With recent research revealing that nearly half of people in the UK do not eat their 5-a-day recommended dose of fruit and vegetables - don't worry we're guilty too! - it's time to be more inventive with ways to enjoy a healthy diet! Scientists are even suggesting a ten-a-day recommendation nowadays meaning creativity is key whether you're trying to tempt your tiny tots or just intice yourself, here are some genius ways to hit that target...
Nutritionist Fiona Hunter has come up with some easy ways to incorporate more fruit into your diet.
Puree your fruit
Puree fruit with a little juice to make a compote which you can stir into plain yoghurt, use as a topping for porridge or serve as a sauce with ice cream.
Make a smoothie
Smoothies are a nutritious and delicious breakfast or snack and are super convenient when prepared in advance. Use an ice tray to create smoothie cubes by pureeing your favourite fruit. They can then be stored in the freezer, ready for when you need them. Pop them in your Nutribullet and mix with low-fat natural yoghurt. Job done.
Home-made ice lollies for the win
Ice lollies are a great way to stay cool when the weather is warm but most shop-bought lollies are nothing more than water and sugar. To make homemade fruit lollies puree fruit with a little fruit juice, pour into an ice lolly mould and freeze. Make them even more delicious and fun by dipping them in yoghurt and then into your favourite topping, such as chopped nuts, or freeze-dried raspberries.
Try a fruit salsa
Serve a fruit salsa with grilled meat or fish or at barbeques. Roughly chop pineapple, mango or some peaches and mix with finely diced red onion, cucumber, a little finely chopped red chilli and some fresh mint or coriander.
Incorporate into savoury dishes
Don’t forget you can use fruit in savoury dishes too. Use apricots or peaches to make coronation chicken. Make a fruity couscous by adding roughly chopped pineapple or prunes. Prunes or apricots also make a great addition to stews and Moroccan tagines. Did you know that strawberries in balsamic vinegar are the perfect pairing for roast pork?
Banana pancakes are a healthy pancake upgrade
Upgrade your weekend brunch by making a healthy alternative to traditional American breakfast pancakes. Make the two-ingredient pancake batter out of pureed bananas and eggs, topping them with a healthy berry compote when they're ready. Delicious!
Fruit can be a tasty addition to a tagine
As an alternative to jam or marmalade why not make a fruity spread to put on your toast in the morning? Mix finely chopped or pureed fruit with some reduced fat soft cheese, add a pinch of cinnamon.
Replace butter with fruit when baking
Fruit is your friend when baking too! Did you know that Prune puree can be used to replace up to 50% of the fat in baked goods? Just blend the prunes with a little water and use this as your binding agent. It also acts as a great natural sweetener too.
Don't forget about jelly!
Jelly is treat that kids love – set summer berries or other chopped fruit in jelly. Why not try a grown-up version by setting strawberries in champagne jelly for summer parties. Jelly is not just for the kids after all.
Ever heard of fresh fruit sushi?
Think outside the box, get creative and think of ways inject a bit of fun into eating. Who says sushi has to be savoury? Try making your own fruit sushi - it's super fun! - or use fruit to create an artwork out of your kids' meals. Stuck for ideas? Pinterest is your friend. Trust us, your kids will be impressed.
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