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Buy one order of Pinkglow® Pineapples, and get 3 tote bags for free! Use Code BOG3 at checkout.
Buy one order of Pinkglow® Pineapples, and get 3 tote bags for free! Use Code BOG3 at checkout.

Sweet Summer Fruit

By Cheryl Forberg
Image of Tropical Grilled Pineapple
Plump and fragrant peaches, succulent cherries, and juicy watermelon—the sweet flavors of summer are here. Sure, they’re loaded with natural sugars, but you can still indulge in these seasonal sweets, even if you’re watching your weight.

Just as “good” carbs and lean protein are an integral part of healthy eating, knowing the ABCs of fresh fruit allows you to enjoy their luscious flavors without overdoing it. Here are key points to remember:

It’s Not Just for Breakfast
Enjoy your servings of fruit all day long, from a sprinkling of fresh berries on your oatmeal to a wedge of melon with a dollop of yogurt for an evening snack. Not only does this allow you to savor fruit’s pleasures throughout the day, but it also helps to regulate your blood sugar. Fresh fruits are also excellent sources of vitamins and antioxidants. Many of these vitamins are water-soluble, meaning they stay in our bloodstream for a matter of hours. Keep your antioxidant supply constant by spreading your fruit servings throughout the day.

Energy
Carbs are our best energy source, so consider that when planning your menus. No one wants to crash and burn after breakfast. Pace yourself, and your fruit servings by enjoying it more than once during the day. This means not having a whole melon for breakfast. Rule of thumb is that most whole fruit serving sizes are one-half cup. Melons, such as cantaloupe or watermelon are a whole cup.

Variety Is Key
Take advantage of summer’s bounty and choose fruits from the different color groups: light green, dark green, orange, red, purple and yellow. This keeps it interesting while infusing a variety of different nutrients in your diet.

Focus On Fresh
Dried fruits are sometimes treated with additives and are very concentrated in calories and sugar. Case in point: Two tablespoons of dried blueberries have more calories than ¾ cup fresh blueberries. The fresh blueberries have more volume, and thus, they’re more filling. And when the season’s passed and we don’t have summer’s abundant choices at our fingertips, frozen fruit is an excellent option for smoothies and such, as long as they’re not packed with sugar.

Eat Your Fruit
Choose whole fruits over fruit juices. Fruit juice contains little fiber, so it’s less filling and has a more concentrated form of sugar. Whole fruit is loaded with fiber, which increases satiety while slowing the release of blood sugars. Keeping your blood sugar on an even keel is key, plus it helps control your appetite.

Here’s an easy summer dessert prepared on the grill so you can keep your kitchen cool on a hot summer night.

Tropical Grilled Pineapple
Makes 8 servings
When the weather's really hot, there's no need to turn on the oven for dinner. You can prepare your entire meal outdoors on the grill—even dessert. Pineapple may be grilled several hours ahead of time and wrapped in foil until ready to serve.
Image of ingredients for skewers
Ingredients:

For marinade:
2 tablespoons Melissa’s agave nectar or honey
1 tablespoon grapeseed or canola oil
1 tablespoon fresh Melissa’s Key lime juice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

For pineapple skewers:
1 firm-ripe Melissa’s yellow or pink pineapple, peeled, halved lengthwise and cored
16 bamboo skewers, soaked in water for 30 minutes, and drained
1 tablespoon dark rum (optional)

Garnish:
1 tablespoon grated Key lime peel
Or grilled Melissa’s Key lime halves

Instructions:
Image of marinade ingredients in a mixing bowl
In a small bowl, combine agave, oil, lime juice and spices. Set aside.
Image of pineapple skewers
Cut pineapple in half lengthwise into 4 long wedges. Cut each wedge in half crosswise. You will have sixteen pieces. Thread pineapple pieces onto the skewers. (Skewers can be assembled 8 hours ahead. Cover and chill.)
Image of grilled pineapple skewers
Prepare grill (medium heat). Lightly brush pineapple with marinade and grill on a rack set about 6 inches over fire. Turn; brush second side with marinade and grill until tender and golden, about 5 minutes per side. (Pineapple may also be broiled by placing 4" below broiler in oven for about 10 minutes; turning occasionally until lightly browned). Remove pineapple from skewers; brush with rum and sprinkle with lime peel. Serve hot or warm.
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