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Teresa Hatchell 2005

For the past two months, I have written about "infusing" a wide variety of fruits and vegetables into your meals. And, many readers emailed their appreciation, noting that they have always pretty much stuck to recipes as they are written for fear of ending with a "distasteful" creation. Well, this week I want to reiterate to you that vegetables and fruit can take on many roles… from enhancing entrees such as baked ham, chicken or pork by surrounding the entrée with slices or wedges of various fruits or veggies. For instance you may want to surrounding your pork roast with nice wedges of zucchini, squash, pineapple or peaches. The possibilities are almost endless.

With peach season getting under way in this part of the country, I thought I might urge you all to do something exciting besides making a peach cobbler or a peach delight, though those are delicious desserts. Please try this Peach Crisp, Baked Peaches, or frozen yogurt.. Remember that a dose of vitamin-packed fruit like peaches, blueberries, kiwi and strawberries will surely give you a dose of nutrition your body will appreciate. Please remember that you may change recipes to suit your taste and dietary needs. I hope you enjoy these recipes and that they will contribute to your good health and to your tastebuds' happiness.

Peach crisp

Filling

6 cups sliced peaches

2 to 4 tablespoons sugar

Topping

1/2 cup regular rolled oats

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 cup margarine or butter

1/2 cup finely chopped pecans

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. For the filling: Place the fruit in an 8x1-1/2 inch round baking dish. Stir in the sugar. For the topping: In a medium mixing bowl, combine the oats, brown sugar, flour, nutmeg, ginger and cinnamon. Cut in the margarine or butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in the nuts. Sprinkle the topping evenly over the filling. Bake this dessert at 375 degrees for 30 minutes or until the peaches are tender (fork test) and the topping is lightly golden brown. Serve warm with ice cream. This recipe makes six nice servings.

Baked peaches

8 well ripened peaches

1/2 cup raisins or mixed dried fruit bits

2 tablespoons light brown sugar

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1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/3 cup apple juice

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Wash, peel and slice the peaches into thick slices. Place the slices in a square casserole dish that has been “greased” with butter or margarine. In a bowl, combine the raisins or mixed fruit, brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Spoon this mixture evenly over the peach slices. Sprinkle the apple juice across the top of the dry mixture. Bake this dessert at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, or until the peaches are tender. Serve this dessert warm on top of a nice slice of pound cake, with ice cream ... or with cake and ice cream. This recipe makes four dessert servings.

Choose-a-fruit frozen yogurt

(For this recipe, you have to double all ingredients if you use a 4-quart or 5-quart ice cream freezer.)

2 cups fresh or frozen unsweetened strawberries, red raspberries or blueberries, cut-up, peeled peaches or nectarines, or pitted dark sweet cherries

2 (8-ounce) cartons plain yogurt

1/2 to 3/4 cup honey or sugar

In a blender container, blend the fruit until it is smooth. Press the blended fruit through a sieve to remove seeds, if necessary. Stir in the yogurt and honey. Pour this mixture into a 1- to 2-quart ice cream freezer. Freeze according to manufacturer’s directions. Let the frozen yogurt stand at room temperature for 20 minutes before serving. This recipe makes one quart. (This recipe is from an old “Better Homes and Gardens” cookbook.)

Contact writer at tgmhatchell@yahoo.com.

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