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Cooking with fruit

A healthy diet should contain at least 5 servings of fresh fruit and vegetables every day, Army chefs learn how to use a range of seasonal and dried fruits in both sweet and savoury dishes. This adds essential dietary fibre to meals as well as the many vitamins and minerals contained within fruits. It's essential that soldiers have a healthy and balanced diet and as such fruit and vegetables are readily available at the cook house.

Fruit is valuable as a protective food, as it contains many nutrients that are essential to the body. This nutritive value depends on the fruits vitamin content, and fruits containing vitamin C (such as citrus fruits) are often considered to be the most beneficial. For culinary purposes, fruit can be divided into six major groups: hard, tropical (such as kiwis, mangos and pineapples), stone (such as apricots, cherries and peaches), citrus (such as lemons and oranges), soft (such as raspberries and strawberries) and dried (such as sultanas, raisins and currants).

Fruit is most obviously used in sweet dishes, such as fruit desserts like crumble or summer pudding. In these dishes, the addition of fresh fruit to dried larder essentials can make a balanced dish.

However, British army chefs also use fruit to add flavour and balance to savoury dishes. Pork is often combined with apples, and dried fruits like apricots can be added to a classic coronation chicken recipe. Stuffing recipes can be enhanced by the addition of fresh or dried fruits. Citrus fruits make the classic addition to fish, and their zest can be used to top a whole range of dishes from pasta to stews.

We look forward to seeing you use fruits in your competition entry.

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