Written by Allyson Salazar Sawkins
Federal guidelines recommend that we consume 11⁄2 to 2 cups of fruit and 2 to 3 cups of vegetables per day. But did you know that in 2017 the CDC found that only 1 in 10 adults meet the minimum daily intake of fruits and vegetables1? Those who most commonly miss the minimum daily intake are men, young adults, and low-income adults. Ultimately, this report led the CDC to recommend policies and programs that help adults consume more fruits and vegetables to reduce the risk of common, preventable chronic diseases (e.g., cardiovascular disease, type II diabetes, obesity).
Luckily for us, our campus is home to a network of resources that combat food insecurity, ensuring that students receive adequate nutrition. The UCSC CASFS farm provides organic produce for free to students who access the Slug Support Pantry through the Farm-to-Pantry program. Additionally, the farm provides produce to the Cowell Coffee Shop for our free meal kit offerings. (To learn more, please visit the Basic Needs website http://basicneeds.ucsc.edu.)
However, of course, vegetables aren’t known for being the most palatable. Even when we have access to free vegetables, convincing ourselves to eat them can be a different story. To make eating vegetables easier, I’ve listed two of my favorite salad recipes below: a Kale Crunch Salad and a Summer Bleu Cheese Salad. It took me years to figure out recipes that help me successfully eat my greens and even at 22-years-old I still find it challenging to eat an adequate amount of vegetables consistently. My hope is that one day I’ll have enough recipes under my belt to make eating in-season produce simple and effortless, year-round.
Kale Crunch Salad
Dressing: • 1 tbsp Maple syrup
• 1 tbsp Apple cider vinegar • 1 tbsp Olive oil
• 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
Salad: • 2 cups Kale • 1 cup Shredded Cabbage • 1/4 Crushed salted almonds • 1⁄4 cup Dried cranberries
• 1 Sliced Jazz apple
Summer Bleu Cheese Salad
(Vegetarian, can be made vegan)
Dressing: • 1 tbsp Apple cider vinegar
• 3 tbsp Apple juice • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
Salad: • 3 cups Butter lettuce • 1⁄4 cup Dried cranberries • 1 Diced green apple • 1⁄4 cup Bleu cheese (substitute with vegan cheese to make vegan)
1. Lee-Kwan SH, Moore LV, Blanck HM, Harris DM, Galuska D. Disparities in State-Specific Adult Fruit and Vegetable Consumption — United States, 2015. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2017;66:1241–1247. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm6645a1external icon.