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?

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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.

Irish Soda Bread

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Whenever St. Patrick’s Day comes around, I see different recipes for Irish Soda Bread and I finally decided to try making it this year. I found a recipe at Kraft that sounded good and it looked pretty easy, too. I modified it slightly and was happy with how it turned out! It has a lightly sweet taste that kind of reminds me of a scone. I think it’s great with butter and jam, although it’s also good without anything on it because the raisins in the bread and the sugar sprinkled on top give it a lightly sweet taste. If you don’t have time to make it for St. Patrick’s Day, it’s a great recipe to keep in mind for brunch any time of the year!

IRISH SODA BREAD by NancyCreative, slightly adapted from KraftRecipes.com

Makes 1 round loaf

  • 3 1/4 cups unbleached flour
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 Tablespoon sugar, divided
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) cold butter, cut into small chunks
  • 1 1/3 cups buttermilk
  • 3/4 cup golden raisins

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Grease or spray a baking sheet with cooking spray; set aside.

Mix flour, 1/3 cup sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in large bowl. Cut in butter with pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add buttermilk and raisins; stir just until moistened.

Place dough on lightly floured surface; knead 10 times. Shape dough into a 2 1/2″ thick slightly dome-shaped round; place on prepared baking sheet. Cut a  1/2″ deep “X” in top of dough and sprinkle with remaining sugar.

Bake at 350˚F for 47 to 52 minutes or until loaf is golden brown and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean (I baked mine for 52 minutes and probably could have baked it a few minutes less). Remove from baking sheet to wire rack; cool completely before cutting into wedges and serve (this tastes great warm, too, so go ahead and serve it warm if you want–it just may not slice as easily).

NOTE: You can store leftover bread in a resealable plastic bag at room temperature for up to 24 hours; for longer storage, wrap bread tightly and freeze up to 2 months–thaw at room temperature before serving.

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Have you made any special Irish recipes this year?

Linked to Inspire Me Monday, Anti-Procrastination Tuesday.