Nutrients in Fruit • Fruits are an important source of dietary fiber and carbohydrates. • They are fat-free, low in calories, and low in sodium. • They are full of vitamins!
What is a Fruit? • A fruit is the part of a plant that holds the seeds. • Berries (strawberries, cranberries, grapes, and blackberries) • Melons: think rind, or outer skin (watermelon, cantaloupes) • Citrus fruit: have a thin membrane separating inner flesh segments (oranges, tangerines, grapefruits, lemons, and limes) • Drupes: single hard seed or pit (cherries, apricots, peaches, nectarines, and plums) • Tropical fruits: grown in tropical and subtropical climates (bananas, guavas, papayas, and mangos)
Selecting Fresh Fruits • Some fruits are available all year (such as apples, oranges, and bananas) • Berries, peaches, melons and others are seasonal • Mature fruits have reached their full size and color (this is when they are picked) • When a mature fruit reaches its peak flavor and is ready to eat it is ripe. • Immature fruits never ripens.
Selecting Fresh Fruit • Immature, over-ripe, and damaged fruits have lost nutritional value • Look for the following: • Condition • Denseness • Color • Aroma • Size • Shape
Storing Fruit • Under ripe: Keep at room temperature to ripen • Bananas: uncovered in room temperature • Berries, cherries, and grapes: Remove damaged or decayed and refrigerate • Citrus fruits: room temperature or refrigerate for longer storage • Ripe fruit: refrigerate uncovered • Cut fruits: refrigerate in an airtight container
Preparing Fresh Fruits Always wash fruit under cool, running water! The running water provides a scrubbing action that loosens and washes away dirt and microorganisms that can cause illness. (soaking in water will promote flavor and nutrient loss)
Enzymatic Browning • Oxygen reacts with an enzyme, a special protein, making the fruit turn brown. • You can stop this reaction with Ascorbic acid, which is vitamin C. • Lemon, grapefruit, and orange juices all contain vitamin C, so you can dip the fruit in one of these juices to prevent browning.
Serving Fresh Fruit • Cut in fun shapes! • Arrange fruits on a platter in a visually appealing manor • Use melon-ball tool to scoop soft fruit • Serve fruit with dip • Make frozen fruit bites
Canned Fruits • Whole, halved, sliced, and in pieces. • Light or heavy syrup is used to sweeten them • Heavy syrup is higher in calories • Pay attention to the ingredients!
Frozen Fruit • Frozen fruit will have a softer texture when defrosted. • When serving plain, thaw it only partially so that ice crystals remain and help keep the fruit firm. • Read the label!!!
Dried Fruit • Look for good color • Choose fruit that is soft and pliable • Store unopened packages in cool, dry place. • Once opened, store in air tight container in the refrigerator. • Nutritious snack!
Cooking Fruits • Cooking results in a loss of heat-sensitive nutrients, especially vitamin C • Colors change • Flavor changes slightly becoming mellow, and lose their flavor if overcooked. • Texture and shape changes when heat is applied to the fruit, the cells in the fruit lose water and soften.
Questions! • Why are fruits nutritious? Give Examples. • How should you pick out fruit when at the store? • What can you do about enzymatic browning? • How can you realistically add fruit to your diet?