Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Hooked On Produce

This is the start of the summer harvest season.It's the perfect time to introduce the little ones to the joys of healthy eating while weaning the older ones off junk food and candy.Take advantage of these harvests to impress the importance of right choices.

Peaches are in abundance right now and they 're the perfect and versatile fruit for any little foodie. One is the perfect snack, perfect if it's cut into slices. (always make sure they're pitted.If you want, save the pits  to plant them -a good lesson on gardening) Since the weather is getting warmer, think popsicles. Chop them up in a food processor and then blend with orange or tangerine juice along with agave syrup. A quarter teaspoon of vanilla extract can be added for more flavor. Peaches can be turned into edible cups for yogurt sundaes. You could hollow them out for more space and mix the scooped out flesh with the yogurt. Add some chopped almonds or sunflower seeds for crunch.Another fruit that's out in full display these days is watermelon.Of course , kids love chomping down on a slice , enjoying a watermelon bath, one of the most joyous summer memories.Yet it can also be made into a cooling ade, perfect for a beach day or picnic.it's just pureeing the fruit in a blender You can strain out the fruit or add it in for a thicker drink. Add half a cup of cold water along with a teaspoon of agave syrup . Mix and chill.

Cherries and berries are also in season and these are the most versatile. Washington State cherries are big right now. They're great snacks on their own (although be careful with pits and stems. Be sure that they're pitted and destemmed before giving to kids). A bowl of fresh washed ones are a simple but tasty dessert.Dip them in dark chocolate and then roll in oats or grated coconut for a healthy but decadent snack. Add pitted chopped ones to salsa for a sweet and zesty tortilla dip. The ruby gems are also great baked in oat or bran muffins too.Make mini ones for hungry little mouths. Berries, both strawberries and blueberries are  ripe and ready to be used in a variety of fun dishes. Start with breakfast and a few in a bowl of Rice Krispies or plain corn flakes. Kids will appreciate the fresh, fruity taste and it weans them off of those sugar saturated kiddie ones.Make a salad pop with the addition of sliced strawberries or a vinaigrette made more exciting with a cup of crushed berries. Blueberries can also make for an interesting catsup. It's just cooking them with honey , lime juice, shallots and seasoning along with red wine vinegar. Kids will flip over putting this blue goo on burgers or dogs or just dipping tortilla or pita chips into a small bowlful.

Get the kids hooked on produce. They'll take on a new love while eating healthy.It's a step on the path to a lifetime of good and nutritious eating.

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