Tag Archives: juice

Sweet Summer Salsa

16 Aug

Summer fruits are bursting with flavors and colors. This season gives us sweet treats with fresh aromatic melon, berries bursting with sweet juice, and gorgeous succulent ripe peaches. But we are rounding the corner to the summers end and need a new way to enjoy summer fruit. How about a yummy salsa?

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This fruit salsa is delicious with meat and seafood. Or try serving it along side a grilled pork tenderloin for a nice pop of flavor and color. Spoon it onto flavorful chicken thighs. Oh…you want it for an appetizer? You can do that too. This salsa is just as great with crisp yellow corn chips.  Or maybe try it alongside some brie cheese and crackers. The possibilities are endless!

As you will see there is so much flexibility with one simple recipe. It has bold flavor and is packed with nutrients.   It is a snap to make and easily customizable to suit your own personal preferences.  I make this fruit salsa with cilantro for a little kick, but I would use basil in place of cilantro it if my mom was going to eat it.  She doesn’t like cilantro.

That is the beauty of a recipe like this.  It is packed with flavor, has good nutrients, and is very colso easy to alter to please your crowd!  Here it is.  But remember…I consider recipes a “jumping off point” if you will.  Recipes that I develop, like this one, can be changed to suit changing taste, available ingredients,  or budgets as often as your like!

Fresh Summer Salsa:

  • 1 cup coarsely chopped cantaloupe
  • 1 cup chopped honey dew melon
  • 2 freestone peaches, chopped
  • 1/2 cup blackberries
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1/2 bunch chopped cilantro
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped jalapeno pepper
  • 1 lime cut in half
  • 1-2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • pinch of salt and pepperIMG_3399

Mix everything except the lime together. Stir. Squeeze the fresh lime over the top and drizzle with olive oil.  Give the salsa another good stir and there you have it.  This is best if it sits for a few hours in the fridge before serving.  Go for it!  Grab up some fresh summer fruits and make a delicious salsa of your own!

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Dangerous Dehydration

15 May

The weather is warming up.  Spring is here and we are on the march toward summer and hot weather.  Water. H2O. Hydration. We have all heard that we need to drink water. 8 glasses a day in fact. But where is “glass”  or portion really defined? And what else counts as water? Does the water in our morning coffee factor into our “8 a day”, or the water in the bunch of grapes that we ate for an afternoon snack? There are many answers here, but lets ponder water for a moment.

The body uses water for cell function and is essential for every thing that the body does. It is well known that for optimal health benefits, the body needs to stay hydrated throughout the day.   Our body needs water, uses water, has water in its systems and cells for function. But it does not have any way to efficiently store water for long term usage. That is why we must pace our intake, and make sure that our intake is continuous. That can be complicated for some people though.  Some people just don’t like water.

I am a big water drinker, but my mom does not like the taste of water.  So she mixes water with other beverages, such as juice, to keep herself hydrated and healthy.  Listening to your body is crucial when focusing on good health. And so is common sense. Drink water throughout the day. If you are feeling thirsty or your mouth feels dry, chances are you are already heading toward dehydration.

To those folks that really don’t enjoy drinking water, eat some foods that are high in water content. Most fruit has a high water content, so munch on melon, grapes, or citrus fruit to help stay refreshed throughout the day. Watch the junky, sugary, and carbonated drinks.  Yes, your morning coffee or tea count.  So does your food.  Your body accepts and uses all kinds of fluids in drinks and natural foods, so as we march toward summer, march toward better health by sipping away all day!

Produce. Fruits and Vegetables?

12 Jul

Ok. I am really honked off now! This beats all!

I am signed up to receive specials from my local grocer. A weekly flyer lands in my email every Wednesday. I can peruse specials by category and make my grocery list online. The convenience of this sure works for me as a busy working mother. But today, there was a glaring addition to the produce section of the e-flyer.  Right there, sandwiched between cantaloupe and black plums was listed the unthinkable. AN ENERGY DRINK!! Oh no! This cannot be!!  Is that how we categorize produce?

Let’s see.  Dictionary.com defines produce as “agricultural products  collectively, especially vegetables and fruits”.  Hhhmmm. Don’t see “energy drinks” in that definition.  So I took a stroll through the store that sent me the e-flyer.  Nope.  No energy drinks in the produce section.  In fact, the energy drinks were by the soda products.  Interesting.  And to me, appropriate merchandising.

Health and wellness have been core values of mine for as long as I can remember, and I have worked in the field of clinical nutrition for many years.  The local schools that my children attend have always asked me to come visit a couple of times a year and speak to the children about nutrition.  I absolutely love doing this.  I love going into the schools and educating the kids about nutrition basics.  (Do my own kids love it? Um, that might be another story which would include some huffing and eye rolling on their part…).  Last spring, with a son in 8th grade, I was invited to his school to talk to the children.  I asked what topics the teachers wanted me to touch on.  Were there any problems, I asked the teachers, that they saw in the student’s diet that they wanted me to specifically address.  The emphatic answer was energy drinks.

So talk to them I did.  We discussed caffeine and sugar.  Appropriate hydration.  And what “energy” in food really means.  And guess what?  When I asked how these students had gotten their hands on the energy drinks, most of them said “vending machines”.  The kids also admitted to sneaking them when their parents weren’t around.

So.  Here are the game stats folks.  The parents had not picked these items up in the produce section of their local grocer.  In fact, most of the kids had to sneak it.  They did not necessarily want their parents to know that they were imbibing in energy drinks.  And reeling from the negative affects of them.  The children reported a racing heart, mild panic attacks, and a little bit of a “rush” from energy drinks.  Not exactly the epitome of good health that we want to instill in our children.  Or what any parent would want their middle schooler to experience at such a tender age.

For many reasons I am outraged by this grocer putting an energy drink in the produce section of their e-flyer.  I think it gave the appearance of the drink being healthy, like a natural juice.  I do not like the idea of these drinks, or any sugary manufactured drinks in fact, being mainstreamed in ads like this.  I will be the first to admit that I can be hyper sensitive at times to how food is marketed and presented, especially unhealthy food options.  Like I said, good health is important to me.   And teaching our children about it is even more important.  I felt that this ad muddied the waters a bit.  So I vent on my blog.  Hey, be grateful that I didn’t call you today to express my disdain like I did some of my other friends!

I will continue to go into the schools and talk to the students about nutrition.  I will try to stay on my path to wellness.  But most importantly, in the end, I will just go to another grocer!