AUBURN, Ala. – March is national nutrition month. The month is meant to spotlight the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits. According to the USDA, fruits are sources of many essential nutrients that are underconsumed, including potassium, dietary fiber, vitamin C, and folate (folic acid). These recipes are great ways to include fruits into your diet.
Banana Nut Bread
½ cup corn-oil margarine
½ cup sugar
3 egg whites
3 ripe bananas
2 teaspoons lemon juice
3 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup chopped pecans
Butter flavor vegetable cooking spray
Cream margarine and sugar by beating margarine until soft and smooth and then gradually adding sugar, beating after each addition. Continue beating until mixture is light and fluffy. Beat egg whites until they are foamy and add to creamed mixture. Beat well. Put bananas through a sieve or mash well with a fork. Add lemon juice to bananas and stir. Add bananas to creamed mixture and stir.
Combine flour, baking powder and salt and stir until evenly blended. Add flour mixture to banana mixture and mix quickly. Stir in pecans. Coat a 9-inch loaf pan with cooking spray. Pour batter into pan and bake at 375 degrees F for 1 hour or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove bread from pan and cool on a wire rack.
Makes 15 slices. 219 calories per slice.
1 cup cranberries
1 3-ounce package raspberry gelatin dessert
1 unpeeled orange, quartered and seeds removed
½ cup sugar
1 cup boiling water
1 cup drained crushed pineapple
Wash cranberries and remove bad ones. Grind the cranberries and orange quarters, using the medium blade of a food chopper or processor. Add sugar and stir. Cover and let stand in refrigerator for 24 hours. Put gelatin in a bowl and add boiling water. Stir until the gelatin is dissolved. Chill until gelatin is the consistency of unbeaten egg whites.
Add pineapple to cranberry mixture and mix well. Add to thickened gelatin and stir until well mixed. Pout into an 8-inch square baking dish that had been rinsed in cold water. Cover and chill until firm. Cut into 9 squares.
Makes 9 servings. 73 calories per serving.
Dried Fruit and Nut Mix
1 cup pitted prunes, cut in halves
1 cup dried apricots, cut in quarters
½ cup pecan halves
1 cup walnuts cut in quarters
1 cup raisins
½ cup dry roasted unsalted peanuts
1 cup dates, cut in quarters
1 cup dried apples, cut in pieces
Combine all ingredients and toss until evenly mixed. Store in an airtight container or moisture-vapor resistant bag.
These recipes and many more can be found in The Auburn Cookbook, a publication of Alabama Extension.