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Archive for July 12, 2014

PRODUCTS: Fruit & Vegetable Ice Pops

Now trending in an ice cream case near you: fruit and vegetable ice pops—all natural, dairy free, gluten free, fat free and packed with vitamins A and C. They’re a better for you option for a sit-down snack or on-the-go refreshment on a hot summer day.

From major producers like Outshine (from Dreyer’s) to mom & pops like Ruby Rockets, recipe developers are combining vegetables and fruits into frozen snacks that support attempts to get kids and others to eat more veggies.

Are you really getting your daily allotment of vegetables through ice pops?

Not really. Neither company claims that you can substitute an ice pop for a half serving of vegetables. But there’s an important idea here: If you look for ways to add more fruits and vegetables into your diet, you’ll find them, and they’ll add up (Outshine offers tips below).

The government recommends 10 one cup servings a day of fruits and veggies (double the portion if it’s leafy greens, halve the portion if it’s dried fruit). Don’t do it for them; do it for you. Here’s the full story from the Harvard School Of Public Health.

   

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Targeted to moms who want healthier options for their families, Ruby Rocket’s pops are low calorie, better-for-you options for everyone. Photo courtesy Ruby Rocket’s.

 

RUBY ROCKETS

At Ruby Rocket’s, 70% of the veggies and fruits are organic, all are GMO free and there’s no added sugar, leading to a claim of the lowest amount of sugar in any frozen pop (4g in a 1.75-ounce pop). They add an extra boost of probiotics, too. The new line debuts in three flavors:

  • Galaxy Green gets its green on with kiwi, avocado, spinach and lemon, for 35 calories per pop.
  • Orbit Orange combines organic oranges, sweet potatoes, carrots, lemons and strawberries, for 30 calories.
  • Rock-it Red is a blend of beet, carrot, lemon, strawberry and sweet potato, just 25 calories.
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    Just slightly sweet—all from the natural sugar in the fruits and vegetables—and with so few calories per pop, they are truly guilt free. Those accustomed to normal sweetness levels will notice the missing sugar. But, like cutting back on the sugar you add to a cup of coffee, you may find that you’re just as content without it.

    Learn more at RubyRockets.com.

     

    Dreyers-Outshine-Fruit-and-Veggie-Bars-230

    Outshine’s Blueberry Medley includes beet,
    pear, apple and sweet potato. Photo courtesy
    Dreyer’s.

     

    OUTSHINE FRUIT & VEGGIE BARS

    Following Outshine’s successful launch of frozen fruit bars, the new Outshine Fruit & Veggie Bars line blends fruits and vegetables.

    Not surprisingly, this mainstream product is sweetened with added sugar, to the level most customers expect. This raises the calorie count to 60 (14g sugar in a 2.45-ounce bar). The five flavors include:

  • Apples & Greens blends apple, pumpkin, mango, pineapple, kale, spinach and “more”
  • Blueberry Medley has blueberries, beet, pear, apple, sweet potato and “more”
  • Peach Mango Medley mixes peach, mango, pear, sweet potato, carrot and butternut squash
  • Strawberry Rhubarb has strawberry, rhubarb, pear, apple, pumpkin, carrot and “more”
  • Tangerine Carrot unites apple, carrot, pear, tangerine, pumpkin and “more”
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    With the majority of flavors, the vegetable components are not highlighted on the box (perhaps so vegetable-avoiders won’t turn away?).

    The bars contain at least 25% vegetables. The line is certified kosher by OU. Learn more at OutshineSnacks.com.

    MORE WAYS TO GET FRUITS & VEGGIES INTO YOUR DIET

    Even with the endless benefits known to the public, seven out of 10 Americans are failing to meet the daily-recommended serving of fruits and vegetables. Outshine recommends these 5 easy ways to get more fruit and veggies into your diet:

  • Start your first meal off right. Ditch the morning donut for scrambled eggs mixed with onions, peppers, and mushrooms. Or boost your oatmeal or yogurt by stirring berries and bananas.
  • Hold the bread. Add some crunch with a lettuce wrap. Instead of bread, make your next sandwich or burger inside a leafy green. Stack 2 or 3 large, leafy greens such as vibb lettuce, romaine, red lettuce, cabbage, or radicchio, and pile on the fixings.
  • Keep produce top-of-mind. Make fruits and vegetables the easiest and most convenient choice for your next snack. Keep a bowl of fresh fruit on the counter at home or on your desk, keep dried fruit in your car or purse for when you are on the go, and always be prepared by packing pre-cut fruit and veggies into snack-size bags for perfectly-portioned munchies.
  • Get creative with greens. Salads don’t have to be boring with just plain lettuce and dressing. Get inspired and load your salad bowl with at least five different ingredients: spinach, avocado and other fruits, nuts, seeds, etc.
  • Go savory. A plate of raw vegetables can look uninspired. Add life with good for you hummus, salsa or yogurt dip.
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    To these we add: look for ways to substitute vegetables. There are many. Start with:

  • Veggie chips. Trade the potato chips, tortilla chips and pretzels for kale chips or other veggie chips. (Note that nutritionists consider potatoes a starch, not a vegetable).
  • Veggie fondue. Switch the bread for raw and/or cooked vegetable dippers.
  • Salad pizza. Our local pizzeria makes a “salad pizza” with 11 different vegetable toppers (and an optional whole wheat crust).
  • Gratins. Roast or steam veggies,than add a shredded mozzarella or cheddar gratin. Cheese makes [almost] everything taste better.
  • Carrot and zucchini muffins. Make your own, and double the amount of veggies in the batter.
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    You can have your veggies and still have fun, too.
      

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    RECIPE: Peanut Butter Brownie Ice Cream Sandwiches

    This recipe for peanut butter lovers was contributed by Isabelle Boucher of Crumblog and posted to the recipe section of ILovePeanutButter.com, the website of Peanut Butter & Co.

    She used Peanut Butter & Co.’s Dark Chocolate Dreams peanut butter to make the ice cream, and sandwiched it between two layers of brownie.

    You can also use the homemade chocolate peanut butter ice cream:

  • Between cookies—butter cookies, chocolate chip, graham or peanut butter cookies, or pizzelles.
  • Between two pieces of chocolate, banana or pound loaf, regular or toasted.
  • In a crêpe. Put the ice cream inside cooled crepe fold and put fresh whipped cream and banana slices on top and chocolate shavings.
  • Atop of a Belgian waffle, folded in half with fruit and chocolate syrup on top.
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    Prep time for the ice cream is 15 minutes, total time with freezing is 4 hours and 15 minutes. You can bake your own brownies (recipe below) or buy them.

       

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    The best thing since the peanut butter cup. Photo by Isabelle Boucher | Crumblog.

     

    RECIPE: CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER BROWNIE ICE CREAM SANDWICHES

    Ingredients For 16 Sandwiches

    For The Ice Cream

  • 3 cups light cream (18% fat), divided
  • 1 cup granulated sugar, divided
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 4 egg yolks
  • ¾ cup Dark Chocolate Dreams peanut butter
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
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    For The Brownies

  • 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, roughly chopped
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
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    dark-chocolate-dreams-230

    Chocolate is one of the delectable flavors
    from Peanut Butter & Co. See the other 11 PB
    flavors
    .

     

    Preparation

    1. MAKE the ice cream. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, whisk together 1-1/2 cups cream, 1/2 cup sugar, cocoa powder and salt. Heat until wisps of steam start to rise from the surface, then remove from heat.

    2. WHISK together the egg yolks and remaining 1/2 cup sugar in a large mixing bowl, until smooth. Pour in a ladleful of the warm cream, whisking vigorously to keep the eggs from curdling. Slowly pour in the remainder of the cream, one or two ladlefuls at a time, whisking constantly as you go. Once all of the cream has been incorporated into the eggs…

    3. POUR the mixture back into the saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a heat-proof spatula and scraping the bottom of the pan, until the custard is thick enough to coat the back of the spatula.

    4. REMOVE from heat and whisk in the peanut butter, vanilla and remaining 1-1/2 cups cream until smooth. Pour the finished custard into a mixing bowl, and cover with plastic wrap, resting the wrap directly on the surface of the custard to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or until thoroughly chilled.

     

    5. FREEZE the ice cream in the ice cream machine, per the manufacturer’s instructions. Scoop into a freezer safe container, and place in the freezer to firm up while you prepare the brownies. (The ice cream can be made up to a week in advance. If you’ve made it ahead of time, let it rest on the counter for about 5 minutes to soften before assembling the ice cream sandwiches.)

    6. BAKE the brownies. Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease an 11″ × 17″ jelly roll pan with cooking spray, and line with parchment paper.

    7. STIR together the chocolate and butter in a small saucepan set over medium heat, until melted and smooth, about 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat.

    8. COMBINE the chocolate mixture in a large mixing bowl with the sugar, vanilla extract and salt; and stir until smooth. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition, then add the flour and stir until just barely combined. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, and smooth out the top to create a very thin, evenly distributed layer.

    9. BAKE in the preheated oven for about 8-10 minutes, or until the brownies are set and shiny on top, but still slightly undercooked. Remove from oven and set the pan on a wire rack to cool completely, about 30 minutes.

    10. CUT the brownie layer in half lengthwise to create two long, skinny rectangles, and place in the freezer for 10-15 minutes to firm up.

    11. ASSEMBLE the sandwiches: Run a knife along the edge of the pan to loosen the brownies. Carefully lift one of the rectangles out and transfer to a wire rack, leaving the other half on the cookie sheet.

    12. USING the parchment, carefully flip over the brownie layer in the pan, so that it’s now top-side down. Remove the parchment paper.

    13. WORKING as quickly as possible, spread the ice cream in a smooth, even layer onto the brownie in the pan. Carefully place the remaining brownie on top of the ice cream, doing your best to align the two layers. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap, and transfer to the freezer for at least 2-3 hours, or until completely frozen. When ready to serve…

    14. USE a sharp knife to cut into 8 rectangular pieces, then slice each one diagonally to create 16 triangular sandwiches. Serve right away. Wrap any sandwiches you’re not eating immediately in plastic wrap, and store in the freezer until ready to serve or up to 1 month.

    Find more delicious peanut butter recipes at ILovePeanutButter.com.

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Fruit Soup

    You don’t have to turn on the stove or the oven to make this refreshing dessert: fruit soup.

    Made from fresh or dried fruit, served hot or cold, fruit soups are underrepresented on American menus. Yet, they offer variety year-round.

  • Cold soups tend to be made with seasonal fruit and are thus served in warmer weather.
  • Soups made of dried fruits, such as Norwegian fruktsuppe (made of raisins and prunes), can be served hot or cold in any season.
  • Fruit soups can be cream soups or purées with or without the addition of fruit juice, and can include alcohol such as brandy, champagne, Port or wine.
  • Sweet fruit soups can include meat; and in at least one instance, a fruit soup can be completely savory, like \Chinese winter melon soup.
  • While fruit soup can be served for dessert, it also can be a first course or an intermezzo between fish and meat courses.
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    Fruit soup in a footed bowl. Photo courtesy Driscoll’s.

     

    Here’s a no cook light summer dessert dessert recipe from berry king Driscoll’s. Made primarily of blackberries, it adds red wine for a sophisticated layer of flavors (some red wines are often described to have hints of blackberry flavor).

    Prep time is 5 minutes. Serve with a piece of shortbread on the side.

     

    http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photography-blackberries-image11753307

    Fresh blackberries. Photo © Ninette Luz |
    Dreamstime.

     

    RECIPE: BLACKBERRY FRUIT SOUP

    Ingredients For 4 Servings

  • 2 packages (6 ounces each) blackberries
  • 1 cups dry red wine (Cabernet Sauvignon or Pinot Noir, or substitute a teaspoon of balsamic vinegar)
  • 1/4 cups sugar
  • 4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice, or to taste
  • Salt and fresh ground pepper
  • 1/4 cups sour cream or plain yogurt
  • 1 package (6 ounces) Driscoll’s Raspberries
  • 1 package (6 ounes) Driscoll’s Blueberries
  • Fresh mint for garnish
  • Optional topping: crème fraîche, thin lime slice, mascarpone, sour cream, toasted sliced almonds, vanilla yogurt or frozen yogurt
  • Optional: shortbread or other cookie
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    Preparation

    1. PURÉE blackberries, wine and sugar in blender or food processor until smooth. Press through a strainer to remove the seeds. Discard solids.

    2. STIR in lemon juice; season lightly with salt and pepper. Cover and chill several hours or overnight.

    3. LADLE soup into chilled bowls, footed glasses or wine goblets. Drizzle or spoon sour cream on top, and scatter with raspberries and blueberries.

    4. GARNISH each serving with a mint sprig or coarsely chopped mint.
     
    MORE FRUIT SOUP RECIPES

  • Chilled Papaya and Watermelon Soup Recipe
  • Chilled Raspberry Yogurt Soup Recipe
  • Diet Fruit Soup Recipe
  • Simple Fruit Soup Recipe
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