Why It’s Good to #FearNoFruit:10 Reasons by Janet Helm inspired us to launch our hospital’s National Nutrition Month celebration by hosting a #FearNoFruit week-long event. Each day we offered samples of different exotic fruits along with nutrition education and interesting tidbits. This is an easy, cost-effective event for any school, work site or grocery store to host and I’d be happy to share the materials, just contact me.
We began the week with Star Fruit because it’s showy and draws a crowd. It was hard for people to imagine that these are often times eaten like an apple because they’re so much fun to eat sliced. They have a texture of a grape but their flavor is a cross between an apple, pear and citrus. This comment alone intrigued many people to sample it. Star Fruit is a low-calorie exotic fruit, rich in antioxidants and contain 41% of your daily value (DV) for Vitamin C in 100 grams. This was by far the all-star (pun intended), crowd pleaser of the week.
On Tuesday we featured Papaya. My tagline for the event was “Pushin Papaya” because it was just plain fun to say. It was an interesting contrast in texture from the fruit offered on day one. Many of the customers who enjoyed the crisp, clean crunch from star fruit crunch were less apt to favor the more meaty, slimy (someone help me come up with a better adjective – please!) texture of papaya. In addition to eating it fresh, dried papaya is often found in meat tenderizer. One of our gastrointestinal doctors commented that this is why it’s protein dissolving enzyme, papain is a natural remedy for heartburn and indigestion. Our chef suggested that the inner seeds could be dried and used as peppercorns, so I left a pan of seeds on his desk.
Coconut is definitely a “one and done.” The amount of time and effort it took to crack the shell and remove the meat gave us a new-found appreciation for monkeys and other animals who enjoy cracking this nut on a regular basis. Customers commented that it tastes much different from the shredded version that they’re used to commercially. Some suggested we add a little sugar, cover it with chocolate and call it “Mounds.”
Kiwi was a familiar fruit to many and a nutrition powerhouse at 127 percent DV for Vitamin C, 10 percent Vitamin E and 7 percent potassium. I was often asked how do you tell if a fruit is ripe? The skin should have a little give just like an avocado but not enough to allow for an indentation. However, kiwi is sensitive to ethylene gas so if you want them to ripen quickly, stick them in a bag with an apple, pear or banana. The fun fact about kiwi is that bees are not attracted to their flowers so pollination is often difficult. To compensate for this, many growers will saturate their orchards with hives, reducing bees supply of competing flowers. Our accounting department enjoyed this connection to supply and demand.
We ended #FearNoFruit week with mango, a versatile fruit that we offer as an oatmeal and Greek yogurt topper on our breakfast bar. In addition to eating it fresh, it can be made into a sorbet, chutney, salsa, pie and juice. Unfortunately, I’m one of the few who are sensitive to mangos which may cause irritation to the lips, tongue and gums. For those who can enjoy, it’s a good source of Vitamin C at 44 percent DV, 11 percent folate, 7 percent Vitamin A and 6 percent Vitamin E.
While we didn’t go quite so adventurous as Janet Helm suggests in her blog Nutrition Unplugged and serve up Buddha’s Hand, Cactus Pear, Cherimoya, Dragon Fruit and more, a good time was had by all. Our customers learned that only 15 percent of us consume our 2 cups of the United States Daily Recommendations for fruit. They got to sample fruits beyond apples, oranges and bananas and items that are readily available in our local grocery stores. #FearNoFruit week was a great way to inspire our teammates and visitors to eat more whole, fresh fruit and have a little fun during the lunch hour. We hope your inspired too!
Categories: Nutrition & Wellness