When I was growing up, I wasn't always a fan of fruit. Sometimes we bought those bargain bags of apples that were old, mealy and tasteless. Sometimes it came in the form of canned fruit, which I never really liked. But other times my mother would cut me up a ripe kiwi, and she'd often serve cantaloupe thinly sliced with dinner. Those were the times I knew that I loved fruit and I've enjoyed it ever since.
Too often, we think that desserts and snacks have to be unhealthy. Fruit can be the perfect ending to a meal, or a refreshing snack. These ideas and recipes certainly are only the tip of the iceberg! I'd love to hear your ideas, too.
It goes without saying that starting with ripe, in-season fruit will always give you better results, whether you are serving it simply, snacking on it, or making it into a pie. Here are some of my ideas on how to enjoy fruit, with little added sweeteners.
1. Fresh, ripe fruit with cream
I live in the land of beautiful berries. So when they are in season, we try to make the most of it. Berries are very high in anti-oxidants and oh-so-delicious. Try them with a drizzle of pastured cream or coconut milk. If they are sweet and ripe, it will be good. Another summer treat is a ripe peach treated with the same grace of cream. Out of season, frozen berries can be made into the best smoothies.
2. Apples and cheese or nut butter
A crisp apple sliced and served with a good quality cheddar is one of my favorite all favorite snacks. Now that I eat mostly dairy-free, I enjoy them with nut butters. My Maple Cinnamon Pumpkin Seed Butter has a drizzle of maple syrup which is heavenly.
3. Banana ice cream
If you take a perfectly ripe banana and freeze it, you can whip it into a wonderful soft-serve ice cream in the food processor. One-ingredient ice cream with no added sugar? Pretty cool (no pun intended). You can get more ideas from "Fresh, Nourishing Salads for all Seasons," in which I share a few simple ideas for fruit salads where I pair two in-season fruits, such as melon and blueberries together. I really like to combine two fruits together in a fruit salad. It seems very elegant and more fun than serving them by themselves. In my book. I also share a simple mint honey syrup that you can use to sweeten and flavor it with, but it’s good by itself too. Of course, you can make fruit salad more complicated as well! All to say, enjoy making fruit salads, unadorned or adorned with a creamy yogurt sauce, honey syrup, or whatever you fancy.
4. Cobblers and fresh fruit pies
Bake your choice of pie crust using natural ingredients, and add your choice of ripe, sliced fruit into it. Top with whipped cream (you can lightly sweeten, if desired, such as my here.
5. Baked apples
This old fashioned treat can easily be made with no added sweeteners. You can stuff the core with nuts, spices, dates and butter (or coconut oil). We love them.
The dates in this recipe sweeten this recipe and make everything stick together. In this recipe, I purposely didn’t use quite as many dates as most “Larabar” recipes do, and it’s still delicious. Dates are nature’s candy as they are full of natural sweetness. If you are ever in California, pick up a bag of the moist, fresh dates from a local stand. They are amazing!
Those are some of my ideas! I'd love to hear yours.