Summer’s Bounty: Best Fruit Choices for Menus

berries2Now that summer’s arrived, guests are craving dishes that fit the season’s light, airy vibe. And what’s one of the best ways to take advantage of this season’s bounty? Fresh fruit.

In our ongoing efforts to consistently help our restaurant consulting clients maintain their food and beverage operations to offer diners options that are always fresh, healthful, and interesting, summer proves one of our favorite culinary seasons, and opens up a lot of possibilities for new dishes.

As fresh fruits are packed with healthful benefits, the plethora of summer selections allow the chefs we work with inspired creativity. As their passion is presented as a new menu item, hopefully diners will be inspired to eat cleaner and healthier (and maybe visit and support local farmers markets at the same time!).

Here are some suggestions to get your menu concepts motivated with bountiful fruits and add some refreshing splashes of summer to your menu.

Try new twists on traditional favorites:

– top grilled chicken or fish with fresh fruit chutney or fruit salsa

– drizzle honey, splash of lemon juice, and freshly grated ginger to bring out the flavors of a sliced apple, mango, and pear fruit salad

– use a splash of your favorite citrus to enhance a blueberry-peach cobbler or glazed pears, apricots and/or peaches served over fresh or frozen yogurt

Fruit-Fortified Benefits to Share with Guests:

  • Blueberries: at just 80 calories per one cup serving and virtually no fat, what’s not to love? Blueberries are also a great source of vitamin C, fiber, and antioxidants
  • Guava & Papaya: great sources of vitamins A and C; guava is also rich in fiber and papaya is rich in carotene (promoting eye health)
  • Honeydew Melon: Sweet and succulent, the honeydew is a great source of vitamin C
  • Kiwi: this sweet-tart fruit may be small, but it packs a mighty punch of potassium, magnesium, vitamins E and K, and fiber. And surprise: its vitamin C content is said to be twice that of an orange
  • Peaches: this fragrantly sweet fruit just may be the embodiment of summer! And bonus: peaches contain healthful doses of both vitamins A and C
  • Strawberries: high in vitamin C, potassium and iron, strawberries are also revered for their antioxidant power
  • Watermelon: this summer thirst-quencher is composed of approx 92% water, is packed with glutathione, which helps boost the immune system, and is also a key source of the cancer-fighting oxidant lycopene, as well as vitamins A & C, and potassium