A fruitarian diet is a type of dietary practice that emphasizes the consumption of fruits, seeds, and other plant-based foods. Contrary to popular belief, the term "fruit" in fruitarianism does not solely refer to sweet produce like apples or oranges. It encompasses all the edible parts of flowering plants, including various vegetables, grains, legumes, seeds, and nuts.
The fruitarian diet is grounded in the belief that consuming the reproductive structures of plants, including fruits, seeds, and grains, aligns with the natural dietary needs of humans. Advocates of this diet emphasize the consumption of whole, unprocessed plant-based foods, avoiding animal products, refined sugars, and processed foods.
When people hear the term "fruit," they typically envision juicy and sweet fruits like apples, bananas, or berries. However, a fruitarian diet extends its definition to include a broader range of plant-based foods. Three such type of fruits that are not sweet are fruit of the Cucurbitaceae Family of plants, Legumes and Pulses, and Seeds and Grains.
Members of the Cucurbitaceae family, such as pumpkins, squash, and zucchini, are considered fruits due to their botanical classification. They offer an array of culinary possibilities, from savory dishes to delightful desserts. Pumpkin soup, roasted squash salad, and zucchini noodles are just a few examples of incorporating these fruits into a fruitarian diet.
Legumes like beans, lentils, and peas are nutrient-dense and a vital component of a fruitarian diet. Despite being commonly associated with savory meals, they also add variety to sweet dishes. For instance, incorporating mashed chickpeas into a cookie batter or adding black beans to a chocolate cake can enhance both the nutritional profile and taste. The main point being that savory fruits while commonly used in savory entrées, are compatible with dishes across the spectrum of tastes. Just as a sweet fruit might be added to a salty dish in order to pair a stark but inviting contrast of tastes.
Seeds and grains play a crucial role in a fruitarian diet. Quinoa, amaranth, and rice are popular grain choices, while chia seeds, flaxseeds, and sesame seeds offer nutritional benefits and culinary versatility. These ingredients can be used in salads, smoothies, puddings, or as toppings for various dishes, providing essential nutrients like protein, healthy fats, and fiber.
At Chakra our dishes use a variety of different fruits with most of our dishes using quinoa, white jasmine rice, brown-red rice and rice noodles as a base, complemented with squash, tomatoes, cucumber, berries, seeds and beans. Additionally we optionally include leafy vegetables that come from plants which can be pruned such as lettuce and cabbage, and don't have to be destroyed to harvest.
While most fruits from the The Cucurbitaceae Family are not sweet, a few are including Watermelon. For the most part these fruits are not sweet however and contain pulp that varies in texture, taste and nutritional profile. Among several are the following examples.
Cucumbers are long, cylindrical fruits with a refreshing and crisp texture. They are commonly used in salads, sandwiches, and pickles. Cucumbers are low in calories and rich in vitamins and minerals, making them a popular choice in a healthy diet.
Cucurbita pepo encompasses a variety of fruits, including pumpkins, squash, and zucchini. These fruits come in different shapes, sizes, and colors. Pumpkins are often associated with autumn and are used in soups, pies, and desserts. Squash varieties like butternut and acorn are used in savory dishes, while zucchini is a versatile ingredient used in both sweet and savory recipes.
Winter squash refers to a group of thick-skinned fruits with vibrant colors. Examples include Hubbard squash, kabocha, and buttercup squash. They are often roasted or baked and used in stews, soups, and casseroles. Winter squash is a good source of dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
Butternut squash is a popular member of the Cucurbita moschata species. It has a sweet, nutty flavor and a creamy texture. Butternut squash is commonly used in soups, purees, and roasted vegetable dishes. It is a rich source of vitamins A and C, as well as fiber.
Tromboncino and Cushaw squash are two varieties within the Cucurbita argyrosperma species. Tromboncino squash has a unique elongated shape and is often used in stir-fries or as a substitute for zucchini. Cushaw squash has a bulbous shape and is commonly used in pies, custards, and other desserts.
Bottle gourd, also known as calabash, is a trailing vine that produces large fruits with elongated shapes. In some cultures, the dried shells of bottle gourds are used as utensils or decorative items. The flesh of young bottle gourds is edible and is used in soups, stews, and curries.
At Chakra we use Kabocha squash more extensively than any other squash, including in our pumpkin hummus, pumpkin soup, and optionally in our green curry.
Watermelon is a juicy and refreshing fruit that belongs to the Citrullus lanatus species. It has a high water content and is often consumed fresh during hot summer months. Watermelon is rich in vitamins A and C and provides hydration and electrolytes. On hot summer days we like to offer a watermelon gazpacho at Chakra.
The legume and pulse family encompasses a wide range of plant species that provide essential nutrients, including protein, fiber, and various vitamins and minerals. The following are serveral examples of popular legumes and pulses which we use in many of our dishes at Chakra.
Common beans include various types such as kidney beans, black beans, pinto beans, and navy beans. They are widely used in numerous dishes, including soups, stews, salads, and chili. Common beans are rich in protein, dietary fiber, iron, and folate.
Lentils are lens-shaped legumes that come in different colors, including green, red, brown, and black. They are commonly used in soups, stews, curries, and salads. Lentils are a great source of plant-based protein, dietary fiber, folate, and other essential minerals.
Peas are small, spherical legumes that can be consumed fresh, frozen, or dried. They are often used in salads, stir-fries, soups, and side dishes. Peas are rich in dietary fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals, including vitamin C and vitamin K.
Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are widely used in Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, and Indian cuisines. They are the main ingredient in dishes like hummus, falafel, and curries. Chickpeas are an excellent source of plant-based protein, fiber, iron, and folate. Chickpeas are a key ingredient in our healthy bowls and Massaman curry.
Mung beans are small, green legumes commonly used in Asian cuisine. They can be sprouted, cooked whole, or ground into flour. Mung beans are utilized in dishes like soups, stir-fries, curries, and desserts. They are a good source of protein, fiber, and vitamins. In some of our dishes at Chakra we use "glass noodles" which are made from mung bean. Included in these dishes are the glass noodle salad, clay pot glass noodles (opp woon sen) and healthy noodle bowl.
Fava beans, also known as broad beans, are large, flat legumes with a distinct flavor. They are used in various Mediterranean and Middle Eastern dishes, such as stews, salads, and dips. Fava beans are rich in protein, dietary fiber, folate, and several minerals.
Peanuts are technically not nuts but legumes. They are widely consumed as a snack and are used to make peanut butter, oils, and various peanut-based dishes. Peanuts are a good source of healthy fats, protein, dietary fiber, and vitamin E. At Chakra we do use peanut in a few of our dishes but we are careful to process peanuts and peanut products in a specific area of our kitchen away from where we prepare our dishes, taking extra precaution to ensure our peanut-free dishes not only are absent of peanut, but are prepared in an area of kitchen away from any traces of peanut.
Seeds and grains are essential components of a fruitarian diet, providing valuable nutrients such as protein, healthy fats, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Here is a list of various types of seeds and grains, along with brief descriptions of each:
Quinoa is a gluten-free grain that is rich in protein and contains all essential amino acids. It has a nutty flavor and a versatile texture, making it a popular choice for salads, stir-fries, and pilafs. Quinoa is also a good source of fiber, iron, and magnesium.
Chia seeds are small, nutrient-dense seeds packed with fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, and antioxidants. They can absorb liquid, forming a gel-like consistency, which makes them ideal for puddings, smoothies, and as an egg substitute in baking.
Flaxseeds are another excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and lignans. They have a slightly nutty flavor and can be ground and added to smoothies, cereals, baked goods, or used as an egg substitute in recipes.
Sesame seeds are tiny seeds with a delicate nutty flavor. They are commonly used in both sweet and savory dishes, such as salads, stir-fries, and baked goods. Sesame seeds are rich in healthy fats, protein, and minerals like calcium and iron.
Sunflower seeds are a popular snack and culinary ingredient. They are packed with nutrients like vitamin E, magnesium, and selenium. Sunflower seeds can be enjoyed roasted and salted, added to salads, used as a topping for bread or baked goods, or ground into sunflower seed butter.
Oats are a whole grain known for their high fiber content and numerous health benefits. They can be enjoyed as oatmeal, added to smoothies, used in baking, or incorporated into granola bars and cookies. Oats provide sustained energy and are a good source of vitamins and minerals.
Brown rice is a whole grain that retains the bran and germ layers, making it more nutritious than refined white rice. It is a versatile grain used in various dishes such as stir-fries, pilafs, and grain bowls. Brown rice is a good source of fiber, B vitamins, and minerals.