Now that summer’s here, restaurant services specialists across the US are providing clients with tips on creating seasonal menus that fit the light, airy summer vibe. As you begin your menu development for the summer season, here are some pointers to help you make the most of these lighter, flavorful ingredients.
One of the easiest ways to take advantage of the season’s bounty? Fresh Fruit! Not only are summer fresh fruit options and preparations endless, but it’s also a great way to inspire your guests to visit/support local farmers’ markets and eat healthier, since fresh fruits are packed with so many healthful benefits.
To get started on your menu development planning, start by:
Getting Creative: Sure, adding fresh fruit is one of the best ways to bring a refreshing splash of summer to your menu, but mix it up by adding new twists to traditional favorites. For example, try fresh fruit chutney or fruit salsa as a complement to chicken or fish, a mixture of citrus as the base of a vinaigrette or blueberry-peach upside-down cake or a guava chiffon cake as dessert options! The texture and taste of summer fruit can really allow you to be creative with your menu.
Discovering the Benefits of Fruit: We already know that fresh fruit tastes great, but the health advantages are yet one more added benefit. Therefore when planning, think about featuring these fabulous fruits and more:
* Blueberries: Perfectly plump, juicy and sweet, with just 80 calories per one cup serving and virtually no fat, what’s not to love? Blueberries are a great source of vitamin C, fiber, antioxidants and manganese, which helps bone development and converts proteins, carbohydrates and fats in food into energy.
* Guava & Papaya: Great sources of vitamins A and C. Guava is also rich in fiber and papaya is rich in carotene, which is good for your eyes.
* Honeydew Melon: Sweet and succulent, a ripe honeydew melon tastes soft and juicy, and 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 here’s a surprise … its vitamin C content is said to be twice that of an orange!
* Peaches: Just may be the embodiment of summer! Juicy, fragrant and sweet, peaches are not only a culinarily versatile fruit (as delicious in dessert as in an appetizer!), but they also contain healthful doses of both vitamins A and C.
* Strawberries: As strawberries are high in vitamin C, potassium and iron, they are believed to have the highest total antioxidant power among major fruits and can protect the body against cancer-causing, blood vessel-clogging free radicals.
* Watermelon: The coolest thirst quencher! Composed of approximately 92% water, this pink melon is also packed with glutathione, which helps boost the immune system. Also a key source of lycopene, the cancer-fighting oxidant, as well as vitamins A, C and potassium.
Final Note: It’s important to know that while cooking fruit may retain the taste, it removes its nutrients and vitamin benefits. So, keep your summer menu fresh, light and flavorful – and raw – and your guests will surely come back for seconds … and thirds!