Through my experiences with healthy eating, and most recently trying to switch to a Paleo/Whole 30 diet, I have been trying and enjoying some really delicious fruits and veggies I had previously ignored. I definitely go through phases…once I find something I love I buy it incessantly…until I find a new obsession!
Most people don’t look twice if they see things like Twinkie, unnatural orange colored ‘cheese’ poofs, or boxed mashed potatoes on your plate. These things are completely processed, man made and contain little nutrients. Start showing up to lunch hour with a variety of fresh veggies, however, and you will elicit curios stares. People may even ask “What IS that stuff”??”
It’s unnerving to be singled out for just trying to eat healthy and eating whole, nutritious, real food. And it’s weird that people think it’s weird. The more you eat processed, sugared-up junk the more your body gets used to it and makes you turn your nose up at less common fruits and veggies. But I realized as you start eating more and more whole natural foods your body learns to appreciate the natural flavors this food has to offer. Here are five you should add to your diet or at least give a try:
I already blogged about my coconut rutabaga pancakes, but this potato-like veggie can be used for so much more! It has a subtle, crispy, carrot-like taste. As a root vegetable, you could use this for anything you would use a potato for: mashed or pureed, shredded as hash browns, or roasted with some herbs in the oven. It’s high in calcium, magnesium, potassium, and only has 50 calories per cup!!!
I have recently fallen in love with this starchy fruit! It can be best described as a cross between a banana and potato. When green, plantains can be used as more of a potato substitute- boiled and mashed, roasted in the oven, or used as the ‘pasta’ element in a lasagna. Riper, brown or yellow plantains work well used more like a banana- caramelized in sugar and drizzled with chocolate.
I fried mine in coconut oil and dark chocolate balsamic vinegar for breakfast!
I’ve seen more and more kale popping up on blogs…so I know it’s becoming popular. It’s a leafy, bitter green that tastes amazing sautéed with garlic and onion. It’s very low in calories and also very high in calcium, potassium, magnesium, and iron. It goes great with runny eggs as a breakfast or as a side for dinner! It can also be eaten raw, or made into a pesto. Try to buy organic whenever possible.
A cousin to the carrot, parsnips are another way to spice up your nightly veggies. Another root vegetable, they can be roasted in the oven with carrots, or pureed and used as a potato substitute. They’re high in fiber, potassium and magnesium.
There are so many varieties of squash…..you’ll never get bored! Use spaghetti squash as a pasta substitute, butternut squash in place of potatoes or pasta, and zucchini, acorn or summer squash as a side dish to dinner. The possibilities are endless!
Butternut squash is my favorite because it’s so versatile. Favorites I’ve made are butternut squash fries, cinnamon and nutmeg crockpot mashed butternut squash, and butternut squash lasagna!
So put down the Twinkies and pick up one of these options next time you’re at the grocery store. The worst that can happen is you won’t like it! But I bet you’ll find at least one that makes a regular appearance on your plate.
Nutritional Info: Caloriecount.com
What weird healthy foods do you eat that prompt awkward stares from people around the lunch table?