One of my goals for 2017 is to eat more fruit.
Unlike most people I know, who love fruit but are so-so about vegetables, I don’t like fruit. I can eat vegetables all days, in all ways. There’s only one or two veggies I don’t like! Fruit though? Apples are mealy, oranges are webby, blackberries have tiny seeds, and the list goes on. I’ve never been a fruit fan.
After dealing with hyperemesis gravidarum, I took a good hard look at my eating habits. Even though Celiac disease has made my diet healthier than some people’s, I wasn’t doing a good job at filling all the food groups. I need to eat the rainbow, and unfortunately, that involves fruit. So, that got me thinking about how to eat more fruit. Then this post was born.
What constitutes “healthy” eating varies from person to person. Food allergies, texture issues, lifestyle choices, and more all play into what a person’s diet should look like. For most of us, though, fruit should probably be on the menu.
Since I don’t like fruit, except maybe pineapple, I am always looking for new ways to sneak it into my diet. You know how you sneak veggies to toddlers? Yeah, like that. But for adults.
One month into 2017, and I’ve done a pretty good job of eating a serving of fruit every day. Here’s what I do.
Smoothies are the ultimate way to sneak foods you don’t necessarily enjoy, but want to eat, into your diet. I don’t know how many recipes I’ve seen where you start mixing spinach into your smoothie to get a serving of greens. Well, I could eat greens at every meal, so that’s not an issue for me. Instead, I sneak fruits into my smoothie. Since a lot of my issues are textural, changing the texture of the fruit helps me enjoy the flavor and the health benefits! My favorite smoothie is pineapple, orange juice, and a little frozen mango. Yum!
2. Use it as a topping
If fruit isn’t the center of my meal or snack, I can enjoy it more. That means putting apples or mandarin oranges on salads, topping my oatmeal or yogurt with sliced fruit, or adding very thinly sliced bananas to my cereal. The combination of textures and flavors makes the food more appealing, and you can add as much or as little fruit as you’d like.
3. Dip it!
You know how kids like veggies more if they’re dipped in ranch dressing? Well, it’s totally okay to take that principle and apply it to everything else in your life. Well, maybe not EVERYTHING else in your life, but you know what I mean. It turns out that fruit dips exist for a reason, and it’s a-okay to use them. You can find lots of recipes for them on Pinterest, or you can do what I do: dunk everything in peanut butter.
4. Think savory.
One thing I don’t love about fruit is how sweet it is. Sure, I can kill a pan of brownies. But when it comes right down to it? I just really like salt. Fortunately for me, and any other salt lovers out there, fruit can be a savory thing. Apples and cheddar cheese are a classic combination, but you can think past that. Add pears to a grilled cheese sandwich. Dip some tortilla chips in pineapple salsa. If you can dream it, you can do it.
Juicing is pretty controversial, mostly because it’s sold as a super-healthy cure all for….just about everything. Also, juice is pretty sugary, and it loses the healthy fiber that’s in fruits. Still, if it’s the only way you’re going to ingest fruit, it’s better that than nothing. (For what it’s worth, I’m obsessed with the local cold-pressed juiceries in Chattanooga, and think they can do no wrong.) There are green juices, which are mostly vegetables, and there are more traditional juices, like fresh-squeezed orange juice.
So, adding more fruit to your diet probably isn’t as hard for most people as it is for me. Still, hopefully at least one or two people can benefit from this.
How do you like your fruit?