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Eating the daily recommended amount of fruits and vegetables shouldn’t be a difficult task to accomplish, but unfortunately in a world where speed ranks as a top priority, it is. This can become monumentally more difficult where picky eaters are involved (especially children and husbands)! When my husband returned from his 15 month tour in Iraq he was no longer used to eating fresh fruits and vegetables and had grown accustomed to the more processed variety of foods, or what I call non-foods. In order to get him up to my recommended amount of fruit and veggie intake I had to find some tricky ways to sneak them into meals, and make them delicious! You don’t have to sacrifice taste for health and you definitely shouldn’t sacrifice health for convenience.

My favorite tool for being sneaky is a food processor, especially for pastas and meatloaf. Start by choosing a vegetable or two to process and add to the sauce or meatloaf. My favorites for this are zucchini and carrots; you’ll never even be able to tell they’re in there! Chop up extra veggies and greens for soups and stews, layer spinach into lasagna or mix it into mashed potatoes. Be creative, the possibilities are endless and you’ll create some delicious recipes!

Fruits have just as many possibilities, the easiest being a smoothie full of frozen berries, bananas and apples. Another delicious dessert it to mix frozen berries with a few tablespoons of yogurt and a touch of honey in a food processor to make a fruit sorbet, or use frozen bananas instead and drizzle with a touch of chocolate syrup.

Try mixing the two together to create spectacular salads. Start with romaine lettuce, spinach or arugula and add some red, yellow or orange peppers, radishes, red apples, add some nuts such as almonds, pecans or walnuts, top with a little bit of feta cheese and toss with olive oil and lemon juice. You might want to try adding mandarin sections instead, play around with different ingredients and I guarantee you’ll end up with a salad you can’t get enough of!


This article was contributed
by Jacqueline M. Banks.