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Fill Up on Fruit!

By Alana Sugar, June 8, 2009  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Alana Sugar
Fruit Kabobs Summer is the perfect time to lighten up your diet and eat healthier. I can't think of a sweeter way to do that than with fruit! It tastes great and adds variety and natural sweetness to your diet. People who eat a variety of fruit as part of an overall healthy diet are likely to reduce their risk of some of the chronic diseases that are prevalent today. Fruit provides nutrients vital for health and maintenance of your body, and eating a variety every day is a great way to maximize good nutrition. Dark and brightly colored fruit such as berries, plums and mangoes are high in healthful antioxidants. Make sure to eat apples, figs and kiwis for helpful fiber too. Not eating much fruit? No problem! Try these helpful tips to get you going.
    Berry Blue Salad
  • Track your servings of fruits for a week and then challenge yourself to eat a few more the next week. Aim for five to nine servings of fruits and veggies a day.
  • Add variety! Experiment with unfamiliar fruits to sample new flavors and boost your nutrition.
  • Shop for fresh fruits in season - this will keep down the costs and the flavor will be at its best.
  • Keep fruit easily accessible. This means having it pre-washed and ready to eat. This is easier for snacking kids, too.
  • Choose whole fruit over fruit juice for the complete package of vitamins, minerals, fibers, and enzymes.
  • Fruit is not meant for snacking and dessert only! Experiment with fruit as part of a meal or a side dish. Apple Pear Sauce is great alongside roast pork. Grilled Mango Salsa adds wonderful flavor to grilled fish or chicken. Add fruit to a green salad: Peaches make a colorful addition Arugula Salad with Peaches and Blue Cheese, and Strawberries are sweet in Spinach and Strawberry Salad.
Stuck in a fruit rut? Head to our produce department for visual inspiration! Here's the next best thing: some of our favorites. StrawberriesBerries: blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries Stone Fruits: apricots, cherries, nectarines, peaches, plums Tropical Fruits: bananas, plantains, papaya, pineapple, guava, mango Citrus Fruits: grapefruit, limes, lemons, oranges, tangerines Classic Fruits: apples, pears, red grapes, green grapes Melons: cantaloupe, honeydew, watermelon Fresh, Frozen or Canned? Fresh fruit is best but having frozen and canned fruits on hand ensures that they're always "in season" in your pantry. The canned tomato (yes, a tomato is a fruit!) in all its chopped, diced, sauce and paste forms, is a special case. The heat processing of canning actually makes the lycopene (a beneficial antioxidant that gives tomatoes their red color) easier for your body to absorb. And don't forget that dried fruits have their place too! Fill Up on Fruit Here are some ideas on how to easily add more fruit to your day:
  • Add berries or pineapple to cottage cheese, ricotta cheese or yogurt
  • Add chopped mango or pineapple to your salsa - great with corn chips!
  • Add chopped or grated apples or pears to your oatmeal
  • Have a bowl of fresh berries with a light shaving of chocolate for dessert
  • Order fruit desserts when eating out.
  • When ordering breakfast out, have a side of fresh fruit. It's great with just about any omelet or oatmeal.
  • Throw fresh or frozen berries, peaches or mangoes into a smoothie
  • Add fruit to pancake or muffin batter
  • Fresh or frozen pitted cherries make an awesome summertime pie or crisp
Arugula SaladAnd let's wrap it up with a few delicious fruit-filled recipe suggestions: Banana Apricot Muffins Berry Blue Salad Berry Waffle Breakfast Sandwich Cherry Almond Smoothie Chilled Peach Soup Curried Chicken with Mango Shrimp Tacos with Fresh Pineapple Salsa Mango and Avocado Salad with Black Beans and Lime Vinaigrette Oatmeal Apple Pancakes Peach and Cucumber Salsa Watermelon Salad with Tomatoes, Goat Cheese and Basil Watermelon Tomato Gazpacho If you've got some fruit ideas or a favorite fruit recipe, I'd love to hear.

 

3 Comments

Comments

Ashley says ...
Thank you so much for the recipe suggestions. I've been trying to add more fruit to my diet for the antioxidants, but have gotten stuck in a rut. The curried chicken with mango sounds delicious!
06/09/2009 9:55:47 AM CDT
cooking4carnivores says ...
i have been adding fruit to my cocktails - like my watermelon mint frojito http://www.cooking4carnivores.com/2009/05/mouthwatering-watermelon-cocktail.html and rum spike pineapple chunks (instead of jello shots http://www.cooking4carnivores.com/2009/06/i-am-too-old-for-jello-shots.html
06/16/2009 1:09:49 PM CDT
Leo says ...
Brilliant recipes. A good way to introduce an array of fruits into your diet. It's no good just sticking to one or two types of fruit daily..you need a mix. By doing this you will get the full power of the antioxidants of the respective fruits. Currently, I juice most of my fruits and start off with a powerful cocktail in the morning to give me a great kick-start, however I am going to try these recipes..thanks!
03/24/2011 2:58:31 AM CDT