How many cups of fruit and vegetables do we need each day?
According to the USDA dietary guidelines, ‘MyPlate,’ you should try to fill half of your plate with fruit and veggies at every meal. (Fortunately, they don’t say which half!) More specifically, MyPlate recommends 3½ to 5 cups of fruit and vegetables per day for adults, and 2 to 5 cups for kids and teens, depending on age, gender and activity level. For more information, visit www.choosemyplate.gov. Cooking ‘accidentally’ will help your entire family achieve this goal without a second thought.
So what counts as a cup?
Generally, a cup is a cup! So, a 1 cup measure worth of most fruits or vegetables—about the size of your fist—counts as 1 cup toward your daily intake. Generally, 1 small apple, or 1 medium pear, tomato or potato, is about 1 cup. There are some exceptions: for example, dried fruit counts as double, and leafy greens count as half the quantity consumed. Check the cup counts for each recipe in Vegetables Accidentally as a guide.
Why does the ‘cup count’ not always match the actual quantity of fruit and vegetables in the recipe?
In some cases, eating 1 cup of a fruit or vegetable does not actually count as 1 cup of that food in the MyPlate guidelines. For example, 2 cups of fresh greens counts as just 1 cup of vegetables, but ½ cup of dried apricots counts as 1 whole cup of fruit. The cup counts shown for each recipe are calculated according to MyPlate guidelines, so you know how each meal contributes to your recommended intake for the day.
Do starchy vegetables like potatoes and beans count?
Yes! Potatoes, beans and other ‘starchy’ vegetables do count toward your daily veggie intake. MyPlate divides vegetables into several sub-groups including dark green, orange, starchy, dry beans and peas, and other. MyPlate recommends people choose options from all of these groups to maintain a balanced diet. Vegetables Accidentally recipes use starchy vegetables along with those in other groups for great taste and good balance.
Does fruit juice and vegetable juice count?
Definitely! Fruit juices and veggie juices are a sly and tasty way to boost your cup count. As long as you choose 100% juice, they count cup for cup in your daily tally, so go on...slip in a sip!
Why do some recipes call for unenriched soy milk?
Unenriched soy milk is made from soy beans, and it’s more like a vegetable than like dairy, so it can be counted toward your vegetable intake. This product is easy to find in most grocery stores and works as an ideal, cup-for-cup substitute in any recipe calling for milk. Unenriched soy milk makes a great accidental accomplice, so the recipes in this book often call for it. Don’t worry, no one will be the wiser!
How does Canada’s Food Guide compare to the USDA MyPlate guidelines?
Canada’s Food Guide provides healthy eating guidelines and is similar to MyPlate. Canada’s Food Guide counts daily recommended intake of fruit and veggies by ‘servings’ rather than cups. In most cases, 2 servings in Canada’s Food Guide counts as 1 cup in MyPlate. For more info, visit www.healthcanada.gc.ca/foodguide.
Where can I get more information about nutrition and how to measure fruit and vegetable intake?
There are many great resources online to further your knowledge about accidental-style cooking and what counts when it comes to cups of fruit and veggies. The USDA ‘MyPlate’ guidelines, CDC ‘More Matters’ campaign, Nutrition Data website, and First Lady Michelle Obama’s ‘Let’s Move’ initiative, all offer a wealth of information, tools and dietary guidance. Armed with Vegetables Accidentally recipes and these resources, getting enough daily cups for you and your family is an effortless evasion.
How many cups of fruit and veggies are in this cookbook?
With well over 100 recipes, from snacks and starters to drinks and desserts, Vegetables Accidentally has about 650 cups of fruit and veggies tucked inside these plotting pages!
Where can I buy the cookbook Vegetables Accidentally?
You can purchase on amazon.com, amazon.eu, barnesandnoble.com, indigo.ca and vegetablesaccidentally.com, as well as through the author and other standard book distribution channels.
Are discounts available for purchasing larger quantities of the cookbook?
Yes! Discounts apply for purchases of 10 or more books. Email email@example.com for more information.
Where can I get more information about Vegetables Accidentally?
So glad you asked! Vegetables Accidentally is social, so please do stay in touch. There are so many ways: Visit www.vegetablesaccidentally.com to purchase copies and keep up to date on all things accidental. Also follow Vegetables Accidentally on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest—join the intrigue, learn new secrets and pass them on!
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