Fruit dishes are a light and healthy snack

Published 11:19 pm Tuesday, April 20, 2010

I love fruit and I have found out that during my pregnancy I crave it. So I started coming up with my own versions of my favorite fruit dishes. I hope you love them as much as I do.

Strawberry-Blueberry Tall Cake

1 large angel food cake (fresh baked or bought)

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For the custard:

1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened

1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk

1 (12 oz. ) container frozen whipped topping, thawed

1 tbs ground cinnamon (optional)

For the glaze:

1 cup sugar

3 tbs cornstarch

3 tbs strawberry gelatin like Jell-O

1 cup water

1 cup fresh strawberries, cut in half (if berries are extra large, they can be cut into quarters)

1 cup fresh blueberries

Whole fresh strawberries, blueberries and mint leaves for garnish

1 Trifle or large glass bowl

Slice cake, using a serrated knife, horizontally into 3 equal layers.

For the custard: Whip together, using a hand held mixer, cream cheese, condensed milk, whipped topping and ground cinnamon. Set aside.

For the glaze: In a medium sauce pan, stir together sugar, cornstarch, and gelatin. Add water. Cook simmering over medium heat until thick. Remove from the heat and allow to cool completely. Fold in berries.

For the assembly: Place one layer of cake in your trifle or large clear bowl. Top with a layer of glazed berries, followed by a layer of custard mixture. Repeat layering in this order. Top the last layer of custard with the fresh berries and mint leaves.

Fruit Salad with Honey Dressing

one-third cup honey

one-fourth cup orange juice

one-fourth cup canola oil

one-half tsp fresh lemon juice, plus the juice of 1 lemon

1-1/2 tsp poppy seeds (optional)

one-fourth tsp salt

1 granny smith apple, cored and diced

1 banana, thinly sliced

1 cup fresh strawberries, quartered

1 cup mandarin oranges (the ones in a jar are better than the ones in the can)

one-fourth cup golden raisins or dried cranberries

one-fourth cup chopped walnuts or pecans

For the dressing, combine the honey, orange juice, oil, half teaspoon lemon juice, poppy seeds and salt in a jar with a tight lid. Cover and shake well. Toss the apple and banana with juice from one lemon to prevent the fruit from turning brown. Combine the fruit, raisins or cranberries and nuts in a glass bowl. Add the dressing and stir gently. Serve with a little whipped topping.

Non-alcoholic Sangria

one-fourth cup sugar

1 cup orange juice

one-half fresh lemon, sliced

one-half fresh orange, sliced

1 cup fresh strawberries, quartered

4 cups club soda or seltzer water

4 cups white or red grape juice

In a large pitcher, combine orange juice, sugar and grape juice. Add cut fruit and stir until sugar is dissolved. Refrigerate until chilled and add cold seltzer water or club soda just before serving.

Until next time, have fun in the kitchen, experiment and indulge your cravings.