A Fruit And Veggie Quest + ‘C’R’A’Z’y ‘SP’uffins

Fruits and Vegetables — that was my quest.

My resolve: to increase my consumption of fruits and vegetables.

My objective: to include more fruits and vegetables with ordinary recipes/meals.

My end results: while out hunting FEROCIOUSLY for this “pot-of-ideas,” I came across this eye-catching list:

30 Ways to Sneak More Fruits and Vegetables into Your Diet (source)

Breakfast

  1. Like blueberries? Try adding them to pancake, waffle, or muffin batter for a delightful batch.
  2. Do you have your morning bowl of oatmeal everyday? Try mixing in some raisins, diced apple, or dried apricots for some extra POWER in the morning.
  3. How about a morning omelet? Try add chopped pepper, onion, spinach, broccoli, or shredded carrot for some extra color and flavor.
  4. Smoothies! Blend up one with some fruit, low-fat yogurt, and ice for a delightful drink!
  5. Try adding peppers and onion to hash browns and serve up with a little ketchup on the side.
  6. Waffles? Instead of using maple syrup, try some warmed applesauce!

Lunch and Dinner

  1. Do you eat pizza? Get a VEGGIE one with mushrooms, peppers, onions, or pineapple! Top it with as many veggies as you like!
  2. Sandwiches! Try a slice of avocado for a delightful taste.
  3. How about spaghetti sauce?! Add mushrooms, peppers, onions, or diced carrots to give it a little more oomph!
  4. Like grilled cheese sandwiches? Place a few slices of tomato on it for some licopene.
  5. Soup! Add some extra mixed vegetables to spice it up!
  6. Do you eat meatloaf? Add celery, onions, carrots, or peppers for some veggie power!
  7. The Classic PB&J. Try replacing the jam with sliced bananas!
  8. Chicken salad — give some chopped apples, grapes, or raisins for some sweetness.
  9. Turkey sandwiches — spread cranberry sauce on it for a Thanksgiving experience.
  10. Try topping pork chops with apples, pears, or raisins!
  11. Citrus! Roast fish under a layer of lemon, orange, or lime slices for that amazing tang!
  12. Do you like Lagsana! That is a great way to add some extra veggies! Add layers of frozen spinach or eggplant, or whatever kind of veggie for some goodness!

Snacks and Sides

  1. Do you like Baked Potatoes? Try topping ’em with a little salsa.
  2. Do you bake a lot? When making a recipe, try using applesauce to replace half of the oil.
  3. Like Potato chips? Slice a sweet potato, toss with a little olive oil, season as you wish, and bake ’em to make sweet potato chips — YUM!
  4. When making Jell-O® salad, try adding mandarin oranges or diced pears to give it a little kick.
  5. Do you eat granola? Try mixing dried fruit with almonds and a few M&Ms® as a snack!
  6. Yogurt! Try mixing fresh fruit and granola into your yogurt for extra flavor.
  7. A kids favorite — Maceroni and Cheese — to get some extra veggies into your kids, try adding broccoli or diced pepper to the Mac & Cheese.
  8. Like mashed potatoes? Try blending cooked cauliflower into it, and get those veggies!

Desserts

  1. Instead of ice cream, try some Banana “Soft Serve” or fruit sorbet!
  2. APPLES — Enjoy a baked apple stuffed with raisins and topped with a drizzle of caramel sauce for a treat!
  3. STRAWBERRIES — Try dippin’ ’em in melted dark chocolate and top with low-fat whipped cream for a delight!
  4. Try roasting pears with honey and a sprinkling of ginger.

Indubitably, there are a myriad ways to include more fruits and vegetables in everyday delights, with this list only mentioning a few. As I strive to reach (or surpass) my 5-a-day, I revel in encountering new tastes, textures, and smells. My outlook on life grows brighter. Vivacious becomes my middle name.

One of my favorite ways to include more fruits and vegetables is to bake with them. 🙂 Baking with fruits and vegetables makes me go crraaaaaazzzy–crazy for CRAZy SPuffins!!! 😉

‘C’R’A’Z’y ‘SP’-Muffins

Notes: *Any other nut would work beautifully. **You can use olive, coconut, or other oils too—I used canola because of its neutral flavor. Some people prefer a sweeter muffin; in that case, add a little sweetener of choice until desired sweetness. As the muffins sit in the fridge, they become sweeter with the raisins. Since pumpkin isn’t as sweet as Sweet Potato, you may have to add some stevia if it’s not sweet enough (everyone’s taste buds are different — adjust as required).

Ingredients (I usually double this recipe)

  • 1 cup shredded Carrots
  • 1/2 cup Raisins
  • 1 cup peeled and shredded Apple
  • 1 cup shredded Zucchini
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds, or finely chopped walnuts*
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup ground flaxseed
  • 1/2 Tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup Sweet Potato or pumpkin purée
  • 2 Tbsp canola oil **

Directions

Combine the sweet potato puréeand oil in a large bowl. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, gently toss together the carrots, zucchini, apple, almonds, and raisins.

Add the carrot mixture to the wet. Set aside.

In a medium-sized bowl, combine the flour, flaxseed, cinnamon, baking soda and salt.

Add to wet carrot mixture.

Stir all together just until moistened.

Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups until 5/6ths full.

Bake at 325 degrees Fahrenheit for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out fairly clean.

Cool in pan 10 minutes before removing to wire rack. These babes store best in the fridge.

Dig in!      Dive in!!      Luv-in’!!!

I’d love to know: Favorite fruit/vegetable?

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48 thoughts on “A Fruit And Veggie Quest + ‘C’R’A’Z’y ‘SP’uffins

  1. Kathleen, these look amazing! I need to try them. You are so awesome and I am impressed by your efforts to include more fruits and veggies.

    By the way, it was wonderful to see you today. We need to hang out–REALLY hang out, just you and me–soon! 🙂

  2. How funny that I already do almost everything on that list! My breakfast this morning hit up the fruit/veggie portion of the food pyramid like crazy mom’s at a toy store on Black Friday! Omelet with spinach, mushrooms, peppers, onions, tomatoes with a yogurt fruit salad using blackberries, raspberries, and mandarin orange segments!

    These muffins look incredible! I love the fact that they can be made without added sugar. Bookmarking now!

    Oh my gosh! I like too many fruits & veggies to pick a favorite! Um, top 5? Persimmons, sweet potatoes, bananas, kabocha squash, and spinach!

  3. I made a crazy muffin once/!!! It was awesome!!! And purple and orange!!! It was because the blueberries bled into the batter, and I threw in a sweet tater-yum!

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  5. Love the tips on consuming more fruits and veggies. I eat a ton of fruit but should probably eat more veggies. Those muffins look awesome and oh so healthy!
    Favorite fruit or veggie? So many to choose from….I love all fruits except banana’s and like almost every veggie.

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