We all know it’s important to eat plenty of fruit, but the sad truth is many of us still aren’t. The amount of fruit you should eat per day depends on several factors, including age, gender, and physical activity, but the average ranges from 1½ to 2½ cups, Cooking Light states. Wondering why you should make an effort to eat more fruit each day?
The Dairy Council of California notes that fruits are a rich source of many key nutrients, including potassium, fiber, vitamin C, folate, and phytochemicals, which work to keep you healthy. Furthermore, eating a fruit-filled diet may reduce your risk for stroke, cardiovascular disease, and type-2 diabetes. There are many ways to increase your daily fruit intake: toss some berries into your oatmeal, eat an apple instead of chips, snack on a banana, or perhaps the most delicious option, serve fruit-filled desserts.
Using these 6 recipes, you can prepare easy and tasty treats that are chock-full of good-for-you fruits. It’s definitely the most delicious way to up your daily intake!
1. Fruit Salad With Limoncello
In Food Network’s recipe, strawberries, raspberries, bananas, sugar, and limoncello are tossed together and served with a dollop of yogurt, which is flavored with lemon curd, honey, and vanilla. For an extra burst of freshness, top each with a sprig of mint. At 256 calories and 4 grams of fat per serving, this is a light way to cure your sugar cravings.
- 7 ounces Greek yogurt (recommended: Fage Total)
- ⅓ cup good bottled lemon curd
- 1 tablespoon honey
- ¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 cups sliced strawberries (1 pint)
- 1 cup raspberries (½ pint)
- 1 cup blueberries (½ pint)
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 3 tablespoons limoncello liqueur
- 1 banana, sliced
- Fresh mint springs
Directions: For the lemon yogurt topping, whisk together the yogurt, lemon curd, honey, and vanilla and set aside at room temperature.
For the fruit salad, carefully toss together the strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, sugar, and limoncello. Allow them to stand at room temperature for about 5 minutes to let the berries macerate with the sugar and liqueur. Gently fold the banana into the mixture.
Serve bowls of fruit with a dollop of lemon yogurt on top. Top each with a sprig of fresh mint.
2. Almost-Instant Soft-Serve
Eating Food & Wine’s soft-serve ice cream is a win-win: it satisfies your sweet tooth while encouraging you to eat more fruit. Pulse the fruit of your choosing, such as strawberries, mangoes, or blueberries, in a food processor with sweetened condensed milk, vanilla, and salt until the mixture is finely chopped. Purée until it’s smooth, and then serve as is or freeze until just firm. The soft-serve recipe yields 3½ cups and can be frozen for up to 3 days.
- 1½ pounds frozen strawberries, mangoes or blueberries
- ¾ cup sweetened condensed milk
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Kosher salt
Directions: In a food processor, pulse the fruit with the sweetened condensed milk, vanilla, and a generous pinch of salt until the fruit is finely chopped. Purée until smooth, 2 to 3 minutes; scrape down the side of the bowl as needed. Serve soft or transfer to a metal baking pan, cover, and freeze until just firm.
3. Bananas Foster II
Bananas are coated in a buttery rum sauce and served with ice cream in AllRecipes.com’s dessert dish. Simple, stunning, and scrumptious sums up this recipe, which yields 4 servings. Serve with Taste of Home’s Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream.
- ¼ cup butter
- ⅔ cup dark brown sugar
- 3½ tablespoons rum
- 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3 bananas, peeled and sliced lengthwise and crosswise
- ¼ cup coarsely chopped walnuts
- 1 pint vanilla ice cream
Directions: In a large, deep skillet over medium heat, melt butter. Stir in sugar, rum, vanilla, and cinnamon. When mixture begins to bubble, place bananas and walnuts in pan. Cook until bananas are hot, 1 to 2 minutes. Serve at once over vanilla ice cream.
4. Pear and Dried Cherry Clafouti
Martha Stewart’s recipe, which yields 6 servings, combines two tantalizing textures — pancakes and pudding — creating a classic French dessert no one will be able to resist. The best part? Leftovers work perfectly for breakfast the next morning! Pears are placed on the bottom of a prepared dish and topped with milk, cream, eggs, vanilla, sugar, flour, salt, and finally cherries. Bake until the dish is golden and set, and then dig in!
- Unsalted butter, for baking dish
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- ½ cup dried cherries
- 1 large Anjou pear, peeled, halved lengthwise, and cored
- ¾ cup whole milk
- ¾ cup heavy cream
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ¼ cup sugar
- Pinch of salt
Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter a 10-inch ceramic tart dish or 9½-inch pie plate. Dust with flour and tap out excess; set aside. Put cherries in a medium bowl and cover with boiling water by 1 inch. Let stand until plump, about 10 minutes.
Cut pear lengthwise into ⅛-inch-thick slices; fan over bottom of prepared dish. Blend milk, cream, eggs, vanilla, sugar, flour, and salt in a blender until smooth, about 1 minute. Pour batter over pear. Drain cherries; sprinkle over batter. Bake until golden and set, about 25 minutes. Let stand 15 minutes. Cut into wedges.
5. Rhubarb-Vanilla Compote
A simple rhubarb compote creates the perfect filling for crepes and a delicious topping for ice cream. To prepare Eating Well’s recipe, combine the rhubarb, sugar, and cinnamon in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat slightly, cooking for about 5 minutes. Make sure you stir in the vanilla after removing your compote from the heat; it adds wonderfully warm flavors to this dish.
- 4 cups diced rhubarb
- ½ cup sugar
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
Directions: Combine rhubarb, sugar, and cinnamon in a medium saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat; reduce heat to a gentle simmer and cook until the rhubarb begins to break down, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
6. Crunchy Chocolate-Dipped Apricots
Three ingredients — almonds, chocolate, and apricots — are all you need to make All You’s recipe, which yields 18 servings. SFGate notes that there are plenty of nutrients in dried apricots, including fiber, potassium, iron, and antioxidants. In fact, a half-cup serving of dried apricots provides 19% of the daily value for fiber, over 21% of the daily recommended intake for potassium, and 10% of the daily value for iron.
- ½ cup sliced almonds
- 3 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
- 7 ounces dried apricots (about 18)
Directions: Place almonds in a dry skillet over medium heat. Cook, shaking pan often, until nuts are fragrant and lightly toasted, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a bowl; chop finely when cool.
Bring 1 inch of water to a simmer in a small pan. Place chocolate in a small heatproof bowl over simmering water. Let stand until chocolate is almost melted, about 5 minutes. Remove bowl from heat and stir chocolate until smooth.
Line a baking sheet with parchment. Working one at a time, dip about ¾ of an apricot into chocolate, allowing excess to drip off. Gently dip chocolate-covered part of apricot into chopped nuts and transfer to baking sheet. Repeat with remaining apricots, chocolate, and nuts. Place in refrigerator until set, at least 20 minutes. Keep chilled until ready to serve.