WHY: Cooking fruit over high heat concentrates flavors and caramelizes natural sugar. Any fruit sturdy enough to rest on a grill (like pineapple and mango) will work, as will fruits held together by their skin, such as plums and peaches.
HOW: Remove inedible skin (like banana peels). Cut fruit in half and remove pits or seeds. Soak fruit in water for about 10 minutes. You can infuse the water with mint or cinnamon. Brush fruit with a little melted butter. With the flame on medium, place fruit on grill and cook, turning, until browned.
WHY: Fruit is water-rich, so it stays moist when slowly baked at a low temperature. Since the fruit and juices cook in the same dish, it retains much of its nutrients. Try baking a single type of fruit or a mixture, such as blueberries and raspberries, for different textures and flavors.
HOW: Place sliced, chunked, or halved fruit in a greased baking dish. Add cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and crumb topping (made from chopped nuts, sugar, and flour). Bake at 350° F for 30 to 60 minutes until tender; the firmer the fruit and the larger the quantity, the longer it takes to cook.
WHY: Simmering fruit in liquid helps enhance flavor and soften texture; it’s ideal for fruit that isn’t quite ripe. Serving the poaching liquid with the fruit ensures you get most of the fruit’s nutrients.
HOW: Place whole or halved fruit in a saucepan (keep edible skin on). Add juice, wine, or water sweetened with honey until liquid barely covers fruit. Add vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Simmer until soft (10 minutes for small fruit like cherries; an hour for large, hard fruit like pears). Remove fruit, cook liquid into a syrup, and then spoon over the fruit.
EATING UNCOOKED FRUIT ensures all of its nutrients remain intact. And its natural sweetness complements just about every flavor, making it easy to add to a range of dishes.
CHOP IT Make a fruit salad with less common fruits, such as black and golden raspberries, for new flavors and nutrients.
SLICE IT Add thin slices of pears or grape halves to sandwiches and wraps.
DICE IT Finely chop tropical fruits like papaya and mango and add to salsa—use to top fish and meat.
SHRED IT Add apple or coconut to coleslaw and salads.
PUREE IT Whirl berries with yogurt and honey in a blender for a recovery smoothie.
DRINK IT Blend lemonade and watermelon for a refreshing way to stay hydrated.