Posts tagged ‘Fruit’

January 2, 2013

100% Natural Chiquita Super Crunchy Fruit Chips

by ashley

Chiquita Super Crunchy Fruit ChipsI’ve never been a huge fan of commercially made dehydrated or freeze dried fruits. Usually they taste like cardboard and are loaded with preservatives, which completely negates any health benefits. So I was torn as to what to snack on while at my conference next week (will be flying off to Denver), while still maintaining my diet. Yes, I know – so cliché, I’m dieting in January LOL. Wandering the crowded aisles of my local Walmart (tough times call for budgeting!) I was super excited to find these cute, individual 45 calorie packets of Chiquita Fruit Chips. The ingredients are so simple, literally just pineapple. Yup, that’s it. No chemicals, no oils, no sugar. Just the fruit of choice.

Chiquita Super Crunchy Fruit Chips - PineappleThey have three varieties: pineapple, mango and banana. I grabbed a pack of six individual baggies: three banana and three pineapple. So far I’ve only tried the Pineapple, but they were so tasty I knew I wanted to share it with our readers. Chiquita says on the package that they are “100% air-crisped fruit, never fried or freeze-dried”, and the end product definitely shows the care they took in preparing them. While not quite like dehydrated fruit, which I love when executed properly, these are crispier. This makes them a great alternative to fat-laden chips, and also healthier being that there are no added ingredients. There is the obvious sweetness of the fruit, mingled with the satisfying crunch and the fruit “re-hydrates” in your mouth while chewing, giving a great finish. The 45 calorie snack bags are also unbelievably satiating, even for heavy appetites like mine!

Chiquita Super Crunchy Fruit Chips - Pineapple Nutrition FactsIf you can’t find them in grocery stores, you can also purchase them on Amazon (albeit larger containers):

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_0_16?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=chiquita+super+crunchy+fruit+chips&sprefix=chiquita+super+c%2Caps%2C177

Healthy, delicious and 100% natural – a wonderful pre-packaged snack! Great for kid’s lunches, road tripping and even detoxing!

July 20, 2011

Spiny, spiky, oozy – fruit? And as a vegan meat replacement?

by ashley

by Ashley Morgan

Is it an alligator? It is a lizard? A dinosaur??

No, it’s a jackfruit! The largest tree-born, and arguably most delicious, edible fruit in the world. And when I say large, I mean it. The jackfruit can grow up to a whopping 80 pounds. That’s over 36 kilos of heavy, sweet fruit. While I have seen the jackfruit for much of my life in Florida and throughout the Caribbean, I only recently found out about its use as a meat replacement. And since I really can’t stand many “fake” meats, I knew that I needed to make a dish to see how it tastes.

Ripe, the jackfruit’s texture and flavor is like a banana, mango and pineapple all mixed together. Super sweet and perfect without any dressing. But, unbeknownst to me, the younger, green fruit has a very mild taste, meaning it will absorb flavors almost as well as tofu. What I found out after taking these photos (and making a couple recipes that you will see posted soon) is that, unlike when eating the ripe fruit, the younger fruit can be cut up in its entirety. Just peel off the skin, cut it, marinate it and eat. The ripe fruit you actually peel out the individual pockets of fruit, which are good for eating raw. Don’t try eating the green jackfruit raw, though. It doesn’t taste good and can possibly give you a major stomachache.

I bought my jackfruit from a locally-grown farm here in South Florida. I didn’t want anything too extravagant (and consequently ridiculously expensive) but rather a modest fruit. Well, apparently a modest jackfruit is 9.8 pounds, the smallest they had available. After paying $18 for one fruit, I brought it home and began examining it. I had eaten ripe jackfruit before, but never had the delight of cutting and peeling it myself. Even before peeling the stem began oozing its white liquid on everything, which consequently is actually used as caulking in some Asian countries (yes – it is that sticky and thick). So be prepared for a sticky, messy endeavor if you are trying this yourself. To counteract the stickiness, have a small bowl of oil at the ready for coating hands, cutting boards and your knife.

Cutting the jackfruit is easy, as long as you have a large enough knife. Remember this while purchasing, you’ll need to have a pretty big knife to go through some of the larger jackfruit. It’s possible without, but it creates a lot more work. If you’re eating it ripe, just cut the fruit in fourths, peel away the hard tethers, pull out the seeds and eat the soft fruit. If you’re making a recipe with green jackfruit, I’ve now learned all you need to do is peel off the outer skin and cut. You will still need to take out the seeds, however. In either scenario, the seeds shouldn’t be discarded. Keep them and roast, they have lots of health benefits and are great when added to a trail mix (which, by the way, I have a great recipe for that I’ll be posting soon).

There are a multitude of recipes out there for jackfruit, Asian and otherwise. I’ll be posting a few of mine over the next few days, which include a couple Latin recipes that are completely unique. If you have any questions about the jackfruit, or are looking for a place to purchase in South Florida, please let me know and I’d be glad to help.

 

 

June 27, 2011

Super Antioxidant Detox Smoothie: Raspberry, Blueberry, Strawberry and Spinach

by ashley

by Ashley MorganThis detox has certainly kicked my butt – but it’s been good for me. While I may never again look at a fruit smoothie the same way, I’ve learned a lot about the way that I think about food and what hold it really has on me. The most important thing I’ve learned is that I can control my cravings, I don’t have to give in to my addictions. It takes a lot of energy and dedication at first, but believe me, you will learn to not even think about other foods.

I also learned that it’s okay to cheat every now and then. Just cheat smart – if you’re starving and craving something big, first drink a big glass of water. If after a few minutes you still feel hungry, cook up some portobello mushrooms and onions. If you’re craving something salty, grab some olive hummus and seed crackers. And if you’re feeling especially guilty: vegan dark chocolate certainly hits the spot 🙂

For my last day of the detox, I wanted to share my smoothie that I’ve eaten almost everyday. It really is tasty, especially when you’re not dreading eating it three times a day for a week!

I freeze my own fruit, I just feel more comfortable knowing the state of the fruit before being frozen. That is just a pet-peeve of mine, and it’s perfectly acceptable to buy flash-frozen fruit (and usually it is much fresher).

Here is a simple detox smoothie recipe, using on fresh fruits and spinach, that will keep your body nourished and healthy, without any preservatives or added sugars.

1/2 cup frozen blueberries

1/2 cup frozen raspberries

1 cup fresh strawberries

1/2 cup fresh baby spinach

1/2 cup ice-cold water

Simply toss in a blender and blend until smooth. Nature’s tastiest concoction!

Do you have any favorite smoothie recipes, using only all-natural ingredients? Share them below!

May 19, 2011

EnviroKidz Organic, Gluten-Free, Gelatin-Free Crispy Rice Treats

by ashley

by Ashley Morgan

It’s rare to find a product that is sold nationwide, but still holds that family oriented, local farming mentality. Founded in 1985, but with much older roots dating back to the 1930’s, Nature’s Path (the owners/creators of EnviroKidz) have built a company through years of dedicated organic farming and family values. I was impressed reading through their quaint, but ample website that they have such strong connections with their workers and farmers. If you have a few moments, I would suggest you read through it a little too. I’ve included a link at the bottom of this post.

When you can place a story with the product you pick up in your hands, whether in a farmer’s market or in a grocery store, something special happens. The product is no longer just a cereal bar, just a piece of fruit, just a bag of rice – it becomes your connection with the hands that made it. And that makes enjoying the product just a little sweeter.

Opening the packaging of the crispy rice treat this morning, I was immediately greeted by the wafting scent of fresh fruit. I turned over the package and re-read the ingredients, noting that the bar contains both fresh freeze-dried raspberries and blueberries. Freeze-dried doesn’t always invoke the most pleasant of thoughts, but in this bar they are lovely. All ingredients are also USDA approved organic and gluten-free. While I don’t have children, I immediately thought why other products aren’t this health-conscious. This is what we should be feeding our children – not chemicals and preservatives, basically poisons.

Nothing artificial, almost vegan (it includes organic honey), made from gluten-free organic brown rice flour and tastes better than any other crispy rice treat out there. I don’t think a healthier sweet snack exists.

Visit http://www.EnviroKidz.com/ to check out their site, I really was impressed with the scope of their dedication to organic farming. Nature’s Path will also donate 1% of all proceeds to an environmental or children’s educational charity for every product you purchase.

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