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Grill or Chill Your Favorite Fruits for a Colorful Dessert

For the first week of National Fruits and Vegetables month, we focus on neat recipes for serving up hot or cold fruits.

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June is the start of many local farmers markets, and it is also National Fruit and Vegetable month – a time to call attention to these colorful additions to your plate.  Take a peek at these farmers markets and stock up on fruits and veggies that are fresh, organic, and locally grown, and while you feel good about supporting the local economy, you can also feel good about serving your family the vitamin-rich foods they need.  This week, we are focusing on versatile fruits and all of the ways you can cook them, including your canned fruit or browning bananas.  Try adding some of these recipes to your summer entertaining repertoire!

Stuffed Grilled Peaches

  • 4 large peaches
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice

Wash the peaches, and cut them in half. Remove the pit.  Place each peach on an aluminum foil square for easy wrapping when you put it on the grill later.  Using a spoon, put about two tablespoons of blueberries into the hollowed out part of each peach.  Then, sprinkle two teaspoons of brown sugar and one teaspoon of lemon juice on each peach.  Fold up the foil and seal the peach completely.  Put each peach on the grill and cook for 15-18 minutes, turning once about halfway through.  Let them cool slightly, and enjoy!

Chilled Fruit Cups

  • 1 can frozen pineapple juice concentrate, thawed
  • 1 can frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3 medium firm bananas, sliced
  • 1 package frozen unsweetened strawberries
  • 1 can mandarin oranges, drained
  • 1 can crushed pineapple

In a large bowl, prepare the pineapple juice concentrate according to the directions on the can.  Add orange juice concentrate, water, sugar, lemon juice, and fruit, and stir together.  Take out 18 plastic 9 oz cups, and spoon about 3/4 of a cup of the fruit mixture into each.  Freeze the cups, and take them out about 40-50 minutes prior to your desired serving time.

Banana Bread

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 1/3 cup mashed overripe bananas

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and lightly grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan.  In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, and salt.  In a separate bowl, cream the butter and brown sugar together, then add the eggs and mashed bananas until well-blended. Next, stir the banana mixture into the four mixture just enough to get it moist.  Pour the batter into the loaf pan and bake for 60 to 65 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Let the loaf cool for 10 minutes, and then turn it over on a wire rack.