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Any adult or child will love these!  Start your morning off as if you were on a tropical island, sitting under a swaying palm tree and enjoying this exotic fruit drink that is bursting with nutrition!  What a way to start your day!  These are sure to put a smile on your face and a ‘zig’ in your ‘zag!’

Frozen Fruit Cups – Serves 18

2 cups water

3/4 cup sugar, or 18 stevia packets or 1-3/4 tsp. clear stevia liquid – (Personally, I don’t like my drinks very sweet, and am quite satisfied with the natural sweetness that the fruit provides, so I either forgo this ingredient altogether, or just add less sugar/stevia)

3/4 cup orange juice  concentrate (try using fresh squeezed when possible)

3/4 cup lemonade concentrate (try using fresh made when possible)

1 20 oz. can pineapple tidbits, drained (try using fresh pineapple, when time is not an issue!)

2 medium firm bananas, cut into 1/2-inch slices

1-1/2 cups watermelon chunks

1-1/2 cups green grapes

1-1/2 cups quartered strawberries

1-1/2 cups cubed peaches

2 kiwifruit, peeled, quartered and sliced

In a small saucepan, bring water and sugar to a boil, stirring constantly.  Remove from the heat; stir in orange juice and lemonade concentrates.  In a large bowl, combine the pineapple, bananas, watermelon, grapes, strawberries and peaches.  Add juice mixture and mix well.

Place about 1/2 cup fruit mixture in 5-oz. plastic disposable cups.  Top each with four kiwi pieces.  Cover and freeze until firm.  May be frozen up to 1 month.  Remove from the freezer about 1-3/4 hours before enjoying!   These are perfect for making ahead, so you can readily grab one in the morning before you take off into the world!

As you’re enjoying your delicious tropical fruit drink, think of the many benefits you are reaping.  Here’s some nutritional information to get  you started!

Pineapples:  Pineapple is my favorite fruit because of its health benefit to inflammatory conditions! Pineapple is loaded with vitamin C, B1 and smaller amounts of B2, B3, B5 and B6. It is  also an excellent source of manganese, copper, magnesium, potassium, beta-carotene, folic acid, and dietary fiber.  Perhaps, the most outstanding feature of pineapple is its amount of bromelain content. Bromelain in pineapple is a protein-digesting enzyme which also effectively reduces inflammation and swelling. So drink fresh pineapple juice and say goodbye to all your pains!

Bananas: One of our best sources of potassium, an essential mineral for maintaining normal blood pressure and heart function. Since the average banana contains a whopping 467 mg of potassium and only 1 mg of sodium, a banana a day may help to prevent high blood pressure and protect against atherosclerosis.  In addition, the potassium found in bananas may also help to promote bone health. Potassium may counteract the increased urinary calcium loss caused by the high-salt diets typical of most Americans, thus helping to prevent bones from thinning out at a fast rate.

Watermelon: Great on a hot summer day, this delectable thirst-quencher may also help quench the inflammation that contributes to conditions like asthma, atherosclerosis, diabetes, colon cancer, and arthritis!  Why wait for July 4th?

Green grapes:  A very good source of vitamin C and vitamin K.  Gentle on the intestines and one of the best foods to eat when experiencing diarrhea because of their nearly 50-50 balance of fructose to glucose.  Green grapes are just as effective as red grapes in promoting heart health, and contain the beneficial nutrients and phytochemicals that affect the circulatory system.

Strawberries:  Found to have higher levels of vitamin c, fiber, folate and potassium than most other fruits like bananas, apples and even oranges.  Apart from the obvious health benefits, a recent study by Dr. Gene Spiller, Nutrition and Health Research Center, has shown that eating about 8-10 strawberries (1 serving)  a day can significantly decrease blood pressure, which may reduce the risk of heart disease.  We LOVE healthy hearts- after all, that’s where LOVE comes from!!  And there are other studies that have shown additional benefits: reduce risk of cancer, enhance memory function and rheumatoid arthritis.  I think I’ll grow myself a strawberry patch!

Peaches:  A good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin A, Niacin and Potassium, and a very good source of Vitamin C. All natural, juicy, and sweet to eat!

Kiwifruit:  A great source of vitamin C, more than in an equivalent amount of orange!  Eating vitamin C rich fruit may offer a significant protective effect against respiratory symptoms associated with asthmas, such as wheezing.  I wish I had known this when my son was little and suffered from this very thing!  They are also a great source of fiber.  Enjoying a couple of kiwifruit each day significantly lowers your risk for blood clots, and reduces the amount of fats (triglycerides) in your blood – protecting against cardiovascular health.

Read up and learn much more about all these nutrient rich fruits!  There’s more information out there!  This is yet another great element of The ME-gan Lifestyle, loading yourself up with knowledge – the best defense to a happy, healthy and long life!

Fruit love,

Mary

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