Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Wisdom from a Candy Company?

Day 131.

I don't watch much television anymore, so I'm not sure if the commercials are still using the same slogan, but do you remember Skittles's slogan about tasting the rainbow? They make a very good point. Stay with me now.

Don't go out and buy a bag of Skittles. They rots your teeth and your insides, too. But abide by the slogan. Taste the rainbow. It's good for you.

What I mean is this: Try to get your foods from across the colorful spectrum each day. It's hard. It can be done, but it's hard. Instead of aiming for perfection, try a wide variety throughout the week. Here are some fruits and veggies across the rainbow and why you should eat them:

(Please remember, I'm not a doctor, just a person trying to eat healthier and pass on what I learn.)

RED fruits and vegetables contain lycopene, a substance proven to reduce cancer risk!

*Try tomatoes, watermelon, cherries, beets, red cabbage, pomegranate, radishes, rhubarb, and red peppers.

ORANGE and YELLOW fruits and vegetables keep your eyes and heart healthy, and provide different vitamins, including A and C, and folate, which reduces birth defect risks!

*Try oranges, yellow peppers, apricots, lemons, grapefruit, yellow squash, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, and mangoes.

GREEN fruits and vegetables contain chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is a wonder food. Essentially, it's plant blood. Don't get grossed out. Do you know how remarkably similar to our own hemoglobin? Chlorophyll helps keep our red blood cells healthy and strong, and increases energy, too.

*Try artichokes, kiwi, spinach, collard, mustard, or turnip greens, kale, limes, green onion, avocado, and zucchini.

BLUE and PURPLE fruits and vegetables provide valuable antioxidants, which may reduce cancer risk.

*Try blueberries, eggplant, plums, and figs.

WHITE fruits and vegetables can help lower cholesterol and blood pressure.

*Try bananas, cauliflower, mushrooms, turnips, and onions.

It takes some planning to get all the colors of the rainbow into your day. I don't try for every color every single day (although I should), but I try to make sure that my weekly intake includes a balance from the spectrum. For breakfast, I had white (banana), blue/purple (blueberries), and red (strawberries), so I'm on a roll already. It was as simple as baking muffins and adding a few berries on the side.

Blueberry-Banana Muffins
makes about 15 muffins

What You Need:
  • 2 cups of flour (whole wheat is preferable but use what you're comfortable with)
  • 1/4 cup wheat germ (raw or toasted, your call. I used raw)
  • 1/4 cup ground flax seeds
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 5 Tbsp melted butter
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 large bananas, peeled and mashed
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)
How it's Done:
  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Line 15 muffin cups with liners or spray with non-stick cooking spray. Set them to the side.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, wheat germ, flax seed meal, baking soda, and salt. In a separate bowl, combine mashed bananas, butter, sugars, eggs, milk, and vanilla. Pour all at once into dry ingredients and stir just until they're well-mingled.
  3. Gently fold in blueberries.
  4. Pour the batter into your prepared muffin cups. You want to fill them up about 3/4 of the way. I found that 1/3 cup batter did this nicely.
  5. Bake the muffins for about 20 minutes, or until a pick inserted near the center comes out clean.
  6. Turn the muffins out onto a platter and let them cool a bit before serving.


Andrea said...

The muffins sound amazingly good! I'm a little mad at myself for using up the blueberries in a smoothie this am, oh well. I agree with you whole heartedly to eat the colors of the rainbow daily. Sesame Street did a 'eat the colors of the rainbow' song, my 9 yr old nephew and I still sing it :)

Michelle J said...

Gorgeous pics, as always! We shoot for the rainbow too. I've found that stir-frys and soups are the easiest way for me to get a good mix into the fam. Especially the soup. If I put dumplings in it, they'll eat pretty much anything. ;)

Amy said...

These look delicious!! Two of my favorite fruits in one place, can't get better than that!

Kathleen said...

I love blueberry muffins and yours look delish!

Simply Life said...

wow, those muffins look great and so full of flavor!

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