Category Archives: Fruit

Amaretto Cherry and Pear Crisp

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Yesterday I went out to water my garden and noticed some of the cherries on our lovely cherry tree were finally red and ready to be picked. I’d actually been waiting for a few weeks for them to finally ripen and now they’re ready! I’m a big fan of sharing the entire life span of an ingredient with you. Thus, the picture below. You can see in the right of the picture, some of the cherries are still yellow and are continuing to ripen. The star of this picture, however, is ready to be used in the mouthwatering recipe I’ve created for it. Yum!

I was inspired to use the fresh cherries in a baked crisp by a great blog post I recently read. You can check it out here if you’re interested! This is awesome as a dessert topped with ice cream but it also works well as a breakfast fruit bake since I’ve added minimal sugar. I might even have this after my morning juice today. Shhh!

I chose toasted almonds in this recipe because before baking, the cherries with get a little amaretto bath. The almond flavored liqueur in the filling and toasted almond in the topping work perfectly together.

The Recipe

  • Total active prep time: 10 minutes
  • Total inactive prep time: 30 minutes
  • Total cook time: 30 minutes
  • Serves: 4

The Ingredients

For the filling

  • 1 cup of cherries, pitted and halved
  • 2 medium pears, cored, peeled, and sliced
  • 3 Tablespoons of amaretto liqueur (can be replaced by a couple teaspoons of almond extract if you’re not into liqueur)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 Tablespoon of unbleached granulated sugar

For the topping

  • 1/2 cup of toasted sliced almonds
  • 1/2 cup unbleached flour
  • 1/2 cup uncooked rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 4 Tablespoons of Earth Balance buttery stick, melted (this is a butter alternative with healthy Omega-3s)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Dash or two of salt

The Preparation

1. Combine all filling ingredients. Let soak for at least 30 minutes, stirring occasionally so each piece of fruit gets it’s time in the amaretto bath.

2.  Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. To prepare your topping, combine all of the ingredients listed and set aside until the fruit has finished bathing. When the fruit is ready, steal a couple tablespoons of the amaretto liquid and throw it into the topping mix. If you need more liquid, add more of that liquid.

3. Spoon the fruit into four ramekins or a small glass baking dish. If a little bit of the liquid makes it’s way into the baking dish that’s ok but avoid adding too much extra liquid since the fruits let off their own when baking. If using ramekins, place them on a baking sheet just in case the yumminess bubbles over. Top the fruit filling with the almond topping and bake for 30 minutes.

I’ve found this recipe to be crunchy and satisfying with just the right amount of sweetness. I hope you enjoy it!

Juice, juice, juice. And then more juice!

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Well good morning! Aside from my morning juice and the water I am perpetually sipping, I’m writing to you on an empty stomach. The last food I ate was on Saturday evening. Why, you ask? Because I’m doing a juice cleanse! For each of the five days I’m on this cleanse (Sunday til Thursday) I’ll have about 96oz of fresh vegetable and fruit  juices, lots of water, and no food. My mama and my good friend Lauren are doing it with me so at least I have support!

My wonderful friend Brian is on his 70-something day of a just juice fast. Yeah, that’s right, no solid food for over 70 days. He says he feels amazing. And he’s lost almost 60 pounds so he’s looking amazing too. He was certainly my inspiration in doing this. I’m not in it to lose weight because I feel fine where I am but all of the other benefits of a juice cleanse really make it worth doing. Plus sometimes I just like to test my will power.

Right about now (or maybe even during the first paragraph) you’re probably thinking I’ve gone a little crazy. I get that. It’s hard to imagine just not eating. So to ease your “JJ has gone crazy” thoughts, I’ve made a list of a few of the key benefits of a juice fast:

  • Recharge your metabolism
  • Boost your digestive and immune systems
  • Revitalize, detoxify, and energize your body
  • Healthy skin, hair and nails
  • Weight loss

I’m  not really going into great detail about all of the benefits but when I was researching juice cleanses I found this really informative post about it online. Definitely read it! After you finish reading this, of course.

In my quest to find the most delicious juices, I’ve discovered the perfect summertime juice. It’s refreshing, hydrating, and it makes you want to come back for more (even if you can eat real food!). I call it the minty cucumelon and it’s pink!

For this juice, you’ll need a few cups of cut up watermelon, one cucumber, and however many mint leaves you like. Throw them all in your juicer and deliciousness comes out.

Even the boyfriend liked it, which means you should try it :)

When life gives you something squishy…

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…juice that sucker!

Life gave me a squishy cantaloupe. GROSS. I’d like to say I wasn’t pissed about it but that’s just not true. Who do I look like, the Dalai Lama? Who likes going to the store to buy a melon of any sort only to get home, cut it open, and find it’s too ripe to eat. It’s like cutting a tomato for a sandwich only to find that its all grainy and squishy inside. The good news about either of those pieces of produce is that they can still be used for juicing. Woooo, the silver lining appears! I even read an article about a study that found that the more ripe a fruit is the more loaded with antioxidants it is. I’m really not making that up. See, read. I’d give you the link to the actual study but I’m pretty sure it’s in German.

Aside from the increased antioxidants in super ripe cantaloupe [can-ta-loo-pay (like Guadalupe) in my mind], the ready to eat fruit still has some really amazing benefits. Some even consider cantaloupes to be one of the healthiest fruits. Yes, they have a good amount of sugar in them but they also have Vitamin A, Vitamin C, beta carotene, folate, potassium, and B vitamins. The American Cancer Society even recommends eating melons for their ability to fight certain cancers. Fighting potential cancer with a cantaloupe sounds like my kind of war. That’s right on up there with having a glass of red wine to help keep your heart healthy.

Now, I imagine that if you don’t like cantaloupe, you’d hate this juice. But I love cantaloupe so I really enjoyed it. It’s really delicious and refreshing on its own but just for kicks I added an orange to the juice you see on the left there. It was delicious too. So next time you buy a too-ripe fruit, remember that you should only stay mad for 2.5 seconds and then you must go find your juicer. Cheers!

Tis the Season!

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Strawberry season, that is! I f-ing love strawberry season. So much so that I use the real expletive in my head. This morning I woke up earlier than normal just to make sure I got to the market early so I could stock up on these babies since the season is only about two weeks long. It was even raining. But did I let that stop me? NOPE. I make things happen. These are the berries from Rose’s Berry Farm up in Glastonbury.

What do I plan to do with all these strawberries, you ask? That’s a fair question. My friend, Ahna, and I have a jam plan. The goal is to buy as many fresh strawberries as possible (because they taste exponentially better than store bought berries) and freeze them until we both have time to do some canning. I’ll have to channel my inner grandma for this task but I’m pretty pumped about it. Plus, I’ll finally be able to say, “Oh sorry, can’t be there, I have a jam sesh today.” Since I’m not musically inclined at all, this is likely the only time I’ll be able to say that.

Beautiful, right?? Aside from the jam plan, there are SO many things you can do with these amazing berries. You can make good ole fashioned strawberry shortcake, smoothies, homemade ice cream, strawberry sauce for your ice cream, strawberry and balsamic salad dressing, and of course you can just eat them alone. I also make an amazing vegan strawberry cupcake that will make my score at the farmers’ market feel right at home. So delicious. You should go grab some fresh picked strawberries. Although, I wouldn’t recommend going to the market I went to this morning since by now they miiiiight be gone.

Strawberry Bobblehead Bliss :)

PS – I’ll be sure to post pictures of my jam sesh. That should be entertaining. Happy Weekend!