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Posted February 8, 2011 | comments Leave a comment

Valentine's Day red fruits and vegetables

Looking for some red foods to prepare for a loved one on Valentine's Day? There are many fruits and vegetables to choose from -- not only making it a delicious day but a healthy day!

Try to eat 2 cups of fruits and 2 1/2 cups of vegetables every day. Eating large amounts of colorful fruits and vegetables that are high in phytochemicals may decrease the risk of developing diabetes, decrease the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure and may protect from some cancers. Naturally red foods may help maintain a healthy heart, memory function and urinary tract health. Fruits and veggies are full of vitamins, fiber, phytochemicals, antioxidants and lycopene. They are low in fat and calories and are cholesterol free. How much better can that get!

Are you celebrating Valentine's Day with the kids at home? Be a good role model with your children; if they see you eating those red fruits and vegetables they will be more likely to try themselves. If you have picky eaters, let them dip the foods in low-fat yogurt, peanut butter or salad dressing, or help you in the kitchen. When children get the chance to cook, they become more interested in the foods and are more likely to taste!

Here are some red fruits and veggies: strawberries, cherries, cranberries, tomatoes, raspberries, watermelon, red bell peppers, beets, apples, red cabbage

Snack ideas:
• Fruit and yogurt parfaits - layer fruit with low-fat yogurt and top with whole grain cereal
• Smoothies - blend fruit, low-fat yogurt, ice
• Dark chocolate fondue - dip favorite red fruits in the melted chocolate
• Kabobs with red bell peppers, cheese, chicken breast bites or with red fruit & dip in yogurt, peanut butter or dark chocolate
• Homemade salsa with tomatoes, black beans, corn, onion and cilantro
• Loaded apples - red apple, raisins, cranberries, peanut butter or yogurt - slice apples & layer with the rest of the ingredients
• Cranberry sauce

Try this recipe:

Strawberry Shortcake's Fruit Pizza
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Serves: 1
Cups of Fruits and Vegetables per Serving: ½

• 1 English muffin
• 2 tablespoons whipped, fat-free strawberry cream cheese
• 1/3 cup strawberries, sliced
• 1/4 cup red grapes, quartered
• 1/4 cup canned mandarin oranges, drained

Preparation: Toast the English muffin until golden brown. Spread cream cheese on toasted muffin. Arrange sliced strawberries, grapes, and orange slices on top of the cream cheese. Slice into quarters and you'll have "yummy fruit pizza!"

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