Harley Pasternak and his favorite peach lassi smoothie
07/11/2012 AT 12:00 PM EDT
An apple a day keeps the doctor away.
But does a melon a day do the same? The truth is, fruit is healthy. But some fruits are healthier than other fruits.
Fruits are convenient, versatile and delicious! They're great as snacks, in salads, for baking and as desserts.
But, let's examine what a fruit is made up of. For the most part, fruits are water, fiber, minerals, vitamins and sugar.
Almost all of the fruit's fiber – the stuff that makes you feel full, reduces your chance of getting many cancers and keeps your blood sugar in check – is in its skin or seeds. In fact, one may say that without fiber, fruits really aren't that healthful of a snack. Moreover, most of the minerals and vitamins also lie in the skin and/or seeds of a fruit.
That's why my golden rule with fruits is to choose the ones that have either edible skin or edible seeds. Fruits like apples, peaches, plums, apricots, cherries and pears are just a few great examples of fruits with edible skin. Raspberries, strawberries, blackberries and kiwis are example of fruits with edible seeds.
The one exception to the rule is citrus fruit. While you may not eat the skin or seeds of an orange, clementine or grapefruit, these fruits are still on my list of favorites. These fruits have good fiber to calorie ratios, are loaded with vitamin C (among other nutrients), and have a low glycemic index (i.e. They don't make your blood sugar surge too high).
The fruits that I prefer to minimize (not eliminate – there are no "bad fruits"), are primarily tropical fruits like bananas, mango, papaya and pineapple. These fruits, not surprisingly, are higher in calories and sugar, and are lower in fiber than ones with edible skin and/or seeds or citrus fruits.
Perhaps it's not a coincidence that the 6 fattest countries in the world are all tropical islands that base a large part of their diets on fruits that don't fit into our skin/seed/citrus rule.
So, that being said, one of my favorite smoothies to make in the morning is a peach lassi smoothie. Super-creamy, it is a lightly spiced morning mixture based on the classic Indian treat. It has two of my favorite fruits, is high in fiber, protein, calcium, vitamin D, and is delicious! Garnish with crushed pistachios for extra fiber and a satisfying crunch.
Peach Lassi Smoothie
Peaches (frozen slices or chunks)
Nonfat Greek yogurt
Fresh lime juice
Dash of ground cinnamon
: Pulse first four ingredients in a blender. Stir in berries and enjoy.
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