Don’t say goodbye to National Fruits & Vegetables Month because September is coming to a close! In a recent email, we challenged all of our just better.® fiber fans to try a “New to You” fruit and veggie each week this Fall. The season brings a bounty of fiber-rich, nutrient-dense produce to experiment with and enjoy!
Fresh produce is always the very best way to get the fiber your body needs. Our founder, Kristin Hirano, a registered dietitian, says that EVERY snack and meal should include at least ONE whole, unprocessed food derived from plants.
Fiber Tip: Kristin suggests adopting a “Plant-Food First” strategy.
Eat your fruits and vegetables before your protein and carbohydrates.
The benefits of eating more fresh fruits and vegetables are endless. Topping the list is their nutrient content. Fresh produce is an excellent source of vitamins & minerals, and they are our best source of fiber!
You might be wondering if cooking veggies makes them lose their nutrient content. Well, that depends! Boiling vegetables for a long time does reduce their nutrient density by about 50%. Steaming, roasting, grilling, and stir-frying are better methods of cooking vegetables if you want to retain the most nutrients.
| Fun Fact:
Grilling vegetables is considered one of the best ways to preserve nutrient density!
We suggest keeping an open mind when trying new fruits and veggies, expanding your palette one step at a time. If your local grocery store keeps only the basics on hand, you might need to look a little harder to find more variety. Look up your local Asian and Hispanic markets to find rare and exotic produce!
Not sure what to look for? Here are a few ideas!
Daikon is a root vegetable that is commonly used in Japanese cuisine. Similar to radishes, they have a crispy texture, and a mild flavor, with a peppery bite.
Where to look: Many Asian Markets stock this root veggie!
These eggplants aren’t the purple ones at your local grocery store; they’re much smaller, round, and light green. Enjoy Thai Eggplant raw with a spicy dip, or add them to a healthy salad. Try them grilled or tossed in with a stir-fry!
Where to look: Many Asian Markets carry this type of eggplant.
Cherimoya is also known as the “Custard Apple” and has been touted as the most delicious fruit ever! Want to be the judge of that? We hope you find some and tell us all about it!
Where to look: Stop into your local Hispanic Market for this exciting fruit!
Jicama contains a type of prebiotic fiber that feeds beneficial gut bacteria. There are lots of ways to enjoy jicama! Jicama is super tasty, and it has the texture of a crisp apple! Eat it raw with a dip or incorporate it into salads and stir-fries.
Where to look: Hispanic Markets are sure to stock this root veggie, and since its rise in popularity, it can often be found in your grocer’s produce department.
These are just a few ideas of exotic and rare fruits & vegetables available if you do a little looking around. Are you up for the adventure?