here's the deal. I'm trying to incorporate more fruit into my diet.
-what fruits are in season right now that aren't ridiculously expensive? (I'm west-coast based)
-and what are some good recipes that incorporate fruit? dessert or whatever, I'm open to it
Please help in my attempt to eat healthier.... and wish me luck!
To answer the first question:
apples, pears, pomegranates, persimmons, quince, and variations on them are in season locally in California. Citrus is starting to come into season (I noticed the first mandarins of the season at the farmers market a couple of weeks ago). Actually, mandarins are great for an easy fruit snack, since they're easy to peel and small enough to be a comfortable single serving (apples and pears these days have gotten huge!).
Sometimes fruit seems expensive, but when you compare it to other foods you buy without questioning, you realize it's not. I mean, you'd pay a couple of bucks for a croissant without blinking, but half that for an organic varietal apple from the farmer's market seems "expensive." Most people these days pay more for their daily cup of coffee than they would for a piece of fruit.
You can often add fruit to things you're already eating -- add some slices of apple or pear or pieces of citrus to a salad and a throw in a few pomegranate seeds, for example. Pears and apples also go really well with cheese for a snack, dessert or a light lunch. I have a really great, completely easy fruit crisp recipe I'll link: http://www.recipesource.com/desserts/... (note: when I'm making it with apples or pears, I use brown sugar instead of white in the sugar that's mixed into the fruit).
I have two little ones who will eat fruit much more than vegetables, so we eat fruit at 2-3 meals per day here.
Cereal topped with frozen blueberries, blackberries, or raspberries
Vanilla yogurt topped with chopped nuts plus fruit of choice
Baked oatmeal - (lots of recipes out there) made in the oven the night before - include chopped apples or pears, raisins or Craisins, walnuts, nutmeg, cinnamon, can do peaches or blackberries to make it more cobbler-like. I make a whipped cream to go on top sweetened with raw sugar or brown sugar.
Lunch or Snacktime:
Fruit and cheese plates - cheddar or gouda along with apples, pears, grapes. Add some nuts and a couple of whole grain crackers and this is very enjoyable.
Smoothies - vanilla yogurt blended with a splash of juice and some frozen berries or peaches
Fruit salads as a side dish - chopped banana, apple, grapes, whatever else I have on hand. A really good combo that my mom always makes is called ambrosia - orange sections, sweetened shredded coconut, and pecans. It's really good in the wintertime.
We also make a lot of homemade lemonade - in the winter we use Meyer lemons (the season is upon us - yay!) or else just ReaLemon from the bottle. I make my iced tea with half tea, half lemonade. (Or limeade).
As far as desserts, we make berry cobblers a lot.
Enjoy! Fruit is addictive - once you add a lot of it in, you will love it.
maestra: i agree, i hardly use fruit in cooking... and so when life gets busy, i forgo the peeling and cutting, which means i get zero fruit in my diet unless i pick up a parfait. that said, i'm not sure why frozen fruit never crossed my mind!! thank you! (i am in CA)
rcallner: asian pear with cheese! who would have thought!!! it sounds like something i'd be addicted to, and it is on my grocery list! thanks...
Don't eat much fruit? Perhaps you're more of a savory person? Try mixing it up....
So - you must be someplace like CA? I figure you can get fresh Asian pears (nashi) - crisp, juice, very flaorful, peel and slice into 8ths and snack on 'em with a sharp cheddar cheese. There's everything to like.
Frozen peaches and berries, as observed by maestra, are marvelous. I like 'em with plain yogurt.
Where are the west coast are you?
I try to get my fruit by mixing it with non-fat vanilla yogurt for lunch every day. Frozen fruit is great for this use.
My current combo is fresh passion fruit, a sliced banana, and a large helping of thawed frozen blueberries.
I put a sliced banana in every day. Other frequent additions (frozen): black raspberries (from TJ's), strawberries, raspberries, peaches. If you buy frozen bags, your money goes a long way. Funny thing is, when I prepare my yogurt in front of colleagues in the break roon, someone always mentions how delicious it looks. Then they go back to eating their processed frozen meal or greasy leftover that probably cost 3x what my yogurt and fruit cost.
When in season, I might add stone fruits or fresh berries, but I generally prefer those eaten out-of-hand.
Of course some piece of seasonal fruit (persimmon, pear, apple, etc.) is my snack on the drive home.
I'm probably in the minority in believing fruit should seldom to never be grilled, roasted, poached, etc. These techniques can improve the flavor of imperfect specimens, but most is too good as is to mess with. It upsets me to an unusual degree to see someone, say, grilling a perfect summer nectarine on a cooking show, and then proceeding to dump some sweet syrup (or worse, a vinegarette) on it. Why try to top nature's perfection?