Happy National Nutrition Month!

Every March Registered Dietitian/Nutritionists encourage everyone to enjoy the taste of eating right.

That is exactly what this year's theme is: Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right! Consumer surveys confirm that taste tops the list as a reason why one food is purchased over another. Think about it: the main reason we eat is how amazing a food can taste, right? So now every time we eat a meal or snack, our mission is to make sure we create or follow recipes that are both nutritious and taste amazing. Here are a few tips to get us started:

  1. Choose fresh fruits and vegetables that are in the peak season. The nutrition is at its best, which means the flavor will also be great. Florida in March means we love our strawberries, tomatoes, peppers, blueberries, sweet onions and summer squashes. Skip the fresh fruits and vegetables that are grown outside the country for now; they are picked early and shipped which means the flavor may be flat, right?
  2. Keep fresh herbs and spices at the ready and add to everything! Fresh tomato and basil added to whole grain pasta and olive oil with a grating of fresh parmesan is a simple, high flavor, nutritious meal. How about grating fresh nutmeg over oatmeal in the morning and top with strawberries, blueberries and yogurt-yum! The key with spices is to use them usually within a year of purchase. Any spice that taste like sawdust should be replaced. Purchase small amounts of spices so there is minimal waste.
  3. Citrus juice or zest adds a bright flavor to most recipes. Orange zest over oatmeal with a dash of cinnamon and a sprinkling of toasted almonds is tasty as a snack. Lemon zest is delicious over steamed or grilled asparagus while the lemon juice can be squeezed over grilled chicken. Round out the meal with baked sweet potatoes mashed with the juice of a tangelo and sprinkle of cinnamon or nutmeg and you created a high flavor, nutritious meal!
  4. Making your own salad dressing is an easy, tasty way to add flavor to raw vegetables. Mix equal parts lemon juice, water and oil in a jar. Add a drizzle of Florida honey, fresh garlic and a dash of sea salt and freshly ground pepper. This is will take any salad to a new level.

So think about all the ways you can make nutritious foods taste even better-this month and the rest of the year. Enjoy the fruits and vegetables in each season and get creative in the kitchen!

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