When I was a youngin,’ I once went to a summer camp. The camp was located on a college campus and close by was a Jamba Juice. So most days (during the few weeks we were there), I and some of the other students would go to Jamba Juice for smoothies and a scone for breakfast.
My favorite smoothie was the (now discontinued) Orange Berry Blitz. I loved how the orange juice gave the blueberries and pineapple smoothie a wonderful brightness.
It’s funny how food and flavors can sometimes take you back, and suddenly, there you are again, cocooned in a marvelous memory.
I smile now just thinking of how happy I was that summer, and and this berry smoothie is still the perfect thing to drink on a nice summer day.
This is my version of that glorious smoothie. I added mango because I think that it gives the smoothie a little more of a tropical flavor (and an extra little bit of sweetness as well).
Feel free to play around with the ingredients. Sometimes I replace the apple juice with water, or add in a few handfuls of baby spinach (if I want to get my greens in for the day without having to give it too much thought).
Make the smoothie that you want to drink (though I will say that this smoothie is pretty awesome as written) and have fun!
Glorious Orange Berry Blitz-ish Smoothie
Makes 1 generous serving
3/4 cup ripe mango (cut into roughly 1 inch cubes, about 1 mango)
3/4 cup fresh pineapple chunks (cut into about 1.5 inch wedges, canned pineapple works too)
1 1/4 cup frozen blueberries
1/2 cup apple juice (I used the Martinelli’s brand)
2-3 tbsp orange juice
1. Add all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. Serve immediately.
This is what the plate of fruit looked like after I added the fruit into the blender. I think that it’s quite beautiful in a wabi-sabi kind of way.
I hope that you have many happy summer days drinking smoothies with your loved ones.
With summer fast approaching, the weather is getting warmer, and Memorial Day weekend is here!
This means that ’tis the season for backyard barbecues and hanging out with friends and family in the sunshine. This calls for drinks.
One of my favorites is my watermelon agua fresca. It’s cool and refreshing, and along with iced apple green tea is a refined sugar free alternative to sweet tea.
I love watermelon. It’s one of my favorite fruits and drinking this is almost like drinking a cross between lemonade/limeaid and watermelon juice.
Watermelon season in the US runs from May to September, so lots of delicious ripe watermelons are available in grocery stores right now, which is super exciting (yay!) and another thing that makes this watermelon agua fresca the perfect drink for summer.
Notes – * Use the sweetest watermelon you can find, that way you won’t have to use any added sweeteners. If you’re having a party, you can make a big batch of this ahead of time and it will keep great in the fridge overnight.
1. Add all the ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. Refrigerate until well chilled, making sure to give the agua fresca a good stir before serving. Pour over ice if desired (especially if it’s a particularly hot day) and serve.
I like to think of Green Goddess dressing as Caesar dressing’s sort of hippier, more free spirited cousin.
Caesar is the dressing that you want for a beautiful dinner party, while Green Goddess is for summer picnics and dancing through a garden in a sundress while wearing a daisy crown.
My Parsley Green Goddess dressing has all the things that you love about Caesar dressing (the rich savoriness and creaminess, with a bit a bit of garlic thrown it to punch up the flavor) and is full of anti-inflammatory herbs like parsley, rosemary, and basil.
It’s light and creamy, a little thinner than most green goddess dressings (which makes it better for drizzling over a salad), and is packed with heart healthy olive and avocado oils.
This is also the perfect recipe for when you’re looking to use up a bunch of fresh parsley in a hurry. You can blend it all into this beautiful dressing.
Parsley Green Goddess Dressing
Makes 1 1/4 cups
3/4 cup packed parsley (stems and leaves)
1/2 cup water
2 cloves garlic
1 egg (lightly scrambled over a double boiler, and cooled to room temp)
2 tbsp + 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
3/4 tsp fish sauce (I used the Red Boat brand)
1/8 level tsp dried rosemary
1/4 level tsp dried basil
1/8 level tsp granulated onion
1/4 level tsp granulated garlic
1/4 level tsp black pepper
1/2 level tsp sea salt
1/4 cup avocado oil + 1 tbsp (or any neutral oil)
1/4 cup olive oil
1. Add all the ingredients except the oils to the blender and blend until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides of the blender occasionally.
2. Take the top cap off of the blender, and with the motor running, slowly drizzle in the olive and avocado oil into the dressing (you’re basically making a cooked mayonnaise).
If there is some separation in the dressing at this point, that’s ok. Put the top cap back onto the blender and blend on high until well combined.
3. Pour the dressing into a jar and keep in the fridge until ready to use. The dressing should keep at least 3-4 days.
This dressing would also be delicious over chopped roasted potatoes for a quick potato salad, but honestly it’s good on just about anything.
There is something magical about making muffins. You sift together a few ingredients, stir in a few more, and a little while later 12 mini cakes emerge from the oven ready to fill your heart with joy and comfort.
If there is a practice more conducive to self care than baking, I have yet to discover it.
If I’m ever having a bad day, I bake. It takes focus and when you’re measuring and stirring everything together, the things that troubled you before seem far away.
The scent of delicious muffins wafts through the air and makes any house and home seem more warm and friendly. It’s a scent that makes the world a little softer and everything feel a little more possible.
And once you bite into a freshly baked muffin the spell is complete, and life feels ok again.
I love blueberry muffins, but there’s something about banana bread muffins that seem extra nourishing to your soul.
When I first cut gluten out of my diet, I really missed banana bread. I missed it’s buttery sweetness, and cozy banana richness.
It took me a couple of tries to get this recipe right, but these muffins taste just like the banana bread that I used to love eating. They also have a touch of cinnamon and vanilla to give them an extra bit of warmth to their flavor.
I like to use the ripest bananas that I can find (overripe bananas work the best as they are sweeter) and baking these muffins is a great way to cut down on food waste and have breakfast ready to go for the next few days (even if you eat 3 – 4 muffins still warm from the oven like I normally do).
I like to make these muffins a day ahead and leave them out on a plate on the counter covered by a paper towel. They dry out a little overnight, and the texture gets even better the next day.
2. In a large bowl, sift together the oat flour, baking soda, and ground cinnamon and set aside.
3. In a separate bowl stir together the mashed bananas, apple cider vinegar, melted coconut oil, eggs, maple syrup, and vanilla extract until well combined.
Pour the wet mixture into the dry and stir until well combined. Divide the batter evenly between the 12 muffin cups and bake at 350 F for 33 minutes (until golden). Turn the oven down to 300 F and bake for another 10 minutes until the cake tester comes out clean.
Let the muffins cool in the pan. To pop them out of the muffin tin, run a small knife around the edge of each muffin (a small butter knife works great for this) and they should come right out.
I wish you many happy breakfasts (and memories) with these wonderful muffins.
Sometimes eating vegetables can be a little less than exciting. Eating should be a pleasure. You want to have something that has a lot of flavor and be so delicious that you crave eating it the next day.
For me, this dip is the answer to getting myself to eat a big serving of vegetables, and to do so very happily.
This creamy garlic rosemary dip takes just minutes to put together and makes snacking on everyday vegetables feel like a fun and tasty treat.
I used avocado oil mayo (but you can also use vegan mayo) and olive oil, so this recipe is packed with heart healthy oils and anti-inflammatory ingredients like parsley, garlic and rosemary.
Creamy Garlic + Rosemary Dip
Makes 1 serving
3 tbsp mayo or vegan mayo (I used avocado oil mayo)
Salt to taste (if needed)
Notes – * Thawed frozen garlic has a milder taste than fresh raw garlic and less of a bite to it. If you’re making this dip with fresh garlic, start out with adding 1 clove of garlic and then adding more to taste.
1. Add the mayo and olive oil to a small bowl. Tilt the bowl to that the olive oil pools together and slowly stir it into the mayo until well incorporated. Add the rest of the ingredients and give it all a good stir.
Serve with any vegetables that you like. This dip is great with sweet potato fries, or I like eating it with 2 carrots (cut into carrot sticks) and a diced tomato for a quick snack.
Finding giant bags of organic peeled garlic at the grocery store (or at Costco) usually seems like a huge win. It’s not very expensive (yay!) and will save you tons of time peeling garlic when you’re cooking.
Cut to a week later and you realize that even though you’ve been eating more garlic than normal (because you don’t have to peel it, throwing extra garlic into dishes is super easy) you’ve barely made a dent in your giant bag of garlic.
Peeled garlic also doesn’t have as long of a shelf life as unpeeled garlic either, so now you’re thinking that it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to eat all of it before it goes bad.
But don’t worry! Here are two ways of storing extra garlic cloves so that you can use them up when you’re ready to.
1. Freeze The Extra Garlic Gloves
This is super simple to do and you can use up all your garlic cloves in your own time.
1. Pour the extra garlic cloves that you want to freeze into a bowl and set aside. Add a folded paper towel or two to the garlic cloves in the original package that they came in that you want to keep fresh in your fridge (the paper towel will absorb any excess moisture and the garlic will keep fresher for longer). Replace the paper towel every couple of days.
2. Give the excess garlic cloves a good rinse. Transfer them into ziploc freezer bags and squeeze out as much air as possible, and freeze them flat.
3. When you’re ready to use them, take out as many cloves as you need and run them under warm water for a few seconds to defrost. Chop and use as usual.
They will have a softer texture than fresh garlic cloves, and the flavor might be slightly milder, but you can always add another clove or two to your dish to balance that out.
2. Make Fermented Garlic Honey
I love watching the It’s Alive series on the Bon Appétit YouTube channel. It is hilarious. The editing and the host are fun and you learn a lot about fermentation. Here’s the episode about fermenting garlic in honey.
I’ve made garlic honey a few times now. I’ve made a few other fermented things before (red cabbage kimchi kraut and lacto-fermented garlic cloves) but the fermented garlic honey is by far the easiest thing to make if you’re looking to start preserving food using fermentation.
Garlic honey is delicious drizzled onto gluten-free bread, or homemade tortilla chips. I like to eat a few cloves of this when I have a cold. I’m not sure if it does anything to fight off a cold, but it’s a nice treat to have nonetheless.
I’m not a expert in this, so please watch the video above for more info, especially about adding the splash of apple cider and keeping the pH below 4.6 to be on the safe side.
1. Rinse off your garlic cloves with filtered water (chlorine can prevent or slow fermentation). If you use straight tap water, that’s ok too. Just rinse them off with filtered water. Drain off as much water as possible and place them onto plates lined with paper towels to dry.
The next day replace the paper towels with dry ones, and leave the garlic cloves to dry another day until they are completely dry to the touch.
2. Pick out the cloves the look a little rough and trim off any blemishes or dark spots on the cloves. Put the cloves onto a cutting board and bash them with a knife or cut them in half. Add all the garlic into a clean dry wide mouth mason jar and cover them in raw honey (leaving about 2-3 inches of headroom in the jar).
I didn’t leave enough headroom in my jar, and the honey has leaked a little out of the top of the jar while it’s been fermenting (not a big deal, you can just wash it off). Give everything a good stir so that the garlic and honey are well combined.
3. Put the lid on the mason jar and don’t screw the jar completely tight, leave it a little loose so that any gases produced during the fermentation can escape. Set the jar aside in an area without any direct sunlight where it wont be disturbed. I set my jar on a small plate so that it will catch any honey that might leak out from the top of the jar during fermentation, which makes it easy to rinse the honey off of the plate and the outside of the jar every few days.
Every day for the first few days, screw the lid on tightly and turn the jar upside down so that the honey can cover all the garlic cloves. Turn the jar right side up, loosen the lid, and place it back in it’s spot again.
After the first week, you can just do this every few days or so. After a month, you can just leave it alone with the lid a little loose and it should look after itself. Check the pH periodically to make sure that it stays below 4.6.
I’ve never had a jar of garlic honey go bad on me yet, but if you have any mold growing in the jar or if anything looks funny, when in doubt, throw it out.
This is what the garlic will look like after 6 months. The flavor of the garlic mellows out over time, and the cloves become sweet and chewy. The longer the garlic sits in the honey, the mellower the garlic flavor and the chewier they get. If you have a friend who loves garlic, a jar of this garlic honey makes a great gift.
If you love Southern Style Sweet Tea and are looking for something that is refined sugar free, this is a great alternative. This Iced Apple Green Tea is just as refreshing, and the apple juice gives this green tea a lovely fruity sweetness, perfect for warm weather and sunshine.
I have a friend who is Japanese who has the most beautiful and extensive tea collection. She has an amazing cabinet filled with teas from all over the world.
During one of our visits we drank a Pink Lady Apple Green Tea, from The Republic of Tea brand. I loved that tea, and for years I would always try and look for it in any grocery store that carried that brand of tea. As it turns out, that particular tea was a limited edition and has since been discontinued, but that’s ok!
As long as you have some apples, apple juice, green tea, and a little honey, you can make a tea as delicious as that one was.
I enjoy drinking it iced (it’s good warm too), which is great for this time of year, as the weather is turning a bit warmer now (which is really exciting!).
Iced Apple Green Tea
Makes about 4-6 servings
5 1/4 cups of water
5 green tea bags (I used the Organic 365 brand ones)
2 1/2 cups of apple juice **
2/3 of a fuji apple, cut into 1/4 inch slices
2 tbsp honey
Notes – ** I used the Martinelli’s brand of apple juice because it tastes wonderful, but please feel free to use your favorite brand of apple juice.
1. Bring your water to a boil. Add in the tea bags and the sliced apples. Allow the tea bags to steep for 3 minutes, and then remove the tea bags. Add your apple juice and allow the apple slices to steep in the tea for 1 hr.
You don’t have to do this but I save the tea bags and put them in cold filtered water (3 cups) and allow them to steep overnight in the fridge with some lavender (1/2 tsp dried lavender). This cold brew lavender tea has a very light subtle flavor.
The flavor will get stronger the longer that you allow the tea to steep, and I sometimes will add that cold brew lavender tea to the apple tea as well, which tastes great too.
2. Remove the apples from the tea, and stir in your honey. You can save these apples slices to blend into a smoothie later.
Allow the tea to cool, transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate until well chilled.
I hope that you enjoy the tea!
Tea is just one of those great things that brings people together. Do you have any favorite memories around drinking tea?
This is one of my favorite recipes and I make it all the time. I love cooking sweet potatoes this way because they become soft and creamy in the middle and almost taste like custard, but the crispy ends taste like toasted marshmallow.
The sweet potatoes are cooked slowly so that it brings out their natural sweetness and this is a great recipe to make when you’re trying to avoid added sweeteners, but still want to have something that tastes like dessert.
Make a big batch, and keep any leftovers in the fridge. They actually get sweeter once refrigerated and are wonderful for snacking during the week. They are delicious on their own, but you can also sprinkle over some cinnamon and nutmeg right before serving and it makes this sweet potato dish even more dessert-like and wonderful.
1 tsp of avocado oil (or any neutral flavored oil)*
Notes – * I’ve used olive oil before too and that works great as well. You don’t taste the olive oil flavor very much at all when you cook the sweet potatoes this way, so really any oil that you use will be fine. Coconut oil is nice too, the sweet potatoes taste even sweeter when cooked with coconut oil.
1. Preheat your oven to 375 F.
2. Take your sweet potatoes and place them onto a sheet pan or glass baking dish (I prefer using a glass dish for this, as the sweet potato fries do stick a little to the pan and you can use a spatula to scrape any crispy bits off of the glass without having to worry about scratching up a sheet pan).
3. Pour the tsp. of oil into a corner of the baking dish and slide each sweet potato fry into the oil and toss them with your hands until well coated.
Place the baking dish into the oven and bake for 55 – 60 minutes until the fries turn a little crispy and golden brown at the edges. In my oven this takes about 57 minutes.
4. Allow your fries to cool a little before serving.
I hope that you love these sweet potatoes fries as much as I do! I’m about to go make another big batch of them, and I can’t wait to eat them.