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!

The peaches are here!

ImageI don’t know about you but I love fresh peaches. They are in season right now and the farmer’s market has tons of them. Here in Raleigh, North Carolina we are so fortunate to have the state farmer’s market and all its wonderful bounty.

Find your local farmer’s market and pick up a few peaches. Eat it as is. Cut it up in a bowl with some blackberries and blueberries, add to your favorite greek yogurt, or…yep, make a delicious smoothie.

Peach Perfection
1 peach cut into pieces, discard pit (you can use frozen if you don’t have fresh)
1/2 c. yogurt – flavor of your choice. Vanilla, peach, and plain greek are all wonderful
1/2 c. pineapple juice
2 fresh mint leaves (optional)
handful of ice (you don’t need this if you used frozen peaches)
For all you beginners, you can stop here or maybe add a couple of spinach or leafy green lettuce leaves
All you Wicked Green Smoothie drinkers – throw in a big handful of spinach or cut up a third of a cucumber.
Blend well and enjoy!Image 2

It’s Strawberry Season

images (3)Depending on where you are, it’s strawberry season. Here in the south the roadside stands and pick your own places are open and the farmer’s markets are blanketed in berries. I love fresh strawberries!

As an ode to strawberries, here are some great ways to use them (you know there’s a smoothie in this somewhere right?) – grins.

Strawberry Joy Wicked Green Smoothie
no picture as I drank it before I thought to photograph it!
1/2 c. yogurt vanilla or strawberry flavored
1 c. strawberries
1 c. almond milk or juice of your choice
and of course…a handful of greens. If you’re new add a leaf of spinach or lettuce. If you’ve made a few of these use a cup.
Note: the pretty color changes to an ugly color with the greens but it tastes delicious so put it in a dark cup if the color bothers you!

Other ways to enjoy strawberries:

Dipped in dark chocolateth

With yogurt and granola for breakfast or a snack

sliced over your cereal

thCAIPOWBSsimply sliced and eaten, maybe with a pinch of sugar or cool-whip or of course ice-cream

over waffles

th (2)and of course picked from the vine and popped in your mouth with the sun shining down on you

How do you like your strawberries?

Ode to Cherries

untitled (2)We all know cherries are good for us but did you know a cup only has 87 calories and they are chock full of antioxidants?! Cherries are a great source of fiber, full of beneficial vitamins and reduce inflammation. So after that next workout, pop a handful of cherries. Your body will smile.

I’ve been eating lots of cherries and made a delicious cherry smoothie I thought I’d share. Try it before or after your workout of just as a refreshing lunch.

Cherry Surprise 
1 cup cherries, pitted (pop them in the freezer if you want your smoothie thicker or add ice to your smoothie).
1/2 c. greek yogurt
1 cup OJ
and of course, greens – 1 cup spinach (or a handful or two for those of you who hate to measure). If you’re new to adding greens, just put a couple of leaves – you won’t even taste them 🙂
Blend until smooth and enjoy!

How do you like to eat cherries?

Until next time, cheers!

An alternative snack…

Wait up there you Wicked Green Smoothie Warrior…back away from the bag of chips. Put it down, better yet, dump it in the trash and then dump water or something else on the chips so you won’t be tempted to reach in the trash and eat them. Come on, you know you’ve done it before, haven’t we all?

Here is a healthy alternative to satisfy that salty, crunchy craving. Also, I’ve listed a great way to eat an avocado. Try it, you’ll like it!

Crunchy Garbanzo Beans

One can of chickpeas (small or large) 1 tbsp. olive oil Seasoning (sea salt, old bay, garlic, etc)\

Directions; Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss chickpeas with olive oil and seasoning of your choice. I love sea salt and old bay seasoning. Spread on a rimmed baking sheet or shallow pan and bake for one hour or until crispy. They are a crunchy, delicious treat chock full of protein and is a great substitute when you are craving chips or something salty/crunchy.

Avocado All The Way Baby

Here are some ways to try an avocado if you haven’t tried them, well other than in guacamole.

  1. Slice open an avocado, scoop it out into a bowl, add balsamic vinegar and olive oil, yum!
  2. Slice open an avocado, scoop it out into a bowl, add honey and sea salt, enjoy!

Cheers!

Eggplant – it’s pretty and good for you

Eggplant. Before you say “oh, no, way, gross”, hear me out. There’s a couple of ways to try this fruit (yes, it’s actually a fruit not a veggie) again that will have you googling eggplant recipes in no time.

For those of you who steer clear of anything resembling fruit or veggies; here are two ways to ease in. Not super crunchy granola healthy but, hey – it’s all about baby steps.

Pancake Eggplant (if you’re craving sweet) Slice eggplant into thin slices, dip in pancake batter and fry – this could be a side dish or heck, eat a plateful for dinner.

Bread crumb Eggplant (if you’re craving savory) Place small amount of oil in fry pan, slice eggplant into thin slices Beat one egg and dip slices, then dip slices into panko breadcrumbs and fry – again, great as a side or a meal.

Enjoy!