Fruity February: Brightening up a winter month with colorful, healthy food

Published 12:25 pm Wednesday, February 12, 2020

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Fruits are usually popular in the summertime, but who’s to say you can’t make fresh fruit-filled food in February? Here are some recipes from the U.S. Department of Agriculture “Choose My Plate” that are packed with fruit and flavor.

Apple Loaf Cake


  • 1/2 cup walnuts (chopped)
  • 1 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cup flour (all purpose)
  • 2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (ground)
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg (ground)
  • 1 cup raisins
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  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease 2 (8x4x2 inch) loaf pans.
  2. Toast walnuts in an ungreased skillet pan. Stir while heating on medium-low heat for 5-7 minutes. They are done when they are brown and smell nutty. Set aside to cool.
  3. Mix applesauce, egg, sugar, oil and vanilla in a large bowl.
  4. Mix flour, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg together in a smaller bowl.
  5. Pour flour mixture into applesauce mixture.
  6. Stir in raisins and cooled toasted nuts.
  7. Pour half of the batter into each greased pan. Bake for 45-55 minutes.
  8. Remove cakes from the oven. Cool for 10 minutes. Remove from pans to finish cooling. For best taste, let cakes cool a few hours before serving.

Source: Rutgers Cooperative Extension, Food Wise Learn at Home Print Materials.


Apple loaf cake. Courtesy USDA

 Fruit Pizza


  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup strawberries, sliced (or kiwi, bananas, pears, peaches, or blueberries)
  • 1/2 cup margarine
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg (large)
  • 2 cup flour
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 8 ounce cream cheese, non-fat or light
  • 1/2 cup sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. For crust, cream margarine, sugar vanilla, and egg until light and fluffy. Add flour and baking powder, mixing well.
  3. Spread mixture about 1/8-inch-thick on a pizza pan, baking sheet, or a 9 inch by 13-inch pan.
  4. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool.
  5. For spread, mix together cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla. Spread on cooled cookie crust.
  6. Arrange fruit on top of pizza. Refrigerate until serving time.

Source: Kansas Family Nutrition Program,


Fruit pizza. Courtesy USDA

Fruit Slush


  • 2 2/3 cup cantaloupe or watermelon (coarsely chopped, seeded, peeled)
  • 1 2/3 kiwi (1 2/3 cup coarsely chopped, optional)
  • 2 sugar (2 tablespoons, optional)
  • 2 tablespoon lime juice
  • 2 cup water
  • ice


  1. In a blender, puree fruit with sugar and lime juice until smooth.
  2. Combine fruit mixture and water in a large pitcher.
  3. If desired, pour through a strainer to eliminate pulp.
  4. Cover and refrigerate for up to a week.
  5. To serve, stir well and pour into tall glasses over ice.

Source: Oregon State University Cooperative Extension Service, Pictoral Recipes, Lynn Myers Steele, 2000, Oregon Family Nutrition Program


Fruit slush. Courtesy USDA

Strawberry Kiwi Yogurt Pops


  • 1 cup low-fat vanilla yogurt
  • 1 kiwi (chopped)
  • 4 large strawberries (about a 1/2 cup, chopped)
  • 1 ice cube tray (or paper cups)


  1. Cut fruit into small pieces.
  2. Mix fruit and yogurt.
  3. Divide into 4 small paper cups (or 8 ice cubes) and place in popsicle sticks (or cut paper straws).
  4. Freeze.
  5. Enjoy as a frozen treat!

Source: USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion



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