Several years ago you could not find hummus at my local market. Now, it is available in many varieties. Of course, you can make your own hummus. Food Network’s Ina Garden has a delicious hummus recipe. Hummus is mashed chickpeas. Loaded with nutrients, ½ cup is 204 calories. It is a great food for weight management.
My son learned to write cursive using couscous. His kindergarten teacher poured the fine granules into a pan and with a move of his finger, he was writing his name. But, I digress; couscous is much more than a teaching prop. It is a wholesome product of durum wheat. When steamed, it becomes a delicious addition to your weight loss menu. one cup equals 176 calories.
Many people don’t like to eat green food. Give kale a try. It is dense with nutrients, almost like the fountain of youth in leaf form. Kale is great juiced with other fruits and vegetables. One cup of Kale is 33 calories.
Once thought a no-no for losing weight, new studies show that the healthy fats in avocados actually promote weight loss. Like kale, it is great juiced with other fruits and vegetables. ½ cup is 120 calories.
5. Spelt Berries
Spelt Berries are not really berries, but a whole grain. They are of the durum wheat family, originating in the Near East thousands of years ago. The chewy, nut like texture is anything but boring. The most common use (that I know of) for spelt berries is Ezekiel Bread. Find the recipe at Bobs Red Mill.
6. Air Popped Popcorn
Easy, economical, and wholesome. Purchase organic popcorn from your local Farmer’s Market or your specialty food store. Pop in an air-popper (no oil needed) for a hearty, crunchy snack. One cup is only 31 calories.
7. Black Beans
Black beans are versatile; packed with protein and fiber. They make you feel full and satiated. Create a veggie burger, stir into soup, or eat alone right out of the bowl. One cup is 227 calories.
Red quinoa, whole grain quinoa, quinoa flour, etc. Pronounced keen-wa, quinoa originated from the Andes Mountains centuries ago. The Incas called it the mother of all grains. Gluten-free, quinoa is a dieter’s dream.
When you are at the market, do you pass up the radishes? Don’t be afraid, give them a try. They are little orbs of crunchy vitamins and minerals. Pack in lunches and add to salads.
Ginger makes a great tea. Add lemon for extra zest. Ginger is a known to reduce cholesterol, boost the immune system, and rev metabolism.
Diced raw figs make a great addition to any salad. One raw fig is 47 calories, just enough for a snack. Pack them for lunch, or enjoy a fig after dinner for dessert.
Like figs, dates (medjool) are great in salads. Their nutty, semi-sweet taste makes a great snack. Add dates to oatmeal for extra nutrients. One pitted date is 66 calories.
Eaten alone, or in a recipe, mushrooms are good for you. With many varieties available, mushrooms make a great weight loss food. Why? Because one cup is only 15 calories.
14. Swiss Chard
A garden favorite, Swiss Chard are large green leaves filled with goodness. Create salads, wraps, and more with this yummy vegetable. Low glycemic and great for dieting; one cup of Swiss Chard is only seven calories.
Detox and lose weight with lentils. Try this dieters Lentil Soup recipe from Shape.com.
When I think of squash, I think of baby food. It’s good for you. Mashed or cubed into a salad, squash is loaded with goodness. One cup of butternut squash is only 82 calories.
Raw or cooked, turnips are a low-cal root vegetable with a unique flavor. Slice into salads, casseroles, or omelets. One cup of raw turnips is only 36 calories.
Like turnips, parsnips are low-cal and a root vegetable. They also have a unique, tangy flavor. Boil and mash for a side dish.
An orb of purple goodness, beets are very good for you. Packed with iron, minerals, and more, they can be sliced into salads, casseroles, omelets, or soups.
The power of purple. Try the eggplant recipes for dieters at dukandiet.com. One cup of raw eggplant is only 20 calories.
Find a complete list of yummy fruits and vegetables at The Great Grub Club. They also have puzzles and games to help children (and adults) learn about the importance of eating fruits and vegetables. And, to end, my favorite quote from Actress Meryl Streep, “It’s bizarre that the produce manager is more important to my children’s health than the pediatrician.”