Tag Archives: fruit

Journey Journal: Days 96-97

Day 96: Saturday, April 6, 2013

Slept in. Breakfast of Ezekiel 4:9 Golden Flax cereal with raspberries, banana slices, and almond milk, and a French Press of coffee. Went to Goga for 20 minutes of workout and 15 minutes of sauna time. Brought a book to read in the sauna (Reckless Abandon by David Sitton, an autobiography of a missionary to PNG). After that, I came home, filled my water bottle, grabbed a granola bar, and went on a 5 mile walk in the neighborhoods surrounding ours. I am so thankful for this sunshine and the new blooms of springtime! After a hot shower, I met Bryan downtown, since he was there studying for his Microbiology test all day. I grabbed some red pepper strips and a mandarin orange on my way out the door and enjoyed them with a Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad from Port City Java. He studied for a bit more, then we checked out the new Anthropology store downtown (very cool, by the way!) before heading to dinner at 21 East. Bryan got a burger with root beer caramelized onions and a side of fries; I wasn’t super hungry (since the salad wasn’t that long ago), so I just got a single cajun crawfish taco (which was delicious! I might just have to get the 3 for $10 next time). It was a relaxing evening! I love date night!

Day 97: Sunday, April 7, 2013

Church this morning. Then 2nd grade Journey Group, where we talked about God being “Unchanging.” Had my cousin, his girlfriend, and another friend over for a lunch of tacos and taco salad (beef with cumin and garlic; and shrimp with curry powder, red pepper flakes, and garlic; plus loads of fresh veggies). Shared a French Press of Columbian coffee with our guests. While Bryan and the gang continued to study, I went for another 5 mile walk…this time with book in hand. I read and walked and enjoyed the fresh air! Bryan grilled burgers for dinner, and I had a side of carrot sticks. Made some lemon corn muffins with a lemon glaze for dessert, which got gobbled up very quickly! (Recipe here; I used about a cup of powdered sugar instead of 1/3 c. white sugar in the glaze, and I used Jiffy cornbread mix instead of the suggested brand.) Will have to remember that! Watched some clips on Food Network, while sipping a vanilla almond iced coffee (leftovers from this afternoon’s brew). Time for a hot, Epsom salt bath before getting ready for bed and grabbing my book one more time for the weekend.

Product Review: Früsh

A while back, a marketing firm contacted me about a new product that’s hitting grocery stores near me. They sent me some goodies to share, along with an amazing little packet of reference materials about a new drinkable yogurt called Früsh. Früsh is all-natural yogurt with fresh fruit and added probiotics and calcium for a healthy snack or part of your breakfast routine.

The packet: a cooler with ice packs and 24 bottles of Früsh, a banner, product materials and coupons, 2 drawstring backpacks, and some buttons!

I’m not sure the exact meaning behind the name, but to me it’s a “Fruit Rush” – fruit yogurt on-the-go! I tasted it and thought it was  pretty good, but I wanted to make sure it wasn’t just me, so I took the samples they sent me into my office and did a taste testing!

“The Goods”

Here are some of the guinea pigs at my Office Sampling Party:

Sampling Party at Work!

Now let’s see what these volunteer taste testers had to say about their experience:

Let’s start with the CONs:

Mark said, “The texture is different. I’m used to Naked Juice.”

Jake also said, “They’re slightly too sweet. I prefer kefir.”

John said, “The blueberry is too ‘yogurty’. The strawberry’s good and the peach is alright. The strawberry banana tastes artificial, even though it’s not.”

Janice also said, “The strawberry banana tasted like the container” [note: no one else had this opinion, but in the effort of full disclosure, I decided to include it.]

Janice also thought the strawberry was the best, but that the grams of sugar were too high.

Ashley said, “If you mix it with Greek yogurt, it would be better. It’s not terrible but really sweet. The bottle is cool, unless you have big hands or are a lefty.”

One thing my sister pointed out was that it doesn’t have active live cultures in the yogurt, even though it does have probiotics.

And now let’s look at the PROs:

Matt said, “The peach is the best!”

Jake said, “I enjoyed all of them.”

Ken said, “It’s like a healthy jello shot. I like all of them, but the strawberry and peach are at the top.”

Janice said, “I don’t normally like blueberries, but the blueberry Früsh is good.”

Mandy said, “The peach is my favorite. Then the strawberry. Cool containers!”

Ryan said, “I’m not a fan of blueberry, but the peach and strawberry taste like heaven.”

Greg said, “It tastes like a melted strawberry milkshake, and I love strawberry milkshakes!” He liked all of them.

Kyle liked all of them too.

Rebecca said, “I don’t normally like strawberry banana, but I liked all of them. The peach was my favorite.

And my favorite review from Miss Marian: “That strawberry’s wonderful! I’d keep that in my fridge. I definitely would buy it.” Peach was her second favorite.

Here’s some Nutritional Info from the company: FRUSH Nutritional Overview Page!

My nephews liked it too:

And, last but not least, my opinion:

“I liked all the flavors, especially the peach. I actually liked it better than kefir, personally, because it wasn’t sour at all; however, I did think they were slightly too high in sugar. I definitely appreciated that the ingredients were all-natural; even the colorings came from fruit and vegetable extracts! That’s a definite plus in my book. The bottles fit really well in my hand (though I do see the point about not fitting well in lefties’ hands). And it was a great, quick breakfast on the way to work, paired with a granola bar (and some coffee, of course).”

Overall, I think this is a really good product and I hope it does well. Look for it in the following grocery stores near you:

  • Bi-Lo
  • Harris Teeter
  • Piggly Wiggly
  • Ingles
  • Wilco
  • Food City
  • Food Lion
  • Winn Dixie
  • Lowes Food
  • Hannaford
  • Price Chopper

GIVE-AWAY: Since I was given these goods, I wanted to share! So, I have 2 drawstring backpacks and some coupons, and I’m willing to ship them to three or four of my fans. All you have to do is answer the following question below by this Friday, September 7, 2012, and I’ll do a random drawing.

The question: Have you tried Früsh? What did you think? (And if you would like a backpack and coupons or just coupons if you win?)

“Compost Pizza”

After a long week, we often try to use our extra fruit and veggies up in creative ways. You’ve seen the Brown Rice Bar (aka Unfried Rice) idea before. Every time we make it, there’s a slightly different combination of ingredients, but it’s always delicious.

This particular week, the ingredients included snow peas, onion, red and green peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes, granny smith apples, carrots, cucumbers, zucchini, avocado, yellow squash, fresh garlic, parsley, cilantro, sauteed shrimp, feta cheese, butter, dried apricots, dried dates, raisins, and peanuts, plus the brown rice, of course.

When we were finished, there was no shrimp left, so I combined all the fresh fruits and vegetables together in one container.

The next night was our weekly dinner group and pizza was on the menu. At first, I wished I had stored all the ingredients in separate containers, but we decided to just throw everything on the pizza and see how it worked. We added green and black olives, as well as pepperoni, to the mix. I was a little leery of putting snow peas and Granny Smith apples on a pizza, but it turned out really delicious!

As we were making it, one of our friends (shout out to Nathan Melsom) said it reminded him of everything we would put in our compost bin, and thus coined the phrase “Compost Pizza,” which will live in infamy in our house. Thanks, Nate.

So, before you throw those leftover chopped veggies and fruit in your compost bin, considering making Compost Pizza! It’s more delicious than it sounds.

Fourth of July Weekend: We Are Family!

The Fourth of July fell on a Monday this year, so we had an extra long weekend. My brother’s fiancée (Lissa) flew in from L.A. and met him (Jordan) and my parents in OH, then they all came down here to spend a long weekend with my sister (Michelle) and me. It was fun to meet Lissa and I think she’ll fit right in with our family.

Left to Right: Michelle (my twin sis) and Baby Mark, her husband Alan, Bryan, me, Lissa, Jordan (my bro), Micah (7), and Jordan Elliot (5) - (Mom and Dad - not shown)

We had SO much good food while they were here. My sister hosted a BBQ dinner one day, and I made Carnitas, Black Beans and Cilantro Lime Rice for lunch another day. Lissa made her Ceviche to go with the Beans and Rice. And for our last breakfast together, we made omelet cups, scones, and a giant fruit display!

Brunch! Mom made the Scones, Bryan helped with the Omelet Cups, and I made the Fruit Tray. It's always fun to be in the kitchen together!

Most of the fruit was from our organic produce basket from Milk and Honey Organics. The honeydew was from EarthFare (I had a coupon for a $2 watermelon, but they were out and graciously let me have the honeydew instead). I literally prayed on the way home that it would be a sweet honeydew (I’m not usually a big fan because they don’t always have a lot of flavor). This one was delicious!! I should pray over my grocery shopping more often!

Caught in the act: Jordan Elliot just couldn't wait for brunch! Those giant organic strawberries were just too tempting!

Not shown:

  • Bryan and Josh Spencer took engagement shots for Jordan and Lissa! I accompanied and helped pick out the shoot locations.
  • Lunch after the photo shoot at Mellow Mushroom.
  • Mom and Dad figuring out their new iPhones.
  • We had a showing on Friday before everyone arrived, so it made it easy to get the house clean for company. (Yes, the house is still for sale.)
  • Lots of laughs!
  • Inordinate amounts of coffee!

Theme: God’s Faithfulness

I’m doing a little research on God’s Faithfulness (hence, the latest post on Learning from Elisabeth Elliot). I’m in charge of decorations for an upcoming Mercy Ministry Dinner for some ladies in our church and I want to make the decor match the theme of the evening: God’s Faithfulness.

I’m still playing with several ideas. Here’s what I have so far:

  • “Great is Thy Faithfulness” sheet music cut into pendants and sewn into banners as table runners

  • Fresh flowers (violets, irises and rosemary symbolize faithfulness)

from BHG.com

  • Maybe incorporating tea cups as vases

from Midwest Living

from KatieBrownBlog.com

  • Candlescapes
  • Rocks that say “Faith” on them (is that cheezy?)
  • Egg theme, since we’re close to Easter

from BHG.com

  • Cross decor?
  • Rainbows (or scattered crystals that would create rainbows when hit with light)
  • The colors white and silver can be symbolic of faith
  • “Fruit of the Spirit” route, decorating with fresh or artificial fruit arrangements (maybe a pear or apple with a ribbon tied to the stem with a card that says “Faithfulness” in a pretty font (like Zapfino)

from BHG.com

  • “Faith as a grain of mustard seed” concept?

from Midwest Living

A secondary theme is Amy Carmichael, so I’ve thought about the following:

  • Adding some of her quotes scattered on the table
  • Adding some of her quotes as part of a decoupage placemat

  • Adding some of her quotes into the “Great is Thy Faithfulness” banner idea

Here are some other ideas I like:

from Southern Living

from BHG.com

from BHG.com

from BHG.com

I also have to keep in mind that they’ll be using white china with gold trim for the place settings, so I can’t be too informal. I want to use bright spring colors. Oh, and I have a budget of $100 for 20 tables. Any ideas?!

Recipe Experiment: Crockpot Cobbler

Problem: I had some fruit that was on its last leg and I needed a way to use it before it expired. I hate throwing fresh produce away!

Goal: Make an all-natural crockpot cobbler recipe with no added sugar that still tastes great.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large organic mango (peel and discard pit)
  • 4 organic peaches (discard pit)
  • 6 small organic apples (peel and discard core)
  • 3 c. (1 box) Earthfare Organic Vanilla Cranberry Granola
  • 4 Tbsp. organic Almond Butter
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon

Instructions: Spray or lightly butter crockpot. Peel and chop fruit and add to crockpot. Mix in granola. Top with almond butter and sprinkle with cinnamon. Cover crockpot and cook on low for 8 hours.

Up Close: Pre-Cooking

Cover and cook on low for 8 hours (or overnight)

The Finished Product: Another Successful Experiment

Success! This was really yummy! Great for dessert or breakfast! I might try using regular butter instead of almond butter next time, but I actually ran out of butter and didn’t have a chance to go to the store, so we went with the next best thing.

Toasted Poundcake with Citrus Cream by Giada DeLaurentiis

The dessert went off fabulously (though I made twice as much as I needed to). I brought the leftovers to work today and got rave reviews as well. Thanks, Giada!

Giada tops hers with orange segments. I set out a fruit bowl of lemon and lime slices, orange segments, and honey mango pieces. Delicious!

Here are the pics:

Pretty as a Picture

Thanks, Giada!

You can find the recipe at FoodNetwork.com or in yesterday’s post below. Caution: watch the cream as you’re whipping it. I think I overwhipped mine a little bit. Fortunately, I caught it before it turned to citrus butter (though I’m sure that would be tasty too).

Bon Appetit!

Melissa

Getting My Smoothie On! (Mar. 4, 2010)

Yields 4 servings.
Blend the following:
2 c. fresh spinach
1 c. plain low fat yogurt
1 c. cranberry juice
1 frozen banana (roughly chopped)
1/2 c. pineapple
1/2 c. frozen blackberries
1/3 c. frozen raspberries
1/3 c. frozen blueberries
12 baby carrots (roughly chopped)
1/4 c. sliced almonds
2 Tbsp. flaxseed
3 Tbsp. agave nectar (or honey)

So good! I make my smoothies the night before and just give them a
shake the next morning so I can drink one on the way to work. I know
veggies in the drink sound weird, but they totally hide under the
berry flavor and give you extra vitamins and minerals!

Bon Appetit!

For those interested in the nutritional info, check it out on my SparkPeople page (http://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detail.asp?recipe=976448).

You can also add 8 dried plums (prunes) to this for a little extra sweetness. If you do, that’s an extra 40 calories/0 fat/11 g carb/.4g protein per serving.

What’s In Season?

I found this handy chart posted at http://www.good.is/post/seasonal-food-chart/. It’s originally from FrugalforLife.blogspot.com. Blue signifies fruit is in season during the marked months. Red signifies vegetables that are in season during marked months. Thought this would be helpful to pass on. Produce is found at its best prices and quality when it’s in season. Out of season vegetables are typically raised in hothouses and forced to grow rather than being grown in more natural environments. When produce is out of season, you may consider purchasing frozen fruits or vegetables for a more economical approach. Frozen produce has the same nutritional quality as fresh. Steaming is the best way to heat frozen produce without releasing its nutritional qualities. Many people overcook frozen vegetables; a tell tale sign of this is water that turns the color of the fruit or vegetable (at that point, you’d literally have to drink the water to make it nutritious). Regardless of whether you buy fresh or frozen, it’s always good to have at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables each day! And who wouldn’t want to? They’re delicious!