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The Daily Five

Oct 1, 2012

by Cate Fitt handmade and vintage goods

For years, eating my daily five fruits and vegetables seemed like a chore. I was brought up on boiled frozen vegetables, served with butter. Since I constantly struggled with my weight, I would force myself to eat plain raw broccoli and tough tasteless carrots. I searched for foods that were healthy and delicious, trying many, many diets and cuisines. A few years ago I found the answer in my own back yard: not literally (because I do not have a garden), but close by at the local farmers’ markets.

[1. Veggie Postcards by Domesticresignation 2. Freshwater Pearls by VirginieMartinStudio 3. Popeye Can by xBOHx 4. Vintage Broccoli Sign from Grandmothersattic 5. Eat Your Greens Pencil Set by Thecarboncrusader ]

I had a spinach salad for the first time when I was in my twenties. I thought the tender green leaves were delicious, and had to ask what they were.

[1. Real Orange Earrings by Realfruitjewelry 2. Winter Fruit Print by Clairenereim 3. Vintage Swedish Fruit Knives from Europeanmodern 4. Blueberry Soap by RockyTopSoapShop 5. Cherry Headband by PearlsandSwine]

The seasonal apples and strawberries of my youth gave way to fruit grown in all parts of the world. I had a hard time guessing what would be flavorful.

[1. Concrete Fruit Bowl by Atstuart 2. Ceramic Citrus Juicer by KismetPottery 3. Farmers Market Calendar by Drenculture 4. Produce Illustrations by Xunantunich 5. Fruit Tile by EnchanteLLC]

Shopping for seasonal, local food at the grocery store became more and more difficult. Back then, even my local farmers’ market had sellers who bought fruit and vegetables wholesale, then turned around and resold them. Oranges are definitely not local to Virginia.

[1. Swiss Chard Recipe by Lucileskitchen 2. Handcarved Paring Knife by Bobtheaxolotl 3. Mini Berry Bowl by Isabelleabramson 4. Peach Hand Stand by Pierrmorgan 5. Lettuce Greeting Card by Hikje]

Times changed. I began including the environmental cost in selecting my fruit and vegetables. I joined a fruit CSA and now buy all my food from the many genuine farmers’ markets that have sprouted all over Richmond. If I simply eat what I purchase, it is easy to have my daily five, or six, or eight.

What are your favorite fruits and vegetables?


  • kellydesigns

    Kelly Hendershot from kellydesigns said 7 years ago

    I love green smoothies with kale, spinach, celery, cucumber, ginger, and a green apple. This was a fun post to read! Thanks!

  • MinaMinette

    Jan Penn from MinaMinette said 7 years ago

    Thank you, Cate, for that great post! Being a vegan, I love to read about other people's relationships with vegetables. I am always inspired to do better, as just being a vegan does not mean that one makes the best choices all the time! And Kelly, that smoothie sounds great..I will try it!

  • TheBeautyofBoredom

    Gracie from TheBeautyofBoredom said 7 years ago

    Cool! I had never heard of a CSA until now. It really is hard at times to get those 5 a day. I try to just eat what tastes good, but still get a variety. I like feeling like I can easily get 5 servings of fruits and veggies a day without having to sacrifice taste. I make it easy- I add fruit to my cereal or oatmeal in the morning, indulge in drinking fruit juice, use lots of veggies in my stir-fries, and make veggie burgers. A portobello mushroom topped with a sauteed onion and some tomato? Too easy.

  • TheBeautyofBoredom

    Gracie from TheBeautyofBoredom said 7 years ago

    Forgot to include my favorites! Definitely strawberries, kiwi, and tomato. Favorite veggies are cooked broccoli, cucumber, and peas.

  • LivingVintage

    LivingVintage from LivingVintage said 7 years ago

    Great post! I've started frequenting my local orchard/farm which now has organic veggies for sale. Fresher and cheaper than WF.

  • MissLucyA

    Lucy Ashby from bylucy said 7 years ago

    Great finds. I love farmers' markets!

  • OuterKnits

    OuterKnits from OuterKnits said 7 years ago

    My favorites include all berries, peas and avocados, you name it. Love your picks, especially the green pearl necklace.

  • Nikifashion

    Natalia from Nikifashion said 7 years ago

    I love fresh vegetables! Awesome post:)

  • cberez

    CB DESIGN'S from CBDesignsPR said 7 years ago

    I love your finds!!!

  • CraftyWoolFelt

    Claudia from CraftyWoolFelt said 7 years ago

    Love your post and love veggies! Can't live without them =D

  • LAccentNou

    Anastasia from LAccentNou said 7 years ago

    We I was a child my parents planted trees and vegetables, potato as well. All the summer we ate fresh fruits directly from the trees and berries, we harvested our own potato and onion, and home made conserves during the winter. Now I understand I was the luckiest child in the world. It's incredible how humanity get things complicated - genetically modified aliments and pesticides and other things.... Still now I love all about fruits and vegetables and I ate a lot of everything everyday :) And I try as I can to support local producers.

  • VintageEye

    VintageEye from VintageEye said 7 years ago

    Fab post, Cate! I am a big fan of sweet potatoes! I eat them baked, mashed, fried & blended into my morning smoothies. They are so delicious & so packed with nutrition. Living in South Carolina means that it is easy to get them fresh from local farmers. Mmmmm!

  • leeannasjewerybox

    Leeanna from LeeannasJewelryBox said 7 years ago

    I'm so lucky, in New Mexico I found out the local farmers accept food stamps. They set up a coupon contour at the market. I hope everyone has access to local fruits and veggies, no matter what there situation is.

  • GloriousGirlJewelry

    Lisa from GloriousGirlJewelry said 7 years ago

    I have been enjoying a daily smoothie that I make in my VITAMIX blender, it mostly consists of all organic, mostly local kale, spinach, watercress, parsley, cucumber, celery, apple, pear, nectarine, banana, and the juice of one lemon - I LOVE IT so much, and sometimes I include frozen organic wild blueberries & strawberries - this way, I am getting many servings & it tastes SO GOOD! - plus the energy that I get from it is tremendous!

  • reflectionsjewelry

    Emily Delfin from reflectionsjewelry said 7 years ago

    Oh I LOVE fresh vegetables, and enjoy eating the produce from my friends local farm. The taste of organically grown vegetables is beyond compare!

  • PaperAltar

    PaperAltar from PaperAltar said 7 years ago

    I can't imagine life without my CSA. We've come along way since the Le Sueur canned peas. Great collection Cate!

  • pollymakes

    Polly Tucknott from PollyTucknott said 7 years ago

    If only everyone was happier about eating their veggies - I'm a teacher who battles daily at school lunches - the rule is protein, carbohydrate and 2 veggies (one of which green) - lunchtime can be the hardest part of the school day!

  • CoutureByAyca

    Ayca Hoser from CoutureByAyca said 7 years ago

    Great selections... Especially I love real orange earrings!

  • jessamyjay

    Jessamy from jessamyjay said 7 years ago

    Love this post! I enjoy hearing about others' journeys with considering food from a healthful and environmental perspective. Thanks for sharing yours!

  • TexasTilers

    TexasTilers from TexasTilers said 7 years ago

    We experimented with straw bale gardening, and despite the ants we actually grew cucumbers and squash. Swiss chard will grow through the winter, and it has to be rinsed & recooked so we were told. Our brussel sprouts are mouth watering. LOVE VEGGIES! This is the best time of year when the temperatures are bearable. Celery lowers blood pressure & it is full of vital supplements. Smoothies sound great...will have to try it out.

  • GardenDaisiesStudio

    Katie from GardenDaisiesStudio said 7 years ago

    We grow some of our own food, and every year the garden gets larger. I just sent our check to the CSA for the fall shares this morning :) I have learned that if I only buy fresh and local, it has to be seasonal, which makes everything interesting and I have also taught myself to do a LOT of water bath canning. Basically, the less we buy at the store (and trying to stay around the perimeter), the better we feel mentally and physically. You can really tell when you have eaten something processed (at a friend's house, for example), because you don't feel so great afterwards... Last Friday, I made beet and ricotta gnocchi with sauteed beet greens (no waste!), and it was awesome!!! I'm loving this time of the year - stocking up on pie pumpkins, butternut squash, sweet potatoes, yum!

  • MaryFosterCreative

    Mary Foster from MaryFosterCreative said 7 years ago

    My favorite fruits and vegetables are the ones that I grow in my backyard. I had a good crop of eggplant and enjoyed making eggplant parmesan. My freezer is full of green beans and raspberries. Tomatoes eaten within minutes of harvest are the best!

  • MrsGingerandWasabi

    Marta DQ from tribomo said 7 years ago

    I love fruits and veggies,they are 75% or more of my daily menu! Since 2008 apples are the winners for me, I changed my morning bagel for sliced red apples with a little bit of cinnamon, and since then it's what I have with my coffee and I love it!

  • TreadleLady

    Donna Kohler from TreadleLady said 7 years ago

    What a great article. I can relate to the frozen veggies with butter, can we say boring? We are so lucky to live in the California San Joaquin valley with fresh fruit stands, farmers markets and now restaurants specializing in fresh produce of the valley. We recently had the most incredible seedless purple grapes, crispy thin skins and great flavor.

  • PattiTrostle

    Patti Trostle from PattiTrostle said 7 years ago

    Great article. I love to grow my own!!

  • thevicagirl

    VaLon Frandsen from thevicagirl said 7 years ago

    Great collection, it is making me hungry. Yet, you should have a garden, veggies out of the garden are the best!

  • JennysTreasuresForU

    Jennifer from JennysTreasuresForU said 7 years ago

    When I was a little girl,I really liked frozen peas with butter,as well as fresh steamed Brussel sprouts.I still do. One of our friends,her family has a small farm..or big garden,whatever you want to call it!So we get some of our produce from them,and often find vegetables we've never eaten before. I like lettuce,different kinds of squash (including Delica,yellow,sweet meat squash,and zucchini),pumpkin,cabbage,avocados,carrots,beets,potatoes,turnips,cherries,watermelon,and of course lots of other things.Weirdly enough I only like cucumber if it's got the seeds scooped out and doesn't have the skin on it,in salads or with goat cheese.My mom or I can use that part for juicing. I like Delica squash so much I want to make an ice cream recipe out of it.

  • RomanceCatsAndWhimsy

    Darlene Jones from RomanceCatsAndWhimsy said 7 years ago

    Great post! I love most vegetables especially caulifower, avocados, cucumber and tomato. Fav fruits are a juicy nectarine, apricot or peach, melons, strawberrys and grapes! Yum!

  • wildthingz

    Andrea from wildthingz said 7 years ago

    I love eating local and am so thankful to be surrounded by so many great farms!

  • SusanFaye

    Susan Faye from SusanFayePetProjects said 7 years ago

    I love love love all of your Etsy finds! I too am blessed with lots of local produce and a backyard garden. My current favorite would be our Brandywine heirloom tomatoes that are so tasty!

  • mlezcano

    Mary Lezcano from BellaBboutique said 7 years ago

    Eating locally and seasonally is definitely the logical healthy way to do it! Thx!

  • FluffyFlowers

    FluffyFlowers from FluffyFlowers said 7 years ago

    planted my first successful vegetable garden this year. still picking fresh red peppers for dinner! :)

  • csburdick

    csburdick from callmebrazen said 7 years ago

    awesome post! I made my very first acorn squash that had not been pre-peeled and packaged this weekend and it was amazing..and local!

  • BaxCatandCo

    Kelly from BaxCatandCo said 7 years ago

    This post is great - love how the collections help along your story! My favorite fruits: bananas; veggies: hmmm I'll say celery, especially when eaten with peanut butter!

  • ProfessorTiny

    Susan Sanford from ProfessorTiny said 7 years ago

    Currently smitten with rocket.

  • kgpaintings

    Kirsten Gilmore from PaintingsByKEGilmore said 7 years ago

    I especially like the Popeye image.

  • ACupOfSparkle

    ACupOfSparkle from ACupOfSparkle said 7 years ago


  • thecarboncrusader

    Yvy from thecarboncrusader said 7 years ago

    This is wonderful, fantastic finds. Thank you. I love that cherry headband, so sparkly and fun. :D

  • LeasaMarie

    Leasa from LeasaDesigns said 7 years ago

    Love your choices - Yes, I too hated veggies when little but now enjoy them - always a challenge to get them into my day though still... but important! thanks for the reminder! ;)

  • DewyMorningVintage

    DewyMorningVintage from DewyMorningVintage said 7 years ago

    I love raw spinach too! It is nice to substitute raw spinach on BLT's instead of lettuce. LOVE corn on the cob! My parents had a gigantic garden when I was growing up, so I got spoiled on big luscious red tomatoes that had far more flavor than the grocery store ones do. Great post, thanks!

  • FullCircleRetro

    Piegota from FullCircleRetro said 7 years ago

    Apples..real ones! ..ant watermelons and tomatoes Yum! This is a really great post idea! =))

  • PinwheelStudio

    Whitney from PinwheelStudio said 7 years ago

    Wonderful post -- makes me hungry just reading it!

  • buttagal

    LC from cafedebutta said 7 years ago

    i lack fruits and veggies in my diet. i suck. =(

  • dizhasneatstuff

    deb fearon from dizhasneatstuff said 7 years ago

    I love Kale! I've got kale growing in buckets, tubs, in the ground, in a wheelbarrow and just planted my winter crop in the cold frames. I massage fresh kale with lemon juice, add cucumbers, tomato, and goji berries. a great breakfast salad!

  • hollyleonardson

    Holly Leonardson from hollyleonardson said 7 years ago

    Eating seasonally is great and cheaper too! In Australia you can find oranges from the USA in our supermarkets (now we buy all our produce at Farmers Markets and our local green grocer) Also, big thanks for including my collage illustration as the posts title image :-) Psst... I love all fruit and vegies except for pawpaw.

  • elleestpetite

    Donna Thai from PetiteCuisine said 7 years ago

    I love spinach, carrots, and corn. And with fruits I tend to go with granny smith apples, plums, strawberries and blueberries.

  • LittleWrenPottery

    Victoria Baker from LittleWrenPottery said 7 years ago

    I have a difficult relationship with apples, I find them a little boring sometimes but I love soft fruits - cherries, strawberries, blackberries. All so tasty!

  • thebibliophile

    thebibliophile from thebibliophile said 7 years ago

    I've recently learned how to make my Mum's delicious carrot and potato soup, now I think I've been bitten by the soup bug as I keep researching new recipes to try XD

  • kimberleeannkreation

    Kim Brooks from kimberleeannJewelry said 7 years ago

    Great story, Cate!!! I grew up on a vegetable farm so freshly picked, raw veggies were abundant and delicious - there is nothing sweeter to eat than a raw ear of corn while sitting on the back of the wagon traveling back to the Farm Stand with our baskets full. Everything just tastes better standing in the garden rows, picking and eating - peas, stringbeans, a freshly dug potatoe (with the dirt wiped off, of course) :) Yum!

  • paisleybeading

    LuAnn Poli from PaisleyBeading said 7 years ago

    Thanks for this post, Cate. Sorry to say, I don't quite hit the 5 per day goal. :( I want to start experimenting with smoothies. Also, now that our Pennsylvania weather is getting cooler, I'd like to find some savory soup recipes to make.

  • PennyBirchWilliams

    Penny Birch-Williams from PennyBirchWilliams said 7 years ago

    I too grew up eating canned or frozen veggies and hated them. Started eating salads in my teens and that's still my fav way to eat them. Romaine lettuce and carrots are my favorite veggies, and I eat frozen blueberries and bananas in my oatmeal every morning. I make fruit & veg smoothies frequently. Everything organic and local whenever possible.

  • takeapicturedesigns

    Lynne from RiverSpring said 7 years ago

    We also have a garden here. Nothing like a fresh tomato! Thanks for this post. from Lynne

  • mythunderstood

    mythunderstood from mythunderstood said 7 years ago

    Fantastic collection! green smoothies have taken a back seat to homemade veg and wild mushroom soups now that the weather is cooler.

  • accentonvintage

    accentonvintage from accentonvintage said 7 years ago

    Great post! love veggies!

  • jzalewski

    Jennifer Zalewski from jzalewski said 7 years ago

    Your from Richmond?! Awesome! (sorry for the random comment, it's just so exciting to see so many people from here popping up on the net :D)

  • Iammie

    iammie from iammie said 7 years ago

    I enjoyed it!

  • sbanghart

    Sheena Lewis from BeautifulAgainBridal said 7 years ago

    Growing up, I hated veggies too - but my husband and I want to set a good example for our children, so we are learning ways to make them taste amazing so our future babies won't every have to think they are gross!

  • BambuEarth

    Amber from BambuEarth said 7 years ago

    This couldn't be more timely. I just purchased my first CSA box. I was nervous at first because we always purchase lots of fruits and veggies, but they seem to turn bad within a few days. But the box came like a present on Christmas morning anyway filled with peaches, plums, pears and some other fruit I've never had before along with seasonal veggies. The difference between fruit and vegetables from the local farm and those from the grocer is staggering. They are so much fresher, sweeter and last much longer when you buy them locally. Plus, only 10 percent of food purchased in California is from California! Can you believe that? This shouldn't be so. The more we can purchase locally, the more sustainable our community will be and not to mention you'll benefit with FRESH, long lasting food!

  • BambuEarth

    Amber from BambuEarth said 7 years ago

    We live in a small apartment so we don't have much room for a garden.. but that is our next step! We want to be able to take it a step further and grow our own food. Especially herbs. And I especially want to start growing the ingredients I use in my soap to minimize our global footprint. We'd also like to have a few chickens... well, I'D like to have a few... I'm still working on convincing my husband who is a very urbaner (is that a word?). :)

  • ReleafPaper

    Heather from ReleafPaper said 7 years ago

    I want my little three month old to eventually, unlike his sister, really enjoy the taste of veggies. It's so good to see veggies celebrated!

  • genisepark

    Genise Park from genisepark said 7 years ago

    Have always eaten seasonally....grow some of my own veggies...and now am planting more fruit trees. Love depending on my own ability to grow food.

  • WriteTheGoodWrite

    Kate Everett from WriteTheGoodWrite said 7 years ago

    Great post, but I would have loved to hear some advice on how to eat healthy and fresh fruits and veggies when you live in a cold climate. I live in Alberta, Canada near the Rockies so our growing season is about two months a year. Any suggestions about growing herbs inside or how to can veggies?

  • knitfitt

    Cate Fitt said 7 years ago

    Thank you all for your comments and delicious sounding smoothie recipes. Among my favorite fruits and vegetables are peaches, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, asian pears, crisp juicy apples, local tomatoes, arugula, brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes, winter squash, asparagus, edemame, parsley, swiss chard, to name a few.

  • Jularee

    Rita Riebel Mitchell from Jularee said 7 years ago

    The goodness of seasonal fruits and vegetables cannot be denied. I especially love Jersey corn, tomatoes, and blueberries. Yum! Today I roasted two fresh eggplants and will turn them into a fabulous dip for pita chips by simply peeling, chopping, and adding olive oil, garlic, a chopped tomato, and salt (optional). Yum, yum!

  • katelynsphipps

    Katelyn Phipps from katelynphippsphoto said 7 years ago

    Great finds!

  • LittleWhiteDresser

    Avishag Kopelman from LittleWhiteDresser said 7 years ago

    Love it!!

  • SavannahGuz

    Savannah Schroll Guz from SavannahGuzVintage said 7 years ago

    What a fantastic post!!

  • FreakyPeas

    FreakyPeas from FreakyPeas said 7 years ago

    I too struggle with the 5 a day. I often will make a smoothie to fit them all in!

  • FreakyPeas

    FreakyPeas from FreakyPeas said 7 years ago

    ..oh, except for Peas, of course!

  • ebkriley

    EBK Riley from DeeAndFee said 7 years ago

    Great reminder to be good to ourselves by taking advantage of what local growers can offer.

  • onelonelyapricot

    Kristen from onelonelyapricot said 7 years ago

    As a gardener, I love all these picks! Perfect for some gift ideas for the holidays!

  • connash1

    Connie Nash from OldStones said 7 years ago

    I love kale! I just discovered it this year. Hey, I live in Florida, and we have to import it most of the time! But I also love sugar pumpkins - great for soup and muffins, and seeds! When you eat local, you are most of the time avoiding GMOs, so eat local and eat organic! Love your post!

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