Have you ever wondered how much a serving really is. Well, pull out your box of Raisin Bran, grab the milk a bowl and a spoon. Now fill up your bowl with cereal pour on the milk and get ready. This is around four servings. On average a single serving of raisin bran is ? cup cereal and ? cup milk. If this was all anyone ever ate for breakfast refrigerators world wide would be open for raiding by 9 am.
Fruits and vegetables are no different. The U.S. government has stated we should consume 5 to 9 servings of fruits and veggies a day. To think about eating 9 apples a day or chomp down half a dozen carrots is overwhelming. Take a look at what constitutes a serving.
? 1 medium piece of fruit, this is not the fruit size you get from Harry and David, this is about the size of a closed fist.
? ? cup chopped fruit, measure this out it really is not that much fruit.
? ? grapefruit
? ? small cantaloupe
? ? cup fruit juice, make sure this is 100% juice. Try fresh squeezing your own juice. A small citrus juicer is extremely affordable and available at most department stores. Many of the large where house stores are now carrying the Jack Lalane Power Juicer. The price is affordable and it works well for in home juicing.
? One dozen grapes
? ? cup berries
? ? cup dried fruit
? ? cup chopped vegetables
? 1 cup raw leafy vegetables, this makes for a small salad. If measuring the vegetables each time feels to restrictive try marking a plastic cup with a one cup line or measure one cup into a small bowl and mark where the bowl should be filled to.
? ? cup vegetable juice. The commercially marketed vegetable juices are a good option; however, if you want to control the sodium in your juice try a power juicer. The juice tastes fresh and you feel good after drinking it. Many of the power juicers come with recipes that liven up your juicing experience.
? ? cup cooked dry beans
? ? cup canned vegetables
? 1 medium potato, keep in mind the closed fist as an indicator of medium. This is a small closed fist, not an MBA player's fist.
? 6-8 carrot sticks cut 3" long
Once you know how much a serving is that 5-9 serving recommendation is not so overwhelming. Some handy tips, measure out in your favorite bowl how much a serving is. Mark where the serving comes to this way you can fill the bowl to this level and not have to measure each time. Try marking a plastic glass at ? cup, this way you can fill the juice to the line and not have to measure.
Shauna Hanus is a gourmet cook who specializes in creating gourmet meal plans. She has extensive experience cooking with easy to find grocery items to create delightful gourmet meals. She is also the publisher of a no cost bi-monthly gourmet newsletter. Her newsletter is always fun and informational packed with tips and trivia you can use everyday. http://www.gourmayeats.com