I am a lazy fruit eater. If I just pack an apple or an orange in my lunch bag, I'm not likely to stop and eat them. When I'm sitting in front of a computer, the last thing I want to do is get my fingers sticky or spray juice all over the keyboard. But I do want to eat much more fruit during the workday; it's a great snack and lunch accompaniment. So here are five ways I like to prep fruit ahead of time for easier on-the-go snacking.
- Hull and slice strawberries, nectarines, or peaches (depending on the season) and toss them with a tiny drizzle of balsamic or fruit vinegar. Strawberries are about to come into season, and they'll be juicy and flavorful. So pick up a carton at the farmers market, and hull and chop them ahead of time. Portion them out into baggies or half-pint jars for the office. After the strawberries are done, cut up nectarines or autumn peaches and do the same.
- Snip grapes into smaller clusters, or pull them entirely off the stems. - I find that grapes last longer in the fridge and are also easier to grab for a snack if I wash them ahead of time, then snip them into smaller clusters. Sometimes I pull the grapes off the stems entirely and make up small bags of loose grapes for quick snacking.
- Peel a few clementines and put them in a small bag. - Clementines and oranges are easy to peel, but a little messy. Again, I find that I just eat more of them if I think ahead and take a baggie of peeled clementine segments.
- Cut up a honeydew melon and a cantaloupe into bite-sized pieces. - In the summertime, this is my favorite way to eat fruit! I buy melons, cut them up, and put them in a big container in the fridge. It makes really delicious snacking!
- Take a little container of peanut butter and make a banana sandwich. - This particular tip may actually mean more more work at the office, not less, but it's also one of the most filling, satisfying snacks I know! I just take a tiny container with some peanut or almond butter (or better yet, leave a jar in the office refrigerator) and sandwich between banana slices for a mid-afternoon power snack.
These are all tiny, simple ideas, of course. But I do find that when I do one or more each week I end up eating a lot more fruit. What's more, when it's conveniently packaged, I reach for fruit instead of a cookie or a more processed snack food. It just takes a little forethought and planning.
Do you have any favorite tips or good ideas for packing more fruit into your lunch or your snacks?
More Good Fruit Ideas:
• How To Select the Best Produce: Fruit
• Recipe: Lemon and Honey Fruit Salad
• Simple Pleasures: Ricotta with Honey and Fruit
• Quick Tip: Add Fresh Fruit to Green Salads
• Good Idea! Homemade Fruit Leather at Simply Recipes
(Images: Faith Durand)