This post is part of my ambassadorship with the American Heart Association to raise awareness for better health.
All views and opinions are my own and not necessarily that of the AHA.
There’s a saying that for better health we should eat the way our ancestors did… or at least closer to it. I’m always on the lookout for ways to be healthier, especially by increasing my family’s fruit and vegetable intake – while also continuing to share the flavors of my Taiwanese heritage.
I’ve found some simple swaps – some old, some new – that help cut back on refined carbohydrates and sneak more colorful produce into our diet and also work well with the dishes I’m used to preparing. Here they are…
4 Ways to Get Your Family to Eat More Fruits and Vegetables
- Zucchini noodles They’re the rage right now, and rightfully so. Any summer squash can be spiraled or shredded into long, thin strips and quickly blanched to provide noodle-like strings to add to your favorite recipe. Zucchini noodles work well in dishes such as zha jiang mien or niu rou mien (Taiwanese beef noodle soup), as well as spaghetti with red sauce or just tossed with olive oil. And if your family still craves the chewy texture of pasta, just replace part of the noodles with zucchini. You can also add vegetables to your pasta sauce as it cooks.
- Cauliflower rice Stay with me, friends… It sounded weird to me at first, but then I realized that cauliflower (even the stalks you might throw out) can be grated and steamed and used like rice.
- Sweet potatoes and rice This is an old food that was eaten in Taiwan during my parents’ and grandparents’ youth. Sweet potatoes were very plentiful and cheaper than rice, so people often steamed chunks of sweet potatoes in the same pot as their rice. It tastes delicious and is chock full of nutrients.
- Squash puree Here’s a trick I’ve learned: Anytime you make a curry, you can add in some pureed winter squash, such as butternut, acorn – even pumpkin. It blends right in with the color of the curry and adds a touch of sweetness and thickens up the sauce. Picky eaters won’t notice any change in flavor or texture. If you’re short on time, you can even throw in some raw chunks of squash in the pot, they will become very soft during cooking and you can just mash them into the sauce with the back of a spoon. I used this trick in my recipe for Pumpkin Curry Pot Pie.
For additional recipes to help inspire us and to provide ideas for incorporating better healty choices into our daily routines, visit the American Heart Association’s Healthy Living page or their Pinterest page.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of American Heart Association and The bLink Marketing Network. The opinions and text are all mine.