It’s that time of year, when cold icy drinks are exactly what you need to quench your thirst. You are spending more time outside at BBQ’s or around the pool (maybe at a lake or even ocean side- you do you). There’s just something about the little bit of sugary lime, the sweetness and acidity, that makes for a perfect combination. Let’s say you’re serving carnitas with a side of lime and you want to continue on with that flavor. Maybe your favorite pie is key lime and you just wish you could drink it on a hot day. I love lemon, but sometimes it just seems like lime is the thing.
As organic as possible:
5 to 7 medium limes, plus slices for garnish
1/2 cup sugar or honey, plus more if needed
*We also added more sliced limes and mint to garnish
Roll the limes back and forth over the counter with the palm of your hand. Cut limes in half, and juice them by hand or with a juicer; reserve rinds. (You should have about 1/2 cup juice.) Transfer juice and rinds to a large pitcher.
Bring 1 cup water to a boil in a small saucepan. Add sugar or honey, and stir until dissolved. Pour syrup into the pitcher, and add 4 cups water. Stir until well blended. Add more sugar or honey, if desired. Refrigerate 1 hour. Discard rinds. Serve limeade garnished with lime slices.
I think it is vital to support your local farmer’s market. Buying organic produce is ideal, but don’t count it out if they don’t proclaim to sell organic goods. Talk to them, ask questions. Many vendors aren’t “organic” but still have much healthier practices than produce you can buy at your local grocers and their goods are likely much higher in nutritional value! Here is a list from the Michigan State University Extension of the top seven reasons to buy from your nearest farmer:
• Locally grown food is full of flavor. When grown locally, the crops are picked at their peak of ripeness versus being harvested early in order to be shipped and distributed to your local retail store. Many times produce at local markets has been picked within 24 hours of your purchase.
• Eating local food is eating seasonally. Even though we wish strawberries were grown year round in Michigan, the best time to eat them is when they can be purchased directly from a local grower. They are full of flavor and taste better than the ones available in the winter that have traveled thousands of miles and picked before they were ripe.
• Local food has more nutrients. Local food has a shorter time between harvest and your table, and it is less likely that the nutrient value has decreased. Food imported from far-away states and countries is often older, has traveled and sits in distribution centers before it gets to your store.
• Local food supports the local economy. The money that is spent with local farmers and growers all stays close to home and is reinvested with businesses and services in your community.
• Local food benefits the environment. By purchasing locally grown foods you help maintain farmland and green and/or open space in your community.
• Local foods promote a safer food supply. The more steps there are between you and your food’s source the more chances there are for contamination. Food grown in distant locations has the potential for food safety issues at harvesting, washing, shipping and distribution.
• Local growers can tell you how the food was grown. You can ask what practices they use to raise and harvest the crops. When you know where your food comes from and who grew it, you know a lot more about that food.
Loving Lately #2: Cute Drinking Glasses
I have a problem not buying kitchen gadgets and ware. I realize that it’s more Martha Stewart than “chef” in general, but I can’t help it, I love the stuff. I like juice in juice glasses and milk in milk glasses… And I already admitted it was a problem. How adorable are these? (I wish the cow would have shown up better so you could see it more clearly.) The best part was I got them at Homegoods for $1 each, which is practically like buying them at garage sale prices! Right? At least that’s how I justify it to myself. (My husband is awesome in that department by the way, he never needs justification.)
And just look at these! The bee glasses are perfect for honey colored drinks like iced tea. I prefer mine unsweetened, but how much more adorable would it be if I actually sweetened the drink with honey? The whole thing is practically enough for me to want to have a bee themed party! Seriously, I need to think about that…
I am a huge advocate for eating well. I am not a dietician, and I certainly could practice more moderation, but I am whole-heartedly in agreement with trying to eat your vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, etc. through your food. I have said before, and I’ll say it again; I am a believer in eating organic and non GMO/GEI crazy food experiments. I understand it can be costly which is why I always say “as organic as possible,” because every bit is a step in the right direction.
I am also always interested about specific foods and they’re health benefits. Not too long ago, a fellow blogger wrote an interesting post on the benefits of parsley. I believe herbs (and spices) in general have health potentials we haven’t begun to fully understand. And when I see something as informational as this, I’ve got to pass it along!
Loving Lately #1: Parsley
From Cooking Without Limits: Click “Parsley” for the full read.
Loving Lately #2: La Croix
Sometimes you just got to have some fizz in your drink and nothing else will do. Honestly diet drinks scare me. Fake sugar of any kind is linked to cancer and all sorts of other issues, and no joke I think it erases peoples’ brains. So, I try to avoid it. On the other hand too much sugar is a bad thing too. I personally don’t do well with big doses of sugar, and I certainly don’t need the extra calories. Enter La Croix, sparkling water but better! It’s just right. It’s flavored; it’s fizzy; it’s zero calories; it’s sodium free; it’s love. Currently my favorite flavor is Peach-Pear.
There is no reason you shouldn’t be able to enjoy a smooth glass of melted chocolate in the middle of summer, just add ice! (And cream and sugar and…) The best hot chocolate I ever had was at a cafe outside of the Louvre in Paris called Le Notre. It was like a melted bar of chocolate, smooth and creamy. This version is rich and decadent but chilled, so I can have my hot chocolate all year round.
As organic as possible:
4 oz semi-sweet chocolate (chopped)
3 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp cocoa powder
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 cup milk (split)
1 cup heavy cream
3 cups ice
whipped cream (optional)
In a glass bowl over boiling water or over a low heat in a heavy bottomed sauce pan, melt the chocolate. In another bowl whisk together the cocoa powder, sugar, salt and 1/4 cup of milk. Pour the melted chocolate into the milky mixture, stir and let cool. Then let that chocolate silk flow into the bottom of a blender. Add the rest of the milk, cream, and ice. Blend the concoction until smooth and luscious. Pour into glasses and serve just like that or topped with whipped cream.