Friday, 22 March 2013

Five fun fruit ideas

It's Friday! I thought I'd cap off the work week with five fun fruity ideas. Sure, I love unadulterated fruit but sometimes it's nice to make fruit meals extra exciting!

1. Freeze your fruit.
And then thaw it until it's just becoming soft, and give it a whirl through the blender or food processor. Result? Fruit ice cream! Dairy-free, nut-free, soy-free, egg-free, raw, and vegan. What's not to love? Bananas and mangoes are a personal favourite, but any creamy fruit will work. For more watery fruits, like berries, use frozen bananas as a base and blend the berries together with the bananas. Strawberries or blueberries are delicious (and you get pink and purple ice cream!). Stir through some berries or chopped fruit for a sundae!

2. Fruit pops
Remember icy poles (or Popsicles)? So good in summer but commercial icy poles are just sugar and chemicals. Make your own fruit pops with juice or blended fruits, and Popsicle moulds. You can line the moulds with fruit slices and fill the remainder with juice. Or, try making layered icy poles by filling the moulds halfway with one type of juice, freezing, and filling the remainder with a different juice.

3. Fruit sauce
This is simply blending dates with a little water into a "caramel" sauce. You can add fruit to make a sweet sauce. Particularly good with fruits that are slightly tart, like raspberries. The sauce can be used on fruit ice cream or to dress up a fruit salad.

4. Fruit cake
I've seen this online several times, but have yet to make it myself. The base of the cake is a large disc of watermelon with the rind removed. The disc can be as large as you like, although it does depend on the size of the watermelon! Place the disc on a serving plate on a flat edge. Then, decorate. This is a great one for the kids to get into. You can cover the watermelon with sliced fruit, or make some fun shapes like stars and hearts. You can also skewer fruit and fruit shapes on toothpicks, and insert them into the top and sides of the cake.

5. Fruit sushi
For the wrapping, you'll need a neutral fruit like cucumber or zucchini (yes, both are botanically fruits!) Use a slicer or veggie peeler to make long strips. Arrange slices of fruit at the end of each strip, such as mango, papaya, and pineapple. This is the "filling". You can cut the fruit slices to fit the width of the strip, or just let them overhang - it still looks great! Don't over-fill the roll otherwise it will fall apart. Once you have all the fillings in place, start rolling! You can put some fruit sauce in the roll, or drizzle the sauce over the top.

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