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Fruit gains zing from honey, peppers

by ALISON LADMAN Associated Press on July 27, 2014 2:00 AM

Looking for ways to jazz up your basic fruit salad this summer? Consider giving it a hit from the savory side of the food world.

It’s not something we often think of, but ingredients we generally consider savory or spicy can provide a delicious contrast when added to a sweet and juicy fruit salad. Where to start?

Something as simple as thinly sliced fresh basil adds a peppery bite to a salad of strawberries, watermelon and grapes.

For even more bite, consider adding very thinly sliced jalapeño peppers.

And no matter what savory element you add, make sure to also add a pinch of salt. It will highlight the natural sweetness of the fruit.

Try this salad flavored with with pepper, lime and honey.

BLACK PEPPER HONEY FRUIT SALAD

Start to finish: 20 minutes

Servings: 10

1 quart strawberries, halved

1 pint blueberries

1 mango (about 1 pound), peeled, pitted and diced

20-ounce jar grapefruit segments, drained

2 nectarines, cut into 1-inch pieces

3 plums, cut into 1-inch pieces

Pinch of salt

½ teaspoon ground black pepper

1 tablespoon lime juice

2 tablespoons honey

In a large bowl, gently mix together the strawberries, blueberries, mango, grapefruit segments, nectarines and plums.

In a small bowl, whisk together the salt, pepper, lime juice and honey. Drizzle the dressing over the fruit and stir gently to coat.

Nutrition information per serving: 110 calories; 5 calories from fat (5 percent of total calories); 0 g fat (0 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 0 mg cholesterol; 27 g carbohydrate; 3 g fiber; 22 g sugar; 2 g protein; 30 mg sodium.

SANGRIA SMOOTHIE

4 or 5 fresh or frozen strawberries

10 raspberries

½ cup fresh or frozen blueberries

1/3 cup chopped pineapple

2 fresh mint leaves

Zest of ½ orange

Zest of ½ lemon

Zest of ½ lime

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed (or bottled) pomegranate juice

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed (or bottled) acai berry juice

6 tablespoons coconut water

2 tablespoons agave nectar or maple syrup

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

About 2 cups ice cubes

In a blender, combine all the ingredients except the ice. Add ice to about 1 inch above the liquid line. Blend on high speed until smooth and creamy.

NOTE: If using frozen fruit, use less ice.

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