Fresh fruits are not only delicious, but they are also loaded with vital nutrients that our bodies need to function at their best. In addition to being an utter delight to devour, fresh fruits can add a pop of color to any meal and make your table look as vibrant and inviting as you feel. Whether you are preparing a casual brunch, a formal dinner, or something in between, incorporating fresh fruits into your menu will bring both health and joy to your guests. Below are a few tried and true tips for preparing fresh fruits for any occasion.
When selecting fruits, it’s essential to pick those that are in season for the best quality and price. Sourcing fruits locally is an excellent way to ensure freshness, optimal taste, and support farmers in your region. If you’re unsure what’s in season or don’t have access to local produce, take a trip to your nearest farmer’s market or grocery store, where the in-season fruits will be prominently displayed.
Look for fruits that are firm, brightly colored, and free of bruises or blemishes. If possible, try to smell the fruit before purchasing to make sure it has a pleasant aroma. Some fruits, such as peaches and avocados, may not be perfectly ripe when purchased but can be ripened at room temperature over a day or two.
Once you’ve selected your fruits, it’s important to clean them thoroughly before serving. Rinse the fruits in cold water under the faucet, gently rubbing them with your hands to remove any dirt or pesticides. Dry the fruits with a clean towel or let them sit in a colander to remove excess moisture.
Next, decide how you’d like to prepare the fruits based on your menu and personal preferences. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
On Their Own
A simple fruit platter is always a crowd-pleaser. Arrange a variety of sliced fruits on a platter, and let your guests mix and match to their heart’s content. Some tasty fruit combinations include:
- Pineapple, mango, and kiwi
- Strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries
- Watermelon, cantaloupe, and honeydew
In a Salad
Adding fruits to a salad can take it from dull to delightful. Mix greens, fruits, nuts, and cheese for a well-rounded and nutritious salad. Delicious fruit additions to salads include:
- Sliced apples, pears, or strawberries
- Mandarin oranges or grapefruit
- Dried cranberries or cherries
As a Dessert
Fruits make for a naturally sweet and healthy dessert. Bake them into pies, crumbles, or cakes or serve them alongside a dollop of whipped cream or scoop of ice cream. Some fruits that are particularly well-suited for desserts include:
- Apples or peaches
- Berries, such as strawberries or blueberries
- Pineapple or mango
As a Garnish
Finally, don’t forget the power of a simple fruit garnish to add flair to any dish. Adding a few berries on top of a stack of pancakes or a wedge of watermelon to a cocktail can take the presentation to the next level.
Fresh fruits are a versatile and healthy addition to any meal or occasion. With a few simple preparation tips, you can create a beautiful and nutritious spread that will impress all of your guests. Remember to select fruits that are in season, clean them thoroughly, and let your imagination run wild when it comes to how you incorporate them into your menu. Bon appetit!