Make half your plate
Fruits and Vegetables.
Any vegetable or 100% vegetable
juice counts as a member of the
Vegetable Group. Vegetables may be
raw or cooked; fresh, frozen, canned,
or dried/dehydrated; and may be
whole, cut-up, or mashed.
Any fruit or 100% juice counts as
part of the Fruit Group. Fruits may
be fresh, canned, frozen, or dried,
and may be whole, cut-up, or
pureed. Some commonly eaten fruits
Amounts of Fruits and
2½ cups day
3 cups day
1 c. of raw or cooked vegetables
1 c. of vegetable juice
2 c. of raw leafy greens
1 c. of fruit
1 c. 100% juice
½ c. of dried fruit
Drupes: Has one LARE PIT or seed
grows on trees.
EXAMPLES: Apricot, Cherry, Nectarine, Peach
Pomes: Has a CORE hat contains seeds
and grows on trees.
EXAMPLES: Apple, Pear
Citrus Fruit: Has a leathery skin,
many segments filled with juicy pellets,
and grows on trees.
EXAMPLES: Grapefruit, Lemon, Lime, Orange
Berries: Small, juicy fruits that contain
many tiny seeds.
EXAMPLES: Blackberry, Blueberry, Cranberry,
Grape, Raspberry, Strawberry
Melons: Large, moist fruits that grow
on vines and contain seeds, have a thick skin
that may be rough or smooth.
EXAMPLES: Cantaloupe, Casaba, Honeydew, Watermelon
Tropical Fruit: Grows only in warm,,
EXAMPLES: Avocado, Banana, Coconut, Guava, Kiwi,
The underground structure where
the plant’s nutrient reserves are stored.
Round bud with a stem and overlapping leaves.
EXAMPLES: Chive, Garlic, Leek, Onion, Shallot
FLOWER: The blooms or flower buds of
edible plants eaten as vegetables.
EXAMPLES: Artichoke, Broccoli,
FRUIT: Contains the seeds of the
EXAMPLES: Cucumber, Eggplant, Pepper,
LEAVES: Leaves of edible plants
consumed as vegetables.
EXAMPLES: Brussel sprouts, Cabbage, Lettuce,
ROOT: The fleshy roots of edible
plants consumed as vegetables.
EXAMPLES: Beets, Carrots, Jicama,
SEEDS: Vegetables grown and
eaten from seeds.
EXAMPLES: Corn, Green Beans, Peas
Edible stalk and
leaves of plants consumed as vegetables.
EXAMPLES: Asparagus, Bok Choy, Celery,
Nutrients provided by
Fruits and Vegetables:
Vitamin C: Helps heal wounds;
healthy teeth and gums
Calcium: Healthy bones and teeth
Potassium: Good blood pressure
Vitamin A: Healthy Eyes/Skin;
protects against infection
Magnesium: Healthy bones
Vitamin K: Healthy red blood cells
and clotting factors
Folate: Protects against spinal cord
“B” Vitamin Complex: Healthy
skin, nerves, tissues…. energy
Iron: Healthy blood and cells
Decreases risk of colon cancer….
Sodium: Normal cell function and
How to Select
Fruits and Vegetables:
*Guidelines for selecting quality produce….
Select produce that is:
-“In season” ; best quality
-Firm to the touch /crisp
-The right color - bright
-Well shaped /not wilted
-Heavy for it’s size
-In good condition…
Avoid produce that is:
-Too soft / Too hard
-Over green or under ripe
-Discolored- mottled /dull
-In shabby condition……
Proper Storage of
Fruits and Vegetables:
1.) Use within a few days.
2.) Some can be left at room
temperature to ripen, then refrigerated.
1.) Store in a cool, dark place
(warmth makes the food spoil faster).
2.) Some dried foods may be
refrigerated- (check package)
3.) Consume before the “Use by” date on
4.) Most will last from 4 months to a year.
First In, First Out
Use oldest first,
1.) Check the “use by” date on the can.
2.) Most canned goods have a shelf life
of about 2 years.
3.) Store at room temperature (about 72°F).
1.) Store at 41°F or less.
2.) Use before the “use by” date on the
3.) As a rule, use within 6 months.
Most frozen and
canned foods are
processed within hours
of harvest, so their
flavor and nutritional
value are preserved.
Studies show that
recipes prepared with
canned foods had
values to those
prepared with fresh
or frozen ingredients.
Frozen foods also
1.) Cook in the shortest time possible
with a LOW heat!
5.) Cook foods as close to serving time as
2.) Cook vegetables in a covered pot to
prevent nutrients from escaping in the
6.) Instead of wasting nutrients that
have leached away during cooking,
save the water and use in soups,
stews, gravies, and sauces.
3.) Cook vegetables whole and unpeeled
7.) Cut produce with long cooking times
into large pieces. With less surfaces
exposed, fewer vitamins are lost.
4.) Leave edible skins on vegetables when
possible. Many vitamins and minerals are
found in the outer leaves, skin, and area
just below the skin.
* Plant enzymes are easily destroyed by heat.
We need enzymes for life and we don’t get
enough as many people eat too many
processed foods devoid of them. Adding a
destructive cooking method to your plant
foods only adds to the burden of digestion.
Preparation and Cooking
An especially destructive
Cruciferous vegetables (broccoli,
brussel sprouts, and cabbage) had
almost 90 %of their cancer-fighting
antioxidants removed after boiling,
but not much lost after steaming or stir-frying.
Cooking vegetables in the microwave is quick,
easy and tastes just as good as on the stove.
The vegetables retain more nutrients than
cooking veggies on the stove because there is
less water involved, sending fewer nutrients
down the drain with the water. The microwave
is also said to bring out more flavor.
It’s good for most veggies,
with exceptions. Some of the
antioxidant properties in garlic and
peppers were significantly lowered
in the oven. Most other veggies
retain nutrient content well.
Seams to be the method of choice to retain
as much of the nutrient content as possible.
Steaming is one of the best ways to cook
veggies so they keep their nutrients.
Vitamins are easily destroyed when you
cook with water for long periods of time
(i.e. boiling), but steaming uses the steam
from boiling water to cook your food — not
the water directly.
Stir-frying is a technique for cooking food quickly,
so that it retains nutrients, texture and flavor. Stirfrying typically involves a quick sauté over high
heat, occasionally followed by a brief steam in a
Simmering involves cooking
vegetables in a smaller amount of
liquid than boiling them, and at a
lower temperature, enough to keep
a gentle simmer going. The pot is
covered, trapping the steam and
cooking the vegetables in less time
so that their vibrant colors are
destroy nutrients are: Oxidation occurs when fruits and vegetables
are cut and exposed to the air, the cells are
1. High temperatures
severed, releasing enzymes and causing
2. Prolonged cooking times discoloration--usually a browning or darkening
of the flesh.
3. Alkalis such as baking
Prevent Oxidation by….
soda and hard water
*Treating the fruit or vegetable with
4. Soaking vegetables in ascorbic acid immediately after cutting
water before cooking. into it.
*Cover the fruit or vegetable tightly
5. Oxygen! (oxidation)
with plastic food wrap
*Cook or freeze immediately after