Fruits of Summer

fruits2I have been enjoying both the fruits of the farm we belong to and the great loss-leaders some grocery stores have been running (4 pints of blueberries for $5 – yum!).  Every time I run across a great deal, I find myself day-dreaming that I will somehow turn into Martha Stewart or Bree Hodge and whip up several festive dishes with these fruits — some jellies, pies, and whatever else  you can do with them — but it never happens.

No, our dirty little secret is that we like our fruit just plain.  Washed and raw.  Sometimes the kids will eat it in plain non-fat organic yogurt.  (I did not develop the same tastebuds they did, so I at least have to either have French Vanilla non-fat yogurt or sweeten the plain with Splenda.)  But give them a bowl of fresh fruit and my kids are happy as larks, and I keep asking myself, isn’t this what parents are striving for?  Should I mess with their love of a healthy snack by creating pies and such?   Is it okay to be “boring” and just eat the fruit fresh and not do anything more creative than a fruit salad with it?   This year I didn’t even make my dip for strawberries (see below) because I don’t need the extra calories and I figure there’s no need to get the kids started on bad habits.

We practically have to ration out the fruit in our house — JavaGirl went so wild over the blueberries that her poop turned blue.  Every time I turned around, she was trying to get into the fridge for more blueberries.  (She’s like this about broccoli, too.)  Since they entered the house, she has asked for them every meal and today I had to prove to her that I was giving her the very last of the blueberries by showing her the empty container.  They wiped out the strawberries, too.  Thank goodness for a sale on watermelons and heaven help me tomorrow when they realize I got cherries on sale!

So far, the only big plan I have for fruits is to learn to make my own jelly this year.  I realized that the jelly I’ve used in my kids’ peanut butter and jelly sandwiches has high fructose corn syrup, an additive I’m trying to cut out of our diets and thought that maybe the most economical way to have jelly in the house that didn’t contain unwanted additives was to make my own.  (JavaGirl really LOVES PB&J sandwiches!)  I even got so far as buying pectin yesterday — only to discover today that the box I bought had expired.  (And if you have any tips for me, I’d love to hear them!)

The only other big fruit plans will be in September, when we will pick apples and make homemade sugar-free applesauce (yum!) and probably one apple pie for JavaDad as those are his favorite.

How about you — are you enjoying the fruits of summer?  Do you have a particular fruit specialty you make each year?


Totally Not Healthy But So Yummy Dip for Strawberries (and other fruit)
introduced to me by my friend Mike S.

  • Sour Cream (I have used low-fat for this)
  • Brown Sugar

Basically you mix in the brown sugar until you achieve a beige color, taste and add more if you think it needs it.  Chill. You will not believe how incredible this tastes.  Serve in a pretty bowl, surrounded by strawberries.