A Fruit Revolution
When it comes time for your child’s birthday at school, and you are on the hot seat to deliver a yummy birthday treat to the class of 25, what do you say to eschewing those nasty store-bought cupcakes with the transfat this and the high fructose that and the ingredient list a chemist couldn’t decipher?
I have two words for you, and they are good words, careful words, wise words. Delicious words, in fact!
Fresh fruit kebabs make a healthy and colorful treat that can
be served as an appetizer or dessert, perfect for barbecue parties, summer picnics or weekend gatherings with friends and family. Adapted from a recipe from USA Weekend, Fresh Fruit Kebabs are a light and nutritious alternative to the regular fruit salad. This can also be served at children’s parties and potlucks.
The different colored fruits create a festive vibe and the different flavors and texture give a pleasant sensation and experience in the palate. Grilling the fruits intensify their flavors and caramelize their natural sugars, making them even sweeter. In this recipe, chunks of pineapple, green grapes, and large plums are skewered on bamboo or wooden sticks and grilled until tender. The fruit kebabs are served with a healthy and delicious dipping sauce of fat-free yogurt, honey, and lemon juice. Prepare and serve at least one skewer per person. Fruit kebabs are perfect for vegetarians at barbecue parties.
You can also use other kinds of fruits for grilling. For best results, use fresh fruits that are in season. Other kinds of fruits you can skewer and cook on the grill include apples, red grapes, strawberries, blueberries, cantaloupes, kiwi, and mangoes. You can also add cherry tomatoes in the mix. The fruits should hold their structure well and not be overripe so that they do not fall off the skewer as they cook. You can choose different colored fruits, forming the colors of the rainbow, for a beautiful presentation. Ideally, the fruits should roughly have the same shape and size so that they cook evenly. If you choose to add apples to the mix, lightly toss the bite-sized apple chunks in lemon juice to keep them from browning. Apples start to discolor the moment they are cut so work on them quickly.
- Fruits (such as grapes, watermelon, apples, oranges, cantaloupes, mangos, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, kiwi, pineapple, cherry tomato for a wild card!)
- Wooden kebab sticks (one per person)
- Special treat (such as mini marshmallow or brownie bite) optional
Cut fruit into bite-size chunks (do not cut grapes or whole berries). Thread fruit chunks onto wooden skewers. As you make each skewer, lay it down on a large tray. Once you cover the tray with a single layer of skewers, place a piece of waxed paper on top and begin your next layer of skewers if needed. This will keep them tidier than if you pile skewers on top of each other and the fruit starts getting entwined.
1 1/2 cups large fresh pineapple chunks
1 1/3 cups green grapes
2 large plums, cut into slices
8 wooden skewers
6 oz. plain, fat-free yogurt
2 tbsp. honey
1 tbsp. lemon juice, preferably fresh
1. Skewer fruit, alternating fruit as you go.
2. In a small bowl, mix together remaining ingredients. Set aside.
3. Place skewers on a preheated, oiled grill and cook until fruit starts to soften and grill marks have formed, turning once, about 3-5 minutes per side.
4. Remove from heat and serve warm with yogurt sauce.