Do you eat enough fruit? The general recommendation is 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day at a minimum, but that eating even more will help you stay away from the foods that aren’t good for you. If you’re like many people, though, you normally get a lot less than that.
Why is that? Few people would argue that fruit is delicious. It’s a natural way to reward a sweet tooth and also to get more vitamins and minerals and healthy fiber in your diet. Plus, there are so many different kinds of fruit available year round that even if you don’t like one kind you should have no problem finding something else to eat.
I think maybe fruit just isn’t as convenient as other kinds of snack foods—or as instantly rewarding because it’s not salty or fattening. But you have to admit, eating a juicy ripe pear just bursting with sweetness is nearly a transcendental experience.
The trick is to make eating fruit as easy as possible. You have to actually take the time to shop for it and buy it first, of course. Some fruits will be ready to eat right away, but you’ll have to wait for others to ripen.
Many fruits can be a bit of a pain to prepare for eating, especially if you’re at work. If you can eat the skin, it’s easy enough, but you still probably want to wash it. If you don’t eat the skin, you have to peel it. Other fruits have inedible skins and needed to be peeled anyway.
If you have a small kitchen area to use at work all of this is a lot easier to do. If you don’t, you’ll have to prepare it at home, wrap it, and bring it in with you. (Or just stick to bananas.) Some fruits will hold up better to this than others. For instance, cut apples and pears with tend to turn brown due to oxidation. Sprinkling them with a little bit of lemon juice can help prevent that from happening.
I keep a small paring knife along with a spray bottle of fruit and vegetable wash that I use. And I store the fruit right there on my desk where I see it all day. That helps a lot, especially when I need a pick-me-up mid-afternoon.
Frozen fruit is great to have around. I even put pints of blueberries right in the freezer just as they are. I toss a handful into oatmeal or other hot cereal while it’s cooking. Frozen fruit is also nice for a quick smoothie anytime.
To help you eat more fruit you can try something new. The next time you’re shopping pick up a piece of something you’ve never tried before. This was how I learned that you eat citrusy kumquats in one bite skin and all, that Asian pears don’t taste like pears at all, and how unbelievably heavenly a perfectly-ripened cherimoya is.
Keep dried fruit around. It shouldn’t be used instead of fresh fruit, but it makes a nice addition. It’s great when the fruit is out of season or expensive. For example, dried figs make wonderfully wholesome snacks and they’re not very expensive if you buy them in bulk. A problem with dried fruit is that it’s easy to eat too much. I can easily eat 5 or 6 dried apricots at a time, but I probably wouldn’t want to eat that many fresh ones!
Have a piece of fruit for dessert. I get a sweet craving after a meal. If you’re like me, you might find that some fruit is the perfect foil.
With these tips hopefully it will be easier than ever to enjoy more fruit every day!