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Ever heard of rainbow chips? Dietitian shares top tips for adding more veg

By adding just one more fruit or veg at every meal, you will boost your nutritional intake and support local producers

Bord Bia’s Best in Season campaign is encouraging people to simply add one more in season fruit or vegetable to any meal this summer.

Bord Bia’s Best in Season campaign is encouraging people to simply add one more in season fruit or vegetable to any meal this summer.

 

Summer dining is in full swing. From picnics in the park to BBQs in the back garden, many of us are looking for delicious, healthy recipe inspiration. And the good news is, there is an abundance of locally-grown fresh fruit and vegetables now in-season so you can add vibrant colours, fresh flavours and a variety of textures to your plate.

Bord Bia’s Best in Season campaign is encouraging people to simply add one more in season fruit or vegetable to any meal this summer. Eating with the seasons ensures locally grown fresh produce is enjoyed at its best when it comes to freshness, flavour, and overall quality.

Dietitian’s top tips for eating more fresh produce

Dietitian, Orla Walsh
Dietitian, Orla Walsh

According to dietitian Orla Walsh, adding one more fruit or vegetable to meals is an easy and healthy food choice. With the Irish growing season now at its peak, Orla shares six simple ways people can ‘add one more’ in-season fruit or vegetable to their favourite meals throughout the day. 

1. Add root veg to make Rainbow Chips

“Chop up root vegetables into chip shapes and add to potato chips. Including a rainbow of coloured vegetables can nutritionally and visually enhance your meal. Simply coat with healthy oil and sprinkle with your favourite herbs and spices for a super healthy everyday choice. Delicious with eggs at breakfast, beans at lunch or to accompany your meat or fish at dinner. For a spice bag option, add in onions, peppers, and carrots as a tasty, healthy, and filling dish.”

2. Add grated veg to mashed potato

“Mashed potato is a family favourite, with leftovers becoming potato cakes for breakfast or lunch on a regular basis. A simple way to add one more veg is to mash new season potatoes with par cooked grated vegetables such as carrot, parsnip, onion, broccoli, or turnip. For a sweet option apple works well, especially if eating pork. Not only will this add flavour to your potatoes, it also subtly adds one more veg for a fussy eater!”

3. Add spinach or beetroot to make vibrant fruit smoothies

“A simple way to inject additional nutrients into your favourite fruit smoothie is to add a handful of fresh spinach leaves or a chunk of raw beetroot. A blend of strawberries, blueberries, banana, natural yoghurt and spinach or beetroot creates a vibrant green or pink smoothie which is a firm favourite with the kids! Why not also add any uneaten veggies from last night's dinner into your smoothie - consider adding in some cauliflower for a lovely, creamy taste or carrot as a great sweetener.”

4. Add courgette, carrots or mushrooms to bolognese

“Fresh mushrooms or courgette chopped up into small chunks or grated carrots blend effortlessly into dishes like spaghetti bolognese or burritos. Although not changing the texture too much, this will add plenty of additional nutrients to the meal. If you have leftover grated courgette or carrot, consider leaving it aside to add to your morning bowl of porridge or overnight oats!”

5. Add berries to mix up your side salad

“For many, fruit as part of their dinner, or vegetables with their breakfast is a novel thought. We have ingrained ideas around food that need to be challenged! Why not consider sliced apples added to pork dishes or berries in your side salad at dinner time. Or, try adding peppers to your fried eggs, onion and tomato to your omelette or spinach to your scrambled eggs at breakfast.”

6. Add green, white & orange veg to make a tricolour

“Finally, what better way to show support for Irish athletes at the upcoming Olympics than to fuel up on a patriotic dinner. Add more veg to any meal by serving them in a tricolour of mashed green, white and orange vegetables either stacked or lined up like a flag on the dinner plate, which will make for a delicious, and patriotic, meal!”

Broccoli is at its best

Broccoli is just one of many locally grown vegetables at its peak this month. With many people choosing foods that contain natural immune-boosting properties, broccoli is a great option - it's high in folate, which contributes to the normal function of the immune system.

Delicious served with meats or fish, or simply enjoyed on its own, this broccoli recipe is easy to prepare and a simple way to add one more veg to any meal this season. 

Roasted Broccoli with Pine Nuts (serves 4)

Preparation time: 8 mins

Cook time: 15 mins

Ingredients:

  • 1 head of fresh broccoli, chopped into florets
  • 2 tbsp. rapeseed oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 50g pine nuts
  • 60g parmesan cheese, grated
  • Juice of ½ a lemon

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 190˚C/170˚C fan/gas mark 5.
  2. In a bowl, toss the fresh broccoli florets with the oil, garlic and some salt and pepper.
  3. Transfer to a baking tray and spread the florets out in an even layer.
  4. Roast the broccoli for 10-12 minutes until just beginning to brown on the edges, flipping the florets and rotating the tray halfway through.
  5. Sprinkle over the pine nuts and grated parmesan cheese and return to the oven for 3-4 minutes until the cheese has melted.
  6. Squeeze over the lemon juice and serve immediately.

Bord Bia’s annual Best in Season campaign promotes the benefits of eating in-season fruit and vegetables. This year Bord Bia is also celebrating the UN International Year of Fruit and Vegetables which highlights the important role of fresh produce in nutrition, food security and human health, as well as in achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals. For more information on what fruit and vegetables are in season now, visit BordBia.ie/BestInSeason.