Category Archives: Fruit

Frozen Chocolate Covered Bananas

Healthy Chocolate Covered Bananas Balanced Grettie Fitquestmom

Over the Memorial Day Weekend we went to a BBQ at a friend’s house and I was tasked with bringing a healthy-ish dessert.

Frozen chocolate covered bananas were always my favorite Disneyland treat and I think it is because that was the only place I ever saw them when I was younger.  I had a MASSIVE sweet tooth, yet I would choose those every time over a Mickey ice cream sandwich or the other fun ice cream treats they sold.

I thought that chocolate covered frozen bananas would fit the bill and would be fun for my daughter and I to make together.  She is the age now where I am wanting to give her more freedom in the kitchen and this was the perfect recipe for that.

This dessert ended-up being a hit with kids and adults alike…I’m pretty sure they will make a regular appearance this summer.

INGREDIENTS

  • Ripe Bananas (not too ripe though)
  • Popsicle sticks
  • Chocolate chips for melting (I used Enjoy Life brand)
  • Various toppings
    • Trail mix (we chopped ours up in the blender)
    • Nuts
    • Mini marshmallows
    • Raisins
    • Cereal
    • Sprinkles
    • Coarse sugar

METHOD

  1. Cut bananas into 3″ slices
  2. Stick a Popsicle stick into each banana piece
  3. Place the banana pieces on a cookie sheet and freeze for an hour or longer
  4. Melt the chocolate chips (I used the double boiler method)
  5. Coat each frozen banana with the melted chocolate and immediately sprinkle on the toppings (the chocolate will harden FAST)
  6. Lay the finished product back on the cookie sheet and into the freezer until ready to serve

What’s your favorite healthy-ish summertime dessert???

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Filed under Dessert, Frozen Treats, Fruit, Gluten Free, Holiday, Ice Cream, Kid Friendly, Quick, Recipes, Sorbet, Vegan

Mini Pineapple Upside-Down Cakes

pineapple upside down cakes (12)

It has been YEARS since I last had pineapple upside-down cake.  Out of the blue a craving hit and I decided to challenge myself to come-up with a healthier version.

Along the way I discovered that this recipe makes a wonderful pancake batter as well (you have to love the dual purpose nature of this batter!).

I have been invited to enter the Ethical Ocean recipe contest and this will be my entry…more information to come.

INGREDIENTS – Makes 12-16 muffins

Wet Ingredients
12 pineapple slices, drained (reserve 2 Tbs. juice from the can)
12 Morello cherries
1 1/2 cup canned crushed pineapple
1 cup applesauce
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Dry Ingredients
2 Tbs SweetLeaf SugarLeaf
1-2 Tbsp pineapple juice
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup King Arthur’s Gluten Free Multi-Purpose Flour
1/2 cup GFree pancake mix
1/2 cup blanched almond flour
1 tsp xanthan gum
honey or maple syrup
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METHOD

pineapple upside down cake collage 1

  1. Preheat oven to 350° (I used convection bake).
  2. Trim the pineapple slices to the size of the bottom of your muffin tin (I used a biscuit cutter).
  3. In a large mixing bowl add 1 cup applesauce, crushed pineapple, pineapple juice, and vanilla. Mix.
  4. Add baking soda, salt, xanthan gum, pancake mix, and flours to a separate bowl and whisk to evenly distribute.
  5. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix well to incorporate.
  6. Lightly grease the muffin tins (I used coconut oil).
  7. Line the bottom of each tin with one slice of pineapple and a cherry in the middle.
  8. Cover each pineapple and cherry slice with batter until the muffin tins are 3/4 full.
  9. Bake for approx. 15 minutes until a tooth pick comes out clean.
  10. Allow the pan to cool for 5 minutes.
  11. Turn the cakes out onto a cooling rack and top with maple syrup or honey while still warm.

pineapple upside down cake collage 2

Don’t forget that this batter also makes AMAZING pancakes!!!  Feel free to add a smidgen more pineapple juice to thin the batter if you plan on using it for pancakes.

pineapple upside down cakes (6)

For a printable version of this recipe CLICK HERE.

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Filed under Breakfast, Cake, Cooked Fruit, Dessert, Fruit, Gluten Free, Recipes, Vegan, Vegetarian

SRC – PEACH ICE CREAM

I was assigned the blog, Feeding Andy, for my September Secret Recipe Club assignment.  The blog’s author, Peggy, is a culinary student and her blog follows her progress through school as well as her daily exploits working at Louisville mainstay, Jack Fry’s.

I bookmarked a lot of recipes when trying to decide which recipe I would go with.  Some of the finalists were Rice Pilaf, Spicy Pickled Carrots & Asparagus, and Indian Spiced Lentils.  I ultimately decided to make her Peach & Clove Ice Cream after my latest trip to the farmer’s market since the peaches there were so ripe it felt like I was slapped in the face with their wonderful perfume.

What a perfect Summer dessert!

INGREDIENTS

1-1/3 lbs ripe peaches; peeled, pitted and coarsely chopped
1 peach; peeled, pitted and finely chopped
1/2 cup water
1 Tbs. Triple Sec (I dislike the taste of alcohol, so I eliminated it)

1 teaspoon ground cloves (I wanted the flavor of the peaches to take center stage, so I eliminated it)
3/4 cup sugar (I used 2Tbs. SweetLeaf Sugar Leaf stevia/sugar replacement)
1/2 cup Greek yogurt (I used 1 single-serve container of So Delicious Vanilla Almond Milk Greek Yogurt)
1/2 cup heavy cream (I used So Delicious Coconut Milk Creamer)
1/2 cup milk (I used So Delicious non-dairy milk)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
juice from 1 lime (I used the juice from 2 tangerines)
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Combine the coarsely chopped peaches and water in a medium nonreactive saucepan. Cover and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until peaches are soft and cooked through, about 10 minutes. Remove pan from heat.  Mix in SweetLeaf Sugar Leaf stevia, and set aside to cool to room temperature (or speed-up the cooling process with an ice bath).

Add the cooked peach mixture to your high speed blender with yogurt, cream, milk, vanilla, and tangerine juice. Process until smooth. add the finely chopped raw peach and blend VERY briefly so some chunks of peach remain.  Chill thoroughly in refrigerator, about 6-8 hours (or speed-up the process once again by pouring the mixture into a glass jar and cooling it in an ice bath). Once chilled, transfer to ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions.

For a printable version of this recipe click HERE.



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Filed under Cooked Fruit, Dessert, Frozen Treats, Fruit, Gluten Free, Ice Cream, Kid Friendly, Recipes, Secret Recipe Club, Vegan, Vegetarian

RECIPE REDUX – Most Memorable Summer Meal

I first learned about a group called the Recipe Redux through a blog I follow called Jeanette’s Healthy Living.  The recipe Redux was founded by registered dietitians and I knew I wanted to take part in it when I read what they are all about…

“As the first and only recipe challenge founded by registered dietitians, The Recipe ReDux is focused on taking delicious dishes, keeping them delicious, but making them better for you.  The group was founded “[O]n the belief that healthier eating should always taste delicious. As the Latin term ‘redux’ means to revisit or reinvent, we are reinventing the idea of healthy eating with a taste-first approach. We aim to inspire the food lover in every healthy eater and inspire the healthy eater in every food lover.”
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Once accepted into the group I received my first assignment which was to blog about our ‘Most Memorable Vacation Meal.’ The challenge was to make the meal healthier.

As I thought through the vacations in my life and the wonderful meals I have had, one truly did stand out.  It may seem overly simplistic, however this meal was truly a standout to me.  Last summer we went on a Disney Cruise on the Disney Dream (click HERE to read my post about it).  The crew was so overly accomodating to my vegan diet and to the dietary restrictions my daughter lives with on a daily basis.

Disney owns their very own island called Castaway Cay in the Bahamas and the first day we spent on the island the crew sent my daughter’s and my meals for the day onto the island.  When we went to pick-up our lunch at the designated restaurant, both my daughter and I were amazed by what they prepared for us.  They provided my daughter (5 years old at the time) with 3 meals to choose from and made me the most gorgeous ENORMOUS fruit platter.

It was HOT HOT HOT that day and the fruit was perfectly ripe and gorgeously displayed.  I could not have imagined a more perfect meal.  Whole food, bursting with flavor, naturally cooling to the body…the perfect summer meal…a meal I couldn’t even possibly make healthier.

What is your “Most Memorable Vacation Meal” and have you taken the time to re-create it as well as make it healthier?



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Filed under Appetizers, Breakfast, Fruit, Gluten Free, Kid Friendly, Recipe Redux, Recipes, Salad, Vegan, Vegetarian

TEMECULA TANGERINES

Last year I was introduced to Temecula tangerines.  I had seen them in Mother’s Market before and never even thought about buying them because quite frankly they aren’t very enticing.  I know, don’t judge a book (or in this case fruit) by its cover, but these oranges look like they would be dry and not juicy in the least.

Last year the kids and I went shopping and Mother’s was sampling the Temecula tangerines.  Man, they are good!  Juicy, flavorful, and uber-convenient.

Temeculas peel so easily and can quickly be peeled into a bowl of sorts, which is our favorite way of eating them.  We peel off the top of the tangerine and are left with a wonderfully tasty “bowl” of tangerine segments which easily pull-out segment by segment.

Have you tried Temecula tangerines yet???

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Filed under Fruit, Kid Friendly, Product Reviews, Vegan, Vegetarian

QUICK & EASY BERRY JAM

My daughter has been chomping at the bit to make jam.  I’m not sure where she got the idea, but with all of the juicy berries we have been bringing home, now is definitely the time to preserve the berries while they are at the height of their flavor so we can pop into the jars when the bounty is no longer here.

My maternal grandmother was the queen of canning.  She grew-up on a farm in Minnesota with a gazillion brothers (she was the youngest and the only girl…even her twin was a boy!  Just based on that you know she lived in the kitchen).  I could go on and on about her canned peaches and have so many memories of all of the grandchildren being horrified when we discovered that there was only one can left in the pantry…they were THAT good.

Don’t even get me started on her huckelberry syrup…absolute heaven!

And her garden.  Oh her garden.  When it was dinnertime she would send my sister and I out to the garden to harvest the salad for the meal.

And her backyard.  It was HUGE and lined with fruit trees.  We would go out there and play for hours.  When we got hungry, we just reached-up and picked whatever we wanted to snack on.

Grandma Ruba made some amazing jam as well and I was always excited when she brought some on her visits.

Needless to say, I was definitely nostalgic while making jam with my daughter.  Perfect weather, cooking with my little one, and a tasty jam as the result of a wonderful day…another slice of heaven.

This jam my daughter and I created was definitely fresh vs. the cooked-down taste with a traditional jam.  I like both versions, but this version seems so appropriate for capturing the fruit in it’s prime.

We have one in the fridge and I froze the rest for later use.

INGREDIENTS
Inspired by 5 Dollar Dinners
 
3 lbs. berries (I used 2 lbs. strawberries, 1/2 lb. blueberries, 1/2 lb. raspberries)
1 box fruit pectin (I used Sure Jell)
2 tsp agar powder
1 12oz. container frozen organic apple juice concentrate (I used Cascadian Farms)
sweetener to taste (depends on ripeness of berries) with stevia, honey, or maple syrup.
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Wash, de-stem,  and dry the berries.

Mash the berries with a potato masher.  If you are using some blueberries, make sure to pop open all of the blueberries.  The kids will have A LOT of fun helping you with this.  Make sure they have clean hands and then encourage them to get their hands into the action and squish the berries.

Bring the apple juice concentrate to a boil and add in the pectin and agar agar.  Whisk until dissolved and pour the boiling mixture over the crushed berries. Mix well.

Pour the jam into glass containers and cool to room temperature.  Refrigerate the cooled mixture to set.

The jam will stay well in the fridge for 3 weeks or freezer for 3 months.

I can’t wait to try this with the apricots we have been getting at the Farmer’s Market!

For a printable version of this recipe click here.

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Filed under Fruit, Gluten Free, Kid Friendly, Quick, Recipes, Sauce / Spread / Jam / Yogurt, Vegan, Vegetarian

WATERMELON POPS

It is getting hot here!  My brain is constantly thinking about what I can make as a nice cooling treat.  With all of the cute fruit and melon wands I have been seeing on Pinterest, I decided to take it one step further by freezing them while simultaneously simplifying the fruit wands by sticking with just one fruit and one cookie cutter cut per Popsicle.

I cut off all of the rind of the watermelon while keeping the watermelon in tact and then made 1/2-3/4″ thick big round slices (We used a mini-melon, but next time I plan on using a standard watermelon).  The kids and I then cut out shapes in the watermelon using cookie cutters, stuck small wooden dowels in them, placed them on cookie sheets and froze them…Instant whole-food Watermelon Popsicles.

Yum!  Perfect for the Fourth.

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Filed under Dessert, Frozen Treats, Fruit, Gluten Free, Holiday, Kid Friendly, Recipes, Vegan, Vegetarian

PURELY MANGO POPSICLES

Mangoes rank right up there with dark chocolate in my book.  I will happily eat any and all varieties of mangoes, but Champagne mangoes are insanely delicious this time of year. One of my favorite after dinner snacks is a bowl of frozen diced mango.  I am always amazed by how creamy plain frozen mango is and the last time I sat down with a bowl of them inspiration struck…these need to be popsicles!!! There is no point in even writing down this recipe because there is nothing in these bad boys other than 100% pure mango. Remove the skin, dice-up the mangos, place them in your Vitamix, and puree until smooth as silk.  Pour the mango puree into popsicle molds and freeze overnight. Looks like I found a new after dinner treat! Click HERE to see some super fun popsicle molds…I think I need to get some more. ..  Please note that I am a Vitamix affiliate…and I wholeheartedly endorse the use of their wonderful product.

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Filed under Appetizers, Dessert, Frozen Treats, Fruit, Gluten Free, Kid Friendly, Raw, Recipes, Sorbet, Vegan, Vegetarian

STRAWBERRY FRUIT ROLL-UPS

When I go grocery shopping and walk past the snack aisle I am always shocked by how many different fruit roll-ups there are, not to mention the fruit snacks.  Trust me, I understand how good they taste…like candy, but that us essentially what they are.  Have you ever looked at how much sugar they add?  My guess is that the manufacturers feel they have to add so much sugar because they are probably using fruit that isn’t truly ripe as the basis of their product.

I am so thankful that I have an Excalibur dehydrator.  They are pricey, but I eased some of the hurt by buying a Factory Refurbished model ($199 vs. $299) which still has a 10 year warranty!  I use my dehydrator a lot and have been using it a ton lately because there are such wonderful organic strawberries at my local farmer’s market.

Making fruit roll-ups couldn’t be easier.  Simply wash the berries, remove the stems, place them in your Vitamix high speed blender (I squeezed in an orange for extra flavor, however doing so is not necessary), blend until smooth, sweeten if necessary (you can use dates, maple syrup, stevia, honey),  and blend again to incorporate the sweetener.

Pour the mixture in batches on to your dehydrator trays lined with non-stick drying sheets, spread with an offset spatula (This tool is such a help…I first learned about this trick from Kristen Suzanne’s blog) as thin as you’d like making sure that it is evenly spread and there are no holes, and dehydrate at 125 until firm to the touch.  I spread my roll-ups to about 1/8″ and they dehydrate within 3-4 hours.  If you would like to keep the roll-ups “raw,” dehydrate at 115 degrees (it will take longer).  You can also make the roll-ups thicker, it will just take longer to dehydrate.

Once you remove the roll-ups from the dehydrator, allow them to come to room temperature and carefully peel them from the non-stick sheet.  Line the back of the roll-ups with parchment paper, cut them to size, and roll them up!  I store my roll-ups in glass jars.

Recently I have used this method to make a ton of different flavors; mango, pineapple, apple cinnamon, and white peach.  I was so pleasantly surprised by the pineapple fruit roll-ups…they were AMAZING!!!  I can’t wait to make my next batch and have been dreaming-up all sorts of flavor combinations.

*TIP – try to keep the roll-up “batter” as thick as possible and do not add extra liquid if possible.  You will find that certain fruits are less watery than others i.e. mangoes produce a thicker batter than apples do (the result is much more watery).  Dehydrating time will change depending upon which fruit / fruit combo you use.

If you do not have a dehydrator, you can make the roll-ups in the oven by following Catherine McCord’s method on her blog, Weelicious (Click HERE).

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Please note that I am a Vitamix affiliate…and I wholeheartedly endorse the use of their wonderful product.


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Filed under Cooked Fruit, Dessert, Fruit, Gluten Free, Kid Friendly, Raw, Recipes, Snacks, Vegan, Vegetarian

VEGAN ORANGE JULIUS

It’s another week and I have another entry in the So Delicious So Much to Love Contest.

I’d appreciate your help again this week.  Please remember to “Like” So Delicious and then cast your vote (You will be entered to win awesome prizes just for voting).  Once you like the page, click on the contest logo to be taken to the voting page.

My recipe is top row…2nd from the right.

Click HERE to vote.  Thanks for your support!!!

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P.S.  I will post copies of all of my recipes which were entered once the contest is over.

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Filed under Breakfast, Contests, Dessert, Frozen Treats, Fruit, Kid Friendly, Recipes, Vegan, Vegetarian