Celebrate National Fresh Fruit Month
Do you have National Fresh Fruit (and Vegetable) month marked on your calendar? Most of us are more likely to know when National I Love Chocolate Chip Cookie Day is! Luckily, though, the entire month of June is dedicated to eating right and enjoying healthy fruits and vegetables. This year, celebrate Fresh Fruit Month by trying a variety of fruits that you never had or try eating them in ways you never thought of, or giving a fruit basket of them. Here are some interesting ideas to get more fruit into your diet not just in June, but all year long.
You can always throw together a fruit salad or enjoy an apple or orange on its own. But trying new foods helps you gain a whole new appreciation for the versatility and taste of fruit. For instance, a salad with mixed greens, topped with candied almonds, strawberries, blueberries, and edible flowers and a maple balsamic vinegar is a treat to be savored. While you may not necessarily think of putting fruit with meat, on pizza, or with vegetables, it can actually be a wonderful complement. This first recipe, for instance, creates a savory sugar free blueberry sauce to serve on meat.
Sugar Free Blueberry Sauce Recipe
- 2 tablespoons chopped shallots or onions
- 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
- 2 tablespoons flour
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
- ¼ teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
- 1 cup dry red wine
- 1 cup water
- About a pound of blueberries, washed and drained
Sauté the shallots in butter. Add the flour and herbs and stir until the mixture thickens and bubbles. Add the wine and water a little at a time. Next, stir in the blueberries. Stir until the mixture thickens and boils. Let it simmer for 2 minutes. Then serve on poultry, beef, or pork.
Pineapple Fruit Salsa Recipe
- ½ cup diced fresh pineapple
- ¾ cup diced mango
- ¾ cup diced papaya
- ½ cup diced green apple
- ¼ cup diced green bell pepper
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon minced cilantro
- 4 teaspoons granulated sugar
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
Combine everything in a bowl and cover. What could be easier? Let it chill for at least an hour and then serve with tortilla chips, on burgers, or on other meats, such as chicken or fish.
This recipe, from Taste of Home features a mango salsa served on a pork roast. Mouth-watering to say the least!
Fruit Pizza Recipe with Cream Cheese
- 1 prepared pie crust
- 8 ounce package of cream cheese, softened
- ¼ cup confectioner’s sugar
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Assorted fruit, such as sliced strawberries, kiwi, blueberries, bananas, and raspberries.
- 1/3 cup apricot preserves
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees, and let the pie crust get to room temperature. Put this on a non-stick pizza pan. Roll up the edges of the crust and set aside. Beat the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla until they are well-blended. Spread this over the crust, and then arrange the fruit on top. Heat the apricot preserves in a small saucepan and brush over the fruit. Let chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours and enjoy!
Use this June as an excuse to try new organic fruit and new ways of preparing them. Enjoy them fresh, put them in a blender and make smoothies, add them to your main courses, or grill them to enjoy a caramelized treat. Fruit is endlessly versatile and the taste it can impart to other foods, like meats, is wonderful.
Quick and Easy Fruit Salad Recipe
In the summertime, fruit salad is one of the best desserts to treat yourself to. If you're tired of giving fruit baskets, make this quick and easy fruit salad recipe that is sure to delight your guests this summer.
- 1 cup orange juice
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- 2 tangerines or oranges
- 2 peaches
- 1 cup strawberries or raspberries
- 1 banana
- 1/4 cup blanched chopped almonds
Cook the orange juice, water, sugar, and cinnamon until a syrup is formed. Then let cool.
Segment the tangerines or oranges; slice the peaches and berries. Combine in a bowl and pour syrup all over them. Chill 1 hour; sprinkle with the gourmet nuts and serve in sherbet cups.
Fruit Gifts - Fresh Fruit Gift Baskets
Fresh fruit gift baskets are a great way to send greetings for any occasion. A popular reason for sending fresh fruit gift baskets is as a "Get Well" gift. Not only are the fruits delicious, they contain nutrients necessary to heal the body.
We pair nature's most perfect foods with a few other snacks for a perfect treat! Other goodies our fresh fruit gift baskets contain are fresh nuts, chocolate covered fruits, toffees and more!
Other occasions you may consider sending fresh fruit gift baskets for are birthdays, housewarming, anniversaries or general congratulations gifts. The sweet, juicy flavors of fresh fruit are sure to bring a smile to your recipient's face.
From juicy oranges to mouth-watering pears, you're sure to find perfect fresh fruit gift baskets for anyone on your list!
Visit AAGiftsAndBaskets.com to learn more about our delicious fresh fruit gift baskets that are sure to be appreciated.
Easy Fruit Mousse Recipe
So you've grown fond of fruit, or maybe you're fond of mousse. Well, this is the perfect recipe to give you a little bit of both!
- 1 tbsp. orange rind, grated
- 1 cup unsweetened orange juice
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 2 packets of gelatin
- 2 cups plain yogurt, fat-free
- 10 ½ oz. frozen raspberries, drained
- fresh raspberries or strawberries for decoration
In a saucepan, mix orange rind, orange juice, sugar, and gelatin. Heat to dissolve gelatin. Remove from stove. Leave to set in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Pour gelatin mixture into bowl of food processor, mix until mixture is creamy. Add yogurt and raspberries and beat again. Pour into dessert dishes or a mold and refrigerate for 1 hour. Serve cold with fresh fruit decorations. [4 servings]
Health Benefits of Fresh Fruit Gift Baskets
Ripe, juicy berries, succulent melons, crisp, crunchy apples, exotic star fruit, and pomegranates... there is a reason why fruit is a favorite snack and a main ingredient in endless recipes. It’s delicious; sweet enough to satisfy sugary cravings, and sensible enough to be guilt-free; organic fruit is not only a wonderful treat, but it also provides a host of health benefits. Next time you reach for a snack, think about reaching for some tasty snacks from the fruit basket – and think about giving your body and mind a boost.
Filled with essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber, fruit is a nutritious, convenient snack that fits into even the most hectic of schedules. Studies show that people who eat “generous amounts” of fruits – and veggies – are less likely to develop chronic diseases, stroke, certain cancers, and cardiovascular diseases than those who do not eat enough. How much is enough? Fruit and Veggies Matter, a site powered by the CDC, has a handy tool to help you determine how much you should be eating every day. Say you are a 40-year-old female who exercises 30 to 60 minutes each day; according to the CDC, you should be eating (and enjoying) 2 cups of fruit each day, and 2.5 cups of vegetables.
But not all fruit is created equal: some are mostly sugar, and their juices typically contain more sugar than a can of soda. Your body isn’t going to give you credit for getting your sugar from fruit instead of candy; it treats it the same way.
The following fruits are loaded with sugar:
- Grapes, particularly green grapes. Wine, on the other hand, is a healthy drink in moderation.
- Dried fruits. Dried fruits, such as banana chips, aren’t necessarily “bad.” They are just concentrated. So if you eat a little dried apricot, you are getting all the sugar that you would from eating a fresh apricot. The problem is we tend to eat larger portions of dried fruit than of fresh fruit because it is smaller.
Fruits like oranges and other citruses do have health benefits, but you have to be careful not to go overboard with consumption.
What fruits give you the most bang for your calories?
- Apples. Mmm… fiber. In addition to this filling nutrient, apples are packed with flavonoid antioxidants, which can reduce the risk of heart attack, cancer, and stroke. For only 80 calories, this is a great snack.
- Bananas. Having leg cramps? Eat a banana. These are loaded with potassium, which helps maintain optimal muscle function. It can also help lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of stroke. Not bad for108 calories. Unripened bananas are also getting their due; on the Carb-Lovers’ Diet, they are an excellent source of starch-resistant carbs.
- Berries. These deliver antioxidants, Vitamin C, and protection from cancer, stroke, and heart disease. Try blueberries to fight high blood pressure, macular degeneration, and even brain damage leading to Alzheimer’s. Blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries pack a powerful punch of fiber as well, which can help keep you full longer.
- Cherries. Life is a bowl of cherries, and it can be a pretty good life – potassium, magnesium, folate, Vitamins C and E, and carotenoids help reduce inflammation, bad cholesterol, cancer risk, and arthritic pain.
- Cantaloupe. With less than 200 calories in an entire melon, cantaloupe offers tremendous benefits, including high levels of Vitamin C, carotenoids, and potassium to fight inflammation, cardiovascular disease, and cancer while boosting your immunity.
- Kiwi. With more Vitamin C than an orange, kiwi also delivers Vitamins A and E, potassium, and magnesium. Studies have shown that kiwi can help boost the immune system.
- Papayas. This exotic fruit features Vitamin C, folate, natural digestive enzymes, and carotenoids.
Fruit is excellent on its own, eaten fresh, and it can also be included into recipes for desserts, appetizers, and main courses.
Try this easy smoothie for a healthy, delicious treat anytime:
- 2 cups each of blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, and blackberries. You can substitute your favorite berries or whatever is in season.
- 1 cup cran-raspberry juice.
- 1 cup yogurt (plain or blueberry)
- 2 cups ice
Put everything into the blender until thick, smooth, and delicious. Serve immediately for a fantastic breakfast, dessert, or snack.
Eat more fruit; your body will thank you!
How To Prepare Citrus Fruit Gifts For Mail Shipment
Why is citrus fruit such an excellent gift idea? This is the best way to send a little bit of sunshine, a touch of summer, to someone who may be buried under a foot of snow or looking out on a gray, rainy day. Your gift will not only be appreciated – it will be enjoyed! Purchasing and shipping pre-made fruit baskets or arrangements can be pricy, especially if you fill in the gaps with some gourmet goodies. If you make your own, you can save money, but will your package arrive fresh and ready to be eaten or spoiled and bruised? Whether it's a celebratory gift, or a sympathy fruit basket, here are some pointers for preparing citrus fruits for mail shipment.
Citrus fruits, like oranges, grapefruits, lemons, limes, kumquats, and ugli fruit, are a bit easier to ship than fruits like berries or grapes. They have a built-in layer of protection – their rinds – that keeps them from getting squashed and bruised easily. To add a little more protection, after you have arranged your fruit basket, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and secure this with tape. This will keep the fruit from spilling out of the basket. Wrap the wrapped fruit one more time; this time, use bubble wrap to protect the fruit from being bruised. It won’t look as pretty upon arrival, but once your recipient unwraps the fruit, it will be as beautiful as if it were just picked from a citrus grove.
Find a box that will fit your wrapped arrangement and put a layer or two of packing peanuts on the bottom. If you prefer not to buy packing peanuts, you can shred up some paper and put it into plastic bags or use air bags or more bubble wrap. The peanut isn’t the important factor: the weight-free protection is. Put your fruit into the box, and stuff your packing material around it to make sure it will not move during shipping. Close the box and give it a little shake. It shouldn’t cause the fruit basket to shake. It you can hear it moving, add more packing material to secure it. Tape the lid closed.
When you’ve addressed it, it’s ready to be shipped. You can use the US Postal Service, UPS, FedEx, or DHL, each of which has its benefits. The USPS offers exceptional prices, but they are known to lag behind on delivery times. You need your fruit to arrive on time so it does not spoil. ConsumerSearch named the Post Office as the best package carrier for “non-critical” items. If you do prefer to send USPS, choose Express Mail. This is how perishables are shipped, and most packages are guaranteed to be delivered the next day.
If you’re on a deadline, you may want to go with FedEx, which was named the most reliable overnight delivery company. UPS is excellent for ground service, and they offer an on-time delivery guarantee for every package (except those mailed during the holiday season).
Note: Remember that you can send fruit from state to state, but you cannot send it out of the country.
How much does it cost to ship fruit? Let’s say we have a package of fruit that weighs 10 pounds. It needs to travel from California to Virginia by the next day. If we drop it off in LA before the Post Office closes, it should arrive in Virginia by 3pm. This will cost $73.30. Wow! If you pay online on the USPS website, it costs $57.98. That’s a bit better, especially considering the distance that citrus fruit is traveling.
UPS Next Day Air costs about $150; Next Day is about $115; Next Day Air Saver (received by 4:30pm) is $106; and 2 Day Air is about $70. FedEx charges $114 for Priority Overnight; $106 for Standard Overnight; $80 for 2Day AM; and $70 for 2Day.
If you buy very fresh fruit baskets, you may be able to save some money and get 2 day shipping; fresher is better, but it is also more expensive. You also save money, remember, by making your own basket in the first place. Giving the gift of fresh fruit and sunshine, though, is priceless.
- Celebrate National Fresh Fruit Month
- Sugar Free Blueberry Sauce Recipe
- Pineapple Fruit Salsa Recipe
- Fruit Pizza Recipe with Cream Cheese
- Quick and Easy Fruit Salad Recipe
- Fruit Gifts - Fresh Fruit Gift Baskets
- Easy Fruit Mousse Recipe
- Health Benefits of Fresh Fruit Gift Baskets