THE NIBBLE BLOG: Products, Recipes & Trends In Specialty Foods
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Archive for July 5, 2014

PRODUCT: Sprizz-O Carbonated Juice Drink

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In five flavors, Sprizz-O is very light and
refreshing on a hot day. Photo courtesy
Sprizz-O.

 

The specialty food business is full of entrepreneurs who follow their dream, creating products they’d like to buy but haven’t found in the marketplace.

In the soda arena, sparkling juice pioneers like Izze and Fizzy Lizzy have offered a lighter, fresher, all natural alternative to soda pop, simply by combining juice with carbonated water.

Sprizz-O, new in the market, is even lighter, an ethereal, minimally sweet carbonated beverage that you’ll either find to be very refreshing, or not flavorful enough.

We were divided in those opinions at THE NIBBLE’s tasting of samples we received. Sprizz-O is so light, it takes getting used to. But all of us finally got there, declaring it a fine refreshment for a scorching day.

Made from juice, carbonated water and a bit of cane sugar, each 12 ounce bottle contains contains 50 calories.

If you’d like to try a carbonated drink with a much lower sugar level, Sprizz-O is available in Cranberry, Grape, Grapefruit, Lime and Orange.

 

Sprizz-O is currently rolling out in the metropolitan New York region, but you can follow the website to see when it arrives close you.

 
  

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RECIPE: Frozen Lemon Sparklers

Celebrations.com sent us this frozen cocktail recipe from Becky Hardin, who recreated it based on the Lemon Bar Freeze from The Lemon Bar in Neptune Beach, Florida. “These Frozen Lemon Sparklers aren’t exactly the same as the Lemon Bar Freeze,” says Becky, “but they are pretty darn close.”

The vanilla Greek yogurt adds delicious creaminess to a traditional frozen lemonade cocktail.

You can make it “mocktail,” without the vodka, or you can substitute gin or tequila.

And here’s how to make the best sugar rim.

RECIPE: FROZEN LEMON SPARKLERS

Ingredients For 3-4 Drinks

  • 1 can frozen lemonade concentrate
  • 3 tablespoons vodka (or lemon vodka if you have it)
  • 1 cup water (use the can from the concentrate)
  • 1 cup vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Ice
  • Optional garnish: lemon wheels
  •  

    Hardin-frozen-lemon-sparkler-celebrations.com-230

    Stay cool by the pool with this frozen lemon cocktail. Photo courtesy Becky Hardin | Celebrations.

  • Optional: sugar to rim glass (use sanding sugar/sparkling sugar if you have it)
  • Straws for serving
  •  

    Preparation

    1. PREPARE glasses with optional sugar rim.

    2. COMBINE all drink ingredients into a blender and fill with ice. Start with a handful of ice and keep adding as necessary. Blend on high/ice crush until smooth.

    3. FILL the glasses and serve immediately with a straw.

    Visit Celebrations.com, a member of the 1-800-Flowers family, for more creative entertaining ideas.

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Carrot Cake Ice Cream

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    A new way to enjoy carrot cake! Photo ©
    WeHeartFood.com.

     

    In 10 years of writing THE NIBBLE, we’ve covered a lot of ice cream, especially during July—National Ice Cream Month. But here’s a first for us: carrot cake ice cream.

    It’s part of today’s tip: Envision a fantasy ice cream flavor and make it.

    This week, The New York Times acknowledged National Ice Cream Month by publishing a master recipe to help you make any flavor you like.

    We had already found this recipe from the blog WeHeartFood, where Chris and Lisa took one of their (and our) favorite cakes, carrot cake, and turned it into ice cream.

    The recipe incorporates the ingredients of carrot cake—spiced nuts, whiskey-soaked currants and carrots (they’re candied). The recipe takes time, but at the end of it we’ve included our own quick version of carrot cake ice cream.

     
    CARROT CAKE ICE CREAM

    Ingredients For 1 Quart

    For The Spiced Pecans

  • 1 cup pecan halves
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 tablespoon dark brown sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  •  
    For The Bourbon-Soaked Currants

  • 1/4 cup dried currants
  • 2 tablespoon Maker’s Mark or other bourbon
  •  
    For The Candied Carrots

  • 2 cups finely diced carrots
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 2 cups water
  •  

    For The Ice Cream Base

  • 1 8-ounce package cream cheese
  • 1-1/2 cups low-fat sour cream
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp chopped lemon zest
  • Spiced pecans
  • Bourbon-soaked currants
  • Candied carrots
  •  
    Preparation

    1. MAKE the spiced pecans. Heat the oven to 350°F. Toss the pecans with the butter. In a small bowl, whisk together the cinnamon, cloves, brown sugar and salt. Pour the mixture over the pecans and toss to coat completely. Spread the pecans on a baking sheet and cook for 12 minutes, gently stirring halfway during baking to candy the nuts. Remove the tray to a rack and cool the nuts completely. Once cool, coarsely chop the pecans. Set aside.

     

    carrots-stems-grimmway.com

    Turn us into ice cream! Photo courtesy Grimway.com.

     
    2. MAKE the spiced currants. In a small saucepan, heat the currants and bourbon until boiling. Simmer until the currants have absorbed almost all of the liquid. Remove from heat and cover the pan. Set aside to cool completely.

    3. MAKE the candied carrots. In a medium saucepan, combine the carrots, sugar, corn syrup and water. Bring to a low boil and cook until the syrup is reduced to about 2 tablespoons and the carrots are translucent and candied, 20 to 30 minutes. Keep an eye on the carrots during the last few minutes so they do not burn. Drain the carrots and set aside to cool.

    4. MAKE the ice cream base. In the bowl of a stand mixer, or in a large bowl using a hand mixer, blend together the cream cheese, sour cream, sugar and lemon zest until smooth. Chill thoroughly.

    5. FREEZE the base in an ice cream maker. After churning, gently fold in the spiced pecans, soaked currants and candied carrot cubes. Freeze until firm.
     
    EASY CARROT CAKE ICE CREAM

    You can use this recipe with any leftover cake, including any icing. This recipe adds inclusions (“mix-ins”) appropriate to carrot cake. If you’re making a different flavor of cake ice cream, consider what to pair—chocolate chips with chocolate cake, for example.

    Ingredients

  • Container of vanilla ice cream, softened
  • Cubed carrot cake
  • Optional inclusions: nuts and currants or raisins
  •  
    Preparation

    1. CUT cake into half inch cubes. Blend into softened ice cream with optional inclusions.

    2. RETURN to freezer and let firm until ready to serve.

      

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    FOOD FUN: Watermelon Cucumbers

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    Mini watermelon cucumbers: fun food. Photo
    courtesy Melissas.com.

     

    Cucumbers and watermelons are first cousins. Both are from the binomial order Cucurbitales and family Cucurbitaceae, differing only at the genus level: Cucumis for cucumber (the common cucumber genus/species is C. sativus) and Citrullus for watermelon (C. lanatus).

    That’s why you can eat the white portion of watermelon rind—it tastes just like cucumber—or turn it into pickled watermelon rind, a.k.a. watermelon pickles.

    And how about these tiny watermelon cucumbers (in photo), an heirloom cucumber variety native to Mexico and South America? They look like miniature watermelons, but taste like cucumbers.

    They’re available now at Melissas.com.

    The small fruits are often marketed as Mexican sour gherkin cucumbers, although they are not sour. Rather, they have a slightly sweet, refreshing flavor with a hint of lemon. They are cute, crunchy and perfect for pickling.

     
    To pickle, use the same recipe as for pickled watermelon rind. The pickles will taste like sweet gherkins.
     
    HOW TO USE WATERMELON CUCUMBERS

  • As novelty crudités
  • On skewers with ham and cheese cubes or marinated mozzarella balls
  • Grilled on skewers with vegetables and/or meats
  • Pickled as a condiment with sandwiches, burgers, grilled meat and fish
  •  
    TIP: Always store whole cucumbers in the vegetable crisper section of your fridge.
     
    MORE EXOTIC CUCUMBERS

    Take a look at the lemon cucumber and the crystal apple cucumber which look, respectively, like lemons and apples.

     
      

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