Fruit bowls are nice enough, but they often wait silently and untouched in the middle of your kitchen, slowly over-ripening until they have to be thrown away. Get the most out of your fresh fruits with only a few extra ingredients.
Selection and Preparation
Buying fresh fruit in season is cheaper and healthier than canned or frozen fruit. Shop at a local farmer's market for the freshest selection. If the fruit you desire is not available fresh, frozen fruit is definitely preferable to canned, which usually floats in a sugary and unhealthy syrup. Also look for exotic fruits, and coax your taste buds out of hibernation. Ethnic grocery stores are perfect for stocking up on these far-flung varieties, such as papaya, star fruit and persimmons. Experimentation is a perfect way to get a feel for what fruit flavors go together well. Start with what you have, what is about to go bad, or what is in season and on sale at the store. Remember that increasing the variety of fruit colors used increases the range of vitamins in your fruit concoction. Always rinse or even scrub your fruits thoroughly before peeling and cutting to get rid of the wax, pesticides and other chemicals.
Flavorful and Creative Fruit Concoctions
Eating fruit on its own is divine, but sometimes you crave a little something extra to enhance the flavor. Fruit salads are always a hit and can work with any fruits that you have on hand. With large-sized fruits like bananas or apples, cut into bite-sized chunks, but not too small. There should be some contrast between these heartier fruits and the little, plump berries that bring a burst of flavor with each bite. The key, however, is what you use to tie the fruit salad altogether. Aside from the commonly used honey or yogurt, an excellent and light flavor to season your salad with is elderberry blossom syrup. Don't let a coated fruit salad sit too long before serving it or the fruit will get soggy, and the acid from any citrus fruit will start to break down the other fruits. Use the blender to puree fruit and yogurt, milk or kefir into a frothy smoothie. Throw in some nuts, raisins, and/or granola for extra texture and health benefits. Whip up some beautiful fruit-filled crepes, arranging slices of bananas and/or strawberries with honey or nutella inside a hot crepe. Turn a healthy snack into craft time for the kids by giving them chunks of various fruits (banana, kiwi, apple, grapes, strawberries and cantaloupe all work well) and toothpicks so they can to create cute and delicious stick figures before enjoying their snack.