Families

Easy roasted fruits, vegetables bring out natural sweetness

Roasting brings out the natural sweetness in the vegetables making children’s taste buds happy.
Roasting brings out the natural sweetness in the vegetables making children’s taste buds happy. Tribune Content Agency

Feeding your family fresh fruits and vegetables in the winter can be a challenge. Both the expense and availability can get in the way of cooks with the best of intentions.

We all know that we need to eat more fruits and vegetables. They provide many vitamins and nutrients that our bodies need, and they are naturally low in fat. With a little planning you can provide your family with delicious, healthy meals that even the pickiest vegetable eaters will like.

The secret? Roasting! Just about any combination of vegetables will work. Roasting brings out the natural sweetness in vegetables, making children’s taste buds happy. Use a variety of spices and herbs to decrease the amount of salt needed.

Roasted Vegetables

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

2. Wash and cube a variety of vegetables: carrots, beets, potatoes, onions, mushrooms — walnut-size chunks work well.

3. Spread evenly in baking dish or roasting pan.

4. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and stir to coat evenly.

5. Sprinkle with your choice of seasonings: garlic powder, rosemary, dill, and a pinch of salt.

6. Place baking pan in preheated oven for 30 to 45 minutes, covered or uncovered. Stir every 15 minutes. Vegetables are done when easily pierced with a fork.

Baked Apples and Pears

Dessert? Try baking apples and pears. Locally grown apples and pears are in abundance through the winter. As with vegetables, baking brings out their natural sweetness, making them a healthy sweet dessert option for growing families.

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Wash fruit.

3. Scoop out core from top of fruit. Leave bottom intact.

4. Place in baking dish open side up.

4. Fill apple or pear with dried fruit and nuts, and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

5. Place baking pan in preheated oven for 30 to 50 minutes, covered or uncovered, until a fork easily pierces the fruit.

6. Allow to cool slightly before eating.

7. Top with vanilla yogurt.

Lee Anne Riddle works with the Food $ense program, which is part of Washington State University’s Whatcom County Extension program. For more information, see whatcom.wsu.edu.

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