The news that we should eat 10 portions of vegetables and fruit every day "for maximum protection against disease and premature death" cannot have escaped your attention. The findings of a study led by Imperial college have been widely reported in the UK press and abroad - and derided as a near-impossible task by a lot of British publications.
I don't pretend that I eat 800g of vegetables and fruit religiously every day, i.e. the equivalent of 10 portions. But, by reducing the amount of processed food in my diet - for health reasons and for the sake of reducing the amount of waste I produce - I've automatically increased my veg and fruit consumption.
From experience, I think the best way to include more fruit and veg in your diet is to :
1 - eat mostly vegetarian food (veg curry & chilli sin carne are some of my favourite veg dishes) ;
2 - have a piece of fruit in the morning with porridge, for example ;
3 - snack on an apple or a couple of clementines ;
4 - have grated carrots and other grated raw vegetables as a starter whenever possible ;
5 - eat a fruit for dessert (with or without yogurt).
In short, keep it simple!
It doesn't mean you cannot be a bit adventurous time to time. Adding a fruit to a veg salad can work very well. I tend to forget about it but somehow got inspired to mix broccoli and orange in a salad the other day. It worked very well! I didn't follow a recipe. I just used (almost) all the veg I had in my fridge - including a sad looking half fennel bulb and a few floppy celery branches.
Ingredients (for a big salad - serves approximately 6 people as a side dish) :
- 1 head of broccoli (boiled for 5-6 minutes maximum and cooled down under the water)
- 1 orange cut into pieces
- 1 spiralized courgette (I have a very basic Joseph & Joseph spiralizer)
- half a fennel bulb roasted in the oven with a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper
- 2-3 branches of celery (cut into small pieces)
- a handful of pumpkin seeds (roast them in a pan for 6 minutes or so)
For the dressing, I mixed:
- some olive oil
- the juice of half a lemon (but you can probably use a bit more if you want a zestier flavour)
- salt, pepper
- a table spoon of liquid honey
- a sprinkling of ras el hanout (a mix of spices that I happened to have in my spice drawer)
I can't give you the exact quantities. I've improvised it. I do strongly recommend that you prepare the dressing separately in a small bowl. Therefore, you'll be able to try it and adjust quantities before adding it to the salad.
Do you have a recipe that mixes fruit and veg? If so, leave a comment below this article.