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Edible Aria

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If you'd like to learn more about sustainable, healthy eating, you might want to check out Edible Aria. My friend Ren shares incredible whole, fresh recipes accompanied by beautiful photographs (I drool at every picture), and he also includes current articles about healthy eating and what's going on in the food industry. He encourages the use of organic, local foods and having home gardens, and he shows how the use of seasonal ingredients keeps healthy eating affordable. Did I mention the delicious recipes? (I'm still drooling.) Ren tells us, "Eat as if your life depends on it." Food for thought, eh?

Ren's Edible Aria was recently reviewed by The Monday Campaigns, Inc., in association with the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, on their site Meatless Monday as well. This site is also worth checking out -- by not eating meat one day a week, you'll not only improve your health, but you'll reduce your carbon footprint, helping sustain our planet.

Good food. Good living. Yay, Earth.


Happy July 4th! We walked in a parade this morning and enjoyed some fresh watermelon at a family-fun celebration. Tonight was a feast with some friends and some fireworks. For dessert, I brought homemade fresh popsicles. The rocket and star popsicle molds seemed perfect for the July 4 popsicles! By the way, I LOVE the new pop molds I bought. The ability to take only one popsicle out at a time is just incredible (and they are food safe!).


Red, White, and Blue Popsicles (makes 12)

Fresh or frozen blueberries

Lemonade (I used a 12-oz frozen lemonade, made with 3 cups of water instead of 4)

2 bananas

1/2 cup vanilla rice milk

1 package frozen (or fresh) organic strawberries


EDITED 7/4 -- changed order to blue, white, and red (opposite of picture) to let the lemonade (with the blueberries) better fill the layer 

This is a 3-stage process to get those red, white, and blue colors to really pop (no pun intended). In the bottom 1/3 of the popsicle mold, drop a few whole blueberries, then pour lemonade around them to fill the layer. The lemonade is clear, so the whole blueberries really show off their blue color. (If you blend them, they turn a red-purple color-- not so blue). Freeze lightly. Next, blend the two bananas with the rice milk and add to the popsicle molds, filling the next 1/3. Again, freeze softly. (Note: I was worried about freezing the popsicle stick in place, so I didn't put it in until the final layer was added.) For the final layer, blend the strawberries with about 1 cup of lemonade (add more or less lemonade to taste, depending on how sweet or tart you want your red portion). Fill the remainder of the mold, then place in stick (if the other layers are a little hard, run the stick in hot water). Freeze overnight. 

The combination of tart and sweet was remarkably tasty. The layers worked really well together. Next time, I'll try to play with a more creamy version, such as yogurt. But my friend wanted tart, so I worked with lemonade.

A couple of days ago, I made these chocolate-berry popsicles, recipe found at The Green Baby Guide -- she modified a vegan recipe she found. Very delicious! I highly recommend that you add the fresh strawberry slices -- SO good.


Chocolate-Strawberry Popsicles

Toss the following ingredients (*except the strawberries) in a blender, puree, pour into molds, and freeze. 

  • 12 ounces of firm silken tofu (make sure it's silken tofu made especially for desserts)
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup or brown sugar (I used maple syrup)
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup rice milk, coconut milk, or cow's milk (I used rice milk) 
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch sea salt
  • 4 strawberries, washed, stemmed, dried and sliced into quarters *(put these in molds and pour chocolate mix to surround berries before freezing)


I plan to experiment with more along this line -- doesn't a chocolate-raspberry combo sound incredible?



Tropical Popsicles vs Summer Heat


This record-breaking Texas heat wave is trying to do us in. We get about an hour in the morning in which we can garden or exercise - it's pretty hard to do both. In the evenings it's still hot, but at least it's shaded, so you can get another hour to be outside, but you'll be attacked by ravenous blood-sucking Texas-sized mosquitoes. Finally I decided that if I can't garden the way I'd like to, I should figure out ways to help my family stay cool. So I'm going to experiment with making a variety of fresh-fruit popsicles - I'll post the recipes after my family tries them and gives them their taste bud approval!

This isn't a precisely measured recipe - modifications can be made based on what you have. If you can, use organic ingredients, especially the strawberries (conventional strawberries absorb a lot of pesticides --if you can't get organic, wash them well with a vegetable wash to remove as much pesticide as you can). And yes, I added some greens to the recipe. I'm all about sneaking in the veggies - you can't taste them or notice them in the fruit-loaded popsicles. What can I say -- I'm a mom! The strawberry tops are loaded with nutrients, so keep them in!

If you don't have popsicle molds, you can use cups or ice-cube trays. I just ordered from Amazon these amazing popsicle molds - they are BPA-free and you can pull them out individually, which is incredibly fantastic. You can choose from stars, rockets, jewels, or traditional shapes. I'm thrilled -- though the boys chose the rockets over the jewel rings, go figure.

This recipe is tropical -- the next recipe will be chocolate -- wish me luck! 


Tropical Popsicles

Makes about 8 popsicles

1 large mango - cut up a bunch of small "chunks" to add to the popsicles later; set those aside. Put the rest in blender (about 1 cup to 1.5 cups in blender) (if you prefer, you can skip the chunks and put it all in the blender to make completely smooth).

11 medium to large strawberries, with their green tops on - put in blender

Another 3 strawberries, cut into chunks (add the green tops to the blender)

4 tablespoons fresh lime juice

3 tablespoons agave nectar

Several baby spinach leaves


Ultimately the fruits and veggies amount to about 5.5 cups in the blender BEFORE mixing - so work with what you have. Blend the main ingredients thoroughly until smooth, then pour into the popsicle molds (or paper cups, or whatever you are using). Sprinkle in the chunks of mango and strawberries and push them in with the popsicle stick. Freeze until frozen - enjoy!




Today's Green Smoothie



Organic strawberries, with the tops still on

Rice milk

Soy yogurt (blueberry, with live cultures -- but almost any flavor yogurt will do)

Organic carrot greens (the tops)

A bit of agave nectar


Use whatever quantities suit your taste. Blend together -- drink! Be sure to buy organic strawberries -- or grow at home -- conventional strawberries are right up there in pesticide retention! Bananas are safer for conventional because of the rind, but why accept pesticides? I'm not sure about carrots, but I'd have to think that because of the greens being above ground, the pesticide level would be similar to the strawberries. So... ORGANIC!

Meredith O'Reilly happily
gardens for wildlife in
Austin, TX. She enjoys
educating people of all ages
about native flora, fauna,
and healthy environments.

Nature Blog Network


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