Guest Author - Vannie Ryanes
For many of us this time of year means no sitting down to dinner. Instead we run around doing last minute chores and Christmas shopping. We grab a bite here and there. This is a good time to stock up on fruit to take the hunger edge away until you can find time for a meal. Apples, bananas, grapes - all easy to put into your tote or briefcase and take with you. It's recommended that we eat 2 to 4 servings of fruit daily. For those who are not especially fond of fruit that can be hard to do. If one of your resolutions is eating healthier meals - add a little fruit to your diet, it can be incorporated into your daily meals.
Below are a few good cooked fruit recipes that will make it easier to do the right thing. Did you know that fruits are wonderful in chutney's and salsas, they compliment most meat and poultry dishes. Strawberry-Jalapeño Salsa is delicious with baked chicken or broiled fish. I have served Strawberry-Jalapeño Salsa with Blackend Red Snapper and highly recommend it. It is also delicious with smoked trout - a small bit of smoked trout on an unsalted cracker (unsalted saltines work better than water crackers for this)and a dab of Strawberry-Jalapeño Salsa is amazingly good.
The recipe below uses peaches. The blending of sweet and hot is always exciting. This chunky peachy salsa has wonderful texture and flavor.
Quick and Easy Peachy Salsa
1 large juicy peach, peeled and chopped (use drained canned peach halves if fresh not available)
5 large plum tomatoes, chopped
1 tbspn chopped coriander*
2 or 3 seeded and diced jalapeno peppers*
3 tablespoons of rice vinegar*
½ teaspoon sugar (see italic note below)
Salt to taste
1. Place all ingredients into blender and chop until medium chunky. Serve with tortilla chips as a dip. This salsa is good as a spread over sliced pork roast, sliced ham or on hamburgers. Also good spooned over baked potato.
(Serves 6 to 8 when used as a dip)
*Nakano Seasoned Rice Vinegar (original flavor) is excellent for this recipe. When using Nakano vinegar do not add sugar to the salsa recipe. If you have not tried these incredible vinegars, do yourself a favor and head to the supermarket. They come in several flavors and all are good. I use them on salads with no oil. Use these vinegars also, when making Subs or Hero sandwiches.
*Coriander is also called Cilantro or Chinese Parsley. Did you know that coriander is part of the carrot family? See recipe for Spiced Baby Carrots
*The fiery heat is in seeds of the pepper. If you want more heat leave a few seeds. For more about peppers see my interview with Jason Grooms the Habanero King. Jason also shares two of his favorite recipes with us.
*Keep fresh fruits and 100 percent fruit juices in the house. Get a nice bowl and present the fruit, it may become irresistible to family members. Stock up on the those little juice packs when they are on sale. I keep small cans of fruit on the bottom shelf of my fridge, for a quick snack at night. Add dried fruit to nuts for snacking. I will have more cooked spicy and savory fruit recipes throughout the new year.
Wishing you all a safe and healthy holiday season.
Hot & Spicy Editor
Hot and spicy foods add excitement to your your meals!