Fresh fruits are yummy AND healthy! The 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends that we should consume 4 servings of fruits per day. 1 serving of fruit is about ½ cup. The equivalent amount to a ½ cup serving is ½ cup fresh, frozen or canned fruit, 1 medium fruit (apple, orange, etc), ¼ cup dried fruit, or ½ cup fruit juice.
Besides enjoying eating and drinking fruits as they come, we can transform and incorporate them into decadent creations! Side dishes, appetizers, drinks, desserts, etc. They’re oh-so-colorful too!
1. Berry Good Smoothie: In a blender, combine 1 pitted nectarine, ¾ cup hulled strawberries, ¾ cup blueberries, 1/3 cup nonfat dry milk powder, and 1 cup crushed ice. Blend until smooth, pour into glass and serve!
2. Romaine and Fresh Strawberry Salad: Combine 2 cups romaine lettuce and 1/2 cup sliced strawberries in a bowl. Drizzle with 1 1/2 tablespoons raspberry vinaigrette dressing and toss well. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon cashews.
3. Cinnamon Rice with Apples: Combine ¾ cup uncooked white rice, 1.5 cup apple juice, 1 chopped and core apple, and 1/3 cup raisins. Season with cinnamon. Bring it to a boil, reduce heat to low, and cover for about 17 minutes. Lift lid, and see if rice is moist enough for your taste; if not, cook another couple minutes. Mix in fresh parsley. Serve immediately. You can pair the rice with a white meat main dish – complements each other really well!
4. Watermelon Fire and Ice Salsa: Combine in a large bowl 3 cups chopped watermelon, ½ cup chopped green bell pepper, 2 tbsp lime juice, 2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro, 1 tbsp chopped green onions, 1 tbsp chopped jalapeno pepper and ½ tsp garlic salt. Mix well and serve. The juicy watermelon replaces tomatoes in this salsa that’s simultaneously cool and spicy hot! Serve it with tortilla chips or use it as a topping for grilled chicken. Yum!!
5. Berries a la mode: Place 2 cup berries, such as raspberries, blueberries or strawberries, in a baking dish. Sprinkle with 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/3 cup low-fat granola. Bake at 350 F until fruit is bubbling, about 30 minutes. Top each serving with 1/2 cup fat-free vanilla ice cream.
Do you have other yummy ways of incorporating fresh fruits into delicious creations?
Assistance provided by Rachel Yam