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Oh, Christmas treats!

This Christmas morning make a treat that is festive and healthy.
Photo: Crystal Hessong

Everyone is looking for easy, eye-catching breakfast treats for Christmas morning. For many families, breakfast has to be something that can be enjoyed while opening presents because the kids won't sit through a traditional meal at the table. This year, make Christmas morning memorable by serving up your family a tasty and healthy Christmas tree.

With nothing more than a florist's cone and some toothpicks, you can turn a boring fruit appetizer into a festive Christmas tree. For the picture, Granny Smith apples and Bartlett pears were cut up for the green parts and red grapes were skewered to make the "ornaments." Any type of green and red fruit or vegetable can be used. Broccoli florets and cherry tomatoes are excellent for a veggie appetizer, and the broccoli gives the tree a more authentic appearance. Another option is to use kiwi slices and raspberries.

If using any fruits like pears or apples, that turn brown after being cut, keep a cup of water with lemon juice on hand to dip the pieces of fruit into before putting them at the end of toothpicks on the tree. To make this job easier, instead of putting each piece of fruit at the end of a toothpick then inserting the opposite end of the pick into the florist's cone, cover the cone with toothpicks first, pressing them about halfway into the foam. This makes it easier to thread the fruits onto the ends of the toothpicks so the toothpick points are covered and not jutting out to poke someone.

To really jazz this tree up, drape it with ribbons made from using a vegetable peeler to create long, thin strands of cucumber or zucchini, or drizzle melted peanut butter or caramel sauce over the tree. A starfruit cut on the bias can be used for the star at the top of the tree, but when starfruit are hard to find – look for them in larger HEBs and Central Market around Houston – cut a piece of apple into the shape of a star with a cookie cutter.

This easy to make Christmas treat tree takes only about an hour from start to finish, and you will have a stunning display that will make your kids want to eat fruit even before opening their presents on Christmas morning.

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