How to Easily Add More Fruit Into Your Daily Diet
Introduction: Fruit is Good for You
Unlike vegetables, fruits usually don't have a negative reputation among picky eaters. Many fruits taste sweet and require little preparation to be enjoyable. Most fruit fans are used to grabbing a banana or apple on the go and eating it as is. However, if you long for a more unique fruit treat, there are plenty of fun and creative ways to prepare fruits so that you can enjoy a medley of new flavors.
1. Fruit Salad
When you think of a salad, you probably imagine lettuce covered in croutons and carrots with a taste of dressing on the top. A fruit salad can be a delicious alternative. These salads can be as easy as throwing a collection of various fruit pieces into a bowl and drizzling a light dressing over it. Berries work well together to create a complete salad. Bananas, mandarin oranges and kiwis are popular additions, too.
Need some ideas? Try these:
- Ambrosia Fruit Salad - This salad uses strawberries, pineapples, kiwis and more.
- Strawberry Melon Summer Salad - This simple recipe just uses yogurt, honey and lemon juice to add a zest to your favorite fruits.
- Nectarine and Berry Salad - You can make this easy recipe with a bit of lime juice and ginger.
2. Make Your Own Fruit Snacks
Creating your own fruit leather isn't nearly as hard as it might seem. Fruit leather doesn't require any special equipment beyond your oven and a food processor. If you want to get advanced and speed up the process, you can also use a food dehydrator. To start, you just need a bunch of fruit (apricots, strawberries and raspberries are popular choices). Puree the fruit, spread it on a baking sheet, and toss it in the oven at a low heat. It will take a few hours to dehydrate, but you'll have a delicious treat when it's all done. In addition, you'll have complete control over the recipe; you can skip adding all the sugar typically found in fruits snacks at the grocery store.
Make your next bowl of ice cream at least slightly healthier by opting for a fresh fruit topping medley. All berry varieties work especially great for frozen treats. If you ever go to a self-serve frozen yogurt shop, select the fruit topping options instead of the candy. Fruit toppings also go well on many other foods, including oatmeal and cereal.
4. Cook/Bake it Inside
One great way to use fruit is to bake it in something that doesn't usually include it. Pancakes are a great example; blueberries and other berries are common additions to pancakes. You can also put fruit pieces into cakes, breads, cupcakes and other baked goods. This is a great way to sneak in some healthy additions to an otherwise decadent treat. Use this option if you have children who hesitate to eat fruit regularly.
Fruit smoothies are a blank canvas with so many options to choose from. Simple variations include just blending up any combination of fruits with ice. If you want a creamier smoothie, try using plain yogurt or sorbet as your base and simply add in your favorite fruit pieces. You can also substitute with flavored yogurts but remember that those yogurts tend to be high in added sugar.
Need some inspiring ideas for your next fruit smoothie? Try these:
6. Make Your Own Jam
Making your own jam is a great way to avoid eating the extremely sugary options at the grocery store. Some recipes are as simple as combining blended fruit, a bit of sugar and some lemon juice. If you really want to be adventurous, you can learn the art of canning and preserve your jams year round. Imagine eating strawberries you picked yourself in your own jam in December!
Try some of these jam recipes:
7. Grill Your Fruit
It's easy to cook your fruit into a delicious caramelized treat using skewers and a grill. You can grill just about any fruit, but some work better than others at not falling off the skewer. Whatever you end up using, cut the fruit into small pieces and poke the skewer through them. Once you start grilling, keep an eye on the fruit and turn them until they are golden brown. For an added taste, sprinkle some brown sugar on the fruit before grilling.
8. Make Popsicles
Making fruit popsicles is easy with a set of popsicle molds. Like smoothies, popsicle recipes are completely up to your imagination. After creating your mixture, just place it in the mold and stuff it in the freezer. If you don't have any molds, you can get away with using any sort of container that is freezer safe (meaning it won't crack when it freezes). Just don't forget to put in the popsicle sticks!
9. Fruit Drinks
When you're feeling less like a creamy, thick smoothie, try a fruit drink. You can go as simple as using a juicer to extract the juice out of a bunch of different fruit or make your own hand-squeezed orange juice. You can also use a blender to make some more unique drinks with rarely used fruits for juice, such as watermelons. Homemade lemonade is always a great choice too.
Using your oven, you can make a variety of delicious roasted treats. You can apply a variety of seasonings before roasting to make your treat especially mouth-watering. For fruits like apples and peaches, roasting them is as easy as slicing them up and cooking them in the oven. Try coating with brown sugar and cinnamon to make a tasty fruit dessert.