Juicy Fruits
By Melissa Diane Smith
These colorful, succulent gifts from nature can add new life to gluten-free fare.

During uncomfortably hot summer days, there’s nothing quite as refreshing as fruit. Packed with nutrients, fiber, and water, fruit is nature’s antidote to rising outdoor temperatures. It’s also a special bonus of summer, when there are more types of fresh fruit in season, which means more luscious flavors and vibrant colors to play with when making meals, snacks, and desserts. Use the bounty of fresh fruit to its fullest to add a more flavorful dimension to your diet. Try these tips to enjoy fruit in many tasty ways:

Eat whole or sliced fruit. The simplest way to eat fruit is to grab it and eat it, or pack it and eat it later. In-season fruits that work especially well as grab-and-go snacks are plums and nectarines. Fruits that make festive additions to a Fourth of July get-together are fresh raspberries, cherries, or sliced watermelon.

Create fruit salads. Summer fruits taste delicious on their own, but you can make them even more special by mixing them in different combinations. Get a variety of your favorite fruits, chop them, and combine in a salad. Combinations to try include assorted melons; berries and grapes; peaches, apples, pineapple, bananas, and coconut; or nectarines, plums, blueberries, and pitted, halved cherries. Serve in a colorful or clear glass bowl, or for a special party presentation, spoon freshly made fruit salad into a scooped-out watermelon or pineapple.

Fix fruit with “cream.” For an easy sugar-free treat, pour organic whipping cream or half-and-half over fresh strawberries or sliced peaches. If you avoid dairy, use an alternative to milk, such as Blue Diamond Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Breeze. Or make your own substitute cream with organic coconut milk mixed to taste with several drops of Frontier Herbs alcohol-free vanilla flavor.

Serve pancakes topped with fruit. For a special addition to breakfast
or brunch, make pancakes out of the gluten-free flour of your choice and top them with fresh berries or sliced nectarines.

Add fruit to green salads. Fruit brings a bright flavor surprise to crisp greens. Romaine lettuce, mixed baby greens, or spinach salads are great with raspberries, sliced strawberries, chopped peaches, pears, apples, or grapes, or mixed with shredded carrots, jicama sticks, toasted nuts, a hard-boiled egg, avocado, or goat cheese.

Try fruit salsa on entrées. To add a refreshing twist to fish, poultry, or pork, make fruit salsa by combining chopped fruit with onion, green onions, or shallots and peppers, tomatoes, lime juice, and fresh cilantro. Pineapple, papaya, or mango are the most common fruits used in fruit salsas, but fresh peaches, strawberries, or cherries also taste great.




Mahi-Mahi with Fresh Pineapple Salsa
Serves 2

This light entrée is refreshing on a hot summer day. You can make the fruit salsa according to your tastes and tolerances. Serve with brown rice or quinoa, cabbage slaw or cooked julienne green beans, or a large salad for a lighter meal.

Recipe by Melissa Diane Smith, reprinted from Going Against the Grain Group, 2009.

Mahi-Mahi

2 fresh mahi-mahi fillets

1 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil

Ground coriander to taste

Fresh Pineapple Salsa

1 cup finely chopped fresh pineapple

3 Tbs. minced fresh cilantro

1—2 Tbs. minced green onions or shallots

1—2 Tbs. diced red bell pepper

1 tsp. jalapeño chile, minced (optional)

Cayenne pepper to taste (optional)

To make Mahi-Mahi: Preheat oven to 400°F or grill to medium-hot. Coat mahi-mahi fillets and bottom of baking dish with olive oil. Sprinkle ground coriander over mahi-mahi. Cover dish; bake 20 to 25 minutes, or grill fillets 8 to 10 minutes per side.

To make Fresh Pineapple Salsa: Mix together salsa ingredients. When fish is done, place it on serving plate, and top with Fresh Pineapple Salsa.

PER SERVING: 303 CAL; 39 G PROT; 9 G TOTAL FAT (1 G SAT FAT); 17 G CARB; 149 MG CHOL; 182 MG SOD; 2 G FIBER; 13 G SUGARS

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