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The Prudent Pantry: Five Ways to Eating Healthy with Fruit

By Guest Blogger(view all posts by annika.barranti)
at 8:58AM Sunday February 20, 2011
under Shop Smarter

Image courtesy of Kate's Photo Diary via Flickr

A few months ago I listed Eight Ways to Eat Your Vegetables, and I thought this week I'd talk about fruit. (Thanks to my Twitter friend Wendryn for the suggestion!)
The USDA food pyramid suggests 3-4 servings per day, but the American Heart Association says that while that's plenty on a 1,600 calorie diet, the more average 2,000 calorie diet needs 4-5 servings of fruit. While it's definitely true that more people enjoy fruit than vegetables, sometimes it's hard for even a die-hard fruit lover to eat enough fruit in a wide enough variety.

Here are some ideas to spice it up a little.
  1. Fruta. This Mexican treat is the only thing that will get me to stop at a food cart. Chop up a mixture of fruits and sprinkle with lemon juice, salt, and chili powder. Some of the fruits the cart vendors include: mango, pineapple, orange, papaya, watermelon, cantaloupe, coconut, jimaca and (not actually a fruit) cucumber.

  2. Dried fruit. While not all of the good vitamins survive the drying process, dried fruit is still chock full of good fiber, and is tasty and easy to eat on the go.

  3. Smoothies. I use frozen strawberries and mangoes, blended with some yogurt and orange juice, plus my flax seed oil and blue-green algae supplements. Use whatever frozen berries you like, and maybe add a banana. My smoothies are about 1.5 cups worth of fruit, which is three servings!

  4. Try something new. If you don't like apples, pears, bananas, and the other fruit that's most commonly found at the grocery, try branching out a little. Check out Maggie Mason's blog, where she is tasting 1,000 fruits, for a little inspiration--or try wandering the local farmer's market or health food store for a slightly different selection.

  5. Mix your fruit in with something you do like. Eat oatmeal for breakfast? Add raisins, chopped apple, or squeeze an orange or grapefruit over top. Or add frozen berries to pancakes, sliced pears or figs to your cheese sandwich, or any other combination you can think of.

Check out the CDC's website 5 A Day for more information and ideas.

Do you get all your fruit servings every day?

Annika Barranti is a writer living in Los Angeles and blogging for the Savings.com personal finance blog as well as her personal blog, Through the Looking Glass. She and her husband are raising two children and trying to eat well on a tiny budget.