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Menu Planning: Fruit

To the right: Weslee fixed his favorite "snack meal" today (top, clockwise): dried peas, cashews, dried blackberries, rice crackers, dried blueberries, and dried soybeans.

Cross-Posting: I'm going to try to focus the next several months on my thoughts about self-sufficiency menu planning - on these two blogs: and . Additional info on this Food Self-Sufficiency Blog in this color and Italicized.

Food Self-Sufficiency
This is something that has interested me for years. Is it possible to grow everything we need to eat a healthy and varied meals?

Here's the problem: We are products of modern days. A time when we could get in the car and drive 5 minutes to a fast food joint or convenience store. When we have freezers stocked with pre-made dinners, toaster waffles, and logs of ground beef. When our pantry is stocked with tin cans purchased, and not home-canned. When a quick meal means grabbing carbs and meat with little thought to fresh veggies and fruit. When dessert is cake or something sweet, instead of fresh fruit and homemade cheese.

What would happen if the economy got so bad that we couldn't afford to go to McDonald's or order delivery from Pizza Hut? Or Peak Oil happened so drastically that we ran out of gas?

So how do make the transition to homegrown anything and everything?

I've discovered cold turkey doesn't work for me. When I have a migraine, I just don't feel like thinking about what's in the pantry or refrigerator. I'm sure I'm not alone.

As you may know, this was our first year in a house and our first year as gardeners. We grew soy beans, corn, pumpkins, squashes, cucumbers, tomatoes and tomatoes and tomatoes, and a few other things. We planted fruit trees and berry bushes. We learned so much and put away a lot but honestly, I don't think we could survive on what we successfully grew this year. But next year.....

Fresh fruit has essential vitamins and minerals needed for strong bones and blood cells, antioxidants, and fiber. Absolutely required for good health, yet we don't eat much as a USA nation.I read somewhere that fruit should be eaten at times when you don't eat vegetables, so that they don't compete for digestion. Whether that's true or not, because of the sugar content of most fruits, I usually serve fruit during lunch, and veggies during dinner. Fruit is also a good snack in between meals, especially when served with a protein like cheese or nuts/seeds.

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Here's a list of fruits with Nutritional Values, from: - not complete by any means. I mean, where's the avocado and our new favorite, Wonderberries? (Concerns are in parenthesis, but if you grow them yourselves and/or limit usage, you should be ok.) (Additional preservation info for in this color and italicized.)

Apples - flavonoids, fiber, C (pesticides, wax coating) Dried, canned chunks/applesauce, canned apple butter, frozen, juice, cider, vinegar
Apricots - carotenoids, A, C, fiber (preservatives) Dried, canned jam
Bananas - B6, C, potassium (glycemic) Dried, frozen
Blackberries - flavonoids, fiber, C, K, manganese Dried, frozen, canned jam
Blueberries - flavonoids, C, manganese, fiber Dried, frozen, canned jam
Cantaloupe - carotenoids, C, A, potassium Frozen
Cherries - flavonoids (pesticides) Dried, frozen, jam, pie-filling
Cranberries - flavonoids, fiber, C, manganese Dried, frozen
Dates- (glycemic) ??
Dried fruit - (glycemic, preservatives)
Figs - (preservatives) ??
Fruit juices - (glycemic)
Grapefruit - carotenoids in pink, flavonoids, C Frozen, Juice
Grapes - flavonoids, manganese (pesticides) Dried into raisins, Frozen, Juice, Wine
Guava - carotenoids, fiber, C ??
Kiwifruit - C, fiber (glycemic) ??
Lemons - flavonoids, C (wax coating) Zest Dried, Frozen
Limes - flavonoids, C (wax coating) Zest Dried, Frozen
Mangoes - carotenoids, A, C (glycemic) Dried, ??
Nectarines - carotenoids, C (glycemic, pesticides) Frozen
Oranges - carotenoids, flavonoids, C, fiber (glycemic) Canned jam?, Zest dried, juice, frozen
Papayas - carotenoids, C, folate, potassium Dried, ??
Peaches - carotenoids, C (pesticides) Dried, frozen, jam
Pears - flavonoids (pesticides) Dried, Canned as Pear-sauce, Frozen
Persimmons - C (glycemic) Dried
Pineapple - C, manganese (glycemic) Dried
Plums - carotenoids, C Dry into prunes, frozen
Raspberries - flavonoids, fiber, manganese, C Dried, canned jam, frozen
Raisins - (glycemic, pesticides, preservatives) Kept dried
Strawberries - carotenoids, flavonoids, C, fiber (pesticides) Dried, canned jam, frozen
Tangerines - carotenoids, A, C (glycemic) Canned jam?, juice, frozen
Watermelon - carotenoids, C, A, B6 (glycemic) Dried, frozen

Many of these fruits can be combined and dried into roll-ups. A delicious way to get your fruit.

Recipe: It's easiest when you use at least 50% applesauce, then perhaps a little pureed banana and mango and a sprinkle of cinnamon for a tropical treat. Mix well, spread an even layer on your drying-pan/sheet, and dehydrate. Note: roll-ups should be dried until almost not-tacky to the touch, cut, wrapped in plastic wrap, and kept in a mason jar in cool conditions, or frozen.

When you eat a dehydrated/dried food, remember that you need to drink a liquid, preferably water, to prevent constipation.
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Here are some suggestions for quick fruit-meals that we can do 100% ourselves:
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Chunks of cheddar cheese
Bunches of grapes
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Scrambled eggs
Freshly baked bread
Strawberries, Raspberries, Blueberries (jam or fresh)
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Apple, Raisin & Tomato salad
Walnut muffins
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Cranberry-orange muffins
Baked Chicken
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Soybean flour crackers spread with peanut butter
Fresh Fruit salad
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On-the-go "snack meal":
Sunflower Seeds, Pecans
Dried peaches and dried mango or other favorite dried fruit
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Wow ... that's just what I came up with in a few moments, by looking at my list of plants and animals (cows, chickens). Some, like the orange tree, will need to be a solarium, while the strawberries could be grown indoors on a windowsill or in a corner with a grow-light for year-round consumption.

Your fruit-meal suggestions? (fruit + protein + maybe a carb)