Monday, July 6, 2015

Strawberry Picking Treats

A few weeks ago, my family went strawberry picking. When we got back, we gorged on fresh berries and I whipped up a couple of treats too.
My two favorite strawberry treats were made with a lightly sweetened strawberry puree. I made strawberry popsicles and with a little leftover puree, I flavored a batch of limeade.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Pineapple Cake

It's Independence Day weekend, y'all! I love July 4th, not only for giving me a day off of work (my office is off today and we have a three day weekend because we rock) but also because I love what it represents. In celebration of this holiday, let's just ignore the unsavory nature of a bunch of randos coming to America and basically stealing land from the v. kindly people already living here and concentrate on the fact that oppressed people escaped from an unkindly king and declared their independence. It's a pretty beautiful sentiment, right? Fast forward a couple hundred years and it's basically become a day devoted to barbecuing, day drinking, and donning anything remotely patriotic, even if it's just an old 'I voted' sticker you found in your wallet.

In the spirit of Independence Day, I will not be sharing anything barbecue-y, boozy, or a cloyingly sweet dessert covered in berries swirled in a patriotic scheme. Instead, I'm going to share whatever the heck I want, and in this case, it's a fluffy pineapple cake. To be fair, it is pretty appropriate for the holiday because it's super summery (hello, pineapple) and incredibly easy to whip up, which means you can slap one together to bring to that impromptu get-together you want to host tomorrow afternoon.
Ingredients [yields one 8" x 8" square or 9" round]:
box cake mix (yellow or white)
20 oz. can crushed pineapple (with the juice)
3 tablespoons lemon juice
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
1 egg
+ butter for greasing the pan
+ whipped cream
+ toasted coconut flakes

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Green Smoothies (2)

I originally posted about green smoothies back in 2012 and then gave a little update in 2013. I didn't share anything last year because 2014's green smoothies were exactly the same as 2013's. This year, I've changed it up a bit so I thought I'd share what I'm drinking now.

When I first started drinking green smoothies, it was mostly a way for me to shed a few pounds. However, when I noticed the increase in energy, glowing skin, stronger nails, and shiny hair, I became addicted. I tend to start up my smoothie regimen around April, as the weather is starting to get warmer. It's at this time of the year that I'm over comfort foods and I'm craving more fresh produce and greenery.
Ingredients [yields 1 large smoothie]:
2 handfuls of greens (about 3 loosely packed cups; I prefer baby greens because they're easier to process in the blender and baby spinach and baby kale are my usual go-to greens)
½ cup frozen fruit (I tend to go with light colored fruits, like peaches or mangos because they're mild and keep the smoothies looking pretty and green)
½ cup coconut water or unsweetened nut milk (or ¼ cup of each)
1 teaspoon chia seeds
1 tablespoon lemon juice
+ ½ baby cucumber
+ ½ teaspoon grated ginger
+ 4 mint leaves

I'm not a nutritionist so I don't want to delve into the health benefits as if I'm an expert. However, I'd like to say that everything listed in the ingredients is feel-good stuff.
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