Posts Tagged ‘smoothie’

myplate_yellowHow many vegetables did you eat yesterday?

MyPlate recommends that adults consume at least 2-3 cups of vegetables each day, making half your plate fruits and vegetables at each meal. Breakfast is a meal where fruit often makes an appearance, but it is also a great opportunity to kick-off your vegetable consumption for the day!

Below are five delicious breakfast ideas that include vegetables:

  1. Zucchini bread oatmeal. You can make a batch of the baked oatmeal that the recipe linked to here instructs, or simply add shredded zucchini to overnight oats in place of part of the liquid. Zucchini bread oatmeal is a great high fiber, low fat alternative to zucchini bread. Alternatively, if you’re a fan of pumpkin bread, consider stirring canned pumpkin into your oatmeal for another nutritious breakfast.
  2. Frittata. Combine your favorite chopped veggies (mushroom, bell pepper, tomato, onion, etc.) with a mixture of egg, herbs and cheese for a delicious breakfast casserole. For added convenience, bake in a muffin tin for single-serve portions! muffin tin fritattas
  3. Breakfast sandwiches or wraps (burritos). Start with a whole wheat English muffin, tortilla or slice of toast, then add scrambled eggs, cheese, and your favorite veggies (spinach, mushroom, tomato, avocado, etc.) for a hearty breakfast sandwich. You could also fold your stuffed tortilla in half and cook it in the skillet for a quesadilla!
  4. Made-over muffins. If you enjoy eating muffins at breakfast, prepare varieties at home that include whole wheat flour and shredded veggies to ramp up the fiber content. Shredded zucchini and carrots make tasty muffins! Pineapple carrot muffins are one of my favorites.
  5. Power smoothies. If you enjoy whipping up a morning smoothie, try adding spinach or kale to the mix! These leafy greens are rich in nutrients, and chances are you’ll hardly notice that they’re there!

How do you add veggies to your breakfast? Let us know by leaving a comment below!


Author: Jenny Lobb, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Franklin County, lobb.3@osu.edu

Reviewer: Marilyn Rabe, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Franklin County, rabe.9@osu.edu



Mullen, M. & Shield, J.E. (2017). Veggies for Breakfast? Yes! Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. eatright.org

USDA ChooseMyPlate.gov (2017). All About the Vegetable Group. choosemyplate.gov/vegetables.


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cherriesTart cherries have powerful secret nutrients. Studies have found that the antioxidants in tart cherries continue to increase until they reach peak ripeness.  Consuming them when they are ripe will offer you the most benefits.


These properties called anthocyanins could improve our health by:

  • Cutting down on inflammation and decreasing muscle soreness.
  • Producing beneficial metabolic effects such as decreasing fat, sugar, and insulin levels in the blood.
  • Melatonin in rich tart cherries may help sleep disturbances.
  • Phytonutrients in cherries act as antioxidants to help reduce free radicals in the body, possibly reducing the risk of some types of cancer and Alzheimer’s disease

Cherry-Berry Smoothie


3/4 cup canned, pitted red tart cherries in water, chilled in the refrigerator, undrained

1/2 cup low fat milk or dairy-free milk

1/2 cup frozen berries

8 oz. low fat cherry Greek yogurt

1 small banana

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. More or less milk can be added to achieve desired consistency.

Makes 3 servings

Per Serving:

Calories: 164

Total fat 2 g (1 g saturated fat)

Carbohydrate 33 g

Protein 6 g

Fiber 2.8 g

Sodium 72 mg

Vitamin C 6 mg

Vitamin A 635 IU

As we support good health, everyone should try to eat more fruits and vegetables so by adding tart cherries or the concentrate you can easily add one more serving of fruit to your meal plan each day!

Writer: Marie Diniaco Economos, Ohio State University Extension, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Trumbull County, Western Reserve EERA, Economos.2@osu.edu

Reviewers: Linnette Goard, Field Specialist, Food Safety, Selection and Management, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University.

Michelle Treber, Ohio State University Extension, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Pickaway County, Heart of Ohio EERA, treber.1@osu.edu

For more information on how to maximize nutrients in other fruits and vegetables visit: Farm to Health Series: http://localfoods.osu.edu/maximizenutrients




Recipe developed by Robin Ralston and Morgan Orr, The Ohio State University available from: http://localfoods.osu.edu/sites/d6-localfoods.web/files/Cherries_0.pdf


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Smoothies continue to be a popular treat at restaurants; although special equipment is promoted to make them it is not necessary. While we think of them as a tasty way to increase our dairy and fruit consumption, they can also be a wonderful way to slide in a few vegetables. Yes, I said “vegetables”!

The perk with smoothies is you can add things that people may not usually think they like – yogurt or kale – and your children (or picky spouse or co-worker) won’t even know they are there. Vegetables that work well in smoothies are spinach, kale, steamed broccoli, romaine lettuce, cucumber, peeled avocado, and carrots. Using low fat dairy, skim milk and lite yogurt, a smoothie can provide calcium and protein in addition to the vitamins and fiber in vegetables and fruits.

Smoothie Tips:

  • While special smoothie machines aren’t necessary, a blender with a tight fitting lid is a must.green smoothie
  • To prevent damage to your blender, always use 1 cup of liquid, either skim or almond milk, or fruit juice.
  • Add a 6 ounce container of light yogurt, vanilla blends well with any combination, but all types work.
  • Choose your washed and chopped vegetable from the list above and add ½ to 1 cup. Remove stems from leafy veggies and add up to 2 cups.
  • Add 1 to 1 ½ cups assorted fruits like – bananas, strawberries, blueberries, grapes, pears, pineapple, peaches, or kiwi. To prepare fruit – wash and chop into smaller pieces for even blending. Freezing fruit ahead will give an icy consistency without the work on your blender of breaking up ice.
  • If you want to add ice – limit the amount to 4 cubes or no more than ½ cup.
  • Blend until smooth without over-blending. Vanilla extract and a dusting of cinnamon or nutmeg can be a tasty addition.

To make a green monster smoothie blend: kale, grapes, yogurt, skim milk, and bananas.

Smoothies can be a fun snack for families to make together, just supervise blending and limit servings to about 1 cup.


University of Maryland Extension, http://extension.umd.edu/sites/default/files/_docs/Green%20Smoothie.pdf.

Michigan State University Extension, http://msue.anr.msu.edu/news/smoothies_a_healthy_alternative .

Writer: Lisa Barlage, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ross County.

Reviewer: Pat Brinkman, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Fayette County.

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