Blueberry Crunch, a Down-Home Dessert

Oats and nuts add the crunch in this simple recipe for Blueberry

Crunch. Try this served warm and topped with real whipped cream or

ice cream. Yum-O!

Crisps, cobblers, and crunches may sound funny, but these luscious

fruit desserts are comfort-food favorites. They're down-home desserts

from a slower-paced era, when baking was done on a daily basis and

dessert was always a finish to every meal.

This style of dessert is perfect for every beginner baker. The

essence is the same for most of them: fresh fruit on the bottom and a

sweet dough or crumbly topping on top. Messing them up is next to

impossible because they were born of being "tossed together."

Blueberry Crunch

Preparation time: 30 minutes

Baking time: 30 minutes

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

3 cups rinsed, fresh blueberries or 1 package (16 ounces) frozen (not

packed in syrup)

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2/3 cup brown sugar, lightly packed

1/2 cup flour

1/2 cup rolled oats

1/3 cup butter, softened and cut into 6 pieces

1/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon almond or vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Pour the blueberries in the bottom of an 8-inch square baking pan.

Toss the berries with the lemon juice.

In a small bowl or in the bowl of a food processor, combine the brown

sugar, flour, oats, butter, walnuts, cinnamon, almond or vanilla

extract, and salt. Then mix just to combine or pulse 5 times in the

food processor. Sprinkle the mixture over the blueberries.

Bake until the topping is light brown and the blueberries are bubbly,

about 30 minutes. Serve warm.


Fruit and Yogurt Smoothie

Tools: Blender

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: None

Yield: 2 servings

1 banana

1/2 cup frozen strawberries or peaches

1 cup plain, nonfat yogurt

1/4 cup orange juice

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth and


This tasty shake is great for breakfast or a snack and is a good way

to incorporate heart-healthy soy into your diet. After you have made

this shake two or three times by the recipe, try experimenting with

your own combinations of fruit and soy milk.


Chocolate Banana Soy Shake

Tools: Blender

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: None

Yield: 1 serving

1 large banana, cut into chunks

1 cup vanilla soy milk

1 tablespoon chocolate syrup

1 teaspoon smooth peanut butter

1. Place banana chunks in freezer overnight or until frozen.

2. Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

3. Pour into a large glass and enjoy.


Apple Banana Pancakes

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 10 minutes

Yield: 4 servings (12 pancakes – 3 per person)

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1-1/2 teaspoons applesauce

2 teaspoons apple juice concentrate

1-1/4 cups lowfat milk

3 egg whites

2 overripe bananas, mashed well

Nonstick cooking spray

1. In a bowl, combine all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, baking

powder, and salt. Set aside.

2. In another bowl, combine applesauce, apple juice concentrate,

milk, egg whites, and bananas. Stir well. Add flour mixture. Stir

until smooth. (Pancake batter thickens as it sits. If you do not

immediately cook the pancakes, or if the cooking extends over a

period of time, you may need to thin the batter with a little more

milk as you cook each batch.)

3. Coat a large, well-seasoned or nonstick skillet with cooking

spray. Heat skillet over medium heat until hot. For each pancake,

spoon 1/4 cup of batter onto skillet. When bubbles form on top of

pancakes, after about 1 to 1-1/2 minutes, turn them over. Cook until

bottom of each pancake is golden brown. Serve immediately, topped

with fruit of your choice.


Papaya, Mango, or Pineapple Salsa

This multipurpose salsa can be made with a variety of fruit. If the

fruit is slightly underripe or not particularly sweet, add a small

amount of sugar to taste, using the finest-grained sugar you can find.

An excellent match with grilled, roasted, or sautéed chicken, pork,

or seafood, you can also serve the salsa with Southeast Asian,

Caribbean, or Mexican dishes.

Preparation time: 15 to 20 minutes

Yield: 6 servings

Spice meter: Moderately spiced to hot and spicy

Ingredients & Directions:

1 1/2 cups peeled and diced papaya, mango, or pineapple

3 scallions, white part only, minced

1 tablespoon fresh lemon or lime juice

1-inch piece fresh ginger, minced

1 plump clove garlic, minced

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon ground coriander

1/4 teaspoon white pepper

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red chile flakes, to taste, or 1

jalepeno, seeded and minced

2 to 3 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro or mint (optional)

In a medium-sized bowl, combine all the ingredients except the

cilantro or mint. Stir to mix evenly.

Cover and refrigerate until serving. Right before serving, stir in

the mint or cilantro.

Tip: To get 1 1/2 cups of diced fruit, you'll need 2 medium-sized

papayas, 3 mangoes, or 1 large pineapple.