Very Lemony Raspberry Lemonade

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When I posted my Lemon Raspberry Muffins recipe recently, I promised you I’d share the recipe for the Raspberry Lemonade I made to go with them…well, here it is!

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It’s very, very lemony! And the frozen raspberries that are mixed in with it give this lemonade a rosy pink color. A perfect beverage to make in the spring and summer…or how about Easter weekend?

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I used a new favorite pitcher of mine to serve the lemonade in–and one thing I love about this pitcher is that it has a chalkboard decal, so you can write the name of the beverage you’re serving right on the pitcher! As I mentioned in my muffin post, this pitcher is part of the Daily Grace Collection by (in)courage  (sold at DaySpring.com) and each piece has some inspiring words about gratefulness and God’s grace in the design–so nice to look at when you’re enjoying a meal or snack at your table!

Like I said, this lemonade is very lemony, so if you’d like it a little less lemony you can just use 3 cups of lemon juice–or add more water (and maybe a little more sugar) to the mixture. You can easily adjust the amounts to suit your taste. Hope you get a chance to try it out!

VERY LEMONY RASPBERRY LEMONADE by NancyCreative, adapted from FoodNetwork.com and Ree Drummond

Makes about 12 to 13 cups

  • 4 cups fresh squeezed lemon juice (it takes about 7 to 8 lemons to yield 1 cup of lemon juice, so you will need 28 to 32 lemons! Or you could use 2 cups fresh-squeezed lemon juice and 2 cups bottled lemon juice)
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 7 to 8 cups water, divided
  • 1 (12-ounce) bag frozen raspberries
  • 3 lemons, sliced into thin slices
  • ice cubes for pitcher and glasses

Squeeze the lemons and pour the juice into a pitcher. Mix together the sugar with 2 cups of water and stir to dissolve to make a syrup. add the syrup to the lemon juice and top it up with 5 to 6 cups of water. If this is too lemony for you, add another cup of water–you may also need to add a little extra sugar to taste. Then add the frozen raspberries. Mix the lemonade together and let it chill in the refrigerator for at least a half hour. Just before serving, add about 1 lemon’s worth of slices to the pitcher and stir (use the rest of the lemon slices in the glasses). Fill glasses or mason jars with ice cubes and a lemon slice; pour in the lemonade and serve.

You can halve this recipe, too, if you want to make a smaller amount. I also have a recipe for Fresh-Squeezed Lemonade, if you want to try that out. Do you have a favorite lemonade recipe?

Linked to Inspire Me Monday.

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Orange Pear Kale Green Smoothie

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I had some kale that I needed to use up, and smoothies are always great ways to use extra fruit and greens that you’re not sure what else to do with. :) So I began searching for kale smoothie recipes and found this one at Green Plate Rule. The site mentions that kale has 10 times the vitamin C, 4 times the vitamin A, almost 2 times the vitamin K, and more calcium and vitamin B6 than spinach does. Wow-I had no idea kale was so super-nutritious!

I did make a few small changes and I really liked the way this turned out! Usually I add honey to sweeten up my smoothies, but the 5 different kinds of fruit in this, especially the pineapple, make the smoothie sweet enough on it’s own. When you put all the ingredients in the blender, you might think that 1/4 cup orange juice is not enough liquid like I thought at first…

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…but it blends up into a really nice, thick smoothie–the perfect consistency!

ORANGE PEAR KALE GREEN SMOOTHIE by NancyCreative, adapted from Green Plate Rule

Makes about 24 ounces, or 3 (8-ounce) servings

  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup green grapes
  • 1 pear, cut into slices or chunks
  • 1 orange, peeled
  • 1/2 cup frozen pineapple chunks
  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 1 cup kale, well packed

Add all ingredients into a high-powered blender and blend until smooth, at least 1 minute. Pour into glasses and serve.

I’m starting to use kale a little more since it’s so healthy. I like it in smoothies and soups. I think it’s a little bitter for salads so I don’t use it that way much. What different ways have you tried using kale?

Linked to Inspire Me Monday.

Strawberry Orange Mint Cooler

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This is an easy, fruity drink to make–perfect for enjoying on a sunny spring day! This cooler has strawberries that you mash, or muddle, to release the juices, and then you add in the orange juice for a really great fruity combination! If you need to make a larger amount of servings, just multiply the ingredients by the number of servings you need–you could even mix up a large batch in a pitcher!

When I was mashing up my strawberries, I found it was easier to do that in a medium-size bowl, and I used a spoon to mash them. But you could also mash them right in the glass if that works best for you.

STRAWBERRY–ORANGE MINT COOLER by NancyCreative, adapted from Martha Stewart

Makes 2 servings

  • Half a pint (8 ounces) of strawberries, hulled
  • 4 fresh mint leaves
  • 2 cups orange juice (or tangerine or mandarin juice)
  • mint springs for garnish, optional

Divide strawberries between 2 (10 or 12-ounce) glasses. Add 2 mint leaves to each glass. Muddle (or mash) strawberries until they are crushed and juicy (you can use a spoon or muddler to do this). Add 4 or 5 ice cubes to each glass, then fill each glass with 1 cup of orange juice. Garnish with mint sprigs, if desired.

If you want a slightly fizzy drink, use 1 cup juice mixed with 1 cup sparkling water. It will be less sweet, but the fizziness is nice!

This would be a great beverage to serve at a spring breakfast or brunch. Maybe even on Easter! What types of fruity beverages do you like to make?

Linked to Inspire Me Monday.

Shamrock Smoothie

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If you want a cool, creamy treat, this smoothie is just the thing to make! It gets it’s creaminess from the tasty blend of frozen kiwifruit, banana, and key lime yogurt (you can substitute vanilla yogurt, but I really like this with the lime). There are a few other ingredients you’ll see in the recipe below and they all blend up into this wonderful smoothie that not only tastes great, but is also a delightful springy shade of green. How can you resist that?

SHAMROCK SMOOTHIE by NancyCreative, adapted from Midwest Living

Makes about 16 ounces, or 2 servings

  • 2 kiwifruit, peeled and quartered
  • 1 banana, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup seedless green grapes
  • 1 (6-ounce) container key lime or vanilla flavored yogurt
  • 1/3 cup orange juice or white grape juice, well-chilled
  • 1/2 Tablespoon honey
  • Optional: additional kiwi fruit slices for garnish

Several hours or the night before making: Place the 2 peeled and quartered kiwifruit and sliced banana in a small freezer bag and freeze for 2 hours or until frozen (arrange fruit flat in a single layer in the bag so it doesn’t freeze into a big clump; otherwise it will be too hard to break up for blending).

When ready to make, add grapes, yogurt, juice, honey, and half of the frozen fruit (break up fruit if any pieces have stuck together while freezing). Cover and blend until smooth. Add remaining frozen fruit and blend until smooth.

Pour into glasses and, if desired, garnish with fresh kiwi fruit slices.

Hope you get a chance to enjoy this smoothie! What kinds of fun green treats are you making (or eating) for St. Patrick’s Day?

Pear Lime Kiwifruit Water

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I thought I’d try a flavored water with a green theme, since St. Patrick’s Day is coming up! But of course, this water is great any time of the year. You mostly taste the lime in this, but the kiwifruit and pear slices make the pitcher of water look so nice! :) I think this water tastes best the same day you make it, but you’ll want to refrigerate it a few hours before serving so the water has more flavor. Use organic produce if you can when making this.

PEAR, LIME, KIWIFRUIT WATER by NancyCreative

Makes a large pitcher (half gallon) of flavored water

  • 8 cups of water (I used 2 cups of sparkling water mixed in with 6 cups of regular water to give it a slight fizziness–see note below*)
  • 1 large organic pear, cut into thin slices
  • 2 limes, cut into thin slices
  • 2 kiwifruit, cut into thin slices

Fill pitcher with 8 cups of water. Add slices of pear, lime, and kiwifruit, and stir all ingredients together in the pitcher. Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving (the slices of kiwifruit tend to settle at the bottom, so you will need to stir before serving to mix all the fruit evenly). When ready to serve, add ice cubes to pitcher and stir or add ice to individual glasses and pour the flavored water over the ice.

*For a fizzy water drink, use Seltzer water or natural sparkling water (like Perrier) instead of regular water, or use some of each (do not use Club Soda or Tonic Water, as one is high in sodium and the other is sweetened with high fructose corn syrup).

Have you tried making any uniquely-flavored water lately?

Linked to Inspire Me Monday at Create with Joy.

Tropical Spinach Smoothie

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In my last post, I shared a recipe I had made with OrganicGirl Super Greens, the Super Greens Fiesta Salad, and now I’ll be sharing a another recipe I made with OrganicGirlWinnersOrganicGirl Baby Spinach, the Tropical Spinach Smoothie. But first, I’ll tell you who the 5 Giveaway winners are from the OrganicGirl Greens giveaway on that salad post!

Congratulations to Jhuls (comment #7), Keshakeke (comment #10), Deal Housewife (comment #20), Table of Colors (comment #24), and Rachel (comment #33)! I’ll be emailing each of you to let you know in case you don’t happen to see this and will give your email to OrganicGirl so they can contact you about delivering your greens!

Thanks so much to all of you who participated in the giveaway! I wish you all could have won some greens, but as a consolation prize, here’s a recipe for a spinach smoothie that I think you’ll really like! This is a wonderful smoothie–it’s thick but not too thick. It’s sweet but not too sweet. It tastes great and it’s very, very healthy. And it’s an easy, tasty way to add more spinach to your diet.

TROPICAL SPINACH SMOOTHIE by NancyCreative, adapted from OrganicGirl

Makes 12 ounces, enough for 1 large or 2 small servings

  • 1 1/2 cups (well packed) OrganicGirl Baby Spinach (or substitute Baby Kale or Super Greens mix)
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 of a small to medium size banana
  • 1 cup frozen mango
  • 1 Tablespoon honey

Put all ingredients in a high-power blender and blend on high until smooth. Pour into a glass (or glasses) and serve.

Have you made smoothies with spinach before? What other kinds of recipes do you like to use spinach in?

Frozen Berry Smoothie

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Now that the weather out my way is warming up a little, it feels like spring is just around the corner–and I love having smoothies for breakfast during the spring and summer! So to celebrate the warmer weather, I decided to make this smoothie. Maybe I’m jumping ahead of the winter season a little, but I’m just so ready for spring!

You use frozen berries in this smoothie, which makes it convenient because you don’t have to worry about having fresh berries on hand in your fridge–just pop them out of the freezer whenever you want to make this! Use one kind of berry or use a variety of berries to equal 1 1/2 cups (I used a mix of strawberries and blueberries in this smoothie). This also is sweetened with honey, but you could use whatever kind of sweetener you like best. It’s a great way to start the day!

FROZEN BERRY SMOOTHIE by NancyCreative

  • 3/4 cup orange juice or grapefruit juice
  • 1 medium banana, sliced into smaller chunks
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen berries–strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, and/or blueberries
  • 1/2 cup plain or vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 1 Tablespoon honey

Add all ingredients in your blender; cover and blend until mixture is smooth and creamy. Serve immediately. Makes 2 (10-ounce) servings.

I’m linking this recipe up to Fiesta Friday at The Novice Gardener.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Vanilla Spice Coffee

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I’m not a heavy coffee drinker but there’s something comforting about a hot cup of coffee on a cold morning. And we’ve had very cold mornings this week, so I’ve been drinking more coffee than usual! Most of the time, I just drink my coffee with cream, but it’s a nice change to have this Vanilla Spice Coffee every now and then. It’s not a super-sweet coffee drink, so if you prefer it sweeter you can add more sugar. The vanilla-cinnamon-nutmeg flavors are great together and if you add some whipped cream on top, you just may feel like you’re at your favorite coffeehouse! :)

VANILLA SPICE COFFEE by NancyC, adapted from Gooseberry Patch

Makes 2 servings

  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup light cream (Half & Half)
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons sugar (or a little more, to taste)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) of hot, strong brewed coffee
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Whipped cream and ground cinnamon for garnish

Combine milk, light cream, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a saucepan and stir well. Cook over medium heat for 2 minutes, or until sugar dissolves (or you can heat in the microwave, in a medium size microwave-safe bowl with a lip, for 45 to 60 seconds). Remove from heat and stir in hot coffee and vanilla (you can taste it at this point and if you’d like it sweeter, add more sugar). Pour into coffee mugs; garnish with whipped cream and a light sprinkling of ground cinnamon, and serve.

You may notice that the cinnamon and nutmeg won’t totally dissolve in the coffee as you’re making this, but that’s okay–just blend it as well as you can. I think the whipped cream topping with the additional sprinkle of cinnamon really makes this special–and you can use light whipped cream if you’re watching calories.

What’s your favorite flavored coffee drink? Do you make it yourself or get it from a coffee shop?

Rejuvenating Beet Smoothie (Non-Dairy)

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There sure are a lot of big food-related holidays and events during the winter. There’s Christmas, New Year’s Eve and Day, Superbowl Sunday, Valentine’s Day, and St. Patrick’s Day–no wonder it’s so hard to diet this time of year! If you feel like you’re needing a little dose of something healthy, this is just the thing. I was inspired by this Beet Rejuvenator at New Nostalgia and decided that yes, I did need some rejuvenating! :) I don’t eat a lot of beets, but I know how good they are for you. This smoothie is supposed to be super cleansing–it also has carrots, cucumber, lemon, and ginger root in it, so I’m sure it is! I made a few changes, using a whole (small) beet instead of half, and using the juice from one lemon. I also added some honey, so I’m not sure if or how that affects the cleansing qualities of the smoothie. I thought the blend of the veggies with the lemon juice and ginger was good, but I liked having the smoothie a little sweeter. I used raw honey, which has more nutrients than the processed kind.

Also, I used a blender, so I cut my veggies into chunks for easier blending. If you’re using a juicer, you won’t need to do that. If you use a blender, you’ll probably have to stop and stir the ingredients a few times to help blend it, and you’ll have a thicker smoothie. Be sure to use organic veggies if you can! This smoothie does make you feel like you’re getting a little healthy boost, so if you’re in an unhealthy food rut, try this out for a refreshing change!

REJUVENATING BEET SMOOTHIE by NancyCreative, adapted from New Nostalgia

Makes about 2 servings (16 ounces)

  • 3/4 cup sliced carrots (about 1 large or 2 small carrots)
  • 1 medium-size cucumber, cut into slices or chunks
  • Juice from 1 large Lemon
  • 1-inch piece of Ginger Root, cut into small chunks
  • 1 small Beet Root, cut into chunks
  • 2 Tablespoons raw honey

Put all ingredients in your blender or juicer, and blend till smooth (if using a blender, you may have to stop it and stir to help the mixture along). Pour into 2 glasses and serve.

Have you ever made a smoothie with beets? What other healthy kinds of smoothies do you like to make?

Cranberry Orange Banana Smoothie

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I usually have a few bags of frozen cranberries in my freezer this time of year. During the holidays, I buy a some extra bags of fresh cranberries and freeze them so I can use them later–for recipes that I come across like this one, which I found at Williams-Sonoma. The cranberry-orange flavors in this smoothie are so good together and I used honey to sweeten it (you can also use agave nectar). It has just the right amount of sweetness and if you like cranberries, I’m sure you will love this smoothie!

yogurt-24_vanillaI like using thicker, creamy yogurts in my smoothies, like Greek yogurt, but in this smoothie I used Green Valley Organics Lactose Free Vanilla Yogurt. I had received a complimentary sample to try out, and I really liked it. This yogurt has a thick, creamy texture–perfect for smoothies! In addition to being organic and lactose free (which is important for those of you who are lactose intolerant), it’s also gluten free and has less sugar than other yogurts, so it’s very healthy!

Hope you get to try out this yummy winter smoothie–perfect for a quick, easy breakfast. Maybe not in zero-degree weather, but great for a warmer winter day! :)

CRANBERRY ORANGE BANANA SMOOTHIE by NancyCreative, adapted from Williams-Sonoma

Makes about 20 ounces, or 2 (10-ounce) servings

Add all ingredients to your blender and blend on high speed until smooth. Pour into glasses and serve immediately.

It feels good to eat a little healthier after all that holiday food! Are you trying to eat healthier after the holidays too?

Linked to Tidy Mom–I’m Lovin’ It.