Posts tagged under Fruit. Show all posts.
We’re loving the bright, fresh flavour of lemons this spring, as you can see in so many of our recipes in EatSavvy. And all this lemony goodness got me thinking about a few savvy tips and tricks for using lemons. (Call me cook-crazy but I do love to pull out the right technique for the fruit or vegetable in question from my bag of kitchen tricks.) So, without further ado, my top three lemon tips:
Have some of your own lemon tips? I would love to hear them.
During the summer months, seasonal picks are numerous and delicious, making it very difficult to choose just one favourite. This month, however, sweet cherries are definitely at the top of my list. I just can’t resist the baskets of juicy, red sweet (Bing style) cherries at my local fruit and vegetable market. My kids love cherries just as much as I do and, if left unsupervised, will consume an entire bowl, pits sucked clean. More times than not, the basket won’t see the end of the day. Cherries certainly aren’t the most economical fruit choice (sometimes you can find them for less but they typically are around $4.99 a pound), but because I only buy them when they’re in season, they seem like a treat. Agreed—they aren’t the most kid-friendly fruit, but in my opinion sweet, juicy cherries are worth a little extra stain remover and some elbow grease. This fruit is easy to clean and easy to transport, making them a perfect addition to any lunch box or picnic basket.
Serve a big bowl of cherries for dessert or throw a few into a pitcher of lemonade or margaritas and enjoy this guilt-free pleasure. One cup (250 ml) of cherries contains only 81 calories and is a good source of Vitamin C and potassium.
If you are interested in picking your own cherries, check out this site to find out where you can find a Pick-Your-Own farm near you.
Stay tuned for my next favourite seasonal picks!
What are your fave seasonal fruits or vegetables?
It’s my turn to write about one of my favourite topics—seasonal produce. So just in case you missed my recent article on Mother Nature’s Best, check it out on savvymom.ca. I do love August for all the great fresh food we can enjoy. Nothing fancy, just good simple ingredients, that we can feel good about eating and enjoying. The article is full of ideas on different ways to prepare and enjoy watermelon, corn, tomatoes, peaches and blueberries.
Just yesterday we had visitors from Loblaws come and visit us at the office. They brought a truck load (literally) of fresh seasonal produce for us to see, eat and learn about—straight from the farmer who grows them. We learned that 40% of the fruits and veggies sold in your Loblaws grocer are local and it only takes them 1–2 days to get the produce to the store from the farm. That’s progress—and that’s pretty fresh by our standards. Those peaches and blueberries were delicious!
So enjoy what you can now and freeze what’s left for later in the year.
We are all aware that during the colder months, the selection of fresh, local and/or seasonal fruits and vegetables isn’t nearly as good as it is in the warmer months. However, there is one seasonal fruit that my family looks forward to in December that isn’t available any other time of the year—clementines.
Clementines are the smallest of the Mandarin orange variety. They are seedless, very low in calories and very high in Vitamin C, a valuable cancer-fighting nutrient. One clementine gives you 60% of your daily requirement of Vitamin C. Unlike cherries, clementines are a more ‘laundry-friendly’ fruit. Kids of all ages love clementines. They are inexpensive, sweet and juicy, portable, and easy to peel—the perfect snack idea. Use them in place of any other type of orange, in desserts, green salads, or fruit salads.
What is your favourite seasonal fruit or vegetable?
Just last week we had a surprise visitor at SavvyMom HQ—a gentleman, clad in a very distinguished, rather princely uniform. He was quite handsome and he was bearing fruit. This fruit, he was actually hand-delivering right to my desk with a big smile and kind wishes. What a lovely split-second distraction.
But alas, he was no secret admirer. Just a guy dressed up sharing some very yummy apples with the office for us to test out and enjoy. They are called Red Prince Apples (aptly named) and they were really quite delicious—but not to be confused with Delicious apples, or Macintosh or Granny Smith.
The Red Prince is a premium apple, locally grown in Thornbury, Ontario, available during the winter months. Recognized for its antioxidant-rich red skin, the Red Prince has inherited the sweetness and juiciness of the Golden Delicious and the crispness and tanginess of the Jonathan (another apple type in case you were wondering who Jonathan is).
We liked eating these apples on their own but they are also tasty in salads or in baking and they pair particularly well with sharp cheddars and blue cheeses.
We’re especially happy to be eating an apple harvested by a company that is dedicated to sustainable growing practices and to increasing the volume of local product for local consumption.
I’d love to know if you try one out and what you think of them.
Homemade lemonade is one of the things we all associate with the lazy days of summer, but the reality is in this day and age, not very many of us know how to make it. And certainly, when it comes to the economics of a lemonade stand (and you’ll find lots of tips on setting up a lemonade stand), it’s crucial if you’re thinking of helping the kids with one. Any young entrepreneur will soon find that serving real lemonade comes with a much higher cost structure than Kool-Aid, and might just price them out of the kiddie market, where kids only have a quarter to spend.
But, inspired by some of her summer reading, my 9-year old daughter recently decided she wanted to try to make some ‘real lemonade’ and lots of kitchen experimenting ensued. After much trial and error, we learned you need a lot more lemon juice and sugar than you would think, and that it’s pretty tough work without a proper lemon squeezer. But once we found out about the miracle of simple syrup, and the easy-to-remember 1-to-1-to-1 ratio, we had our summer lemonade recipe down cold…and that’s just how we’ve been enjoying it.
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What’s your favourite summer drink?
What’s wild and delicious and in season right now? Did we mention they’re blue? Okay, they’re not cheap, but each time you see them think of what it takes to pick those tiny little gems individually, then pack and keep them fresh and not squish them or bruise them.
We have a savvy blueberry sauce recipe that will go with everything and anything. I like to put it on ice cream, pancakes, chocolate brownies or over fresh peaches.
When you make it, be sure to double the recipe so you’ll have lots left over. You’ll want to drizzle it over everything.
Have a very blueberry month!
We’ve mentioned before how we’re wild about watermelon and the hydration benefits that come with this delish fruit. We also like that it’s a low-fat, cholesterol-free summer treat. But it’s much more than a pretty pink (and green) face. In fact, this fruit is a source of vitamin C, Thiamine, vitamin A, vitamin B6, the antioxidant lycopene, and citrulline ( an amino acid that plays a role in helping the body heal its wounds).
While it’s a great snack in its pure form, sometimes it’s nice to spruce it up a bit, especially if it’s in competition with other summer treats (like ice cream, or popsicles). That’s why we love the recipes that the National Watermelon Promotion Board is sharing, making this fruit even more mouthwatering than ever.
Rather than dish out a classic sundae, try out a Watermelon Banana Split. Take that ice-cream scoop, and dole out three scoops of watermelon to start. Add your banana slices, then top with fresh fruit (and maybe a sweet sauce such as maple syrup or caramel) and voila! I’m excited to try this one with my toddler.
For adults, we liked the Snow Capped Watermelon Mountains, a classy dessert idea that is a simple, elegant ending to an evening barbeque. Using a flat dish, cut out 3 to 4 inch watermelon ‘pyramids’ (aka mountains) and place on a platter. Add a dollop of whipped cream on the top, a sprinkle of icing sugar around the edges, some white chocolate and shredded coconut and you’re done.
That’s what we call healthy, heavenly hydration. What are your favourite watermelon recipes?
They say that an apple a day keeps the doctor away. But if you’ve been apple picking this fall and come home with a few too many bushels of different varieties of apples (they’re hard to resist, all shiny and red), you might be looking for something to do with them, rather than bumping your quotient up to five apples a day.
While there are hundreds of delicious apple recipes out there, personally I am not much of a baker, so when I end up with too many apples, I love to make homemade applesauce. It’s quick, easy and delicious. Don’t leave out the lemon peel—it really makes the flavour better. For chunkier applesauce, just mash the cooked apples with a potato masher. For smoother applesauce, run the cooked apples through a food mill. You can use more or less sugar, depending on your preference, but if you reduce it a lot, be sure to reduce the amount of lemon juice you add as well.
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I didn’t think we’d ever do it, but somehow we managed to make it to the bottom of the basket of apples that we toted home from our trip to the apple orchard back in September.
Apples are a delicious and nutritious snack option for kids and adults. They are high in anti-oxidants and fibre and they also help reduce tooth decay. Apples are a great snack on their own—whole, sliced or served with dip. Or, for those who love to bake, serve them in a crisp or bake them in muffins.
Another one of the easiest ways to serve apples is baked. As a child, baked apples were one of my favourite snacks. Simple and delicious. My kids love them just as much as I do.
The next time your kids ask for a snack, point them to the bowl of apples. Baked apples—a perfect after-school snack, but elegant enough to serve for dessert at a dinner party.
Serves 4 to 6
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With the holidays now clipping at our heels, there is no shortage of cranberries around. Everywhere we go, we see cranberries—dried, fresh or frozen. These little nuggets of goodness are often overlooked for the canned jelly version, however, and even those who buy the real thing and know how to make a yummy sauce with them may be missing out on all the possibilities they bring to the table (pun intended).
We decided to change that this month and get you thinking outside the cranberry sauce with some very simple, family-friendly cranberry-themed recipes. They are a delicious, nutritious and colourful addition to all kinds of meals. Apparently our readers thought so too—there were quite a few comments on the Family Meal recipe this week for Cranberry & Chicken Pasta.
Tell us what you think of the recipes. We would love to know.
A slice in a glass of water, one quarter squeezed over a piece of halibut, 1 tsp of zest in a dressing and the juice of one whole for a muffin recipe. Lemons and limes are ever present in my kitchen.
Up until the holidays, I had been storing leftover wedges, slices and halves in disposable plastic bags or in plastic containers. Not only was this practice creating an unnecessary amount of waste, but a lot of these random citrus pieces were being missed in the back corner of the crisper and becoming spoiled in the process. On Christmas morning, I was very excited to find an eco-friendly alternative waiting for me in my stocking—Lemon and Lime Savers. (Yes, I am one of those people who gets excited about new kitchen gadgets for Christmas.)
The Lemon/Lime Saver™ is a storage device that keeps cut lemons and limes fresh and fragrant. They are phthalate and BPA-free, airtight and dishwasher safe. The lemon and lime pieces are now easier to find in my crowded refrigerator and I don’t feel so guilty about all of the waste. And, with all of the money I am saving on re-sealable plastic bags, I can go shopping for more kitchen gadgets.
The Lemon/Lime Saver™ is available in many retail gourmet kitchen supply stores and online at www.gourmac.com.
This time of the year, it isn’t easy to motivate our kids to eat fresh fruit. There are only so many seasonal options—oranges, apples and bananas are pretty much it. Fortunately, the freezers of our local grocery stores are well stocked with a wonderful selection of frozen fruit, which can be just as good as fresh fruit—full of antioxidants, dietary fibre and flavour. Despite the snow on the ground, we can still enjoy and reap the nutritional benefits of out-of-season fruits, specifically our family favourite—wild blueberries.
In order to preserve the nutrition, colour and flavour, wild blueberries are picked, sorted, cleaned and then frozen within hours of being picked. Not only does freezing allow blueberries to keep their nutritional goodness, but it locks in the flavour as well. The texture of frozen blueberries isn’t quite the same as fresh, but they taste just as great and are perfect to use when baking.
This past weekend, the frigid temperatures prompted me to bring a little bit of sunshine to the table and I dug out one of my favourite cake recipes, Wild Blueberry & Lemon Pound Cake. One bite of this sweet, yet tart cake will take you back to a warm summer day. Alternatively, try frozen wild blueberries in French toast, muffins, smoothies, or as a dessert topping.
Wild Blueberry & Lemon Pound Cake
Recipe inspired by Canadian Living’s Country Cooking Cookbook
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When you think Apple, do you think fresh and tasty or bits and bytes? It’s time to get back to basics and celebrate Family Day with your family by taking them to the ball. In celebration of the McIntosh Apple’s 200th anniversary—one of Canada’s native and most popular varieties—the Ontario Apple Growers are hosting an exciting Winter Apple Ball on Monday, February 21st (Family Day) at the Westin Harbour Castle in Toronto.
SavvyMom is giving away 8 family passes of 4 tickets to the upcoming event. Attractions at the ball include:
And we have our winners:
Pamela Braithwaite, Natalie Hedderson, Melissa Erskine, Kari Lockett, Tracy Travers, Danielle Smith, Mary Tong and C. Smith.
Faye Clack Communications, the PR firm representing Ontario Apple Growers, will be contacting you all directly by email with your e-ticket. Congratulations to all of our winners and thank you to everyone who submitted a comment.
As the mother of a toddler (and with a second baby on the way), I’m big into baking healthy snacks that are appropriate for both of us. My latest pregnancy craving has been for muffins, which works out perfectly as my daughter loves them. The question always comes down to “What kind?”
Recently, that choice was taken completely out of my hands when our freezer decided to break down on us and I was left with bags filled with mixed berries (our smoothie favourite) that needed to be used, and fast. As there are only so many smoothies we can drink, of course, muffins came to mind.
We were really happy with the results of this find (I’m currently nibbling one with some cream cheese spread on it as I write this) and would definitely make them again. I made a few modifications and was pleased with the results.
Mixed Berry Muffins
Modified from Back to the Table: The Reunion of Food and Family by Art Smith
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Good to Know: Consider switching white flour for the same amount of spelt flour (a healthy alternative) and adding a Tbsp of Salba® or ground flax seed to boost the Omega 3 and fibre content.
What’s your favourite muffin recipe?