Emily M. DeArdo


Food Friday 3: Thoughts on Fruit

food, Food FridaysEmily DeArdoComment

There really aren't any recipes, here. Today I'm just being chatty. 

Everyone knows that we "should" eat many more fruits and vegetables than we do. The problem is most of us say we don't "like" them, or they're too expensive, or we never eat them all before they go bad, so we throw away fruit...

Here is my secret for eating more fruit: 

Get fruit you like to eat. 

That's it. 

I know, earth-shattering, right? 

Now, I know that this is not seasonal. This is not trendy advice. And I will say that if you live near a farmer's market or a fruit farm, by all means, go and get seasonal fruit when you can! It's usually the same price as at the grocery and it will taste great!

However, if you live, as I do, in a place where lemons and limes and bananas and kiwis, etc., do not grow ever in life, then...buy them. I don't do well with no lemons in my kitchen. They are vital to about every one of my favorite dishes, especially the quick ones. Lemons are magic. If you or your kids love bananas, then get them. Eat them. Enjoy them. Eat them like candy! 

I love to get a big bag of cherries and just eat my way through them. They're better than candy, some days. When I can find fresh berries, I do the same thing. They're yummy! They're healthy! EAT THEM!

If you don't like apples, don't buy them even if they are seasonal. If you hate a food, just don't eat it. That's waste. Buy what you like. I've found I like fruit that's small-ish, like cherries, berries, grapes...I can just pop them in my mouth. Apples are OK. They're a good choice to fill in the cracks at a meal, in my world. 

We're talking about eating well, eating good things for your body, in this series. No food, no matter how healthy, is doing you any good sitting on your counter posing for a Vermeer-ish still life. It's just not. 

Roesen, "Still Life with Fruit"

Roesen, "Still Life with Fruit"

Now, that being said--fruit does taste better in its season. But if you are buying it out of season, try to buy the ones that have good color, smell, texture. Learn what you should be looking for, and buy the pieces that fit that criteria as quickly as possible.

Also, there is nothing wrong with frozen or canned fruit! Just get the canned kind that doesn't have five million bits of sugar in the syrup. :) I ate a lot of fruit cocktail as a kid, and it's good! 

Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Do what you can with what you have. Remember that seasonality does impart better flavors. But if you live in a place where seasonality would mean kale and rutabagas and potatoes for four months of the year, then be like Laura Ingalls Wilder and get an orange in your Christmas stocking. :) (Technically, blood oranges are a winter fruit, anyway! Score!) 

Also: be like the Italians and the Greeks, and have fruit as your dessert. (I think the French might do this too?) Have a little bit of orange or kiwi or something. Make it a treat. 

Eat what you like, like what you eat (to riff off of Life is Good's logo). Focus on eating the good stuff instead of the not-good stuff. Worry about seasonality and organicness later.