Summer Fruits | Healthy Eating Inspiration.
Beat the Monday blues with some food inspiration that will leave you craving snacks that are actually good for you! It’s Summer which means fruit is a plenty at the moment; berries, papaya, melons, mango and pineapple are ripe,sweet and easy to get your hands on. As much as we know how important it is to get out 5-a-day, sometimes munching fruit straight from your lunch box can get a bit boring, so I’ve put together a few of my favourite Pinterest fruit treats to get you inspired and motivated to eat healthy this Summer.
But first, a note on food combining…
I first came across the concept of food combining when I read The Raw Food Detox Diet by Natalia Rose, back in 2014 before I became a vegetarian. It was a concept that when I read it I stopped and wondered why it wasn’t more known because it seemed like common sense to me. In a nutshell, food combining is about dividing foods into categories and designing your meals around these categories in order for optimal digestion (See a simple food combining diagram here).
Because the make-up of starches, fleshes, dairy, nuts/seeds, and fruit differ, the time it takes for them to break down in the stomach and be digested also differs; therefore you should combine foods that have a similar breakdown together when you eat in order to aid digestion. One of the simplest examples of this that I always use to help people understand poor food combining is to think of a time when you ate a piece of fruit, for example an apple, after dinner; most people will agree that after a while they got cramps or a feeling of over fullness. This is because an apple digest far quicker than, for example, chicken and so the apple begins to ferment in the stomach while the chicken is still being digested.
The reason I bring up food combining is that although fresh, raw fruit is one of the most nutritious foods you can feed your body and one of the best ways to kick sweet food cravings, you have to be careful to eat it at the right time of day. My rule of thumbs is this: fruit for breakfast and lunch; never eat fruit after a cooked meal or after eating dairy or starches. So, while some of the following ideas may seem like perfect desserts, they are actually better suited for breakfast and lunch… so you really can have dessert before dinner!
- Ripe bananas
- Dark chocolate
- Coconut shavings
- Crushed nuts
Peel the bananas (make sure they are ripe first; bananas are best when the skin is yellow with brown speckles) and cut into halves; insert a lollypop-stick or skewer into the end of each half and place on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Place the tray in the freezer for 1-2hours.
Break the dark chocolate into a bowl (for vegans use cacao or dairy free chocolate); place the bowl over a pan of boiling water and allow the chocolate to gently melt, stirring occasionally to stop if sticking to the bowl.
Remove the bananas from the freezer and, one by one, dip them in the chocolate to coat them and place back on the tray. The chocolate will start to set quickly because the bananas are already frozen so you may wish to dip each banana more than once for an extra thick coating of chocolate. Add sprinkles of coconut or crushed nuts, if desired, before the chocolate sets fully. Return the tray to the freezer to finish setting the chocolate and enjoy when desired!
- Coconut water
- Fresh fruit of choice
Slice your chosen fruit into pieces that fit into your molds. Layer in the fruit, avoiding over packing the molds. Pour in coconut water, being sure to leave about 1cm space at the top as water expands as it freezes. Place the molds in the freezer and allow to set, this usually takes about 6hrs depending on the size of your mold.
- 4-5 Frozen Bananas
- Other fresh fruit
- Nut milk
- Nut butter
- Fresh mint
- Dark chocolate
- Choc Shot
Cut the frozen banana into chunks and places in a high powered blender or food processor. Add a tiny drop of nut/coconut milk and blend on high speed; this will take a while, you made need to stop the blender to mix the banana every so often, avoid adding extra milk, be patient and eventually the banana will form a smooth consistency like soft ice-cream.
You can either serve and eat your nice-cream as is, or you can at this point add in other fruit or ingredients to flavour it. Top your nice-cream with coconut, crushed nuts or a dollop of Choc Shot.
- Fresh fruit (refer to food combing chart and be careful not to mix acid and sweet fruits)
- Orange juice/Coconut water
- Fruit Syrup
- Choc Shot
Chop your chosen fruits into bite-sized pieces and places in a large bowl. Add 1-2 tablespoons (you may need more depending on the size of your salad) of orange juice/coconut water and mix everything together. Serve as is or with a topping of Fruit Syrup or Choc Shot if you’re craving an extra drop of sweetness.
- Frozen bananas
- Nut milk
- Fresh Fruit
- Choc Shot
Place 1-2 frozen bananas in a blender with 1/2 a cup of nut milk (or coconut milk). Add in desired fruits/flavours (see my previous Smoothie Recipes post for some inspiration) and blend until smooth. Enjoy in a tall glass with a straw, or use to make a smoothie bowl topped with more fresh fruit, coconut, nuts and Fruit Syrup.
- The Raw Food Detox Diet, N. Rose; part I, pg. 34-43.
- Pinterest; Food Board.