We hear over and over again that we need to consume lots of vegetables and fruit for good health, and the richer the color, the better. Yet so many Americans fail to meet the basic recommendations for fruit and vegetable intake every day. Not only are people missing out on the vast array of nutrients found in fresh produce, but they are missing out on some delicious food, too!
Take the berry smoothie that we had for breakfast this morning. Packed with blueberries, raspberries, bananas, orange juice, and ground flaxseeds, it was a nutritional powerhouse. It also tasted incredible! All five of us slurped our portions down with delight – not drinking it because we thought we should, but because we wanted to, of course!
Lunch was a big hearty bowl of quinoa, topped with savory black beans and a heap of sauteed kale. Another vibrantly colorful, delicious dish. Granted, this one wasn’t received by my kids with quite the gusto as the smoothie, but they still ate it…majoring on the black beans and picking at the quinoa and kale. But that’s okay! Black beans are extremely nutritious and I felt great knowing they were gobbling up all that iron, protein, dietary fiber, calcium, folate, and tons of other nutrients.
Savory Black Bean Mash
- 2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 shallot, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- 1 tsp ground cumin
Heat olive oil in a medium-sized pan over medium heat. Add shallot and garlic, and cook until shallot is translucent. Add black beans, vegetable broth, and cumin. Simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. As it cooks, it will thicken, and you can help this along by lightly mashing the beans when you stir them.
Enjoy over a bed of quinoa, cous cous, or brown rice (quinoa cooks up in about 20 minutes, so you can prepare them simultaneously) and top with vegetables of your choice.
Have you eaten your colors today?