Food tips from the grocery aisle

If you are looking for a miracle food, look no farther than the produce aisle. Fruits and vegetables supply us with a wealth of vital nutrients, fiber and powerful health-protecting antioxidants, all for very few calories. But most people don't get nearly enough. One way to boost your produce quotient without even realizing it is to sneak fruits and vegetables into dishes. Here are three ways to do it deliciously:

1. Stir pureed winter squash or pumpkin into soups and casseroles, such as macaroni and cheese. It adds body, flavor and nutrition.

2. Add finely grated carrot to meatballs, or meatloaf. If will help maintain moisture and add flavor and texture.

3. Add mashed banana, pureed pumpkin or applesauce to muffin or pancake batter. They add moisture and sweetness, enabling you to use less fat and sugar.

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