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.

 

Mint Chocolate Chip Smoothie/Shake

Mint Chocolate Chip Smoothie

It seems like the food blogosphere is running rampant with posts on homemade Shamrock Shakes.  I think I may have had one from the Golden Arches many moons ago.  It obviously left a lasting impression on me since I don’t go running for one as soon as I see they are back like so many of my friends seem to do.

I’ve been playing around with a play on one of my favorite ice creams, mint chocolate chip. And it has to be the old-fashioned kind with the small slivers of chocolate that will melt between your tongue and the roof of your mouth while loads of mint ice cream surrounding it.  Not those giant chunks.  By the time you can get those giant to melt just a little, the mint ice cream is gone from the palate.  If you didn’t see this coming from me a mile away the you haven’t read my posts for my Raw Peppermint Mocha Truffle Cake and My Dairy-free Peppermint Mocha.

This smoothie/shake is pure indulgence while being subversively healthy.  Yes.  Healthy!  It can also be a relief from the hot days coming our way if you make it with a frozen banana or opt to be a little more indulgent than healthy and use ice cream instead. Not to mention how easy it is to get that mint chocolate fix taken care of without waiting once a year for the Girl Scout cookie sale.  Funny thing is the Thin Mints were never my favorite.  They were far off my radar.  I much preferred the peanut butter sandwich and the chocolate covered peanut butter cookie.  Speaking of Girl Scout Cookies, if you don’t subscribe to Easy Eats online magazine, now is a great time.  The current issue contains several gluten-free Girl Scout cookie adaptations.  Brittany also has a great gluten-free version of Samoas on her site.  Yes, I miss Girl Scout cookies this time of year.  Hard not to when I sold them for 12 years.

But I digress.

I used both mint leaves and peppermint extract for this recipe.  The mint leaves are good for your gastrointestinal tract, especially if you’re feeling a little queasy or your intestines are staging an Occupy Your Body protest. The peppermint extract gives it the mint flavor.  If I were to try to get the proper mint flavor with just the leaves, I think it would be a little too much for the gastrointestinal system.

Mint Chocolate Chip Smoothie/Shake

1 banana, room temp or frozen, and/or 1/2 cup dairy-free vanilla ice cream (or regular dairy if you are not dairy-free)

half handful spinach or other mild greens

mint leaves from 3 stalks

1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract

dairy-free milk (or regular)

1 square very dark chocolate (I use Lindt 85% Dark), broken into small pieces

1 teaspoon maca powder (optional)

sweetener of choice (optional, the banana was sweet enough for me, but may not be for you)

Place ingredients in your blender and blend well.  If your blender takes a long time to blend everything, consider leaving out the chocolate until everything is nearly blended so you still have slivers of chocolate floating around.

 

 

 

An Apple A Day

Getting through with coconut water, apples, and mint

Two weeks ago, I started feeling funny a few hours after eating dinner.  There were rumblings going on.  Louder than when my stomach protests when it is empty.  And right as I’m getting ready to go to bed, the volcano blew.  And blew.  It blew all night long.

When I finally dragged myself out of bed the following morning I was severely dehydrated.  And out of coconut water.  There was no way I was in any condition to run out for more.  I texted Chaz to pick some up on his way home.  Meanwhile, I found some Hawaiian juices we had.  As sick as I was, I was worried anything that went down would come right back up.  Kinda like that one time in college when I had alcohol poisoning.  But I was so dehydrated that I chugged that first can of juice rather recklessly.   Then I got a glass of water down hoping the juice would stay down and camped out on the sofa watching Supernatural on Netflix Instant Watch.  I dozed on and off all day in between trips to the bathroom.  Yes, not everything came out one end.  Being sick is never pretty.  I didn’t even eat anything until late afternoon.  Two hard boiled eggs.  That was all I ate that day.

The next day was more of the same nausea, bathroom trips, and watching the Winchester brothers while conscious.  I managed to force myself to eat a little more in the afternoon and a bite or two at dinner.  But, I had to force myself to eat.  It was easier to keep getting myself rehydrated than trying to shovel food down my mouth.  The thought occurred to me that I may have been glutened during dinner on Wednesday.  However, Chaz wasn’t feeling so hot either.  I still checked the packaged stuff I wound up using while testing a recipe and turns out the tortilla chips I had were processed on the same equipment as wheat and milk (don’t know how I missed that one because I did check the bag).  Okay, so glutening and dairying on top of a gastrointestinal virus.  Lovely.

Saturday I was starting to feel better, but not completely, and I was getting tired of running to the bathroom.  By Sunday, I had my appetite back and I was feeling better.   Win!  Right?

Wrong.

Monday morning I woke up and I was right back in the bathroom.  Three times in under an hour.  The thought, kill me now, ran through my head.  I managed to get the grocery shopping done.  Without incident.  I went several hours without incident.  I figured it was over.  Wrong again.  It picked up again early afternoon and then got worse late afternoon.  I was up again all night with this bloody bug.

I realized the next day, as I’m watching Sam and Dean battle demons, that I was forgetting things learned long ago that would help me.  It wouldn’t kill the virus, but it would help my body settle down without having to take a pill.  Coconut water is good for keeping me hydrated while sick, but mint and apples helped settle my entire gastrointestinal system.

Mint will help settle your stomach and your intestines.  I used spearmint oil a lot back when IBS was still just IBS to me, rather than a symptom of something greater.   Rubbing it on my tummy would help calm all the rumbling going on in my abdominal area.  This time around, I eschewed the oil and went straight for the real thing since I happened to have some in the fridge.  I was chewing a leaf every few hours.

Apples are a wonder.  I learned from a nurse I worked with many years ago that apples will help not only diarrhea, but constipation, too.  It’s the pectin right under the skin that does it.  So apples and mint it was for me.  Along with lots of coconut water.

I was able to manage through a couple of days of work, but I still wasn’t feeling 100%.  It got worse again last Friday and I thought I would be okay Saturday when I woke up.  But the longer I was up, the worse it got.

I’m feeling a bit better, but still not 100%.  Can’t wait for it to die.  Until then it’s coconut water, apples, and mint for me.