Tasty Fruit Salad & Infused Water

Tasty Fruit Salad & Infused Water

This refreshing salad is not only delicious but beautiful.

Low in calories, high in fiber, nutrition, and very hydrating. 

Considering tomatoes and cucumbers are actually fruits, this recipe is technically a fruit salad. Besides being nutritional, salads truly make for low carbon foodprint meals, especially when you buy local produce. The added benefit is the only energy you use to prepare them is your own. Not having to cook a great meal saves you time and money. Raw foods also help you to stay hydrated. If you read my blog on Water Consumption, you know why I‘m so passionate about water. You can see by the chart below, the average fruits and vegetable are about 90% water. Here is a link to a great article that gives you the health benefits of 19 fruits and vegetable that will help keep you hydrated.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups Cucumbers cubed             96% water
  • 2 cups Tomatoes cubed                94% water
  • 1 cup Mango or peach cubed       83% water
  • 1  cup of Avacado cubed              70% water
  • 1  cup Sprouts                                 90% water
  • ¼ cup white or red onion               89% water
  • 2 TB of fresh Lime or Lemon Juice
  • ½ cup diced Fresh Basil
  • 1 TB Ginger grated                         80% water
  • Pinch of salt and pepper

Option: add a 4 oz piece of fresh grilled salmon or another protein source

Directions

Put all ingredients in a beautiful bowl, toss and serve chilled. Garnish with fresh basil leaves. Enjoy while you hydrate and nourish your beautiful body and soul.


 

Special Recipe: 

Refreshing Infused Water

Since this week’s blog was on the consumption of water, I decided it would be a good idea to share some of my favorite hydrating Infused Beverage Combinations

Infusing water with fruits, berries, and herbs is a great way to hydrate and it is easy and affordable. In 4-6 hours you have a refreshingly delicious beverage that cost you pennies to make. You can store the infused water in the fridge for days. Some people recommend taking out the ingredients after 12 hours, but I usually drink mine up long before that. When I have let fruit linger in my infused beverage for days, it ferments and tastes more like wine. Super yummy!  Especially when I use pineapple.

To Make any combination of Infused Water:

Cut up about 1 cup of fruit and veggies of your choice, sized to fit into a pitcher or ½ gallon canning jar. You can also use berries and herbs. Depending on your flavor preference, and the size of your vessel determines how much fruit, veggies or herbs you add.

I usually make mine in a ½ gallon canning jar or if I am having guest, I sometimes make individual pint jars. First, add the combination of ingredients you wish to infuse and then fill the rest of your vessel with purified or filtered water. Chill in your refrigerator for at least 4 hours, the longer it sits the more flavorful it will be.

Be sure to always wash your fruits and veggies, especially if you are not eating organic food, even if you peel them. Pesticides have a way of getting beyond the skin. Check out the Dirty Dozen list which informs you are the fruits and veggies that are most important to buy organic. I was all my veggies using baking soda and organic apple cider vinegar. Studies have been done on both of these ingredients that have proven to eliminate most pesticides. I hope they are right 🙂 More on that in a future post.

Some of my favorite combinations

  • Pineapple Ginger Spearmint
  • Orange Mint
  • Lemon Ginger
  • Watermelon Keifer Lime Leaves
  • Strawberry Apple
  • Tangerine Rosemary
  • Watermelon Lemon Balm
  • Cucumber Basil

This list goes on… I love cucumbers, so when I have fresh organic cucumbers I will add to most of my infused beverages.

Enjoy this Great Reference Chart that takes you to the water content in many favorite fruits and veggies.

As always, thank you for reading and sharing my content with your friends and loved ones. I deeply appreciate all the wonderful comments and respond to them all. If you have a recipe you wish to share, please let me know. Also, let me know if you would like me to provide you a recipe of any kind. I most likely have a good one to share with you.

To your health ~ Big Love, Mama D

 

A collection of summertime cucumber recipes

A collection of summertime cucumber recipes

I happen to LOVE cucumbers and use them in many recipes. I especially like to get a fresh cucumber and eat it whole. The best is when they come right out of the summertime gardens.

By definition, a cucumber is a fruit because it develops from the flower of the cucumber plant and contains seeds. A lot of other “vegetables” are also fruits: beans, peppers, pumpkins, peas, and of course, tomatoes.

 In this week’s recipe blog, I give you several reasons and ways to enjoy this terrific and fun vegetable/fruit. 

Some of the health benefits of this delicious crunchy vegetable are:

  • Low in calories but high in many important vitamins and minerals
  • Contains antioxidants
  • Promotes bone health
  • Promotes hydration
  • Aids in weight loss
  • Boosts cardiovascular health
  • Can help lower blood sugar
  • Promotes regularity
  • Easy to add to your diet
  • Soothes the skin
  • Makes a soothing eye compress
  • Helps combat bad breath
  • Cost-effective and easily accessible year-round

 

Summertime Cucumber Salad

Quick-and-easy * serves 4

This is the barebones basic cucumber recipe. I often add other ingredients such as arugula, tomatoes, cilantro, parsley, red bell peppers, or other in-season vegetables.

Remember to eat with your eyes and your appetite.

The beauty of food makes everything taste that much better

.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound cucumbers, thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • Fresh dill or basil diced to taste
  • Cracked black pepper to taste

How to Make It

In a medium bowl, toss the cucumber slices with the salt and let stand for 5 minutes. Stir in the rest of the ingredients and refrigerate for 10 minutes, then serve.


 

Fermented Whole Dill Pickles

In my last recipe blog, I offered tips and benefits for fermented foods. Here is one of my favorite recipes using one of my favorite foods. Super easy and super-duper healthy.

INGREDIENTS for a ½ gallon of pickles:

  • Pickling cucumbers to fill a ½-gallon jar
  • 4 Tbsp. quality sea salt
  • 1 and a ½ quarts filtered water
  • At least 6-9 cloves peeled garlic
  • 4-6 bay or kefir lime leaves
  • 2 large heads of dill or 2 Tbsp. dill seed
  • Cabbage leaf or another green leafy vegetable.
  • Optional -Spices to taste: There are some good organic pickling spices that you can buy in bulk at most health food stores or online. You can also make your own mix with a combination of spices that suit your pallet. Most pickling spices are a combination of black peppercorns, juniper berries, red pepper flakes, and mustard seeds. I like to add fresh turmeric or horseradish root to mine for the extra health benefits.

How To:

  1. Make a brine by dissolving the salt in the water in a half-gallon jar.
  2. In another half-gallon jar, add half of the spices and garlic and pack the cucumbers tightly into the jar. (Put the longest cucumbers at the bottom of the jar.)
  3. Top off the jar with the heads of dill, and the other 1/2 of the spices.
  4. Pour the brine over the pickles, leaving 1-2 inches of headroom.
  5. Cover the brining pickles with the cabbage leaf.
  6.  Make sure all ingredients are immersed in the brine at all times. If pickles are not packed tight enough, they may rise above the brine. You can put a clean rock on top of the cabbage leaf to keep pickles submerged.
  7. Cover the jar with a loose lid or coffee filter secured with a rubber band.
  8. Ferment at room temperature (60-70°F is preferred) until desired flavor and texture are achieved. The brine will turn cloudy and bubbly, and the pickles will taste sour when done.
  9. Eat right away, or store in a refrigerator or root cellar and enjoy them year-round.

You can use this same recipe and divide it into smaller jars. You can also slice the cucumbers or add other crunchy vegetables, like radishes, carrots, or yucon to make the fermented pickle recipe just as well.

Fermentation is a transformative action of taste, creativity and full of health benefits. Enjoy the process and benefits of fermented foods.

To Your Health

Big Love and Aloha

Mama Donna