Posts Tagged ‘fruit’

Grapefruit-Ginger Jam

After checking out a new farmer’s market yesterday I came home loaded with fruit, including grapefruit, lemons, and strawberries.  With the citrus season soon coming to an end, I could not resist the offer of purchasing just-picked grapefruit at a price of 8 grapefruit for a dollar.  Faced with the reality that my fridge looked more like a garden/orchard than a refrigerator, I realized I would not be able to consume all of this fruit.

So I set out to preserve the grapefruit, thinking it would be delicious paired with ginger.  At first unsure of the difference between preserves, jam, jelly, and marmalade, I soon learned that I would be making jam.  It turns out that preserves use whole pieces of fruit, jellies use the fruit juice, and marmalade is made using the rind of the fruit as well as the pulp.  Since I would be using pieces of grapefruit, but not exactly whole pieces of fruit, I decided my recipe would be a jam.

I tried to follow a recipe, but most of the ones online called for steeping the whole grapefruit overnight, or boiling it whole for several hours.  I had made strawberry preserves before by simply boiling the fruit with sugar, and decided to do the same with the grapefruit.  For this recipe, you need to peel and remove the pith from the grapefruit and lemons and collect all of the juice and pulp in a large bowl.  This may feel like a somewhat tedious process when you are doing it, but it is worth it for the simplification of the recipe and will cut down on a lot of wait time.

The grapefruit-ginger jam is delicious mixed with plain Greek yogurt or on crackers.  Enjoy!

Grapefruit-Ginger Jam

Ingredients include grapefruit, lemons, and crystallized ginger (as well as sugar, not shown).

Ingredients include grapefruit, lemons, and crystallized ginger (as well as sugar, not shown).

Ingredients:

  • 4 large red grapefruit, juice and pulp only (skins and pith removed)
  • 1 lemon, juice and pulp only (skins and pith removed)
  • 1/2 cup finely diced crystallized ginger
  • 1 cup sugar

Directions:

  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil.
  2. Simmer uncovered on medium heat, stirring occasionally, for about 45 minutes or until thickened.
  3. Follow canning instructions – wash jars with hot soapy water, fill with the preserves (leaving 1/4-1/2 inch space at the rim), and immerse in boiling water for about 5 minutes (making sure the water covers the jar).
  4. Remove jars from boiling water and let your preserves cool.
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Nut, Fruit, and Seed Energy Bars With Omega-3s

For a long time, I was addicted to Kind energy bars.  I loved the simple ingredients in their fruit and nut bars as well as the natural energy they gave me when I ate them before my workouts.  However, the habit became pretty expensive.  Furthermore, I felt limited by the selection, constantly wishing that more of their bars contained flax or chia seeds.  So what was a girl to do?  Bake her own bars, of course!

For this recipe, I customized this recipe for energy bars.  I have experimented with different types of dried fruits, and learned that anything works as long as I include at least 1/2 cup of dates or prunes and a bit of honey to hold everything together (when I first followed the recipe, the bars were kind of falling apart on me).

Since I had been wishing that more Kind energy bars contained omega-3 fatty acids, I added chia and flax seeds to this recipe.  According to WebMD, omega-3s are essential fatty acids that are not produced by the body, but that can be obtained only through food.  They reduce inflammation in the body, lower triglyceride levels, reduce overall risk of heart disease, and lower levels of depression.  Some studies have even found that they may reduce risk of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

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Nut, Fruit, and Seed Energy Bars With Omega-3s

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup whole raw almonds with skins
  • 1/2 cup dates
  • 1/4 cup dried apricots
  • 1/4 cup dried tart cherries
  • 1/4 cup fruit juice (preferably orange juice)
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup unsalted pepitas (raw pumpkin seeds), unsalted
  • 1/4 cup unsalted sunflower seeds
  • 1/8 cup flax seeds or ground flax seeds
  • 1/8 cup chia seeds

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.  Line an 8 by 8 inch baking pan with aluminum foil and grease with nonstick baking spray (Pam), if desired.
  2. In a food processor, pulse the almonds and the dried fruit a few times until they are roughly chopped up.
  3. Add the juice, honey, and salt, and pulse to blend.
  4. Add the pepitas, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, and chia seeds and pulse to combine.
  5. Spread the mixture evenly on the baking pan.
  6. Bake for about 15 minutes, until golden at the edges.  Remove from the oven and let cool completely before cutting or breaking the bars apart into about 8 pieces.

Spinach-Pineapple Juice With Cilantro

As a 6-year-old, I used to think that eating spinach would magically give me Popeye’s superhuman strength.  I disliked the taste of spinach, but remember loading up one evening for dinner knowing that later my athletic friend and I would race each other.

Unfortunately, the spinach did not turn me into a Popeye-style racing machine.  Nevertheless, according to Livestrong.com, it’s a nutritious food, containing plenty of calcium (for bones), beta-carotene and vitamin A (for healthy skin, eyes, and immune system), lutein (to prevent muscular degeneration), and folate (to prevent birth defects).  It also helps prevent cancer, making it a winner nutrition-wise.  Baby spinach, which I use in my juices, has the same benefits of other spinach varieties.

While the idea of “spinach juice” does not appeal to me even as an adult, blending it with sweet fruit is a whole new take on the concept.  And adding some herbs gives the combination a je ne sais quoi – sophistication, perhaps?  Below is my favorite recipe, which uses only three ingredients.

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Spinach-Pineapple Juice with Cilantro

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups firmly packed baby spinach
  • 2 cups cubed pineapple (about 1/2 medium pineapple)
  • 4 sprigs cilantro

Directions:

Combine ingredients in juicer according to juicer directions.  Best served chilled!

Yield: 1 1/2 cups