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Fun Ways to Refresh with Fruit
The hot days of summer are a cool time to refresh and hydrate, taking advantage of seasonal favorites from berries to watermelon! For about 60 calories per serving and loads of nutrients from eyesight assisting Vitamin A (orange colored choices) to heart smart potassium (cantaloupe, sweet cherries, melon, kiwi, etc), fruit can’t be beat as a nutritional sweet treat. From appetizer to dessert, here are some fresh ways to keep cool fresh from the produce department!
Keep a variety of these summer sensations on hand for the Summer Ideas listed below …
•Stone fruits (peaches, nectarines, and plums)
•Summer fresh berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries)
•Tropical treats (pineapple, papaya, mango)
•Melon mania: watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew – great slices on the grill
Summer Ideas for Breakfast
Wash and toss chopped fruit/berries into low fat yogurt or ready to eat cereal or oatmeal OR serve a wedge of melon topped with berries as a side to any breakfast meal.
Mix berries into whole wheat pancakes or layer any fruit in a parfait glass with whole grain low fat oatmeal.
•1/4 cantaloupe – peeled, seeded and cubed
•1/4 honeydew melon – peeled, seeded and cubed
•1 lime, juiced
•2 tablespoons sugar
Directions: In a blender, combine cantaloupe, honeydew, lime juice and sugar. Blend until smooth. Pour into glasses and serve.
Summer Ideas for Lunch
Serve premixed frozen fruit salad with any lunch or eat a whole peach, nectarine, or plum (look for plain fruit with no added sugars or sauces). Don’t forget the napkins!
Slice fruit and serve with peanut butter on whole wheat toast. Nectarine or strawberries are fantastic summer options to jelly!
Spicy Mango Salsa
•2 cups diced fresh mango
•2 cups fresh peaches, pitted and chopped
•2 cloves garlic, minced
•1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
•2 tablespoons chopped fresh ginger root
•2 serrano chile peppers, diced
•1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1.In a large bowl, mix together the mangoes, peaches or nectarines, garlic, ginger and basil or cilantro.
2.Add the chilies and lime juice to taste; mix well. Allow to chill 2 hours before serving.
Summer Ideas for Snacks
Wash and serve a colorful bowl of stone fruit, berries, or other favorite fruit “as is”.
Wash and slice a variety of fruits and serve with low fat yogurt for dipping or chunk up melon and stone fruit, serve in martini glasses with a spring of fresh mint or grill melon or pineapple slices and serve up next to any meal as a side or dessert. Freeze berries into 100% juice and serve in ice tea or water.
Watermelon Summer Salad
•3/4 cup halved, thinly sliced red onion
•1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
•1 1/2 quarts seeded, cubed watermelon
•1/2 cup pitted black olive halves
•1 cup chopped fresh mint
•2 tablespoons olive oil
•3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
1.Place the onion slices in a small bowl with the lime juice. The acid of the lime will mellow the flavor of the raw onion. Let stand for 10 minutes.
2.In a large bowl, combine the watermelon cubes, feta cheese, black olives, onions with the lime juice, and mint. Drizzle olive oil over it all, and toss to blend. Dig in and be prepared for a pleasant surprise!
Summer Ideas for Dinner
Serve a wedge of melon as a salad or appetizer, or freeze grapes to eat individually as an appetizer or part of dessert.
Create a fruit salsa to serve over fish, chicken, or pork.
Strawberry Balsamic Chicken
•4 (8 ounce) containers strawberry yogurt
•1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
•1 tablespoon white sugar
•1 tablespoon ground black pepper
•1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
•1 teaspoon kosher salt
•2 tablespoons olive oil
•1 teaspoon lemon juice
•4 large strawberries
•2 teaspoons minced fresh parsley
•1 teaspoon minced fresh mint leaves
•1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar (optional)
•4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1.In a medium bowl, stir together the yogurt, 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar, sugar, pepper, cinnamon and salt. Place chicken breast halves in a shallow baking dish, and pour the sauce over them. Refrigerate for 1 hour, turning chicken over half way through.
2.Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Scrape the marinade off of the chicken breasts, and place them into the hot oil. Quickly brown the chicken on both sides, then reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and cook until chicken is no longer pink and juices run clear, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat, and let rest for 3 minutes.
3.While the chicken is cooking, transfer the marinade to a saucepan. Bring to a low simmer over medium heat. Remove stems from strawberries, and slice thinly so they will fan nicely. Set aside.
4.Slice chicken breasts on the diagonal into 1/2 inch thick slices. Place on serving plates, and sprinkle with lemon juice. Spoon about 2 tablespoons of the marinade over each chicken breast, and fan one sliced strawberry over the top. Garnish with a sprinkle of fresh mint and parsley. If you really love balsamic vinegar, finish the dish off with an artful drizzle.
Summer Ideas for Dessert
Serve fruit layered with angel food cake in a tall glass.
Make a berry/melon/sliced fruit kabob and drizzle low fat yogurt or dark chocolate syrup over it. Serve on a platter sprinkled with cocoa powder and garnished with a full strawberry with stem still attached.
Raspberry Peach Crumble*
•1 pint fresh raspberries
•13 fresh peaches, pitted and chopped
•2 tablespoons lemon juice
•1/3 cup white sugar
•1 pinch cinnamon
•1 cup rolled oats
•¼ cup brown sugar
•¼ cup white sugar
•1 teaspoon vanilla extract
•1 teaspoon salt
•1 pinch cinnamon
•½ cup unsalted butter
1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease 6 small ramekins.
2.In a bowl, mix the raspberries, peaches, lemon juice, 1/3 cup white sugar, and 1 pinch cinnamon.
3.In a separate bowl, mix the oats, butter, brown sugar, ¼ cup white sugar, vanilla, salt, and 1 pinch cinnamon.
4.Fill the prepared ramekins with equal amounts of the raspberry and peach mixture, and top with equal amounts of the oats mixture. Arrange the ramekins on a baking sheet.
5.Bake 35 minutes in the preheated oven, until crisp and golden brown. Cool 10 minutes before serving.
*A Crumble keeps fat and added calories to a minimum when compared to two crust pies. Monitor portion control and enjoy as part of a balanced meal.
Recipes courtesy of allrecipes.com
Kim Kirchherr, MS, RD, LDN, CDE
Insider’s Viewpoint Archive
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