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Fresh Fruits- A Few of Our Faves (Notice the bright colors!)

Bananas

Because of their impressive potassium content, bananas are highly recommended by doctors for patients whose potassium is low. One large banana packs 602 mg of potassium and only carries 140 calories. That same large banana even has 2 grams of protein and 4 grams of fiber. Fun Food Fact: The banana plant is not a tree – it belongs to the same family as the lily and the orchid, which makes It the world’s largest herb!

Recipe – The Elvis Sandwich

Grilled PB & Nana Sandwich

Ingredients
To make 2 sandwiches:

  • 4 slices of regular soft white bread
  • 2 tablespoons creamy or crunchy peanut butter
  • 1 large ripe banana, peeled and sliced
  • Softened butter

Directions

Preheat a flat pan on the stove top over medium-high heat. Spread peanut butter on two slices of bread, and then top with slices of banana. Top with remaining two bread slices. Spread butter on the outside tops and bottoms of bread and grill until golden brown. Serve immediately.

Blueberries

Blueberries are one of the very few fruits that are native to America. Blueberries were quite useful during the Civil War when served as a staple food for the soldiers. Even today, North America remains the largest producer of blueberries. Blueberries don’t just make your smoothies and cereal taste better; they contain high levels of antioxidants. Some research has shown blueberries can slow degenerative diseases associated with aging and improve motor skills.

Health Benefits of Blueberries

  • Blueberries are loaded with vitamins, minerals, and anthocyanin.
  • They help in removing toxins and supply all the essential nutrients to the body.
  • Blueberries prevent aging by neutralizing the free radicals in the body.
  • They help in effective weight loss.

Recipe – Blueberry Yogurt Smoothie

Ingredients

  • 2 cups fresh blueberries (can substitute frozen)
  • 1 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 1 1/2 cups low-fat milk

Preparation

Process all ingredients in a blender or food processor until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides. Serve immediately.

Red Grapes

 

Grapes are among the healthiest fruits to eat for their anti-aging and heart protection functions. Grapes contain lots of fiber and an assortment of vitamins and minerals. Grape seeds are highly valuable for their content of essential fatty acids and vitamin E, which protect your skin, blood vessel and nerve cells from free radical attacks.

Grapes are rich in the polyphenolic compound resveratrol, a powerful antioxidant that could help fight heart disease – and red wine isn’t the only source of resveratrol. You get nearly as much resveratrol in a cup of dark-colored grapes as you do in a five-ounce glass of merlot. Anthocyanins are another class of polyphenolic anti-oxidants present abundantly in the red grapes. These phyto-chemicals have been found to have an anti-allergic, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, as well as anti-cancer activity.

Oranges

The orange is one of the most common and popular fruit.  It is well-liked because of its easy availability all year round, dense nutrition, and it tastes good. Oranges are an excellent source of vitamin C and flavonoids.  One orange (130 grams) supplies nearly 100 percent of the recommended daily dietary intake of vitamin C.

When you eat a whole orange, it provides good dietary fiber.  Leave in the albedo (the white matter under the peel) as much as possible as the albedo contains the highest amount of valuable bioflavonoids and other anti-cancer agents. An orange packs over 170 different phytonutrients and more than 60 flavonoids, many of which have been shown to have anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor and blood clot inhibiting properties, as well as strong anti-oxidant effects.

Strawberries

The fragrantly sweet juiciness and deep red color of strawberries can brighten up both the taste and aesthetics of any meal. First cultivated in ancient Rome, strawberries are now the most popular berry fruit in the world. In provincial France, they were regarded as an aphrodisiac. These red gems may be good for your heart in more ways than one. These potent little packages protect your heart, increase HDL (good) cholesterol, lower your blood pressure, and guard against cancer.

Packed with vitamins, fiber, and particularly high levels of antioxidants known as polyphenols, strawberries are a sodium-free, fat-free, cholesterol-free, low-calorie food. They are among the top 20 fruits in antioxidant capacity and are a good source of manganese and potassium. Just one serving — about eight strawberries — provides more vitamin C than an orange.

Recipe – Strawberry Avocado Salsa

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 cup finely chopped strawberries
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped peeled avocado
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lime rind
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped seeded jalapeño pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar

Preparation

Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl; toss gently. Serve with tortilla chips, or top grilled chicken or fish.