Fruits like strawberries, apples, bananas and watermelons offer a delicious balance between eating well and eating good. While fruit is a delicious treat, it can get a bit tedious to eat day in and day out if you’re leading a healthier lifestyle. There is such a thing as too much of a good thing, after all. If you’re a bit bored of fruit but don’t want to miss out on its healthy benefits, the following suggestions are sure to add a bit more fun to your fruitful diet.
Fire up the grill
Spring and summertime mean the return of grilling season, which typically makes you think of burgers, brats and the like. However, registered dietitian Cynthia Sass writes in Shape that your grill is also useful for grilling fruit. Sass recommends grilling fruit the same way you might grill potatoes or other vegetables: Slice them, season them and cook them in foil. You can also use an appropriate grill accessory like skewers, grill baskets or woks.
Once grilled, Sass suggests topping the fruit with toasted oats or nuts and serving with an accompanying glass of milk. You could also serve the fruit as part of a salad or eat it as is to fully appreciate the smoky flavors.
Dip it in chocolate
Most fruits are exceptionally sweet as is, and you can use chocolate as a means to alter the level of sweetness to your preference. If you prefer something a little more rich and complex, fruit dipped in dark chocolate delivers sumptuous flavor — not to mention the added benefit of antioxidants.
Transforming your fruit into a chocolate-covered treat is relatively simple. Carefully and slowly melt your chosen type of chocolate —milk, dark or semi-sweet — in a double boiler on low heat on the stovetop, stirring often. For an added layer of flavor and a bit more heart-healthy fat, you can add a 1/4 teaspoon of coconut oil or a touch of organic honey. Once the chocolate is smooth, dip in your fruit, place it on a waxed- or parchment-paper-lined baking sheet and let cool.
If you want to kick it up yet another level, you can sprinkle chopped nuts or peanut butter chips onto the fruit before the chocolate sets, creating a delectable and delightful treat.
Blend and drink
A smoothie is a great way to blend together different fruit flavors, salvage fruit that is too ripe to eat plain and enjoy an on-the-go treat. If you have a dominant fruit flavor in your smoothie, you can add ingredients like kale or spinach to increase its nutritional profile without altering the flavor.
For a dairy-rich smoothie, Food Network recommends combining one peeled and sliced frozen banana; 2 cups of frozen cherries, raspberries or strawberries; a 1/2 cup of vanilla or plain yogurt; 1 cup of milk; 2 to 3 tablespoons of honey; and a 1/2 cup of orange juice in a blender. Pulse until smooth and adjust as needed until the flavor is to your taste.
Sweeten a Tuesday go-to
If you want a unique way to eat a healthy dessert without straying from your Taco Tuesday habit, Sass suggests a strawberry avocado taco in her book “S.A.S.S! Yourself Slim: Conquer Cravings, Drop Pounds and Lose Inches.” This simple recipe consists of sliced strawberries, chunks of avocado, shelled edamame, chopped oregano and balsamic vinegar piled into a corn tortilla.
You can, of course, create your own approach to this recipe and experiment with unique mixtures of sweet and savory flavors. You can also opt for an all-sweet fruit taco by using a small scoop of low-fat fruit yogurt in place of sour cream, seasoning the tortilla with cinnamon sugar and topping your confection with a dollop of whipped cream.
If you feel that you’re becoming bored with a conventional approach to getting your daily dose of fruit, consider these ideas to switch up your routine. Not only will you continue to get the health benefits of eating fruit, but you’ll tap into new and creative ways to prepare and present it to guests.
This article is presented by Gossett Audi.