Tuesday, January 10, 2012


Fruit gets a bad reputation because it's sweet and often used in desserts. The truth is fruit is part of a balanced diet. I will note here that the definition of a fruit/vegetable is speculative. There is no 100% criteria for determining what is a fruit and what is a vegetable so you may find that your viewpoint is different from mine. Controversial foods include avocados and tomatoes.
I'm sticking with the more traditional view - apples, pears, peaches, grapes, bananas, etc.
The interesting thing about fruit is the variety of color. There are some vegetables that hit the various spectrum but fruit has more. It's that spectrum that we need to concern ourselves with more than the number of fruits and vegetables we eat.
If you have not heard of eating the spectrum, it's also been called eating the rainbow. The colors are red, white/green, blue/purple, yellow/orange, yellow/green, according to my favorite chart. The idea is to eat 2-3 items in each color each week for the most balanced diet. However, if you eat in season this becomes more difficult especially for those in the North, like me.
Strangely, we opt to eat fruit raw more so than any other food. There's something wonderful about fresh fruit but that doesn't mean it won't make a nice warm addition to a meal.
I like to add fresh fruit to oatmeal for my morning meal. On the weekend, I take the time to make the oatmeal on the stove instead of instant. This is easy - 3 1/2 cups milk to 2 cups oatmeal. Heat the milk on the stove over med-high heat stirring constantly. Add the oatmeal and cook until tender and most of the milk is absorbed. I like pouring in molasses to give the oatmeal a sweet flavor but no extra sugar. We serve with a little milk to cool the surface (I often reduce the milk to 3 cups for cooking so I can add extra to the top) and fresh fruit. If I'm serving apples then I top with cinnamon. If I serve with berries, I top with a teaspoon of sugar to cut the tartness of the berries. You can add the fruit to the pot while cooking but I prefer them fresh.
Add fruit to dinner by tossing in some with your dish. Rice is great with dried cranberries and some nuts. Slice apples over your pork dish while baking.
There are several ways to cook/prepare fruit and I will go over some of those as this week progresses.

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