Peach Smoothie

???????????????????????????????Summertime means peaches, juicy and sweet. I bought a couple that were not as perfect. I popped them in the blender along with a speckled banana,  a scoop of plain non-fat yogurt and a glass of orange juice. Gave it a whirl and poured out this delicious smoothie!

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Fruit juice sweetened, no sugar Jellied Cranberry Sauce

My family loves that jellied cranberry sauce that has the can marks on it. It’s mostly high-fructose corn syrup of course. I figured out a recipe that is healthier than the canned stuff. It gets its sweetness from frozen concentrated apple juice  If you’re counting calories, this makes about 200 calories per cup, (about 25 calories for 2 tablespoons) instead of the 419 calories per cup in the canned cranberry sauce. Even my husband, who distrusts  that homemade cranberry sauces could ever measure up to the canned stuff, thinks this one tastes good.

When I was a little kid back in the day in the 50s and 60s, jello dishes were all the rage. I wish I had an old-fashioned jello mold to pour this in. I suppose I could pour it into an empty can to get the can marks! But I poured it into small cups and dessert dishes, to place on each corner of the table.

Make this at least the day before Thanksgiving, so the gelatin has time to set.

Makes  2 cups

2 envelopes unsweetened gelatin
¼ cup cold water
6-oz can apple juice concentrate
12-oz package (3 cups) fresh cranberries, rinsed well and picked through
2 navel (seedless) oranges, rinsed

Pour ¼ cup cold water into a small non-reactive pot, such as stainless steel or glass.  Sprinkle the gelatin over it and stir. Add the apple juice concentrate and heat until the gelatin dissolves. Stir in the cranberries.

Using a vegetable peeler, cut a strip of the zest (just the orange part of the peel).

Peel oranges with a knife, so no pith (the bitter white stuff) remains. Pull sections apart, discarding white membranes.  Add orange pieces and zest to the cranberries.

Cook a total of 15 minutes, so that the berries burst and the fruit cooks into a nice mush.

Let cool until you can handle the liquid without burning yourself, about 10 minutes.

Pour mixture into a blender and run it on liquefy for a few minutes.

Strain the fruit through a fine mesh sieve into a non-reactive container. You will be eliminating the cranberry seeds and skins, which are the bitterest part.

You can refrigerate the sauce in the bowl or in a jello mold. You can even pour it into a can to get the can marks.

French Toast with Fresh Fruit

This family favorite is a weekend morning treat after a week of eating muesli. Although French toast made with half-and-half is rich and sublime, this lower fat version, made with 1% milk is really good. Spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg and piled high with fresh peaches and strawberries with a hint of maple syrup, it makes a satisfying breakfast.

Serves 3:

3 large eggs
¼ cup 1% milk
1 tsp cinnamon
Several shakes of nutmeg
8 slices of raisin bread
About 1 tsp butter
1 large peach
6 large strawberries
3 Tb maple syrup

 

Whip eggs with milk, cinnamon and nutmeg. Heat a nonstick frying pan and move butter stick across it until it is coated with butter (about 1 tsp). Dip slices of raisin bread into the egg mixture so it begins to saturate the bread but not make it soggy. Place bread in the pan and fry over medium heat a few minutes until it turns light brown, then flip and fry again.

Serve with fresh cut peaches, strawberries or what’s in season. You can heat frozen fruit and serve as well. I like to spread the fruit on a plate and pour about 3 Tb of maple syrup over the fruit, then microwave for a minute. No need to add extra syrup to the French toast.

Pretty in Pink Pomelo Fruit Salad

The pomelo is the grapefruit’s grandma, originating in Malaysia. It looks like a giant grapefruit, but is not as sour.

The pomelo half looks like a big pink flower. The peel is very thick compared to the grapefruit and the sections are more uneven, so it takes a bit more time to section it.

A pink pomelo is more sour than the white. But the pink grapefruit is sweeter than the white. Well I got two pink ones, to make a pink fruit salad with strawberries.

1 pink pomelo

1 pink grapefruit

10 strawberries

Halve pomelo and grapefruit, and section fruit, removing fruit. Halve strawberries and mix together.

Two Autumn Fruit Salads: Sweet and Spinach

All these fall fruits are in the colors of autumn leaves. My inner Martha Stewart told me to cut the fruits into the shapes of leaves and attach branches to them. My own self told Martha to bug off!

The tangy guava nicely balances the sweetness of the other fruits. Thanks to one of my co-workers who brought in the fruits from her tree, I was able to add them to the salad. The Fuyu persimmon is the small flat-bottom type that you can eat while it is crispy.

Serves 2

One bosc pear, one peeled kiwi fruit, two peeled Fuyu persimmons, two guavas, peeled, one apple, one branch of dark red or deep purple seedless grapes.

Halve the grapes and slice and chop the other fruits. Mix together with 2 Tb chopped pecans and walnuts.

My husband, Jesús, likes the salad plain, but I prefer to dress it with a tangy, sharp cheesy mixture of 1 tsp thick, chunky blue cheese dressing such as Marie’s, 1 tsp plain nonfat yogurt and 1 Tsp lemon juice.

I served a spinach autumn salad at dinnertime. I used one bosc pear, two peeled Fuyu persimmons,  two peeled guavas, and one apple and walnuts as above, and traded in the kiwi and grapes for avocado and grapefruit sections. Serve over spinach leaves with a teaspoon of Marie’s blue cheese dressing plus a teaspoon each of grapefruit juice and extra virgin olive oil, or just the blue cheese dressing straight from the jar.

Watermelon Avocado Salad – ensalada de sandia y aguacate

avo watermelon salad ingredients
This refreshing salad is a perfect match for spicy dishes. I was inspired by Mexican street vendors who sell watermelon and corn topped with salt, lime juice and chili powder.

Serves 4

2 cups cubed seedless watermelon

1 large firm but ripe avocado, cubed

¼ cup cilantro leaves.

½ cob boiled or roasted corn kernels

Dressing:

juice of 1 lime

sprinkle of cayenne or hot chipotle chili powder

¼ tsp salt to taste.

Combine watermelon, corn and cilantro. Gently stir in avocado. Squeeze lime over salad, sprinkle cayenne or chipotle powder and salt, mix well. Serve immediately.

 

Pecan Waffles

One of the great delights of my childhood Sunday mornings was homemade waffles for breakfast. Light and delicious, we love them with the crunch of  pecans in the batter.  I cover these golden waffles with fresh raspberries, chopped strawberries and peaches, and pour Strawberry Sauce or a light glaze of pure maple syrup over them.

1 1/2  cups all purpose white  flour

1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry (finely ground) flour

1 Tb ground flax seed

1 Tb Baking powder

3  Tb Sugar

a couple of shakes  salt

3 eggs separated

¼ tsp cream of tartar

6  Tb. Butter

3 cups milk (I use 1%)

1 ½ tsp vanilla

3/4 cup chopped pecans if desired

1/4 cup grated unsweetened coconut if desired

Separate eggs. I place each of whites in a cup before adding it to the bowl, just in case a bit of yolk gets in one of them.

Beat whites and cream of tartar until whites are stiff. Set aside.

Beat yolks with milk and vanilla.

Sift flour, baking powder, sugar and salt.

Add flour mixture alternately to milk/yolk mixture, beating after each addition.

Melt butter. I put it in a small bowl in the microwave for 30 seconds. Beat in butter and pecans.

Fold ½ cup egg whites into the batter to lighten it, then fold the batter into the rest of egg whites. I reserve some whites for the last batches, when it is mostly gone from the batter.

Heat waffle iron until the light goes out. Spray with a bit of coconut oil spray. Pour batter in the center of the iron, until it spreads out about 2/3 full.

Cook until the light goes out again and waffle is golden brown.

Make extra waffles for those sleepy weekday mornings. Make them a bit lighter so you can toast them. Put them between paper towels so they won’t be so soggy. Freeze them between sheets of waxed paper or parchment paper, then wrap in foil or place in a freezer bag.