Mango Mint Fruit Bars

Mango Mint Fruit BarI wanted to call these popsicles. But I think of popsicles as juice and these are more like fruit bars. Whole fruit blended then frozen. Just two ingredients making the hardest part of this recipe the cutting up of the mango.

I love the combination of mango and mint. It feels and tastes fresh in my Mango Mint Salsa. When you blend and freeze them together, it’s just pure awesome on a popsicle stick. It makes the crazy hot Summer days after cool Fall-like days more bearable.

The recipe made three bars in my Zoku so adjust accordingly for your popsicle molds/maker and mouths to feed.

Mango Mint Fruit Bars – makes 3 bars

1 mango, rough chopped

1-3 sprigs mint, leaves pulled off the stems

Place mango and mint in a blender and blend until the mango is mostly pureed. Pour into popsicle molds and freeze.

 

Banana Papaya Smoothie

The view from my room at Castle Molokai Shores

I woke up to a beautiful view every morning for a week.  I took advantage of this and sat out on my lanai for coffee and breakfast in the morning.  My breakfasts were typically fresh fruit (thanks to a family member and farm), eggs, and sautéed onions and spinach.  I found some lau lau (pork, butterfish, pork fat, and spinach wrapped in ti leaves) at the grocery and added that to a few of my breakfasts.  It kept me full for a long time.

I could have stayed at my grandmother’s house or shared a room with relatives.  I didn’t so I would have a kitchen to myself and not have to worry about gluten getting mixed into my food by accident.

I did not know what small appliances my condo would have since they all differ.  Several relatives that live on Moloka`i offered up their blenders to me before I even left.  Luckily, the condo came with a blender so I could make my smoothies.

The funny part was not being able to find bananas.  I was home!  Where were the bananas?  My second day, Auntie M and I went into town and I looked for them again at two different stores.  THE two stores for groceries.  Kaunakakai is a small town.  The joke is don’t blink or you’ll miss it.  Rural living at its best.  An hour after getting back to my grandparent’s house, a relative who works on a farm walked up to me and handed me a bunch of bananas.  Fresh.  Straight from the farm. He had brought an entire case to the house with him.  The next day, he brought a case of papaya straight from the farm.  Non-GMO papaya.  Oh happy day!  A few days later, someone brought a bag full of fresh mangoes to the house.  That is what I love about home.  You always know several people with fruit trees or gardens and they bring you fresh produce so it doesn’t go to waste.  It still kills me when I pay for mango.

The following is just one of my smoothies.  Each day the ingredients varied depending on the fruit I had available.  I was even taking leftovers with me and sharing it because the bananas are so much bigger than you normally see in a grocery store.  My last full day, I used up all the fruits I had left (mangoes and papaya) to make smoothies and shared it with my family.

Banana Papaya Smoothie

Banana Papaya Smoothie

1 banana (if it is large, use half)

1/4 – 1/2 non-GMO papaya, seeded

1 tablespoon nut or seed butter

1 tablespoon raw local honey (or favorite sweetener), optional

1 teaspoon maca root powder, optional

non-dairy milk (I used unsweetened almond milk)

Place all ingredients into the blender except milk.  Once all ingredients are in the blender, add milk to the 2 cup line.  Blend well, about 3 – 5 minutes depending on your blender.

 

 

Chocolate Chai Surprise

Chocolate Chai Surprise Smoothie

I know I’ve been a bit quiet on here.  I’m taking advantage of my decreased hours at work to work on projects around our apartment that got neglected during the holidays.  And I’m still working on a few recipes that aren’t quite ready to share still.

I had every intention to blog yesterday.  All my plans fell apart when I woke up to a phone call from my doctor.  Not a nurse or assistant.  My doctor.  That’s what I love about her and her colleagues.  I went in for my monthly appointment last week and asked her for a blood draw.  My last one was a year ago when I first started seeing her and I’ve been feeling slightly off.

My suspicions were true.

My Vitamin D is back up to being within normal limits (WNL).   Yippee!   My TSH, T3, and T4 are all still WNL.  Woo hoo!   My iron and hematacrit levels are still borderline under and my platelet count dropped significantly.  Boo!

Since I woke up to this information, I wasn’t thinking straight and had no idea what to ask.  I just took down the information for the Hematologist that she recommended.

I had two choices.  Start looking stuff up online and freak out or text Dr. Cuz and ask her questions that suddenly came to me.  If you haven’t seen my posts about Dr. Cuz, she’s my go-to for explaining medical things because she is my cousin and because she has a way to keep me from completely freaking out.

I texted Dr. Cuz.  She asked a few questions and while I was waiting for her to respond to my answers I started looking online.  I figured as long as I had her opinion as well, I’d be fine.  Her final opinion – idiopathic thrombocytopenia.  Now there’s a mouthful.  The symptoms fit.  Now if only the Hematologist office would call me back!  I think they did try to call while I was at work, but didn’t leave a message.

Even if I didn’t completely freak out yesterday, I still spent most of the day in a fog.  I pretty much goofed off and only did laundry and cooked dinner.  We all need those days sometimes, right?  Right.

Now I will leave you with a smoothie I’ve been drinking the last few days.

Chocolate Chai Surprise Smoothie – serves 1

1/2 – 3/4 cup frozen mango

half handful spinach or other greens

1 tablespoon raw local honey or sweetener of your choice

1 tablespoon nut butter

1 – 2 tablespoons raw cacao powder

1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon garam masala (1/2 t will be pretty spicy while less will be mild)

1 tablespoon maca root powder (optional)

Milk or dairy-free milk of your choice

Place all ingredients into your blender except the milk.  In place of nut butter and dairy-free milk, you can soak 1/2 cup nuts or shredded coconut in filtered water ahead of time and add extra water (do not drain the water from the soaking, it helps make the “milk”) at the end in place of the milk.  Add milk/alternative to the blender to just under the 2 cup line.  Blend well, especially if you are using the soaked nuts/coconuts.

This is how wonderful Dr. Cuz is.  She just called me as I was typing up the directions for the recipe to make sure she had all the right information.  And she made sure to keep saying after I answered each question with, “You’re going to be fine.”  She said it one last time as were about to hang up, too.  So blessed with great cousins!