Boost Spring Fruit and Vegetable Consumption with Greens!

Recently I presented my spring portfolio to my photography class, and it got me thinking about helping your audience eat more spring fruits and vegetables.

After all, what could be more enticing than spring produce?

Here’s the artist statement that I submitted for my photos.

Spring beckons flora to burst forth from the earth. In the context of California farmers’ markets, spring brings new and bright greens, fresh young tubers, and juicy citrus fruits.

This photography exhibition celebrates the unique season that transitions us from winter to summer. The produce you see in the photos comes from local farmers who sell in community markets, and the pictures are designed to inspire people to choose locally-grown fruits and vegetables.

In the farmers’ markets, farmers become entrepreneurs while buyers gain access to fresh and nutritious foods — a community comes together. Accompanying the artistic representation of spring’s seasonal produce is a tribute to the farmers who grew it.

The offerings of a farmers’ market change each week and month as the seasons ebb and flow. This is but a moment in time during one season’s passage, and I hope you enjoy the beauty of spring.

And here’s a collection of engaging images of tasty spring foods.

These images would be fantastic in a display or email blast, or even as decoration for a spring vegetable cooking demonstration.

And speaking of cooking, to help inspire your audience to eat more spring produce, I’d like to share this recipe for a bright kale salad. This is a great way to present spring to your clients and help them focus on fresh and tender greens.

Kale is the Star Salad
Serves: 4 | Serving Size: 2 cups

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch lacinato kale
  • 6 cups raw baby kale
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • 1 cup shredded radishes
  • 1 cup diced apples
  • 1 tablespoon black sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons light poppy seed dressing

Directions:

  1. Remove the stems from the lacinato kale and rinse well. Place the undried lacinato kale in a covered container and steam lightly in the microwave for 30 seconds to 1 minute. The color will intensify and the leaves will be crisp tender.
  2. Place the lacinato leaves on the plate as pictured.
  3. Toss the baby kale with the olive oil and lemon juice. Put it on a plate and top with the radishes and apples.
  4. Drizzle a thin ribbon of poppy seed dressing over the greens and add the black sesame seeds. Serve immediately.

Nutrition Information:

  • Serves 4. Each serving contains 157 calories, 5 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat, 2 mg cholesterol, 213 mg sodium, 27 g carbohydrate, 5 g dietary fiber, 9 g sugar, and 6 g protein.
  • Each serving has 464% DV vitamin A, 320% DV vitamin C, 23% DV calcium, and 16% DV iron.

Did You Know?

  • Kale is high in many different nutrients. It has tons of antioxidants, which protect your cells from free radical damage.
  • One cup of chopped kale has more vitamin C than an orange. A single serving of this salad has 320% of your daily value of vitamin C.
  • Kale plants don’t die after the first frost — they get sweeter! Kale is one of the heartiest leafy greens around and is grown all over the world.
  • Kale is a good source of fiber, manganese, and copper, all of which are key to good health!

And here’s a PDF copy of the recipe handout that you can use however you’d like!

Fruit: Nature’s Fast Food

I’ve got a fun new poster in the store, and today I want to share a little bit about it with you!

First things first, here’s my latest creation:

I was inspired by the fresh produce available last summer at one of my local markets, so when I got home I couldn’t resist setting up a quick still life to highlight these tasty stone fruits at their peak.

Imagine my surprise when this print won 1st place in the Open Print category of the 2016 Annual Print Competition at the Palo Alto Camera Club. Ron Herman was the judge, and I was completely floored by his decision.

Soon after this picture won, I decided to feature it in my gallery showing this past winter. The showing was titled “A Visual Feast” and took place at the Avenue 25 Gallery in San Mateo California. In fact, if you look closely, you can see this photo hanging with a few other favorites in the picture below.*

I was so proud of this original photo that I decided to turn it into a poster. But what to call it?

I wanted to steer clear of additional artistic commentary and let the image speak for itself, so I focused my brainstorming on key health lessons and nutrition topics. Then, out of the blue, it hit me. Fruit is nature’s fast food! I often grab a peach or a handful of cherries on my way out the door or to snack on as I work at my desk, and I realized that these snacking habits had — over time — gradually replaced my reliance on fast food. I’m sure that this change in my routine was great news for my health, and so now I want to share that epiphany with your clients in order to encourage them to also change their habits.

And that’s how this poster came to be. How will you use it?

* This image is copyright 2017 by Len Cook @expressionfood.com

And here are some other resources that can help make your life easier…

MyPlate 9 Food Photos FREE plus 7 Lessons Learned During Our Shoot

Here is a sample gallery of our best MyPlate images. Use them in your blog or other project. You can link to them directly or download for your site – just link back to this page and indicate they are copyrighted by Food and Health Communications, Inc. Click contact us below to make inquiries, comments or requests. We love to hear from you!!

If you are looking for more healthy food photos, check out our new photo store: http://healthyfoodphotos.com

7  fun lessons were learned about MyPlate and its food groups during our photography project:

  1. LOTS of choices are given for each food group.
    • For vegetables you can have whole, chopped, cooked, frozen, canned, dried, raw, mashed or leafy.
    • For fruits you can have whole, chopped, cooked, frozen or pureed. 100% juice counts, too.
    • Protein lists meat, poultry, seafood, soy alternatives, nuts, seeds, nut butters and eggs.
    • And milk specifies fluid milk, dairy desserts, yogurt, hard cheese and processed cheese.
    • Grain choices are very delicious: wheat, oats, corn, barley, rice and others. Quinoa is a great “other” that cooks quickly and looks like cous cous on a plate.
  2. The serving sizes are easy to follow but they don’t always match what manufacturers put in packages and on food labels.
    • For example, 1 cup of yogurt is a serving but most containers of yogurt are only 5 to 6 ounces. Some of them contain a significant amount of sugar so if you double them to get to a cup, you might eat too many calories. It is better to buy plain yogurt and add real fruit
    • It takes 3 slices of processed cheese to make 2 ounces. We always thought it was 2.
    • It takes 2 slices of hard cheese to make 1.5 ounces.
    • Some protein items weigh close to 5 ounces so you would not get variety if you ate one of them as your daily requirement. A full sized chicken breast or steak will often weigh more than 5 ounces if eaten as packaged. Save money and cut them up! We love our photo showing one serving of each type of protein. It looks like a tapas bar.
    • Peanut butter jars list 2 tablespoons but you only need 1 to make a serving for the MyPlate protein group recommendations.
  3. 5 ounces of protein doesn’t look like much. It is the amount recommended for one day for most people. If you weigh an ounce of meat, fish or poultry on a scale it is about the size of a big gum ball. 3 ounces is about the size of a smart phone (who uses a deck of cards anymore anyway?) and one ounce of nuts covers a bread and butter plate.
  4. The whole grains are really beautiful when you assemble them side by side. The photo above can be used for a fun guessing game and lesson about grains.
  5. The dairy group specifically says that butter, cream and cream cheese are not considered a dairy serving because they don’t have a lot of calcium. We note that whipped cream in the can is a great accompaniment to fruit instead of ice cream. Although frozen desserts are allowed in the calcium group. You can’t get too excited too quickly about that, though, because deeper in the recommendations you will find that discretionary calories for most people are around 100 to 150 calories which is just about a half cup of ice cream and all added sugars must be fit into that amount.
  6. Soy milk is now allowed but the market is zooming faster than the USDA can keep up with it. You can also use calcium fortified almond milk, rice milk or flax milk and get the same nutrients. The alternative milks are not as high in protein although they are often lower in calories, sugar and sodium. And they are higher in calcium and B12.
  7. Don’t be afraid to play with your food! This “make half the plate fruits and veggies” photo is our favorite:

DSC_5003

These photos are being used in a new upcoming video and a current CD.

If you are looking for more healthy food photos, check out our new photo store: http://healthyfoodphotos.com