Published Thursday, January 17, 2013

Recipes to brighten those winter months

From Staff Reports

closeup@newnan.com

If a healthier diet is one of your new year’s resolutions, turn to the kiwifruit. Unlike other California-grown fruits, the kiwifruit is available throughout the winter months and is loaded with health benefits.

Recipes for drinks and desserts, dinner, breakfast and more can be found at www.kiwifruit.org . The fuzzy fruit can be kept for days at room temperature or will stay good in the refrigerator for up to four weeks.

Here are just a few nutritional highlights of the fruit, courtesy of the California Kiwifruit Commission:

Did you know kiwifruit promotes heart health?

Enjoying just a couple of kiwifruit each day can significantly lower your risk for blood clots and reduce the amount of fats in your blood.

Eating kiwifruit daily can provide substantial protection against DNA damage that can trigger cancer and, more significantly, greatly speeds the repair of DNA damage.

Did you know kiwifruit is the most nutrient dense fruit?

A study conducted by Dr. Paul Lachance of Rutgers University evaluated the nutritional value of fruits to determine — ounce for ounce — which provide the most nutrition. The study found that out of the 27 most commonly consumed fruits; kiwifruit is the most nutrient dense.

Did you know kiwifruit has the highest level of Vitamin C?

Kiwifruit has almost twice the Vitamin C of an orange. A serving of kiwifruit (two medium) provides about 230% of the U.S. Recommended Daily Allowance. Vitamin C aids in wound healing, iron absorption and maintains bones, blood vessels and teeth.

Did you know kiwifruit outranks bananas as the top low-sodium, high potassium fruit?

A serving of kiwifruit contains an average of 20% more potassium than a banana. Potassium is an important mineral that controls heart activity and works with sodium to maintain fluid balance in the body.

Did you know kiwifruit is a good low-fat source of Vitamin E?

A serving of kiwifruit has some 10% of the U.S. Recommended Daily Allowance. Kiwifruit actually has twice the Vitamin E of an avocado, but has only 60% of the avocado’s calories. Vitamin E is a potent antioxidant and may reduce the risk of heart disease and some forms of cancer.

Enjoy these recipes for salad and a chicken sauté, using the kiwifruit.

This is a perfect salad — it can be prepared in advance, doubles easily for a party and packs beautifully for school or work.

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Mediterranean Kiwi Couscous

Ingredients:

 3/4 cup  water

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1/2 cup couscous

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Salt

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3 California kiwifruit

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1 yellow or orange pepper

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1 cup colorful cherry tomatoes

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1/4 cup Kalamata olives, preferably spicy

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3 green onions, thinly sliced

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1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar

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3 Tablespoons olive oil

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1 garlic clove, minced

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1 teaspoon  dried oregano leaves

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Pepper

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1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

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1/2 cup shredded fresh basil

In a small saucepan, lightly salt water then bring to a boil. Add couscous, stir, cover and remove from heat. Let stand until water is absorbed, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, peel kiwifruit and cut into bite-size chunks. Dice pepper and slice large cherry tomatoes in half. Pit olives if needed and thinly slice green onions. Place all in a medium bowl.

Whisk vinegar with oil, garlic, oregano and generous pinches salt and pepper. When couscous has cooled, gently stir with kiwifruit mixture. Toss with as much dressing as needed to just coat. Stir in feta and basil. Salad will keep well refrigerated for 1 to 2 days. Serves 4 to 6.

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Kiwifruit Chicken Sauté

Ingredients:

2 chicken breast halves, boned and skinned

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Salt

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Freshly ground pepper

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1/8 teaspoon thyme, crushed

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1 Tablespoon butter or margarine

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2 Tablespoons white wine

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1 California kiwifruit, pared and sliced

Pound chicken between pieces of plastic wrap to flatten to about ¼ inch; sprinkle with salt, pepper and thyme. Heat butter in skillet. Sauté chicken on medium-high about 4 minutes or until cooked and tender; turn once halfway through cooking time. Remove to warm platter and keep warm. Add wine to skillet; cook and stir 2 minutes. Add kiwifruit; cook and stir gently 30 seconds longer. Makes 2 servings.

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