Give me a P, give me a O, give me a M…

imagesYep, that’s right it’s pomegranate season. If you haven’t tried this delicious fruit you are missing out on a tasty treat.

There are so many ways to enjoy pomegranates. There’s bottled juice by POM. The plain is excellent and the pomegranate/pineapple tastes like Hawaiian Punch to me. I like to add a splash  of  juice to plain or vanilla greek yogurt. For a refreshing drink, add it to sparkling water with a slice of lime. Delish!

Buying the fruit fresh and squeezing the juice or eating the fruit is…well…like tasting a garden tomato vs a store bought tomato. There’s no comparison. To cut a pomegranate, I cut it into 4 sections and then use my fingers to pop out the seeds over a bowl of water. It’s messy but worth it. Here’s a video to help you.

Let’s not forget fruit itself – the arils or seeds. You can sprinkle them on your cereal, steel cut oats, into your yogurt or my favorite way…eat with a spoon. You can cut and gather the seeds yourself from the pomegranate OR go to the produce section of your store and you’ll see the seeds next to the pomegranate juice. But…they are only available for a short time so get them now!Image

And let’s not forget our fantastic wicked green smoothie.

Pom-erific Smoothie

1/2 c. frozen blueberries
1/2 c. pomegranate juice or if you’re trying to watch calories use 1/4 c. juice and 1/4 c. water
1/2 c. vanilla or greek yogurt (optional)
handful of kale
couple slices of cucumber or 2 baby carrots (optional) if adding these, leave out the yogurt.
1 tbsp. chia seeds (optional)
Blend well and enjoy!

An old-fashioned breakfast

Have you noticed it’s getting dark earlier and maybe  a bit chilly when you wake up in the morning? I adore this time of year when the leaves start to change and you can break out those yummy, cozy sweaters.

So get ready.

Turn down your thermostat to save some $ on your heating bill. Great reason to break out that warm throw or beautiful quilt and wrap yourself up while relaxing in the evenings.

Have your cat or dog sleep with you at night to help keep you toasty.

And…start your day off right. On Sunday, make a batch of steel cut oats for breakfast for the coming week. It’s easy. Use a slow cooker or rice cooker. My rice cooker has a porridge setting. Put in the water and steel cut oats and let them cook. My favorite is McCann’s Irish Oatmeal.

This is not the instant oatmeal you remember as a kid. Steel cut oats have a great flavor and are very filling. I like to add a bit of cinnamon and a few raisins or dried craisins or dried blueberries. Portion out the steel cut oats into your storage containers so all you have to do is grab a container and ziploc snack bag with your toppings (raisins and cinnamon) and you can heat it up at work. For those of you who like milk or almond/soy milk, you can add it to the oats as well – yum! It will keep you satisfied until lunchtime.

Get outside, take a walk and enjoy the fall day!

Hey apple…

ImageThe farmer’s market has apples. This morning I picked up Honeycrisp. Yum! Crunchy and mouth-watering with a bit of sweetness. I asked about Gold Rush. They were the variety I discovered last year and my new favorite. The vendor told me it was still a bit early (here in North Carolina) but they’d be ready in a few weeks.

What’s your favorite apple?

Welcome Fall Smoothie
1 apple cored and cut into slices
handful of grapes
1 c. water
inch piece of ginger, peeled (optional)
1/3 cucumber OR small handful of lettuce or spinach
blend well and enjoy!

But I don’t have time

It's a Cranberry Day SmoothieI’ve had a number of people tell me lately “I just don’t have time to make a smoothie for breakfast. It’s enough to get ready in the morning.”

Fair enough. Here’s a trick to make your life easier in the morning. Have your blender out on the counter, clean and ready to go. Buy two 1lb bags of your favorite frozen fruit. Like blackberry and mango or pineapple and strawberry. Dole has frozen pineapple or you can take a can, strain the juice and freeze the pieces on a flat baking sheet. Once frozen, put in bags.

Take 6 ziploc bags in the quart size and split the fruit evenly between the bags. If you like banana, add 1/3 banana to each bag and throw the bags in the freezer. To make it “green” buy a bag of frozen spinach and divide it out between the 6 bags. Or buy fresh, blanch it and freeze, then do the same. Wah-lah – a Wicked Green Smoothie that will delight your mouth.

In the morning, grab a baggie, dump it into the blender and add 1/2 c. yogurt and 1 c. water or your favorite juice (apple, grape, orange, etc.). Blend well.smooth

Want to also take a smoothie for lunch? After pouring smoothie number one into your cup. Repeat and pour into an insulated thermos. Enjoy for lunch.

Happy blending!

I’m not ready…

untitled (27)Hope everyone has been enjoying the fresh cherries in season right now. If not, get them quick, they’ll be out of season soon. Since I’ve eaten all my fresh cherries, I’m using tart cherry juice in today’s recipe.

A few of my friends follow the blog but aren’t quite ready to throw greens into their smoothies. So for all of you out there who want to ease in, this one’s for you.untitled (26)

Dip Your Toe in Smoothie

1/2 c. tart cherry juice
1/2 c. greek yogurt (I like Fage 2%)
1 c. pineapple fresh or in its own juice
1 tbsp. chia seeds (optional)
1 tbsp. goji berries (optional)
handful of ice

Blend well and enjoy!

P.S. next time you make it, throw in a few slices of cucumber or a sprig or parsley or a couple pieces of lettuce.

untitled (29)Never tried a Goji berry? Goji berries are filled with powerful antioxidants and rich in vitamin A. They are thought to help with diabetes, high blood pressure, and age-related eye problems.

How about Chia Seeds? Chia seeds are called a “superfood”. The ancient Mayans and Azetcs included them as a staple in their diet and relied on them to boost energy and increase stamina. Today this seed, not the chia pet!, is a favorite of distance runners who swear it enhances endurance.untitled (28)

Chia seeds are full of fiber – 5 grams per tablespoon. You can eat the seeds raw (though you’ll need to rinse or brush your teeth or risk having them stuck in your teeth. Not an attractive look.) They help keep you full since they swell when combined with water or in your tummy. The seeds can be used in oatmeal, to replace eggs in baked goods. One tbsp. replaces one large egg. Sprinkle them on salads, in soups, etc. You can make a gel like pudding as well.

Until next time, cheers!

Sunshine for your mouth

I know I talk a lot about smoothies but once in a while I have something different. I made a breakfast burrito this morning and yum was it tasty.untitled (3)

Sunshine for your mouth

1 egg (2 if you’re hungry)
1/4 c. shredded cheddar cheese
2 tbsp. salsa
1 whole wheat tortilla

scramble your egg, add to the tortilla and enjoy!

This would also be great with feta and spinach instead of salsa and cheddar. Going to make that one tomorrow.untitled (4)

What do you like to eat for breakfast?

A Tropical Blast for your Mouth

I made a delicious Wicked Green Smoothie this morning that I had to share. It was so tasty and immediately made me think of the tropics! You won’t even taste the greens and your body will thank you. Go on try it! OK, if you’re afraid, leave the greens out – grins.

Tropical Blastphoto

1 c. OJ (or cut 1/2 cup with water if you don’t want it sweet)
Oikos Greek Yogurt Coconut Vanilla – single serve container coconut-vanilla-greek-yogurt

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2 Tbsp chia seeds – if you’re a beginner you can omit or just 1 tbsp. Using 2 tbsp. will keep you full until lunch or dinner
1 c. pineapple (fresh, frozen or in it’s own juice)
2 big handfuls collard greens torn to pieces (if you’re new, only add maybe 1/3 to 1/2 of a collard leaf) These are also great to use frozen if you like a thicker smoothie.

images (2)Blend well and imagine yourself on a beach somewhere!

What are your favorite spring/summer beachflavors?