Nutrition Matters – July 2019

— Written By

In Season Fresh Fruit and Vegetables:  Summertime brings back memories of working in my grandma’s garden. We would gather up the fresh green okra, warm red tomatoes, bright yellow squash, and dark purple eggplant in the morning before the heat of the day and then have the freshest, most flavorful (and colorful) supper that evening. Fruits and vegetables contain the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients your body needs to stay healthy. A healthy diet full of fruits and vegetables can actually help prevent the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, type II diabetes, and obesity. In season produce is fresher and tastier than produce that has been shipped and stored in the summer there is no better time to enjoy fresh produce!

Try this fresh, veggie-packed Ratatouille this week as a summer favorite your family is sure to love! (Recipe courtesy: of Cooking Matters)

Ingredients: 

  • 1 small red onion
  • 2 medium cloves of garlic
  • 1 small eggplant
  • 1 medium zucchini
  • 1 medium yellow squash
  • 1 large tomato
  • 3 Tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Directions: 

  1. Preheat oven to 425°.
  2. Rinse and peel the onion and garlic. Rinse the eggplant, zucchini, squash, and tomato.
  3. Dice the onion and eggplant into 1/2 inch pieces. Slice zucchini and squash in 1/2 inch slices. Chop tomato and mince garlic.
  4. In a medium bowl add the onion, eggplant, zucchini, squash, garlic, oil, basil, oregano, salt, and black pepper. Toss until veggies are well coated.
  5. Coat a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray. Spread veggies out in a single layer so they do not touch. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven.
  6. Add tomato to baking sheet. Return baking sheet to oven. Bake, stirring occasionally until veggies are golden crisp, about 15-20 minutes more.

Enjoy! For additional foods, health and nutrition information contact Shelina Bonner, Family and Consumer Sciences Agent, North Carolina Cooperative Extension, Greene County Center at (252) 747-5831.