Healthy Cooking Thursday – Making Fruit Sexier

By Chef Lisa on 06/09/2011
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As summertime arrives, the fruit selection in markets is improving. There’s a lot of inspiration for delicious treats in the produce section, but sometimes even a great variety of sweet fruit just isn’t enough for a meal-ending indulgence. However, there are a lot of quick and easy ways to enhance your fruit enjoyment. Here are a few tips from our healthy weight loss spa’s kitchen.

  • Add herbs. Mint, basil, and rosemary are beautiful additions, especially to melons and berries.
  • Make a freeze or smoothie. We have posted several easy recipes for these over the years, such as our Summer Smoothies and Fruity Freezes.  Use the search box in the upper right hand corner of this page to find more.
  • Get your calcium in. A dollop of yogurt, Greek yogurt, goat cheese, or cottage cheese turns fruit salad into a fancier parfait. Cheese plates with complementary fruit are pretty awesome, too.
  • Use flavor enhancers. A little drizzle of honey or maple syrup, or a sprinkle of salt, goes a very long way.
  • Add crunch. Nuts and seeds are classic pairings with fruit. I especially adore strawberries with almonds, and apples with walnuts.
  • Cook it. In the summer months, use that grill, especially for pineapple, peaches, nectarines, and plums; in the winter, bake or broil them; no fat is needed to do so. Compotes are also very easy to make. Cook fresh, frozen, and/or dried fruit with a little bit of liquid in a pan over medium heat. Add sweetener, spices (cinnamon, ginger, clove, nutmeg, allspice), and/or extracts (vanilla, almond, orange) if desired. Turn the heat to low and whisk in a cornstarch slurry (cornstarch whisked with cold water), then cook gently for another 5-10 minutes to allow to thicken and remove cornstarch flavor. Be careful to not let the compote bubble after adding the cornstarch, as that can cause it to “break”, which isn’t as wonderful an experience.

What is your favorite simple fruit preparation?

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