8 fresh ways to increase fruit and veg intake

Thursday, 12 November, 2015

Most of us would like to eat more fruit and vegetables and in theory it should be easier than ever before, with fresh produce popping up in almost every imaginable food and drink category.

In a recent issue of Food Technology magazine, published by the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), senior associate editor Karen Nachay looked at eight different ways fruit and vegetables are turning up in unexpected places.

Cauliflower: From 2013 to 2014 Innova Market Insights found a 22% increase in global product launches containing cauliflower. It can be roasted, mashed, pureed and included in everything from pizza to ice cream.

Exotic fruits and vegetables: Consumers are becoming more adventurous in their choices, so once hard-to-find ingredients such as kohlrabi, dragon fruit, prickly pear and celeriac are easier to find in the local greengrocer.

Cruciferous vegetables: Despite sounding like a potions ingredient from a Harry Potter novel, this is a class of vegetables that includes parsnips, turnips, swede, cavolo nero and sea vegetables. Chefs are creating unique preparations of these vegetables, educating consumers that they can taste great when properly prepared.

Coconut water: The new health drink, blends of coconut water are appearing with other fruit and vegetable juices like mango, spinach, beetroot and carrot juices.

Yoghurt: Yoghurt is taking on a savoury twist with the addition of sweet potato, beetroot, pumpkin, tomato, kimchi, lemongrass and parsnip.

Chilled soups: Gazpacho is typically a tomato-based chilled soup, but the addition of fruit and vegetables like papaya, watermelon and cucumber are giving this classic dish a new appeal.

Sweet potatoes: Sweet potatoes are appearing as ingredients in juices, muffins, cheesecake, sauces and even beer.

Natural food colouring: As consumers scrutinise food labels for synthetic ingredients, manufacturers are turning to fruits and vegetables for naturally derived colouring options.

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