Tag: fruit

How to Get Rid of Fruit Flies

by in Food Safety, September 2, 2012

bananas in bowl
Do pesky fruit flies hover around your fresh produce? Find out how you can get them out of your kitchen.

Fruit Flies 101
Adult fruit flies (Drosiphila melanogaster) range in size from 1 to 2 millimeters, have red eyes and tan or brownish body. They like to lay their eggs on fruit that’s getting ready to be harvested; that’s how they make it into your home, though they can come in through open doors and windows. Once in your home, these small flies will hang out near rotting fruit, especially old bananas hanging out on your counter. These flies reproduce quickly—they can lay up to 500 eggs over the course of their 1-week lifespan.

Other common breeding grounds for these bugs include decaying meat, large spills of sugary soda or alcohol, sink drains, garbage disposals, empty bottles and cans, trash receptacles, wet mops and dirty rags.

Read more

Produce Safety 101

by in Food Safety, August 7, 2012

washing peppers
You know you should be eating your fruits and veggies. But it’s just as important to your health to make sure your produce is clean and free of harmful pathogens. Luckily, there are simple tips you can follow to keep you and your loved ones safe.

Foods Involved
The culprits include raw fruits and veggies and fresh juices made from them. Choosing organic or sticking to the clean 15 can help decrease the amount of pesticides in your produce but it won’t change the possibility that harmful microorganisms may be present.

At the Store
Whether you’re buying from your local supermarket, farmers’ market or belong to a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) keep these tips in mind:

  • Purchase in-season fruits and veggies, especially in the summer when so much is available.
  • If you’re heading to your local farmers’ market, go early! You don’t want to buy fruits and veggies that have been sitting out in the heat for many hours or that have been touched by lots of people.
  • Buy only what you need for the week. You’re better off making several quick trips to the market rather than stocking up and risking having the excess go bad.
  • Choose produce carefully. Look for signs on spoilage such as mold, bruises, mushiness or cuts.
  • Instead of buying pre-packaged produce, choose loose produce. It gives you a better opportunity to check for signs of spoilage.
  • When buying fresh juice, be sure it’s pasteurized (treated with heat to kill harmful germs). If you’re not sure, ask or don’t buy it. Remember, young kids, pregnant and lactating women, older adults and those with a compromised immune system should lay off unpasteurized juices.
  • If you’re bagging your produce in reusable bags, be sure to wash the bags regularly.

Read more

Unforgettable Fruit Salads

by in Healthy Recipes, July 6, 2012

fruit salad
We’ve all been there. After slaving away over a sticky cutting board, cutting pear after strawberry after apple, the fruit salad of our dreams is left with the dregs of cantaloupe and honeydew stranded in the bowl, never to grace a plate. Each fruit was squeezed and sized up in the grocery store, sure, but the typical fruit salad is rather uniform and expected. We know what it’s going to taste like before we even load up our plates.

At the same time, the proverbial fruit salad is a mainstay at summer barbecues. In between bites of burger, chips and potato salad, guests are yearning for something more refreshing, something that will lift them up after such a heavy meal.

Read more

Creative Recipes Featuring Fruit

by in Uncategorized, May 25, 2012


We’re hosting a Healthy Every Week Challenge for the month of May; a month-long initiative to develop healthy eating habits. The plan is to develop a manageable healthy habit each week that will carry through the new year. Join us here and share what you’re eating on Facebook and Twitter .

The May Healthy Challenge is almost over, and I have to say that I’ve had a wonderful time participating with all of you. The challenge has enabled me to save money, eat healthier, and stay on track with portion control. What about you? Perhaps you’ve been inspired to make healthy choices, or simply think about ways to make small changes, such as eating breakfast in the morning or getting more whole grains in your diet.

Read more

8 Foods You Should Not Refrigerate

by in Healthy Tips, May 22, 2012


Summer is prime time for produce. While you may know how to cook and eat these seasonal goodies, are you storing them correctly? Here are 8 farmers’ markets finds that should stay out of the fridge.

The chill of the icebox makes tomatoes dull and mealy. Store on the counter (under-ripe ones can go on the windowsill). If they begin to get too ripe, it’s time to make tomato jam or roasted tomato sauce.

Keep whole melons like watermelon, cantaloupe and honeydew on the counter for best flavor. USDA research found that storage at room temp may even help keep the antioxidants better intact. Once cut, store in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days.

Read more

Win These Freeze-Dried Fruit Snacks!

by in Giveaway, April 11, 2012

freeze dried snacksChange up your afternoon snack routine with freeze-dried fruit in 100 and 40-calorie serving packs. These packs of freeze-dried fruit aren’t your typical astronaut food, however. Kiwis, bananas, apples, Asian pears and more from FruitziO! take the guesswork out of snacking.

Each pack is made with only the fruit on the label. That’s right—no added preservatives, added sugars, fat or cholesterol—just crisp, ready-to-eat fruit that satisfies sweet cravings without the guilt.

You can buy your own FruitziO! snacks or enter in the comments for a chance to win a prize pack containing four flavors. Just let us know, in the comments, what fruit you can’t live without and why. The contest starts at 10:00 a.m. EST today, and ends on Friday, April 13 at 5 p.m. EST.

We’re giving away one 6-pack of each Crispy Fruit flavor and two bags of each FruitziO flavor to two lucky, randomly selected commenters. You must include your email address in the “Email” field when submitting your comment so we can communicate with you if you’re a winner.

You may only comment once to be considered and you don’t have to purchase anything to win; a purchase will not increase your chances of winning. Odds depend on total number of entries. Void where prohibited. Only open to legal residents of 50 U.S. states, D.C. or Puerto Rico, and you must be at least 18 to win. For the first day of the giveaway, all entries (answers) must be entered between 10:00 a.m. EST on April 11 and 5 p.m. EST on April 13, 2012. Subject to full official rules. By leaving a comment on the blog, you acknowledge your acceptance to the Official Rules. ARV of each prize: $82.84 each. Sponsor: Scripps Networks, LLC, d/b/a Food Network, 9721 Sherrill Blvd, Knoxville, TN 37932.

So tell us, what fruit can you not live without?

Foods that Fight Inflammation

by in Uncategorized, January 14, 2012
fruits and vegetables
Fruits and vegetables can help fight inflammation.

Chronic inflammation (persistent inflammation of cells) has been linked to many diseases such as cardiovascular disease, cancer and Alzheimers, and though the foods we eat can contribute to the cause they may also be one of the best medicines.

Does your diet contribute to inflammation?

The foods you are eating may be the root of some major health problems and even contribute to your achy joints. How many of these foods end up on your plate each day?

  • Saturated fats which are found in animal products like meats and dairy.
  • Trans-fats which can be found in processed foods, baked goods and some oils.
  • Sugar: Yes table sugar is important to avoid, but added sugar is the real culprit. Start reading the ingredient lists on the foods you purchase. You will be surprised how many times sugar pops up.
  • Refined carbohydrates which are made with processed, white flour and contain little to no fiber

Moderation is key! Don’t feel like you can never eat dairy, meat or sugar again. The point is to be mindful of how much you are consuming and aim to reduce the amounts of saturated fats and added sugars in our diets day to day. Here are some healthy upgrades to get you started:

  • Reduce saturated fats by choosing low-fat dairy products and lean meats
  • Minimize processed foods and sweets
  • Eat whole foods like fruits, vegetables and whole grains

Read more

Store-Bought Juice Blends: Are They Healthy?

by in Healthy Tips, Is It Healthy?, September 28, 2011
juice blends
They seem healthy, but are they really?

Store shelves are lined with juice blends promising various health benefits. But are they really as healthy as they’re hyped up to be? Here’s the lowdown on 3 popular store-bought juice blends.

Naked’s Green Machine
Naked makes a variety of juice blends including one of their more popular varieties called the Green Machine. They promote their product saying “Greens are one of the most underconsumed foods in the average person’s diet. Drink ‘em up!” One 15.2 fluid ounce contain has 140 calories, 50 percent of your daily dose of vitamin A, and 11 percent of the daily recommended amount of potassium.

Read more

In Season: Grapes

by in Healthy Recipes, In Season, September 9, 2011

Grapes are in season right now. Get them fresh off the vine and try some of our favorite ways to prepare them.

When, Where, & What?
Grapes (Vitis spp, Vitaceae) are edible berries grown in clusters on small shrubs or vines. They grow best in temperate zones such as Italy, France, Spain, Mexico and Chile. New world settlers found that grapes brought over from Europe didn’t survive the winter cold and were prone to fungal diseases. They developed the hybrid varieties found in America today. Today California is the largest producer of “table grapes” – the kind for snacking.

There are thousands of varieties of grapes. Some are grown for wine production while others are grown to be eaten as-is. Concord grapes are used to produce grape juice, jams and jellies. They’re blue in color, with a thick, chewy skin and contain seeds. They’re sold as table grapes along with other varieties like Interlaken, Lakemont, Einset Seedless and Venus. Muscat grapes are turned into raisins while Riesling grapes are used to produce wine. Dana found fun varieties when she scouted her local farmers market including Mars and Juniper grapes.

Grapes are typically round or oval, smooth skinned and juicy. Some varieties contain seeds while others are seedless. Some are “slip skin” where the skin can easily be removed while other varieties have skin that is tough to remove. Grapes are divided into categories by color: white or black (or red). White grapes range in color from pale yellow-green to light green, while black varieties range in color from light red to deep purple. In the U.S., peak season for grapes is August through October.

Read more

In Season: Plums

by in Healthy Recipes, In Season, July 12, 2011
Plums in many colors.

Finally…plum season has arrived! This juicy stone fruit is only in season a short period of time. Be sure to enjoy it while it lasts.

What, Where, When
The plum (Prunus domestica, Rosaceae) belongs to the rose family with cherries, peaches, and apricots. There are hundreds of plum varieties grown throughout the world. Common varieties include French, Italian, Imperial, Greengage, Long John, Castelton, and Fellenburg.

Plums grow on trees in clusters, have smooth skin and a pit in the center. Plums can be oval or round in shape. The skin can be deep purple, red, green, blue, or multicolored. The flesh can be orange, red, purple, yellow, or white. Plums also vary in taste—some are sweet while others are tart. They’re available from July through October.

Read more