Make 2014 a fruitful year for health and nutrition

Sherrel Jones shares ideas for how to infuse your diet with fresh fruit.
by Dave Cathey Published: January 1, 2014

Got fruit? Plenty of it? Look for pears, grapefruit, pomegranate, more pears and more grapefruit, with oranges on the way. From salads to crispy brulee toppers, I've got some ideas for putting all that fresh fruit to good use.

The most practical use for fruit at any time of day is the fruit salad. It makes a healthy addition to breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as an antioxidant-boosting snack. My favorite is sparkled up with arils of pomegranate stirred into a mixture of pears, table grapes, apples, clementines and oranges.

Follow the apples and pears with chunks of orange and clementines and mix them up so the juices saturate the apple and pear flesh to keep it from turning dark. Then include the grapes and pomegranate. I like to include some fresh Oklahoma pecans if not using them in other dishes. I keep crystallized ginger on hand for a variety of reasons, and slivers of it added to a fresh fruit salad provide a special zest.

As for those start-of-the-citrus-season grapefruit, consider a brulee topping. Just sprinkle a couple of teaspoons of sugar and pop the grapefruit under the broiler in your oven. I like to broil it until it bubbles and just starts to caramelize.

Got overripe pears? Turn them into a golden pear honey. Peel and core the pears, squashing away the filling as you go. Collect this soft flesh into the work bowl of your blender or food processor. Add ½ cup crushed or diced fresh pineapple for each 2 cups of pear flesh and blend or process.

Transfer the mixture to an appropriately sized saucepan with ¼ cup honey and ¼ cup sugar. Stir in 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice. Heat, stirring constantly, until it bubbles and the sugar dissolves. Transfer to jars and store in the refrigerator. Pear honey is wonderful with morning toast or stirred into a cup of hot tea or cider.

by Dave Cathey
Food Editor
The Oklahoman's food editor, Dave Cathey, keeps his eye on culinary arts and serves up news and reviews from Oklahoma’s booming food scene.
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