Category Archives: Fruit

Chilled Fruit Soup: Berries + Kefir

Chilled fruit soup-Berries and KefirWith antioxidant-rich berries and probiotic-rich kefir, this chilled soup is delicious and nutritious. Enjoy as an appetizer, snack, or simple dessert. To adjust the sweetness, just add more or less black raspberry powder!

INGREDIENTS

  • Dairy kefir (plain)
  • Black raspberry powder
  • Frozen wild blueberries, defrosted

STEPS for 1 serving (about 1/2 cup)

  • Pour about 1/3 cup kefir into each individual serving bowl.
  • Add black raspberry powder to taste; mix.
  • Add defrosted wild blueberries and mix.
  • Garnish with a few more blueberries.

INGREDIENT NOTES

Kefir

Green Valley Organics Kefir. I like Green Valley Organics Kefir because it’s organic, a tad sweet with no more carbs than other plain kefirs — and it’s an amazing source of probiotic bacteria (good gut bugs). I was blown away when I learned that per 8 ounce serving, this kefir contains about 590 billion CFUs or colony forming units of probiotic bacteria from 10 different strains! That’s a lot more than most probiotic supplements!

organic black raspberry powderI love Virgin Extracts Pure Premium Raw Freeze Dried Organic Black Raspberry Powder Extract Concentrate because it’s organic (even though it just says so in fine print on the back of the package), tastes great, is super convenient, and ess expensive than fresh black raspberries — though it’s certainly not cheap.

What makes black raspberries (which, BTW, are not the same as blackberries) so healthy? Check out this extensive list of nutrition and health benefits.

Enjoy and be healthy!
~ Leni

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Have a Berry Happy 4th of July!

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To me this red, white, and blue treat is heaven on a spoon. Which explains why I serve it  for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or a snack – and not just on the 4th of July!

INGREDIENTS  

Raspberries
Blueberries
Greek yogurt
Ricotta cheese
Slivered almonds or chopped walnuts (if desired)
Maple syrup
Cherries (for garnish)

INGREDIENT NOTES

  • Blueberries – Wild blueberries have a lot more phytonutrients than cultivated blueberries. Organic wild blueberries are available frozen at Costco. The health benefits of blueberries.
  • Ricotta cheese – I buy whole milk ricotta made from the milk of  grass-fed cows. It’s creamy and wonderful.

STEPS

  • If frozen, defrost the raspberries and blueberries. Set aside.
  • Mix together equal portions of yogurt and ricotta cheese.
  • Place a layer of raspberries into your cup or bowl. Top the raspberries with half of the yogurt-ricotta mixture. Add a layer of blueberries, and top that with the remaining yogurt-ricotta mixture. Sprinkle with nuts, if using. Drizzle with a little maple syrup. Top with a fresh cherry!

Enjoy and be healthy!
~Leni

 

APRICOTS: Apricots Stuffed with Goat Cheese and Thyme

 

Why apricots?

 

The carotenoids, vitamin A and lycopene, found in orange colored fruits and vegetables, have “the proven capacity to inhibit the growth of cells of several cancer lines, including brain gliomas,” (David Servan-Schreiber, Anti Cancer, page 122). Other carotenoids have been shown to “stimulate the growth of immune cells and increate their capacity to attack tumor cells,” (David Servan-Schreiber, Anti Cancer, page 122).

In addition, “a study that tracked breast cancer patients for six years showed that those who consumed the most foods rich in carotenoids lived longer than those who consumer less,” (David Servan-Schreiber, Anti Cancer, page 122)

APRICOTS STUFFED WITH GOAT CHEESE AND THYME

 

Apricots Stuffed with Goat Cheese and Thyme
Apricots Stuffed with Goat Cheese and Thyme

This recipe could not be easier! And these apricot bites are a wonderful appetizer – something a little different and very delicious.

Note: Here are the directions for making just one Apricot Stuffed with Goat Cheese. You’ll want to make a lot more than just one!

 

Ingredients

1 dried apricot

  • I used Mariani Ultimate Apricots that I had bought at Costco. They’re a good size, soft and plump – just perfect.
  • Like most dried apricots, the Mariani brand contains sulfur dioxide which is used to preserve the color (keeps them orange, not brown like apricots without this preservative). Some people are allergic to sulfur dioxide. For those people it’s definitely not safe to consume products that contain sulfur dioxide; for the rest of us, it’s OK. For more on sulfur dioxide’s safety — and the safety of many other additives and preservatives in our food – see CSPI’s website.

¼-½ teaspoon goat cheese

  • If possible, choose goat cheese from grass-fed goats because the omega 3 to omega 6 balance of grass-fed milk (cheese) and meat is closer to the ideal 1:1 ratio.
  • Where can you find cheese from grass-fed goats? I have found grass-fed dairy products at our local farmer’s market. Of course, when the market is not in season, you have to look elsewhere – at specialty grocery stores and online (americangrassfed.org and eatwild.com)
  • Not to worry. If you don’t use grass-fed goat cheese, that’s fine too.

2 pieces ( ¾ to 1-inch long stems, each) fresh thyme

  • Note: Herbs such as rosemary, thyme, oregano, basil and mint are very rich in essential oils of the terpene family, and these oils “promote apoptosis [cell death] in cancer cells and reduce their spread by blocking the enzymes they need to invade neighboring tissues.” (David Servan-Schreiber, Anti Cancer, page 123)
  • Use the tender ends of the sprigs of thyme for this recipe.
  • Use a pair of kitchen shears to cut ff the tender ends of the thyme.
  • Tip: Reserve the woodier ends of the thyme for another use, such as making soup.
  • You can freeze the remaining thyme sprigs(after washing). Just put into a resealable plastic bag for the freezer and freeze.
  • You can also store thyme sprigs  for about a week in the refrigerator. Just loosely wrap them in a paper towel and refrigerate. Do not wash the thyme before you refrigerate it. But do wash it before you are ready to use it.

Directions

Pry the dried apricot halves apart or cut them apart with a sharp serrated knife, but do not completely separate the two halves of the apricot. (The two halves of the apricot should be joined together on one end.)

Spread the goat cheese onto one of the apricot halves.

Place the thyme on the cheese so that two (or more) ends of the thyme peek out over the edge of the apricot.

Cover the filled apricot half with the plain apricot half.

And…that’s the recipe. It’s that simple!

Enjoy and be healthy!

Leni