Single-Portion Whole Food

At breakfast the other day, I peeled a satsuma, separated the sections, and realized it’s a single-portion whole food, which fits nicely in the palm of my hand.

Of course, all fruits and vegetables are categorized these days as whole food, a term that’s been popularized to encourage us to avoid processed foods and get back to basics.

"Someday, I'd like to raise carrots as big as this one."
“Someday, I’d like to raise carrots as big as this one.”

We don’t hear much about the abundance of fruits that seemed to be designed for us and other creatures with hand-like appendages.

But such fruits are easy to pick from a tree or bush and easy to wash and eat. Not only that, but they’re also packed with nutrients and fiber, have a unique flavor, and are usually sweet. Which got me to thinking about apples, pears, plums, peaches, and grapes, all of which come in a natural, edible wrapper that protects the fruit. What a concept!

"I wonder if the peel is any good."
“I wonder if the peel is any good.”

While the skins of bananas, oranges, tangerines, lemons, guavas, mangoes, and passion fruit are not edible, they’re biodegradable and serve to nourish the soil. Group-sized fruits – melons, coconut, pineapple, jackfruit, and honey (is honey a fruit?) – also have inedible but biodegradable containers. Can’t get much greener than that!

We ate a lot of whole foods in Africa.
We ate a lot of whole foods in Africa.

What if we don’t like the taste or texture or even the smell of a particular fruit? Giving it a chance now and then might change our feelings about it.

When I first tasted mangoes while living on Guam as a kid, they smelled like rotten peaches. When I tasted them in Panama as an adult, they smelled awful again, like turpentine. Same thing when I tried them in the Philippines. But a strange thing happened in Africa.

One day as I was slicing a mango into diamonds for the kids, I caught a whiff of something wonderful, so I tasted it. Yum! I thought. And I’ve been avoiding it all my life? I’ve enjoyed mangoes ever since.

"I can't believe you didn't like mangoes, Mom."
“I can’t believe you didn’t like mangoes, Mom.”

It’s easy to find vegetables that come in single-portions, too, e.g. potatoes, green beans, carrots, tomatoes, beets, avocados. Talk about nutrients! In the Bible, Daniel and his three friends chose to eat whole foods – vegetables and fruits and legumes – instead of the king’s rich fare, and they thrived. In fact, they were the healthiest men of the kingdom.

Today, I plan to include whole food in my meals – a salad with carrots and tomatoes, maybe a mango. But no guavas. They smell funny.

In what ways have your childhood tastes changed?

Posted on May 24, 2016

6 thoughts on “Single-Portion Whole Food

  1. Interesting post! When I was a child I refused to eat pineapple and raisins! After I was married I learned to eat pineapple and love it. I still will not eat raisins. My brother told me they were actually bugs! 🙂

    1. Your story resonated with me, Anita, because we’re so trusting as kids. Thanks for your feedback!

  2. Norma, this was an interesting read. For Pamela and I, we have recently discovered that brussel sprouts are quite tasty. It is how you prepared them that I think makes the difference. One time my sister brought some for dinner and Daryl piped up and said, why did you buy these”? Oh, the rest of the family got a big laugh at his expense, for sure. He still doesn’t like them!

    1. Ah, Brussels Sprouts – I used to cook them until they were waterlogged and pure mush, but not any more. What’s your method? No matter how good the recipe, we each taste it differently for sure. Thanks for commenting, Lynda!

  3. Not sure why, but I did not like blueberries as a kid. Now we have 16 bushes and I can’t wait til they are ripe to pop these “whole foods” right from the branch to my mouth!

    P.S. I ran across the DVD Lark Rise to Candleford at the library and recognized the title from one of your previous posts. We totally enjoyed Season 1 and have requested Season 2. Thanks for the recommendation.

    1. Your comment made me laugh, Dianne. Do you freeze some of your berries? I know what you mean about not liking them at first because I didn’t discover their yumminess until I had my daughter’s blueberry pie.

      P.S. Thanks for letting us know you’re enjoying Lark Rise. By the time we reached the end of the series, we were so attached to the characters that we hated to say goodbye to them.

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