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Out Of The Ordinary Fruits And Vegetables

Contributed by: NAPSA

by Elizabeth Pivonka, Ph.D., R.D.,
President, Produce for Better Health Foundation

(NAPSA) - Trying a new food can be a little like trying a new restaurant or a new exercise class-it's nice to have a recommendation or go with someone you know. Here are three new fruits and vegetables that you should try. Each one offers a wide range of vitamins, minerals, fiber and phytonutrients important for good health.

There are also preparation ideas that are easy and familiar. Make it a rule to try a new fruit and/or vegetable each week. Use color as an easy way to see if you are getting a good variety. The five color groups are: blue/purple, green, white, yellow/orange and red.

Cherimoya falls into the white group (even though it is green on the outside). It is a heart-shaped sub-tropical fruit with a tasteful blend of pineapple, mango and strawberry flavors. On the outside it has a pale green, shingled skin that must be handled with care to avoid bruising. Inside, the ivory-colored flesh is creamy and contains several black inedible seeds. To eat, simply cut into wedges and spoon out the fruit, discarding seeds. Add to salads, fruit drinks and desserts. Choose fruit that is firm and allow to ripen at room temperature. Refrigerate soft fruit and use as soon as possible for best flavor.

Starfruit or Carambola falls into the yellow/orange group. Named for the 5-pointed star-shaped slices it makes, Starfruit's pale yellow, juicy flesh contains a few, small, flat seeds and a distinctly tropical flavor. The thin, edible lime green skin ripens to a bright yellow with a waxy sheen. It's usually sliced fresh as an elegant addition to salads, buffet platters and desserts. Choose firm, glossy-skinned fruits with no signs of bruising. Note that browning on the tips of the ridges is simply a sign of ripeness. Keep refrigerated in a paper or plastic bag for about one week. Slices may also be frozen. Except for seeds, the entire Starfruit is edible.

Purple potatoes fall into the blue/purple group. They are similar in taste to a regular russet. They have a creamy texture and are rich in flavor. Purple potatoes taste great when baked, broiled or mashed. They add color and style to your meal. Try them in potato salad or bake purple potato chips for a fun treat. Look for firm, well-shaped, fairly smooth potatoes. Avoid potatoes that show signs of sprouting, wilting, wrinkling or decay. Store in a cool, well-ventilated area rather than in the refrigerator.


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