WIC Kitchen shows off the savory side of fruit dishes
Aug. 9, 2023
Summertime is the season for pool days, beach vacations, fireworks, s'mores and summer vacation. It’s also when many fruits are in season.
In addition to taste, another benefit is that these fruits tend to have more flavor and nutrients. Fruits and vegetables that you consume out of season typically go through some sort of processing and/or travel long distances before they get to your plate.
Produce currently in season now includes watermelon, pineapple, strawberries, blueberries, corn, zucchini, cherries, peaches, green beans, tomatoes and plums. Check out some of your local farmers markets or farms to find more. Getting fresh produce from local farmers markets or farmers can help support small local businesses and your local economy.
This summer, the Women, Infants and Children’s (WIC) nutrition program has been able to provide additional benefits to qualifying families to purchase items at local farmers markets.
Here at Monongalia County Health Department’s WIC program, we are overjoyed to be able to provide local fruits, vegetables and herbs to many of our families. It was also great working alongside local farmers and businesses to make this possible. If you receive farmers market benefits through WIC and have been having any issues using them, call your local office and they can get you directions on how to access those benefits.
Typically, fruits are low in calories and high in many beneficial nutrients. Some common nutrients found in fruits are potassium, fiber, vitamin C and folate. Fruits also have dietary fiber that can help reduce blood cholesterol, help keep your bowel movements regular and may lower your risk of heart disease.
To learn about more beneficial qualities in fruits, please visit www.myplate.gov. This is a great resource for information on a healthy diet, eating in different stages of life and for information on food groups. This website also offers recipes and an app to help you on your healthy eating journey.
This month, WIC Kitchen is sharing fruit-based recipes that aren’t desserts. Try starting your dinner with a salad featuring fruit. Or consider this recipe that combines pineapple, corn and rice. Changing things up and adding more variety is important for a healthy diet.
Feta Pomegranate Salad:
Feta (as much as desired)
Pomegranate seeds of 1/2 pomegranate*
2 cups mixed greens or spinach*
2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
A few slices of a red onion*
Salad dressing of your choice
1. Wash and chop mixed greens or spinach. Give them time to dry or pat dry with a paper towel. Wash and cut strawberries into slices. While waiting for your strawberries and greens to dry, cut onion into thin slices.
2. Add mixed greens or spinach into large bowl. Then add in all other ingredients. Pairs well with balsamic vinaigrette, fruit-based vinaigrette or Italian dressing.
Pineapple Corn Rice:
1 cup pineapple*
2 cups cooked brown rice*
½ red onion*
½ bell pepper*
¼ cup cooked or frozen (thawed) corn*
¼ cup cooked or frozen (thawed) carrots*
¼ cup cooked or frozen (thawed) peas*
4 tablespoons olive oil
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon onion powder
2 tablespoons vinegar
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1. Add olive oil into a pan on medium heat. Dice onion and pepper and add to the pan. Cook until browned.
2. Add in rice, corn, carrots, peas and seasonings. Mix on medium and turn off heat.
3. Once mixture has cooled down a bit, add in pineapple and vinegar. Mix again and serve lukewarm.
Items marked with an asterisk* are available through Monongalia County Health Department WIC. Please call 304-598-5181 for more information.