Big, moist organic jumbo raisins are hard to find. Most organic raisins are small and can be used in most recipes where they will absorb moisture and plump up. But, out of the bag, they almost seem inferior to those big huge raisins preserved with sulfur dioxide that are found on most grocery store shelves. Read more
When I was young and first saw The Nutcracker, I was fascinated with the Sugar Plum Fairy who ruled over the Land of Sweets. I remember thinking she had the best job in the world (what could be better than ruling over a Candyland?). Forget about the Prince and Clara, I wanted the Sugar Plum Fairy’s job (until I read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, then I wanted Willy Wonka’s job but that’s another story).
Although I wasn’t a fan of sugarplums when I was a child (they reminded me of fruitcake), I grew to appreciate how sweet, delicate, and delicious a home-made sugarplum is, especially when I made them myself with the top quality ingredients. Read more
It’s nearly impossible for me to walk by a pyramid of fresh apples in the grocery store especially if the apples are Honey Crisp – those sweet, tart, super crispy delicious apples that are also great for baking because they retain their shape and don’t turn to mush easily.
One of my favorite ways to enjoy a Honey Crisp Apple is to bake it with a nutty oat filling in the core. These baked apples really do taste like an Apple Crumble Pie but the healthier version. Easy to make, Baked Honey Crisp Apple Crumbles are a perfect mid-afternoon snack or an evening dessert served in front of the fireplace. Read more
Tis the season when we start to think about making homemade cranberry sauce. While most recipes call for a cup or more of sugar, the following recipe uses fresh ground dates as a sweetener. Dates may seem like an unusual sweetener but this naturally very sweet fruit is often referred to as “nature’s candy” which makes it the perfect ingredient to sweeten a cranberry sauce, relish, or chutney. Read more
If you’re crazy about nut butters, then you probably know all about Big Spoon Roasters – the Durham, North Carolina-based company that makes incredible handcrafted nut butters – almond, peanut, peanut pecan, peanut cashew, peanut cocoa, almond cocoa, maple cinnamon, and more. So, it seems only natural that the company would make snack bars with a base of their proprietary nut butters and house-made granola (made with gluten-free rolled oats, honey, grapeseed oil, and sea salt) along with fruits, nuts, seeds, spices, and more. Read more
Whenever I find myself with a lot of extra ripe fruit, I do one of three things: I try to eat more (but this strategy doesn’t always work because after the fifth plum, I’m plummed out); I make a fruit pie (my husband’s favorite option); or I make a fruit compote (my favorite option).
Compote is one of those words that congers up distant memories or questions (did I see that word on a menu in Paris? Is compote related to Peach Melba?) Compote is just a fancy word for a thick, chunky fruit sauce made with fruit cooked in water and spices (similar to homemade cranberry sauce). Naturally sweet, fruit compote is only as good as the fruit you use so the quality of the fruit really matters. Read more
Pressed By KIND® is a new snack bar that provides a “convenient and tasty way to add fruit” to your diet. Made primarily of fruit – mangos, apples, strawberries, bananas, pineapples, and cherries, Pressed By KIND® bars are unique in their simplicity (the name of the bar includes the ingredients).
Dairy-free, gluten-free, low-sodium, and vegan, these six bars contain no preservatives, artificial flavors or colors, and no added sugar (except for 1 gram in the two bars that contain dark chocolate). But, best of all, the bars are nutritious, chewy and delicious: Read more
Grocery stores are filled with fresh fruit – peaches, plums, apples, and more – that looks great on the outside but is often mealy, flavorless, or dark on the inside (indicating the fruit was picked too early and put in cold storage).
I can’t tell you how many peaches, nectarines, and apples I’ve thrown out over the past few months. And, it’s not just from ordinary grocery stores; I’ve purchased awful peaches and nectarines from Whole Foods and Fresh Market on numerous occasions. Often times, this is because the fruit is technically out of season – grown in a faraway place, cooled, and transported – but in the summer and early fall, there is no excuse. We should be able to buy peaches, nectarines, and apples that are juicy, flavorful, and delicious during the summer and fall.
Farmers Markets are often reliable sources of high quality, locally grown fruit but if these are not an option, consider ordering fresh fruit from Frog Hollow Farms – a certified organic farm that grows peaches, nectarines, apricots, pears, pluots, cherries, avocados, and more. Read more
If you like cherries and plums, then you’re in for a very special treat this month. The Verry Cherry Plum – a new fruit that looks like a very small plum or a very big cherry (or even a mini Macintosh apple from afar) with the crunchy texture of a sweet succulent cherry and the flavor of a juicy plum – has arrived. What could be better?
The Verry Cherry Plum hit grocery stores this past week and will only be around for a few short weeks so make sure you pickup a bag of these summer fruits before they’re all gone (until next summer!). You absolutely won’t regret purchasing these flavorful sweet juicy fruits! Read more