Eat-a-Rainbow Summer Fruit Salad

Tuesday, June 27th, 2017

A few days ago I used the term “Eat a Rainbow,” which I have seen in magazines that focus on healthy recipes. I like this idea because it reflects the much earlier suggestion in dietary guidelines from the USDA and American Cancer Society to eat a variety of foods. By focusing on a variety of colors, we tap into nutrients that are found in these foods. In “Color Me Healthy — Eating for a Rainbow of Benefits” by Juliann Schaeffer in Today’s Dietitian,  (www.today’sdietitian.com), the author talks about phytochemicals, which I posted in my Glossary. Here is the excerpted definition below:

Phytochemicals are plant-derived essential nutrients scientifically confirmed as important to human health. There is evidence from laboratory studies that phytochemicals in fruits and vegetables may reduce the risk of cancer (Source: www.wikipedia.com).

The colors are indicators of nutrients and the darker the color, the denser the nutrients. For example, blackberries and blueberries contain the phytochemical anthocyanin. Anthocyanins are considered to be heart healthy. Green foods from chlorophyll (a natural plant pigment) are high in another phytochemical called isothiocyanate, which helps the liver deal with carcinogens that can lead to cancer. A subset of this is yellowishgreen foods that contain the phytochemical lutein, which is a nutrient for eye health. Reddish fruits & veggies contain lycopene, which is also associated with cancer reduction.

So, here is my rainbow fruit salad with several colors that could easily be a prime example of my motto, The Good Taste of Health. I used all organic fruits, but if you are unable to do so, check with the environmental group’s Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen (ewg.org.) for their current list. I always buy organic when I cannot peel the fruit, even if it is not on the Dirty Dozen list.

Utensils: Cutting board & knife, strainer or colander, serving bowl
Prep. Time: 10-15 minutes
Cooking Time: None!
Categories: Vegan if using non-dairy topping, Gluten-Free

Ingredients [Total:  1/2 – 2 cups (organic) fruits]

strawberries or raspberries  (RED)
grapes (red and/or green) or green kiwi (GREEN)
mango or papaya or pineapple (YELLOW, ORANGE)
blueberries and/or blackberries(BLUE)
avocado slices (optional)*(GREEN)
Coconut or almond sugar-free yogurt
Chopped walnuts or pecans or unsweetened dried coconut
2 t. Maple syrup (optional)

*Avocado is actually a fruit and its a smooth texture goes nicely with the other fruits.

Directions

  1. Wash all the fruits well and drain.
  2. Peel (if using) the mango, papaya, kiwi, and avocado and cut into small pieces or thin slices.
  3. Place the fruits in a serving bowl and right before serving, top with maple syrup (if using), yogurt, and/or nut or dried coconut.Serves two to four, depending on whether this is your whole breakfast or a snack or a side dish/appetizer. Also, feel free to use other ripe, organic fruits in season: peaches, plums, apricots, etc.

 

P.S. The rainbow in the title reminded me that this month is also Gay Pride Month and that we need all the colors to make a rainbow, just as we need all kinds of people to make the world a place in which everyone can participate without fear of prejudice or reprisals for their chosen lifestyles.

Note: I am posting this in 2 places: Home Page, and Kitchen Nutrition

End-of-August Stone Fruit Salad & Link to a Fall Salad in WVFC

Saturday, August 29th, 2015

A recent article in the Philadelphia Inquirer noted that August is the perfect month for stone fruits, that is fruits with pits, such as apricots, plums, peaches, nectarines and the  newer hybrids like plumcots (half plum, half apricot) or aprium (apricot more prominent than plum, fuzzier and thicker).

I went to Mom’s Organic Market hoping to find all of these stone fruits, but did not find the hybrids, so I decided to make a fruit salad that had mostly stone fruits and added grapes. If I can find what I want, I will post a recipe called Plum Crazy in a few days, even if it is September!  For now, here is my offering, made with organic fruits, since the peels are included for their beautiful colors as well as fiber and nutrition.

Utensils: Cutting board & knife, bowl for tossing, serving bowl(s)
Prep. Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: None!
Categories: Vegan, Gluten Free, No added sugar

Ingredients (Organic)

1-2 plums
1-2 apricots or 1/4 mango
1 nectarine
1 peach
grapes (I used green since the plums were the color of purple grapes)
orange or apple juice or pomegranate concentrate or red zinger iced tea
(These liquids are all unsweetened, since the fruits are sweet enough!)
Optional: Slivered almonds or unsweetened, dried coconut

Directions

1. Wash the fruits well. (If using a mango, peel and cut one section into small pieces.)
2. Cut and slice around the pits, making the pieces bite-sized. Wash grapes well and remove from stems. Place in a  bowl.
3. Add a small amount of unsweetened (orange) juice, one or two tablespoons of pomegranate or cherry concentrate, or some brewed iced tea such as red zinger tea.
4. Toss, place in serving bowls and place slivered almonds and coconut in small bowls for topping.

Variations: Use unsweetened applesauce or yogurt for toppings. Incorporate hybrid plums if available.

Yield: 2-4 servings, depending on size of the fruits and whether using it as a snack or as a main part of breakfast.

Apple-Pomegranate Fruit Salad in Women’s Voices for Change, Friday. August 28, 2015 (See link below photo)

As we inch towards fall, you may want to wait until the newly picked apples arrive before making this apple/pomegranate salad featured in Women’s Voices for Change. Here is the direct link. Please leave a comment if you care to. They keep track.

http://womensvoicesforchange.org/summer-recipes-apple-and-pomegranate-salad.htm

P.S. A few years ago I admired these ginko plates at Crate & Barrel. That year for my birthday, my daughter Basha surprised me with a gift of two of the plates and two of the miniature side dish ginkgoes for condiments. I love them!!!

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