Monday, March 3, 2014

What to do with all these veggies?!

You may have already read about the veggies I feed regularly and why, but if you haven't, you can read about it here.  

I realize that going to the grocery store and buying up a bunch of veggies, plus some fruits just for some guinea pigs might not seem worth the time and the money for everyone.  While it's important to keep in mind that guinea pigs are vegetarians that nature intended to consume a variety of fresh foods, let's also look at what these fruits and veggies can do for you.

You can take the opportunity of caring for guinea pigs to mean a healthier lifestyle change for you and your family too!  This can reduce your chances of cancer, heart attack, stroke, and many other health complications.  Click here to see one of the many online sources that provide information on the benefits of fresh fruits and vegetables.  I've even started a board on Pinterest to start collecting recipes, since the foods that are great for our guinea pigs are great for us too.  (Just try hold back on chowing down those guinea pig pellets, ok?) 

The best way I have found to get enough fruits and veggies is by juicing them in our Vitamix juicer.  One of my favorite juices is apple, carrot, and beets.  The guinea pigs love to get some of those carrots, apple slices, and beet greens before I toss everything in the juicer.  Just about anything can be juiced though - spinach, kale, oranges, apples, broccoli, etc.  I try to balance greens with fruits for the best taste.  There are many books and sites dedicated to juicing recipes if you'd like to give it a try.

Another thing you can do is look up recipes that use those fresh veggies in your fridge that you're guinea pigs eat.  One of my favorite things to do with freshly washed spinach is saute it in a little bit of olive oil, add 2 tsp of red wine vinegar, a tsp minced garlic, then salt and pepper it to taste.  It only needs to cook about 5 minutes or so on medium heat and it'll all be tender.  You'll be amazed how much spinach fits into a little side dish when cooked this way, and it tastes quite good.  The vinegar and garlic amounts can be altered to taste and depending on how much spinach you use.  I'm not one to measure much, I just throw in a couple handfuls of spinach.

Kale chips are also pretty popular and easy.  Take large leaves of kale, and lay them out on a cookie sheet covered in tinfoil.  Drizzle the kale with a little olive oil and lightly sprinkle with kosher salt.  Bake at 375 degrees for about 15 minutes, until crispy but not burnt.  How long baking will take will depend on how small you tear the leaves.

There are many different ways to cook squash, and I really like most of them.  My favorite is baked squash with butter and brown sugar.  I'm sure you can find ways to cook it that your family will enjoy too if you don't have recipes already.

Here is another fantastic idea that I haven't tried yet, but I would love to!  It involves making layered salads in a jar with all those extra veggies, and even some fruits and nuts.  Even if you're not a fan of salads, I think you'll find these look delicious.  This makes storing pre-made salads easy for a grab and go lunch!  

There are many, many things you can do with all the fruits and veggies in your home to have your family, as well as your guinea pigs, eating healthy.  I encourage you to look up recipes that your family will enjoy and feel free to share them in the comments here or on the Facebook page!  You can also find the recipes I've pinned here on Pinterest. :)

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