Welcome to Week 6 of the Eat the Rainbow Fruit and Veggie Challenge!
We are just about 1/2 through the program! It’s going by so fast! I love seeing all the pictures on facebook and getting emails from people telling me how they are doing.
Something that came up this week from a participant is that she was not tolerating the increase in fruits and vegetables. It prompted me to give everyone an important tip about making changes:
Take it slow!
Our bodies get used to our regular way of eating, so when you intentionally make a change (especially if it involves increasing fiber!), it’s best to make those changes a little bit at a time, over a few weeks time. I will plan to include that in week one for the next time I do this challenge.
Now on to this week’s topic, which will be a favorite, I’m sure!!
Let’s talk about dessert!
Hold on a second…I thought this challenge was about fruits and vegetables….
Don’t worry, you’re still in the right place! Fruits and vegetables aren’t just for salads – this week we are going to talk about how you can incorporate fruits and vegetables into delicious desserts.
Dessert often gets a bad reputation, and many people make the choice to “cut out” dessert from their diets when eating healthier. I’m here to tell you that you can have a healthy diet and still eat dessert! No foods are inherently “good” or “bad”, so if you want that brownie or cookie, go for it. Check out this post for more information on why eating a variety of foods (and not restricting) is beneficial for your health.
Use dessert as an opportunity to improve your nutrition and get in some extra vitamins and minerals! Adding fruit or vegetables to your favorite desserts can be a great way to elevate the nutritional content of the foods you already enjoy eating – you can have your cake and eat it too!
So, how can you add produce to dessert? It’s easier than it may seem.
First, let’s talk about fruit!
Putting some cut up bananas or berries as a base under your ice cream, cooking fruit in pies and cobblers, and adding fruit to cakes and muffins are all great ways to add a little extra produce into your diet.
The great thing about fruit is that it’s naturally sweet, so you often don’t need to use as much added sugar in desserts that include fruit.
Here are some Cancer Dietitian dessert recipes that include fruit:
Maybe a little less intuitive than using fruit, you can also include vegetables in your desserts!
Adding shredded carrots, zucchini, and beets into cakes and muffins can actually add some extra moisture and make your desserts taste even better.
Cooking with pumpkin puree is also a great way to add extra vegetables into your day – you can often replace some of the oil/butter in your baked goods with pumpkin puree for a nutritious twist.
Here are a couple of Cancer Dietitian dessert recipes that include vegetables:
Week 6 Challenge: Make a dessert using a fruit or vegetable! Try out one of the recipes linked above, the avocado chocolate pudding recipe below, or find another recipe that sounds yummy. Take a picture of your creation and post it to our Facebook group!
Produce Highlight of the Week: Avocados
Avocados are a fruit that are naturally high in healthy fats. Specifically, avocados are rich in monounsaturated fats – these are “good fats” that have benefits such as reducing cholesterol levels and lowering risk of heart disease and stroke. Healthy fats also help keep us feeling full and satiated throughout the day.
How to Use
Avocados are very creamy in texture, and can be a great addition to a sandwich or salad instead of mayo or a heavy dressing. Of course, the classic avocado toast is always an option as well! Avocados can also be added to sweets and desserts like smoothies, ice creams, mousses, raw brownies, and puddings. Check out our recipe for a creamy avocado chocolate pudding below!Print
Avocado Chocolate Pudding
- Yield: Serves 1–2 1x
- 1 ripe avocado (diced)
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- Water (if needed)
- Berries of choice for topping
- Place avocado into a food processor and purée until smooth
- Add in honey, cocoa powder, vanilla extract, and sea salt. Process until well-combined, scraping down the sides of the food processor as needed
- Add in water 1 Tbsp at a time to achieve a creamy consistency (you may not need to add in any water at all)
- Place in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour
- Top with berries and enjoy!
-Julie & Intern Carolyn