Monthly Archives: November 2010

Fall to Winter – Seasonal Blahs are Upon Us

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Eating fresh is important no matter the time of year.  Yet in winter when our foods hibernate it’s even more important.  When our bodies crave missing vitamins and minerals they respond slower and we get our grump on.

I’ve been playing with some great ways to lower that grumpy bear in my self.  Water – seems to be very key.  Blended smoothies with extra boosts also seem to help.  Though some fruits like strawberries and blueberries aren’t fresh the frozen seem darn nice to work with.  I often use orange juice as a base or a citrus blend to help up the vitamin C in a very natural way.

Currently figs are still in season and what a wonderful treat to enjoy.  My family likes them roasted with goat cheese.  Though I have to admit my youngest thinks they are cool for about 5 minutes then hands back the “extras”.  Pears are also still “in season” and we enjoy them roasted but due to their texture not so much in smoothies.

Walking and moving also seems to help.  Getting the blood flowing, leaving the four walls and smelling nature at her crispest (being int he US it’s going on winter here).  Yes bundling deeper and warmer is often required but worth it.  How about a jaunt to the local skating rink – ice or roller – a few jaunts around the rink gets the energy flowing.  Wii!  LOL Yes I said Wii!  The Wii fitness does indeed work for those who can’t seem to fit in a gym to their schedule.  Add some friends and make it a roaring good time!!

Stop watching the world go by.  10,000 steps is all it takes each day to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Looking Out the Window

Ask your local barista or smoothie blender to boost your order with a Smoothie Essentials Boost.  Take us on your walk!  We love helping you boost your health!

Jello Shots

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Today I ran across an great blog “Jelly Shot Test Kitchen

Rainbow Cherry Jelly Jigglers

Rainbow Cherry Jelly Jigglers

The site of course has me intrigued.  I’ve loved Jello my whole life yet jigglers have never been in my focus yet today they have come to my attention not just as an adult drink treat but as a fun healthy alternative!

My inspiration the lovely rainbow cherry jigglers above.

The mold used for these also can be used for making the eye balls – under October’s archives.

So here we are in fall and I am thinking what else can we jiggle into a cute mold besides cherries?

Pears?  Pomegranate?  Mandarins?  Fresh seasonal fruit seems an obvious choice.

As we enter the season of potlucks and school parties I wonder . . . what can you place into gelatin to create a tasty treat?

Here is another great site for ideas!

Kid’s Jello Recipes

Let me know what you try!!

Gelatin Tips and Hints

• Unprepared gelatin has an indefinite shelf-life as long as it is wrapped airtight and stored in a cool, dry place.

• Keep gelatin dishes refrigerated until ready to serve to maintain their gelatinous state.

• Do not add fresh or frozen pineapple to gelatin or Jell-O. These fruits, along with raw figs, kiwifruit, guava, ginger root, and papaya contain an enzyme called bromelain which breaks down gelatin causing it to lose its thickening properties. The enzymes are deactivated by cooking, so canned pineapple and kiwi are fine to use.

• To avoid clumping, dry unflavored gelatin should be mixed with a little cold water first for 3 to 5 minutes to moisten and separate before adding hot water.

• Thicker stock and a more delicate flavor results from using veal bones rather than beef bones since the veal has more collagen which gels the stock.

• Store gelatin desserts in a covered container to avoid the formation of a thick rubbery skin on the surface.

• Too much sugar can inhibit gelatinization. The more sugar in the recipe, the softer the resultant gelatin will be.

• Firmness varies on the ratio of water to gelatin and temperature. You can successfully melt down (gently using a double-boiler) and re-chill gelatin several times before the mixture loses its thickening ability.

• Gelatin takes twice as long to dissolve when used with cream or milk.

• When using sugar with unflavored gelatin, mix the sugar and gelatin first before dissolving.

• To suspend fruits, meats, or vegetables in gelatin, chill until it is the consistency of cold egg whites. Then mix in the additions and chill until completely set.

• Be sure to drain all solids of their liquid before adding to gelatin to avoid watering down the gelatin.

• For 2 cups of gelatin mixture, allow 1 to 2 cups of solids, either minced, cubed, or cut into small pieces.

• To easily unmold gelatin, spray the mold with cooking oil before filling. If you want to avoid an oily film which might cloud the surface by using oil spray, simply rinse the mold with cold water prior to filling. Or dip the mold into warm (not hot) water to the depth of the gelatin for 5 to 10 seconds, loosen edges with a knife or spatula, and unmold. Return to the refrigerator for 20 minutes to refirm.

• Use 1 envelope (1 tablespoon or 1/4 ounce) unflavored gelatin to 2 cups of water for standard firmness. Decrease or increase water for your particular needs. One 3-ounce package of flavored, sweetened gelatin needs 2 cups of water. One tablespoon of unflavored powdered gelatin equals 4 sheets of leaf gelatin.

• Two hours of chilling should be enough for standard clear molds, while it may take up to 4 hours for those with additions. Layered gelatins will take longer, since each layer must be individually chilled and firmed before adding the next layer.

• If you are doubling a recipe originally calling for 2 cups of liquid, use only 3-3/4 cups of liquid in the doubled recipe.

• Other liquids can be used in place of water to prepare gelatin, including fruit juices, clarified vegetable or meat stock, wine, vegetable juices and seafood broths.

• Do not bring gelatin mixtures to a full boil or you risk losing its thickening properties.

• To easily center a mold on a plate, rinse the plate with cold water before unmolding the gelatin.

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