You could give them whiskey on the rocks. Or you could offer them something much healthier but just as exciting: Puréed Fruit Cocktail with Honey and Mint. It contains low-calorie fruits that bring you many health benefits in the form of vitamins, minerals and other antioxidants, as well as phytonutrients. Melons, apples, and kiwi fruit contain, among other nutrients, the fat-soluble vitamins A, E, K. The avocado contains good fats, which raise your HDL (good) cholesterol while lowering your LDL (bad) cholesterol; it also helps your body absorb those fat-soluble vitamins present in the fruit of this cocktail. Honey comes packed with health benefits -- I mentioned some of them below. And then there's mint, which adds another refreshing touch, and may be good for you in more than one way.
Puréed Fruit Cocktail with Honey and Mint
It’s late afternoon, and you’re expecting a couple of friends over for a few minutes before you all head out to have dinner together. What can you serve them?
Here's a recipe.
Ingredients and Instructions
Prep time 15 min - Total time 15 min - 133 cal/serv
Ingredients for 4 servings
½ small Galia melon • 2 kiwi fruits • 1 apple • ¼ avocado • 4 tablespoons of honey • 4 sprigs of mint
1. Peel and dice the melon, kiwis, apple, and avocado.
2. Run through a blender, adding honey as well. Add some chopped mint too, if you want.
3. Decorate with mint (preferably less than I used in the photo if you have added some to the mix as well -- I haven't this time, so I added some chopped leaves on top, so they can be stirred in).
4. Serve chilled. The recipe makes 4 servings.
A Version of this Purée with Pineapple and Lime Juice
Prep time 15 min - Total time 15 min
Ingredients for 4 servings
½ small Galia melon • 2 one-inch slices of fresh pineapple • juice of 1 lime • 1 apple • 1/4 avocado • 4 tablespoons of honey • 4 sprigs of mint
I have replaced the kiwi fruits with 2 slices of fresh pineapple and the juice of 1 lime. The taste is very similar.
Now, a few things by way of explanation of the health benefits. Why use the avocado? That’s an easy one to answer: a little bit of fat helps you absorb certain vitamins (the fat soluble ones) in the fruit better; and avocado fats are healthy, helping to lower your bad cholesterol as well as your triglyceride levels.
Why honey? Well, because it tastes incredibly good with the honey, and honey also gives you an energy boost while keeping your immune system strong. Honey may have only small amounts of vitamins and minerals (on the other hand, it does have a whole range of them: B complex vitamins, calcium, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, and more), but is packed with phytonutrients, some of which may prevent certain recurring tumors and protect against certain types of cancer. Others fight bad bacteria, fungal infections, and viruses. A cup of tea with honey may help relieve cold-related coughs. And the list goes on. Some say certain varieties of honey also help with certain allergies. So, as you see, honey is more than those 60+ calories in a spoon, and even those sugars are absorbed a little more slowly than those of table sugar. To finish this short encomium for honey, do note that it’s important that honey not be heated before it’s packaged; and if you use it in tea, please don’t scald it, or else it will lose much of its power.
And mint? It’s refreshing, cleans your breath (chewing it apparently whitens your teeth also), clears your skin, helps if you have an upset stomach (and even if you don’t) or asthma, and contains a phytonutrient which some say works to prevent certain types of cancer.
I guess I should also praise that melon, the kiwi fruit, and the apple, shouldn’t I? Well, melons manage to be sweet and also low-calorie. They have vitamin A, potassium, and the antioxidant lycopene. Vitamin A is fat-soluble (like D, E, and K), so you see, there was a reason I suggested that bit of avocado. Calories per 1 medium Galia melon: 50.
Kiwi fruits.They add an edge to the purée, which otherwise would be cloyingly sweet. They have lots of vitamin C, which helps you burn fat. They also pack vitamins E and K (see my comment above about them), and as far as minerals, they contain potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, and a few others. Kiwi fruits also have twice the fiber of bananas. And those black seeds? They have essential omega-3 fatty acids that our body can’t make but which we need for the health of our brain and cardiovascular system. That being said, some people are allergic to kiwi fruit. Calories per 1 such fruit: 46.
Apples. Raw apples without skin contain vitamin C, B complex vitamins, and minerals such as potassium, magnesium, iron, calcium, etc. Besides the antioxidant vitamin C, apples also come with antioxidant phytonutrients – we tend to know less about those, but they are just as important as the nutritional elements present on labels. Only as they’re in the thousands, it’s kind of hard to keep track of them if you’re not a specialist. Finally, apples are a good source of soluble and insoluble fiber. Calories per 1 medium apple: 95.
The last one: avocado. As I mentioned above, it helps you absorb all the wonderful fat-soluble vitamins present in the fruits used in this blend, two of them in the avocado itself. I also love this fruit because it contains good fats: fats that increase your good cholesterol (HDL) levels, and also lowers your bad cholesterol (LDL). Avocado is high in vitamins C, K, E, and folic acid, and a good source of potassium, magnesium, copper, and manganese. Why do we need copper, you may wonder. We need a little bit in order for our bodies to better absorb the iron we ingest. It also has other roles, of course. Calories per ¼ avocado: 80.
I hope I have turned you onto fruit purées. They’re a fun and healthy way to enjoy your fruit, without losing the fiber or some of the nutrients, as you do when you drink fruit juice. I go for such purées not because I’m a baby, but because I want to keep all that’s good in the fruit while also designing the taste myself. Just as importantly, if I purée the fruit I find I end up having more fruit servings per day than I would if I were to eat each fruit separately, or even in a more appetizing fruit salad. More servings of fruit daily helps if you want to lose weight, or simply to have more energy, and be and feel healthier.
And yes, you can drink them (the two thicker-textured blends presented above) easily.
Till next time,
Some of My Other Easy, Healthy Recipes
You Will Need a Blender
|Cuisinart SPB-600 SmartPower Deluxe Die Cast Blender, Sta...|