Posts Tagged ‘fruit’

Post-Work Celebration Smoothie

It’s summertime.  That means it’s smoothie season!  I don’t give myself enough time in the morning to make these for breakfast, so I’ve been making them as a post-work treat.  They cool me down and give me the energy to cook dinner & clean house.

Currently Enjoying:

  • 3 ice cubes (I really should buy crushed ice, my blender isn’t very powerful)
  • 2-4 tablespoons vanilla yogurt (I use half a small container at a time, not sure on the measurement)
  • Small handful of fresh blueberries
  • 3/4 cup frozen fruit (I used strawberries & pineapple)
  • 1 teaspoon chia seeds  (why chia?)
  • Generous pinch of unsweetened coconut flakes
  • Trader Joe’s Dynamo Plus Calcium juice poured in while blending (you can use whatever juice you like, but I love this stuff!)

Freeze your own fruit:

Grow it yourself or buy it from local fruit stands.  Wash it thoroughly and cut it into small bite-sized pieces.  Lay it out on a metal baking sheet and freeze.  Then transfer to freezer bags or jars.

Coconut Pear Granola Bars

Gluten-free granola bars for Michael.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups certified gluten free oats
  • 3/4 cups flax meal
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup flaked unsweetened coconut
  • 3/4 cup roasted & salted pepitas
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped dried pears
  • 1/2 cup raisins

What I Did:

  • Toast the oats, nuts, and coconut on a metal 11×15.5 baking sheet at 350F for about 5 minutes, stirring every minute.
  • Simmer sugar, honey, oil, and molasses in a medium sized heavy bottomed pan on med heat until the sugar is completely dissolved.
  • Stir in the oats well, remove from heat.
  • Stir in remaining ingredients.
  • Grease a sheet of waxed paper and place in a metal pan (I use the same 11×15.5 metal baking sheet, it’s cool by the time I get to this step) .
  • Empty contents of the pot onto the paper, and cover with another greased sheet of waxed paper.
  • Spread it out and press it down REALLY HARD (this is why you use a metal pan and not glass or ceramic).  Use a mallet or rolling pin.  It should cover the entire baking sheet.
  • Set aside and allow to set for at least two hours (the most difficult part, really).
  • Cut into desired shapes, store air-tight layered between waxed paper (you can save cracker & cereal bags and cut them just for this purpose!)

I’m going to make a batch for myself without the gluten-free oats.  They were kind of pricey.  But at $8 for 2lbs we got a better deal at Andy’s Food Market than we could find online.

Granola Bars

If you’re looking for a sweet treat that doesn’t have high fructose corn syrup or preservatives, and also happens to be rather nutritious, look no further!

I’ll admit openly that this recipe has nothing to do with CSA.  It can, however, have a LOT to do with your local farmer’s market.  The one near me almost always has honey, nuts, seeds, and dried fruit available.  I even plan on dehydrating my own fruit soon, so I could potentially dehydrate apples, pears, and berries from my CSA box!

Version One:

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups oats (you can toast these by spreading them evenly on a baking dish and putting them in a 350 oven, just take them out and stir them often and KEEP AN EYE ON THEM)
  • 3/4 cups wheat germ or flax meal
  • 1 cup chopped toasted nuts (walnuts, peanuts, pecans, cashews, hazelnuts, etc)
  • 3/4 cup toasted seeds (pumpkin, sunflower, etc)
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 2 tablespoons butter or vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (skip this if you’re buying already salted nuts/seeds)
  • 8 oz dried fruit (raisins, cranberries, chopped apples, figs, dates, pineapple, mangoes, etc)

What I Did:

  • Toast the oats, nuts, and seeds if you want/need to.
  • Simmer sugar, honey, butter/oil, vanilla and molasses in a med/large heavy bottomed pan on med/low heat until the sugar is completely dissolved.
  • Stir in the oats well, remove from heat.
  • Stir in remaining ingredients.
  • Grease a sheet of waxed paper and place in a metal pan.
  • Empty contents of the pot onto the paper, and cover with another greased sheet of waxed paper.
  • Spread it out and press it down REALLY HARD (this is why you use a metal pan and not glass or ceramic).  I use a wooden mallet.
  • Set aside and allow to set for at least two hours (the most difficult part, really).
  • Cut into desired shapes, store air-tight layered between waxed paper (you can save cracker & cereal bags and cut them just for this purpose!)

Other stuff to try:

  • Cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cardamom…
  • Coconut

Version Two:

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups oats (you can toast these by spreading them evenly on a baking dish and putting them in a 350 oven, just take them out and stir them often and KEEP AN EYE ON THEM)
  • 3/4 cups wheat germ or flax meal
  • 1 cup chopped toasted peanuts
  • 3/4 cup toasted seeds (pumpkin, sunflower, etc)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 3 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons butter or vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (skip this if you’re buying already salted nuts/seeds)
  • 8 oz chocolate chips

What I Did:

  • Toast the oats, nuts, and seeds if you want/need to.
  • Simmer sugar, honey, butter/oil, vanilla and peanut butter in a med/large heavy bottomed pan on med/low heat until the sugar is completely dissolved.
  • Stir in the oats well, remove from heat.
  • Stir in remaining ingredients.
  • Grease a sheet of waxed paper and place in a metal pan.
  • Empty contents of the pot onto the paper, and cover with another greased sheet of waxed paper.
  • Spread it out and press it down REALLY HARD (this is why you use a metal pan and not glass or ceramic).  I use a wooden mallet.
  • Set aside and allow to set for at least two hours (the most difficult part, really).
  • Cut into desired shapes, store air-tight layered between waxed paper (you can save cracker & cereal bags and cut them just for this purpose!)

I make these pretty often.  Tonight was my first time trying the peanut butter chocolate chip ones, and I took pictures to help you out with the steps:

CSA Box #6

It’s that time of week again!

It’s been difficult for me to keep up with posting recipes since I blew up my third (yes, THIRD) work computer.  I’ll do my best to catch up!

CSA Box #4

Four weeks in already?

I haven’t been feeling all that well this last week.  My cooking has taken a downturn as a result.  Thankfully, there don’t appear to be any “weekly casualties” for me to throw out, and I’m cooking up the kale and the cauliflower from last week as I type.

What I Got:

I just want to tell you how different fresh romaine lettuce is from store-bought.  It’s much more crisp, flavorful, and not at all bitter.  I bought some romaine from a store in early January and ended up throwing it out.  Bleck!  I can’t wait to put together a beautiful fresh salad this week!

And because this stuff was way too cool not to show you close up:

CSA Box #3

I take two reusable canvas bags to pick up my CSA share.  One is for the heavy stuff, one is for the leafy greens.  The heavy stuff this week tried to tear my arm off!

What I got:

And just in case the perspective on this makes the squash look small: