Fresh Fruits: A Summer Season Delight
Summer is here and fresh fruit is in abundance! Locally Sourced fruit and especially fresh berries are my go to snack. Fruits and berries provide many health benefits. They are loaded with fiber, vitamins A, C and K (just to name a few), and full of antioxidants called anthocyanins.
If you recall from my previous writings, anthocyanins are a type of flavonoid (flavonoids are phytonutrients or plant chemicals found in most fruits and vegetables) that make up the red, purple, black, and blue colors of different berries. This is influenced by pH levels. Anthocyanins also act as antioxidants. They fight free radicals, and there is additional evidence that they may offer anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, and anti-cancer benefits!
Why Locally Sourced?
Enjoy fruit that is locally sourced in your area. Did you know there are many benefits to eating locally sourced fruits?
Here are a few reasons to consider:
- Produce is fresher – Locally grown fruits are picked at their peak ripeness and not transported long distances, thus fresher and have more flavor!
- Increased nutrients – Locally picked and transported fruit retains more nutrients than fruit that is picked not quite ripe (even green) and ripen artificially.
- Supports local farmers – Buying your fruit (and vegetables) from local farms helps the local economy and to keep farms in business.
- Reduces food waste – When you support your local farmers at the farm stand or at the grocery store (look for signs that say Locally Grown), if you are like me, you will buy only what you need to eat and therefore reduce waste.
- Better for the environment – Locally grown food requires less energy to produce and transport, therefore better for our earth.
Consider integrating delicious fresh fruits into your menus this summer. Here is one of my favorite recipes with fresh fruit, berries and mint. It’s so refreshing.
To Healthy Cooking and Eating!
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Fresh Fruit & Berry Salad
- 8 oz Strawberries Sliced
- 6 oz Blueberries
- 6 oz Blackberries
- 6 oz Raspberries
- 2 Kiwifruit Peeled and sliced
- 1 – 2 sprig Mint Fresh, whole leaves or chopped
- 1/4 cup Dark Chocolate Chips Melted (optional)
- Choose the berries for your salad
- Wash and gently pat dry to remove excess water
- Place all berries and kiwifruit in a bowl and gently mix
Dark Chocolate Dip
- If you have a double boiler pan, fill the pan with water, turn stove top burner on medium-high heat and let boil.
- Place chips in the top portion, place on top of pan, and stir until melted.
- If you use a microwave: place chocolate chips in a microwave safe dish, heat for 1-2 minutes, stir every 30 secs until fully melted
- Drizzle over the berries salad after they are in individual serving bowls and enjoy!