Orange You Glad I’m on your plate?
The red and orange vegetable group includes carrots, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, acorn squash, butternut squash, red peppers, pumpkin, and hubbardsquash and are full of vitamins A, C & K, phytonutrients, and antioxidants. The antioxidant beta-carotene is responsible for the orange hue, while red vegetables get their color from lycopene, also an antioxidant. All these nutrients aid in eye health, reduce the risk of certain cancers and illnesses, promote healthy joints and collagen formation, boost our immune systems and help build healthy skin. The health benefits of these colorful vegetables are endless!
Be sure to aim for 3-6 cups of red and orange vegetables weekly to reap the benefits. Here are some great ways to get there:
- Carrots are a great snack with dips or dressings. Roast carrots in the oven to make carrot "fries". Blend carrots with pineapple juice, yogurt, and honey to make a smoothie.
- Munch on sweet potato fries by baking them in the oven or bake sweet potato waffles, pancakes or muffins! Drizzle maple syrup over diced, cooked and peeled sweet potatoes.
- Whole grain tortilla chips with salsa is a delicious way to eat tomatoes. Add salsa to scrambled eggs or an omelet! Add tomatoes to grilled cheese sandwiches, hamburgers & more.