Thursday, February 27, 2014

Six Ways to Increase Your Fruit Intake - Without Trying!

Courtesy of the California Cling Peach Board

March is Nutrition Month, which means the time is ripe to refocus on your diet and ensure you’re getting the nutrients your body needs. Canada’s Food Guide recommends that Canadians should eat 5-10 servings of fruits and vegetables per day. However, finding fresh, economical, local fruit can be a struggle (especially in the winter!), but luckily, canned California peaches are available year-round and are full of the vitamins your body needs.

Canned California cling peaches are an excellent way to increase your fruit intake during Nutrition Month and beyond. They do not contain added sugar – they are packed in water or their own light juice. Furthermore, the canning process has been proven to increase key nutrients, and a study has revealed that canned peaches are higher in antioxidants and Vitamin A, nearly four times higher in Vitamin C and 10 times higher in folate than fresh peaches.

Not only are they nutritious, canned California cling peaches are delicious, convenient and versatile - keeping with Nutrition Month’s theme this year: Simply Cook and Enjoy!


Six Ways to Increase Your Fruit Intake - Without Trying!
  • Jazz up salads with chopped California cling peaches, raspberries or chopped apple.
  • Try peaches instead of pineapple on pizza - especially "spring" style ones with goat cheese and asparagus, or prosciutto and Provolone.
  • Toss chopped California cling peaches into muffins, pancake batters and your morning oatmeal.
  • California cling peaches make great smoothies - they're a natural pairing with any berry! Try peaches, blueberries and bananas for a huge hit of vitamins A & C, fibre and potassium.
  • Pureed peaches make for a decadent syrup for Sunday morning pancakes, waffles, French toast or crepes.
  • Use chopped California cling peaches mixed with whipped cream cheese as a filling for French toast and crepes.

Still stumped? Read on for a decadent dessert recipe!

DESSERT SUSHI WITH CALIFORNIA PEACHES
Adapted from the California Cling Peach Board
Serves 6

Sushi:
1 1 /4 cups brown sticky rice or purple sticky rice, cooked and hot
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 packet stevia (or 2 tsp sugar)
1 can (389 ml) canned California sliced peaches
1 mango, peeled and thinly sliced
1 kiwifruit, peeled and thinly sliced lengthwise
4 sheets toasted toasted nori or mamenori (soy paper sheets)

Peach Sauce:
1 tbsp brown sugar
3 packets stevia
1 tsp finely grated fresh ginger
1 tsp finely grated lime peel
  1. Spread cooked rice in large shallow dish. 
  2. Whisk together the rice vinegar and stevia and sprinkle half the mixture on the rice. Toss with fork to cool it, then toss with vinegar mixture. 
  3. Cover with damp tea towel (to prevent drying out) and cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes. Do not refrigerate or rice will become hard.
  4. Place a bamboo rolling mat or clean tea towel on work surface with shortest side closest to you.
  5. Remove half the peaches from their juices and place on a cutting board. Slice each piece of peach lengthwise again and place in a bowl. Place mango and kiwi slices in their own bowls by the rolling mat.
  6. Place a nori or mamenori sheet shiny side down on the mat. 
  7. With damp fingers, press one-quarter of rice evenly over the sheet, leaving 1" on the far side uncovered. 
  8. Make a row of fruit along closest edge with peaches, mango and kiwi. 
  9. Tightly roll mat over filling, and using mat as a guide, continue to roll up, squeezing to compress and form a tight roll. 
  10. Using a sharp, serrated knife, trim ends, and then cut roll into 8 thick slices. 
  11. Repeat with remaining ingredients until you have assembled four rolls.

Sauce:
  1. Combine reserved peaches, their juices, sugar, stevia and ginger in a small saucepan. 
  2. Bring to boil, then reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes. 
  3. Puree with lime peel until smooth. 
  4. Serve sushi rolls on top of a spoonful of sauce with extra on the side for dipping.

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About Me

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I started my "working life" as a holistic and allopathic nutritional consultant with a love of cooking. Teaching the value of wholesome meal choices to families became close to my heart after I battled a long history of struggles with weight and health, and the passion for teaching led me into where I am now. My blog, which focuses on "bringing good taste to healthier food" through creative use of whole grains, fresh produce and acknowledging the importance of the occasional treat, also features a wealth of "specialty diet" friendly recipes for gluten-, egg-, dairy- and sugar- tree nut-free items that everyone can enjoy without alienating those who need them.

Overall, I want to bring back the desire for good quality, homemade, (mostly) healthy food into the hearts and kitchens of families so that the next generation will be less box-reliant than mine. I firmly believe that any “homemade” food, even when labelled as "naughty", is a more wholesome treat than pre-packaged, cookie-cutter junk. With the knowledge of good food (and how to cook good food) as a base, a healthy lifestyle can follow, and then anything is possible!

Today, my love for teaching is branching out even further - I'm in Montessori training to solidify my love for the system and working with children and families!