Color Your Diabetes Diet With Fall’s Interesting Fruits
Now that autumn has arrived it’s a great time to spice-up your diet with fruits that are in-season.
Eating whole, fresh fruit is the best way for those with diabetes to get fruits’ abundant vitamins and antioxidants. Unlike fruit juice, whole fruits are generally full of fiber. Fiber slows digestion which slows the absorption of sugar into our bloodstream.
Trying unusual fruit varieties is also a great way to perk-up a ho-hum lunch box or the "same-old" dinner salad.
Here are five in-season, interesting, but less familiar fruits you may want to enjoy this fall.
Cactus Pear. Cactus pears can be cut up and used as a cereal or yogurt topping, or as the main ingredient in a cactus pear smoothie.
This prickly appearing fruit provides plenty of fiber, magnesium, and vitamin C. Look for firm pears that are mold and dark-spot free, with bright magenta flesh. Store them in the fridge, unwashed, for up to seven days.
Date Plums. Who wouldn’t want to try what the ancient Greeks called “fruit of the Gods?” Date plums are tart if eaten fresh, but when dried are quite sweet. Diced dried plums are an awesome addition to cereals, granola, and trail mixes.
This fruit is loaded with fiber, manganese, vitamins A and C. Shop for date plums that are yellow to orange and free from cuts or abrasions. They keep for a couple months when stored at room temperature.
Quince. The bright yellow quince has a mouth-watering pear-pineapple aroma, and can be enjoyed raw or cooked. Like most fruits, it is a great vitamin C source.
Select quince that are firm and spot-free; any fuzziness will fall away as the fruit ripens. They keep up to a week at room temperature, or in the refrigerator up to three weeks.
Cape Gooseberries. This fruit, also called ground cherries, wears a papery brownish cape that is sometimes removed before shipping. Ripening berries change from green to yellow, and are full of potassium, fiber, and vitamins C and A.
Cape gooseberries have a cherry-like texture, tart taste, and would perhaps make a piquant pie filling. Purchase brightly colored, mold-free gooseberries with dry capes. Keep them up to a week, unwashed, in the refrigerator; rinse before using.
Huckleberries. Huckleberries look similar to, and can be used interchangeably with, blueberries. They are bursting with antioxidants and vitamin C.
To freeze for future use, wash and dry the huckleberries, lay them on a cookie sheet and cover them with paper towels; put in the freezer. When the berries are frozen, place them in an airtight container, and return to the freezer.
Photo credit: Corey Leopold