Home Cooking Recipes
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Berry-licious snacks kids can make

One of the best ways to get kids to eat healthier food is to let them make it themselves. And these snack recipes using Florida blueberries and strawberries are so good—and so easy—you may have a hard time getting the kids out of the kitchen.

“You can get really creative with strawberries and blueberries,” said Justin Timineri, executive chef and culinary ambassador, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. “They can be tossed into salads or yogurt, marinated in teriyaki sauce and served with grilled meats, or turned into delicious snacks like these.”

Not only do they taste good, they’re good for you. Blueberries are good for your eyes and memory, and they have antioxidants, which may prevent some types of cancer. Strawberries have vitamin C and fiber, which is good for your digestive system and helps you feel full.

To get more berry-licious recipes like these, visit http://bit.ly/floridaberries.

Blueberry Biscuit Cookies

2 cups biscuit mix
1 cup Florida blueberries
1 cup pecans, chopped
2 tablespoons low-fat milk
1/2 cup honey, divided

Preheat oven to 350 F. In large mixing bowl, combine biscuit mix, blueberries, pecans and milk. Mix well and add enough honey to make mixture stiff like cookie dough. Place dough by tablespoonful onto a greased baking sheet about 2 inches apart.

Bake until edges begin to brown, about 15 minutes. Remove from oven and drizzle remaining honey on each cookie. Bake an additional 5 minutes and serve immediately. Yield: 14 servings.



Freezer Pops
1 pound Florida strawberries, hulled and chopped
1/4 cup sugar
1 lemon, juiced
2 cups low-fat vanilla yogurt
10 freezer pop molds and sticks

In blender or food processor add half of the strawberries, sugar and lemon juice. Purée ingredients until sugar is dissolved. Pour mixture into a small pitcher or container and add the rest of the chopped strawberries. Fill each freezer pop mold by alternating layers of strawberry mixture and yogurt. Insert handle or stick into each freezer pop and freeze at least 5 hours. To serve, run warm water over outside of molds until pops come out easily. If you don’t have freezer pop molds, use small paper cups. Cover tops of cups with plastic wrap and poke the sticks through the plastic to keep them standing upright while in the freezer. Yield: 10 servings.

Strawberry Mascarpone Panini

8 slices fresh bread (1/2 inch thick)
1/2 cup mascarpone cheese
1/2 pound Florida strawberries, hulled and sliced thin
Confectioners’ sugar for dusting
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Heat a panini press or griddle over medium heat. Spread a thin layer of mascarpone on top of each bread slice. Add an even layer of strawberries to 4 bread slices. Use the other 4 slices of bread to top the sandwiches. Brush sandwiches with butter and grill or press until golden, about 5 minutes. Transfer panini to cutting board and dust with confectioners’ sugar. Serve warm. Yield: 4 servings.



Berry Snack Bars


1 cup pecans, chopped, divided
3/4 cup whole-wheat flour
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 large egg
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
Pan release cooking spray

Fruit filling:

3 cups Florida strawberries, hulled and diced; divided
2 1/2 cups Florida blueberries, divided
1/4 cup orange juice
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For crust: Combine 3/4 cup chopped pecans, both flours, sugar and salt in food processor. Pulse together until nuts are finely ground. Add cold butter to mixture and pulse until well incorporated. In small mixing bowl, whisk egg, oil, vanilla and almond extracts together. With motor running on food proces­sor, add egg mixture to pecan mixture. Continue to pulse until it begins to clump, 30 to 45 seconds. Measure out 1/2 cup of mixture and combine in bowl with remaining 1/4 cup chopped pecans; set aside for topping. Preheat oven to 400 F. Coat 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.

Filling: Combine 2 cups strawberries, 2 cups blueberries, orange juice, sugar and cornstarch in large saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture has thickened (about 4 to 5 minutes). Stir in remaining fresh fruit and add vanilla. Transfer crust mixture to sprayed baking dish. Spread evenly and press firmly into bottom to form crust. Evenly spread fruit filling over crust. Sprinkle top of fruit filling with reserved topping mixture. Bake bars for 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 F and bake until crust and topping are lightly brown, 25 to 30 minutes more. Let bars cool completely before cut­ting. Serve with fresh fruit. Yield: 20 bars.

Kids in the Kitchen

Age-Appropriate Cooking Tasks

Chefs ages 4 to 5

—Squeezing lemons and limes

—Washing produce

—Stirring and whisking

—Pouring ingredients

Chefs ages 6 to 7

—Grating, peeling and zesting

—Greasing pans

—Scooping batter

—Mashing and kneading

Chefs ages 8 to 9

—Slicing and chopping, with supervision

—Peeling fruits and vegetables

—Measuring ingredients

—Breaking eggs

Chefs ages 10+

—Slicing, chopping and dicing




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