Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Don't forget the white!

You are probably aware that you should be eating (and serving to the children in your care) a wide variety of fruits and vegetables every day. Striving for a "rainbow" of produce on your plate every day is a very good goal. But what about that often forgotten group of the "rainbow", the white group? The white group of fruits and vegetables is frequently overlooked because many people believe that if produce is not "bright", it has no significant nutritional value. This is simply not true. It's a fact that brightly colored fruits and vegetables are full of beneficial nutrients, just don't underestimate the nutritional value of the white, tan, and brown group! These fruits and vegetables are full of powerful phytochemicals and are packed with disease fighting nutrients. (Not to mention the fact that they are pretty tasty too)!

Tip: Eat a variety of produce from this group which includes:
onions, garlic, cauliflower, jicama, parsnips, mushrooms, potatoes, turnips, kohlrabi, bananas, white nectarines, white peaches, brown pears, brown lentils, soybeans, and white beans.

I recently received some turnips as part of my weekly share from the CSA farm where I have a membership. I will have to admit that turnips are not one of my favorite vegetables (love the greens, just not the turnip part). But, I believe that the reason for this was that I had not discovered the right recipe for turnips yet. I went in search of a turnip recipe and found one that really loved! I wanted to share it with you in case you too are a reluctant turnip eater. I hope that you try this recipe soon, (my kids loved it too).
Note: You could probably leave the pepper out if you have kids who do not like it.

Honey-Peppered Turnips
1 Tablespoon butter
1 1/2 Tablespoons honey
1 bunch turnips, cut into 1/4 inch cubes (peel if large)
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
salt to taste

Melt the butter with the honey in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir in the turnips and pepper. Cook, covered, until tender, about 12 minutes. Add salt to taste. Serve warm.

Each 1/4 cup serving is creditable for 1/4 cup of the fruit/vegetable component at lunch or supper.

Tip: Turnips are a good source of vitamin B6, calcium, folate, potassium and copper. They are a very good source of fiber, vitamin c, and manganese.

If you are interested in learning more about eating a rainbow of fruits and vegetables every day, or teaching your kids about this, please see the link below. You will find activity sheets and lesson plans from the Produce for Better Health Foundation.

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