Prairie Fare: A Patriotic Plate Is Tasty and Nutritious for the Palate
By Julie Garden-Robinson, Food and Nutrition Specialist
NDSU Extension Service
Cooking magazines often feature desserts and salads made with red, white
and blue produce at this time of the year. Decorating your plate with the
colors of the American flag is attractive and festive for Fourth of July
A patriotic-looking plate can be good for your health, too.
Researchers continue to study the role of natural colorants and other "phytochemicals"
(plant chemicals) in plant foods. Plant foods are available in all the
colors of the spectrum – red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple and white.
All have numerous health benefits associated with them.
Are you eating at least five servings of fruits and vegetables daily? If
you’ve met the goal, aim a little higher. New research suggests that women
and children over age 7 aim for seven servings, and teenage boys and men aim
for nine servings daily.
Serving sizes include a half-cup fresh, canned or frozen fruits and
vegetables, three-fourths cup of 100 percent fruit or vegetable juice, one
medium-size piece of fruit, one cup leafy greens or one-fourth cup dried
Here’s a look at the "patriotic" members of the produce spectrum.
Red produce includes apples, red cabbage, cherries, cranberries, pink
grapefruit, red peppers, radishes, raspberries, tomatoes, watermelon and
many others. "Lycopene," the red colorant in tomatoes, watermelon and
others, may help reduce risk of cancer, especially prostate cancer among
"Anthocyanins," the red colorants in strawberries, raspberries, apples
and others, are powerful antioxidants that protect our cells from damage and
help keep our hearts healthy.
White produce includes bananas, cauliflower, garlic, ginger, onions,
potatoes and parsnips. Bananas and potatoes are especially good sources of
potassium, a mineral need for maintaining healthy blood pressure. Natural
chemicals in garlic and onions may help protect us from stomach cancer and
Blue produce includes blueberries and plums. Other members of the
blue/purple family are chokecherries, eggplant, juneberries, purple grapes
and raisins. All contain a form of "anthocyanins" that acts as protective
antioxidants. Blueberries, in particular, are being linked with improved
memory function and healthy aging.
Add a rainbow of produce colors to your diet this summer. Here’s a fruit
salad with a patriotic twist.
Summer Fruit Salad
8 oz. carton frozen low-fat whipped topping, thawed
3 1/2 oz. pkg. instant vanilla pudding mix
1 orange, peeled and cut up
2 c. crushed pineapple with juice
1 c. miniature marshmallows
1 c. sliced fresh strawberries
2 sliced bananas
1 c. fresh blueberries
In large bowl, combine whipped topping, pudding mix, orange, crushed
pineapple and marshmallows. Cover and refrigerate. Just before serving,
layer salad in a glass bowl with strawberries followed by one-third of
pudding mixture, bananas followed by one-third of pudding mixture and
blueberries followed by one-third of pudding mixture.
Makes about 10 servings. Each serving contains 177 calories, 2.9 grams
fat, 2 grams fiber and 37 grams carbohydrate.
Source: Julie Garden-Robinson, (701) 231-7187, email@example.com
Editor: Tom Jirik, (701) 231-9629, firstname.lastname@example.org
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