Ways to Use and Serve Fruits For Meals and For Snacks

Are you restricting yourself to drinking fruit juice at breakfast and eating an occasional piece of fruit in season? If so, you are missing out on the opportunity to enjoy fruits prepared in many other ways.


For Meals

Fruits can be nutritious and appealing part of any meal. Cold strawberry soup with sour cream makes a satisfying snack in warm weather. A salad made with lime gelatin and pear halves can be a refreshing side dish at any meal. The variety of colors, textures, and shapes of fruits, such as bananas, peaches, apples, oranges, and grapes, makes them appealing as a main-dish salad when served with yogurt, cheese, or nuts.

You can serve raw fruits as appetizer, in bread, in soups, in salads, as garnishes, in beverages, and as desserts. Try making fruit sauces from apples, cherries, cranberries, peaches or rhubarb to add interest to a meal. Broiled or pan-fried apple rings, bananas, peaches, and pineapple go well with meat dishes. Baked apples, peaches, and pears are easy desserts to make. Use stewed pears or apricots for a change of pace as a dessert.

Leftover cooked or canned fruits are useful for fruit cups, salads, gelatin desserts, and pudding. You can also use them on ice cream or cake, or you can purée then for use in beverages.

For Snacks

Fruits are excellent as between-meal snacks. You can eat them "as is" or in combination with other foods, such as cheese and nuts. When you are hungry between meals-- and especially if you are counting calories--you will find that fresh fruits from the refrigerator are a satisfying choice. Uncooked dried fruits are easy to carry on camping or bicycle trips. But remember, dried fruits are also higher in calories.

Here are few ideas for quick fruit snacks for after school or work:
  • Prepare a mixture of dried fruits--apples, apricots, raisins and pineapple--with nuts for a quick treat.
  • Make a blender juice from your favorite fruit or fruit mixture. How about trying papaya juice? Orange-pineapple juice?
  • Make your own fruit yogurt by adding fresh cherries, raspberries, or blueberries to plain yogurt. Yogurt made this way is lower in calories than commercial fruit yogurts that contain extra sugar.

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