Summer is almost here (well, it’s almost a month away so that counts, right?) and summer is peak fruit season. Consuming at least two or more servings of fruit a day provides you with fiber, vitamins, minerals, and a healthy source of carbohydrates, but many people are so used to eating cereal or eggs for breakfast, and having cake or cookies for dessert, when fruit would be a healthier option.
Depending on where you live, different types and varieties of fruit may be in season during the summer, however, in most supermarkets and health food stores you can find fruit staples like oranges, bananas, apples, pears, and typically berries like strawberries and blueberries. If you’re lucky, you might also find mangos, papayas, and kiwis. During the summer months in the northeast, plums, peaches, and nectarines are all in season along with several different varieties of melons.
When thinking about ways to eat fruit, think out of the box! Fruit can be puréed and used in place of oil or eggs in muffin batter, juiced or blended into a smoothie, or added to accent a savory dish! Here are some other ways to enjoy fruit while getting a variety of vitamins and other nutrients.
Deconstructed Fruit Salads
Arrange fruit (and nuts, for a source of protein and healthy fats) on a plate and have a feast for your mouth and eyes. Children may especially be fond of these dishes due to the shapes and colors. For a fun activity, ask kids to describe the flavor and texture of each different type of fruit.
Nutella-like spread, or similar nut butter pairs well with apples and bananas!
Citrus fruit salad is not only fun to eat but visually appealing as well!
Pair sliced fruit along with a whole grain product, like a berry-oat muffin, oatmeal, or whole-grain cereal.
Smoothies & Juices
For smoothies, use a banana, soy yogurt, or low-fat yogurt, along with any other fruit you enjoy to create a quick yet filling breakfast or snack!
For juices, sneak in some veggies, like carrots or beets, in with your fruit for an extra-nutritious beverage!
Add to Savory Dishes
Try adding apples, citrus fruits, or mangoes to rice dishes, salads, or meals involving beans. I’ve found that fruit goes well with asian-inspired meals, especially with teriyaki sauce.
Kale salad with oranges, topped with pear dressing makes a vitamin A and vitamin C-rich meal.
Sliced mango added to a bean salad topped with various veggies and teriyaki sauce is one idea for a fruit-infused main course
For a crunchy meal, shred jicama (a root vegetable) or prepare brown rice, and add oranges, kale, bell pepper, and top with hot sauce for a variety of flavors and textures!
Get creative with fruit and always try new foods, new dishes, and experiment in the kitchen! If you enjoyed the pictures in this post, feel free to follow me on instagram @vitaminvalentine for even more creative visuals of healthy food and recipes!