Posts tagged Fruit

Buzz: More Of What Makes Me Happy

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Yes, I made it to the Sedona Yoga Festival this past weekend.  One word. Fantastic.  Just as with any big experience, I like to take a few days to digest my experience.  No worries, I’ll tell you all about it.

I’ve been digging a lot of stuff lately.  So much that I’m going to continue with a bit of a theme of buzzing about what I’m digging.  Continuing on…..

2 Cellos.  You may already know that I spent a couple years playing cellos in my younger years.  I wish this is something that I would’ve kept up with.  Alas, due to the limited amount of periods in the school day and academics that trumped arts, it was something that was an activity that I had to give up.  To this day I often think about playing and miss it greatly.  If you can’t tell, music holds a special place in my heart and really helps make my world go ’round.  When I stumbled onto 2 Cellos a few weeks ago I was thrilled.  It’s literally 2 guys playing their cellos.  Their music ranges from classical to contemporary favorites.  All of which I can appreciate.

Crossfire Series. I have no shame admitting I read 50 Shades of Gray this past summer.  With all the talk about it I was intrigued, hence why I read it.  I’m also not ashamed to admit that I liked it.  It was a totally different genre than what I typically read, but hey, sometimes different is good.  I happened to stumble upon Bared To You by Sylvia Day at Target and was once again intrigued.  I read some reviews on Goodreads, spent a few dollars, uploaded it to my Nook, and was pleasantly surprised.  I have since read Reflected in You, the second book in the Crossfire series, and am anxiously awaiting the release of the 3 book. For those that liked 50 Shade of Gray my guess is that you’ll like this series as well.  For those that didn’t you may like this series.  Yes, there’s a ton of sex, but none of the hardcore BDSM stuff and there’s more of a story line.

Frozen cherries. Ever since we moved to Arizona I’ve been digging frozen cherries.  They’re perfect for a dessert or late night snack. I dunno what it is about them but I am to the point of having full on cravings if I don’t get my daily fill. Obviously I’m not the only one.  Healthy tasty treats for the win!

Right Hand Rings. People may be surprised to know that I have pretty extensive right hand ring collection.  As with the rest of my fashion, they were tucked away and rarely used over the past several years.  I’m still not one to wear a ton of flashy jewelry but I’ve had a great time digging out my collection.  Although some may find it annoying, I’ve been sharing my daily fashion on Instagram for the fun of it.  If you’ve read any of my posts recently you’ll see that I’m really having a blast with this pretty big lifestyle change that in turn has had a trickle down effect.

What are you digging lately?

Keep Smiling and Be Grateful =)

What Exactly Does A Banana Buzzbomb Eat?

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This blog post was recently featured on Run To The Finish as part of the 30 Day Vegan Challenge.

Even prior to going vegan, I’ve always liked to keep things simple. I prefer to stick with more natural, raw foods.  To me, the less processed the better.  I tend to use this variation most days during the week and mix it up with more recipes, such as black bean burgers, on the weekends. I never limit my raw fruit and vegetable intake, so I often snack throughout the day on fresh/dried fruits and veggies.

 

A typical day in the life of Banana Buzzbomb:

Breakfast: Oatmeal - Coach’s Oats with some vegan Florida Crystals brown sugar along with a bit of salt and chia seeds.

Lunch: Smoothie – Bananas, strawberries, mangoes, and spinach are my go-to mix, but I mix this up on a daily basis.  To kick it up a notch I’ll add some hemp protein powder, maca, chlorella, and even swap out the water for coconut water.  Most recently I’ve been using Vega One (I’ll post about this soon!).  Don’t let smoothies intimidate you.  You really can’t go wrong.  Throw in fruit, ice/frozen fruit, water, and blend.  Too thick?  Add water.  Too runny?  Add fruit. 

Mid-Afternoon Snack: Three oranges or a couple of dates.  I never limit my raw fruit and vegetable intake.  Remember, I eat a lot of bananas!

Dinner: Salad - I’m not just talking about any salad.  I’m talking about a SALAD.  No cereal-size bowl for me…I use a mixing bowl.  I start with a base of greens like a spring mix or spinach (No, not iceberg!) and throw on any vegetable or fruit I can think of.  Peppers, tomatoes, avocado, broccoli, and carrots. The list goes on. I usually top it off with beans.  My preference?  Garbanzo! Then throw on vinaigrette or another tasty dressing.

Dessert/Evening Snack: Ice Cream – I make my own ice cream using VERY ripe and frozen bananas.  Throw them in the food processor, whip them up, and you have ice cream.  Before I had my food processor I would put them in my blended with just a little water and blend.  Sometimes I’ll add a bit of cocoa powder in the mix.

As I said, I like to keep things simple.

Do you keep things simple in the kitchen or do more gourmet meals??

Keep Smiling and Be Grateful =)

Banana Ice Cream

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I know that when I posted about the Party Potatoes I said, “Don’t expect recipes on this blog.”  That may be changing.  I’m still not a person that cooks, nor do I see it really happening in the future, but I have a few things I want to try out.  So, you MAY be seeing more.  No promises!

Over the past several days I’ve been trying to figure out what to do with the overabundance of my bananas.  I had 2 shelves, 4 filled bags, and 2 cookie sheets of frozen bananas in the freezer. That was my normal inventory….and that was even without buying any this week.  Needless to say I needed to start moving them.  Although I do not plan on giving up bananas 100% (I love them far too much!) I seriously want to cut back in the immediate future.

What can I do with all of these bananas??

I attempted to call the local soup kitchen/food bank to see if they’d be interested.  I could only find one in our hometown and they are closed on the weekend.  What?!  The next closest place is 25 minutes away.  (Although I can’t do anything about this now I’m making mental note of that…maybe I can change that in the future, even if it’s 10 years from now.  Dunno how, but maybe. What would you think about that?  A vegan soup kitchen?  Now there’s an idea!)

Thankfully I had a couple people say they were willing to take some off of my hands.  As for the rest…I was able to combine the cookie sheets and thanks to my cousin Jacki’s idea of mashing them and freezing, I used my food processor to blend a bunch to store in bowls and freeze.

Now, here’s a “recipe” for you!  Banana ice cream!!

There are a few ways you can do this:

-Either way, start out with RIPE (banana bread making ripeness) bananas.

-You can freeze them whole and when you want “ice cream” throw them in a blender, add water or your choice of milk, and blend.  (You need the liquid in order to get things moving). Make sure to not use too much liquid or it won’t be ice creamy enough and more like a smoothie.

or

-Throw your fresh ripe bananas in a food processor (no additional liquids needed).  Allow them to process for several minutes.  Stop the processor and pulse it a bit to reduce the amount of chunks that are left.  Pour into a bowl and freeze.  Now you have ready-made banana ice cream!

-In either of these circumstances you can throw a bit o’ cocoa powder in for a chocolate covered banana taste.  Or use agave, honey, or other fresh fruit as a topping when served.

Yum!

Be Grateful and Keep Smiling =)

Update: Thanks to a friend on Facebook I was directed to our local homeless shelter (I knew there was one but didn’t know where) and they said “yes” to my donation in a heartbeat! The bananas are delivered and I know someone’s hungry tummy will be filled with yummy, banana, goodness.

Inventory Management

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Living  a low fat raw vegan lifestyle you think would be easy.  In actuality, it’s not that difficult.  However, there is one major challenge….inventory management.  What’s this you say?  Making sure you have enough ripe fruit at the right time.  Not too much, not too little. It’s definitely a fine art.  Let me explain a bit…

When eating LFRV your fruit should be RIPE.  For instance, bananas should be banana bread ripeness.  Same goes for other fruits.  You want the sugars to be at their simplest form for your body.  As fruit ripens complex sugars become simple sugars.  Make sense? The thing is, chances are you won’t find perfectly ripened, ready to eat  fruit at the store unless you can get your hands on the clearance fruit they’re ready to toss.  It takes time to ripen after you’ve bought it.

At the same time, you need A LOT of fruit to eat. As I’ve stated in previous posts I can eat 30+ bananas a day.  If you don’t have enough ripe fruit it’s easy to fall off of the LFRV bandwagon.  It won’t be the end of the world, but trust me, your body won’t appreciate it after having been raw. I always try to keep dates available just in case.

Each fruit is different how it ripens.  For instance, citrus fruits do not ripen off of the vine and grapes are usually ready to eat when purchased, so managing other fruits inventory may be a little easier.  Once again, I tend to deal with fruits that need to ripen though.  It’s easiest to show how I manage my fruit inventory by showing my bananas.  Basically, this is my set up…..

Told ya I eat a lot of bananas

Thankfully, I work a very small side job at a grocery store, which allows me to grab fruit multiple times a week while I’m there.  This also helps me score the real ripe fruit they have on clearance oftentimes.  Yes!  So I try to grab a bag o’ bananas/fruit, if not more, everytime I go to the store.  This allows me to have a different range of ripeness in my fruit.

In addition to the bananas in the picture I also have cookie sheets in our freezer loaded with bananas.  I prefer some frozen bananas in my smoothies or for treats and add bananas to the freezer as needed.  In addition, if bananas become too ripe, I “save” them by peeling and putting them in the freezer for later use.

The different seasons in Ohio present another challenge when it comes to ripening too.  As you can probably tell from the picture, I store my bananas in a little cellar/pantry area located just as you go down to our basement. This keeps them out of the way.  Although it’s never real hot or cold in this area, there is a temperature change depending on the season, which affects the bananas and how fast they ripen.  In the summer I purchase my bananas as green as I can (not the real green ones that never ripen though) and still fight fruit flies throughout the season.  When it comes to winter I try to buy the ripest I can find at the store.  I also keep them store in bags, as you can tell by the picture, to expedite the ripening process.

I’m not perfect at managing my fruit inventory, but after 2 years of transitioning to LFRV I am getting better.

Fruity Fun Review #4 – Lychees & Pepino Melon

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I really liked the lychees.  Basically I cut the top off and popped them out of their peels into my mouth.  As with the rambutan, I found the texture and size to be comparable to a peeled grape.  Make sure you don’t eat the peel!  I mistakenly grabbed a bit on the first one and it was yucky bitter. The initial taste of the fruit reminded me of a grape, but the second taste/after taste had a bit of a perfume/fragrance to it.  I didn’t consider this a bad thing.  It was unique to the fruit and didn’t turn me off.  Just interesting.  There’s a decent sized pit inside that you shouldn’t eat.  I’d like to eat many more of these. 

The pepino melon was just seeping with water upon cutting it.  The entire melon is edible and there are no seeds for you to bother with.  To be quite honest there was nothing exceptional about the melon, it just tasted like a melon would. (To me most melons taste somewhat the same).  However, I think this is a good option if you don’t want to chop up an entire cantaloupe or honeydew.  It’d be very convenient and a single sized serving.

Fruity Fun Review #3 – Cherimoya & Guavas

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Mark Twain was known to say that the cherimoya was  “the most delicious fruit known to men.”.  According to my reading it’s also called a custard apple.  Oftentimes people will freeze it, then eat it. 

When I cut into the amount of seeds surprised me.  Good thing I read that these are toxic. So toxic that they were once used as a pesticide and can also destroy kidney function.  In addition, I found that you aren’t supposed to eat the peel.

So I dug in.  Basically I cut it in half and started digging out the center.  I must admit it was kind of a challenge with all of the seeds.  Once again, so many seeds, and they’re quite large.  I guess I’m more of a pit kind of girl.  You know, just pop it out and eat, or eat around it. (I forgot to get my own picture).

I found the texture to be similar to a pear only more gritty.  I ate half the fruit and then put the other half in the freezer. I figured I’d give that a try to see what that was like given others recommended it.  I have yet to try it.

Unfortunately I did in fact miss the prime on my mangosteen.  I’m very bummed about this given this is one of the ones I was real excited to eat.  Bummer.  I guess they’re quite moist but drastically lose their water content unless eaten soon after being picked.  I’m wondering if I’d even be able to find a “good” one in a store given that I’ve only seen dried up ones wherever I’ve been. 

Onward to my guavas.  I received a Pink Guava and a Thai Guava.  It’s my understanding that both peels are edible.  The pink guava’s peel did not look appetizing so I just ate the inside.  Both guavas had a ton of small seeds in the inside, which are edible.  However, I can see some people cracking a tooth on those seeds.  So be careful.  They also had a pear-like texture and were slightly tart with a musky undertone.  After tasting I researched if this is what it’s supposed to taste like.  One article said kiwi-strawberry and another one said they should taste like pear-strawberry.  I guess I could see either of those being true.  Tart, like a kiwi or strawberry with the texture of a pear.

I guess you could say I wasn’t a huge fan of the cherimoya or guavas.  I couldn’t help but think, once again, did I miss the prime of the fruits?  Not to mention, although most fruits are available year round, it doesn’t mean they’re tasty year round.  With that being said, I’d jump at the chance to try them again.  8 years ago I tried a mango and didn’t like it.  I was confused because people raved about them.  It wasn’t until I was in Hawaii and had another taste that I fell in love with mango.  So, it’s all about timing and knowing where and when to eat the fruit.  I think I need to do more research for these 3 fruits and try them again.

Fruity Fun Review #2 – Rambutan

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My next choice to eat from my fruity fun birthday gift was the rambutan.  After a quick Google search I saw a couple pictures of beautiful red rambutans, at the same time looking at the one in my hand that was dried out and brown.  Uhhh.  As with the passion fruit, I was worried that it was overripe.  Having already been proved wrong with the passion fruit I dug in.  For a second time, I wasn’t disappointed.  Something I must remember is that although we’re very lucky to have access to fruits from around the US/Globe, they aren’t as fresh as if they’ve just been picked.  With that being said, if they’re this good having sat this long, I can only imagine how yummy they’d be if they were fresh off the tree/bush.

In Malaysia, Thailand, the Phillippines, Vietnam, Borneo, and other countries of this region, the rambutan is a relatively common fruit the same way an apple is common to many people in cooler climates

The rambutan is very easy to open.  You slice one side of the fruit and “crack” it open, exposing the edible inside.  (You do not eat the peel.) Once open, the fruit can be squeezed allowing the edible portion to pop off the rind.  The edible fruit reminded me of a peeled grape in texture and taste, although it was slightly larger.  I’ve also read where some people say it resembled how a boiled egg looks, which I could also see.  There is also a pit located with center of the fruit that should not be eaten, as it is bitter. 

What were my thoughts on the rambutan?  It was yummy but I didn’t have a, “wow that was awesome!” moment.  As with the passion fruit, I could see this being hard to eat as a mono-meal due to cost, especially since it doesn’t provide any special taste.  However, I would eat it again and if I were in an area where the fruit was more prevalent I wouldn’t hesitate to dig in.

Fruity Fun Review #1 – Passion Fruit

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My first choice of fruit to eat from my fruity fun birthday gift was the passion fruit.  The skin was already brittle and wrinkled, looking overripe to me, hence why I chose this one first.  I based my conclusion on my other experiences with fruit, not passion fruit.  One of the reasons I’ve always avoided passion fruit in stores, when available, was that it always looked this way.  Upon further research  I found this was normal.  Ahhh, makes sense now.  My research also explained that there are two different passion fruit colors: purple and white. My basket provided me a purple one. They are native to Brazil, but are grown in Hawaii (White), Florida, California, and New Zealand (Purple).

You should only eat the inside of a passion fruit, not the peel.  I cut it open to find a jelly-like substance.  Most articles say it’s orange in color.  In my opinion it was more a mixture of yellowish-green hues throughout.  I guess most often the pulp is sieved, removing the seeds, and the remaining pulp and juice are used in drinks, atop salads, or in specific dishes.  On the other hand the seed are edible, although it is recommended to swallow the seeds whole and not chew them.  Per my reading, the white layer just inside the outer peel is bitter along with the seeds (if chewed).

I can see some individuals having issues with the jelly-like texture/consistency of the pulp. Personally it didn’t bother me.  What were my first thoughts on the taste of the fruit?  Wow, that’s tart!  More like sweeTART candy tart, not Tearjerker candy tart.  I really liked it.  Since I eat a raw, mostly fruit, diet, I don’t necessarily seek out sweets, but I could see myself seeking this fruit out for a little different sweetness/tartness.

My only negative, if you even want to call it that, is that there’s so little to eat within the fruit itself.  Honestly, it’s just enough to give you that tart satisfaction, and chances are I wouldn’t want much more.  However, it’s not like I could mono-meal (eat an entire meal of just one fruit/food) on passion fruit alone.  It’d be way too tart and more than likely quite expensive. 

With all that being said, I will definitely add passion fruit to my fruits to purchase in the future.

Fruity Fun Birthday Gift

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This past weekend I celebrated my 28th birthday.  So the question is what do you get a raw vegan that doesn’t need anything and won’t eat cake?  Why fruit, of course! 

My brother and his wife surprised me with a gift basket of labeled exotic fruits from Nino Salvaggio’s .  The selection includes: Passion Fruit, Rambutan, Mangosteen, Pink Guava, Cherimoya, Lychees, Thai Guava, Quince, and Pepino Melon. I’ve already dug in a plan to report my taste reviews here, along with pictures.

Going Organic

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Over the past few years organic foods have become more and more prevalent.  I never saw it as a big deal, but with all of the changes I’ve been making, organic foods have gotten my attention.  Although I won’t say I buy 100% organic, I am making a conscious effort to do so.  Originally I didn’t think I’d notice a difference between conventional and organic fruits and vegetables.  Boy, was I proven wrong.  Oftentimes the texture is totally different, and the taste too.  For instance I found organic bananas to be softer (no matter where they are in the ripening stage) and I had the best ever tasting organic blackberries the other day.

The big question is, “Do I have to buy all organic?” In my opinion, the best thing would be to buy all organic, but we don’t live in a perfect world.  With the help of my cousin, Halle, and a quick search on the internet, I found the “dirty dozen” that you should definitely consider buying organic.  These include: celery, peaches, strawberries, apples, blueberries, nectarines, bell peppers, spinach, cherries, kale, potatoes, and grapes.  I’ve also seen pears, kale, and raspberries on another list.  These fruits not only have thinner skins, but you tend to actually eat the skins.  In addition, research has shown that these fruits have the highest pesticide contamination.

So there you have it.  At this time my entire intake of food is produce, so this information is very important to me.  Although I don’t currently purchase 100% organic, I hope to in the future, and this list gives me a guideline to continue.

Be grateful and keep smiling =)

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