Fruits Classification, nutrients, purchasing, preparing and storing
What are fruits In botany, a fruit is the ripenedovary—together with seeds—of a flowering plant. Fruits are the means by which flowering plants disseminate seeds
In cuisine, when discussing fruit as food, the term usually refers to those plant fruits that are sweet and fleshy, examples of which include plums, apples and oranges. However, a great many common vegetables, as well as nuts and grains, are the fruit of that plant species.
BERRIES Small juicy fruits with thin skins and tiny seeds Grow on vines or bushes Pick when fully ripen Quality berries are plump, sweet, even colored
DRUPES Thin outer skin Soft fleshy fruit Fruit surrounds a single hard seed or pit Canripen after harvest Grow on trees or vines
POMES Firm fruits with thin skin that grow on trees Have a central core that is filled with seeds Can be picked ripe or may ripen after being picked
CITRUS FRUIT Thick firm rind covered by a thin layer of colored skin called the zest. The soft white layer between the zest and the flesh is called the pith. The flesh is in segments separated by a thin membrane
MELONS Large, juicy fruit with thick rinds and many seeds in the center. About 90% water Grow on vines
TROPICAL FRUITS Grow in warm climates and are often considered exotic.
Nutritional Value Two to Four servings each day Serving size is one medium size piece, ½ cup chopped fruit or ¾ cup fruit juice Citrus fruits provide high amounts of Vitamin C Orange fruits (mango, cantaloupe, apricot) contain large quantities of beta carotene (Vitamin A) Significant source of fiber Contribute phytochemicals (antioxidants)
Available Forms Canned Frozen Dried Jams, jellies, preserves
Preparing fruit Enzymatic browning – many fruits exposed to air will turn brown (ex: bananas, apples). Using lemon juice or acidulated water will help prevent this. Fruits should be carefully washed before use. Fruit may be sprayed with insecticides or preservatives which can be harmful. Peel or pare fruit to remove as little of flesh as possible, or wash well and eat the skin (extra fiber).
Methods of cooking Cooking in liquid –apple sauce, poached pears Baking –baked bananas, apples Broiling – bananas, grapefruit, pineapple Frying – apples, bananas
Purchasing and Storing Buy fresh fruit, locally grown, in season Fruit spoils rapidly, use quickly. Ripen drupes (apricots, peaches, avocado) in brown paper bags Refrigeration slows down spoilage Check for bruises, cuts, mold and softness Buy in small quantities, just what you need Smell fruit, should be fragrant. Feel it’s weight, ripe fruit feels “heavy”. Check color – green can indicate underripeness. Some fruits will be soft to the touch
Fruits you may not know mangosteen cherimoya dragonfruit Carambola (starfruit) Rambutan lychee