Fresh fruit: the sweet and healthy dessert
Americans love dessert so much that some of us eat it before lunch rather than after. Soft brownies, gooey layer cake, saucer-sized cookies, we savored them all. But these desserts are high in sugar, fat, and calories. Is there a healthy dessert? Yes, and it is fresh fruit.
“The New Mayo Clinic Cookbook” recommends fresh fruit as a regular dessert, and for good reason. Fresh fruit contains fiber, something we need to eat every day. Our bodies also need vitamin C and fresh fruits are loaded with it. Some fresh fruits, like red grapes, can protect your body from heart disease and cancer, according to Mayo Clinic.
There are other reasons to eat fresh fruit. An article at http://www.MyPyramid.gov says that fresh fruit can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, protect the body against colon and rectal cancer, and reduce the risk of kidney disease. When the government and the Mayo Clinic recommend fresh fruit, they are talking about plain fruit, not something under a mountain of whipped cream.
You must store the fruit properly to reap its health benefits. The University of California, Davis, says that some fruits should be stored at room temperature. Bananas are an example. If you put the bananas in the fridge, they will get black spots and the flavor diminishes.
Melon, cantaloupe, and other fruits that can be refrigerated should be chilled after they are ripe. Store fruit in a separate container, away from vegetables and meat. Fresh fruit should be washed just before eating.
Choosing fresh fruit for dessert satisfies your sweet tooth and helps you get the recommended five servings of fruits and vegetables a day. These desserts are the perfect ending to a casual or elegant meal. They’re healthy too, so if you want dessert before dinner, go for it!
RED AND GREEN GRAPES WITH FRENCH CREAM. Wash the grapes, towel dry, and place in a large bowl. For the French cream, combine 1 cup nonfat sour cream, 1/2 cup powdered sugar, 1/2 cup Splenda, 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel, and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Pour mixed grapes into serving plates and top with a dollop of French cream.
ORANGE FLOWERS WITH RASPBERRY SAUCE. Carefully remove the peel from four oranges. Using a serrated knife, cut tic-tac-toe slices on top of each whole orange, being careful not to cut through completely. Arrange the oranges on serving plates. Separate the orange “petals”, leaving the central “stamen” intact. Combine 1/2 cup of low sugar raspberry jam with 2 tablespoons of hot water and 1 tablespoon of honey. Drizzle the sauce over the orange blossoms and garnish with mint.
DELICIOUS STRAWBERRY PERFECT. Wash and cut 1 liter of strawberries. Sprinkle with Splenda and set aside. Spread the mini vanilla wafers until you have 1 cup of crumbs. To make strawberry layered parfaits, fat-free and sugar-free strawberry yogurt, sugar-free topping, and crumbled wafers in parfait glasses. Stick a whole wafer on top of each parfait before serving.
BAKED APPLES WITH CINNAMON MOLD. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Peel 4-5 Granny Smith apples. Slice apples and place in concentric circles in 9 “pie pan covered with baking spray. Combine 1/2 cup light brown sugar, 2 tablespoons whole wheat flour, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon cloves, 3 tablespoons extra light olive oil and 1/2 cup sliced almonds Sprinkle crumb mixture over apples and bake until top is golden brown, or about 30 minutes. Serve hot with 1 tablespoon of unsweetened and fat-free vanilla yogurt.