They say an apple a day keeps the doctor away. However, there are so many delicious fruits and veggies out there, I would be reluctant to tell you to only eat apples.
You’ll find that I use apples in so many of my recipes because they have a lovely sweet flavour which isn’t overpowering. This makes them awesome for throwing into green juices and smoothies. Apples also go well with oats to make muesli, baked oatmeal or delicious desserts. Enjoy baked apples with a cashew crème or add them to tarts, pies, and muffins for sweetness.
One of the best things about apples is that although they are sweet, they don’t have a significant impact on blood sugar because they have a low glyceamic load, especially green apples. If for example you are following an anti-candida diet green apples could be your saving grace because they are something that you can use in your smoothies and juices to add that sweetness, but without spiking your blood sugar too much.
Bananas are a tropical fruit which is high in potassium and full of goodness.
You will find I use banana in many of my raw dessert and smoothie recipes. I love adding banana to my morning smoothie as they give them a lovely creamy texture and sweetness. They work well both fresh or frozen. You will find I also use them in many of my gluten-free baking recipes as they can help make them fluffier and lighter.
One of my favourite all-time desserts that I discovered when I was travelling around Thailand was frozen and blended banana. This can make a delicious yet simple banana ice-cream. You simply freeze the banana, then throw it in a high-speed blender and voila! – you have a delicious whippy banana ice-cream to enjoy. Yum
Blackberries are one of my favourite fruits. Packed with antioxidants and flavonoids giving them their gorgeous purple colour. There is something sweet and comforting about blackberries. Growing up I used to pick them fresh from the road at the back of my family’s house.
Blackberries work well in smoothies but can be overpowering in terms of the colour. So be aware because they can quickly make a green smoothie look unpleasant even if it tastes amazing. Also, in the same way I enjoy apples, I love to have them with oatmeal or oats, either fresh and raw on the top or baked into oatmeal either as a dessert or a breakfast alternative.
The good thing about blackberries is that you can also buy them frozen which helps to reduce the cost of fresh berries. Again, this can be great for adding to your morning smoothie.
Oranges are renowned for their high vitamin C content making them a great option if you want to help support your immune system.
I love to use oranges in my recipes as they’re so sweet. I especially love to throw them into my juices and smoothies.
I try not to rely too much on orange juice because this is going to be high in sugar, but whole oranges are great for adding that fresh flavour to food.
You will find I use them to make sweet treats such as my oat and flapjack bars and even salad dressings to add that fresh zesty flavour.
Mangoes are lovely sweet and soft fruits. However, as a tropical fruit, one of the downsides to mangoes are their high sugar content.
This means you need to watch your quantities. However, because of the sugar content they do help when you are first starting to enjoy green smoothies, and want to add more sweetness. They blend well with the greens such as spinach, kale and cucumber, adding a lovely flavour.
Mangoes can also be enjoyed chopped up and enjoyed fresh on their own.
I don’t know where I would be without avocados. It’s hard to believe that at one time I didn’t enjoy them at all. However, since I started increasing my intake of green smoothies and throwing avocados in the blender, I have grown to love them.
If you’re not used to eating avocados try adding them to your green smoothies, like I did. They will give your smoothies a lovely creamy texture.
Avocados are packed with good fats making them a great addition to your diet especially if you are trying to support your skin health, hormone balance, mood and energy.
They also work well added to most salads. The only downside to avocados is that they do turn bad very quickly, so be warned. They go from hard to mushy in a blink of an eye.
Raspberries are another one of my favourite fruits. I love fresh raspberries thrown into smoothies or enjoyed over warm oats.
They are great for decorating cakes, as their vibrant red colour can add so much beauty to them.
Like other berries, raspberries have a delicious natural sweetness but are low in sugar. This makes them a great option especially if you are trying to reduce your sugar intake and balance your blood sugar levels.
Or if you are struggling with candida and you are ready to introduce fruit, these are a perfect option for you.
I recommend picking up frozen raspberries if you are on a budget.
You’ll find I throw raspberries into my smoothies and use them in different desserts.
You can also spiralise them to create raw spaghetti as a healthy alternative to wheat pasta.
Lemons are one of the best things to throw in your morning green juice. They give them a lovely zingy flavour, especially if you add a little ginger, making the whole juice taste fresh.
Another awesome way to start the morning is to add fresh lemon to hot water first thing. It’s a fabulous way to support your digestive system when you first wake up and to love your liver.
You’ll find I use lemons in my green juices, smoothies, fruit infused water, salad dressings, marinades and desserts.
Blueberries are another one of my favourite fruits. Like blackberries, they have a lovely purple dark colour thanks to their high flavonoid content.
Again their sweet flavour works well in smoothies, but can overpower the colour slightly, so you do need to be mindful of the other ingredients you add.
As with other the berries, it can often be cheaper to buy these frozen if budget is an issue.
Blueberries are delicious fresh or baked. I love them in muffins, oatmeal, smoothies and of course pancakes!
One of my favourite natural sweeteners are divine dates. Packed with vitamins, minerals, and low in calories these are my go-to food when a sweet craving hits. You can purchase dates dried, but these wouldn’t be my first choice. I prefer Medjool dates because they are very sweet, delicious and highly available. I love them on their own stuffed with nut butter or whizzed through raw desserts or smoothies.
In Nourish I use raw pitted Medjool dates to bind desserts and sweeten smoothies. They work best in foods when you have presoaked them. This helps soften them further so they blend easily.
You can also puree dates, dehydrate them and make a date paste. This tastes delicious in oats and grains.In most health foods stores you can buy date syrup however you will find I don‘t typically use this as it is so strong.
One thing to keep in mind; the reason dates are so sweet is because they are full of natural sugar. For example, one date has the same sugar effect as a whole punnet of berries. You, therefore, need to be mindful of your intake. Combine them with something like nut butter which will help slow the release of the sugar and reduce the impact on your blood sugar levels.
Pineapple is one of these lovely tropical fruits that can add real sweetness to your smoothies and juices.
Just like mango and banana, they do have a higher sugar content than for example berries. You, therefore, need to be mindful your quantities, especially if you are trying to reduce your intake of sugar and balance your blood sugar levels.
One of the best things about pineapple is that it is rich in bromelain a digestive enzyme which can help to break down your food. Just like papaya, which contains papain, both of these when enjoyed with food can help support your digestive function.
Strawberries always make me think of summer. They are delicious in fruit infused water along with mint and coriander.
Of course, they go great in smoothies or top of your oats in the morning adding that lovely sweetness.Just like the other berries they are low in sugar, making them ideal if you are struggling with candida and you haywire blood sugar levels.
Again, you can buy strawberries frozen to reduce the cost as fresh berries can sometimes be a bit pricey.