Take the fear out of trying unfamiliar produce
Introducing kids to unfamiliar flavors doesn’t have to be a frightful experience. Getting creative and taking cues from some beloved characters may be all it takes for families to explore produce in a new way and discover how delicious, satisfying, and enjoyable fresh fruits and vegetables can be.
A passion for produce may begin with America’s favorites, like bananas, apples, citrus, celery, carrots, and broccoli, but that’s just the beginning.
Whether it’s their angry names and tough exteriors, or simply a fear of the unknown about taste and preparation, dozens more diverse and exotic fruits and vegetables like dragon fruit, horned melon, and Brussels sprouts are often the sources of produce paranoia.
An initiative from Dole, in collaboration with Disney and Pixar’s Monsters, Inc., is helping to take the scare out of specialty fruits and vegetables and widen America’s produce horizons. That’s because, like a good book or the characters in a beloved film, you can’t judge a fruit or vegetable by its appearance; nature’s true beauty often lies within.
The campaign offers character-inspired recipes, serving suggestions, digital and social activations, family-friendly activities, fun trivia, and influencer partnerships that celebrate the not-so-scary world of the planet’s more unusual fresh bounty.
One easy way to introduce new flavors is by trying a variation of a familiar fruit or veggie. For example, there are more than 500 edible banana varieties in the world. You might sample a red banana or a Manzano, or even an ice cream banana, with a taste resembling vanilla custard.
These fun and kid-friendly Green Slime Nacho Cups feature plantains, for example, a member of the banana family with a different taste and texture than everyday yellow bananas – more firm and starchy like a potato. Increase your family’s produce intake even further with a Slippery Slimy Smoothie and Chicken Stuffed Roz Heads, which call for green grapes, celery, avocados, strawberries, and blueberries.
Find more recipes and other not-so-scary fun at dole.com/Disney, and follow #Dole and #DoleRecipes.
Chicken Stuffed Roz Heads
Prep time: 15 minutes
1 cup cubed, cooked chicken breast
1/2 cup DOLE® Green Grapes, halved
1/4 cup chopped Dole Celery
1/3 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 Dole Avocados, halved, pitted, and peeled
6 whole-wheat pretzel twists
18 whole-wheat pretzel sticks
1 Dole Strawberry, sliced
3 dried, sweetened blueberries
In a bowl, stir together chicken, grapes, celery, yogurt, salt, and pepper.
Scoop three equal portions onto the serving plate. Shape each into an oval.
Top each with upside-down avocado half.
Decorate each avocado half to resemble Roz’s face. Using a sharp paring knife, trim each pretzel twist to create a horn-rimmed glasses lens by cutting off a double loop section of each pretzel twist and discarding or enjoying as a snack, keeping a single loop portion, which will become one lens. Two lenses are needed per Roz Head.
Place two pretzel lenses on each avocado to form glasses. Add pretzel stick to each side of avocado to form arms of glasses. Push four pretzel sticks into the top of each avocado to form hair. Add strawberry slice, trimmed to look like lips for her mouth, and place blueberry on lower left side of the face to form a mole.
Green Slime Nacho Cups
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
1 green starting to turn yellow DOLE® Plantain, peeled and thinly sliced on bias
1 1/2 teaspoons canola oil
1/4 teaspoon salt, divided
1 Dole Avocado, halved, pitted, and peeled
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup thinly shredded Dole Purple Cabbage
Preheat oven to 375 F. Toss plantain slices with canola oil and season with a pinch of salt. On parchment paper-lined baking sheet, arrange slices in a single layer with no overlapping.
Bake 18-20 minutes, or until crispy and lightly golden. Cool completely and set aside.
Using a spoon, scoop the flesh of the avocado into a small bowl and mash, reserving one half avocado shell. Stir mashed avocado with lime juice, garlic, and remaining salt. Stir in slaw, reserving some for garnish. Scoop into reserved avocado shell and smooth top with the back of a spoon. Stick reserved cabbage shreds out of the avocado mixture to look like hair.
Serve slime nacho cups with plantain chips.