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Watermelon Cucumber Cooler

16 Aug

I recently got a watermelon in my FarmBox, and since it usually takes a while to eat it, I decided to juice it instead.  We’ve also been juicing cucumbers, and I thought that those tastes might be pretty good together.  So, I did some searching just to make sure, and came across a recipe from Martha Stewart’s website for Watermelon-Cucumber Coolers.  I just made it minus the vodka, although with the day I was having, I could have used the vodka, I think!  My older daughter didn’t think it was sweet enough, so some extra honey would work, although my husband, younger daughter, and I, all thought it was perfect the way it was.

Watermelon-Cucumber CoolerWatermelon-Cucumber Cooler

What you need:

1 small watermelon, or about 5 cups of cubes of watermelon
1 cucumber
Juice of 2 limes, about 1/4 cup
2-4 tablespoons honey, depending on how sweet you want it
2/3 cup vodka, optional

How to make it:

Run watermelon and cucumber through your juicer.  If you don’t have a juicer, you can use a blender to blend each until smooth, then pour through a fine mesh sieve to remove pulp.

Combine lime juice and honey.  Add to the watermelon and cucumber juice.  Add vodka, if desired.  Serve in glasses over ice.


Trying something new: Lifeway Kefir

1 Aug
From the Lifeway Kefir Facebook Page

From the Lifeway Kefir Facebook Page

Recently, I was chosen to participate in a program through Influenster to try out Lifeway Kefir.  Now, I had previously heard of Kefir, but I had never tried it.  However, it was on my list of things to try, and this opportunity was perfect!

First, let’s start with a little background on Kefir.  From their About section on their Facebook page:

The Lifeway Foods story begins in 1986 with kefir, a milk-based cultured drink that is popular in Eastern Europe and is said to be more nutritional than yogurt. That year, Russian immigrant Michael Smolyansky began manufacturing kefir in his basement to bring the taste of his native country to the U.S. After Michael Smolyansky passed away in 2002, his daughter Julie Smolyansky assumed the role of President, while his son Edward Smolyansky assumed the role of Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer. Today, Lifeway is the country’s leading manufacturer of kefir, with multiple flavors and varieties that include lowfat, whole milk and organic versions as well as a children’s line, and a provider of other probiotic natural and organic dairy products for health-conscious consumers.

What I also like about Lifeway Kefir is that they make it using organic milk from grass-fed cows, also free of growth hormones and antibiotics.  Plus, looking at the ingredients list on the side of the bottle, I know what all the ingredients are and they use natural flavors and coloring.  That’s a big plus for me.

My store had limited products, but I chose to get the 32 oz Low Fat Strawberry Kefir.  I poured a small glass for myself, my 4-year-old, and my 6-year-old to try just plain.  We loved it.  My 4-year-old has recently become very picky, but is a big fan of yogurt.  She really liked this drink.  My 6-year-old is going through a bit of a fussy food stage, where some new things are icky no matter what, but she only had good things to say about it.  I liked the creamy, thick texture, and the strawberry flavor is right on.  It’s very similar to other yogurt smoothies that I’ve had before.  I think it’s great just plain, but I think it would also be good over cereal or granola in the morning for breakfast, or as an addition to a frozen fruit smoothie.

I’m hoping that the other grocery store in town has a bit more selection, and maybe even the Frozen Kefir.  The 32 oz was priced at $3.89 at my local Safeway, which I think is reasonable considering the price of other yogurt.  With as much as we enjoyed it, I’m hoping to get this into our monthly grocery budget to have on a regular basis.

Disclaimer: I received a voucher to purchase 1 Lifeway Kefir product complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.  All opinions expressed are unbiased and my own.


Cherry Cocoa Freeze

16 Dec

Cheery Cocoa Freeze

My older daughter received a Disney Princess Cupcakes & More cookbook from a family member recently, I think for her birthday or maybe even Christmas last year.  We haven’t used it yet, but she found it today and wanted to try something.  Since we already had started making mini muffins from a pouch mix, we turned to the drinks section and came across a Raspberry Cocoa Freeze.  I had everything except raspberries, but I do have plenty of frozen cherries, so we decided to use those instead.  Because who doesn’t like chocolate covered cherries, right?  Turns out the cherries were great in this drink and my daughter declared it the best day ever because we made mini muffins and a yummy, frozen drink!  I’m glad she’s still so easy to please (well, most days at least!).

Cherry Cocoa Freeze

What you need:

1 1/2 cups frozen cherries
2/3 cup milk
1 cup vanilla ice cream
2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder

How to make it:

Place cherries and milk in blender, and blend until smooth.  Add ice cream and cocoa, and again blend until smooth.

Papaya Pineapple Banana Smoothies

6 Dec

I have honestly never eaten or seen a papaya before getting one recently from Bountiful Baskets.  If you haven’t seen a green papaya and it’s insides, here is what it looks like:

Inside of a green papaya

Since it was already pretty ripe and I haven’t had much time to cook lately, I did what we do with a lot of our fruit – make smoothies!  I used a papaya, some pineapple, a banana, 1 cup of milk, and ice cubes.  It was pretty tasty!

Papaya Pineapple Banana Smoothie

Pumpkin Smoothies

18 Sep


I think my favorite thing about fall is getting fresh pumpkins to bake with.  Our favorites are pumpkin pie, pumpkin gingerbread muffins, and pumpkin pancakes.  So, when fellow Bountiful Baskets participant posted a recipe for Pumpkin Smoothies, I looked it over, realized I had all the ingredients, and decided we needed to give it a try.

The recipe is from a picture that Oasis Advanced Wellness posted on their Facebook page about the Health Benefits of Pumpkin.

Healthy Pumpkin Smoothie

What you need:

1 frozen banana
1 cup vanilla almond milk
1 cup pumpkin, grated (I use pureed pumpkin)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp nutmeg
Freshly ground pumpkin seeds (optional)
Agave nectar, stevia, or raw honey to taste
Ice cubes, to help thicken, if needed

How to make it:

Combine all ingredients in a blender until creamy.

Kale Carrot Peach Juice

17 Jul

I’ve been trying to use my juice extractor more, so with getting kale this week from Bountiful Baskets, I decided to try a juice with kale in it.  In searching for other vegetables and fruits to juice along with it, I found that carrots and apples were a good combination with kale.  I had carrots, but no apples.  I did, however, have some peaches, so decided to give it a try.  This is my first juice using vegetables, and I thought it tasted pretty good.  My 3-year-old thought it was good too, but my husband and 5-year-old turned it down.

Kale Carrot Peach Juice

What you need:

1 bunch kale
2 medium or 1 large carrot
4 peaches, pits removed

How to make it:

Remove kale leaves from the stem and push leaves through juice extractor, using the carrot to push the leaves through.  Follow with the carrots, then peaches.  Serve over ice.

Cherry Lime Chiller

17 Jul


Oh, this was yummy!  My kids are loving all the fun drinks we’ve been making lately, like the Watermelon Lemonade and Strawberry Lemonade Chiller, I’ve made recently.  This Cherry Lime Chiller was no exception, it was great!  This time, I added no sugar, and it didn’t need it, it was sweet and tart with the cherries and limes as is.  I have plenty of cherries still, but will either have to go get more limes or try it with lemon juice next time!


Cherry Lime Chiller

What you need:

4 cups frozen pitted cherries
1/2 cup frozen lime juice (I froze the lime juice in ice cube trays previously, and used this)
1 cup water
Ice cubes (I used 4 cubes that were about 1 oz each)

How to make it:

Add cherries and water to blender; puree until smooth.  Add in frozen lime juice and ice cubes to blender, and blend until smooth.  Serve immediately.

Strawberry Lemonade Chiller

11 Jul

I wasn’t sure what to call this, because I didn’t add any ice cream or milk like a smoothie, I called it a chiller, like the ones at McDonald’s, but with fresh ingredients.  To make it, I used the 2 packages of the frozen strawberries and 1 package of the frozen lemon juice cubes I had made recently.  It turned out great and super sweet, so you could add more crushed ice to it to help make it less sweet.  Or, reduce or omit the sugar, the strawberries I had were probably sweet enough to do without any sugar.  We had some friends over today, and all the kids loved it!

Strawberry Lemonade Chiller

What you need:

2 cups water
1/2 cup sugar (use less or omit depending on how sweet you want it)
1 lb frozen strawberries, about 4 cups
1 cup frozen lemon juice cubes
Ice cubes, optional

How to make it:

Bring the water and sugar to a boil on the stove long enough to dissolve the sugar.  Allow to fully cool.

Put the strawberries and sugar/water mixture in a blender and puree until smooth.  Add in lemon juice cubes, and again, puree until smooth.

If mixture is too sweet for you, pour the mixture into a pitcher, then use blender to chop up 1-2 cups of ice cubes, and add to the pitcher, mix in well.

Watermelon Lemonade

27 Jun

I had watermelon that was sitting around not getting eaten, which is actually odd for my house.   So, I needed to come up with a way to use it.  I searched and came across a recipe for Watermelon Lemonade.  It’s still rather easy, like the Lemonade recipe I had posted previously, just adds in a couple of steps for the watermelon.  It ends up being a nice, cool treat on a hot day like today is!


Watermelon Lemonade
Based on recipe here

What you need:

4 cups cubed watermelon
1 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice (about 4 – 6 lemons)
1/4 – 1/2 cup sugar

How to make it:

Put the watermelon in a blender.  Cover, and blend until smooth.  Strain through a fine mesh strainer.  You will end up with 1-1/2 to 2 cups of liquid after straining.  Pour the strained liquid into a 2 quart pitcher.  Add lemon juice into a 2 quart pitcher.

Heat 2 cups of water and the sugar, and stir until sugar dissolves.  Let cool.

Pour sugar and water mixture into the pitcher.  Add enough water to fill the 2 qt pitcher.  Stir well.

Chill in refrigerator for a couple of hours or serve over ice.

Lemons, lemons, lemons!

8 May

This past week’s Bountiful Baskets had a case of approximately 38 lbs lemons available as an extra.  A friend of mine decided to get them and wanted to share, so I went in on the box.  There were 3 of us, and the box had 75 lemons, so we got 25 lemons each.  So, what does one do with 25 lemons?  I cut and peeled them, then ran them through my juicer.  I probably could have left the peels on, but I didn’t want the lemon juice to be too strong and tart.

I was very happy to end up with about 7 cups of lemon juice.  1 cup was made into lemonade, 4 cups are currently freezing in ice cube trays in my freezer (each cube is 1 oz), and 2 cups is in a container in the refrigerator until I decide what to do with it.  I may make some Strawberry Lemonade next, since I have plenty of strawberries.

The lemonade was really easy, here is how I made it:


What you need:

1 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice (about 4 – 6 lemons)
1/2 cup sugar
4 cups water

How to make it:

Pour lemon juice into a 2 quart pitcher.

Heat 2 cups of water and the sugar, and stir until sugar dissolves.  Let cool.

Pour sugar and water mixture into the pitcher.  Add another 2 cups of water to the pitcher.

Depending on your taste, you may want to add more or less sugar or water.

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