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5 watermelon recipes to try before the end of summer

What would warm weather be without big, sloppy slices of watermelon? Given that this summer essential is more than 90 percent water, it’d be easy to assume that it has little or no nutritional value. But the low-calorie fruit is filled with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that soothe sore muscles, improve cardiovascular health, and pack about one-third of the daily recommended vitamins A and C, and lycopene that can even combat cancer. August through October is watermelon harvest in most of the country, so there are usually lots of great, local picks at farmers markets and grocery stores this time of year. But how can you be sure you’re selecting the perfect melon? To avoid mushy melons, a good rule of thumb states that you should choose the one heaviest for its size. The melon should also have a deeply colored cream spot on the bottom — the color signifying the watermelon had plenty of time to…

Strawberries and cream popsicles, a must for summer

If you haven’t hopped on the homemade popsicle wagon, you are missing out on a ton of tasty fun. For about $10 you can buy a decent popsicle mold, which will give you the freedom to explore delicious combinations, use up left over juice and smoothies, and allow you ultimate control over your sugar intake. When it comes to one of summer’s most loved treats, everyone wants one. It’s great to be able to give a guest or your child’s friend an option even though they have dietary restrictions. For this recipe, I didn’t add any additional sweeteners like sugar or honey. I wanted to be able to feel good about this and not have to put it on the splurge side of my diet. The full fat milk makes it decadent enough for me, but feel free to add some sweetness in your strawberry blend or some vanilla in your…

Get relief from the heat with these 10 hydrating fruits and veggies

According to the old rule of thumb, the average adult is supposed to drink 8 glasses of water every day. Some days that can seem downright impossible — and oh so bland. But here’s a tip for your water woes: You don’t have to drink all of that water. On a typical day, 20 percent or more of our water intake comes from solid foods like fruits and vegetables. While it’s still incredibly important to drink enough water, try incorporating some of these snacks into your daily routine. You’ll be checking off a few dietary boxes since all foods listed below are at least 90 percent water and they offer various other nutritional benefits. Cucumbers 96.7% water Cucumbers have the highest water content of any solid food, so they are perfect for summer salads on those sweltering days you can’t seem to stomach much else. Try mixing with watermelon and red onions for…

Try these themed sweet treats for Shark Week

If you’ve missed out that it’s Shark Week, you’ve clearly been living under a rock — errr, under the waves somewhere. Welcome Shark Week with these cute-as-can-be shark treats. Whether you’re hosting a party or just catching some shows after work, these are guaranteed to make shark-sized smiles. Shark Week is an annual week-long programming block produced by the Discovery Channel. Originally premiering in 1988 as an effort to correct misconceptions about sharks, the popularity of the summer television event has only grown over the past 29 years. Shark Punch You’ll feel like you’re at the ocean with this foamy blue beverage. Life Preserver Donuts Can you think of anything cuter? These sweet treats are quick and easy to make. Shark Week Waffles To celebrate sharks all day, you have to start in the morning. Try waking up with this Shark Week inspired waffle creation. Shark Frenzy Ice Cream This ocean blue…

America’s Favorite Ice Cream Flavor Revealed

The results are in, and vanilla reigns supreme as America’s favorite ice cream flavor. In celebration of National Ice Cream Month, which runs throughout the month of July, the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) conducted a survey to find the most loved flavors from coast to coast. The IDFA tabulated the top sellers from major ice cream manufacturers in the United States including Blue Bell, Unilever, Nestle, and members of the National Ice Cream Retailers Association, which likely includes your local mom and pop ice cream shop. Vanilla has been the top selling flavor for years, followed by chocolate, but the remaining 8 slots tend to vary. Here’s a full list: Vanilla Chocolate Cookies & Cream Mint Chocolate Chip Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Buttered Pecan Cookie Dough Strawberry Moose Tracks (vanilla ice cream with peanut butter cups and fudge swirls) Neapolitan “Vanilla has long been the best-selling ice cream flavor not only because…

8 Vegan-friendly Starbucks beverages for summer

Being vegan used to mean hauling around a purse full of food or only eating prepared meals at home. Today, it has become a whole lot easier with special menus, or at least a “V” symbol next to animal-friendly options, can have vegans dining along side any other diet or lifestyle in most urban restaurants across America. Starbucks, too, has come a long way. (Remember when crushed beetles were used as red food coloring in the Strawberry Frappuccino? Thankfully, that’s over.) While the company could do more, there are at least a handful of delicious options for vegans looking for a summertime sugar or caffeine fix at the beloved coffee giant. Caramel Frappuccino A few substitutions can make the iconic caramel frap vegan-friendly. Substitute the dairy, go “no-whip” and ask to omit the caramel drizzle as well. Unfortunately, the drizzle is made with 3 different dairy products. https://www.instagram.com/p/BV7jF0qj1JH/?tagged=veganstarbucks Strawberry Smoothie This cold, creamy…

Watermelon, mulberry, lime smoothie is light and refreshing

Smoothies are a great way to use up extra watermelon. With so much juice inside, there’s no need to give your blender any more liquids to power through the other ingredients. Mulberries are about 85 percent juice anyway, so be prepared for a light, refreshing summer smoothie. And don’t let the dark color fool you. Mulberries aren’t as strong as other common berries, so they won’t crowd out the watermelon flavor. The two flavors are enjoyed in perfect harmony — and hopefully outside on a sunny porch somewhere. Enjoy! Watermelon, mulberry, lime smoothie Serves 2 Ingredients 4 cups ripe watermelon, seedless 1 – 1 1/2 cups mulberries 1 half lime, juiced 2 cups ice Directions Combine all ingredients in blender. Mulberries have a dark juice that easily stains, so be sure the lid is on tight! Blend on high for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Pour over ice and enjoy this…

Watermelon layered popsicles are a perfect summer treat

Kitchens with appliances and gadgets for everything tiny task bring to mind one thing — A&E’s Hoarders. Not to say all are appliances are bad, but unless you have unlimited shelf space, surely you don’t have any real need for an separate appliance for making hotdogs. This week I broke that rule — but I’m not even ashamed. I now own a popsicle mold. But in defense of my new purchase, it seems like a perfect opportunity to make healthier version of the sugary store-bought treats, but also as a great way to use up leftover fresh squeezed juices and smoothies. (More on that in a coming post). I had a giant watermelon already cut in my fridge, so I decided to start there. Watermelon is a perfect popsicle fruit since it has such high water content. It purees and freezes easily. In one bite, I became a believer. The sweet watermelon pairs perfectly with just the…

Simple watermelon salsa is sweet, mildly spicy

Who would have thought watermelon and jalapeño would be such a delicious pair? What’s better, is that this quick condiment only requires six ingredients. I’ve been experimenting with a lot of watermelon lately, so get ready for quite a few juicy recipes coming up.. This one was one of my favorites, since it’s a perfect match-up of sweet and spicy, combined with saltiness from the chips. I’ve only tried it as a salsa so far, but I could see this going great with grilled chicken or fish, or atop a grilled vegetable dinner. Watermelon Salsa Serves 6-8: Prep time 10 min Ingredients 4 cups watermelon (seedless, or seeds removed and chopped) 1 cup cucumber, chopped 1 cup red onion (about 1/2 large onion, chopped) 2 medium jalapeños (remove seeds for less heat, chopped) 1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped 1 lime, cut in half salt (to taste) Directions Add watermelon, cucumber, onion,…

9 Tips for making the perfect fruit salad

Summertime is synonymous with fresh fruit, so it’s no wonder why we consume so much fruit salad during these warm months. It’s sweet, refreshing and so easy to make, but for those in the know, there is actually more to it than just chopping up a bunch of fruit and tossing it in a bowl. Not all fruit salads are created equal. There are a few tricks you can follow to enhance the flavors and make the dish more pleasing to the eye. Here are 9 tricks to help you make your best fruit salads this summer, and all year long. 1. Buy fruit in season Fruit is flown in daily from around the world, but that doesn’t mean it’s fresh. It was likely picked weeks ago — before it was ripe and ready. It was packaged, bruised, stored and shipped before it ever made it to your grocery market. Instead, you…