FRUITS AND NUTS Stone Fruits • Stone fruits are named after the large, hard pit that forms the middle of the fruit. The meat of the fruit surrounds the stone-hard middle. It is this meat that is used as slices in desserts, stewed for compote, jam or puddings, or cut for garnishing purposes. Plums, peaches, cherries, apricots and nectarines are a few common stone fruits. Plums Plums are often eaten fresh or dried (called prunes), but may also be utilized by boiling them for marmalade. Plums contain dietary fiber and vitamins B and C. For them to taste good, they must be harvested fully mature. Peaches and Cherries Peach A ripe peach has hairy, yellow/red skin and yellow juicy flesh. It has short sustainability and contains vitamin-A. It’s eaten fresh or canned. Peaches are often used in desserts. Cherries There are two types of cherries: sweet cherries and sour cherries. Sweet cherries are tastier to eat as is. Sour cherries are more sour and more juicier. They are good for jam and juice. Hard Fruits Pear Pears are high in fiber and potassium. They have different texture and flavor. Pears are mostly used as fresh fruit but can also be preserved. They can be used in pastry dishes as well. Apple Apples are high in vitamin C, potassium and fiber. Many of the apple nutrients are in the peel. Apples are often used in cooking and in desserts. You can eat them raw, dried and baked. There are also used to flavour drinks. There are over 1,000 different apple varieties in the entire world. Apples are divided into categories based on which season they mature or their graininess, sweetness or sourness. Berries • Berries have many uses such as to garnish dishes, to make jams and to be blened in sweet sauces. Naturally, they are also used in baking pies and pastries too. There are numerous sorts of berries, and each region has its own selection that is most often used locally. Strawberry Strawberries contain anti-oxidants such as vitamins B and C, minerals, escpecially iron, and they are very rich in fiber. Strawberries are a very popuar berry because of the juicy, sweet taste. They are often eaten as they are, but in restaurants they are mostly used for salads and desserts. Strawberry jam is a common topping for toast. Raspberries Raspberries are suitable for making juice and jam. Raspberries are fragile and stay fresh for a very short time. The tart taste gives these berries a unique characterisitic. Furthermore, their colour and shape make them very useful for decorating desserts. Blueberries Blueberries have always been a popular food. They are very rich in anti-oxidants and vitamin-C. Besides using blueberries in jams and juices, these berries are used most often for desserts, pastries and muffins. Currant Berries There are black, red and white currants. They are mostly used for decorating desserts, but they are also used to make jellies that eaten with meat. Currants are rich in C vitamin. Citrus Fruits • Citrus fruits have a wide range of uses. Some of them are used for flavouring starters and main courses. Because of their bright colours, they garnish many dishes and beverages. The meat of the fruits are also eaten raw in fruit salads or by themselves, especially at breakfast. Oranges There are different types of oranges, some with yellow flesh and blood oranges with red flesh. Oranges are sometimes eaten fresh or made into juice. They are also used in desserts and for garnishing different dishes. The peel can also be grated for flavouring purposes. Lemons A ripe lemon has a bright yellow peel and is light yellow in color inside. It has tart taste. It is mainly used for flavouring food, especially fish. It is also used in drinks. The peel is grated and used to add flavour to different dishes. Limes Limes are used in the same way as lemons in cooking and different beverages. The juice and the peel are what you use from it. As with lemons, limes are not usually eaten raw like oranges. Exotic Fruits Banana • Exotic fruits are wide range of fruits that are typically grown in areas outside of Europe, especially the tropical fruits. It’s not uncommon to have a fruit salad or fruit tray of only exotic fruits. Some of the more common exotic fruits are banans, kiwis, pineapple, coconuts, carambola, dates, figs, guava, papaya and passion fruit. Banana is often eaten raw, but can also be eaten boiled, dried or roasted. It contains very much starch. Banana can be used in desserts as well as main courses. Kiwi Pineapple There are green and yellow kiwi fruits, but the green sort is the more common variety. They are a bit sour, but sweet at the same time. Kiwis are most often eaten as fresh fruit in salads or on desserts, but they can be used together with meat and fish. Pineapples have a yellow and juicy meat. They have a sweet taste. It gets harvested when it is ripe. It contains vitamins, minerals and is high in fiber. Pineapples can be used in many ways, but most common is for dessert, garnishing for meat and in salads. It is also used to make pineapple juice and decorating certain beverages. Fruity Nuts Coconut The coconut’s meat is white, hard and sweet. Coconuts are usually dried and grated into flakes, which are used in many dishes and desserts. Coconuts also contain a liquid, called milk, that is used in soups, stews and desserts. It is very common in Indian and Asian cooking. MELONS Melons are related to cucumbers and squashes and are sometimes referred to as vegetable fruits. Melons are composed of 98 percent water and contain small amounts of minerals and vitamins. Melons are eaten fresh as a dessert or in a salad. There are different varieties of melons, for example, watermelon, honeydew melon and cantaloupes are the most common. OTHER FRUITS Grapes There are green, black and red grapes. Grapes have a high concentration of glucose and thus a high energy value. It is main ingredient in the production of wine. Grapes are used commonly in desserts and fruit salads, and occasionally as garnishing. • In recent times, the variety of fruit available for consumption has increased substantially. Globalisation and the development of agricultural technology are the major reasons for this increase. Nuts Almonds Sweet almonds are a versatile nut and as all nuts, are a rich source of proteins, healthy fats and minerals. Almonds are used for pastries and are an important ingredient in marzipan. Additionally, almonds can be flaked or chopped for usage on cakes or cookies. Roasted and salted almonds are sometimes used as snacks in bars and restaurants. Some main courses have whole almonds as an ingredient. Hazelnut Walnut Hazelnuts are used extensively in pastries and other desserts. Ground finely, these nuts are the basis in praline in confectionary work. Walnuts are yet another nut often used in desserts, including decorating cakes. Walnuts are also used in salads, either in whole pieces or chopped in coarse bits. Walnuts have a high amount of the mineral selenium, which helps the brain function effectively. Cashew Cashews are bigger than peanuts. They are always sold shelled, either unroasted or roasted and sometimes salted. In the latter form, they are mostly used as snacks. Unroasted cashews are used in casseroles and in stir-fried dishes. Peanut Peanuts are rich in fat; they can contain as much as 50 percent fat. As cashews, peanuts are often roasted and salted and used as snacks in bars especially. Just like cashews, it’s not uncommon for peanuts to be used in stir-fried dishes. Sometimes oil is extracted from peanuts. Other times peanut butter is made. Pictures in the presentation are taken from the public domain via the Internet. 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