Make fruit the star of summer snack time
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — Between the BBQs, road trips, and busy schedules, summer can be a tough time to get healthy snacks into your kids.
For Intermountain Healthcare’s corporate executive chef, Alex Govern, a little bit of sugar goes a long way in helping his kids eat healthy.
“We don’t say no to sugars,” Govern explained, “we try to limit the volume of the sugar.”
When the summer heat hits, Govern said fruit offers refreshment and nourishment. Preparing them by mimicking other sugar-filled foods helps make the snacks kid-approved.
“Popsicles in general, in my house, are super popular,” said Govern. “But they’re like, all sugar. It’s like drinking a soda if you really look at the volume comparison.”
Instead, Govern prepared frosty and frozen treats to help cool off without the sugar rush.
Nonfat vanilla Greek yogurt
Fruit of your choosing
Nuts of your choosing
Sprinkles and/or chocolate drizzle
Slice watermelon into round flats. Smear yogurt on pizza and add toppings of your choosing. Refrigerate or freeze before serving.
Nonfat vanilla Greek yogurt
Slice watermelon into round flats. Using a cookie cutter, cut out desired shapes. Smear shapes with yogurt and drizzle with the melted chocolate. Freeze for two hours. When ready to eat, thaw for about 10 minutes before skewering with a popsicle stick.
VANILLA WATERMELON CUBES
1 tsp vanilla per 8 oz of watermelon
1 tsp cane sugar per 8 oz of watermelon
Dice watermelon into cubes. In a bowl, combine watermelon, vanilla, and sugar. Toss until all ingredients are mixed well. Refrigerate in a covered container, or seal watermelon in a vacuum-sealed bag to better marinate the flavors for a couple of hours. Enjoy!
Govern said the best part of these recipes was the ease of prep, and cost savings. “We did multiple different snacks,” he explained. “Same amount of time that it would be to cut watermelon for one of these [snacks].”
For a more sophisticated pallet, Govern suggested adding some spicy flavor to fruit, a great side dish for a BBQ or for older kids.
½ lime, juiced
1 tsp. cane sugar per 8 oz. pineapple
Dice pineapple. In a bowl, combine pineapple, lime juice, sugar, and desired amount of pepper. Toss until all ingredients are combined. Serve.
If colorful sprinkles aren’t enough, how about a science experiment?
Chef Govern showed us how to make carbonated fruit. It tasted about like you think. The gases released by dry ice permeated the fruit, creating air bubbles that made the fruit taste a bit like Pop Rocks.
Govern said this treat is also a way to quickly cool fruit, giving that popsicle-like effect.
Fruit of your choosing (blueberries, grapes, and strawberries are good options)
CAUTION: only adults should handle dry ice using gloves. Place fruit in a large bowl after washing. Chip off a few chunks of dry ice and place them on top of the fruit. Wait about 10 minutes for the fruit to carbonate before serving.
OPTION: Place fruit and a chunk of dry ice in a vacuum-sealed bag. Place in fridge overnight. Serve. This method creates more bubbles within the fruit.
With the popularity of drive-thru soda shops growing, Govern said there’s a quick and easy way to serve a more healthful, bubbly version of these drinks.
“If you go down the juice aisle, there’s lots of cans of different juice nectars,” said Govern. “They’re really, really sweet, but they’re also really flavorful.
To cut the sugar, Chef Govern mixed the nectar with club soda. He said using the carbonated fruit as ice cubes for the drink, along with some dry ice, helps it cool down very fast.
“It looks like boiling,” said Govern, “but it cools down the beverage so quickly that you can make this and drink it within five minutes.”
MANGO STRAWBERRY NECTAR
3 cups club soda
1 cup or can of mango strawberry nectar
In a pitcher, mix the ingredients together. Makes 4 cups. For a larger batch, mix club soda and nectar in a 3-to-1 ratio. Serve over ice.
Govern said research shows eating more plants positively affects health. Using fruit as a snack can also help kids expand their palate.
“Introducing [kids] to variety early on, and different textures early on can assist with continuing on, trying new things, and fresh [foods].
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