Category Archives: Fruit

Caramel Apple Salad

  
This is a whole bowl of YUM!  Seriously, what’s better in the fall than a caramel apple?  When you’re finally sick of all the pumpkin stuff…

Plus, this salad has candy in it.  It’s a CANDY salad.  What the wha???

Caramel Apple Salad

  • 5-6 apples, cored, peeled and chopped (I used a combo of Granny Smith and gala)
  • 1 bag fun size snickers bars (about 25 fun sized bars, cut into quarters) – could also use Milky Way if you’re avoiding peanuts
  • 1 container cool whip
  • Caramel ice cream topping
  • 1/2 cup Chopped peanuts (optional)
  1. Place chopped apples, chopped candy bars, and cool whip in a large bowl.  Mix well.
  2. Drizzle with caramel sauce and top with nuts.  

Enjoy!  

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Super Simple Fruit Leather

fruit leather

Summer is winding down and fall is right around the corner.  I cannot wait for the pumpkin spice lattes to start flowing in about a week!  I don’t know about you, but this is also the time of year that the overabundance of gardens start to show up at work.  You know – zucchinis showing up in your car if you leave your window open while running in to the grocery store, tomatoes and cucumbers left in the breakroom, peaches and pears at their peak flavor.  Well, if you have an abundance, what can you do with it that doesn’t involve too much work?  Fruit leather, my friends!

I was a little sneaky and made Fruit (and veggie) Leather for my kids.  They didn’t even know.  Not that they would complain – they can only say about 8 words each.  😉

The recipe here is more of a guideline than a strict recipe.  You could add any combo of veggies and/or fruit you want!  But there are a few key points to remember:

  • I ALWAYS bring my mixture to a boil before drying.  Better to kill any stray bacteria you can.  Die, buggies, DIE!!
  • Dry until the leather is no longer sticky to the touch.  That means enough water has evaporated, and no water means less of a chance of spoilage.
  • Technically, you could store the stuff at room temp, tightly wrapped, for a couple of weeks.  I like to store mine in the refrigerator, tightly wrapped.

What can you do with fruit leather other than eat it straight up?  Cut it up and put it in your oatmeal, your favorite trail mix, homemade granola, add it to cookies and cakes, etc.  Or you could soak it in a little hot water until it dissolves for baby food.  Or so all the dehydrating books say…

Super Simple Fruit Leather

  • 5 cups fruit/veggie puree – peel fruit like peaches, pears, and apples
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/3 – 1/2 cup sugar (depending on sweetness of your fruit/veggie puree)
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon (optional)
  • Cooking spray
  1. Place puree, sugar, lemon juice, and cinnamon in a saucepan on the stove.  Bring to a low boil, and let boil gently for about 5 minutes.
  2. Place parchment paper on cookie sheets or extra wide plastic wrap over your food dehydrator tray.  Be sure not to block the airflow around the tray with plastic wrap.
  3. Spray the parchment paper or plastic wrap with cooking spray.
  4. Ladle the puree onto the prepared trays.  It should be about 1/4 inch thick on each tray and should fill about 2 trays.
  5. Place in a 130°F oven or food dehydrator set at 145°F.  WALK AWAY.
  6. Allow to cook/dry for 8-12 hours, or until no longer sticky.
  7. Gently lift the parchment paper or plastic wrap off the cookie sheet/tray.
  8. Cut into strips or shapes with kitchen shears – wrap each piece well with plastic wrap.
  9. Store in an airtight container at room temp or in the fridge.

I made 3 different combinations this weekend:

  • 2 cups pureed cooked carrots and 3 cups pureed peaches
  • 1 cup plums, 2 cups nectarines, and 2 cups peaches
  • 1 cup blueberries, 4 cups grapes

No Bake Lemon Berry Cheesecake Bars

While perusing the internet about a month ago, I saw a recipe for a lemon blueberry cheesecake.  It looked SO GOOD.  But when I looked up the recipe, it was too complicated for me.  Plus, I hate turning on the oven when it’s hot outside.  So, I looked around the grocery store, and came up with a pretty good recipe.  So good, I forgot to take a picture before it was all gone.  Whoops!  Hope you love this cool, creamy and tangy dessert as much as we did!

No Bake Lemon Berry Cheesecake Bars

  • 2 boxes Jello No Bake Cheesecake (11.1 oz. each)
  • Milk and Butter to make cheesecake (refer to instructions on the box)
  • 2 envelopes Crystal Light lemonade (the kind that are for a water bottle, not a pitcher)
  • 24-32 oz. frozen mixed berries
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  1. Prepare the crust (using both packages) according to the prep instructions on the box.  You should just have to dump the graham cracker crumbs into a large bowl, add some butter, and stir until the mixture resembles sand.  Dump into a 9″x13″ pan, and spread to an even layer, making sure to pack it down well with your hands.  Let cool.
  2. In a large bowl, combine both cheesecake mixes, the Crystal Light lemonade pouches, and the milk required on the Cheesecake box.  Mix as directed.  Pour over crust, using a rubber spatula to smooth out the top.
  3. Place berries, honey, and lemon juice in a medium sauce pan over medium heat.  Bring to a boil, and simmer 5-10 minutes.  Mash berries slightly with a potato masher.  Let cool.
  4. Pour berry mixture over the cheesecake layer, and refrigerate at least 4 hours (overnight is better).
  5. Cut into bars and serve with whip cream on top, if you want.  Yummy stuff!  Hope you enjoy.

Triple Berry Crunch Cake

berrycake

You know what I love about berries?  They taste good.  Know what I hate about berries?  They don’t last very long after they’ve been picked.  So what happens when you get a Bountiful Basket and end up with 2 containers of blackberries, 1 container of blueberries, and 1 container of strawberries?  Triple Berry Crunch Cake is what happens!

I took the recipe for Apple Streusel Pecan Cake and updated it with berries.  The flavors came out great!  Berries go very well with nuts, and the cake had just the right amount of sweetness to go with the berries.

What do you make with fresh berries?

Triple Berry Crunch Cake

Streusel Topping:
2/3 cup quick-cooking or old-fashioned oats (I used old-fashioned)
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup pecans, hazelnuts, and/or almonds, chopped
3 Tbl canola oil

Cake:
1 cup granulated sugar
1 container (6 oz.) Greek Fat Free Honey Yogurt
2/3 cup canola oil
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
1-1/2 cup all purpose flour
1-1/2 cup whole wheat flour
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
12 oz. blackberries, 6 oz. blueberries, and 6 oz. chopped strawberries

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 13 x 9-inch pan with cooking spray. In a small bowl, mix streusel ingredients with a fork until crumbly; set aside.

2. In a large bowl, beat sugar, yogurt, oil, vanilla and eggs with an electric mixer until blended. Add all remaining ingredients except berries; beat on low speed about 1 minute or until blended. Stir in strawberries. Spread batter in pan.  Scatter Blueberries and Blackberries on top.  Sprinkle evenly with streusel topping.

3. Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Moist Banana Bread

bananabread

I really need to stop buying BUNCHES of bananas.  I always end up with at least 2 that are far past their prime for eating.   And what’s better than Banana Bread to make with super ripe bananas?

I ran across this recipe on Pinterest and decided to give it a try.  One small problem.  I didn’t have any sour cream or nuts.  That’s ok!  I did have a container of mango pineapple yogurt and mini chocolate chips.  I wasn’t 100% sure they would work, but I decided it was better to try than to make a trip to the store.

The bread came out beautifully, and has stayed moist over several days.  I like mine sliced thick with butter.  Mmmm, butter….

Do you remember the series Dead Like Me?  It was fun little show to watch.  I especially LOVED that the mother HATED the word ‘moist’ because it sounds ‘so dirty’.  HA HA!  Well, she would love my dirty banana bread…

Moist Banana Bread

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter at room temp (plus more for pan)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 lg eggs
  • 1-1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 2 large)
  • 6 oz. yogurt, any flavor (lowfat, NOT fat free)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.  Butter a 9″ loaf pan generously.
  2. In a standing mixer bowl fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes on low.  Add eggs and beat well.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, and salt.  Add to mixer and blend on low just until combined.
  4. Using the same medium bowl, mash bananas.  Add yogurt and vanilla and mix well.  Pour into the mixer bowl and stir well.  Add semisweet chocolate chips, and stir until well combined.
  5. Pour batter into the prepared pan and smooth out the top.
  6. Bake about 1 hour and 10 minutes.  Let rest in pan 10 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
  7. Once cool (or at least mostly cool), slice and eat– with BUTTER!

Monkey Fruit Salad

monkeyfruitsalad

I have an obsession with monkeys.  We’re decorating the nursery in Monkeys for the twins!  We have monkey sheets, monkey outfits, monkey blankets, monkey quilts, a monkey diaper bag… yep.  Monkeys everywhere!

And what do monkeys eat?  Fruit.  And what has this preggo lady been craving?  FRUIT!  I love this salad.  It’s simple, keeps for a few days in the fridge, and is super healthy for me and my babies.  Sometimes I even add a dollop of whipped cream to make it a bit more indulgent.

Here’s to a Happy and Healthy 2014!

Monkey Fruit Salad

  • 1 (15 oz. can) pineapple chunks- drain and reserve 1/4 cup juice
  • 1 banana, peeled and sliced
  • 1 pint strawberries, hulled and cut into chunks
  • 1 apple, cored and cut into chunks (I used Gala)
  • 1 orange, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 cup red or green grapes, halved
  • whipped cream for topping (optional)
  1. Put all the fruit in a bowl.  Drizzle with reserved pineapple juice, and stir well to coat.  Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 or 5 days.
  2. To serve, spoon fruit into a bowl and add a dollop of whipped cream!

This fruit also makes a great smoothie combo.  Just combine in a blender with some plain or vanilla yogurt and ice.  YUM!!

Healthy Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

bananbread.jpg

Yummy and healthy?  Yes, indeed!  This is another recipe from King Arthur Flour’s Whole Grain Baking.  This recipe is easy and produces a dense, slightly sweet, satisfying loaf.  One slice fills me up for breakfast (until the next craving kicks in).

I used mini chocolate chips instead of walnuts, due to an allergy.  But nuts or raisins could be added as well.  Whatever floats your boat!  The book also has instructions for making the bread into muffins, which freeze very well.

So the next time your bananas are going a little south on the counter, consider making this yummy healthy treat.  😉

Healthy Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 large or 3 med/small very ripe bananas
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup mini chocolate chips (I like semisweet)
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.  Grease a 9″ x 5″ loaf pan.
  2. Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add baking soda, salt and vanilla, beat well.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Add honey, and mix well.  Scrape down the bowl.
  3. Break bananas into chunks and add to batter bowl.  Beat well until almost smooth.  Scrape down the bowl.
  4. Add flour all at once, and beat on low until combined.  Add chocolate chips and stir well.  Remove bowl from mixer, and give it one final stir by hand.
  5. Pour batter into the prepared loaf pan, using a rubber spatula to smooth out the top.  Bake 50 minutes.
  6. After 50 minutes, lay a sheet of foil over the top, and continue to cook another 10 to 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.  Mine took the full 15 minutes.
  7. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for at least 15 minutes.  Loosen the sides with a butter knife, then turn the loaf out onto the cooling rack.  Cool another 30 minutes before slicing.
  8. Store in an airtight container.  I like to heat mine up in the microwave before eating.