Posts Tagged ‘Summer Recipe’

Mint Watermelon Berry Fruit Salad: Turning a Fruit Bowl Into a Salad

Monday, September 1st, 2014

From our food contributor, Shaina Olmanson.

Mint Watermelon Berry Fruit Salad via MomAdvice.com
Summer is coming to a close. Once the kids go back it’s basically already over, but there are still warm weekends that you can make the most of before the wind turns cold and the produce stops flowing. It’s actually right now in this early September air that my farmer’s market seems to be bursting at the seams with tables overflowing and after months of waiting, there are watermelons for the taking.

There’s something about a watermelon grown locally that just sings more than any supermarket watermelon (that I’ve been enjoying liberally all summer long, mind you). We usually get our best watermelon of the season right at the end of summer, a bright flag-waving send off as we head into the colder months. It’s only right to dress it up then.

I’m the first to admit that I have a love-hate relationship with my melon baller. The waste is what gets me. There’s all this juice that seems to collect as you’re balling, and then the bits in between the balls are just byproduct – okay, so I just snack on all the little bits, and I’d do the same if I were slicing it.

Still, it’s a kitchen tool I don’t often use. I pulled it out recently to make a fruit salad for my daughter’s swim team (high school sports do so many meal functions), and everyone was excited about the end result, but none more so than my 6-year-old, who told me it was like “eating a bouncy ball made of watermelon” that was “so, so tasty.” That, folks, right there is how you win your mommy over.

Mint Watermelon Berry Fruit Salad via MomAdvice.com
This fruit salad gets a minty punch from reduced watermelon juice, and an extra special crunch from a few chia seeds sprinkled on at the end.

Mint Watermelon Berry Fruit Salad
Recipe type: salad
Serves: 10
 
Ingredients
  • 1 watermelon
  • 4 cups strawberries or other summer berries
  • 2 cups blueberries
  • ¼ cup mint
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • ¼ cup chia seeds
Instructions
  1. Cut the watermelon in half and, using a melon baller, scoop the watermelon into balls. Collect the formed balls in a bowl, and pour off the excess juice that collects in the watermelon into another bowl or pot to use for later.
  2. Slice the strawberries, rinse the blueberries, and combine with the watermelon balls.
  3. Julienne the mint, setting aside 1 tablespoon for garnish, and combine with 3 cups of the reserved watermelon juice and the honey in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat slightly and cook, stirring frequently, until the liquid has reduced by half. Once the liquid has reduced, strain the mint pieces, remove from heat and chill.
  4. Pour the watermelon-mint syrup over the fruit. Sprinkle the chia seeds on, toss to combine, and serve cold.

 

Pin It

Refrigerator Pickles – Canning Made Simple

Monday, August 18th, 2014

From our food contributor, Diana Bauman.

Refrigerator Pickles - Canning Made Easy | momadvice.com

Okay, so a raise of hands: who here loves the icy cold crunch or sour pucker of a dill pickle on a hot summer day? Me too! Really, nothing says summer like a steaming footlong hot dog or a savory bbq pulled pork sandwich served with a cold pickle on the side. With cucumbers growing in abundance during this season, let’s make some pickles to enjoy at your next family bbq.

Dill pickles, made tangy and sour, are a cinch to make. I make them in a couple of different ways with no canning equipment required. I put up most of my cucumber harvest by fermenting them – brine cured pickles. They’re easy enough to make at home, requiring no vinegar to make, and the end result is a good old fashioned sour pickle filled with probiotics. I love the flavor of a fermented, brine cured pickle. The downside is that although you don’t need any canning equipment to make these pickles, they do need to ferment at room temperature for a good 1-2 weeks. If you’re having a family bbq soon, well, they just won’t be done in time. This is why whenever I make a large batch of fermented pickles, I also put up a few pints of refrigerator pickles that I know my family will be able to enjoy right away.

Refrigerator Pickles - Canning Made Easy | momadvice.com Refrigerator pickles are easy to make and don’t take much time at all. What’s great about them is that you can use this same simple recipe and pickle any kind of vegetable you may have in abundance. Cauliflower, asparagus, zucchini, carrots, green beans, okra, hot peppers, and one of my favorites… red onions. Really, whatever you may have growing or bits and ends you have leftover from cooking will make great refrigerator pickles.

To make them, all you need to do is cut up the vegetable of your choice and layer them into a pint sized mason jar. I used pickling cucumbers.

Refrigerator Pickles - Canning Made Easy | momadvice.com

Then, add a couple cloves of smashed garlic, about a teaspoon of pickling spice, and then some dill weed, or if you’re growing them or can find them at your farmers market, the head of the dill weed with seeds. Not too much, about a couple teaspoons worth.

Refrigerator Pickles - Canning Made Easy | momadvice.com

Once you’re jars are packed, all you need to do is make a quick brine with apple cider vinegar, water, and salt, and fill the jar.

Refrigerator Pickles - Canning Made Easy | momadvice.com For refrigerator pickles, I like to use un-pasteurized, raw, apple cider vinegar since it’s filled with immune boosting probiotics. These pickles aren’t just tasty but nourishing. Just make sure to bring the brine just to a simmer, not a full boil. You can find raw apple cider vinegar at any natural food store or the natural food section of your local grocer.

That’s the entire process. Like I said, they are super simple to make, are full of crunch and mouth watering pucker, and will last a few months in your refrigerator…. unless you have a house full of boys that love pickles.

Refrigerator Pickles - Canning Made Simple
Author: 
 
Simple to make, refrigerator pickles recipe that is full of crunch and mouth watering pucker, and will last a few months in your refrigerator.
Ingredients
  • 9-10 small pickling cucumbers
  • 6 garlic cloves, smashed then peeled (2 per jar)
  • 3 teaspoons pickling spice (1 tsp per jar)
  • fresh dill weed or dill heads (about a good 1-2 tsp per jar)
  • 1½ cups raw, apple cider vinegar
  • 1½ cups water
  • 2 tablespoons large granule sea salt (kosher or pickling salt)
Instructions
  1. Gently clean and remove any dirt and debris from the cucumbers.
  2. Slice the ends off of the cucumbers and quarter each one.
  3. Pack them into 3 pint sized mason jars.
  4. To the jars add the garlic cloves, pickling spice, and dill.
  5. In a medium sized heavy bottomed pan, bring the apple cider vinegar, water, and sea salt just to a simmer.
  6. Pour the brine into the jars, leaving about a ½" headspace.
  7. Screw the lids onto the jars and allow them to cool completely on the counter. Once cooled place the jars in the refrigerator. Let them sit for 24-48 hours before eating.

Have you ever made refrigerator pickles? Tell me, what vegetables have you used?

Pin It

Watermelon Coconut Lime Ice Smoothies

Monday, July 7th, 2014

From our food contributor, Shaina Olmanson.

This watermelon ice smoothie is thick, smooth, and refreshing. With its coconut water and a touch of lime, it’s reminiscent of Slurpees and Icees, except all natural at home.

Watermelon Coconut Lime Smoothies #recipe via momadvice.com

I sat down back in May, an oversized paper calendar in front of me and five or six Sharpies at the ready. Neatly I wrote down the activities for each day through the summer, color-coding by child, so I knew when each one needed to be where at what time. It seemed like a worthwhile task to clear my Type-A brain from the clutter of keeping all the information piled together in one place. At the end of the August page I even filled in school orientation nights that we’d already received reminders for, lest we forget summer’s length and imagine it stretching on forever.

I sat back and admired my handiwork. There were the camps and the sports practices outline in a rainbow of color. Family activities were marked in black. I flipped back to June and rather than feeling better, I instead felt the dread of too much to do all summer long.

No one ever prepared me for the reality that comes with having children out of diapers. It’s this idea that they are now little people with lives and activities and interests of their own. Try as I might to keep our lives simple and our summers as low-stress and relaxing as possible, what ends up happening when you are outnumbered four to one is that activities get spread and spaced out.

Watermelon Coconut Lime Smoothies #recipe via momadvice.com

A month in and several deep breaths later I can tell you the secrets to surviving summer.

Take it one day at a time. Say yes (to beach days and trips to the park) as often as you say no. Forget about scrubbing your floor (bare feet and clean floors do not go together). Serve plenty of on-the-go snacks that keep you cool, hydrated, and are just plain fun to drink.

These watermelon smoothies are just what summer ordered with their hint of coconut and bit of lime. Whether you’re carting one kid to soccer while picking another up from baseball or just relaxing in the backyard, they are the refreshing, invigorating, and full of summer flavor.

Watermelon Coconut Lime Smoothies #recipe via momadvice.com

I’ve taken to freezing the leftover watermelon in batches, whenever there’s a bit leftover. I scoop the last cup or so into a container, covering it and pretending all is well. Rather than ending in the compost pile at the end of a meal, these leftover chunks become an intensely hydrating snack that boasts vitamin C and antioxidants. It’s just what the summer heat ordered.

Watermelon Coconut Lime Ice Smoothies
Author: 
Recipe type: Drinks
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon honey*
  • 4 cups cubed watermelon, frozen
  • 1½ cups coconut water
Instructions
  1. In a small cup, mix together the lime juice and honey until the honey dissolves.
  2. In a blender, add the frozen watermelon chunks, coconut water, and the lime and honey mixture. Pulse until the mixture moves freely in the blender. Blend on high until smooth.
Notes
*More honey can be used to adjust sweetness for your personal taste and to account for ripeness of the watermelon.

**For a fun frozen cocktail, add in 1.5 fl oz of vodka to 6 ounces of smoothie. I used Prairie Organic Cucumber Vodka.

 

Pin It