Creating a recipe “from scratch” can be hard to do – or a piece of cake, as a team of six students at Washington Irving Middle School in Springfield, Virginia, found out recently. They had to come up with an original after-school or breakfast “smart snack” that was healthful yet tasty enough that their friends would want to eat it.
We think they deserve an A-plus for their Fruit Salsa, which didn’t take them long to get just right. Chopped strawberries, mandarin oranges, kiwi and crushed pineapple go into the mix, plus a couple of surprises: chia seeds and yellow bell pepper. It’s refreshing and easy to make. They sprinkled cinnamon and sugar on wedges of flour tortillas and toasted them in the oven, for scooping.
A tip of the chef’s hat to seventh-graders Abigail Geletaw, Lily Jones, Rachel Mitchen, Lucas Parker and Julie Readnour and eighth-grader Steven Smith.
The crew, assisted by family and consumer sciences teachers Christie Barnes and Susan Curley, was one of several middle school teams that participated in the Real Food for Kids expo held in March at Lake Braddock Secondary School in Burke, Virginia.
Adult help: Yes
Kitchen gear: Cutting board, measuring cups and spoons, mixing bowl, sharp knife, spoon (plus a baking sheet for the tortillas)
Hands-on time: 10-15 minutes
Total time: 20 minutes
Makes: 4-5 servings
MAKE AHEAD: The salsa can be refrigerated or frozen for up to 1 day; if you plan to make it more than 6 hours in advance, do not stir in the strawberries until just before serving.
1/3 cup peeled and finely chopped mandarin oranges
1 large or 2 medium kiwi fruits, peeled and finely chopped
1/2 cup drained crushed pineapple (not in syrup)
1 cup finely chopped hulled strawberries (see MAKE AHEAD, above)
1/4 cup seeded, finely chopped yellow bell pepper
1/2 ounce (1 tablespoon) chia seeds
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Cinnamon Tortilla Crisps, for serving (see NOTE, below)
Combine the mandarin oranges, kiwi fruit, pineapple, strawberries, bell pepper, chia seeds and lemon juice in a mixing bowl, stirring until well incorporated. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
NOTE: To make the tortilla crisps, cut 2 8-inch flour tortillas into a total of 16 wedges. Arrange on a baking sheet, then use 1 tablespoon melted, unsalted butter to brush their top sides. Sprinkle with a mixture of 2 tablespoons sugar and 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon. Bake in a 350-degree oven for 5 to 10 minutes, until the tortillas are crisp and lightly browned.
Nutrition per serving (based on 5): 60 calories, 1 g protein, 12 g carbohydrates, 1 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 0 mg sodium, 3 g dietary fiber, 8 g sugar