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Posts tagged ‘strawberries’

The Pink Flamingo

Great-Am-Smoothies

The Pink Flamingo

From Great American Smoothies: The Ultimate Blending Guide for Shakes, Slushes, Desserts, & Thirst Quenchers
by Gabriel Constans
(One of the first books of smoothies published in North America. Avery Publishing, 1997)

Take a drink of this smoothie and try to not think about pink flamingos. Impossible, you say? Perhaps, but not as difficult as avoiding the image of a pink elephant.

Yield: 4 cups

1 cup raspberry juice

4 tablespoons frozen orange juice

1 cup filtered water

3 small bananas

2 tablespoons plain soy yogurt

1/4 cup firm tofu

10 fresh strawberries

1 cup peeled and chopped cantaloupe

1. Place all ingredients in a blender, and mix on medium speed for 40 seconds.

2. Pour into tall glasses (without thinking of a pink flamingo) and serve.

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In Your Own Backyard

The Five Stages of Garden-Talk
by Meredith Greene
March 13, 2013

Read this and other stories at GardenGreene.

A surprising number of folks in my nearer social circles do not know much about gardening. Certainly, they can browse the colorful annuals on display at the large home store and likewise can stick them in the sunny spots twice a year whilst waving at passing neighbors. Most can even pull a weed or two as well as set a mean schedule on the automated sprinklers but, somehow, the simplest aspects of organic vegetable and herb gardening elude them.

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In calling on neighbors, and speaking with extended family members over the years, I’ve come to predict the various expressions that ensue when the conversation invariably shifts to growing food. These facial indications rather line up like the five stages of grief, but instead of denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance I see Surprised, Confused, Mildly Interested, Incredulous and Overwhelmed. Getting food out of your own backyard is considered by many to be just too darn complicated.

One of my children usually let the ‘cat’ out of the bag in playing with the smaller versions of the other adults in the room. Some time during the course of the visit a child runs over, their faces alight and eyes shining, tugging at the arm/dress/leg of their owner and say something akin to:

“They grow strawberries in their backyard! And tomatoes! They get to pick them and eat them! Can we grow those, too?”

“From the mouths of babes,” I murmur, watching as the parent’s face slides into the first stage.

“How can you possibly find the time to garden?” Surprised then asks of me.

Now, when I was younger–upon being asked this question–I used to launch into a succinct and factual spiel outlining the amount of time that the average American spends in front of television set every day. I would then point out that it was a better use of time to turn over compost and chase after hordes of insidious snails with pale clouds of ditomacheous earth. Oddly, this set of facts seemed to inspire little but denial, anger and depression. Now, I simply focus my argument on Money.

“Do you go to the gym?” I ask. Confused nods in the affirmative, an answer more often than not a complete fabrication. “Did you know,” I continue, “that a couple of hours of vigorous gardening is comparable to spending the same amount of time at the gym?” No, they didn’t know that, but it sounds pretty good. Confused is quickly replaced with Mildly Interested as I go on to list just how much money my family saves over a given winter season by not having to buy my fresh herbs at the store. ($300-$400)

“That is a big savings,” Incredulous returns. “But it ‘s such a lot of work. How do I even get started?”

Here it gets a little tricky. Too much pushing and the average consumer will balk and return to safer subjects, such as waxing poetic on how their favorite washed-up celebrity weathered Trump’s Board room the previous night. Too much information up front and they’ll leap to the Overwhelmed stage too quickly. Too many dire predictions about rising food costs and the Environment and they’ll tune you out AND lump you in with some odd group they heard about on the news that anoint themselves with carrots and say they can raise goats that defecate copper bullion.

Nostalgia has proven to be the most powerful argument of all. Most folks harbor—way back in the warm recesses of their memory—lingering scents, sights and tastes of fresh produce partaken of as a child. It might be the ripe, red raspberries they picked in a grandmother’s arbor. It may be that luscious purple plum that they bit into one hot summer day. It may be a cool clump of sweet, green grapes that can be recalled, even now, with frank fondness. That same wide-eyed wonder, that propelled their offspring to run over and inquire of our garden, still lives on in them even if they are currently unaware of it. It is a useful tool to help lever the conversation away from the precarious Edge of Unconcern and back into the Realm of Feasibility, and is relatively easy to make contact with.

I show them pictures. (see blog header)

“These are some of the tomatoes we harvested last year,” I say, sliding one full-color image after another over the screen.

“Omigawd! Those look delicious!”

“We get about two-hundred pounds every season, all without pesticides.”

“Are those artichokes?!”

“Yep. They were especially good picked young, pared and sauteed with garlic and olive oil.”

“And you still have time to write books?” This question is best answered with a small shrug and a half-smile.

“My kids help me out a lot, but I like the exercise. These are the strawberries…”

“Wow… look at those! I bet that’s nice to have just out your back door.”

“Not as nice as this basil,” I tell them, going to the next picture.

From there the questions tend to get more sincere. Once folks realize that you can actually raise food on a city lot without having to spent a fortune–or work on it 24/7–they find that other hobbies don’t really cut it. Most parents already wonder how they can encourage their kids to get outside a bit more and move around, and when my oldest daughter walks over and launches into a short monolog on the how one can induce thriving vermiculture with an old plastic tub and leftover coffee grounds, they’re sold.

“Families have been growing food together for millenniums,” I conclude. “It’s a proven method of keeping active, and–as my grandfather used to tell us–’if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.’” My grandfather had a rock garden in the high desert–and a cement patio for a back yard–but some information can be safely omitted.

Read entire story and more at GardenGreene.

Meredith Greene is an author, book reviewer and freelance writer.

Loving Audrey

Luscious-Choc-SmoothiesFrom Luscious Chocolate Smoothies: An Irresisitible Collection of Healthy Cocoa Delights.
By Gabriel Constans

A recipe for my love.

Audrey’s Amore

Yields 5 Cups

  • 3 cups chocolate soy, rice or low-fat dairy
  • 10 large ripe strawberries (fresh or thawed frozen)
  • 2 small bananas, in chunks
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint

1. Place all ingredients in a blender and mix on medium for 1 minute.

2. Chill for 5 minutes, pour into tal glasses and serve naked.

per cup: Calories 147; Protein 6 g; Total Fat 2 g; Saturated Fat 1 g; Carbohydrate 28 g; Cholesterol 4 mg

Find more recipes, humor, chocolate facts and stories at Luscious Chocolate Smoothies.
Read one of the many reviews at Five Healthy Recipes.

Strawberry and Plum Chocolate Fairy

Luscious-Choc-SmoothiesFrom Luscious Chocolate Smoothies: An Irresisitible Collection of Healthy Cocoa Delights.
By Gabriel Constans

Enjoy this lively recipe from my book of chocolate smoothies.

Strawberry and Plum Chocolate Fairy

Yields 64 Cups

  • 2 cups plain almond milk
  • 20 fresh or thawed frozen strawberries
  • small European or Japanese plum (whichever is seasonally available)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • pecans, shelled and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon honey or agave
  • 1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips, melted

1. Place all ingredients in a blender and mix on medium for 30 seconds.

2. Pour into tall glasses and take your time smelling the sweet aroma.

per cup: Calories 150; Protein 2 g; Total Fat 6 g; Saturated Fat 2 g; Carbohydrate 24 g; Cholesterol 0 mg

Find more recipes, humor, chocolate facts and stories at Luscious Chocolate Smoothies.
Read one of the many reviews at Five Healthy Recipes.

Kinky Kahlua

Another delicious recipe from Luscious Chocolate Smoothies: An irresistible collection of healthy cocoa delights.

Kinky Kahlua

2 cups plain low-fat milk (dairy, soy or rice)
1/4 cup chocolate syrup
20 fresh strawberries
1/2 cup Kahlua liqueur

Place all ingredients in a blender and mix on medium for 1 minute.

Pour into coffee mugs, serve immediately and head straight to heaven.

Yields: 4 Cups

Per Cup: Calories 233; Protein 6 g; Total Fat 2 g; Saturated Fat 1 g; Carbohydrate 37 g; Cholesterol 7 mg

MORE WONDERFUL RECIPES

Moon and Star Berries

Recipe from Luscious Chocolate Smoothies: An irresistible collection of healthy cocoa delights by Gabriel Constans.

Moon and Star Berries

2 cups chocolate low-fat soy milk
1 8pounce carton strawberry low-fat yogurt
1/2 cup chopped mango
1 banana, in chunks
10 strawberries
1/4 cup raspberries
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

Place all ingredients in a blender and mix on medium for 90 seconds.

Pour into tall glasses and serve with sensual slices of orange.

Yield: 4 Cups

Per Cup: Calories 166; Protein 5 g; Total Fat 2 g; Saturated Fat 1 g; Carbohydrate 35 g; Cholesterol 5 mg.

MORE RECIPES & COCOA FUN

A Chocolate Life

Excerpt from Luscious Chocolate Smoothies: An irresistible collection of healthy cocoa delights.

The Chocolate Journey Begins

Xocoatil was the Aztecs’ word for “chocolate”. They called it the “bitter drink” and considered it a gift from the Gods. The cocoa bean has been cultivated for the last 1000 years and recorded as early as 2000 BC.

Cocoa was first introduced to Europe when Cortés brought the beans to Spain and offered them to the Emperor in the early 1500s. By adding Cinnamon, heat and sugar, they improved the bitter taste. The discovery of cocoa by the Spaniards was so provocative that they kept its existence a secret for almost a century until it was smuggled by monks to France. By the 1650s it had crossed the channel to England and the North American colonies of the English and the Dutch.

Good for the Heart

Cocoa powder and chocolate contain rich sources of polyphenol antioxidants, which are the same beneficial compounds found in fruits, vegetables and red wine that may reduce the risk of developing heart disease. It is believed that damage done in the body by free oxygen radicals is linked to heart disease and other maladies connected with aging. There is some research that indicates that antioxidants in the blood stream help eliminate free radicals, thus reducing the risk of developing heart disease. Dark chocolate contains more antioxidants, per 100 grams, then prunes, raisins, blueberries, blackberries, kale, strawberries, spinach, raspberries, Brussels sprouts, plums, alfalfa sprouts, oranges, red grapes, red bell pepper, cherries, onion, corn or eggplant.

Audrey’s Amore

3 cups chocolate milk (dairy, soy, or rice)
10 large ripe strawberries
2 small bananas
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint

Place all the ingredients in a blender and blend on medium speed for 1 minute. Chill for five minutes, pour into tall glasses and serve naked (literally or figuratively).

Yield: 5 cups

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