The CICOA Blog

Fruit Is Dessert! Enjoy Summer’s Harvest

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Whether it’s picked fresh off the tree, selected at the grocer or from your favorite farmers market or stand, ’tis the season to enjoy a fruitful harvest.

Fresh whole fruits, while containing natural sugar, also are packed with water, vitamins, minerals, fiber and phytonutrients that are beneficial to the body. Compare that with the average American diet consisting of 19.5 teaspoons of added sugars a day—empty calories that make us not only fat, but also sick. (According to the American Heart Association, the maximum amount of added sugars you should consume in a day is nine teaspoons for men, and six for women.)

Fruit is Naturally Sweet

Not a fan of plain fruit? Retrain your taste buds to enjoy the sweetness of fresh fruit with these tips:

  • Eat fruit at its full ripeness. Buying fruit in season has more flavor than when out of season. Have you ever eaten a strawberry fresh from a field or backyard garden? It tastes completely different than the strawberries you’ll find in the grocery store in the winter.
  • Pack fruit el natural or in a baggie for short trips. On your way out the door in the morning, grab a piece of fruit to take along as a mid-day snack so you won’t be tempted with not-so-healthy alternatives. Fruit with a natural skin on it–like bananas, pears, apples, peaches and nectarines—are an easy treat, but you can also pack fruits like grapes, blueberries or strawberries in a baggie.
  • Eat a variety of colors. The vibrant colors found in fruit are not only appetizing, but also are indicators of their potential health benefits. Including a variety of colors in your diet helps ensure your nutritional needs are being met.

Cool off with cool treats.

  • Nothing says summer like watermelon. Mix up a Razzelberry Shiver or make your own frozen treat the old-fashioned way, in an iced cube tray.
  • Freeze blueberries or raspberries in the summer, and then sprinkle the frozen berries onto cereal, yogurt or salads year-round.
  • Make a pretty parfait by layering your favorite yogurt, granola and fresh fruit to make a beautiful and nutritious treat, or try this Cherry-Blueberry trifle.

Or, turn up the heat with these Healthy Ways to Cook Fruit:

  • Boil apples with lemon juice and cinnamon. Mash up and serve warm or chilled.
  • Stir Fry pineapple and mango in a honey ginger sauce.
  • Sauté peeled pear and apple slices in a skillet with a little butter until tender. Add marmalade and orange slices, remove from heat and serve for a fruity dessert.
  • Grill pineapple peaches and mangos

However you eat it, just be sure to enjoy the fruitful harvest before summer’s end!