Kitchen Tips: Chill out and stock up on fruits and frozen blueberry “Bites”
Here comes the sun. Summer is one of my favorite times of the year. I’m a sunshine kind of person, so I welcome all of it. Especially the fun part: the joy of cooling off!
There are a lot of different ways to cool off. The first thing you’ll want to do is have plenty of water around. Just plain, every day H2O. The doctors say that we all need to drink at least eight, 8-ounce glasses of water every day (think of it as the “8×8” rule). Following this rule is especially important when it’s sweltering. But, if you’re like me and think that plain water is so very boring then be sure to keep a pitcher of water with sliced citrus or mint and cucumber in the refrigerator – it tricks me into thinking I’m drinking something special and I get my 8 glasses in!
Another trick? Keep lots of cold fruits around. I stash fresh fruit of all kinds, cleaned and cut in bowls in the refrigerator. Things like melon (canary, cantaloupe), pineapple, strawberries, kiwi, and oranges. Make sure that you buy whole fruit at the market and cut them at home yourself. Cutting your own fruit reduces the possibility of bringing a food-borne illness into your home. And besides, you KNOW how clean your cutting board is! Right?
A note on apples. Precut apples start to brown almost immediately. But, you can stop the browning by dabbing them in fresh orange or lemon juice. I prefer orange juice because it enhances the apple taste. I think lemon juice clashes a little. Once I’ve cut my apples (one-eighth slices) and dabbed them with orange juice, I’ll place them on a covered plate in the fridge ready to serve.
Frozen grapes are another great way to cool off. Buy organic seedless grapes, clean and thoroughly dry them and then place them on a sheet tray in the freezer. When they’re frozen, transfer them to a Ziploc bag. Everyone can just reach in and grab a few anytime.
How about frozen blueberry bites – doesn’t that sound delicious? With yogurt! This one is for those of us with insatiable appetites for sweets with just a bit of tart. And the heat of the summer just brings it on even stronger. I saw this video on PureWow. It’s so easy to make. And they are so very delicious.
- 8 ounces of vanilla yogurt
- 2 teaspoons of lemon juice
- 1 pint of fresh organic blueberries
- Get a bowl large enough to accommodate 8 ounces of yogurt plus 1 pint of blueberries.
- Slowly, with a rice paddle or very large spoon, mix it up and add the lemon juice. Be very gentle – you don’t want to crush the blueberries.
- Use your paddle (or large spoon) to scoop out yogurt covered blueberries, one at a time, and set them out onto a sheet tray lined with parchment paper. You can also use wax paper or plastic wrap.
- Place the sheet tray with coated blueberries into your freezer for about 2 hours.
And now you know the best way to keep those summer snacks coming!