When the nutritionists that be came out with their recommendation of 5-9 servings of fruits and veggies each day, I must admit I was shocked. Let’s see, with three meals per day and perhaps a mid-morning and mid-afternoon snack, this means we must consume two servings of fruit or vegetables with each meal, in addition to two in-between meal snacks consisting of fruit or vegetables, in order to fall 1 serving short of the optimum by the end of each day! I don’t know about you, but my brain is taxed by such a challenge!
Breakfast? Should I be prepared to fix an omelet stuffed with veggies, or fruit crepes every day? I could make a fruit smoothie, but not every day. Lunch? When lunch time rolls around, you’re bound to be hungry. Does that slice of tomato and lettuce leaf on the burger count as a serving? Nope. A serving is defined as a half cup. On the other hand, a salad makes a tasty lunch for a few days of the week. Dinner … here come the veggies, bring ’em on! Ah! A fruit salad recipe could fill in for a few breakfast choices. As a matter of fact, fruit salad recipes fit into any meal of the day. Are we on to something here? Fruit salad recipes can be standalone meals, wedged into a salad and served as dessert, or a snack.
Realizing that this cornucopia of produce is really good for my health, full of antioxidants and all of those lovely vitamins, I put on my thinking cap and tried to come up with as many fruit salad recipe combinations as possible, giving variety to these endless dishes of nutrition. Here’s what I came up with. (BTW, consuming all of these as proscribed, you’ll lose weight, so the idea can’t be all bad.)
There’s no question that fresh fruit makes the best tasting fruit salad recipes. There are always fruits in season somewhere, although imported fruit goodies like guavas, mangoes and pineapple can be a bit heavy on the budget. During the spring, summer and fall, fresh fruits are fairly reasonable, but winter presents a challenge to the budget conscious consumer. In winter, you may opt to go with frozen or canned fruits for your fruit salad recipe ingredients. For canned, fruit cocktail, bing cherries and diced pineapple seem most suited to fruit salads. Among the frozen fruit, berries are my favorites. With that said, here are fruit combinations I’ve come to love.
For springtime, a mix of fresh strawberries, banana, oranges and fresh pitted cherries are a winner. Combine your fruits with Pina Colada flavored yogurt and a little shredded coconut. So tasty, you’ll want seconds.
In the off season, a can of diced pineapple, brushed with brown sugar water, broiled briefly to caramelize, and then combined with halved maraschino cherries and non dairy whipped topping is delicious.
In summer, when melons are abundant and inexpensive, try a mix of diced, fresh watermelon, cantaloupe and casaba melons. This fruit salad recipe can be eaten ‘as is’, for a refreshing treat, for any meal, snack or dessert.
Raisins and carrots are a classic combo, with orange Jell-o(TM). Alternatively, you can mix the fruit and veggie in a creamy slaw-style dressing with a couple of finely diced, crunchy apples.
Sliced almonds, mini marshmallows and a little juice from canned fruit folded into real whipping cream are other lovely ingredients to throw in to any fruit salad recipe.
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While you may still not get your 5-9 servings, you’ll be well along the way.