Spring is in the air, friends are getting frozen fruit puree married and this time I know exactly what to get for them. The happy couple are both diabetic and both like sweets and desserts which makes them a perfect fit for a frozen fruit treat maker!
The shock of having to go from normal diet to zero sugar in a week (or less), is profound. My husband really struggled to stay cheerful as one by one the old favorites vanished off his plate. No more sticky caramel sponge, or white chocolate cream cheese, no more rich sweet ice creams with boozy combinations. In fact, as he put it no more foodie fun.
The reality sunk in over a couple of weeks, even breakfast of homemade bread toasted with marmalade was out, forget normal marmalade it’s loaded with sugar. Most breakfast cereals have added sugar, check on the side of the box and you’ll be in for a nasty surprise as there’s very few with low enough sugar to qualify as diabetic friendly.
I won’t run through the whole day’s meals and how dismal the options looked, least said soonest mended I reckon! Well I love cooking, eating and a challenge, which is just as well because finding replacement meals which would keep everyone happy and bring his love of food back was a challenge alright!
Getting a home rotisserie oven to cut sugar out of deli bought meat was one big step and a positive change in way we cooked, making low fat low sugar cooking of meat and poultry a breeze. There are so many marinades using lemon, lime, garlic and other strong herbs like rosemary that you’ll never miss the unnecessary sugar or be stuck for ideas.
Desserts – Much More Tricky
Making sponge pudding and fruit based desserts with sweeteners is easy enough, but it does mean cutting out a chunk of time and freezing down for future use. Low sugar ice cream is impossible, unless you make the custard version and even then it ends up with a rather odd consistency without any sugar to bulk it up and keep it from freezing rock hard.
The breakthrough came at a party several years ago now, where the hosts were dishing out what looked like gallons of ice cream to kids. Way too much, huge portions!
Turns out it was a Yonanas Healthy Treat Maker, and it uses only frozen fruit to turn out creamy delicious iced desserts, which diabetics can indulge in. Yes, they still have to watch it and not go mad with strawberries, but compared to just three squares of chocolate, it’s much the safest option.
The only thing that limits you with these is your imagination, because virtually any combinations of fruit or berries can be frozen down hard and used, as can yoghurt which we freeze in cubes and add for a different flavour. Bananas give substance and creaminess where pure frozen fruit will yield a sorbet like iced treat.
At last something to beat back the sugar cravings, something which tastes delicious and is made in minutes – and something healthy enough to serve as an extra on hot summer days. Of course when no one is watching, non-diabetics can add chocolate chips, liqueurs, cream and a whole list of other less healthy ingredients, thus keeping everyone happy!
There is one other massive benefit to these frozen treat machines. If you have kids and they won’t eat enough fruit this could be your solution, it worked for the hosts of that party and cast the same spell over our kids, in fact it took them several weeks to work out that what was going into the Machine was simply fruit, and by then it really didn’t matter anymore.
For anyone cutting sugar or trying to get their kids into healthy ways, these are inexpensive little machines which can make all the difference.
Fruits and vegetables form the basic fundamental block of human the nutritional system. There has been continued debate on whether fresh fruit is better than frozen fruit and vegetables. Much as the arguments suggest that the frozen fruits and vegetable can be kept for long time because they are well preserved as compared to the freshly perishable ones, there is still need to know some nutritional differences that come between the fresh and the frozen fruits. Diet is all about better nutritional set that makes your dining habit worth the effort.
Juice from a fresh fruit is pure, with all the active enzymes and minerals, which are good for the body. This means that the nutrients will be absorbed into the body while still fresh thus enhancing their functions in the body. On the other hand, frozen fruits will have all the active enzymes deactivated and thus their nutritional value is greatly lowered. The freshness of fruits reduces with time and so is the nutritional value. When it is frozen, fruit content is reduced as the low temperatures of the freezer reduce the juice content and quality. Thus, fresh fruits are better than frozen ones in terms of nutritional value.
Human body requires fresh vitamins from vegetables to develop proper immune system and keep it fit. These nutrients are mostly found in freshly picked vegetables and fruits. Frozen or canned vegetables are more or less like boiling the vegetables, then pouring out the nutritious liquid. The vitamins are drained out and unhealthier vitamin supplements introduced. This means that keeping it fresh is the simplest way of having naturally healthy vitamins and roughage, if you want to feel the healthy taste of fresh vegetable. Still the convenience offered by the frozen ones can still serve your purpose.
Fruits are vital components of a healthy diet. Yet 60% of Americans hardly eat enough fruits. Many say it is hard to fit them in and hard to do. To meet your daily requirements, it means eating 2 to 3 cups of fruit. This presents a challenge for many. Arming yourself with the knowledge on how to include fruits in the diet, the role they play in optimal good health is an incentive to make them priorities as components of your healthy lifestyle. Fruits are delicious, colorful and can be eaten on demand. Fruits are low in calories, are nutrient dense- high in vitamins, minerals, phyto-nutrients, fibers with high water content. Although some fruits are seasonal, fresh fruits are still available in grocery store year-round when local farms productions are halted.
Beware of food manufacturers who place small amounts of “real fruits” in foods and include them as “real fruits” on their food label. These claims do not translate as whole fruit or as a piece of fruit. Take a look at the Nutrition Label ingredients. Ask yourself, is this fruit listed as “whole fruit” or “fruit flavored?” If it is “fruit flavored” it is not counted as whole fruit.
Fresh fruits are either sweet or tart in flavor. Mostly they are low in calories, high in nutrients, tasty and flavorful. Canned and frozen fruits without added sugars or syrups count as pure fruit. Include a variety of fruits in your diet such as berries that are packed with vitamins-C, banana, contains potassium, mangoes contain vitamin-A and fiber. Make it a habit to eat different fruits. Each fruit delivers different nutrients and benefits and that is the key to getting variety.
Dried fruits like raisins; cranberries and prunes are pure fruits but must be eaten in smaller amounts because drying makes them more concentrated and higher in calories. Look at the difference; a cup of fresh grapes has approximately 104 calories and half a cup of raisins has 216 calories. Another options is freeze drying fruits, eating that type of fruit does not contribute high calories, has good flavor and retain most of their nutrients. However, they are expensive.
One hundred percent fruit juices count as a serving of fruit. However, the whole fruit of an orange provides 62 calories, 3-g of fiber. One serving of juice, a ½ cup serving with pulp, has the same calories as whole orange, but the difference is the lack of fiber.
Yogurt with Fruit at the Bottom
Fruit is usually included in yogurt. The amount of fruit it contains does not supply much nutrients and the sugar added increases the caloric levels. It is better to buy plain low-fat yogurt and add your own serving of fruit.
The Science behind Fruits
Fruits are friends to having a healthy heart. In a study conducted by the Finns’ women added ½-cup (4 ounces) of mixed berries and about 2 ounces of pureed berries to their daily diets. Their good cholesterol (HDL) was improved by 5.2 percent after 8 weeks. Fruits are associated in lowering the risk of Cancer. A Japanese study of over 42,000 adults showed that citrus consumption reduced the risk of all types of cancer. Many factors may attribute to the findings. One idea suggests that the flavonoids of lemon may inhibit the growth of cancer cells. Fruits are a great helper in losing weight. Researchers in Brazil asked women to add 3 apples, pears or equal amount of fiber containing oat cookies to their daily diets. At the end of 10 weeks the fruit eaters lost almost 2 pounds, while the oat eaters’ weight remained the same. Fruits contain fiber and nutrients so include them in your 3 meals or as snacks. Remember: perception of “sweetness” or acidity is personal. Fruit eaten before the peak of its season may be more acidic to the palate. Fruit eaten during or after their peak season may taste less acidic or sweeter to the palate. Fruit eaten at the end of the season may be mealy or pithy with little residual flavor.
Global Trends of Fruits
Make fruits a focal staple in your menu planning. Select a variety of colorful fruits that are tasty, are nutrient dense. Fruits like blueberries, strawberries, oranges, apricots, kiwifruit, cantaloupe, watermelon, apples, pomegranate, mangoes, cherries, peaches nectarines are delicious and have antioxidant properties that are good for our health. They can be eaten fresh, cooked, as topping for cereals salads, and chutneys for grilled roasted meats, chicken, and fish. The next time you visit your grocery store, take a look at the exotic fruits that are grown and shipped from all corners of the world and are delivered to us across national and geographical boundaries through many channels of technology and transportation. These exotic fruits are fresh, frozen and canned. You can purchase them as fresh, frozen, canned, dried in the same forms as our native fruits. These fruits are available to us from regions far and wide where they were grown and come with a price we should not take it for granted. Grapes come from Chile, Kiwi from New Zealand and Mangoes from India or the Caribbean. These fruits are perfectly formed and are undamaged. Make them a part of your fruit adventure. You are doing your body and health good. You now know the merits of eating fruits and the importance it plays in our health and well-being, it is versatile, it delights, it keeps our taste buds pleasurable. So make fruits an essential part of your diet.
So, now that you know the benefits of eating fruits, your nutritional journey will be much sweeter as will reaping the rewards. In my sample 3-day meal plan, I’ll show you easy ways of incorporating fruits into your healthy lifestyle.