How many fruits and vegetables are you having a day? How many are recommended? It differs from country to country. For example, in the UK it's at least five a day and on the Health Canada website it recommends a different amount depending on age and sex, according to them I should be having 7-8.
When Abigail was little, Mark who will happily chomp away on salad and vegetables but not fruit, challenged himself to eat 5-a-day. We printed off a list of suggested measurements for all fruit and vegetables and he noted down each day what he had eaten to ensure he had had enough. Although he didn't always manage it, one positive side effect was that Mark lost some weight while taking his 5-a-day challenge and he's never put it back on!
While we generally tend to eat quite a lot of fruit and vegetables in our house and cook from scratch rather than eat processed stuff, we thought that during Lent this year we would challenge ourselves again to eat 5-a-day again! I realise that the idea of Lent is to give something up or to change a behaviour, so that you can focus more on God and not to make your diet more healthy ... so we've changed a few other things too!
During Mark's recent trip to PNG he ate a lot more fresh fruit than normal and enjoyed every bit of it. See below a healthy feast he enjoyed full of home grown goodness, both fruit and vegetables. He reflected while he as there that the poorer population of PNG ate a really healthy diet, all home grown. Whereas here in the States and in the UK, those with limited income will find that processed foods are cheaper and more accessible and a lot less good for your health. Not good eh?
Recently I was reading an article about recipes that included added 'goodness' for families who wanted to hide some extra ingredients in so-called 'naughty' foods. While I am under no illusions that just because something includes some fruit or vegetables it makes it good for you, I thought I'd test out one of the recipes and at the weekend cooked some Zucchini Blueberry Bread. It was a easy and I thought really yummy too! I've yet to convince Mark to try it ... just the name of the bread turns him off, I'm working on it!
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 3 eggs
- 3/4 cup canola oil
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups shredded zucchini (courgette for the Brit readers!)
- 1 cup blueberries
- In a large bowl combine flours, sugars, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and baking powder
- Mix separately, eggs, oil and vanilla extract
- Add two mixtures until combined
- Gently stir in zucchini and then blueberries
- Spoon batter into prepared (oiled) bread pans - use either 1x9-inch or 4x5-inch loaf pans
- Bake in preheated oven (350) - 40 mins for small loaves, 1 hour for large - until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean
- Allow 10 mins to cool before removing from pans, serve warm or cold