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Fruit for fiber and fitness.

Is anything safe to eat these days? In recent years, many heretofore favorite foods have come under attack as cholesterol filled, cancer causing, too salty or guilty of empty calories. That's where fruits are a refreshing change. Except for a raw deal they got from Adam and Eve, they've enjoyed a continually healthy press.

As Americans become more and more health conscious and look for foods that will promote health and vitality, they're learning that fruits are the answer, for fruits are particularly generous in their supplies of vitamins A and C. Many offer stocks of B vitamins, and iron and calcium as well. Most fruits are low in sodium, and all are nonfatty with the exception of avocados and coconuts, and they're so tasty people will want to eat them anyway.

For fruits especially rich in vitamin A, shop for apricots, peaches, melons, cherries, prunes, papayas, persimmons and mangoes. For vitamin C, buy citrus fruits, cantelopes, strawberries and kiwis. If it's potassium you're after, try nibbling on dates, figs, papayas, peaches, persimmons, watermelon, bananas and apples, and for calcium, try figs, prunes, cranberries, gooseberries and dates.

Some fruits have even more to offer than their delicious flavor and store of vitamins. They are also high in fiber. The highest-fiber fruits are blackberries, black and red raspberries, strawberries, figs, guavas, pears and apples. Although some may be higher in fiber than others, none contain as much fiber as wheat or oat bran. However, most fruits, whether used in desserts, as appetizers, side dishes or salads, are amenable to the addition of bran. We've added it to some of our favorite fruit recipes that follow and have achieved tasty results.

If you are a fruit fancier, but you are getting tired of the same old apples and oranges, you may wish to experiment with some of the more exotic fruit varieties. Avocados, kiwi fruit, mangoes, papayas and persimmons are all considered the "exotic" fruits.

Mangoes when ripe are oval shaped and have a color that can range from yellow to green tinged with red. Speckles indicate ripeness. The fruit will cling to the seed and make it difficult to slice. One procedure is to hold the mango on its side and to cut off lengthwise slices as close to the stone as possible. Then continue around the stone, one slice at a time.

Papayas are pear shaped and are greenish yellow to full yellow in color when ripe. The numerous, edible black seeds can be used for seasoning. A few seeds, blended with sauces or salad dressings, add a spicy flavor. The papaya, like pineapple, aids in digestion of food.

Persimmons when ripe will be soft and orange red in color. The shape is much like a plum. Although unripe persimmons have a very astringent and unpleasant flavor, the ripe persimmon is very sweet and tasty and much desired for its extremely rich vitamin A content.

Kiwis are brown and hairy-skinned and are shaped much like a lemon. Inside, the green fruit is studded with small, black seeds. Kiwis, like mangoes, papayas and avocados, should yield to pressure when ripe.

Freeze bananas that are ripening faster than you can use them. Although the skins will turn black, you can run hot water over them for easy peeling and use them in blender drinks or banana ice cream.

Many fruits will ripen well at home in a bag. Include an apple along with the other fruits. Apples give off ethylene, which hastens the ripening process. The bag should have a few holes punched in it. Fruit breathes, taking in oxygen and releasing carbon dioxide. If the carbon dioxide cannot escape, the fruit will not ripen. When fruits have ripened, use them as soon as possible or refrigerate them.

Rainbow Fruit Salad

(Makes 10 servings) 2 cups (1 large mango), peeled, sliced 2 cups fresh blueberries 2 bananas, sliced 2 cups strawberries, halved 2 cups green, seedless grapes 2 nectarines, unpeeled, sliced 1 kiwi, peeled, sliced Poppy-seed Dressing Creamy-dessert Dressing

In a glass bowl, arrange a layer of mango slices. Continue to layer fresh fruits using blueberries, bananas, strawberries, grapes and nectarines. Garnish top with kiwi slices. Serve with Poppy-seed Dressing as a salad or Creamy-dessert Dressing as a dessert.

Poppy-seed Dressing

(Makes 3/4 cup) 1/2 cup safflower oil 2 tablespoons wine vinegar 2 teaspoons onion, grated 2 teaspoons poppy seeds 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard 1/4 teaspoon salt substitute

In small bowl combine all ingredients. Mix well.

Creamy-dessert Dressing

(Makes about 1 cup) 2 3-ounce packages low-fat cream, cheese, at room temperature 1/3 cup orange juice, freshly squeezed 2 tablespoons lime juice, freshly squeezed 1-1/2 tablespoons honey 1/4 teaspoon ginger, ground Dash nutmeg, ground Dash salt substitute

In small bowl combine all ingredients. Mix well.

Strawberry-Bran Parfait

(Makes 4 servings) 16 ounces plain yogurt 1 quart fresh strawberries, sliced 1/4 cup bran 1/4 cup coconut, grated

Starting with strawberries, layer the first three ingredients in a parfait glass or dessert dish. Top with grated coconut. Other fruits can be substituted for strawberries.

Strawberry-Bran Milkshake

(Makes 4 servings) 24 ounces plain yogurt 1 cup skim milk 1 pint fresh strawberries 1/4 cup bran

Blend all ingredients in blender. Other fruits can be substituted for strawberries. Add money if desired.

Baked Bananas with Bran

(Makes 8 servings) 4 bananas, sliced lengthwise 1/2 lemon, juice only 2 tablespoons coconut, grated 2 tablespoons sesame seeds 2 tablespoons bran

Place bananas in casserole dish with flat sides up. Sprinkle with lemon juice, grated coconut, sesame seeds and bran. Bake uncovered at 350 [deg.] F. for 10 minutes.

Pineapple Casserole

(Makes 4 servings) 2 (20-ounce) cans Dole unsweetened, crushed pineapple 1 egg 1 teaspoon brown sugar 3 slices bread, torn in pieces 1 teaspoon vanilla 1/2 teaspoon allspice 4 teaspoons bran 1/2 cup walnuts Cinnamon

In medium-size bowl, mix egg, brown sugar, walnuts, vanilla and allspice. Add pineapple and bread. Stir. With slotted spoon, lift into casserole dish, omitting excess liquid. Sprinkle bran and cinnamon on top. Bake 30 minutes at 350 [deg.] F.

Hi-Protein Bran-Fruit Rounds

(Makes 36 bars) 1/4 pound seedless raisins 1/4 pound dates 1/4 pound pitted prunes 1/4 pound figs 1 tablespoon lemon juice 2 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted 1/2 cup miller's unprocessed wheat bran 1/2 cup oat bran 1/2 cup wheat germ 1 tablespoon orange rind, grated 1/4 teaspoon allspice

Grind fruit in food chopper. Add all other ingredients and mix well. Form into a 12-inch roll. Wrap in wax paper and chill. Slice in 1/4-inch rounds and serve.

Bran-apple Muffins

(Makes 1 dozen) 2 cups raw apples (2-3 medium-size apples), shredded 1 cup whole-wheat flour 1/2 cup miller's wheat bran 1/2 cup oat bran 1/2 cup Quaker Oats 1 tablespoon baking powder 1/2 cup skim milk 1/4 cup oil 1/2 cup raisins or date pieces

Cut apples in half, core and grate with raw side toward grater. Discard any large pieces of skin. Shred enough apples for two cups, packed. Combine dry ingredients and mix well. Add milk, oil, apples and raisins or dates and mix well again. Drop by spoonfuls into oiled muffin pans. Bake at 375 [deg.] F. for about 30 minutes.

Johnny Ohs

(Makes 1 dozen) 1/4 cup corn-oil margarine 1 egg and 2 egg whites 2 teaspoons vanilla 1/2 cup unbleached flour 1/4 cup miller's bran 1/4 cup whole-wheat flour 1-1/2 teaspoons low-sodium baking powder 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon 1 cup pitted dates, chopped 1 cup unsweetened coconut, shredded or chopped in blender 1 cup black walnuts, chopped 1/2 cup raisins

Mix margarine, egg, egg whites and vanilla until smooth. In another bowl combine flour, baking powder, bran and cinnamon. Add flour mixture to creamed mixture and blend. Add dates, coconut, nuts and raisins to mixture. Form dough into two rolls. Wrap in waxed paper and chill in refrigerator or freezer until firm enough to slice (about two hours). Cut rolls into slices and bake on ungreased cookie sheet at 350 [deg.] F. about 15 minutes or until very lightly browned along bottom.

Sparkling Fruits with Lemon Sauce

(Makes 6 servings) 1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon honey 1 tablespoon cornstarch 1 cup water 1 teaspoon lemon rind, grated 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice 2 cups peaches (2 peaches), peeled, sliced 2 plums (2 cups), sliced 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries 1 cup fresh strawberries, sliced

In small saucepan whisk cornstarch and water. Add honey, lemon rind and lemon juice. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until mixture thickens and boils. Cook 2 minutes. Cool. Prepare fruit. Place in large bowl and add lemons sauce. Cover. Refrigerate 1-1/2 to 2 hours. Serve plain or over yogurt.

Bran-Apple Betty

(Makes 4 to 6 servings) 1/3 cup miller's unprocessed wheat bran 1/3 cup soy granules 1/2 cup warm water 1 tablespoon Realemon or lemon juice 1 tablespoon honey 4 medium apples, cored and sliced thin Cinnamon

Mix bran, soy granules, water, Realemon and honey in a bowl. Place half of apples in an oiled casserole. Top with half of bran mixture and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Repeat process. Bake covered at 350 [deg.] F. for 30 minutes. Remove cover and bake an additional ten minutes or until topping is crisp.
COPYRIGHT 1984 Saturday Evening Post Society
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1984 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:includes recipes
Author:Root, Kay
Publication:Saturday Evening Post
Date:May 1, 1984
Words:1568
Previous Article:Medical mailbox.
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