By Keri Glassman, MS, RD
I am not the kind of nutritionist who is going to tell you you can’t eat fruit because of the sugar it adds to your diet.
No, you shouldn’t be eating more fruit than veggies. And yes, you need protein and healthy fats to balance things out. (Like most things, don’t overdo it!) But fruit is one of the best sources of fiber and is almost universally rich in antioxidants—those powerful molecules I bring up constantly.
When the weather gets warmer, fruit gets sweeter and juicier and you end up wanting to add it to your plate more often. While other food groups lend themselves to combos, we tend to eat fruit on its own. An apple. A handful of berries. That doesn’t have to be the case.
Here are some creative ways to mix things up and add more fruit to your diet.
5 Creative Ways to Eat Fruit
1. Grill it
A burger is not the only food that tastes better when you can see those grill lines. Fruits like pineapple and watermelon are super delicious when grilled, and you can use them as toppings for other dishes at the barbecue, too.
2. Dress Up Your Drinks
This is a way to enjoy more fruit and stay hydrated, especially if you’re someone who has trouble getting enough water throughout the day. Throwing some fruit in will make it a way more special beverage. Try mixed berries, cubed melon, or pineapple rings. Frozen watermelon cubes also make super cool ice cubes you can throw in water…or a cocktail.
3. Put it in Salads
I’m not talking about fruit salad. Fruit is sweet but it’s the perfect complement to veggie and grain salads. Try putting berries in a quinoa salad, for example, or slicing grapefruit to serve with shaved Brussels.
4. Make Smoothies
There’s nothing wrong with drinking green juice if it’s super green, but when fruit is juiced, you lose the fiber, and the sugar gets super concentrated. Instead of juicing, make smoothies so the healthy fruit retains its fiber and is paired with other nutrients like fat that will help slow down the sugar absorption.
5. Make Fruit Salsa
Salsa is generally salty and tomato-y, but when you add fruit, it gets that sweet-and-salty flavor that can take it up a whole other notch. Mango, pineapple, strawberries, and apples can all be delicious in salsa. Try this recipe to start.