March is national nutrition month. When you work in nutrition, this is your favorite month of the year. The focus for so many companies is on nutrition. When I think of a focus this month, I think of increasing vegetables in my family’s diet.

I think about springtime and what produce is being grown locally that I can include in my weekly meal planning. Many greens come to mind but so do radishes, cauliflower, broccoli and cabbage, all of which my family loves.

The dietary guidelines recommend that Americans get more potassium, calcium, vitamin D and fiber in their diets. Lucky for us, fruit and vegetables are loaded with fiber. Greens, cauliflower and broccoli have great amounts of potassium. Many of the greens that can be bought locally are a good source of calcium too.

Try the foodhero.org greens with carrot recipe, which works with any type of greens but my personal favorite is bok choy. There are so many varieties of greens to try.

Cruciferous vegetables make up a lot of the vegetables that are grown locally during this time of year too. They included broccoli, cauliflower, Brussel sprouts and cabbage to name a few. They are full of nutrients and low in calories. With so much variety, you’re sure to find one that you will like.

They can be cooked so many ways from sautéing them like in the greens and carrots recipe to pickling them. Yes, you can pickle cruciferous vegetables; sauerkraut is made from cabbage.

Try using radishes in the refrigerator quick pickle recipe. Radishes make great quick pickles and can be added to tacos for an extra flavor punch.

To round out the options of produce to look for right now is root vegetables. Beets, turnips and carrots are a few. They also are loaded with nutrients. Turnips are a good source of calcium. Try roasting them in the oven or try out the potato and turnip gratin recipe. This side dish can really be beautiful and taste great.

For national nutrition month, aim to get at least the recommended 2 ½ cups of vegetables a day. With so many choices to pick from you will have an easy time hitting this goal.

Try one of these delish recipes or look up more ideas on foodhero.org. You can search by ingredient on the website so it makes it so easy to find recipes that match your taste.

Mandy Hatfield is the Nutrition Education Program Senior Instructor for OSU Extension Service of Douglas County. Mandy can be reached by e-mail mandy.hatfield@oregonstate.edu or phone at 541-236-3017.

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CitizenJoe

Excellent article, nutritional points, and recipes. Thank you!

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