Fresh and Frozen Fruit Adds Pizzazz

Try a new recipe feature pork chops, nectarines, blueberries and raspberries to spice up dinner tonight, and add fruit to your diet.

Fresh nectarines.

Delicious fresh nectarines.

iStockphoto.com/Lisa Young

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Sonoma, California – There is nothing quite like biting into a juicy, fragrant nectarine at the peak of ripeness. Perfect in a lunch bag or as an afternoon pick-me-up, nectarines are the ultimate healthful treat. What's more, of course, is they're just as great in recipes as they are eaten fresh. Fresh nectarines add distinctive color, flavor and pizzazz to meals – at any time of the day.

The versatility of nectarines, peaches and other stone fruit is one of the reasons chefs love to cook with them – and why you'll find them in recipes from breakfast to dessert, from the very simple to the very elaborate.

Whether you're a busy parent trying to keep your family healthy and happy, an amateur athlete eating for optimal fitness, a senior concerned about the connection between diet and wellness, fresh fruit from Chile can lighten and brighten your year-round menus with wholesome natural flavors.

Tom Tjerandsen, North American managing director of the Chilean Fresh Fruit Association, located in California, says, "The arrival of 'summer' fresh Chilean fruit in markets nationwide comes at a time when consumers are looking for new ways to incorporate more fresh fruits and vegetables into their diet".

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Healthy People 2010 objectives aim for at least 75 percent of Americans to eat the recommended two or more daily servings of fruit, and for at least 50 percent of Americans to eat the recommended three or more servings of vegetables daily.

The grilled pork chop recipe featured is one tasty way of adding more fresh fruit to the diet. For additional fresh fruit recipes and information on varieties of summer sweet nectarines as well as handling and storage tips, visit the association’s website.

 

Fresh Nectarines Brighten Winter Fare

Pork chops have come a long way since the days when a dab of applesauce was all the embellishment one could hope for. Now, the sky's the limit. But one thing hasn't changed; pork chops remain a nutritious economical choice for the dinner table. What better way to upgrade this humble meat than with a luxurious filling of fresh colorful fruit?

First add a dry rub of spices and mint. Then a quick flip on the grill. Now your pork chops are ready for the ultimate step in their makeover - a gorgeous mouth-watering mélange of blueberries, raspberries and sliced nectarines all tossed with champagne vinegar and apricot jam. Pork chops never had it so good!

 

GRILLED PORK CHOPS STUFFED WITH NECTARINES AND BERRIES

4 pork chops (3 ounces each, bone on)
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons mint, chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried red chili flakes
4 fresh nectarines, sliced
1 cup mixed fresh blueberries and raspberries
1/3 cup apricot jam
1 tablespoon champagne vinegar
Rub chops with salt and pepper, mint and chili flakes. On heated grill, grill just to brown outside, about 3 to 5 minutes per side. Remove chops to cutting board and cut horizontal slice to make a pocket in each chop. Set aside.
In mixing bowl, toss together sliced nectarines, berries, jam and vinegar. Arrange chops in 9-by-12-inch baking dish. Gently stuff chops with nectarine mixture. Add any remaining nectarine mixture and sauces on top of chops. Bake chops at 400°F. for 20 minutes, or until chops reach an internal temperature of 145-150 degrees. Yields 4 servings.