Tag Archives: fruit

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.

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10 Recipes for Valentine’s Day

Here’s a roundup of 10 recipes that your Valentine–or Valentines–will love…some are healthy and some are not-so-healthy (but very yummy)!

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If you’re wanting something sweet for your Valentine breakfast, try these Strawberry Yogurt Muffins–the strawberries on top look like hearts, so they’re perfect for Valentine’s Day!

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Or if you’re wanting something healthy, try this Cranberry-Pecan Oatmeal, made with dried cranberries and chopped pecans. You can substitute dried cherries for the cranberries if you want.

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Or make this Cranberry Almond Oatmeal Bake if you’re feeding a larger group.

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You can also use your dried cranberries (or cherries) in these Cranberry Almond Breakfast Scones for a mid-morning or afternoon Valentine snack!

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Since you may be eating lots of sweets on Valentine’s Day, you’ll want to include a healthy salad in your lunch or dinner menu–this Apple Pear Pecan Salad has dried cranberries in it too, but dried cherries would be yummy as well!

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Savory Strawberry Salsa makes a great appetizer with tortilla chips, and it’s also really good served over grilled chicken!

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Now you need some dessert ideas…Strawberry Cupcakes are just the thing!

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But lots of people prefer something chocolate, and you can’t go wrong with these Chocolate Cupcakes with Fudgy Frosting!

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If you want a healthier dessert, you could always make this Healthy Chocolate Shake

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But, hey, it’s Valentine’s Day–if you want to splurge, make these Dark Chocolate-Covered Cherry Swirl Brownies!

Hope you get a chance to try out some of these treats! Do you have a favorite Valentine recipe?

Peach-Strawberry Salad with Feta

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This fresh and fruity salad was something I discovered at a potluck. I love all the healthy ingredients in it–slices of fresh peaches (or nectarines) and strawberries–with some slivered or sliced almonds added in–all tossed in a slightly sweet-and-tangy vinaigrette. Crumbles of delicious Feta cheese top the salad. It’s a great side dish to enjoy during peach season! I actually like using smooth-skinned nectarines in this salad–you can use either peaches or nectarines, or a combination of both. No fruit-peeling is necessary!

PEACH-STRAWBERRY SALAD WITH FETA slightly adapted from a potluck recipe

Makes about 8 servings

  • 6 peaches or nectarines, sliced or chopped
  • 2 1/2 to 3 cups hulled strawberries, sliced or cut into quarters
  • 1/2 cup slivered or sliced almonds
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup Briannas Blush Wine Vinaigrette (or you can use Balsamic or Raspberry Vinaigrette)
  • 2 ounces crumbled Feta cheese, to top the salad (half of a 4-ounce container)
  • addtional slivered or sliced almonds, to top the salad

Place sliced peaches (or nectarines), sliced strawberries, and almonds in a large bowl. Pour the vinaigrette over the ingredients and toss until well-coated. Top everything with the crumbled Feta cheese and additional almonds, if desired. Serve immediately.

The Feta cheese with the fruit is such a great combination! Have you tried out any new fruit salad recipes during this summer season?

Strawberry Honey Agua Fresca

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Agua Fresca, Spanish for “fresh water,” is a type of fruit drink that is served all over Mexico. Made from a combination of fruits, sugar, and water blended together, it’s a refreshing drink for spring and summer. I decided to try this Strawberry Agua Fresca that I found at myrecipes–but instead of using sugar, I made it with honey. You can use sugar if you want, but I thought honey would be a little healthier. My version is a little sweeter than the original, but it’s not super-sweet–I think it’s just right!

STRAWBERRY HONEY AGUA-FRESCA by NancyCreative, adapted from myrecipes.com

Makes 4 cups

  • 2 cups water, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 3 cups hulled strawberries, cut in half
  • 1/8 cup fresh lime juice (or juice from 1 lime), or to taste
  • additional lime slices for garnish (optional)

Combine water and honey in a medium bowl or other container, stirring until honey dissolves. Place strawberries in blender and process until smooth. Add honey-water mixture and lime juice to blender and process all ingredients together until well-blended. Pour into glasses right from the blender or put in a pitcher (you can add ice if you like) and serve.

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I think I’ll be enjoying this fruity drink a lot this summer! Do you have a favorite warm-weather beverage?

Green Ginger-Peach Smoothie

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If you had too much Easter candy last weekend and are craving something healthy, you may want to try this smoothie out! 🙂 This recipe is adapted from a recipe in Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food. It has lots of fresh baby spinach, fresh ginger, and frozen peaches in it. During peach season, you could use fresh peaches (it just won’t be quite as thick, because the frozen fruit helps thicken the smoothie).

This smoothie doesn’t have any dairy products in it. But I didn’t miss the dairy at all. The original recipe uses water, but I thought it was a little bland with water, so I used a peach juice blend instead. I thought this smoothie was really yummy–a very tasty way to up your spinach intake!

GREEN GINGER-PEACH SMOOTHIE by NancyC, adapted from Everyday Food

Makes about 2 (9-ounce) servings

  • 1 cup well-packed baby spinach leaves
  • 1 teaspoon peeled and grated fresh ginger
  • 2 cups frozen sliced peaches
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 1/4 cups peach juice blend (I used Dole® Orange Peach Mango Juice)

Add all ingredients in blender and mix until well-blended (you may have to help stir the mixture along with a spoon at first). Serve immediately. Makes about 18 ounces, or 1 to 2 servings.

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Do you make green smoothies and do you have a favorite recipe?

Linked to Inspire Me Monday.

Home Sweet Home and Kiwi-Cantaloupe Fruit Salad

My friend Lorinda is a very talented photographer. She came over to my new apartment for the first time a few days ago and happened to have her camera with her. She took some pictures and showed them to me later…I was really impressed with the beautiful job she did!

Photos by Lorinda Gray

I thought I’d share some of these wonderful photos with you. Lorinda has such a great eye for detail and captured objects that I look at every day in such a fresh, appealing way! She has a blog called Ragamuffin Creative, where she has lots of striking photography, so be sure to check it out!

Photos by Lorinda Gray

As you can tell from some of these pictures, I love hydrangeas! The dried ones you see in these photos were given to me from my talented artist friend Eileen. She has a beautiful hydrangea bush in her front yard.

The chair in the top right photo was rescued from my mother’s basement. It originally belonged to my grandparents and had become very worn and tattered over the years. I had the chair reupholstered and put some wood rejuvenator on the wood trim, so now it’s as good as new! I wish I had taken a “before” picture of it so you could see how dramatic the transformation was!

Another photo shows my little collection of birdhouses that are displayed on a ledge, and in the photo below it to the left, a bird votive holder rests on some antique books. Decorative birds and birdhouses just seem to make a room feel more light and airy!

Next to the bird votive holder, you’ll see a picture of my “magazine rack.” It’s actually an old shutter I bought at a flea market. It just leans against the wall and is perfect for hanging and displaying magazines!

I also have a collection of glass bottles that are displayed on top of a cabinet, along with more dried hydrangeas. It’s always nice having these bottles on hand–they make great flower vases, too!

Well, if you’re not really into decorating, you’re probably wondering where the recipe is in this post! 🙂 Okay, here it is…a really easy, delicious fruit salad. Lorinda took this picture of it, too…

KIWI-CANTALOUPE FRUIT SALAD

  • 4 Kiwi Fruit, peeled and sliced (each Kiwi will yield about 5 slices)
  • Half of a cantaloupe, seeded and cut into bite-size chunks (if you want more cantaloupe in the salad, use the whole thing)
  • 1 (15-ounce) can Mandarin oranges
  • 3/4 cup fresh blueberries, blackberries, or raspberries (optional)
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup juice from the Mandarin orange can

Place sliced kiwi fruit and chunks of cantaloupe in medium-size bowl. Add Mandarin oranges, drained, from can–be sure to set aside 1/4 to 1/3 cup of the juice from the can. Add berries if desired. Pour juice from the Mandarin orange can over the fruit in the bowl and toss with the fruit, evenly distributing the different fruits in the salad. This recipe makes 4-8 servings, depending on how much cantaloupe you use, and it makes a great addition to any breakfast or brunch!

Blueberry Salsa

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If you’re wanting a summery snack and a change from your typical salsa, you’ll have to try this Blueberry Salsa out! I found the recipe at SouthernLiving.com. It’s a mildly spicy salsa, and it’s a great way to use fresh blueberries during blueberry season. It also has fresh cilantro and red bell pepper in it, which I love. You can serve it with your favorite tortilla chips–I like it with blue corn tortilla chips.

There were actually two versions of this recipe at the Southern Living site–one with chopped onions and one without. I made it without the onions, but I’d like to try it with green onions next time (I’ve noted in the recipe below that onions are optional). It’s a great snack on a hot day, and we sure have been getting lots of hot days here in Arkansas this summer! I think it would also be great as a topping on a salad, instead of using salad dressing. Or you could spoon it over a block of cream cheese and serve it with crackers for an easy appetizer!

BLUEBERRY SALSA from Southern Living

  • 2 cups fresh blueberries, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup whole fresh blueberries
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 3 Tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion or green onion (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Toss coarsely chopped fresh blueberries, whole fresh blueberries, fresh lemon juice, chopped fresh cilantro, seeded and finely chopped jalapeño peppers, diced red bell pepper, chopped onion or green onion (optional), and kosher salt in a large bowl. Serve immediately, or cover and chill 8 hours.

Carrot-Orange-Pineapple Smoothie

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Here’s a great-tasting, healthy smoothie to get your day off to a good start! I found the recipe over at realsimple.com. I love having smoothies for breakfast during the warmer months of the year…they’re so easy and quick to make. This smoothie has pineapple, orange juice, carrots and half of a banana in it–so if you like these ingredients, you’ll want to try this out! The recipe calls for fresh pineapple, but I substituted canned pineapple chunks because that’s what I had on hand.

CARROT-ORANGE-PINEAPPLE SMOOTHIE very slightly adapted from Real Simple

Makes 1 serving

  • 3/4 cup chopped fresh pineapple or canned pineapple chunks
  • 1/2 cup ice
  • 1/3 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1/4 cup chopped carrot
  • 1/2 banana

Place the pineapple, ice, orange juice, carrot, and banana in a blender. Blend until smooth and frothy.

That’s all there is to it! It also makes a great afternoon snack when you’re craving something sweet but want something healthy!

Linked to Strut Your Stuff, Full Plate Thursday, These Chicks Cooked, Foodie Friday, Sweets for a Saturday.

Juicing Recipes from The Everything Juicing Book

ncCarOrJuicenmI haven’t done a lot of juicing, but when I received a copy of The Everything Juicing Book to review, it made me want to juice more! Not only does this book include a wide variety of simple and unique juice recipes, it also has information on just about anything you would want to know about juicing!

So why juice? Co-author Carole Jacobs explains in the beginning of the book, “Juicing is an easy, convenient, delicious, and nutritious way to consume a high level of essential vitamins, minerals, and disease-fighting antioxidants and phytochemicals, delivering nutrients to the body in a form that is immediately absorbed and assimilated. Cooking and processing destroys natural nutrients in foods, but juicing helps preserve these nutrients.”

The book goes into detail about the many benefits of juicing, from juicing for weight loss and longevity to juicing for stronger bones, more energy and stamina, and cancer prevention. And the recipes are organized by chapter according to the health benefit they provide…for example, you’ll find juicing recipes that are especially good for reducing food cravings, bloating, and lowering cholesterol in the Juicing for Weight Loss chapter. It really is quite an informative, handy guide to the world of juicing!

Here are a few recipes if you want to try them out! I tried the Orange Carrot, which is a good juice for fasting (although I was not on a fast–I just like the orange-carrot combination 🙂 ).

I pulled recipes from several different chapters so you can get an idea of the various health benefits these different juices have. There are lots of delicious-sounding fruit and veggie juice combinations that I never would have thought of myself! And it’s great to know what the specific health benefit for each particular juice is, too!

ORANGE CARROT (good for juice fasting)

  • 1 orange, cut into wedges
  • 3 carrots, peeled

Juice carrots and orange. Stir. Makes 1 cup.

CELERY CARROT (good for lowering cholesterol)

  • 3 carrots, peeled
  • 2 stalks celery, leaves intact

Juice carrots and celery. Stir. Makes 1 cup.

APPLE YAMMER (good for weight loss)

  • 1 yam, cut into pieces
  • 1 red apple, cored

Juice yam and apple. Stir. Makes 1 cup.

TROPICAL CUCUMBER (good for skin)

  • 1 cup pineapple, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 mango, pitted
  • 1 cucumber, peeled
  • 1/2 lemon, rind intact

Juice pineapple first, then mango and cucumber. Cut lemon into thin slices and juice it last. Stir well before serving. Makes 2 cups.

STRAWBERRY PATCH (good for strong bones)

  • 1 apple, cored
  • 1 cup strawberries, hulls intact

Juice apples and then strawberries. Stir well before serving. Makes 1 cup.

SPICY TOMATO (good for cancer prevention)

  • 6 Roma tomatoes
  • 1/4 red onion
  • 1/2 jalapeno pepper
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 celery stalk

Juice ingredients in order listed. Stir. Makes 1 1/4 cups.

After making these, you should be feeling really good and healthy! 🙂

Sweet and Juicy Blackberry Crumble

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A few days ago, I told you about a great line of products available at Whole Foods Market–the 365 Everyday Value organic frozen fruits and veggies. I made a delicious Very Berry Smoothie with their Frozen Berry Blend and I decided to make a Blackberry Crumble with their organic frozen blackberries. Those berries were so big! They probably would have tasted great thawed out and eaten just the way they were…or used as a topping on yogurt with a sprinkling of granola. But I decided to make a Blackberry Crumble because it just sounded good, and I had never made a Blackberry Crumble before. I looked at some different recipes and came up with my own version. I really liked the way it tasted! Not having made one of these before, I wasn’t quite sure what a typical blackberry crumble was supposed to look like…mine wasn’t as thick I thought it would be and was a little runny…not watery-runny, but sweet-syrupy-juicy runny, which was okay with me! The blackberries had just the right amount of sweetness, with a little punch of flavor from the lemon juice, and the buttery, brown-sugar crumble topping was a great finishing touch. I liked using oats in the topping, too–anything with oats always seems a little healthier to me! 🙂

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I noticed that some crumble recipes said to mash the berries, but I didn’t mash mine; I just put them in the baking pan while they were still frozen. The crumble might be a little less juicy/runny if you’re using fresh berries or if you thaw and drain your frozen berries before putting them in the pan, so you can try it that way if you prefer.

This crumble would be great to make for dessert or even for a brunch…it’s a yummy way to have your fruit in the morning! The recipe makes four good-sized servings in an 8×8″ pan; you can also double the recipe and make it in a 9×13″ pan.

SWEET AND JUICY BLACKBERRY CRUMBLE by NancyCreative

Makes an 8×8″ pan

  • 2 1/2 to 4 cups blackberries, fresh or frozen (I used a 10-ounce package of Whole Foods 365 Everyday Value Organic Frozen Blackberries, which came to 2 1/2 cups; if you want a thicker crumble, use 4 cups)
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar (you may want to use a little more sugar if you’re using 4 cups of berries)
  • 1 1/2 to 2 Tablespoons lemon juice (about the juice of 1 small lemon)
  • 3 Tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour (I used unbleached flour)
  • 1/3 cup quick-cooking oats
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350ËšF. Spread the blackberries in an 8×8″ baking pan (if using frozen berries, you don’t need to thaw them out and drain them, but you can do that if you want a thicker berry texture); sprinkle berries evenly with 1/3 cup granulated sugar. Then sprinkle the lemon juice over the berries and sugar.

For crumble topping, combine butter and brown sugar, then add in flour, oats, and salt. Mix all ingredients together until crumbly. Sprinkle over the berries. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 to 48 minutes (a longer baking time may be needed if using frozen, unthawed berries). Serve warm or cold. Makes 4 servings.

This crumble tastes great topped with ice cream. Or you can drizzle the sweet, juicy syrup from the pan over the crumble. Next time I make this, I’m going to double the recipe and save some of the extra yummy syrup from the pan to use as a topping on ice cream or pancakes!

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Have you ever made a berry crumble? Do you like to use fresh or frozen berries? Mashed or unmashed? If you have any berry crumble-making tips, please feel free to share! 🙂

Linked to Strut Your Stuff, Full Plate Thursday, Show Off Your Stuff, Seasonal Saturday, Sweet Tooth Friday, Foodie Friday.