The Oft-overlooked Beauty of Raw Produce

I've shared a lot of recipes here on the blog, most of them simple, but none so simple as this: wash and eat.

It's easy to forget the beauty of eating fresh produce. Growing up mom always told us we didn't have to ask permission to snack on fruits or vegetables. We could help ourselves to the stock on the counter and in the fridge. I'm grateful for the fact that she helped me create this healthy habit early.

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An apple is an obvious choice when looking for something quick and easy to snack on. I was so excited to receive apples and pears in my CSA box for a number of weeks in late summer! As much as I love making crumbles or adding apple slices to my oatmeal, none of the CSA fruit lasted long enough for that. It was too just too good eaten fresh!

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Bell peppers, carrots, cucumbers... my mom used to keep a plastic container of veggies like these in the fridge sliced up and ready for snacking. When it's easier to open the fridge and find ready-to-eat vegetables than to have to find a step stool to reach the chips and crackers in the pantry, kids are more likely to choose the healthier option.

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Cucumbers aren't my favorite vegetable, and so on multiple occasions I haven't finished them quickly enough and they start to taste "off." Not so with those from the CSA box! They're so fresh when we receive them that even if it takes some time for us to eat them, they still taste good a week or more later. Buying quality produce means better taste which means you're more likely to reach for them than avoid them until they really taste bad.

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Don't underestimate the addition of fresh produce to an otherwise cooked meal either. That same container of veggies that my mom kept for snacking always found its way onto the dinner table as well. It provided a nice contrast to the heartier elements of the meal, and provided an easy way to continue munching over conversation instead of eating heaps of heavy cooked food (as mothers of teenager know can happen quite easily!).

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As I mentioned last week, kale is perhaps my favorite vegetable, cooked or raw. I love to serve it raw, marinated in avocado oil as a simple salad (the oil helps tenderize it), but sometimes I don't want to wait. Recently I've found myself pairing a few leaves with some cheese in the mid-afternoon. It seems my mom's work to instill a habit of snacking on veggies worked out!

What's your favorite fresh fruit or vegetable snack?

Share in the comment section below!