28 Day Vegetable & Fruit Challenge Tips – Week #1

Check out our list of tips and recipes for week 1 of the challenge. We have also added a feature vegetable or fruit. Learn more about how to pick, store and prepare different vegetables and fruit.

Week 1

Day 1

Pick your own produce at local farms. Late summer and early fall is a great time to pick fruits and vegetables. Visit the Buy Local! Buy Fresh! Chatham-Kent map: http://buylocalbuyfreshchathamkent.com/members/members-map to find local farms where you can pick your own. To see what fruits and veggies are in season check out Foodland Ontario: http://www.foodland.gov.on.ca/english/availability.html

Feature Fruit: BLUEBERRIES

Blueberries are packed with nutrition. They are a source of fibre and vitamin C and low in calories. 1 serving of fruit is equal to ½ cup of blueberries. Choose berries that are firm, plump and dark in colour. Blueberries can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 10 days unwashed. You can also freeze them for up to 1 year in an airtight container. To prepare this fruit, just rinse them. They can be eaten raw, used in baking or salads. Check out this recipe for Whole Wheat Blueberry Pancakes

Day 2

To get the most out of your purchase of fruits and veggies, enjoy them in different ways. For example, fruit is a great option for dessert. Check out this recipe for Peach Crumble

Feature Fruit: PEACHES

Peaches are in season and are a tasty way to get vitamin C. 1 serving of fruit is equal to 1 medium peach. Look for peaches that have a yellowish background and firm. Ripe peaches are a little soft and have a sweet aroma. Avoid peaches that are green or have wrinkled skin. Store unripe peaches unwashed on the counter. Ripe peaches can be refrigerated for up to 1 week. To prepare, rinse them, cut lengthwise and twist into 2 halves to take out the pit. Enjoy them as a snack or for dessert.

 Day 3

Feature Veggie: CORN

Corn is a source of fibre, folate, vitamin C and potassium. 1 serving of vegetables is equal to ½ cup or 1 ear of corn. Choose corn that has fresh bright green and moist stems. Kernels should be juicy when pierced. When storing corn, leave the husks on and put in a covered container or plastic bag. Refrigerate up to 2 days. Remove the husks to prepare corn. Eat the corn on the cob or remove the kernels. Corn is tasty barbecued or boiled.

Day 4

What is the best way to store fruits and vegetables? Check out these 2 videos from EatRight Ontario about storing.

How to store fruits to keep them fresh: http://www.eatrightontario.ca/en/Videos/Kitchen-Tips-and-Food-Handling/Video–How-to-store-fruit-to-keep-them-fresh.aspx

How to store vegetables to keep them fresh:

http://www.eatrightontario.ca/en/Videos/Kitchen-Tips-and-Food-Handling/Video–How-to-store-vegetables-to-keep-them-fresh.aspx

Feature Veggie: Zucchini

Zucchini or summer squash can be found in your grocery store with green or yellow skin. 1 serving of vegetables is equal to ½ cup of zucchini and contains vitamin C, vitamin A and some fibre. Look for small, bright zucchini with smooth skin. Store zucchini in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. To prepare zucchini, rinse and cut the ends off. Zucchini can be sliced, cubed or cut into sticks. Eat zucchini raw with a drizzle of olive oil or roasted in the oven.

Day 5

Meal planning can help you to eat more fruits and vegetables. You can use similar fruits and vegetables prepared in different ways all week. This will help you to make the most out of the produce that you buy so it won’t spoil in your fridge.

Feature Veggie: KALE

If you haven’t had kale yet, this is definitely a vegetable that you should try for dinner. Kale is low in calories, very high in vitamins A, C and K and is a source of calcium, iron and potassium. 1 serving of vegetables is equal to 1 cup of kale. Choose bunches of kale with crisp leaves and avoid limp leaves, yellow spots or browning. Store kale in a plastic bag with air holes in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. If kale is stored too long it will become bitter in flavour. When preparing kale, rinse and dry well. Kale can be eaten fresh, steamed or sautéed. Try this recipe for Kale Chips

Day 6

Feature Veggie: LEEK

Leeks are part of the allium family of vegetables. Allium vegetables have disease-fighting properties. Onions, garlic, chives, scallions and shallots are also part of the allium family. Choose leeks that are clean, with white bases and fresh green tops. Avoid leeks that are spotted or yellow. Leeks can be stored in the refrigerator unwashed for up to 5 days. When you use leeks, they need to be washed well. Slice them lengthwise and clean each leaf under cold running water to remove any sand. Cook leaks and sautee them or add them to soup. Check out this delicious recipe for Rustic Potato-Leek soup