3 TRICKS & TIPS to VEG it UP this week!
It’s National Nutrition Week! Yippee! This year the focus is on ways to introduce more veg to your meals – all with the aim of meeting our 5 serves of veg a day, whilst reducing our food waste.
Sadly, we are all struggling to meet 5 serves a day. In fact, only 4% of Australian adults eat their recommended 5 serves of veg a day, and only 1% of teenagers and children. So, what can we do to help you meet your requirements, in a fun, simple way?
3 tricks and tips to veg it up this week and embrace your veg ‘waste’:
Eat more parts of your vegetables, such as skins, stalks and leaves.
Try adding broccoli stalks to your next stir-fry for an excellent crunch factor. Simply slice the stems and add the stems + florets to a soup, side dish or stir-fry.
Keep the skin on! Vegetable skins contain fibre, vitamins and minerals. Rinsing vegetables like carrots, potatoes and mushrooms, instead of peeling them, means you keep more of those important nutrients in your body, and out of the bin.
Use up your ageing vegetables that would otherwise go in the bin.
When you get home from work tonight and do the 5pm panic because ‘there is no food in the house’ – think again!!! Pull out those ageing veggies from the crisper and get creative. A great way to use these veggies up is to make a veggie pasta sauce, veggie stock, or simply add to a stew or soup. Hello surprise chef!
To get more out of your veg, know the best way to store it.
The Nutrition Australia – Try for 5 Campaign – has some excellent veggie storage tips and tricks. http://www.tryfor5.org.au/storing
Broccoli, cauliflower, peas, corn, carrots, spinach freeze well, so if you think you won’t get to use them before they take a turn for the worst, chop them up and pop them in a freezer bag or container to freeze. Grab and handful whenever you need to add veggies to your next pasta sauce, curry or soup.
Dark leafy greens: Wash before storing by soaking in cold water to remove the dirt, then drain. Store in the fridge in a water-draining container. Do not spin until ready to use as this will damage the cell wall and cause it to go off faster. You can put your greens that have long stems, like kale, Swiss chard and collard greens in a mason jar with water – just like putting flowers in a vase. Cover the greens with a bag and secure with a twist tie or rubber band.
Carrots: Remove the tops first, as that draws moisture from the carrots. Cut to size and store in a bowl of water or glass container. Change water every 3–4 days.
Herbs: Chop herbs and put them in an ice cube tray with some extra virgin olive oil. Freeze then store in a freezer bag to add to meals for a burst of freshness and flavour.
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