The following recipes and photography were provided courtesy of local cookbook author and chef, Carla Snyder. Learn more about Carla and discover her recipes at Ravenouskitchen.com.
How many times have you said to your kids, “You’ll like this, it’s good and good for you,” when what you’re really thinking is, “At least it’s good for you?” Now that spring is here, with its bounty of beautiful and delicious berries, it’s finally time to focus on these nutritious fruits and all the fun ways to entice your children into eating them. This is especially lucky timing with the kiddos at home social distancing for who knows how long. I think we could all use a project or two with the kids that we can enjoy and eat, too?
Berries are some of the healthiest foods, as they’re low in calories but high in fiber, vitamin C and antioxidant anthocyanins. They have proven benefits and reduce oxidative stress. What’s more, they contain a bit of iron, calcium and vitamin A, too. Berries are basically the new kale in terms of healthful properties and they are so much more fun to eat than, say, kale salad.
When it comes to berries, check out the organic local offerings along with the mass market-grown produce. It may cost a little more, but the taste of these small farmed fruits can be vastly superior and fewer pesticides on raw produce is always a good thing.
Not only are berries delicious and good for you, but they are super fun to eat when cut and combined into sushi-like shapes. This is a fun activity for kids and adults alike and there’s no end to the creative, fruity combinations. With just a little imagination, fruit can be transformed into a treat that will have your kids begging for more. As beautiful as they are, these sweet treats taste even better than they look. It requires a little bit of math and a little bit of art, a touch of engineering with a dab of design… sounds like schoolwork but feels more like play. That’s a recipe for a fruitful afternoon of fun (pun intended).
Looking for a good use for all those bits and pieces of fruit leftover from the fruit sushi? How about tossing them all in a Very Berry Smoothie? When combined with more berries, white grapes, grape juice, yogurt and a drizzle of honey, this berry smoothie makes a perfect start to the day, afternoon snack or after supper dessert. To make it fun for the kids, I’ve garnished the shake with animal crackers, but a few extra berries floating on top will make them pretty for the adults in the group as well.
If you’re looking for a quick and easy, healthy and delicious dessert, look no further than this Spring Berry Crisp. The berries are tossed with just enough brown sugar to sweeten and the perfect amount of flour to thicken up the juices. Sprinkled over the top is an oatmeal topping that crisps up in the oven. The sweet and tart, juicy berries and crispy-sweet topping are irresistible, especially when topped with whipped or ice cream. I used a mix of berries, but you could use one type of berry if you have a favorite. Crisps are one of the easiest and most delicious desserts, but I say this rendition is healthy enough to be served as breakfast; Fruit. Oatmeal. Sounds like a good breakfast to me.
Whether it’s fruit sushi, a berry packed smoothie or a delicious berry crisp, you’ll feel good about serving your kids these delicious and fun-to-eat dishes with the confidence that they really are good and good for them.