How to Freeze Berries

When I lived in Oregon there were berry field super close by. The berries were super delicious and super cheap. One time I picked over 50 pounds of berries. What did I do with all those berries? I made jam and I also froze them. Frozen berries are perfect for smoothies, shakes, making jams and syrups later, adding to a recipe, toppings on ice cream etc. The possibilities are endless.  My son prefers frozen berries to fresh berries. There are some important tips to follow when freezing berries, they are not complicated, but can make life a lot easier when pulling berries out. The secret is freezing the berries individually so they do not stick to each other.
1. Wash the berries in the container they came in first. 
This step is super important. If the berries are not washed the dirt and everything else will freeze to it in the freezer.
2. Freeze or use the berries immediately after washing.
Berries ripen even faster when they are washed. I made the mistake of washing and storing berries. They get all mushy and do not taste very good.

3. Slice strawberries. There is no need to slice raspberries or blue berries because they are small. 
Raspberries and blueberries are super easy to eat the size they are. Strawberries however are hard to eat whole. I sliced mine up and they turned out super delicious.
4. Use wax or parchment paper to freeze the berries.
It is super important to put something under the berries so they will not stick to the cookie sheet or whatever is used to freeze them.

5. Space the berries out. 
Spacing the berries is the most important part and something I could have done better with the above strawberries. It enables individual berries to be pulled out/measured etc.

6. Flash freeze for 1-2 hours on a cookie sheet or over night.
Flash freezing is important because it again makes sure the berries are frozen before putting them in a bag. I sometimes forget and take the berries out the next day. They can sometimes be a little harder to get off the tray.

7. Take berries off the tray/Put berries in a bag and label the bag with the date.
Now the berries can be stored together and they will not freeze together! Save and enjoy the berries at a later date.

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Easy DIY Fruit Bouquet

Have you ever seen a fruit bouquet? I think they are genius. Not only are they beautiful, but they are delicious to eat, and they are healthy! That is three wins.

Earlier this year I made this fruit bouquet for a friend. These can be made for any occasion, birthdays, holidays, thinking of you etc. And they are not that hard to make, the pineapples and melting the chocolate took the longest time. And that was not long at all.

Supplies for a fruit bouquet
  1. Fruit- I used pineapple, green and red grapes, and strawberries.
  2. Cookie cutter
  3. Skewers-I got these at my local grocery store meat department.
  4. Vase
  5. Tissue paper
  6. Foam or pool noodle to go inside
  7. Bow
  8. Simple syrup (water and sugar)
  9. Pastry brush
  10. Cookie sheet-can line with wax paper

Steps to Make a Fruit Bouquet
  1. Prepare the vase by putting the tissue paper in first, then put in the foam. Tie the bow around the vase.
  2. Wash all the fruit.
  3. Make a simple syrup, heat 1 part water with 1 part sugar until sugar is melted.
  4. Melt and temper chocolate using the double broiler method. Ie place a pan of water on the stove. On top of that place a heat resistant bowl. Heat water to a low boil or just below boiling. Melt chocolate in the bowl.
  5. Cut pineapple open. Slice in rectangles. Use the cookie cutter on the slices to make heart shapes or whatever shape is desired.
  6. Dip the strawberries in the chocolate. I did half and half to create a color differential on the arrangement.
  7. Place all fruit on the cookie sheet. Brush with the simple syrup. Let dry for a few minutes
  8. Place all the fruit on the skewers. This will be a little sticky depending on how dry the fruit is. The pineapples are the most tricky. They are slimy and like to fall off.
  9. Stick the skewers in the foam and arrange the fruit randomly.
That is all the steps to make the perfect Fruit Bouquet. Whoever gets it will love it! Let me know if you make one. I would love to see it.

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Fresh Raspberry Greek Yogurt

My dietitian recently told me to eat more yogurt.  She recommended Chobani Greek yogurt.  I bought the fruit flavors for a few months. It was okay, but I found the fruit flavors lacking, the fruit didn't taste right. I had a thought to make my own yogurt from fresh fruit and see how it compares.  And let me tell you I bet this yogurt is better than any of those flavored yogurts out there.  It would win in a yogurt tasting contest hands down. It is super simple to make too.

Fresh Raspberry Greek Yogurt, Printible Version
  • 3-4 fresh raspberries
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon sugar or to taste
  • 1 plain Greek yogurt
Crush and stir the berries with a fork to release the juices.
Add the yogurt and sugar and stir.
Enjoy the freshest yogurt ever!
*You can put in other fruit besides raspberries, strawberries, pineapple, kiwi, whatever you have in the house.  I have also made it without any fruit and it tastes pretty good plain, with a little sugar too.

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The Perfect Kettle Corn

I love the kettle corn from Trader Joe's. I get some every time I go, unfortunately is not often because there isn't one by me. My husband bought me a popcorn popper for Christmas and I was excited to try to make some kettle corn. I picked up some kettle corn topping at the store, popped some popcorn and sprinkled on the topping. Alas is did not taste like kettle corn. So I looked online, found a recipe, tried it and failed, was going to give up, but decided to try one more time. I adjusted the recipe, cooking method and walla, it was perfect. I'll probably be making this several times a week. You don't need a special popcorn popper or a special seasoning just a pot and basic ingredients that you probably have on hand.

                         

Perfect Kettle Corn, Printable Recipe

1/3 cup corn kernels 
2 1/2 Tbsp Trader Joe's canola oil
1/2 tsp Kosher salt
1/4 cup sugar

1. Heat oil and 3 popcorn kernels in a large flat pot over medium heat. 

2. Once one popcorn kernel has popped put in the rest of the kernels. 

3. Add sugar and salt evenly around the pan. Stir in with the kernels. Put the lid back on the pot. 

4. Wait for the kernels to start popping. When they start popping lift the pan and shake the popcorn side to side. Set down every once in a while for the pot to stay hot. 

5. When the popcorn starts to not pop as quickly immediately remove from the heat and lay popcorn on parchment paper on a cookie sheet. Use a spoon to spread out the popcorn. It will be a little sticky. And should not be discolored. 

6. Wait five minutes and enjoy. If you don't devour it all right away you can store in an air tight container for several days. 

*I used a clear lid. It was very helpful to see what stage the popcorn was at and that it wasn't burning. 
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Smoothie Recipes

Today you get a real treat, Jamba Juice recipes. I've tried to be as thorough and comprehensive as possible.  I have old recipes, new ones, and "special orders" ones that are not on the menu board.  I used their website to figure out the ingredients.  Jamba lists all the ingredients for their smoothies on their website and I just filled in the amounts.  I've tried out a lot of them and they are very similar. On their website it says, "We want to give you the opportunity to use these formulations to make your own smoothies at home."  I have experimented and tried and they taste quite good.  I'm enjoying Peach Pleasure as I type this.

This blog post contains affiliate links.
Based on Peach Pleasure
A little knowledge about these recipes.
1 scoop = ½ cup
5-6 ice cubes is about 1 cup crushed ice
Frozen fruit is so important to make them have the same texture as Jamba Juice.  You can use fresh fruit and get a thinner smoothie.

I bought a Blendtec blender like the ones they use at Jamba Juice to make these smoothies. My favorite part it is self cleaning. Click here to find the blender on Amazon.

Hope you enjoy, I sure am.

Based on Acai Super-Antioxidant Smoothie-2012
½ cup soy milk
½ cup Acai juice blend
2 scoops raspberry sherbet
1 scoop frozen blueberries
1 scoop frozen strawberries
1 cup ice
Antioxidant power boost

Based on Amazing Greens
1/2 cup peach juice blend
1/2 cup lemonade
2 scoops peaches
handful kale
2 scoops bananas
1 scoop pumpkin seeds
1 cup ice

Based on Apple ‘N Greens Smoothie-2012
½ cup apple strawberry juice blend
½ cup green vegetable juice blend (carrots, spinach, bell pepper, kale, spirulina, lettuce)
1 scoop frozen peaches
1 scoop frozen mangos
1 scoop frozen bananas
1 cup ice

Based on Aloha Pineapple
1 cup pineapple juice blend
1 scoop pineapple sherbet
1 scoop nonfat plain yogurt
1 scoop frozen strawberries
1 scoop frozen bananas
1 cup ice

Based on Banana Berry
1 cup apple strawberry juice blend
1 scoop nonfat vanilla frozen yogurt
1 scoop raspberry sherbet
1 scoop frozen bananas
1 scoop frozen blueberries
1 cup ice

Based on Berry Bitten- 2012
1 cup mixed berry juice
1 scoop raspberry sherbet
1 scoop frozen yogurt
1 scoop frozen strawberries
1 scoop frozen blueberries
1 cup ice

Berry Blend-2012
½ cup mixed berry juice
½ cup soymilk
2 scoops frozen blueberries
2 scoops frozen strawberries
1 cup ice
Balance boost
Weight burner boost

Based on BERRY FULFILLING
½ cup raspberry juice
2 scoops enlightened base
2 scoops frozen strawberries
1 scoop frozen raspberries
1 scoop frozen blueberries
1 cup ice

Based on Berry Lime Sublime
1 cup raspberry juice
2 scoops of lime sherbet
2 scoops of frozen strawberries
1 scoop of frozen raspberries
1 cup of ice

Based on Berry UpBEET-2012
½ cup mixed berry juice blend
½ cup red vegetable juice blend (carrots, beets, broccoli, spinach, kale, lettuce)
1 scoop frozen strawberries
1 scoop frozen blueberries
1 scoop frozen Mangos
1 cup ice

Based on Blackberry Bliss
1 cup apple strawberry blend juice
1 scoop blackberries
1 scoop raspberry sherbet
1 scoop plain sorbet
1 scoop frozen blueberries
1 scoop frozen strawberries
1 cup ice

Based on Blue Banana Blast
1 cup soymilk
1 scoop nonfat plain yogurt
1 scoop nonfat frozen yogurt
1 scoop frozen blueberries
1 scoop frozen bananas
1 cup ice

Based on Blueberry Balance
1 cup lower calorie dairy base (nonfat milk, natural flavors, whey protein, Splenda),
1 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
1 scoop frozen strawberries
1 scoop frozen blueberries
1 cup ice

Based on Blutopia
1 cup blueberry juice soymilk
2 scoops nonfat frozen yogurt
2 scoops frozen blueberries
1 cup ice

Based on Bounce Back Blast
1 cup kiwi juice
2 scoops orange sherbet
1 scoop frozen peaches
1 scoop frozen strawberries
1 cup ice
Performance Boost

Based on BRIGHT EYED AND BLUEBERRY
1 cup soymilk
2 scoops yogurt
2 scoops frozen strawberries
1 scoop frozen blueberries
1 cup ice

Based on Caribbean Passion
1 cup passion fruit-mango juice
2 scoops orange sherbet
1 scoop frozen strawberries
1 scoop frozen peaches
1 cup ice

Based on Caribbean Passion
1 cup guava juice
2 scoops orange sherbet
1 scoop frozen strawberries
1 scoop frozen bananas
1 cup ice

Based on Carrot Quencher 
2 cups fresh squeezed carrot juice
2 scoops nonfat frozen yogurt
1 cup ice.

Based on Chocolate Covered Cherry
½ cup soymilk
½ cup chocolate moo’d base
2 scoops nonfat frozen yogurt
1 scoop frozen cherries
1 scoop frozen strawberries
1 cup ice

Based on Chocolate Moo’d -2012
1 cup chocolate milk
2 scoops frozen yogurt
1 cup ice

Based on CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER MOO’D
1 cup chocolate soy milk
2-3 scoops vanilla frozen yogurt
1-2 scoops frozen banana
1 scoop frozen strawberries (optional)
1 cup ice
1 tbsp cocoa powder
1 heaping tbsp peanut butter

Based on CITRUS SQUEEZE
½ cup pineapple juice
½ cup orange juice
2 scoops orange sherbet
2 scoops frozen strawberries
1 scoop frozen bananas
1 cup ice

Based on COLD BUSTER
1 cup orange juice
2 scoops orange sherbet
2 scoops frozen peaches
1 scoop frozen bananas
1 cup ice

Based on Eggnog Jubilee-2012
1 cup eggnog base
1 cup soymilk
4 scoops frozen yogurt
1 cup ice

Based on Electric Berry Lemonade
1/2 cup lemonade
1/2 cup mixed berry juice blend
1 scoop strawberries
1 scoop fat free vanilla frozen yogurt
1 scoop raspberry sherbet
1 scoop strawberries
1 scoop blue spirulina
1cup ice

Based on Five Fruit Frenzy-2012
1 cup mixed berry juice
1 scoop frozen strawberries
1 scoop frozen blueberries
1 scoop frozen bananas
1 scoop frozen peaches
1 cup ice

Based on Get Up and Mango
1 cup soymilk
2 scoops nonfat frozen yogurt
1 scoop frozen mangos
1 scoop frozen peaches
1 cup ice

Based on Golden Turmeric Spice
1 cup oatmilk
Tumeric Spice Blend to taste
1 scoop bananas
1 scoop mangos
Agave to taste
1 cup ice

Based on Grape Escape
1 cup concord grape juice
1 scoop frozen strawberries
1 scoop frozen peaches
1 cup ice

Based on Greens 'n Ginger
1 cup lemonade
2 scoops peaches
2 scoops mangoes
handful kale
ginger to taste
1 cup ice

Based on Just Peachy
1 cup peach juice blend
2 scoops nonfat frozen yogurt
2 scoop frozen peaches
1 cup ice.

Based on KIWI BERRY BURNER
1 cup Kiwi juice
2 scoops raspberry sherbet
2 scoops frozen strawberries
1 scoop frozen raspberries
1 cup ice

Based on Lime Sublime
1 cup raspberry juice
2 scoops lime sherbet
2 scoops frozen mixed berries
1 cup ice

Based on Mango-a-go-go
1 cup passion fruit-mango juice
2 scoops pineapple sherbet
2 scoops frozen mangos
1 cup ice

Based on MANGO MANTRA
½ cup orange juice
2 scoops enlightened base (yogurt or sherbet)
2 scoops frozen mangos
2 scoops frozen peaches
1 cup ice

Based on Mega Mango-2012
½ cup pineapple juice
½ cup orange juice
2 scoops frozen mangos
2 scoops frozen strawberries
1 cup ice

Based on MIGHTLY CHERRY CHARGER
½ cup raspberry juice
½ cup soymilk
2 scoops frozen yogurt
2 scoops frozen cherries
1 scoop frozen strawberries
1 cup ice

Based on Matcha Green Tea Bast
1/2 cup soymilk
1/2 cup match green tea
2 scoops vanilla frozen yogurt
1 cup ice

Based on Ocean Sunrise
1 cup raspberry juice blend
2 scoops orange sherbet
1 scoop frozen strawberries
1 scoop frozen bananas
1 cup ice

Based on ORANGE-A-PEEL
1 cup orange juice
2 scoops frozen yogurt
2 scoops frozen strawberries
1 scoop frozen bananas
1 scoop ice

Based on Orange Berry Blitz 
1 cup 100% pure orange juice
2 scoops pineapple sherbet
1 scoop frozen strawberries
1 scoop frozen blueberries
1 cup ice

Based on Orange Carrot Karma Smoothie-2012
1 cup carrot juice
2 scoops frozen mangos
2 scoops frozen bananas
1 cup ice

Based on ORANGE CHERRY CHEER
½ cup orange juice
½ cup soymilk
1 scoop frozen yogurt
1 scoop orange sherbet
3 scoops frozen cherries
1 cup ice

Based on ORANGE DREAM MACHINE
½ cup orange juice
½ cup soymilk
2 scoops frozen yogurt
2 scoops orange sherbet
1 cup ice

Based on Orange Octane
1 cup fresh-squeezed orange juice
2 scoops orange sherbet
1 scoop frozen strawberries
1 scoop frozen bananas
1 cup ice

Based on Peach Mango-2012
1 cup peach juice blend
2 scoops frozen mango
2 scoops frozen peaches
1 cup ice
Balance boost
Weight burner boost

Based on Peach Perfection-2012
½ cup peach juice blend
½ cup apple-strawberry blend
1 scoop frozen mangos
2 scoops frozen peaches
1 scoop strawberries
1 cup ice

Based on Peach Pleasure
1 cup peach juice
2 scoops orange sherbet
2 scoops frozen peaches
1 scoop frozen bananas
1 cup ice

Based on Peenya Kowlada
1 cup pineapple juice blend
1 scoop pineapple sherbet
1 scoop nonfat frozen yogurt
2 scoop frozen frozen bananas
1 cup ice
2 tbsp dried unsweetened coconut

Based on Pina Colada
1 cup pineapple juice
2-3 scoops pineapple sherbet
1 scoop frozen bananas
1 scoop frozen strawberries
1 cup ice
2 tbsp coconut flakes

Peppermint Twist
1 cup Jamba Peppermint Blend
2 scoops nonfat frozen yogurt
2 scoops frozen strawberries
1 cup ice

Based on Pick-Me-Up Peach 
1 cup peach juice blend
2 scoops nonfat plain yogurt
1 scoop frozen peaches
1 scoop frozen bananas
1 cup ice

Based on PINK STARBURST
½ cup lemonade
½ cup soymilk
1 scoop of each: pineapple, raspberry, lime, and orange sherbet
1 scoop frozen strawberries
1 cup ice

Based on Pomegranate Paradise-2012
1 cup pomegranate juice
1 scoop frozen mangos
1 scoop frozen peaches
1 scoop frozen strawberries
1 cup ice

Based on Pomegranate Pick-Me-Up
½ cup Pomegranate juice
½ cup mixed berry juice
2 scoops raspberry sherbet
1 scoop frozen strawberries
1 scoop frozen blueberries
1 cup ice

Based on Powerberry
1 cup orange juice
1 scoop frozen strawberries
1 scoop frozen banana
1 cup ice
Vita Blend Buzzer Blend
Amino Blend Fiber Blend
Enertia

Based on Protein Berry
1 cup soymilk
2 scoops frozen bananas
2 scoops frozen strawberries
1 cup ice
Whey Protein Boost

Based on PUMPKIN SMASH-2012
1 cup soymilk
4 scoops frozen yogurt
1 scoop pumpkin mix (from can)
2 scoops ice

Based on Raspberry Rage
1 cup raspberry juice
2 scoops nonfat frozen yogurt
1 scoop frozen raspberries
1 scoop frozen bananas
1 cup ice

Based on Raspberry Refresher
1 cup raspberry juice
2 scoop raspberry sherbet
1 scoop frozen raspberries
1 scoop frozen bananas
1 cup ice

Based on Razzmatazz
1 cup Mixed berry juice blend
2 scoops orange sherbet
1 scoop frozen strawberries
1 scoop frozen bananas
1 cup ice

Based on Razzmatazz alternate
1 cup raspberry juice
2 scoops raspberry sherbet
1 scoop frozen raspberry
1 cup ice

Based on Smooth Talkin' Mango
1 cup oatmilk
2 scoops mangoes
1 scoop pineapple
agave to taste
1 cup ice

Based on Strawberry Banana
1 cup orange juice
2 scoops frozen yogurt
1 scoop frozen strawberries
1 scoop frozen bananas
1 cup ice

Based on Strawberry Nirvana
½ cup dairy base
½  cup apple strawberry juice blend
1 scoop frozen strawberries
1 scoop frozen bananas
1 cup ice

Based on Strawberry Raspberry Banana-2012
½ cup apple strawberry juice blend
½ cup soy milk
1 scoop frozen strawberries
1 scoop raspberries
1 scoop frozen banana
1 cup ice
Balance boost
Weight burner boost

Based on Strawberry Surf Rider
1 cup lemonade
2 scoops lime sherbet
2 scoop frozen strawberries
1 scoop frozen peaches
1 cup ice

Based on Strawberries Wild
1 cup apple-strawberry juice
2 scoops nonfat frozen yogurt
1 scoop frozen strawberries
1 scoop frozen bananas
1 cup ice

Based on SUNRISE STRAWBERRY
1 cup soymilk
2 scoops yogurt
2 scoops frozen strawberries
1 scoop frozen bananas
1 cup ice

Based on Strawberry Whirl
1 cup apple strawberry juice blend
1 scoop frozen strawberries
1 scoop frozen bananas
1 cup ice

Based on TANGO TROPIC
1 cup peach juice
1 scoop raspberry sherbet
1 scoop orange sherbet
2 scoops frozen strawberries
1 scoop frozen peaches
1 cup ice

Based on TROPICAL AWAKENING
1 cup pineapple juice
2 scoops enlightened base (sherbet or frozen yogurt)
2 scoops frozen strawberries
1 scoop frozen blueberries
1 scoop frozen bananas
1 cup ice

Based on Vanilla Blue Sky
1/2 cup almond milk
1/2 cup coconutmilk
2 scoops bananas
2 scoops pineapples
blue spirulina boost
1 cup ice

Based on WHITE GUMMIE BEAR or White Gummie
1 cup peach juice
1 scoop of each: orange, lime, pineapple, and raspberry sherbet and frozen yogurt
1 scoop frozen peaches
1 cup ice


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