A Valentine Gift from the Heart for the Heart

A Valentine Gift from the Heart for the Heart

A Valentine Gift from the Heart for the Heart

By Barbara Day, M.S., R.D., C.N.

February features heart month as well as Valentine''s Day. Many guys and gals are thinking - what can I get my significant other this year for Valentine''s Day that is unique and from the heart? Candy, flowers, jewelry .?

What does a nutritionist give her husband (of 30 years) for Valentine''s Day this year? The answer is: a basket of edible flowers (but don''t tell him). They are not the kind of edible flowers that you get as a garnish atop your meal at a fancy restaurant. They are indeed tastier and much more unique. These flowers are made from the finest quality freshly cut fruit, including strawberries, sweet pineapple, cantaloupe, honeydew, kiwi and grapes. Each fruit/flower is creatively designed as a rose, daisy, heart, etc.

The fruits that make up the flowers not only taste good but also add a nutritional boost to one''s diet. Kiwifruit is high in vitamins A and C, folic acid, potassium and dietary fiber. Not only are strawberries and grapes good sources of vitamins but also they are rich sources of flavenoids, which are considered clot busters. Cantaloupes contain alpha- and beta-carotene, which are cancer fighters. Honeydew melons are rich in lutein and zeaxanthin. These phytochemicals help protect the retina from macular degeneration and cataracts.

So, when I send my significant other this special edible fruit flower arrangement, you might say I am getting two for the price of one - a great-tasting gift, plus something that is healthy. I might add that if your fruit flower choice comes with chocolate fudge that might not be as bad as you think because, after all, chocolate does contain some flavenoids, too.

Founders Susan Ellman and Ellen Davis began Incredibly Edible Delites in 1984. Their uniquely designed fruit flower baskets started out as a great party idea and quickly grew into a healthy, exciting, delectably delicious alternative to sending flowers.

Recently, Jeanne Gamboa Merwin and Ben Rigor, Jr., opened Incredibly Edible Delites locally at 9447 Westport Road. Jeanne brought the idea back from a stint in Philly and partnered with Ben, a former banker.

But you don''t have to wait until Valentine''s Day to give edible fruit flowers. They are a great eye-catcher for any party and can serve as a centerpiece and an appetizer. "We sell many of our bouquets for dinner parties, birthday parties, bar/bat mitzvahs, holiday get-togethers, bridal showers and baby showers," says Ben Rigor, co-owner of Incredibly Edible Delites.

Some of your choices of Incredibly Edible Delites "Fruitflowers" are:

Floral Fruit Design consists of honeydew, cantaloupe, pineapple, strawberries, kiwi and grapes with a marshmallow center to round out the unique flower look. Retails for $58 - $210.

The Fruit and Fudge basket consists of strawberries and pineapple daisies that can be dipped in fudge sauce, which comes with the basket. Retails for $58.00.

The Berry Special Someone arrangement comes with a heart-shaped basket with marshmallow-center strawberries, heart-shaped pineapple and succulent grapes. Retails for $50.00.

The Tulips and Daisies basket consists of strawberries with some marshmallow centers, pineapple daisy flowers, cantaloupe balls and grapes. Retails for $47.

The new Rainbow Sorbet design consists of cantaloupe, honeydew and strawberries with some marshmallow centers in a ceramic ice cream cone-shaped container. Retails for $35.00.

The Sweet Heart with Roses design is perfect for your honey for Valentine''s Day. It consists of juicy pineapple hearts with one dozen strawberry roses made with marshmallow centers complete with honeydew "leaves." Fudge sauce is included for dipping. Retails for $50.00.

For more information, call 339-8089 or visit www.FruitFlowers.com.

Barbara Day, M.S., R.D., C.N., is the publisher and nutrition editor of KHF and a runner, cyclist and hiker.

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