More Fresh Fruit, Less Refined Sugar!

By Published On: August 3, 2015Categories: NJ Health and Wellness

applesDue to the popularity of low-sugar, anti-carb diets in recent years, many people have opted out of making fruit a part of their daily diet. This is most unfortunate, as fruit provides a wide array of health benefits. It’s been proven to provide protection against cancer, aging, infections, heart disease, bowel issues, memory loss, macular degeneration, parasites, osteoporosis and more. In fact, on the flip side of the equation, an increasing number of folks actually believe fruit is the most superior food.

And there’s increasing evidence that they may just might be right.

“But what about the high sugar content,” many protest after hearing such praises, “Isn’t fruit just as bad as all the other sugary stuff out there?”

No, it’s not – is the quick answer to that concern.

With its easy-to-digest nature and high concentration of readily available fiber, water, enzymes and nutrients, whole fresh fruit is an optimal part of a healthy diet. Let’s be clear however, and emphasize that we’re talking about “whole fresh natural fruit” here. As soon as you start cooking, drying, canning, juicing (taking out the fiber), or otherwise altering or refining fruit in any way, you start compromising its nutritive value.

So thinking in terms of your best to worst choices, fresh fruit would be your best choice with frozen coming in at a close second, followed by unsulphured dried fruits. Unsulphured dried fruits are easy to distinguish due to their brown, shriveled appearance as opposed to the brightly-colored dried fruits that have been flushed with sulphur dioxide to preserve their color. Check the label to be sure and also to check for added sugar, which is sometimes the case as well. Sulphites are highly allergenic and notorious for causing brain fog, fatigue, headaches, and in extreme cases, even anaphylactic shock.

Next on the list would be fresh, unpasteurized fruit juice you make at home or order from a juice bar; followed by fresh juices from the refrigerated section of the store ( pasteurized), and finally, sugar and additive-free bottle juices located on inner-aisle store shelves.

Raw, Fresh Fruit Desserts!

In keeping with making raw, fresh fruit your best and most frequent choice when it comes to sweet treats, following are some quick, easy recipes the whole family will love and also have fun preparing:

Coco-Nutty Fruit Salad

  • 1⁄2-1 apple, chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 medium banana, sliced
  • small handful walnut pieces or sliced almonds 2 tbsp. thick coconut milk (more if you like) sprinkle of cinnamon
  • grated fresh ginger to taste (opt.)

Combine ingredients in bowl. Best when served immediately. If you’re not going to eat it right away or you’re storing it for leftovers, add fresh lemon juice to prevent it from turning brown, if desired. Serves 1-2.

Options: Double or triple the recipe. It’s very popular at potlucks. Combine different fruits and nuts of your choice, such as berries, cherries, grapes, or mandarin slices.

3⁄4 cup whole, raw almonds

  • 8-10 medium, pitted dates
  • 4 sweet apples – cored
  • 2 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice 4 tbsp. apple juice
  • 1⁄2 tsp. ground cinnamon

Grind almonds and dates together in food processor. Press mixture firmly and evenly into bottom of 9 x 9” baking dish. Mix in a little raw almond butter to help hold together, if needed. Puree 1 1⁄2 apples in blender with 1 tbsp. lemon juice and cinnamon, adding apple juice as necessary, until mixture is about the consistency of thick apple butter. Dice remaining apples into 1⁄4” chunks by hand or in food processor. Sprinkle with remaining lemon juice. In mixing bowl, mix together diced apples and apple puree. Scoop into baking dish and smooth evenly over the almond-date “crust.” Serve immediately by cutting into squares or cover and refrigerate until a firmer. Don’t put off having some if you have others in the household however, because it will disappear fast!

Banana Nice Cream

  • 2-3 bananas, very ripe with peels turning brown splash of coconut milk (opt.)
  • splash of maple syrup or raw honey (opt.)
  • sprinkle of cinnamon (opt.)

Slice bananas down the middle then into big chunks. Place flat in square storage container or on a plate and cover with plastic wrap. Place in freezer until frozen. Remove from freezer and allow to soften slightly. Blend in food processor or blender. For a creamier, sweeter consistency add a splash of coconut milk and a splash of maple syrup or raw honey. Top with nuts of your choice and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Ridiculously delicious!

Provided by Pathways to Family Wellness magazine, published by ICPA, Inc. Written by Kelly Hayford, C.N.C.