Vegan Fruit Veggie Challenge

New Veggie or Fruit a Week Challenge [Downloadable Charts Included]

hi friends!

I’ve had a couple people come to me to learn more about a vegetarian/vegan lifestyle, and that has totally been making my life. And every time someone asks me how I incorporate so many vegetables or know how to cook them, I always tell them the same thing: try them all! Don’t be afraid to branch out of the usual onions, celery, carrots, spinach, corn, and potatoes. There are soooo many great veggies and fruits that deserve some love.

When I first went vegan, the first thing I did was tell Joe that each week I would be trying a new veggie. Years later, I have at least tried most of these and have learned to love and appreciate them. Sure, I don’t like all of them (like beets or wheatgrass… I just can’t do it) but at least I tried. I never thought I would like brussels sprouts or collard greens, but now these are some of my favorites. Your taste buds with adjust over time, trust me. The more you familiarize yourself, the easier it is to eat a wide variety – same goes for fruit.

So, I thought it would be fun to put together a 12-week challenge for anyone who is interested in expanding their produce palate.

You’ll find my suggestions for each week below, or you can download the charts HERE and HERE to print and mark off as you go. I really found that this was the best way to not feel overwhelmed, and to get to a place where you are no stranger to these amazing plant-based options.

If you’ve tried the veggie of the week, go off on a limb and pick something else in the market that catches your eye. I’ll even include substitutes below for inspiration.


VEGETABLE CHALLENGE

WEEK 1 – ESCAROLE
Why it’s amazing: great source of vitamin K
How to enjoy it: escarole and beans

WEEK 2 – ARUGULA
Why it’s amazing: great source of folate (for expecting mamas)
How to enjoy it: fresh on top of a pizza, or in salad

WEEK 3 – SWISS CHARD
Why it’s amazing: may help keep hair healthy
How to enjoy it: swiss chard, kale, and pink beans

WEEK 4 – YAMS
Why it’s amazing: may help regulate muscle and nerve activity
How to enjoy it: baked with tahini sauce

WEEK 5 – BROCCOLI RABE
Why it’s amazing: may help protect the retinas of your eyes
How to enjoy it: cooked in olive oil and garlic, served with a grain

WEEK 6 – RADISHES
Why it’s amazing: good source of fiber
How to enjoy it: pickled and on a taco, or sliced on salad

WEEK 7 – ASPARAGUS
Why it’s amazing: may help relieve pre-menstrual syndrome
How to enjoy it: steamed with salt

WEEK 8 – LEEKS
Why it’s amazing: excellent source of vitamin K
How to enjoy it: potato and leek soup

WEEK 9 – ARTICHOKES
Why it’s amazing: packed with antioxidants
How to enjoy it: stuffed and steamed

WEEK 10 – COLLARD GREENS
Why it’s amazing: great source of protein
How to enjoy it: as a wrap or stuffed

WEEK 11 – YUCCA
Why it’s amazing: healthy mix of vitamins and minerals
How to enjoy it: mashed or baked

WEEK 12 – BEETS
Why it’s amazing: may help reduce the risk of birth defects
How to enjoy it: with oil and vinegar, or in a smoothie


Possible substitutes for the above: kale, cabbage, brussels sprouts, bok choy, endives, wheatgrass, ginger, parsnip, broccolini, dandelion, turnips, spaghetti squash

If you’re a total veg-head already, or you are more interested in the fruit challenge, here’s another 12 weeks:


FRUIT CHALLENGE

WEEK 1 – MANGO
Why it’s amazing: alkalized the whole body
How to enjoy it: fresh <3

WEEK 2 – STAR FRUIT
Why it’s amazing: low in calories and good source of vitamin C
How to enjoy it: fresh or chopped into a salsa

WEEK 3 – APRICOTS
Why it’s amazing: rich source of fiber and antioxidants
How to enjoy it: fresh

WEEK 4 – GRAPEFRUIT
Why it’s amazing: helps maintain a healthy heart and weight
How to enjoy it: halved with a sprinkle of sugar (or not!)

WEEK 5 – PAPAYA
Why it’s amazing: may aid in digestion
How to enjoy it: fresh

WEEK 6 – POMEGRANATE
Why it’s amazing: excellent source of antioxidants
How to enjoy it: fresh or in scones

WEEK 7 – DATES
Why it’s amazing: a good source of energy
How to enjoy it: fresh, or as an energy ball

WEEK 8 – FIGS
Why it’s amazing: may help prevent constipation
How to enjoy it: fresh

WEEK 9 – PERSIMMON
Why it’s amazing: features an important anti-tumor compound
How to enjoy it: fresh

WEEK 10 – DRAGON FRUIT
Why it’s amazing: features several B vitamins
How to enjoy it: fresh or in a smoothie

WEEK 11 – PLANTAINS
Why it’s amazing: great source of potassium
How to enjoy it: fried or baked

WEEK 12 – JACKFRUIT
Why it’s amazing: may strengthen immune system
How to enjoy it: pulled bbq jackfruit


Possible substitutes for the above: goji berry, honeydew melon, black berries, kumquats, kiwi, nectarines, guava, cantaloupe, pomelo, pineapple, clementine, blood orange, coconut, lychee

If you are accepting my challenge, tell me! I really hope a few of you do. Would love to hear your progress, too. I think you’ll find this just as fun as it is helpful. I would find myself looking forward to each grocery store visit to choose. I hope you’re equally as amused and thrilled by produce – haha! xx bianca


DOWNLOAD THE CHARTS:

VEGETABLE CHALLENGE | FRUIT CHALLENGE

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