Thursday, May 27, 2010

Fruit of the Loom

This morning, I just happened to stumble upon a wonderful article from Runner's World about all things fruit... since I am not much of a veggie person, I tend to eat A LOT of fruit, which I have to watch at times because all that sugar can really add up--though we all know its better than that ice cream I am really craving.
The article, Sweet Success, shows you different ways to introduce fruit into your diet or increase your consumption if you already eat it: take a peak at what I found interesting...

The  La Bouqueria (Fresh Market) I Visited in Barcelona, Spain!
"Spring and summer fruits are nearing peak ripeness. Aside from tasting great, they're rich in potassium, vitamin C, beta-carotene, and phytonutrients that speed recovery. Fruit also lowers risk for heart disease and cancer. To get your three to four daily servings, try these creative ways of preparing it. Your health (and taste buds) will reap the rewards.
GRILL IT
WHY: Cooking fruit over high heat concentrates flavors and caramelizes natural sugar. Any fruit sturdy enough to rest on a grill (like pineapple and mango) will work, as will fruits held together by their skin, such as plums and peaches.
HOW: Remove inedible skin (like banana peels). Cut fruit in half and remove pits or seeds. Soak fruit in water for about 10 minutes. You can infuse the water with mint or cinnamon. Brush fruit with a little melted butter. With the flame on medium, place fruit on grill and cook, turning, until browned.

BAKE IT
WHY: Fruit is water-rich, so it stays moist when slowly baked at a low temperature. Since the fruit and juices cook in the same dish, it retains much of its nutrients. Try baking a single type of fruit or a mixture, such as blueberries and raspberries, for different textures and flavors.
HOW: Place sliced, chunked, or halved fruit in a greased baking dish. Add cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and crumb topping (made from chopped nuts, sugar, and flour). Bake at 350° F for 30 to 60 minutes until tender; the firmer the fruit and the larger the quantity, the longer it takes to cook.

POACH IT
WHY: Simmering fruit in liquid helps enhance flavor and soften texture; it's ideal for fruit that isn't quite ripe. Serving the poaching liquid with the fruit ensures you get most of the fruit's nutrients.
HOW: Place whole or halved fruit in a saucepan (keep edible skin on). Add juice, wine, or water sweetened with honey until liquid barely covers fruit. Add vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Simmer until soft (10 minutes for small fruit like cherries; an hour for large, hard fruit like pears). Remove fruit, cook liquid into a syrup, and then spoon over the fruit.

Raw Material
EATING UNCOOKED FRUIT ensures all of its nutrients remain intact. And its natural sweetness complements just about every flavor, making it easy to add to a range of dishes.
CHOP IT Make a fruit salad with less common fruits, such as black and golden raspberries, for new flavors and nutrients.
SLICE IT Add thin slices of pears or grape halves to sandwiches and wraps.
DICE IT Finely chop tropical fruits like papaya and mango and add to salsa—use to top fish and meat.
SHRED IT Add apple or coconut to coleslaw and salads.
PUREE IT Whirl berries with yogurt and honey in a blender for a recovery smoothie.
DRINK IT Blend lemonade and watermelon for a refreshing way to stay hydrated.

I also found a really interesting health quiz here... as I am always one to test myself to see how healthy my diet and exercise regime REALLY IS, I thought this was extremely helpful. It rates you based on your eating habits, whether or not you use supplements, your exercise routine, and your overall health choices and general health. I scored a WELL and received mostly thumbs up, though it looks as though I need to eat more beans {gross!} and decrease my intake of red meat {never going to happen} =) 

6 comments:

  1. I love grilled fruit especially pineapple and peaches. Also have been experimenting with different "salsa" type combinations like mango salsa which goes great with grilled meats. Thanks for the tip because I just got my runner's world and have not read it yet :)

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  2. This is amazing! Love all things fruit. Thanks!!! :)

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  3. NEW FOLLOWER! :) WOOO!

    Love your blog! It is so cute!

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  4. A true southerner ..... never going to let the red meat go! Haha, protein is good for us right?! :)

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  5. Loved this post! I love fruit too but have never grilled it. Mmm. Perfect for summer!

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