Let’s face it – the kids might be back in school by now, but Mother Nature is still saying it’s summer. When it’s fry‐an‐egg‐on‐the‐driveway hot, the last thing you want is to eat heavy foods, particularly desserts. Fortunately, those battle‐scarred by the heat are rewarded with lots of delicious fruits that come into season this time of year.
Fresh strawberries or peaches can be sliced, sweetened a little if desired, and put in store‐bought shortcake cups and topped with whipped cream. Another quick‐fix dessert is to put sliced bananas in individual graham cracker crusts with chocolate pudding and whipped cream. Of course, any of the fresh fruits are tasty when dipped in melted chocolate and rolled in nuts.
Fruit is divine in ice cream, either mixed in or used as a topping. Try layering slices of angel food cake, ice cream and fruit in tall glasses for a refreshing dessert. To kick it up a notch, toast the angel food cake slices beforehand. In the wintertime, frozen fruit, or even jam, can be used.
Fruit also can be used as ice cubes to keep your drinks cool without watering them down. Spread blueberries and blackberries on a baking sheet and freeze, then drop in your tea or lemonade. Store in a ziptop bag and then use in cereal, oatmeal or even your morning juice. The fruits also can be pureed, sweetened to taste, and frozen in ice cube trays for the same purpose. While we’re on the subject of frozen fruit, peaches or any of the berries can be run through a blender with some sugar and put in a baking dish in the freezer. Once the mixture is firm, scrape with a fork, add some fresh mint and voila, you have a frozen treat that will be a crowd pleaser. Orange juice is also a good add‐in before freezing. Try putting some of the frozen goodness in a glass with sparkling grape juice for a tasty drink.
Strawberries can be run through a food processor, then heated in a saucepan with some sugar, a splash of balsamic vinegar, lemon or lime juice, and a little water to thin it out, if necessary. Heat until the mixture reduces and thickens. This sauce makes a great dip for chicken, pork and veggies. The same can be done with blackberries, but make sure you push them through a strainer because you want people to compliment you on your sauce, not spit seeds when they try to speak. So take advantage of all the summer fruits and be adventurous! Happy cooking!
Tiffany Hughes is an Acworth resident and educator at Tellus Science Museum. She enjoys spending time with her family and furbabies. For more recipes or tips, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.