Fresh Ideas for Fresh Fruit
by Mommy MD Guide Jennifer Hanes, DO
Do you find yourself buying fruit only to throw it out a seemingly few days later, covered in a white layer you wish was white chocolate? If only without the fuzz?
I encountered the same problem. I seemed to be throwing away more fruit than I was even buying. I began looking for alternative solutions and found some lovely ways to enjoy fresh fruit without so much waste.
- Many fruits can be frozen for smoothies. This works great for strawberries, blackberries, bananas and even melons. Cut the fruit into large chunks and save until ready to make your next smoothie.
- If smoothies aren’t popular at your house, you can also use the fruit chunks to make homemade popsicles. You can buy molds at the store or use ice cube trays and rounded toothpicks. The ice cubes make a great addition to club soda to give it a little more flavor without a lot of calories. A popular choice is strawberry ice cubes placed in homemade lemonade or limeade; club soda, fresh squeezed lime/lemon juice, and sugar to taste.
- Try frozen bananas! A friend of mine calls them, “nature’s popsicles.” Simply peel the banana and insert a popsicle stick into the end and freeze. We add a little extra by making a thin trough in the banana and squirt chocolate syrup in the trough before freezing. They’re so tasty, and they cost just pennies per serving.
- Our new favorite treat this summer is frozen grapes. I buy several pounds of grapes at a time at a warehouse club. After a good washing, I pull them off the stem, and I freeze them into several different bags. My children often prefer these to store bought popsicles. Warning: Grapes are a high-risk choking food, so check with your pediatrician before serving these to children younger than age three. I personally waited until my kids were three years old and I made sure ensure they sat still while eating them so they would focus on chewing.
- My favorite treat is blueberries. My preferred breakfast is blueberries mixed with honey-flavored Greek yogurt. To me, this is a decadent breakfast, and it’s shockingly good for less than 200 calories and 12 grams of protein.
- While my last tip doesn’t make the fruit last longer, it does ensure it’s eaten quickly. We learned this watching the sign language DVDs called SigningTime. In the series about colors, Rachel Coleman created a story and song about making “Rainbow Salad.” My children literally ask me to make Rainbow Salad. We have a lot of fun going around the produce section discussing which fruits to include, “Shall we pick green grapes or kiwi fruit?” Sometimes the discussion involves lessons on if green beans are a fruit or a vegetable. The biggest benefit to Signing Time DVDs is my son could sign and name the colors of the rainbow in order, when he was barely three years old.
Although these tips are not unique to my family, they have changed how frequently we eat fruit and make healthier choices in a fun way. I placed photos and other ideas on Pinterest to give specific tips and help you find more healthy food recipes. Please let me know how you enjoy incorporating fruit into your day and tips to keep it fresh longer. Be Well!