We already know veggies are good for us. First, vegetables are packed with fiber, which helps us stay regular and shuttle cholesterol out of our system. Secondly, veggies offer an array of essential vitamins and minerals; sweet potatoes have potassium, necessary for electrolyte balance while beets are rich in antioxidants, hence their purple color. Thirdly, eating vegetables is associated with decreased risk for chronic diseases. For example, increased intake of cruciferous veggies, like brussel sprouts and cauliflower, may be inversely related to the risk for lung cancer (Lam, et al 2009).
Okay, so what about frozen veggies- are they better than fresh? Ask Michael Pollan, author of the popular Omnivore’s Dilemma, and he’ll tell you that: “Frozen vegetables and fruits are a terrific and economical option when fresh is unavailable or too expensive. The nutritional quality is just as good — and sometimes even better, because the produce is often picked and frozen at its peak of quality.” (Pollan, 2011)
Eating veggies in college is hard. Those of us who live on campus only have a microwave or access to campus eateries. Sometimes, we don’t have options we enjoy, or we get tired of the offerings on campus. That is why learning to cook veggies in the microwave is a great idea. If you get one trip to the grocery store each month, you can stock up on some frozen veggies. Steam, and then enjoy with hummus or white bean dip for a snack. And, if you have a kitchen in an off-campus apartment, you still may not have the time to steam veggies on the stove or have adequate pots and pans. By using the microwave method for steaming, you can save time, money, and lock in the nutrients available from the veggies!
Spice up your vegetables with these easy tips:
Add cinnamon, cloves and ginger to vegetables. While these spices are typically reserved for sweet foods, these spices can enhance the flavor of carrots, squash and sweet potatoes.
- Spice up steamed broccoli with lemon, olive oil and a pinch of salt. If you prefer eating broccoli raw, add paprika, yogurt, garlic and chives to enhance its flavor.
- Add a little olive oil, garlic powder and lemon to asparagus, peas or spinach to add some flavor.
- Looking for some real spice? Try adding hot sauce or cayenne pepper to the mix!
By: Kate Sweeney
Editor: Toby Beckelman
Lam, T.K., Gallachio, L., Lindsley, K., Sheils, M., Hammond, E., Tao, X., Chen, L., Robinson, K., Caulfield, L., Herman, J., Guallar, E., and Alberg, A. 2009. Cruciferous Vegetable Consumption and Lung Cancer Risk: A Systematic Review. 2009. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 18; 184
Pollan, Michael. Oct 2, 2011. The Food and Drink Issue: Mysteries Solved, Riddles Explained and Readers’ Questions Answered. New York Times. New York, NY.