Sweet, Juicy and Delicious Fruits

What do you love about fruits?  They are a fun food, a guilty pleasure, and a great anytime snack to me!  And have you noticed how you can cook ANY fruit and it gets sweeter, richer, and more beautiful in every way?
Here are some tips* about enjoying them while minimizing overindulging:

1.  Watch your portion size if you enjoy cooked or dried fruit over fresh fruit.  A plum is a plum until dehydration turns it to a prune, but one prune and one plum are similar in calories if no longer size.  Read the back of dried sugar bags to check for sugar additives.  Use only a tablespoon of them in your morning oatmeal or breakfast, or with some mixed (unsalted) nuts at snack time.

2.  Buy in a cost effective way.  Buying fresh berries in New Mexico is incredibly expensive (even via Costco) so buy them when seasonally fresh and cheap.  Rinse, drain, and lay them on a baking sheet in the freezer.  Once frozen, bag them for storage.  Add a few frozen berries to some plain chopped fruit, throw them into your pancake or waffle batter, mix them into yogurt.  They thaw incredibly fast and are delicious, and inexpensive!

3.  Try a new fruit once or twice a month.  Research kiwis, melons, anything in season before buying so you have a plan about enjoying them and are more excited to get to the store for it.

I have to admit I have a mental block toward fresh Pineapple.  I had some vinegar-tasting fresh pineapple at an Easter buffet as a child, with a subsequent food illness.  I still squirm when my husband carries one home and dices it up for himself and our kids.  Fortunately, I have no barriers toward canned pineapple.  So a tip for buying those cans: read the labels, watch the sugar additives, and drain off the liquid.  When oranges are out of season or I am running out the door, I drain a can and divide it between my daughters.  A sweet and healthy treat!

Tomorrow: How to be Smart about Meat
*This is a personal commentary on food from a Fitness Professional, and should not be used as nutritional advice.