Why is it that some of the most delicious foods are the hardest to get into? Watermelon can take a lot of muscle, particularly if it’s a hefty one. Pineapple is delicious, but it takes a bit of time to cut and core it. And pistachios? I’ll admit I pay a little extra to get the shelled ones. It’s part of the reason my kids and I eat apples like crazy — you can just chomp right in. It’s also the reason I always freak out in the produce department during the winter when I see Cuties Clementines. Those little orange beauties are so easy to peel, and because they’re seedless, my kids love them and scarf them up like candy. (Anyone else have kids who are totally thrown off by seeds? Oy!) We go through Cuties by the barrel, so when the company behind Cuties contacted me about trying its easy-peel Mighties Kiwis for its 14 Day Challenge, my head practically exploded with excitement.
Plus, I knew my kids would love the mascot:
You see, I love kiwis. Those fuzzy little fruits are SO GOOD but I am a bit lazy, I’ll admit, and I don’t buy them as often as I want to because they take some time to get into. I hurried out to buy my kiwis so I could get started taking the challenge — the easiest challenge I’ve ever done: work two kiwis into my diet every day for two weeks.
For the first week, I mostly scarfed down my kiwis as afternoon snacks. They work great to add a little zip to smoothies, and you can even use them on oatmeal, which I never would have thought of before. They’re so easy to eat, too. Some packages come with a combo spoon/knife (officially called a spife!), so you can simply slice the kiwi in half and scoop out all the goodness. They come ripe and ready, so they’re truly easy to peel and scoop and that was my favorite way to eat them, until I came across The Salad.
By the second week of the challenge I wanted to get a little more creative with my kiwi intake, so I made a spinach salad with kiwi vinaigrette dressing per this recipe. The vinaigrette is made with mashed kiwi, some clementine juice and balsamic vinegar, with a little Dijon, honey and a shallot. Toss that vinaigrette over spinach and kiwi — and I swapped pumpkin seeds for sunflower and added red peppers and cherry tomatoes — and I was in heaven. There was also bacon involved, so that certainly didn’t hurt.
Now, guess which of these thoughts went through my head as I ate this salad:
A) I want to punch someone this is so good.
B) This is going to be my signature salad from now on.
C) Boy, was that ever worth the effort.
D) All of the above.
The correct answer is D, all of the above. As my eyes rolled back into my head, I was thinking I was lucky no one was around because I would have punched them. Then, Bridget Jones-style, I thought, “Am salad goddess. This is going to be my signature salad. Everyone who comes to my house will eat this salad.” And then, C. Because usually I don’t make my own dressings but it takes only a little bit more time, and the fresh kiwi in it made it so delicious and has me on a DIY dressing kick. Just trust me and go make it.
This two-a-day challenge was fun and came at the perfect time when I was trying to get back to healthier habits after the holidays. It’s such a concrete goal — eat two kiwis a day — that it’s totally setting you up for healthy success. I’m actually surprised I had enough kiwis to go around — my 4-year-old was fighting me for them as well. My little fuzzy friends would get me out of an afternoon slump when I needed a pick-me-up or be a treat in the evenings in place of less healthy fare. I loved the boost of afternoon energy they gave me, and my improved ability to zonk out when I went to bed. (See, they really are fuzzy little miracles!)
If you’re in a slump or want to try to implement a healthy habit, try taking the 14 Day Challenge as well. Trust me, it’s a challenge you’ll enjoy, and it helps you set up a healthier habit. Instead of that second cup or coffee? Kiwi! Instead of that afternoon cookie? Kiwi! You’ll get tons of vitamin C and fiber, and you won’t regret a kiwi! If you do it, share your experience with #BeMightie so we can see how you’re eating kiwi! Let me know if you try that salad and want to punch someone, too.
How do you like your kiwi? —Erin