Fresh vegetable tray explained
Over the holidays I attended a few gatherings of family and friends. The fellowship of these gatherings nourishes my soul more than they feed my body. Nonetheless I was expected to show up with a covered dish to share.
At one party I placed my offering on the buffet table and began mingling with the crowd. As another guest entered the room I heard her exclaim, “Bobbie must be here, there is the vegetable plate.”
I was stunned; I did not think that I was that predictable. Friends reminded me that I usually show up with something raw in my paws, something crunchy in my casserole dish; and something more colorful than my wardrobe.
After thinking about it for awhile, I would not expect the car salesman to show up in a junker; the jewelry dealer to not wear bling or the beautician to be in braids. I am a dietitian and I bring the nutrition sticks and vitamin flowerets and the mineral mushroom buttons.
Carrots are a veggie tray staple. They are gold mines of nourishment with impressive amounts of beta carotene. They ooze antioxidants to protect against heart disease, certain cancers, eye disorders, constipation and high cholesterol.
Colorful peppers of green, red, yellow and orange contain vitamin C, lutein, beta-carotene and chlorophyll. The hot ones blame capsaicin on the burn. Cancer, brain tumors, heart disease, vision loss and nasal congestion are kept at bay by peppers.
The ancient tradition of eating raw mushrooms blends with modern science on my veggie trays. These buttons of cancer prevention and cholesterol lowering compounds make them a favorite. Fungi can be fun to eat as well as healthful.
Cruciferous vegetables are packed full of medicinal properties. They provide color and cancer fighters. They offer crunch and cholesterol lowering compounds. Broccoli may end up between your teeth but consider the green specks stuck in your mouth as an advertisement for healthy eating. People that laugh at broccoli teeth are just jealous that they did not eat it too.
Cauliflower and radishes usually end up on my vegetable trays. I invite my friends to take a walk on the wild side and eat a radish. The more the pulp is chewed the more tang is released. As the initial hot taste disappears, a sweet flavor is left. Radishes are for the discerning taste buds. Taste one and see.
Raw green beans made a debut in my vegetable offering a few years ago and if no one else eats them at a party, then it is more for me. I love the crunch and feel of a fresh green bean in my mouth. People who are only familiar with the mush of the canned green beans are surprised when they sink their teeth into one of these little nutrition sticks.
Snow peas and celery are placed on my veggie tray if I have room. Celery is a negative food. It takes more calories to chew and digest that it provides. It is as crunchy as a chip without the grease. Snow peas are my favorite, I leave those at home, I do not share them very often.
I may be predictable but I know what I like. Hope you do too.
Bobbie Randall is a certified diabetes educator, registered, licensed dietitian. She supervises a diabetes self-management training program at Aultman-Orrville Hospital. Contact her at email@example.com or 330–684-4776.