I don’t know if it is the warm weather or if it’s a pregnancy craving but all I want these days is fresh fruit. Cold fresh fruit. Give me a watermelon and I could have my 3 meals for the day figured out. Unfortunately, cooking isn’t that simple when you are married and have little ones to think about as well.
Fresh fruit is just beginning its big debut for the summer season. I have already picked strawberries (from our own beds as well as a local farm that doesn’t spray) and am itching to go back for more. I like my freezers STOCKED FULL of fresh fruit to last us through the long winter months. Blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, and cherries will soon be in season as well as all of the other countless fruits that I can’t even begin to mention.
I have slowly been adding fruit plants to my “homestead”. I call it my “homestead”. It’s really just my small fenced in side yard. This year I added 2 blueberry bushes (that have berries on them!), 1 yellow raspberry bush, and 1 blackberry bush as well as planting seeds of wonderberry/sunberry, ground cherry, and cantaloupe. I’m a self-taught gardener who often learns the hard way. My strawberry plants have produced well but I have never cut off the runners and apparently the runners lessen the crop as well as making your berries smaller. So, another item is added to my garden to-do and I’ll be out cutting off my strawberry runners in the next couple of weeks to prepare for next year’s crop. I also have black raspberry bushes (I think!) that are huge but have never produced fruit that is large enough to eat. For most, these grow abundantly and produce large amounts without any work. I’ve always taken the no-work approach but I also received a no-fruit result so this year, I transplanted a few starts to another area of my garden as well as diligently watering them in hopes that something will work. I’m hoping for at least a few berries for my hard work and persistence.
So, while I’ve been slaving away outside in the hot temperatures this past week, I’ve dreamed up lots of simple fresh fruit dessert ideas. Here is my list:
Frozen ~ Almost any fruit is delicious frozen. Our favorites: cherries, grapes, and mango. Or try watermelon on a skewer (watermelon popsicles!), strawberries or blueberries.
Topped with Cream ~ Berries are delicious when drizzled with cream (coconut cream for those who are dairy-free). Add a few chopped nuts or granola and you have a delicious parfait.
Grilled ~ Add some fresh fruit to the grill while it’s still hot from cooking those delicious burgers and steaks. This is a quick dessert that gives gourmet results. Brush with butter or coconut oil and sprinkle with honey or sucanat and place fruit cut-side-down on the grill for a few minutes until golden brown. Pineapple, peaches, and nectarines are wonderful this way. Top with a scoop of vanilla ice cream if desired.
Drizzled with Balsamic Vinegar ~ Have you visited one of those fabulous stores that offers 50 or more flavors of balsamic vinegars? It’s a little bit of taste-bud heaven. Simply drizzle your favorite on top of fresh berries or grilled pineapple, peaches, nectarines, or mango. If you prefer a more syrup-like consistency, simmer the balsamic vinegar over low heat until it is reduced to half and then drizzle over top of your desired fruit.
Combined with Yogurt ~ Any fruit is delicious this way. Berries are delicious when smashed, mixed with a bit of honey, and then swirled into the yogurt. Add some lemon zest to the top and you have an eye-catching dessert.
Topped with Mint ~ Fresh mint awakens the flavor of fruit. Chop fresh mint and sprinkle over berries or cut up melons. Honeydew is perfect when paired with mint.
Glazed ~ Create a sauce to pour over top of fruit. Recipe below.
Recipe :: Easy Honey Glaze
¼ cup butter/coconut oil (melted)
½ cup honey
3 Tbs lime juice
Combine ingredients until thoroughly mixed. Drizzle over fresh or grilled fruit.
**This is delicious over bananas, plums, nectarines, peaches, or pineapple. Or combine them all and create a fabulous honey glazed fruit salad.
How do you like to enjoy your fruit during the summer?
This post is linked to: Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways at Frugally Sustainable, Real Food Wednesdays at Kelly The Kitchen Kop, WLWW at Women Living Well, Whole Food Wednesdays’s Recipe Swap at Whole Lifestyle Nutrition, It’s a Keeper Thursday at Every Day Tastes, Simple Lives Thursday at Gnowfglins, Monday Mania at The Healthy Home Economist, The Homestead Barn Hop at The Prairie Homestead, The Homesteader Blog Carnival at The Morristribe, Welcome Home Link Up at Raising Arrows, Better Mom Mondays at The Better Mom, Traditional Tuesdays at Cooking TF, Titus 2 Tuesdays at Cornerstone Confessions, Fat Tuesdays at Real Food Forager, Fresh Bites Friday at Real Food Whole Health, Friday Food Flicks at Traditional Foods, Fight Back Friday at Food Renegade