Tag Archives: organic

Apple Cinnamon Ginger Water

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I like making my own flavored water, and now that it’s autumn, I thought I’d try a water recipe with the flavors of fall. I was inspired by a recipe for apple-cinnamon water at Sarah’s Cool Stuff–apples and cinnamon are such a classic fall flavor combination. There are sliced apples and cinnamon sticks in this, and I added some slices of fresh ginger root for a little extra mild spice. It’s really refreshing!

You can also add some ground cinnamon if you like, for a stronger cinnamon flavor, but it will color the water more brownish and it tends to clump up in the water when refrigerated. I recommend just adding 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon to your water if you decide to try that, and mix it in before you add the apple slices and other ingredients.

Make this in the evening, refrigerate overnight, and it will be ready to drink the next day. The water does get a little cloudy as it refrigerates. The apples will start to brown a little the next day, but the water is still good to drink for a day or two after you make it. To help prevent the apples from turning brown, you can squeeze fresh lemon juice on the slices as you’re slicing the apples.

I sliced up 2 different kinds of apples for my water to add extra color–a Gala apple and a Granny Smith apple–use whatever types of apples you like best! Although I used a tart Granny Smith apple in this batch of water, I recommend using sweeter apples–I really liked the slightly sweet flavor of the water when I made it another time with 2 Gala apples.

APPLE CINNAMON GINGER WATER by NancyCreative, adapted from Sarah’s Cool Stuff

Makes a large pitcher (half-gallon) of flavored water

  • 8 cups of water
  • 2 medium organic apples (sweet apples work best–Fuji apples are a good choice), cut into thin slices (if you don’t use organic, peel your apples so you don’t get the pesticides from the skins in your water)
  • 4 to 6 cinnamon sticks
  • 6 thin slices of peeled fresh ginger root

Fill pitcher with 8 cups of water. Slice apples, putting the slices in the water right away (this helps prevent the slices from browning too soon). Add cinnamon sticks and ginger root, and stir all ingredients together in the pitcher. Refrigerate overnight before serving. When ready to serve, add ice cubes to pitcher and stir right before serving or add ice to individual serving glasses and pour your flavored water over the ice.

If you prefer a fizzy water drink, you can use Seltzer water instead of regular water (Club Soda is high in sodium and Tonic Water is sweetened with high fructose corn syrup, so Seltzer water is best).

Note: This water has a very light, mild flavor–if you want a stronger apple flavor, you could also mix in some unsweetened apple juice to taste.

If you’re wondering what you can do with the fruit when you’re done drinking the water, here are some ideas: If the apple slices are still crunchy and just slightly brown, I eat them-or I eat them as I’m drinking up the water. You can also put the apple slices, ginger root slices, and cinnamon sticks in your compost pile.

What fruits do you like to use to flavor your water?

Mediterranean Blend Veggies with Fresh Lemon Dressing and Southwestern Blend Veggies ‘n Chicken

I made these delicious and healthy organic veggies the other day, using the Whole Foods Market 365 Everyday Value Mediterranean Blend frozen vegetables. I added a Fresh Lemon Dressing on top, which was a nice lemony, tangy, finishing touch.

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I also made this yummy chicken and veggie dish with the organic Southwestern Blend frozen vegetables, also from Whole Foods.

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I mentioned in an earlier post that these are some of the new organic frozen food products in the Whole Foods Market 365 Everyday Value line. There are so many veggies and fruits to choose from, ncWFVeggiesbut the Southwestern and Mediterranean Blends are among their newest products. They can be used in soups, stews, casseroles, and many other ways. And they’re great just the way they are as a side dish with your meal.

Here are my recipes if you’d like to try them out. They’re really good and good for you!

MEDITERRANEAN BLEND VEGGIES WITH FRESH LEMON DRESSING 

  • 1 (16-oz.) package Mediterranean Blend frozen vegetables (a blend of zucchini, yellow squash, carrots, green beans, red peppers, and onions)

 FRESH LEMON DRESSING (adapted from Lowe’s Creative Ideas )

  • 4 teaspoons finely shredded lemon peel
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup light sour cream or Greek yogurt

Prepare vegetables according to package directions.

To make  lemon dressing, combine lemon peel, lemon juice, garlic, Dijon mustard, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Slowly whisk in olive oil until thickened. Whisk in sour cream or yogurt.

To serve, drizzle dressing over cooked veggies or serve dressing on the side and dip veggies in dressing. The 16-ounce package of frozen veggies makes about 4 to 5 side servings and the dressing makes 6 to 8 servings, so you’ll have a little dressing left over–you can save that for a salad!

SOUTHWESTERN BLEND VEGGIES WITH CHICKEN

  • 1 (16-0z.) package Southwestern Blend frozen veggies (a blend of onions and red and green peppers)
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups cooked, chopped-up chicken (I used a rotisserie chicken I had purchased)

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Carefully add frozen vegetables to the skillet and saute 5 minutes. Add chopped chicken and saute 2 more minutes, or until heated through. Season to taste with salt and pepper or your favorite seasoning and serve. Makes 4 servings.

These are both really quick and easy recipes, and so healthy! Hope you get a chance to try them sometime!

Sweet and Juicy Blackberry Crumble

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A few days ago, I told you about a great line of products available at Whole Foods Market–the 365 Everyday Value organic frozen fruits and veggies. I made a delicious Very Berry Smoothie with their Frozen Berry Blend and I decided to make a Blackberry Crumble with their organic frozen blackberries. Those berries were so big! They probably would have tasted great thawed out and eaten just the way they were…or used as a topping on yogurt with a sprinkling of granola. But I decided to make a Blackberry Crumble because it just sounded good, and I had never made a Blackberry Crumble before. I looked at some different recipes and came up with my own version. I really liked the way it tasted! Not having made one of these before, I wasn’t quite sure what a typical blackberry crumble was supposed to look like…mine wasn’t as thick I thought it would be and was a little runny…not watery-runny, but sweet-syrupy-juicy runny, which was okay with me! The blackberries had just the right amount of sweetness, with a little punch of flavor from the lemon juice, and the buttery, brown-sugar crumble topping was a great finishing touch. I liked using oats in the topping, too–anything with oats always seems a little healthier to me! 🙂

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I noticed that some crumble recipes said to mash the berries, but I didn’t mash mine; I just put them in the baking pan while they were still frozen. The crumble might be a little less juicy/runny if you’re using fresh berries or if you thaw and drain your frozen berries before putting them in the pan, so you can try it that way if you prefer.

This crumble would be great to make for dessert or even for a brunch…it’s a yummy way to have your fruit in the morning! The recipe makes four good-sized servings in an 8×8″ pan; you can also double the recipe and make it in a 9×13″ pan.

SWEET AND JUICY BLACKBERRY CRUMBLE by NancyCreative

Makes an 8×8″ pan

  • 2 1/2 to 4 cups blackberries, fresh or frozen (I used a 10-ounce package of Whole Foods 365 Everyday Value Organic Frozen Blackberries, which came to 2 1/2 cups; if you want a thicker crumble, use 4 cups)
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar (you may want to use a little more sugar if you’re using 4 cups of berries)
  • 1 1/2 to 2 Tablespoons lemon juice (about the juice of 1 small lemon)
  • 3 Tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour (I used unbleached flour)
  • 1/3 cup quick-cooking oats
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Spread the blackberries in an 8×8″ baking pan (if using frozen berries, you don’t need to thaw them out and drain them, but you can do that if you want a thicker berry texture); sprinkle berries evenly with 1/3 cup granulated sugar. Then sprinkle the lemon juice over the berries and sugar.

For crumble topping, combine butter and brown sugar, then add in flour, oats, and salt. Mix all ingredients together until crumbly. Sprinkle over the berries. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 to 48 minutes (a longer baking time may be needed if using frozen, unthawed berries). Serve warm or cold. Makes 4 servings.

This crumble tastes great topped with ice cream. Or you can drizzle the sweet, juicy syrup from the pan over the crumble. Next time I make this, I’m going to double the recipe and save some of the extra yummy syrup from the pan to use as a topping on ice cream or pancakes!

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Have you ever made a berry crumble? Do you like to use fresh or frozen berries? Mashed or unmashed? If you have any berry crumble-making tips, please feel free to share! 🙂

Linked to Strut Your Stuff, Full Plate Thursday, Show Off Your Stuff, Seasonal Saturday, Sweet Tooth Friday, Foodie Friday.