This post is part of The Recipe Redux, the first and only recipe challenge founded by registered dietitians, The Recipe ReDux is focused on taking delicious dishes, keeping them delicious, but making them better for you. This month's Recipe Redux: Fresh Starts.
"Make half your plate fruits and vegetables." That's a key message from the federal government's ChooseMyPlate.gov and the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010, aimed at helping Americans increase their fruit and vegetable intake. And putting that advice into action is easy to do for breakfast, and what a healthy and refreshing way to start the day!
Last summer, through Liz Marr & Associates, LLC, my food and nutrition communications business, I was invited to head up a new project with the Produce for Better Health Foundation developing recipes and meals that embody the "Make half your plate fruits and vegetables" message. The project is part of Fruits and Veggies—More Matters, the nation’s largest public-private fruit and vegetable nutrition education initiative. So far, over 20 meals complete with recipes, including breakfast fare, have been developed with more in the works.
Our goal with the project is to show consumers that eating more fruits and vegetables is easy, appealing and economical. So integral components of the campaign include photography and food styling, artfully executed by my trusted colleagues at Souders Studios, Golden, Colo., as well as nutrient information analysis and costing. Plus each recipe is consumer tested and consumer approved, even meeting the approval of moms, teens and foodies.
Here's one of the breakfast meals, Avocado Melon Breakfast Smoothie with whole grain toast, this one sponsored by the California Avocado Commission. Kudos to photographer Rick Souders and foodstylist/chef Stephen Shern for bringing the meal to life!
A delightful concoction of green fruit plus fat-free dairy. With convenience built in, this refreshing smoothie can be made a day ahead. Keeps well in the refrigerator up to 24 hours.
Preparation Time: 5 minutes
1 ripe, fresh California Avocado
1 cup honeydew melon chunks (about 1 slice)
Juice from 1/2 lime (1 ½ tsp. lime juice)
1 cup (8 oz) milk, fat-free
1 cup fat-free yogurt, plain
½ cup apple juice or white grape juice
1 Tbsp honey
Cut avocado in half, remove pit. Scoop out flesh, place in blender. Add remaining ingredients; blend well. Serve cold. Holds well in the refrigerator up to 24 hours. If made ahead, stir gently before pouring into glasses.
Serve with a piece of whole-grain toast.
Large avocados recommended for this recipe. A large avocado averages about 8 ounces.
Fruit per Serving: 1.5 Cups
Nutrition Information per Serving:
Total Fat: 11g
Saturated Fat: 1.5g
% of Calories from Fat: 31%
% Calories from Sat Fat: 4%
Dietary Fiber: 5g
Each serving provides: An excellent source of protein, fiber, vitamin C, riboflavin, folate, B12, pantothenic acid, calcium, phosphorus, potassium and iodine, and a good source of vitamin D, thiamin, B6, magnesium and zinc.
And now, especially if you are a detail-oriented RD, you may be wondering, wait a minute, that's not a plate, it's a glass! And contributions from the protein and veggie groups are missing! So true. We sought advice from the USDA on these kinds of issues while we were developing these meals. And here's the scoop: Just keep in mind, the message is meant to be inspirational and meals come in all shapes (round plates, oval plates, bowls, glasses, brown bags, etc.) and with or without every single food group. Still, the "half-plate" message is an easy measurement concept for consumers. Flexibility is the key: It's all about dietary patterns over time.
Don't forget to check out other Recipe Redux posts!