Category Archives: Fruit smoothies

Fruity Friday…The Raspberry…

Fruity Fridays The Raspberry

 

Welcome to Fruity Friday today I am showcasing a fruit which is synonymous with desserts and I definitely am not the desert queen by any means…I may make the odd ice cream or a fruit compote but my culinary skills lie elsewhere I am a savoury lady although I  used to make birthday cakes when my kiddies were young and I wish I had the photos but I didn’t back them up and lost all of them a few years ago…Lesson learnt the hard way … I think my favourite was Goldilocks and the three bears and of course, I made numerous forts and fairy castles…I digress…

I suppose this is what has stopped me my lack of dessert making in showcasing a fruit which I love… fresh or frozen it freezes very well…The Raspberry…

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Raspberries are an excellent source of Vitamin C, manganese and dietary fibre. They are a very good source of copper and a good source of Vitamin K, Vitamin E, magnesium, folate, omega-3 fatty acids and potassium.

A little powerhouse of benefits…

Spicy Raspberry Sauce.

  • I punnet of raspberries
  • 3 tbsp. Hot pepper sauce
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika

Let’s get saucy…

In a blender, purée raspberries with 1/4 cup water; strain through a fine-mesh sieve over a medium bowl, pushing the mixture through with rubber spatula.

Into the raspberry mixture, whisk the honey, smoked paprika, 1/8 tsp salt, and remaining 3 tablespoons hot sauce.

This spicy little dip is lovely with chicken wings or sliced strip steak…

I like raspberries made into a fruit compote and I love it with porridge oats …To make the compote measure 3 cups of fresh or frozen raspberries, 1/3-1/2 cup of sugar, I tsp lime juice…Just pop your berries in a saucepan on a low heat with half the sugar if you think you need a splash of water then add it bring to a slow rolling boil and let simmer until the sugar has dissolved and the fruit has broken down add your lime or lemon juice.

I don’t mind the pips but if you prefer a smoother compote then pass the mixture through a fine sieve.

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Adjust the sugar depending on how sweet you like your compote ..I prefer mine on the tart side …This will keep in the fridge for about a week or freeze it in portions.

You could also do a mix of different berries, blackberries, blueberries, cranberries which is also very nice and something which I do…

A compote is also lovely served with natural or greek yoghurt…

Raspberry Balsamic Vinaigrette.

Mix raspberries and sugar together in a bowl; set aside until mixture is juicy, about 10 minutes.

Mash berries using a fork until liquefied if you prefer a smoother vinaigrette then blitz in a small mixer.

Pour berry mixture into a jar with a lid; add balsamic vinegar, olive oil, honey, and salt. Cover the jar with a lid and shake until dressing is mixed well.

Store in refrigerator.

Raspberry Smoothies.

Raspberry Protein Shake

Doesn’t that look beautiful? To me, it just screams drink me the colour is awesome so vibrant.

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup of coconut water
  • 1/3 cup of greek yoghurt
  • 1/2 cup of frozen raspberries
  • 1/2 medium beetroot(raw) peeled and diced.
  • 1 tbsp honey ( optional)
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds ( optional)

Let’s, Blitz!

Measure all the ingredients into your blender and blitz away… The colour was amazing a beautiful colour and it tasted very nice not too sweet and I did add honey.

This smoothie can be drunk instead of a drink with protein powder and the like in it …An alternative to bought protein drinks…Having never had a protein drink I do not know what they taste like although I have listened to others who say well they don’t taste great but I drink them anyway…Really!

I think I know which one I would rather drink…Don’t you??

Did you know?

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Each raspberry consists of around 100 individual tiny fruits, called drupelets, filled with one seed. They are arranged in a shape of a helmet around the centrally positioned small stem. When ripe raspberries are harvested from the plant, the stem remains on the mother plant, leaving the hole in the middle of the fruit.

Did you know?

Scotland is famous for its raspberry growing. In the late 1950s, raspberries were brought down from Scotland to London on a steam train known as the Raspberry Special.

I think my abiding memory of raspberries is one picking them as a child and two my nan used to make the best trifle with raspberries no custard just plain sponge, raspberries and jelly made with raspberry juice and served with lovely fresh cream …Very simple and how I make my trifles to this day…Nothing fancy…Just simply done so fruity and fresh…

So no I am not a fancy dessert queen just simple flavours and that is how I roll…No airs and graces…Just me…

I hope you have enjoyed this post and if you have please pin it or share on your favourite social media … Comments in the comments section it really makes my day to hear from you…What is your favourite recipe using raspberries???

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Enjoy your weekend, have fun and laugh a lot and be mindful xxx

 

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Fruity Friday…Pomegranates…

The Pomegranate with fruit like beautiful red jewels glistening in the sun always makes me think of far-off climes and hot sandy deserts.

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It just says eat me it is another fruit which grows in abundance here and I can see the little pomegranates as I type. The branches swaying in the gentle breeze.

It has beautiful flowers and is grown as an ornamental tree because of these.

Although not native to Japan or Korea it is widely grown there as when they mature the bark makes unusual, twisted patterns and hence this tree is very suitable for Bonsai trees some trees live up to 200 years.

Originally from Iran, it has been successfully cultivated throughout the Meditteranean and North India. It grows very successfully from seed and we have many pomegranate trees here..well in almost every garden, this edible fruit is a berry and the tree is extremely drought tolerant so suited to the climate here and other Asian countries.

Medicinally the fruit rind is used to treat chronic dysentery and diarrhoea. The pulp and seeds are used as a laxative.

Like many people I was put off by getting those little seeds out from the surrounding membrane don’t they make a lot of mess? but if you separate the seeds in a bowl of water it is much easier to do. Tricks of the trade so simple when you know how!

They make wonderful juices, smoothies, garnishes for cooking…I just love seeing those little red jewel-like berries scattered over some lamb, duck or just a simple eggplant dish and Pomegranate syrup is a lovely thing and elevates many a dish.

Lovely in a cocktail as well…just saying…lol

Just make a lovely gin and soda cocktail and add a handful of pomegranates and a splash of the syrup..very nice and a beautiful pink colour.

Pomegranate seeds are also used to make a spice called anardana which is very popular in Indian and Pakistan cuisine it is made from the dried seeds of the pomegranate and then ground to a fine powder. It is used as a flavour enhancer in many dishes from salads, meats, smoothies and yoghurts.

Pomegranate salad eggplants

I cannot buy pomegranate syrup/ molasses here but it is is very easy to make and I love it poured over Ice cream.

Let’s Cook!

To make the syrup you need

  • 4 cups of Pomegranate juice
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice.

Put the arils….which is what the fleshy coloured coverings are called into your blender and pulse just enough to break them up. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve. You will need enough to make 4 cups of pomegranate juice.

Put the juice into a large wide pan on the medium heat until the sugar has dissolved, let the juice simmer until it has reduced to about a cup or a cup and a quarter and is nice and syrupy. Pour into a sterilised jar/ bottle, cool and keep in the refrigerator.

Because Pomegranates vary in their sweetness and acidity you may need to add more or less sugar/lemon juice. 

Guinea Fowl, walnut and pomegranate stew.

Guinea fowl with pomegranates and walnuts

Ingredients:

  • 1 free-range guinea fowl jointed into 4-6 pieces
  • 1 ltr of fresh chicken stock
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 large onions sliced
  • 6 cloves garlic sliced
  • 300 gm walnuts shelled
  • 1 tbsp light brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 125 ml pomegranate molasses/syrup
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Garnish with a handful of pomegranate seeds, coriander, parsley, tarragon, chives mint or basil and some sliced spring onions.

Let’s Cook!

Toast the walnuts on a baking tray in the oven at 180 degrees/gas 4

Then whizz them in the food processor I have a small little chopper until they have a smooth texture, scrape the sides down occasionally it will look like a smooth peanut butter.

Put the walnut mix in a large pan add the chicken stock and 1 ltr water and bring to a simmer cook until the mix has reduced by half stirring often so the walnut mix does catch and burn about 45-50 mins.

Heat the oil in a wide shallow dish when hot add the seasoned guinea fowl skin side down fry over a medium heat until the skin has browned.

Turn over and sear the other side transfer to a plate and cook the remaining pieces the same way. Set the plate to one side.

In the same pan add the onions and on a medium heat cook for about 10 minutes stirring often add the garlic and cook for a further 2 minutes then add cinnamon, sugar and tomato puree bring to a gentle simmer and add the walnut mix and the pomegranate molasses bring back to a gentle simmer add the guinea fowl legs skin side up and cook for  30 minutes. Add the breasts making sure everything is evenly placed to ensure even cooking and cook for a further 20 minutes or until the guinea fowl is cooked through. Check the stock every so often and if it is reducing too much top up with chicken stock or water and gently stir.

Once ready check and adjust the seasoning you are looking for a sweet but sharp, savoury balance of flavour it might require more molasses or sugar.

Scatter with the pomegranate seeds and a garnish of the freshly picked herbs.

N.B Guinea fowl can be tough to portion so get your butcher to do it or use chicken portions or baby quail.

This can be made a day or two in advance just loosen the sauce with some water when reheating.

Serve with rice or couscous…It is a lovely rich dish and ideal for that special occasion I just love the flavour the pomegranate molasses impart to this dish.

Enjoy!

Lastly, Pomegranate vinegar makes a lovely present and is also very nice and can be used to make a very nice personal gift which any cook would be pleased to be given.

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I use apple cider vinegar as it is readily available but a good quality wine vinegar can be used or a balsamic vinegar as it gives a sweeter tasting vinegar.

To make you will need equal quantities of pomegranate seeds to vinegar. What I do is decide on the bottles or jars I am using and measure the vinegar in that then once I know the amount of vinegar I then work out how many arils I will need( they must be deseeded)

.Put the pomegranate seeds in a saucepan and flatten them to release the juice ( use a plastic cup or something to flatten the seeds.

Bring them to a slow rolling boil not completely boiling so as to release the pomegranate juice and turn off the heat. Pour everything into a sterilized jar or bottle and cover the top loosely and allow to cool completely.Once cool put the cap on the jar or bottle and store in a dark cool place or in the fridge the flavour will develop as the days go by…When ready to use strain the vinegar you can add some molasses to strengthen the flavour or add sugar to sweeten.

It can be used as a drink by adding a tbsp or two of vinegar to a glass of water and sweeten with honey. OR used to make salad dressings either on its own or by mixing with Olive oil, garlic or mustard.

It also makes a lovely Christmas or birthday gift..who doesn’t like a bottle of a handmade vinegar…

I hope you are enjoying these Fruity Fridays …Thank you for reading and I hope you love the recipes …If you do please share on your favourite social media xxx

 

 

Tropical sunshine in a glass…Take 5

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I am really getting into this smoothie making and today I think is one of my favourite smoothies. I am learning to get the right amount and what I do is take the glass I am going to drink it from and fill the glass with my fruit that way I make just enough and if I am making more than one glass then I double up but it eliminates the guesswork.

Todays smoothie was a mixture of fruit and vegetables.

I used a large chunk of  Pineapple, Watermelon, yellow melon and dragon fruit. A slice of tomato, a slice of beetroot, a piece of carrot and a little ice.

Then into the liquidiser and a blitz for a minute and voila a lovely smoothie.

Enjoy!

If you missed my previous smoothie recipes then I have put them all in this one post just for you along side a little chatter and trivia about some of the fruits.

Banana and Pineapple smoothie (4)

Banana and Pineapple smoothie.  

I have never made so many smoothies ever as I have done recently but so much fruit…

This mornings smoothie was Banana, Pineapple, Tomato and Raspberries with a touch of fresh Lime juice.

Yes, tomato...I have had tomato in a smoothie from a fruit stall but never used it at home but again I have lots of tomatoes.

So we get lots of nutritional goodies all in the one glass and it’s yummy. Not like one of those yucky coloured juices which claim to be good and you have to literally hold the nose and down it in one and at the same time hope it doesn’t come straight back up…What is the point of that??? We like nice tasting drinks don’t we girls and boys???

Put 2 small bananas, 2 rings of pineapple chopped, half a tomato skinned and I added a handful of frozen raspberries and a squeeze of fresh lime juice. All together in a blender ….blitz and pour into a chilled glass.

Enjoy!

Now for some facts about the very versatile pineapple….Well, first things first…who doesn’t like Pina Colada???? Best served cold on the beach….Delicious!

Thailand is the biggest producer of pineapple and in the wild pineapples can live and fruit for up to 50 years.

The pineapple is not an Apple or a pine but a berry….

Eaten fresh, juiced, cooked …it is lovely in a curry or fried rice or preserved. It is also great for tenderising meat.

Strawberry Raspberry banana smoothie (3)

Strawberry and Raspberry smoothie.

Phew, it is now topping 104F here and rising by the day…Lots of strawberries and bananas…The thing is the bananas we pick by the hand and it is big so I have to think of all ways to use them apart from just freezing them. Strawberries well you can only eat so many and we can’t give them away…

So it’s smoothie time again, strawberries, a banana, a few frozen raspberries and 3 cheeks of lime juice and about half small glass of coconut milk. I like my drinks a bit tart and I don’t do sweet drinks so you may want to cut the lime a little and add some honey to sweeten but the beauty of the smoothies is anything goes you can make to order.

If I want it colder and more frozen then I use frozen bananas.

Now for a little bit more about the Strawberry which is cultivated world wide, most people love a strawberry….Don’t they????

The garden strawberry was first bred in the 1750’s in Brittany, France and believe or not they are not technically berries but accessory fruits!

A member of the rose family they are the only fruit to wear their seeds on the outside. Although the seeds can be propagated they are more commonly reproduced by the runners which are then pegged into the soil.

A piece of trivia: There is a museum in Belgium dedicated to the Strawberry.

 

 

Papaya,Banana,Lime smoothie

Papaya, Banana and Lime smoothie.

This one has just 4 ingredients.

Half a papaya….  seeds removed.

1 banana

4fl oz of coconut milk

1-1 1/2 limes. I like to taste the lime so I would add one and a half hubby prefers just 1 lime.

But like with anything….and you know what I am going to say…Don’t you??? TASTE.

Blitz the papaya and banana with the coconut milk then add your lime juice, Taste and add more if required.

Pour into a chilled glass and enjoy!

If you want a more frozen smoothie then just freeze the papaya and banana. I always keep bags of frozen fruit for smoothies…I just didn’t want brain freeze today…ha ha.

 

 

Mango smoothie

Mango and Tamarind smoothie.

For 2 servings.

8 oz of ripe mango (frozen). You could use frozen mango pulp as I do when mago is out of season.

2 tbsp honey

2 tsp Tamarind paste

7oz coconut milk …chilled.

Put all the ingredients into your blender and whizz until it is nice and smooth. Spoon into 2 glasses and enjoy!

If it is too sour for you then add more honey or sweetener of your choice but I love the sourness of the Tamarind.

I hope you enjoy these as much as I do…. until next time thank you for reading this post and please leave a comment if you try a smoothie and if you wish to share this post then please do.

Take 5 Tropical Sunshine in a Glass

Mix and Match have fun and experiment 🙂

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Enjoy xx