Tag Archives: strawberries

Strawberry-Kiwi-Banana Smoothie

For me, summer is smoothie weather and I love having them for breakfast! It’s always fun trying out different flavors. Strawberries, kiwifruit, and bananas are a great combination, and this smoothie uses frozen banana slices to help thicken it and make it creamy. This smoothie is good and easy to make. And using a slice of kiwifruit as a garnish adds a nice colorful touch! Try this out for breakfast or for a healthy afternoon snack.

STRAWBERRY-KIWI-BANANA SMOOTHIE by NancyC

Makes about 2 cups

1 medium size banana, sliced and frozen

  • 1 cup sliced fresh strawberries
  • 1 kiwifruit, peeled and sliced
  • 1/3 cup plain or vanilla Greek yogurt (or substitute a dairy-free yogurt)
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 1/4 cup milk (you can use low-fat, soy, or almond milk)
  • Optional: 1/2 teaspoon ground flaxseed
  • Optional: a slice of kiwifruit for garnish

Add frozen banana slices, fresh strawberry slices, kiwifruit slices, yogurt, honey, milk, and flaxseed, if using, into a blender. Blend mixture for 1 minute or until smooth and creamy. Pour into a glass, add a slice of kiwifruit as a garnish, and enjoy!

This smoothie is a real treat and it’s nice that it’s healthy, too! I love making things with fresh fruit–especially strawberries! Are you a fan of strawberries, too?

Sharing this recipe at Fiesta Friday, Meal Plan Monday, Weekend Potluck, Inspire Me Monday.

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Strawberry Banana Muffins

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My latest banana-inspired recipe also has fresh strawberries in it–the perfect muffin for summer! They’re so moist and full of delicious chunks of fresh strawberries. I love how the sprinkling of coarse sugar gives these muffin tops a little sparkle and crunchiness, too! I just did a light sprinkling, but you can do a heavier sprinkle if you want a real sugary top. So the next time you have some ripe bananas and fresh strawberries on hand, keep this recipe in mind! 🙂

STRAWBERRY BANANA MUFFINS by NancyC

Makes 11 muffins

  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 Tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped fresh strawberries (cut into small chunks)
  • 1 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 2 medium)
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Optional: coarse sugar for sprinkling on top of muffins (use about 1/4 teaspoon per muffin or a little more, if you like)

Preheat oven to 375˚F. Line a muffin pan with 12 paper liners; set aside. In medium bowl, blend sugar and butter, then add in egg, and vanilla, blending well. Mix in the strawberries and bananas. In large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Add strawberry/banana mixture to the flour mixture and stir until just combined. Fill muffin cups 3/4 full and sprinkle tops with coarse sugar, if desired. Bake at 375˚F for 15-16 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let muffins cool in pan 5 minutes, the remove and cool completely on wire rack or serve warm.

These muffins are great for breakfast, brunch, or an afternoon snack–they’d go great with some Strawberry Lemonade, too! Do you have a favorite strawberry/banana recipe?

Linked to Fiesta Friday at The Novice Gardener and Inspire Me Monday at Create with Joy.

Strawberry Lemonade

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Lemon and strawberry are two great summer flavors and I’ve been seeing Strawberry Lemonade photos come up quite a bit this summer on Pinterest. So I thought I’d try a recipe out from Better Homes and Gardens. I added a little more strawberries and also more lemon juice than the original recipe calls for because I like things really lemony! It’s the perfect drink to sip on as you’re sitting on your patio on a sunny summer day! Summer is going by much too fast, so maybe taking some time to enjoy Strawberry Lemonade will help slow it down! 🙂

STRAWBERRY LEMONADE by NancyC, adapted from Better Homes and Gardens

Makes 8 servings

  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 1/2 cups fresh strawberries, hulled (I chopped the strawberries into chunks before measuring out the 2 cups)
  • 1 1/4 cups lemon juice, or the juice of 5 to 6 lemons
  • Optional: additional whole or halved strawberries and lemon slices for garnish

Combine 1 cup of the sugar and 1 cup of the water in a small saucepan; cook and stir over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Set this syrup mixture aside to cool.

Combine remaining 3 cups water, 1/2 cup sugar, and the strawberries in a blender and process until smooth. Transfer this mixture to a 2–quart pitcher; add the cooled syrup and lemon juice. Stir to combine. Fill pitcher with crushed ice or ice cubes.

If you want to add a special touch, garnish each glass of lemonade with lemon slices and/or fresh strawberries.

NOTE: To make ahead, prepare the lemonade mixture as directed, but do not add ice. Cover and chill up to 8 hours. Add ice and serve.

I think it’s fun to make fruit-flavored variations of lemonade! Do you make lemonade often?

Linked to Inspire Me Monday at Create with Joy.

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.

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!

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?

Yogurt with Strawberries, Honey, and Pistachios

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Did you know that February is National Heart Health Month? It’s a great reminder about eating foods that are good for your heart. Like nuts, for example. They have lots of vitamins, minerals, protein and omega-3 ncSunRidgenutsfatty acids–all things that your heart loves! There’s even some research that shows that eating just one ounce of nuts a day can reduce your risk of heart disease. So, in honor of National Heart Health Month, I recently received some product samples of nuts to try from SunRidge Farms–they offer a great variety of organic and natural non-GMO nuts (and other healthy snacks like seeds, dried fruits, and trail mixes). They sent me some of their Organic Walnuts, Supreme Almonds, Roasted Tamari Almonds, and Jumbo Pistachios roasted with Sea Salt–yum! I like all different kinds of nuts and I eat them roasted and unroasted, salted and unsalted, and I thought all these SunRidge Farms nuts were really good and very fresh. I had never had Tamari Almonds before–these are whole roasted almonds with a tamari shoyu (soy sauce) coating, which adds a slightly tart and zingy flavor–and I loved those!

Of course, nuts are great add-ins when you’re baking breads or cakes, and I also like to sprinkle them on salads. I’ve also sprinkled them, along with dried or fresh fruit, on my morning oatmeal. When I was deciding what to make with some of these SunRidge Farm nuts, I remembered this recipe from Martha Stewart –a healthy, quick and easy recipe with Greek yogurt, fresh strawberries and pistachios. So I decided to use the SunRidge Farms Jumbo Pistachios in this!

The original recipe calls for plain Greek yogurt, which works well because it has a nice thick and creamy consistency. Vanilla or strawberry Greek yogurt could work in this recipe too, if you aren’t crazy about using plain yogurt, but I like the plain yogurt with the honey–the honey drizzled on top makes it sweet enough for me. I’ve made this with salted or unsalted pistachios, and like it both ways. If you don’t have any pistachios on hand, try using chopped walnuts, pecans, almonds, or even granola cereal instead. As you can see, this recipe is very versatile! 🙂

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YOGURT WITH STRAWBERRIES, HONEY, AND PISTACHIOS slightly adapted from MarthaStewart.com

Makes 4 servings

  • 1 large container (16-oz.) plain Greek yogurt (or use vanilla or strawberry)
  • 1 pound fresh strawberries, stemmed if desired (you can also slice them or cut them into chunks, depending on what works best with the type of bowls you are using–I used glass teacups)
  • 2 Tbsp. plus 2 tsp. honey
  • 1/4 cup shelled unsalted or salted roasted pistachios, coarsely chopped (or substitute chopped walnuts, pecans, almonds–or granola cereal)

Divide yogurt and strawberries among 4 salad/soup bowls. Drizzle with honey and sprinkle with pistachios (or other chopped nuts or granola cereal).

This is great to make for a quick, healthy breakfast or even a healthy snack or dessert! I really like the strawberry-pistachio combination. Do you use pistachios often in your recipes?

Very Strawberry Coconut Cream Soda

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When I saw that this soda was made with coconut milk, that got my attention. Fresh strawberries and coconut milk sounded pretty good! The original recipe that I found at Food.com also has sugar in it, but I substituted honey for the sugar. I also added extra strawberries.

This soda is creamy and fruity–a healthy way to enjoy a soda! This recipe is for a single serving, so if you need more servings, just multiply the ingredients by the number of servings you want to make.

VERY STRAWBERRY COCONUT CREAM SODA by NancyCreative, adapted from Food.com

Makes 1 (8-ounce) serving

  • 1 cup fresh strawberries, hulled and halved
  • 2 Tablespoons honey
  • 2 Tablespoons refrigerated coconut milk
  • Ice cubes
  • Club soda or carbonated water, chilled

In a small bowl, combine the strawberries and honey, stirring so strawberries are coated with the honey. Then use a pastry blender to mash the strawberries. You’ll have about 2/3 cup of the mashed strawberry-honey mixture. Stir in the coconut milk and blend everything well.

Place the mashed strawberry-honey-coconut milk mixture in an 8-ounce glass. Fill the glass with ice, up to 1″ below the top rim of the glass. Then pour in the club soda, filling the glass to the top. Stir the cream soda with a straw or iced teaspoon, blending the club soda in with the other ingredients, and serve immediately. Serve with a straw and spoon, since the mashed-up strawberries clog up the straw occasionally!

I just had to make this before the end of summer, which is coming up soon! Even though I like autumn, I’m kind of sad to see summer end. How about you?

Strawberry Yogurt Muffins

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One thing I love about these muffins is that you can make them plain…

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…or you can make them fancy!

They taste great without any kind of topping at all because they’re filled with lots of small chunks of fresh strawberries, and Greek yogurt makes them nice and moist. I think the butter in these have something to do with the rich taste, too. They are really yummy! I debated about putting a glaze on top of the muffins because they taste great just the way they are–why mess with a good thing? But then again, they do look pretty cute with a little glaze and a strawberry half on top! So, it’s up to you…if you like your muffins plain and simple, leave off the glaze…but if you want a fancier muffin, add some glaze and a strawberry!

STRAWBERRY YOGURT MUFFINS by NancyCreative, adapted from A Spicy Perspective

Makes 24 muffins

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup plain or vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 2 cups fresh strawberries, diced or cut into small chunks (measure strawberries after they’ve been cut into chunks
  • Optional: Creamy Glaze (see recipe below) and 12 strawberries, hulled and cut in half for garnish

Preheat oven to 350″F. Line 2 muffin pans with paper liners.

In large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, then stir in vanilla.

In small bowl, blend flour, baking soda, and salt.

Alternate beating the flour mixture and the yogurt into the butter/sugar mixture in the large bowl. Fold in the strawberries, gently mixing them into the batter. FYI, the batter will be thick!

Spoon batter into muffin cups, dividing batter evenly among all the cups (they’ll be between 2/3 and 3/4 full) and bake at 350˚F for 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let muffins cool completely (I tasted these both warm from the oven and after they cooled completely, and I like them better when they are cooled!), then either serve or add the glaze and a strawberry half on top.

CREAMY GLAZE

  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons milk or half and half
  • 12 strawberries, hulled and cut in half for garnish

Mix powdered sugar and milk (or half and half), blending well–this will be a thick glaze. With a spoon, add a small dollup of glaze to the top of each muffin and spread out a little. Then add a strawberry half over the glaze. Let glaze set about 10 to 20 minutes before serving. Refrigerate any leftover muffins.

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NOTE: You can also make this recipe as a bundt cake–bake in a 10″ bundt pan at 350˚F for 60 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Grease and flour your pan well so your cake will come out easily. Let cake cool in pan about 20 minutes before removing. Cool completely on wire rack, then either serve plain or top with Creamy Glaze (let glaze set 10 to 20 minutes before serving).

How do you like your muffins–plain or fancy?

Very Berry Smoothie and Whole Food’s Frozen Berry Blend

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Do you ever shop at Whole Foods Market? I love going there whenever I have the chance! The closest one to me is about an hour and a half away, so I stock up on things when I go. I recently heard about some new products in the Whole Foods Market 365 Everyday Value brand of organic frozen fruits and veggies. I was excited to have a chance to try some out, too, compliments of Whole Foods!

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The new item in their organic frozen fruit selection is the Frozen Berry Blend, which I used in my Very Berry Smoothie recipe. I also picked up some frozen blackberries to make a Blackberry Crumble, and I’ll be sharing that recipe with you soon. There’s also some new organic frozen veggie blends that I’ll be trying out and telling you about …the Organic Southwestern Blend, Mediterranean Blend, and Leafy Greens Blend. Don’t those all sound good and healthy?

But for now, I’ll tell you more about the smoothie I created with the Frozen Berry Blend, which is a delicious combination of strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries. I just love this smoothie–it’s one of the creamiest, smoothest, smoothies I’ve made! I’m sure the organic frozen fruit made a big difference in the taste, too. When it comes to berries, it’s good to use organic since so many pesticides are used on berries grown the conventional way.

Here’s the smoothie recipe…I hope you get a chance to try it out! It’s great for breakfast or anytime you’re wanting a healthy snack.

VERY BERRY SMOOTHIE by NancyCreative

  • 1 (10-ounce) package (or about 2 1/2 cups) frozen blend of strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries
  • 1 medium banana
  • 1 cup vanilla yogurt
  • 1 to 2 Tablespoons honey
  • 1/4 cup low-fat milk

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Since this is a thicker smoothie, you may need to stop the blender and stir the mixture with a spoon or spatula to help it along. Then continue blending. Makes 2 servings.

Do you like to eat healthy? What’s your favorite healthy snack?