Fruits

 

Fruit

Nutritional information

Per 1 cup serving

Buying and storing

Tips

History and fun facts

My Favorite Recipes

Apple

An apple a day keeps the doctor away but does the apple truly have medicinal value?

One medium apple has 81 calories; contains Vitamins A, C , folate; some fiber, calcium and potassium

Apples are available all year but are in season in the fall, when they will have the most flavor; Store at room temperature for several days; to extend that time, individually wrap in brown paper bags and store in a cool dry place; depending on the variety they will keep for months. Firm, tart apples will keep longer; apples can be frozen, canned, dried, made into jams and jellies

Make sure you use the right apple in your recipe, some are tart, some sweet, some firm flesh and others are soft.

Granny smith and golden delicious are best for pies and cakes due to tart flavor and firm texture. McIntosh is best for applesauce; Firm reds are good for salads such as red delicious, Gala and Pink Lady. Roan Beauty is best for baking whole. I like to eat Winesap and Gala fresh.

Use fruit juice or light colored soda drink to keep cut apples from turning dark

 The apple has been recommended for aiding with digestion, teeth cleaning and decreasing bacteria

There are about 7,500 varieties of apples worldwide and they belong to the family of the rose, related to peaches, pears and plums.

On average, people eat about 65 apples/year. “Johnny Appleseed” is known for planting apple trees across the U.S. during his travels. Even though red delicious are sold in high numbers, many would agree that they are not the most flavorful apple,

The only apple tree indigenous to U.S. is the crabapple

Fresh Apple cake with cinnamon & vanilla whipped cream

 

Old Fashion Apple Cobbler

Apricots

17 calories each

High in vitamin A, iron and calcium, fiber, B complex vitamins

In season in June and July. They are very perishable.

Store refrigerated for 2-3 days

Usually canned or dried because since they are so perishable. Also made into jams, jellies and preserves

 

Grown in China for over 4,000 years; California now produces about 90% of the US crop; related to peach

They make a great dried snack

Fruit Chutney

Avocado

Avocado nutritional information

95% of the variety grown in CA is Haas and these are the best

250 calories, high in Vitamin C, riboflavin,  thiamine,  folate; also high in unsaturated fat- heart healthy

Avocados should be purchased while still firm and allowed to ripen about 4-5 days (room temperature) before you plan to use them. After they ripen they will have about 2-3 more days if refrigerated.

They are in season in the spring. Select those that yield to gentle pressure but are still firm, unblemished and heavy for its size



After cutting, the flesh will turn from green to dark brown or black so add to recipe right before serving or use lime juice to prevent; seeding, peeling and cutting can be a challenge so try these simple 3 steps and you can join the avocado master club

  1. Using a sharp knife, cut lengthwise around the seed
  2. Twist and pull apart and scoop the seed out with a spoon or “stab” it with a knife and twist it out
  3. Using your fingers, pull the skin away from the meat of the fruit or scoop out with a spoon

Avocados have a rich buttery texture and nutty flavor; matures on the tree but ripens off the tree; an average tree will produce about 120 avocados annually; the word avocado comes from the Aztecan word ahuacatl, meaning testicle, because of its shape

Grilled Guacamole

Banana

 

banana

85 calories from carbs;

Low in fats but very high in potassium and vitamin C

If purchased green, they will ripen in 3-5 days; do not store them green in the refrigerator, this slows down the ripening process and causes the skins to darken but the fruit will still be okay for several days

Use soft, very ripe bananas for making quick breads

If using in fruit salad add at the last minute

To serve on a fruit tray, peel and cut into 2-3 inch pieces, roll in crushed nuts (peanuts, walnuts, pecans, or your favorite) add a little cinnamon for more flavor

Use plantains for cooking- much like a potato

 

 

 

Like avocados, bananas mature on the tree but ripen off the tree; grown in the tropics; there are 100s of species but in the U.S. the Cavendish is a favorite even though the smaller finger banana has a richer and sweeter flavor (I like these much better!)

They are actually the fruit of a giant herb tree

Banana raspberry cake with lemon glaze

Blackberries

75 calories

no cholesterol or fat; contains * antioxidants high in vitamin c, k fiber, manganese

and some folic acid

Best when fresh; depending on the region in season May-August

Can purchase frozen, jams or jellies; Select firm berries; store 1-2 two days room temperature or refrigerate for up to 3-4 days.

Berries are best when picked totally ripe, yielding a sweeter, intense flavor.

Blackberries, like raspberries have seeds that should be removed when making sauces

The largest of the wild berries, purplish black in color; they grow on thorny bushes making it a challenge to pick without scratches.

Panna Cotta with Blackberry-Zinfandel Compote

 

Follow my Apple Cobbler recipe but use blackberries

Blueberries

Blueberry - nutritional information

 

85 calories; no cholesterol or fat; highest in * antioxidants high in vitamin c, k and manganese  

Select firm berries that are free from brown spots

Store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days in a dry container; freezes well for baking; can be used for jams and jellies

Peak season is May-August for best flavor and price

Blueberries can bleed dark blue color into breads and pastries, this doesn’t bother me but if you don’t appreciate “blue bread” make sure that your berries are whole when adding and add gently

If using frozen berries add them while frozen to avoid bleeding

Eat them fresh as a great snack or on cereal

They have great medicinal properties including antibacterial from a substance known as anthocyanin, especially good for controlling intestinal disorders

Yogurt, granola & blueberry parfaits; layer each ingredient until glass is full. Garnish w/blueberries & mint

Gingerbread Cake with Blueberry Sauce

Cantaloupe

Cantaloupe - nutritional information

 

55 calorie; Very high in vitamins A and C

Select fruit that smell sweet and feel heavy for their size

Store refrigerated for a few days wrapped in plastic to avoid absorption of odors from other foods

Eat raw as a snack or add to fruit salad

Easy to make melon balls with a melon ball maker- add watermelon and honeydew balls for a great fruit salad

 

Was named after a castle in Italy

Prosciutto wrapped Melon skewers with lime dressing

Cherries

Cherries - nutritional information

 

85 calories most from natural sugars

Store fresh in the refrigerator for several days; available frozen, canned and dried

It’s the pits- so get a pitter or come on over and I will show you how to pit a bucket of cherries in no time

I love the little tart cherry; my dad gave me a seedling from his tree about 15 years ago and last year I put up 10 quarts and gave away about 10 quarts from

 one tree; before going to work, stand under the tree and pick a handful and eat right then- yum

the other variety, sweet are also great for eating fresh

Black and Blue Duck Breast with Cherry Compote

 

Mom’s cherry pie

Coconut

Image Detail

1 ounce has 135 calories and is high in saturated fat

Peak season is October through Dec. but most coconut is purchased packaged and shredded or canned

Fresh coconut can be refrigerated for several days or frozen for several months

To extract the juice from the coconut, drill a hole in the eye of the fruit and drain; this is not the same thing as coconut milk, which is made by cooking the meat and extracting the milk

A member of the palm family, the tree can live for 70 years producing thousands of coconuts

Research studies suggests that coconut oil is good for our health

 

Coconut Chocolate Chip cookies

Cranberry

cranberry

40 calories

Moderately high in vitamin C

antioxidant

properties* research studies report they may aid in preventing urinary tract infections

Buy fresh in season in early fall through January. Unopened they will keep refrigerated for several weeks

They also freeze very well, are also available dried and make delicious juice.

Purchase plump berries free from wrinkles and black spots

Because of their acidic, tart taste, the fruit is best when made into juice, relish, sauces, jellies, and they are wonderful dried

Cranberries will pop open when cooked in liquid.

The fruit from an evergreen shrub that begins as a pink flower, to a white berry that turns very deep red when ripe

Cranberry sauce or relish is a traditional side for Thanksgiving turkey

Toss dried cranberries into dried fruit mixes, green salads, or just eat as a snack

 

Ginger cranberry relish

Dates

4 oz fresh-100 cal; 4 oz dried- 250 cal; very high sugar content; contain fare amounts of protein and iron, fiber; good source of energy

Fresh dates are in season August-Oct. Will keep refrigerated wrapped in plastic about 2 weeks

Dried dates are available year around; will keep about 6 months - room temp   12 mo. refrigerated

Contain 55% sugar so when purchasing fresh watch for mold or sugar crystals

 

Grows on a giant date palm; are green when they are unripe and turn dark as they ripen; the name is thought to come from the Greek word daktulos, meaning finger after its shape

A healthy substitute for candy, they make a great snack with nuts, and other dried fruits

Figs

Figs - nutritional information

 

4 oz fresh- 45 cal, 4 oz dried- 215 cal. from high sugar content;

Good source of iron, fiber, calcium and phosphorus

Fresh figs are in season June- Oct.

Extremely perishable, keeping about 2 days; Dried dates will keep like most dried fruits- see dates

Pick figs fresh from the tree and eat right away or make a fig pie

Cut into pieces with scissors that have been dipped into hot water – helps with stickiness

Thought to be sacred in ancient times; brought to US by Spanish missionaries who came to CA to set up missions, thus the name of the most common variety the Mission Fig

Wrap dried Figs  and walnuts with prosciutto

Grapefruit

grapefruit - nutritional information

 

74 calories; High in Vitamin C

Pink varieties have higher vitamin A

 

The peak season is Jan. through April;

Store refrigerated for about 2 weeks or at room temp. for 1-2 days.

Select all citrus fruit that are firm and feel heavy for their size, indicating lots of juice

Tropical citrus fruit that range from pale white, yellow to ruby red. The name comes from the fact that they grow in grapelike clusters. When eating fresh use a grapefruit spoon

Eat fresh, like an orange or cut in half and  sprinkle brown sugar and cinnamon on top  and broil until lightly browned

Grapes

Grapes - nutritional information

62 calories; low in fat and high in sugar;

Red grapes are antioxidants

Known as raisins when dried and will keep up to a year;

Keep fresh grapes refrigerated in plastic about one week

Grapes are best eaten fresh or in a salad,  or made into wine

Table varieties are sweeter than the wine varieties which can be too acidic to eat

Edible berry that grows in clusters

Thousands of varieties

Classed by color, either red or white

 

A glass of wine with cheese and crackers

 

Hot Spicy Fruit

Kiwi

46 calories; very good source of Vitamin C having more than the same serving size of an orange

In US, purchase in season May through November to avoid shipping costs from New Zealand and Italy; they are ripe when they give to gentle pressure and will store about 2 weeks refrigerated

They make a beautiful garnish with their deep green color

Also know as Chinese gooseberry; gets its name from the flightless kiwi bird

The outer brown skin hides a beautiful brilliant green flesh with tiny edible black seeds

Eat fresh;

Fruit Pizza

Lemon

See full size image

An excellent source of vitamin C but use right after juicing-they lose 20% after 8 hours at room temp.

In season May to August but available year around; they will keep refrigerated for about 3 weeks;  Select all citrus fruit that are firm and feel heavy for their size, indicating lots of juice

 

Lemon juice freezes well and is a great way to add ice cubes to punch; Lemon zest is a great flavor enhancer and garnish for many recipes; Use a good zesting tool and only take the outer peel, not the white pith because it is bitter.

As with limes, lemons add a burst of flavor to food.

Citrus fruit from a small evergreen tree; once used as a toothpaste and to bleach hair; Originated in Southeast Asia but CA is now the leading producer

Lemon cheesecake with candied lemon zest

 

Lemon green beans and celery salad

Lime

Lime - nutritional information

 

Good source of vitamin C

Instead of reaching for the salt shaker, squeeze a splash of lime on food to add a burst of flavor

In season May to August; keep about two weeks refrigerated, can juice and freeze for about 6 months

The same as lemons, the zest adds great color and flavor to soups, salads, breads and desserts

Two main varieties are Persian, the most common

and Key from FL.

Key limes are smaller and more yellow and very flavorful, considered a specialty because they are not as readily available since the hurricane of 1926 destroyed many of the trees and they are susceptible to disease

Pineapple Lime Pie

 

Gingered Limeade

Mango

 

 

mango

107 calories

Good source of vitamins A,C, D

In season May to September; will keep refrigerated for about 5 days; they are very good dried

Learn how to cut up a mango to save time and fingers:

Stand the fruit on end, slice down the length and through the thickest side of the fruit  against the seed; repeat on the other side; score the flesh down to the skin but not through the skin with a cross-hatch pattern turn the skin wrong side out; slice into cubes

In India, the tree is considered sacred.

To me it tastes like a cross between a peach and a pineapple-“sweet”

Mango lime and red bell pepper salsa

Nectarine

Nectarine - nutritional information

 

60 calories

Contains a fair amount of Vitamins A and C; good source of fiber with peels

Peak season is July and August; ripe fruit will keep refrigerated for about 5 days

Eat them as a healthy snack

Combine with peaches in pies or salads

Cousin of the peach, the two fruits are very similar except that nectarines are a little firmer and the peel is free of fuzz

Nectarines with their sweet flavor, brilliant color and firm texture make a good choice for fruit trays

Olives

Olives - nutritional informationGreen, black, Spanish, Kalamata,  & nicoise, are a few favorites

Green sliced- 198 calories, black sliced-145  Contain mono-saturated fats

Stored canned in brine; when opened they will keep refrigerated for about 2 weeks

Purchase bulk olives without pits to save money/pound

If dicing, use a food chopper to save time.

Olives are an oily fruit and used extensively for its oil. They are often stuffed with pimentos, almonds or garlic.

The olive branch is a symbol of peace;

Green olives are under ripe and bitter so they are processed usually with a fair about of salt in a brine

Marinated olives with orange zest

Orange

Orange - Nutritiontal information

Most common  Navel; Valencia; Blood; Mandarin (tangerine)

60 calories in 1 orange

An excellent source of vitamin C, like the lemon, once juiced the nutrients dissipate

In season Nov. to April; As with all citrus fruit purchase those that feel heavy for their size and are free from blemishes and soft spots; Store refrigerated for up to 2 weeks; available as juice, fresh, or frozen concentrate

Blood oranges add beautiful color to salads

Orange zest can be added to any of your favorite breads or scones for a burst of flavor

To make zest gently take peel away from orange with a zesting tool. Be careful not to take the white part underneath the orange peel, it is bitter

 

The word orange actually means fragrant; is the world’s largest producer; three types: sweet, loose-skinned and bitter

Bitter type are used for making marmalades

Over 600 varieties

Just peel and eat!

Sweet potatoes served in orange cups;

 

Fruit Salad with orange and honey vinaigrette

Papaya

Papaya - Nutritiontal information

 

40 calories

Very good source of Vitamin A,B, C, and potassium

Select firm fruit that gives slightly with pressure; eat as soon as possible; good dried

Select the Solo variety because it is grown in the U.S.

Fruit is best eaten raw

Natural meat tenderizer; the seed will grow to a 20 foot fruit bearing tree in less than 18 months

Mango and Papaya salad

Peach

Peach - Nutritiontal information

 

Sliced- 65 calories Good source of vitamin A and C

Georgia and South Carolina peaches are the best and are in season late July to September; available canned and frozen

Freeze very well

Bruise easily so select carefully

Eat fresh for a great snack

Peaches make great preserves

Blanch to easily remove skins

There are hundreds of varieties

Two classifications: freestone meaning pit falls away easily or and clingstone meaning pit clings to peach

Peach and Blueberry Cobbler

Pear

Pear - Nutritiontal information

 

96 calories Contain some Vitamin A and phosphorus

Firm pears will ripen in a few days and then should be refrigerated; available canned

Poached pears make a beautiful presentation with sabayon or pecans and mascarpone 

There are over 5,000 varieties; like bananas it improves in taste and texture after its picked

Poached Pear with Mascarpone  

Pineapple

Pineapple - Nutritiontal information

80 calories; Contains fair amts. of Vitamin A and C, low in fat and rich in phosphorus and potassium

In season March to July and must be picked ripe; available canned and dried; store refrigerated for about 3 days

Selecting a good pineapple can be a challenge, it should smell strong and sweet, with crisp leaves and no dark areas on the skin

I think the best variety is the Cayenne, from Hawaii, the world’s leading grower

The pineapple plant is amazingly beautiful, a herbaceous perennial that grows about 3-4 feet high; has long been a symbol of hospitality

Grilled Pineapple and Peaches with Lime, honey and Mint Sauce

 

Plum

Plum - Nutritiontal information

 

75 calories; a good source of Vitamin A, fiber and potassium

In season in the U.S. from May to late October; ripe plums will keep refrigerated about 4 days

Eat fresh or dried for a fat free snack. Dried plums are called prunes- such an unfortunate name for such a lovely fruit

 

How can such a popular fruit be called a prune? Well accept it, prunes are simply dried plums and have been used as a laxative for years. They’re    in the rose family as are peaches, apples and pears

Eat fresh

Hot Spicy Fruit

Pomegranate

Pomegranate - Nutritiontal information

 

105 calories; High in potassium and fair amount of vitamin C

In season in the U.S. from October to November; will keep refrigerated for up to 2 months

Cut apart a pomegranate into sections and soak upside down in a bowl of water for several minutes, remove the seeds and allow them to float to the bottom of the bowl. Scoop out pulp and discard; stain water out of seeds and enjoy

Inside the fruit are hundreds of edible seeds with a brilliant red pulp that is both sweet and tart; one fruit contains ¾ cup seeds and ½ cup juice

Roasted Red Pepper Dip with Pomegranate Molasses;

 

Pomegranate martini

Raspberries

Raspberries - Nutritiontal information

 

64 calories

Contain iron, potassium, vitamins A and C

Two varieties-                                                                                                                                                                                  summer that bear fruit in the summer and ever bearing that bear fruit in summer and fall; available fresh, frozen, and jams

Make raspberry sauce and preserve by canning to use for desserts and vinaigrettes

 

My favorite berry- such an intense flavor; the fruit has individual sections each with its own seed surrounding a core; it is wonderful to go out in the morning to pick raspberries for breakfast cereal  

Raspberry balsamic vinaigrette;

&

Raspberry sauce

Strawberry

Strawberry - nutritional information

 

45 calories; Good source of vitamin C

Buy fresh in season in late spring; I always look forward to the first fruit of the season in May; they will keep refrigerated about 3-4 days; Also available as preserves, jams, jellies, and frozen 

For the best fruit, pick fresh at a local farm, but try not to eat more than you put into the bucket, it cuts into their profit

Member of the rose family; crossbreeding the wild Virginia and Chilean has yielded the hardy American variety but I think the smaller varieties have more flavor

Strawberry Parfaits with Fresh Cream

 

Strawberry Salad with candied pecans, goat cheese and balsamic vinaigrette

 

Tomato

Tomato - nutritional information

 

30 calories; rich in vitamin C, fair amounts of A, B, Potassium, iron and Phosphorus and fiber

There are many varieties ranging in size, shape and color

The peak season is June through September

If you grow more than you can eat in one season you can freeze, can, or dry (sundried) them. They make great sauces, soups, juice or just slice fresh into a salad. Try to buy fresh and keep at room temperature for several days. They will refrigerate for about one week but it zaps the flavor

 

Since grape or cherry tomatoes are small they don’t need to be sliced, making them a great choice for salads. Beefsteak are very large red tomatoes. Yellow tomatoes are less acidic but equally delicious. There are also striped, green, and even purple tomatoes. Roma tomatoes make great sauce

The best way to get the best tomato is to grow your own to ensure they are vine ripened. A few plants can yield enough tomatoes for the season.

Remove the skins by blanching  or roasting like a red pepper

There are ripe green tomatoes but fried green tomatoes actually use the unripe fruit. Tomatoes can be sweet but they are cooked as a vegetables.

The truth of the matter is that the tomato is a fruit, that’s right- the fruit of a vine native to South America. The United States caused all the confusion when they decided to class the fruit as a vegetable so it could be taxed. The French called them love apples thinking they had aphrodisiac powers.

Fried Green Tomatoes

 

Heirloom tomato and avocado stack

 

Italian meatballs with marinara sauce

Watermelon

Watermelon - nutritional information

 

46 calories; an excellent source of vitamin C and a good source of vitamin A

Buy in season in mid-end of summer; store refrigerated for several days prior to cutting; will keep 3 days after cutting

it can be a challenge to select a good ripe melon but practice will help you to get more right than wrong; many people thump and many smell, try both ways; listen for a hollow sound and they should smell sweet

 This fruit is in the Cucurbitaceae family, like the cantaloupe, squash and pumpkin, they grow on vines on the ground

Eat fresh on a hot summer day

 

Roasted watermelon is delicious – I was amazed. Just slice with peel and place on medium grill that has been sprayed with cooking oil

*Antioxidants help neutralize free radicals that can lead to cancer