Michelle, the facilitator of the South Arm Older Adults Community Kitchen shared the following tips on how to boost your intake of fruit and veggies in the recent session.
- Grate carrot or beet into your salad
- Add dried fruit, like raisins or dried cranberries to salads
- Make a smoothie with fruit and veg!
- Have cut up veggies in the fridge to snack on like baby carrots
- Have a fruit salad prepared ahead of time to have for dessert with yogurt if desired
- Add sliced fresh fruit to oatmeal or cereal
- Add cut up sauteed vegetables to omelettes or scrambled eggs (e.g. mushrooms, spinach, onion, zucchini)
- Add blueberries or diced banana to pancake batter
- Make soup with whatever vegetables you have in your fridge and cook in a broth with or without pasta or rice
- Make mini pizzas out of English Muffins or Pitas and load on the veggies
- Have a stirfry and use up fresh or frozen veg and serve over rice (e.g. peas, beans, carrots, onions, broccoli, etc); Asian likes to stir fry greens like bok choy, A choy, choy sum, water spinach, etc.
- Throw in grated or chopped vegetables into prepared pasta sauces (chopped spinach, grated zucchini, grated carrots, etc.)
Here is a food guide on serving of vegetables or fruit
Adults 51+ need 7 servings of vegetables or fruit a day
1 serving is equivalent to:
- size of a tennis ball for fresh vegetable or fruit
- 1/2 cup (125ml) of raw or cooked vegetables or fruits or roughly the size of a hockey puck
- 1 cup (250ml) of leafy vegetables or salad or roughly the size of a baseball
- 1/4 cup (60ml) of dried fruit, or roughly the size of two golf balls
- 1/2 cup (125ml) of 100% vegetable or fruit juice
A general guide line for a meal is:
- 1/2 of the plate to be filled with vegetables
- 1/4 of the plate for grains
- 1/4 of the plate for meat
The second rhubarb recipe which Michelle shared in the South Arm Older Adults Cooking Club is a drink.
This Rhubarb Soda is a good summer thirst quencher.
Rhubarb has a long history of herbal usage. The primary result of rhubarb root as a herbal medicine is a positive and balancing effect upon the digestive system. Rhubarb is one of the most widely used herbs in Chinese medicine. Rhubarb roots are harvested in the fall from plants that are at least six years old. The roots are then dried for later use. The root is used as an anticholesterolemic, antiseptic, antipasmodic, antitumor, aperient, astringent, cholagogue, demulcent, diuretic, laxative, purgative, stomachic and tonic. Rhubarb roots contain anthraquinones which have a purgative effect and the tannins and bitters have an effect that is opposite that of an astringent.
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups organic cane sugar
- 2 cups chopped rhubarb
- sparkling or fizzy water
- rhubarb syrup
- ice cubes
Michelle prepared a Mint Iced Tea for the South Arm Older Adults Cooking Club lunch. The mint is from her garden.
Possible health benefits of consuming mint:
- Mint is also known as mentha, is actually a genus or group of around 15 to 20 types of plants including peppermint and spearmint.
- Mint plants contain an antioxidant known as rosmarinic acid, which has been studied for its effectiveness in relieving seasonal allergy symtoms. Because of rosmarinic acid’s anti-inflammatory properties, roamarinic acid has been shown to be a promising treatment.
- Mint contains menthol, which is a natural decongestant that helps to break up phlegm and mucus. Mint can also be effective to improve the flow of bile through the stomach, which helps to speed and ease digestion.
- The use of peppermint oil has been found to be an effective and safe treatment for those suffering from abdominal pain or discomfort associated with irritable bowl syndrome.
- When applied topically in oil, ointment or lotion, mint has the effect of calming and cooling skin affected by insect bites, rash or other reactions.
- 3 green tea bags
- 1 quart boiling water
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 large lemon/lime, sliced into 1/4-inch slices
- 1 bunch fresh mint, washed
- 2 cups cold water
Source: Food Network
To be really kind to the Earth, don’t buy bottled water!
Bottled water is no safer than the water that comes from out taps.
Michelle shared this simple Fruit Waters recipe to encourage the intake water.
Here are some of the fruits and herbs flavoured waters recipes:
- lemon, orange and lime slices
- raspberry and lime
- pineapple and mint
- strawberry and lemon
Make sure the fruit is fresh and well-scrubbed if not organic.
We made the lemon, orange and lime flavoured water which is very refreshing.
Add cut fruit to bottom of container (Mason jars work well, or juice jugs). Add ice and water. Let stand for at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours in the fridge.
Michelle shared a popular yogurt drink in Indian restaurants in the South Arm Older Adults Kitchen.
Mango Lassi is a delicious combination of mangoes and yogurt that is cool and soothing. It is wonderful on hot summer days or as a compliment to spicy meals.
- 2 cups ripe mangoes, peeled and chopped
- 1 cup yogurt
- 1/2 cup milk
- 3 tablespoons sugar (or to taste)
- 1/8 teaspoon cardamom powder
- 1 tablespoon chopped mint leaves (optional)
- 3 cups crushed ice or ice cubes, use as needed
Michelle shared a Hot Mulled Apple Cider in the South Arm Older Adults Cooking Club. This is just perfect for the wintery weather.
You can check out 10 surprising health benefits of cinnamon here.
- 6 cups apple cider (we used apple juice)
- 1/4 cup real maple syrup
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 6 whole cloves
- 6 whole allspice berries
- 1 orange peel, cut into strips
- 1 lemon peel, cut into strips
In line with the Mexican theme, Michelle selected a refreshing drink for the South Arm Older Adults Kitchen.
This simple Limeade is made with just lime juice, sugar and water. A great drink for summer.
- 3 limes
- 2/3 cup white sugar, or to taste
- 2 litres cold water
This is a recipe that I missed from the community kitchen. I made it from home instead.
This Apple Cider Vinegar Mint infused drink is very refreshing and great for hot summer days.
Vinegar is believed to help weight loss. It prolongs the sensation of satiety after eating.
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 2/3 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup fresh mint
Source: via Minoo
For drinks, Colleen prepared a Lemon Bomb drink. Colleen picked some fresh lemon balm from her garden for recipe Lemon balm belongs to the mint family but it has a mild citrusy fragrance to it.
The Lemon Bomb is very refreshing for a warm summer day.
- 1 bunch fresh lemon balm
- 6 to 8 lemons, juiced
- sugar or honey to taste
- ice cubes, optional
- 1 lemon, sliced for garnishing
Source: via Colleen
Michelle shared a drink recipe from her website MintGreenApron.com in the South Arm Cooking Club for Seniors on Valentine’s Day.
It’s a Beet Pink Lemonade. The beet is used to color the drink pink.
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- 1 beet, scrubbed and peeled
- 4 lemons, juiced
- approximately 4 cups cold water
- ice cubes, if desired