WV Farm2Fork: Artful fruits and berries add fun to menus

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Bring the classroom into the kitchen by making meals that make the most of some of the fresh fruits and berries that are in the market right now. The great options of fresh fruit can help you teach your kids more about fruits and berries and how they make meals more colorful. In at least one case, the recipe can become an art project.

At The Purple Onion, we have an abundance of fruits and berries that can bring bright, colorful and tasty fresh menu options to family meals, from breakfast to bedtime snacks. Our shelves are stocked with many of the additional ingredients you need for some of these easy-to-make kid-friendly meal choices. Some are pantry items that you probably already have.

As you plan to use these recipes, let your kids help with the fruit choices. Encourage them to try new fruits, to choose fruits with the colors they like, and to help make the recipes, based on their ages and skill levels.

For breakfast, how about a tasty muffin? This Whole Wheat Berry Muffin is a simple prep recipe and you can use different berries each time so that kids learn how just using a different berry can make the taste a little different. Even better, this recipe replaces some of the oil with applesauce and does not require a mixer. It’s a stir-and-bake treat!

Keep the fruit theme going with some easy-to-make flavored fruit waters that will make drinking water more fun. These fruit-infused waters just take a few minutes to prepare. Let the kids choose their favorite flavor or color for their water.

In our houses, when the kids are ready for lunch, they are ready for lunch. Switch out bread for apples or pears in these nut butter sandwiches. The kids can learn that not all pears are green and not all apples are red. Let them experiment with different nut butters, too.

For dessert, get artistic with these simple fresh fruit pizzas. Because we’ve swapped wheat tortillas for traditional sugar cookie crust and tasty yogurt for sweet frosting, the recipes are no-bake and healthy. Once the kids have the yogurt topping on the tortilla crust, let them design the fruit topping any way they want. Maybe rainbows, faces, flowers or modern art will top their creative desserts!

And sometimes, just for fun, we go all out for a dessert that’s a little silly, sweet and full of ingredients that (most) kids and adults really dig! Whether you go for the garden or beach theme here, you’ll have a fun dessert!

Allan Hathaway is the owner of The Purple Onion and WV Marketplace at Charleston’s Capitol Market. For more information, visit the web pages at capitolmarket.net/merchants/purple-onion and capitolmarket.net/merchants/wv-marketplace; call The Purple Onion at 304-342-4414 and WV Marketplace at 304-720-2244. Email Allan at purpleonionco@aol.com.

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