sweet fruits of summer

My favorite part of summer has to be all the fresh fruit and the time spent making it into deelicious things! The day after I came home from my Ecuador trip, mom and I took Hana strawberry picking, and we still have bags of frozen peaches, raspberries and blueberries in the freezer to use up before we get this year’s harvest! Comus fruits are a bit different from the variety I was eating in Ecuador— fresh mangoes, maracuya (passion fruit), guayabas (guava)—and while I loved having all of these exotic flavors fresh from the vine, nothing beats the warm sweet strawberries we pick from Butlers, wild raspberries from the Martin’s farm, and Peach Tree Road peaches.

Mom whipped up a few mini berry pies to use up last year’s frozen fruit…

Then I decided to make these Strawberry Oat Squares, which I had been thinking about the whole time I was in Ecuador. I knew that right when I got home would be peak strawberry picking time, and this recipe looked like a great way to use them.

They almost taste like a good old Nutrigrain bar, which I enjoyed many of in my childhood days. But they’re much more hearty, wholesome, and healthy tasting, with homemade jam slathered and baked right on top. They’re also vegan, and interestingly made with chia seeds both in the jam and in the dough. Chia acts as a thickener in the jam and as an egg-replacer in the dough. I also like the seedy texture it gave to the jam— i love jam with chunks of fruit and seeds! Overall I loved these as a healthy treat- not too sweet but just enough. Mom even said she could eat them for breakfast. Yum!

Thennnn I made a simple peach-blueberry crisp for Grandma & Grandpa’s anniversary picnic at our house. It was a fairly healthy recipe by cutting the amount of sugar and using oats and whole wheat flour. Delicious with vanilla froyo!

yummyumyumyumyum, nothings better than a summer fruit crisp, except the one that I’m going to make when we get THIS year’s harvest!

-mich