Don’t fear the fruit! Fruit is a great source of fiber, but best of all- quick energy! Here’s tasty ways to eat more fruit.
I’m a huge fan of eating from ALL the food groups, including fruit! Our portion plates include every food group because it’s the healthiest way to eat, and is a good way to make sure you’re getting all your nutrients in a day.
We often hear about how fruit is full of sugar. There is some truth to that, some fruits are a larger percentage carbohydrates, which are broken down into sugars. But, these sugars from fruit are essential to give us energy! And who couldn’t use more energy, am I right? (get a list of fruits with their carbs here)
Fruit is also a great source of fiber that helps the release and breakdown of sugar last longer.
As with any food group we shouldn’t overeat fruits. We won’t get the important nutrients that are in other foods and we won’t stay full as long.
Fruits are an important part of our diet, so how do we make the most of them? I’ll share a few tips on how to get the most out of your fruit, from buying, prepping, storing and recipes to go along.
Taste and texture matters to enjoy fruit
I am one of those people that thinks food should taste good, that includes fruit. There are some fruits I do not like eating such as mushy apples, overripe bananas or tart blueberries. I find that when possible fruit tastes best when bought in season and if possible local.
Citrus in the winter is so much juicier and has a stronger taste, apples in the fall are crisp and watermelon in the summer has the best flavor. Eating fruit by the season when possible will help you find the best tasting fruit and help you include a variety of fruits.
To help keep fresh fruits fresh longer, don’t wash them ahead of time, wash them right before you eat them. Most fruits will ripen if they are sat out on the counter, so keep them in the fridge especially berries and fruit that is already ripe.
Fruit doesn’t have to be fresh to be healthy
There are fruits you can buy other than fresh. Canned fruits are a good option, and it’s not just canned fruit cocktail. There are lots of available fruits, like pears, peaches, mandarins, and pineapple.
It is best to buy the ones that are either canned in their own juice or in water, you don’t want a sugar syrup. Applesauce is one of my favorite canned fruits, you can use it as a sweetener while baking to decrease the added sugar, you can eat it plain or have it with other foods like on pancakes or with yogurt.
Berries are a great frozen option, they keep well, you can use them in baking, like these blueberry muffins, eat them as a snack or add them to smoothies. Pineapple and bananas are great frozen fruits to keep on hand for smoothies like some of these smoothies. Grapes and mango chunks make a great frozen snack or treat.
Dried fruit can be a tricky one, the serving size is smaller than fresh fruits, which is nice and you don’t need as much. But there are lots of dried fruit with sugar added to them. This is the one ingredient to be aware of with dried fruits.
I like adding raisins to granola or having dried apricots as a snack. Dried fruit also makes a good treat, like these apple chips. Make sure to drink some extra water to balance out the dried fruit, eating too much without water can cause constipation.
How to add fruit to other dishes
It doesn’t take much fruit to give flavor to other dishes. Salads are an easy way to add fruit. You can make a apple chicken salad and eat it like lettuce wraps or as a salad. It tops a salad with peaches and grilled chicken like this salad. Some fruit even goes well with hot items like this pineapple teriyaki chicken bowl.
Make it Dessert
Fruit makes a great treat, it’s already sweet and full of flavor. Use dried fruit in this cranberry white chocolate protein cookie dough. Or use fresh fruit in a parfait with yogurt and granola. Or make a sweet dip for fruit like this chocolate dip or caramel greek yogurt dip.
There are so many ways to include fruit in smart ways, where you get the delicious flavor without overeating. Buy good looking fruit, if it starts to get over ripe use it or freeze it to use later. Fruit is an easy quick energy food. It can be great to include with a meal, have for a snack or enjoy as a treat.
I’d love to hear some of your favorite ways to include fruit.
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