Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Fruit Bouquet ; Father's Day Special Diabetes Friendly Thursday!



Dessert is something everyone craves for and enjoys. There is nothing wrong with that. What is wrong is to indulge too much in desserts. Then again the indulgence is okay too if the desserts are healthy. Therefore, this week the DFT team is bringing to you Diabetes Friendly desserts for Father's Day.


Creating Recipes with a Cause!
I am a proud DFT blogger. 
To learn about DFT, read this link
To view more DFT recipes, Click here!

I love love desserts. I have to eat something sweet after every meal. I have changed my eating habits by making fruits my dessert. I eat one or two fruits after every meal. This has dual benefits. It satisfies my sweet tooth and it also keeps me feeling more fuller without the additional calories.

My father is not diabetic but he likes to eat healthy. He enjoys fruits of all kinds at all times. People with diabetes are entitled to satisfy their sweet tooth too.. What better way than with fruits. Did you know that fruits have a lower GI than other carbohydrates like rice, pasta etc. So technically, for diabetes it is better to eat fruits than rice!! Then again, you have to choose fruits that are not too sweet, not too ripe as these have a higher sugar content. Look for fruits that are on the sour side and have a greater water content. You can find more detailed information regarding fruits, their glycemic index and glycemic load in the footnotes ( tip for healthy living).



Coming back to what I am bringing for DFT this week, by now I am sure all of you have figured out that I am bringing a Fruit Bouquet. This fruit bouquet was inspired by  Edible Arrangements fruit arrangements which I have received and sent as gifts on numerous occasions.  I love flowers but flowers wilt and die after a day or two and that makes me very sad. Fruit arrangements serve dual purpose: they are pretty to look at, makes for a great centerpiece and don't go to waste! They can be eaten!! Edible arrangements are exorbitantly priced. I figured that there has to be a way to make this at home especially since the fruits used to make the arrangement are not that expensive, particularly when in season. I have to say, I tried making it and after the first time, there was no stopping me. I do not order from Edible Arrangements any more! It can be made at a fraction of a price that they charge!! I am sharing with you two kinds of arrangements: one made using cookie cutter and one without any kind of special equipment. Believe me , it is super easy to make it!! You can even have your kids help out as my daughter did ( you can see her partially in one of the pictures.) Pardon me for the poor quality of pictures . I promise I will update it with better ones at a later date.




Servings: 5-6 ( 2-3 sticks of fruit per person)


Ingredients:


Strawberries: 12-15 nos
Red seedless grapes: 8 oz or 250 gms.
Green seedless grapes: 8 oz or 250 gms.
Cantaloupe : 1 small or 1/2 medium-sized one.
Honey dew: 1 small or 1/2 medium-sized one.
Curly parsley / cilantro ( coriander leaves)or kale: one small bunch.
Wooden skewers: one packet ( you will need around 20-25 skewers).
Foam/Thermacol: a small piece

Method:


Wash the strawberries and dry them on paper towels or dish towels and keep aside.

Wash the grapes thoroughly and keep aside.

Prepare a earthen pot/ vase as the base of your fruit arrangement.
If the vase is light, place some heavy pebbles( stones) at the bottom of the vase.

Place the foam piece inside the pot. Cover it lightly with some sprigs of the parsley/kale/ cilantro. Keep it aside.

Using the skewers, pierce one skewer into one strawberry such that the tip of the strawberry faces up. Don't let the tip of the skewer come out of the strawberry.
Arrange these skewers in the center of the pot.

Thread around 8-10 grapes in each skewer. Make around 8-10 such skewers of green and red grapes separately. This is the part that I delegate to my daughter. She just loves it!  You can make them all with the same colored grapes in one skewer or mix them up.  Arrange the skewers in the vase around the strawberries.

Now coming to the cantaloupe and honeydew. People often have issues cutting them up. Below you can find step by step instruction of how to easily cut them. You will never again complain about cutting a melon again!




After washing the cantaloupe/honeydew, horizontally cut it into two equal halves.
Now place each half face down and cut it again into halve ( that makes 4 pieces).




Cut each hemisphere into two pieces again: now you have 8 pieces.


Depending on how big the cantaloupe or honey dew is , you can cut it again into two equal pieces.



Now peel each piece using the knife as shown. Take off the seeds by cutting the top seedy, fibrous portion.



Insert a skewer into each such piece. Ensure that you do not pierce through the piece. Insert all the skewers holding the cantaloupe and honeydew along the rim of the vase, alternating between the two fruits.




Now, if you are using the cookie cutter then you will need the pineapple. Cut the leafy part of the pineapple and discard it. Cut a 1 inch thick slice of the pineapple peel and all.Place the cookie cutter of any desired shape on the center of this slice and press down. You will have to then wiggle the cookie cutter a little back and forth to get a clean cut. Remove the peel and extra pieces from the outside of the cookie cutter before lifting up the cutter.
Place the heart/ star anywhere in the center of the vase.

Fill in any gaps in the arrangements that shows the skewers with the parsley/cilantro/kale filler.

Your fruit bouquet is ready!!

That was easy right???
Now place it in the center of your dining table and surprise daddy or wrap it nicely with clear wrap, tie a bow and stick a nice card to it and hand-deliver it to him!!

Have fun making this! I am bringing this to Angie's Fiesta Friday! I am sure the co-hosts Michelle@Giraffes can bake and Juju @ Cooking with Aunt Juju and all my friends will like the fruit bouquet.


Cooking made easy:


The arrangement is even easier and prettier if you cut the skewers into different lengths so that all fruits are equally visible.

Cut a few skewers ( around 8-10)2 inches shorter than the whole ones. Cut another few ( around 8-10) 4 inches shorter than the whole ones.

The long skewers go in the center and the shortest go in the outermost layer.

Footnotes( tip for healthy living):


As I was mentioning earlier, when it comes to food and diabetes, one of the most important factors to be considers is the glycemic load and glycemic index of the food item.

All done and said, it might surprise you that fruits have lower GI than any other carbohydrates like rice, pasta, wheat etc. You can read more about glycemic index and glycemic load of each individual fruit in the references provided below.

References:



Disclaimer:

I am not a nutritionist or dietitian. My knowledge and information is based on my research and reading from different resources. Please consult your doctor or dietitian before making any changes to your diet.


Go ahead and celebrate Father's Day with the DFT team with healthier and diabetes friendly desserts.

1. Anu's apricot and cashew coconut bites.


2.Swati's oats cinnamon berry baskets.


3. Shailja's fresh fruit popsicles


4 . Paro's vegan gluten free brownie bites


5. Chahat's watermelon kiwi pops


6. Prachi's cinnamon scented oats tart with dark chocolate ganache.



7. Aprasa's pineapple kesari


8. Sonal's badam anjeer kheer



9. Vidhya's sugar-free apple rabadi




Food for thought:


One father is more than a hundred schoolmasters. George Herbert