Did you know that March is the perfect time to enjoy a specific combination of fruits? When you think about it, we eat these combos all year long, but I'm bringing them to your attention today because they are TASTIEST in the month of March. Why, you might ask? Well, March marks the end of the winter fruit season and the beginning of the spring fruit season. Winter fruits like apples and oranges are still vibrant and flavorful before they go out of season while spring fruits, namely berries, are becoming quite sweet and ripe. Here are some of my favorite ways to eat these combos:
-Fruit crisp! Take your favorite healthy apple crisp recipe and add to it 1 cup of blueberries (subtracting one of the apples it calls for).
-Fruit salad! I'm particularly drawn to a mandarin, strawberry, and raspberry fruit salad these days.
-Baked oatmeal! This week, I’ve been enjoying an apple-strawberry-blueberry baked oatmeal for breakfast...so much that I want you to have the recipe. Here you go!
March-tastic Baked Oatmeal (Dairy Free)
2 c chopped apples
1 c chopped strawberries
3 ¼ c old fashioned oats
1 T cinnamon
1 ½ t baking powder
½ t salt
½ t nutmeg
2 3/4 c reduced fat coconut milk at room temp (other non-dairy milks work too)
½ c maple syrup
4 eggs at room temp
3 T melted coconut oil (not too hot)
1 T vanilla
1 c blueberries
1 T coconut sugar
Preheat oven to 375 degrees and grease a 9x13” glass pan. Spread chopped apples and strawberries across the bottom of the pan. In a large bowl, combine oats, cinnamon, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg. Pour this mixture evenly over the fruit. In the empty bowl, combine coconut milk, maple syrup, eggs, melted coconut oil, and vanilla. Pour this mixture evenly over the oats, gently pressing down any oats that rise above liquid so everything gets moistened. Sprinkle blueberries and coconut sugar evenly over the top of the dish. Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until golden brown and set in the middle (should not jiggle when pan is shaken). Cool for 20 minutes before serving. Serve with unsweetened coconut chips, if desired.