“An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” This saying is not far from the truth – fresh fruit provides our bodies with fresh water, living enzymes which aid digestion, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, natural sugars for energy, and fibre to help clean out the body. Fruit is a perfect package!
Fruit is vital fuel for our bodies, and should be eaten regularly – at least four pieces per day, with as much variety as possible. At night, our metabolism and digestive systems slow down, and they need to be ‘woken up’ in the morning. The best way to wake up, get energized, and get everything moving is to begin your day with fruit. We are blessed to live in Tropical North Queensland, where there is a huge variety of delicious fruits, all year long. But wherever you live, there’s sure to be ways to help you get more fruit into your families’ diet! Here’s a few ideas…
* Start the day with a fruit salad, a fresh fruit ‘cereal’ or a fruit smoothie – kids love a smoothie for breakfast, and it will help them be alert and awake for school. (Make sure you add some nuts/seeds for protein, for extra energy and to fill up hungry tummies.) Or top waffles or pancakes with fresh fruit. Sometimes we even have berry nougat or ‘ice-cream’ for breakfast, made from fresh fruit of course! (Try banana-cacao, banana-pecan or a breakfast sorbet!)
Brown Rice Waffles with Strawberries
* For a quick energy boost during the day, whiz up a ‘boost juice’ in your Thermomix – this is a great way to make your own juices, as the fibre is still all there, and you don’t get a sugar high, then a sugar low!
* Keep a fruit bowl or basket on the table (and on your desk at work) filled with fresh, washed fruit to encourage the family to snack on fruit instead of junk. (And get rid of any junk food in the house so it’s not even an option!)
Fruit Jelly (recipe coming)
* Send fruit to school in the kid’s lunchbox – if they’re not fussed with eating a whole apple or banana, try making them a fruit salad drizzled with some fresh orange juice. Or make a jelly with fresh fruit, fruit juice, nuts, honey and gelatin/agar powder. It’s easy, and kids love it!
* Make it a habit to grab a piece of fruit each whenever you go somewhere in the car – this helps avoid the temptations to buy junk food while you’re out.
* Use lightly cooked fruit in desserts and baking – apple pie or crumble, fruit cobbler, brioche, stewed fruit and custard, fruit muffins, apple cake, apple/berry sauce on pancakes, dried fruit in bars and slices and granolas, and even a fresh fruit ‘pizza’! (Recipe coming!) When cooking fruit, it’s best to cook it very gently over low heat so you don’t kill the enzymes – I find my Thermomix perfect for this – or try some raw fruit recipes.
Lime & Mint Sorbet (recipe coming)
* Make a fresh fruit sorbet or foam for an afternoon tea treat – much healthier than icy poles and ice-cream! (Takes two minutes in the Thermomix!)
Remember, the key is VARIETY! Don’t be afraid to try new fruits. There’s a lot more out there than just apples, bananas and oranges. Eat whatever’s in season, as it’s the freshest, but if you can’t find many types in winter, add some frozen berries and frozen mango for some variety.