Our RD friend Elisabeth D’Alto, joins us at the Oldways Table to share her own Mediterranean memories and one of her favorite summertime recipes that brings her back to her childhood.  Thanks Elisabeth! Looking back on my childhood, I was actually raised living, breathing, and eating the Mediterranean Diet without even
knowing it. My father, an Italian native, chef, and restaurant owner, influenced me immensely, teaching me about life, good food, and plain old happiness in life.  Simply put, good food makes people happy, or as he would say in his broken English….”Make happy the people.”  With my family, food revolved around everything in our lives, from weddings to birthday parties and graduations to your typical Sunday family gathering.  Sitting around the table with my family was one of the greatest memories I have of my childhood. We would sit at the table from start to finish (sometimes lasting 1 or 2 hours!), from antipasto to pasta and espresso to dessert, which mostly consisted of a colorful arrangement of seasonal fruit sitting pretty in the middle of our dinner table. The Mediterranean Diet not only emphasizes fruits as a staple, but it encourages you to have this sweet, nutritious staple as dessert. Think outside the box. How can you incorporate more fruits into your diet by consuming them as desserts? Figs drizzled with honey, a mixed berry parfait, baked apples sprinkled with cinnamon, frozen grapes, or how about a sweet summer peach grilled to perfection with a side scoop of low fat vanilla bean ice cream. Now you may be asking yourself, did a Registered Dietitian really just tell me that I could eat ice cream? Truth be told, everything in moderation is allowed in a healthy diet and lifestyle. Grilling fruit is a unique way to enjoy your seasonal fruit in the summer. The sweetness of the fruit intensifies once it hits the grill. You can choose from a wide range of fruits that can be grilled such as peaches, nectarines, plums, pineapples, mangoes, and bananas to name just a few. Fruits should be eaten at most meals because they are such rich sources of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, which are all essential in helping you to lead a healthy lifestyle. If you’ve never grilled fruit before, try this simple, delicious, and nutritious recipe below, Grilled Peaches with Ice Cream, from Ellie Krieger, Food Network’s TV Host of Healthy Appetite with Ellie Krieger, and New York Time’s best selling cookbook author — So Easy and The Food You Crave. [And Culinary Advisor for Oldways’ Whole Grains Council!] Or if you want to get more creative, try using some of the fruits that I mentioned above, placing them on skewers, adding different herbs and spices, for a boost of flavor. And don’t forget to share your meal with someone, yet another key part of the Mediterranean Diet.  There is an Italian expression that says, “A tavola non si invecchia” meaning, “At the table one does not age.”  The Mediterranean meal is supposed to be a pleasurable, relaxing experience enjoyed by family and friends. Buon Appetito! Grilled Peaches with Ice Cream © So Easy by Ellie Krieger (Wiley, 2009) Makes 4 Servings Serving Size – 2 Peach Halves 4 ripe but firm peaches 2 teaspoons canola oil ½ cup light vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt 8 small sprigs fresh mint Preheat a grill or nonstick grill pan over medium heat. Cut each peach in half and remove the pits. Brush the cut side of each peach half with oil. Place the peaches cut side down onto the grill or grill pan and cook until the peaches soften slightly and grill marks are formed, 2 to 3 minutes. Place a tablespoon-size scoop of ice cream in the center of each peach half. Garnish with mint and serve.

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