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Posts Tagged ‘beverage’

Purple Goodness in a Glass

March 29, 2012 2 comments

Around our house, smoothies make a quick, healthy breakfast, lunch, snack, or dessert.  We pick blueberries every summer at MaryMac Farms and then freeze the berries for use year-round.  Smoothies are one of our favorite ways to enjoy the berries.  This smoothie recipe can be a base for other smoothies – add some extra frozen bananas, peaches, strawberries, or cherries.  Yes, we keep all of those in our freezer! 

Helpful hint:  We also have lots of bags with little cubes of things in the freezer. When we have extra yogurt, fruit juice, wine, pesto, lemon juice, fresh herbs, apple cider, and tomato paste, I freeze it in ice cube trays. Then pop them out and store them in resealable bags.

  • Yogurt:  I like to buy large containers of organic Greek yogurt, but we never seem to finish it.  The cubes are perfect for smoothies.  Frozen flavored yogurt cubes make good mini popsicles (just add a toothpick when it is almost frozen).
  • Fruit juice: We usually don’t finish a bottle of juice either.  Hate to waste it, so it gets frozen. Perfect for smoothies or depending on the juice, great in iced tea!
  • Wine:  Leftover wine doesn’t happen very often, but when it does, I freeze it.  The wine cubes are perfect for finishing up a sauce or gravy.
  • Pesto:  When the basil in the garden is going crazy, I make pesto and freeze it in ice cube trays. Oil the trays first for easy removal.  Just thaw a cube and toss with fresh, hot pasta or mixed vegetables.
  • Lemon juice:  When I make limoncello, I have almost 4 cups of lemon juice!  There’s just so much fresh lemonade we can drink. So, I freeze some in ice cube trays and some in larger containers for making lemon bars.
  • Fresh herbs:  To freeze fresh herbs (like basil, parsley, chives, and mint), just rinse, snip if they are large, place in an ice cube tray, fill the tray half full with water, freeze, fill trays with water, freeze, and then store them in resealable bags.  If you initially fill the trays with water, the herbs tend to float and they might get freezer-burned.  This method, though it takes more time, prevents freezer damage to the herbs. Another method is to freeze fresh herbs in olive oil.
  • Apple cider:  We get local apple cider from Scott’s and then freeze some in cubes for drinking hot in the winter.  It is also great with tea (hot and iced). And sometimes I eat the cubes in the summer, another popsicle-like treat.
  • Tomato paste:  Freezing is great when you need just a little tomato paste and have leftovers from the can.  It is much cheaper to buy cans of tomato paste than those little tubes. Oil the trays before filling to hopefully prevent them from staining. 

 

Blueberry Banana Smoothie

1 banana (fresh or frozen)

1 cup frozen blueberries (fresh or frozen)

½ cup juice (I used tangerine, cranberry, apple, orange, etc. juice is fine too)

¾ cup plain yogurt or kefir (any kind works – soy, coconut, regular)

Optional add-ins:  protein powder, dash of cinnamon, ground flax seeds, shredded coconut, (ice cubes if you use fresh fruit, I like the cold), flax seed oil, almond butter, ginger, cayenne, etc.

Pour contents into blender container.  Cover with the lid (otherwise you might end up with purple goodness all over the place!). Blend until smooth and purple.  Enjoy!

Servings:  2 snack-sized servings or 1 meal-sized serving

 

 

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Post 2/13 – Hot Buttered Rum Toddy

January 7, 2012 2 comments

This is a nice hot beverage, perfect for cold winter nights, like the ones we’ve had recently.  One of the versatile things about this recipe is that it can be alcoholic or non-alcoholic.  It is completely adaptable!  Leave out the rum and then let everyone customize his or her own drink.  It also makes a nice addition to coffee!  Added bonus:  it makes the house smell great while it is cooking away in the crock pot.  We made a few batches over the holidays and kept it in Mason jars in the refrigerator.  It looks a little weird with the floating butter beads, but it heats up fine.

2 cups dark brown sugar (light brown sugar works too, but the color isn’t as pretty)

1/2 cup butter

1 teaspoon Kosher salt

1 teaspoon vanilla

3 cinnamon sticks or a small handful of cinnamon chunks (I love Penzeys!)*

6 whole cloves

Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

2 quarts hot water

16 ounces gold or spiced rum (brandy would probably also work)

Lightly sweetened whipped cream, optional

Extra cinnamon sticks, optional garnish

Combine the brown sugar, butter, salt, vanilla, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and hot water in a 5-quart crock pot.  Cover and cook on low for about 4-6 hours.  Ladle into mugs and add rum to taste.  For an extra decadent toddy, add a small dollop of whipped cream with a sprinkle of fresh nutmeg.

*If you do not have cinnamon sticks or chunks, I think ground cinnamon would also work.  Start with ¼ teaspoon, taste,  and add more as needed.