Back in October of last year, I posted my top 7 Tips For Boosting Immunity With Green Smoothies.
Tip #5 was: Get Affordable or FREE Greens at your local Farmer’s Market
I want to talk about this again, as I receive countless emails every month from readers who want to include more fresh organic vegetables and leafy greens into their diet but find the cost a challenge.
To recap on tip #5: Most people ask to have the greens cut off of their beets, turnips, and carrots, etc. at market stalls. Ask your local vendor for any tops they have cut off for other customers. These greens are absolutely loaded with nutrients, and very often you can pick them up for free (they are just going to throw them away) or for a couple of bucks.
Another top tip for getting affordable produce is to make friends with the stall owners, and at the end of the day you can pick up large boxes of surplus produce for a song! This can include leafy greens, as well as other seasonal fruits and veggies. You can then create all kinds of smoothies, juices, salads, and other delicious creations for a fraction of the cost.
A nutrient-dense green smoothie is a quick, easy, delicious way to get your daily dose of greens and other fruits and vegetables in one hit. It is also a fabulous way to help inspire confidence in novice cooks and children. Picking up seasonal produce boxes at the market keeps things interesting and diverse, and expands the family’s gustatory repertoire and experiences.
Though you can technically find apricots year round, this stone-fruit is at its peak in the summer. I’m partial to beautiful Blenheim apricots, which are common on the west coast, but there is a wide variety of apricots to choose from, many of which will be harvested right through the end of August.
As an added benefit, each little apricot supplies you with approximately 13% of your daily Vitamin A and 6% of your daily Vitamin C for only 16 calories! So enjoy a few out of hand or in this easy, cool and creamy smoothie.
Get this healthy shake recipe!
Eating healthy is a challenge.
Getting kids to eat healthy can be–well, near impossible.
Since our family has been on special diets for such a long time, it’s probably easier for me than most, but I still do struggle.
My oldest son has life-threatening food allergies, so his diet has been restricted his whole life. But my youngest is more easily tempted by the whole packaged and processed behemoth that threatens to undo all the nutritional groundwork I’ve laid in his life.
It’s pretty hard to turn down those soulful eyes and the Puhleeeeeeze at the grocery store when he finds a new goodie he’d like to try.
Keep reading for Adrienne’s healthy and kid-friendly meal ideas…
As I settle into the Midwest’s predictable winter rhythm of chilly weather, heavy gray skies, and long dark nights, the kitchen calls to me with a different voice this time of year. I find myself drawn to warmer, heartier dishes flavored with fragrant spices and nutrient-rich broths. My heavy Dutch oven gets pulled out of the cabinet on almost a daily basis as I prepare warming soups, stews, and sauces like this one comprised of subtly spiced apples and pears.
Nothing says winter like a bowl of piping hot stewed fruit. And would you believe that homemade fruit sauce takes just about a half hour to come together? I promise you that after you get into the habit of making your own applesauce, store-bought simply won’t hold a candle to what comes out of your kitchen!
Because apples and pears are great storage fruits (meaning that they keep for several weeks in the refrigerator), it’s easy to keep all of the ingredients you’ll need on hand for this so that you can make it whenever the craving strikes.
Aside from eating it straight up in a bowl with a few walnuts on top for a snack, I savor this apple-pear sauce in a few other ways, too:
- Spread on top of the whole grain gluten-free pancakes from my cookbook
- Mixed into muffin and cake batters for extra fruity flavor
- Served hot as a chunky sauce for roasted chicken or turkey
- As a spread/condiment for these gluten- and sugar-free Banana Chai Muffins
Because apples and pears are relatively inexpensive fruits, turning them into sauce is a creative way to stretch your dollar when it comes to eating fresh produce. Divide the sauce into small glass containers to keep handy in your refrigerator for packing into school/work lunches.
What is your favorite way to enjoy winter’s abundance of delicious fruits? Share your ideas in the comments!
Apple-Pear Sauce in 3 Easy Steps
Makes 5-6 cups
2 pounds apples, such as a mix of Gala and Braeburn, peeled, cored, and chopped
2 pounds pears, any variety, peeled, cored, and chopped
3-4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 1/3 cup water
1 cinnamon stick
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- Bring all ingredients to boil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the fruit is soft and breaking apart, about 25-30 minutes.
- Remove the pot from heat. Remove and discard the cinnamon stick. Use a potato masher or pastry cutter to mash the sauce to your desired consistency. (For very smooth sauce, puree the cooked fruit in a blender or food processor. Use caution when pureeing hot liquids.)
- Cool the sauce completely before storing in the refrigerator. (Can be refrigerated for 4-5 days.)
Hallie Klecker is the author of The Pure Kitchen, a gluten- and dairy-free cookbook with over 100 healthful recipes. She also writes the recipe blog Daily Bites, where she shares her passion for cooking with whole, natural foods. Hallie is a certified Nutrition Educator and former personal chef.