Now that most fruits and vegetables have a 0 PointsPlus value on the Weight Watchers plan, are you looking for ways to eat more of them? I know I am. I guess it’s human nature to love what’s free!
I read a great interview with Deborah Madison in the January/February issue of Cooking Light, in which she discussed some of her favorite ways to eat more fruits and vegetables. (Deborah is author of lots of wonderful cookbooks, including the classic, Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone.)
She began by saying that the best thing we can do is change the way we think about fruits and vegetables – to flip our thinking upside down - away from ‘getting our fruits and vegetables in’ and toward – seeing them as offering pleasure.
This was an aha moment for me. It’s human nature to seek pleasure and avoid pain, so by flipping our focus to the joy and pleasure fruits and vegetables can bring, it will be easy and fun to fill ourselves up with beautiful healthy 0 and low PointsPlus fruits and vegetables. How easy and healthy is that!
Here’s a List of the Tips for Enjoying More Fruits & Vegetables Deborah Shared in the Article:
- Keep a beautiful bowl of fruit in plain view. Instead of hiding your fruit away in refrigerator drawers, keep seasonal fruit – apples, oranges, pears, bananas – in plain sight. We tend to grab what’s quick and easy, so if you and your family see fruit more often, you’ll get in the habit of choosing it instead of something less healthy.
- Make a simple batch of soup. “Soups are among the easiest, most inexpensive, and quickest things to make, especially with the bounty of winter vegetables–winter squash, Jerusalem artichoke, potato, carrot, parsnip, and mixtures of all those vegetables. They’re healthy, inexpensive, and filling. Plus, you can make a big batch and save them for leftovers. They’re always better reheated.” A great example is this Weight Watchers friendly slimming garden vegetable soup with 0 PointsPlus.
- Try a vegetable puree. Purees are essentially super creamy mashed vegetables made in the blender or food processor. If you’ve never had one, start with something familiar like mashed potatoes. Then add something else– cauliflower, broccoli, sweet potatoes, parsnips, cabbage, scallions, or chopped parsley. Puree, heat, and then season to taste.
- Roast vegetables for incredible flavor. This simple technique is guaranteed to change your relationship with vegetables forever. Preheat your oven to 400°. Cut the vegetables into uniform chunks, then mist with a little olive oil so they don’t dry out during cooking, and season with salt, pepper, and any other spices you’d like. Spread the chunks out into a single layer on a cookie sheet, and slide it into the oven. Cook until tender, about 20 to 45 minutes, depending on the size and type of vegetables you are using. Here’s a great recipe for roasted brussels sprouts, carrots, sweet potatoes and onions with just 2 WW PointsPlus value to get you started.
- Give Sweet Potatoes a Go. They are delicious baked, mashed, steamed, and roasted, so they’re a great substitution for regular white potatoes. Add them to soups, stews and chili too. They’re naturally sweet and brimming with vitamins, minerals and fiber. A sweet potato and salad make a great winter meal.
- Rediscover celery. “Celery is inexpensive, easy to prep, and excellent salad material–especially in winter, when lettuce isn’t so grand. Use it in a lightened-up Waldorf salad. Or toss some celery chunks with sliced pears or apples. Drizzle the mixture with a little olive oil or vinaigrette and a sprinkle of blue cheese. It makes a great, light lunch.”
- Don’t forget about dried fruit. Dried fruit is a great alternative, especially during the winter when the fruit selection can be limited. It’s a ready-made snack or dessert just as it is, or you can chop some up and top frozen yogurt or oatmeal with it.