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Go Red for Valentine's Day

Some of the tastiest and most versatile fruits and vegetables come in gorgeous, heart-thumping shades of red, pink, and burgundy.

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These vibrant colors are courtesy of lycopene and anthocyanin, plant phytochemicals that may help protect against cancer and heart disease. Here are some great ways to enjoy them.

Red bell peppers are an excellent source of vitamin C and have nine times more vitamin A than green bell peppers. Kids especially love their sweet crunchiness.

  • Munch on cut-up pepper strips for a low-calorie snack.
  • Fill steamed pepper halves with rice and herbs, top with cheese, and bake until heated through. Or check out New Orleans-Style Stuffed Peppers.
  • Toss hot pasta with drained roasted red pepper slices (from a jar), a little pesto, and grated fresh Parmesan cheese. Bellisimo!

Canned tomatoes are a pantry staple that works in everything from soups to casseroles to sauces. Because they’re cooked and more concentrated, canned tomato products are a better source of lycopene than fresh tomatoes.
  • For an easy made-from-scratch soup, combine Muir Glen® fire-roasted tomatoes with Progresso® reduced-sodium chicken broth, diced leftover vegetables, a pinch of oregano, and rinsed canned navy beans. Or try our Healthified Lentil and Tomato Chicken Soup.
  • Craving comfort food? Whip up tomatoey Chicken Breast Cacciatore with Noodles.
  • Double the red: Serve up a hearty chili that combines Muir Glen® canned tomatoes with Progresso® red kidney beans, as in Slow-Cooked Chili with Peppers.

Ruby-red cherries. Tart or sweet, they are a great source of vitamin C and contain vitamin A, potassium and more. Keep frozen and dried cherries on hand to enjoy them throughout the year.

  • Use Cascadian Farm® frozen cherries in your favorite fruit crisp recipe, or try Apple-Cherry Crisp.
  • Stir thawed frozen cherries into Yoplait Original 99% Fat Free Creamy Vanilla Yogurt.
  • Enjoy dried cherries in Tangy Spinach and Apple Salad.
  • Dive into a bowl of luscious fresh cherries when they’re in season.

Red cabbage. This versatile vegetable is higher in vitamin C and beta-carotene than green cabbage and contains sulfur-containing compounds that emerging science suggests may help prevent cancer.

  • Add red cabbage leaves to salads and sandwiches.
  • Perk up taste buds with an Asian-inspired slaw of shredded red cabbage and carrots tossed with a dressing made from toasted sesame oil and rice wine vinegar.

Raspberries, in all their bright-hued glory, are the perfect ingredient for a Valentine’s Day brunch or dinner. Just 1/2 cup of these flavorful gems contains 5 grams of fiber and a third of your daily vitamin C needs.

  • Top heart-shape waffles with a warm raspberry compote.
  • Sip Raspberry-Ginger Cider while you exchange valentines with your sweetheart.
  • Top off the evening with fresh raspberry sauce spooned over vanilla ice cream.

So celebrate Valentine’s day by putting nature’s beautiful reds on your table. And don’t forget the roses!

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