Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Picks of the season: spring fruits, recipes and health tips

Kayla Marchetti/Collegian

It’s that time of year again in Amherst. The leaves are taking shape, the flowers are blooming and the University of Massachusetts dining halls’ fruit selection has gone seasonal. The freshest fruits are being served at all of the dining commons around campus, supplying students with the most delicious and nutritious options to fill their plates. These delectable produce items are a great addition to many recipes to spruce up any spring meal or make a delicious cocktail.


Melons are a highly satisfying snack because of their crisp and juicy qualities. They are the perfect treat on a warm spring day. Melons, such as honeydew and cantaloupe, can be jazzed up when paired with yogurt. They are also a great source of vitamin C and potassium while still remaining low in calories.

Reminiscent of the popular mango salsa, surprise your guests at the next party with this interesting chip dip. It is sure to satisfy your friends and who knows, it may even be your new favorite salsa.

Watermelon Salsa

2 cups seeded and coarsely chopped watermelon

2 tablespoons chopped onion

3 tablespoons seeded, chopped Anaheim chile

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1/4 teaspoon garlic salt

Mix the watermelon, onion and chile pepper together in a serving bowl. Sprinkle the blend with balsamic vinegar and garlic salt. Cover and refrigerate the salsa for at least one hour. Recipe from


Perfect for those warm spring days, make this dish for a picnic or enjoy on the patio with a good book. An easy recipe, this dish is filling and a healthy pick.

Chicken and Melon Salad

1 honeydew melon

6 cups cubed, cooked chicken meat

2 cups chopped celery

2 cups seedless grapes

1 (8 oz.) can sliced water chestnuts

1/2 cup sour cream

1/2 cup plain yogurt

1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder

Salt and pepper to taste

Cut melon in half and remove seeds. With a melon baller, scoop out melon balls; place in a large salad bowl. Add chicken, celery and grapes to melon. Add water chestnuts if desired.

In a small bowl, mix together sour cream, yogurt and curry powder. Gently stir into salad. Season with salt and pepper to taste, then serve. Recipe from


Oranges are a ‘superfruit’ when it comes to the amount of vitamin C it has to offer. In one orange, it packs around half your daily recommendation for vitamin C, while also offering fiber at around 65-85 calories per orange. Make this satisfying smoothie as an early morning breakfast item, or an afternoon snack.

Orange and Banana Smoothie

1 cup of cold milk

2 oranges, peeled and segmented

1 banana

1/4 cup sugar

1 pinch salt

8 oz vanilla fat-free yogurt

4 ice cubes

In a blender combine milk, oranges, banana, sugar, salt and yogurt. Blend for about one minute. Insert ice cubes and blend until smooth. Pour into glasses and serve. Recipe from


Grapefruit is always plentiful at the dining commons and serves as a great breakfast item and an ideal health snack. It is a low-calorie fruit which also provides 80 percent supply of daily vitamin C recommendation. It’s an attractive color and trying to eat it is half the fun. Make a healthy and flavorful salad dish with this fruit to share with friends any day of the week.

Quinoa Salad with Grapefruit, Avocado and Arugula

1 cup quinoa

4 cups water

1/4 teaspoon salt, dried cranberries, fresh limejuice, olive oil, chopped fresh mint, minced cilantro

2 teaspoons honey

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon minced serrano pepper

1 shallot, minced

1/2 cup arugula

1 pinch salt and black pepper to taste

4 cups baby arugula leaves, washed and dried

1 avocado, peeled, pitted and diced

1/2 grapefruit, peeled and sectioned

Toast the quinoa in a dry skillet over medium heat until it has a nutty aroma. Remove from heat, rinse and drain in a fine mesh strainer. Bring water to a boil in a saucepan, add salt and slowly add toasted quinoa. Cook until tender and the outer rings appear on the grains, for about 15 to 20 minutes. Strain through a fine mesh colander. Place in a large bowl to cool. In a small bowl, combine cranberries, limejuice, olive oil, honey, garlic, serrano pepper, mint, cilantro, shallot and arugula. Stir into the cooled quinoa and add salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Place one cup of baby arugula on each salad plate. Top with quinoa mixture, avocado and grapefruit. Recipe from


Pineapple is a low-calorie fruit that is also high in vitamin C. Be aware that some canned pineapple can be loaded with the sugary syrup, so be sure to read the label. If possible, eating the raw fruit is always best. This fruit offers athletes a great post-workout snack because the enzymes help reduce inflammation in joints and helps with muscle soreness. So next time you go to the UMass Recreation Center to prepare for that summer swimsuit-ready bod, remember to eat some pineapple at the dining common to compliment the workout. Here’s a recipe on a delicious dessert you can make from the fabulous fruit.

Baked Pineapple

1 cup white sugar

1/4 lbs butter, softened

4 eggs, beaten

1 (20 ounce) canned pineapple

5 slices fresh breadcrumbs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). In a medium bowl, cream together sugar and butter. Mix in eggs. Drain and add pineapple, then mix in the breadcrumbs. Transfer mixture to a 10-inch pie plate. Bake for 45 to 60 minutes or until browned in the preheated oven. Recipe from


They are a fat-free snack, while also being a good source of folate, potassium, vitamin C and manganese. In addition, strawberries are a great way to get your daily intake of fiber. But remember, too much of a good thing can be bad for your health. Strawberries contain sugar and eating too many of them can be regrettable. Here’s an easy and scrumptious strawberry breakfast muffin recipe to enjoy on the run for those busy mornings.

Strawberry Muffins

1/4 cup canola oil

1/2 cup milk

1 egg

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 cup white sugar

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup chopped strawberries

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C), then either oil an 8-cup muffin tin or use paper liners. In a small bowl, combine oil, milk and egg. Beat lightly. In a large bowl, mix flour, salt, baking powder and sugar. Toss in chopped strawberries and stir to coat with flour. Pour in milk mixture and stir together. Fill muffin cups. Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 25 minutes, or until the tops bounce back from the touch. Cool 10 minutes and remove from pans. Recipe from

Kayla Marchetti can be reached at [email protected].


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    SandraApr 21, 2013 at 10:16 pm

    I thought it’s a squash at first but it was melon. I am not really fond of melon but hoping that I could learn to love it one day.