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Archive for August, 2012|Monthly archive page

In Pursuit of Fruit, Part Deux

In Beans, CSA, Dessert, Fruit, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian on August 15, 2012 at 4:06 pm

Here’s a follow up to my last fruit post.  Although there are so many ways to turn fruit into a meal,  there are even naughtier ways to enjoy them, too :).  I’ll begin with a good girl recipe, then talk a little bit about some indulgences.

Two weekends ago began my annual family summer vacation.  Trying to use up all the CSA veggies that week, I made a lot of what I called “juithies” – somewhere between a juice and a smoothie.  Since I would rather have a Vitamix blender over a juicer, I end up blending all the juice, pulp, skin, and fiber of my produce with some water.  I actually much prefer the sludge to an actual veggie/fruit juice because there is a smaller ratio of sugar and thus less headache/starvation as a result.  My new favorite combo is beet/carrot/cucumber/melon.

No matter how big the beets are, they seem to ensure the drink is always reddish purple.

Making these juithies with a little bit of fruit is the perfect start to my day!  I actually have been drinking them instead of my usual first cup of coffee! (don’t worry, I still have coffee at around noon)

Let’s say that this beverage gets an A on the health scale.  The next one I would consider somewhere in the C range; B if we’re just talking about dessert.  I get emails from healthy websites all the time that include recipes, and just before vacation I came across this gem: Peanut Butter, Chocolate, and Banana FroYo.  With just four ingredients, it was super simple and delish to make!  It uses nonfat vanilla Greek yogurt, so packed with protein and not too much sugar, and includes banana to sweeten it up some.

Peanut Butter, Chocolate, and Banana FroYo

Adapted from self.com

  • 2 containers (6 oz each) nonfat vanilla Greek yogurt, divided among ice cube tray sections and frozen
  • 2 small ripe bananas, cut into 1/2-inch pieces and frozen
  • 4 teaspoons natural peanut butter
  • 4 teaspoons mini chocolate chips

Those ice cube trays are in the shape of lips.

I had frozen the yogurt and banana according to the recipe, then blended them together for a couple of minutes.

I added some peanut butter, blended a few seconds more, then mixed in chocolate chips.  Since my blender is super high-powered, it actually heated up the yogurt and it was kind of thin.

After tasting for quality control, I froze the rest in a container, and mixed it every 20 minutes for an hour to make sure it was freezing evenly.  Later that night I ate straight from my homemade pint!  It was amazing, and better/cheaper than the Stonyfield farm or B&J versions available.  According to the recipe, the nutrition information is rather figure friendly for FroYo:

159 calories per 1/2 cup, 4 g fat (1 g saturated), 19 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 10 g protein

The only reason I’d rate this a C is because of the added sugar.  Ideally, I try not to add sugar to anything, but this is a better alternative to 16 handles or pinkberry.

The next “recipe” is definitely a D on the health scale.  As soon as we arrived at our beach condo, we took a quick dip in the pool, and then headed inside to prepare our family tradition: Sangria.  My father is obsessed with fruit, and thus even more obsessed with Sangria.  He’s not much of a drinker, so this is basically a spiked fruit salad for him.  We don’t really use an exact recipe, but basically 1 part fruit to 2 parts wine (see, I told you it’s a fruit salad).  We also add some simple syrup and triple sec.  Of course, I was put in charge of chopping all the fruit, which took nearly an hour!

Grapes and cherries! The bane of my pitting existence.

We used 3 kinds of grapes, 2 kind of cherries, 3 kinds of apples, 2 kinds of plums, a peach, a nectarine, an orange, and a grapefruit.  Lots and lots of variety!

3 gallon dispenser filled 1/3rd of the way with fruit. NBD.

We let the fruit, wine, and other liquid ingredients marinate for 24 hours before drinking.  Both the fruit and wine are in perfect balance then.  48 hours later will produce a better liquid, but soggier fruit.  We also topped it off with some Sierra Mist natural to give a little zing to it.  I think I had 3-4 glasses each night, although the second one seemed less alcoholic, probably because the fruit absorbs all the alcohol.  I wish I had pictures of the end product, but I was too busy drinking to remember to take any.

Those are my new fruit recipes!  I also experimented again with the dehydrator and dried my donut peaches from 2 weeks ago.  I set them to 115º for 24 hours, and they came out amazing!  Sweet and just chewy enough.  And they are truly “raw”, which is a nice bonus!

On the veggie front, I was able to pickup the CSA distribution before heading down for my trip, but I don’t have anything exceptional to report.  It included the basic zucchini, lettuce, corn, cukes, basil, cilantro, and some other things I can’t remember.  Most memorably it was the first week of tomatoes!  The only big recipe I made on vacation was a corn/black bean/avocado/tomato/cilantro salad/dip thing.  No pictures of course, because I always forgot to take them on vacation!  However, everyone loved it, even though it was competing with baby back ribs.  It could technically also be considered a fruit recipe, as corn, tomato, and avocados are all fruits.  I don’t know how I’d rate that recipe though, but it’s definitely less naughty than Sangria.

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