Have a Heart and Serve Quick-to-Fix Healthy Treats

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Bright colorful fresh fruits bursting with delicious juicy flavors are sweet treats you can offer your family right now. That's because thanks to an abundant supply of fresh fruit from Chile where it's summer, we can enjoy all our favorite fruits all winter long.

In addition to providing a healthy bounty of antioxidants - which are proven to prevent cellular aging and offer protection against memory loss, stroke and several types of cancer - blueberries also lower the risk of heart disease, says Dr. Steven Pratt.

Your loved ones will feel the love when you serve up dazzling dishes that delight the taste buds and promote happy healthy hearts in time for Heart Awareness Month. Bright colorful fresh fruits bursting with delicious juicy flavors are sweet treats you can offer your family right now. That's because thanks to an abundant supply of fresh fruit from Chile where it's summer, we can enjoy all our favorite fruits all winter long.

Fresh fruits sliced as toppings for a very yummy dessert pizza or fresh blueberries scattered like sparkling jewels in a main course salad turn a meal into a true celebration of the heart.

Numerous studies have shown that the fiber in fruits can lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease and obesity. More recent evidence has found that special nutritional compounds present in fruits provide additional protection from heart disease. Plus, they may also help prevent cancer, Alzheimer's disease and age-related loss of vision.

Ironically, even with all the new scientific evidence available, the vast majority of Americans still haven't been getting enough fresh fruit and vegetables to eat. That's probably because in the past there wasn't much variety to choose from during the long winter months. But now with the availability of fresh fruits all year round, it's easier than ever to enrich your family's diet with natural healthfulness found in fruit.

"In addition to providing a healthy bounty of antioxidants -- which are proven to prevent cellular aging and offer protection against memory loss, stroke and several types of cancer -- blueberries also lower the risk of heart disease," says Dr. Steven Pratt, a noted nutrition expert and author of the book "SuperFoodsRx." Plus with fresh ripe fruit at the ready, these dishes go together in a snap. No thawing or cooking needed. Just rinse and slice the fresh tasty fruit, toss in those delectable blueberries and go. For more recipes using fresh 'summer' fruit from Chile, please visit http://www.ChileanFruitOnline.com .

Fresh Fruit Pizza
Serves 4

Ingredients:
2-8 to 9-inch tortillas, preferably whole wheat
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 cup mascarpone or cream cheese
2 1/2 cups thinly sliced fresh Chilean fruit, (including nectarines, plums and kiwi)
1/4 cup apricot jam, melted

Directions: Preheat oven to 350°F. Sprinkle tortillas with sugar and cinnamon; place on baking sheet and bake until crisp, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from oven; cool. Spread with mascarpone, leaving a 1-inch border around edge. Arrange fruit on cheese. Brush with jam to create a glossy finish. To serve, with a large knife, cut pizzas into quarters; serve immediately.

Nutrients per portion:
Calories 321, calories from fat 144, fat 16 gms, saturated fat 9 gms, cholesterol 48 mg, sodium 264 mg, fiber 1 gm, protein 6 gms

Salmon, Fresh Blueberries and Lemon Salad with Chive Vinaigrette
Serves 4

Ingredients:
8 cups salad greens in small pieces
1 pound salmon fillet, poached
1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
Lemon zest to garnish
Vinaigrette:
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons white wine
Vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste                                                        
1 tablespoon fresh chives

Directions:
Divide salad greens on four salad plates. Divide salmon and arrange on greens. Sprinkle on blueberries. Top with lemon zest. In a jar with a lid, add all the vinaigrette ingredients. Shake well. Serve salads chilled with the dressing alongside.

Nutrients per serving: Calories 493, calories from fat 315, fat 35 gms, saturated fat 5 gms, cholesterol 64 mg, sodium 212 mg, dietary fiber 4 mg, protein 31 gms

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Patricia Schneider
Patricia Schneider Associates
415-717-7595
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