetable during the week and prepare an old fruit/vegetable a new way.