berry mint smoothie

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Summer. What a beautiful time of year. Also, what a busy time of year. Lately, I feel like I’ve had 20 things on my mind at all times, and I’m failing if I’m not getting them done.  Gardening, recipe developing, food blogging, making food from scratch, and other general life stuff can be a lot with a full time job. I know others feel the same with their jobs, families, activities, and social obligations. I feel we shouldn’t be too hard on ourselves and place impossible expectations upon ourselves. We need downtime to re-charge, be mindful, and enjoy being in the company of friends and family after all, right? Lately, I’ve found these 3 things to be helpful organize my intentions and avoid a racing mind:

  1. Make weekly lists and give myself manageable, prioritized tasks spread throughout the week. Don’t be too hard on myself if things come up and I don’t get through them.  ( I like the app Any.do)!
  2. Read a good book or magazine article when I would otherwise be on my phone for about an hour (give or take) every day.
  3. Turn my phone off an hour before bed. This is a great time for relaxing, self-care, reading, or playing with the pets!

I’m not perfect, but these things definitely seem to help, along with daily exercise and other mindful activities. Of course a licensed professional is your go-to if you’re really feeling this problem, but I think many of us go through the “too many tabs open in our mind” phase from time to time. Don’t be too hard on yourself! Enjoy the summer while it’s here.

On another note, I’ve been making smoothies almost daily this summer. This one is a simple, refreshing treat that cools you down. Perfect for hot days and to utilize the surplus of berries I have in my kitchen this time of year. Any berries would work, I just used what I had on hand. Also, kombucha or ginger beer could be a nice substitute for the water and would add some fizziness.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups of berries (I used 2 cups raspberries, 1 cup blueberries)
  •  1/2 a pineapple, cut into small chunks
  • 1 large kale leaf, chopped & spine removed
  • 1 cup water
  • juice of 1/2 a lemon or lime
  • 4-5 small mint leaves, chopped finely

Directions: Add all ingredients to a vitamix or high speed blender, and blend for ~45 seconds, or until smooth. Serve and drink immediately or store in the freezer for a bit.

Cheers!

grapefruit and kale salad

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Hope your new year is going well! January always seems like the time of year I just want to “make it through” because of frigid temps, short days, dead garden, etc. However, citrus season definitely makes me excited about life. Grapefruit is one of my favorite citrus fruits. When I was a kid, I remember squeezing the remaining juice of finished grapefruit halves into a cup, adding some orange juice and a bit of sugar, and enjoying my heavenly little drink. I based this vinaigrette on that memory (sans the sugar) and it drizzled it on a bed of red kale, shallots, almonds, and of course grapefruit. It’s a delicious, fresh pick me up for this time of year.

Ingredients

Salad

  • 6-8 red kale leaves (or any kale variety)
  • 1 grapefruit, peeled and segmented
  • 1/4 cup of chopped almonds
  • 1/2  shallot, sliced

Vinaigrette

  • ~ 1/3 cup olive oil
  • ~ 1/4 cup grapefruit juice
  • 1/2 tbsp grapefruit zest
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 8-10 mint leaves, minced (save a few for garnish)
  • dash of salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Prep kale leaves by removing spines and finely chopping leaves. Combine with grapefruit segments, almonds, and shallot slices.
  2. Prep dressing by whisking together all dressing ingredients. Taste & adjust (I sometimes add more grapefruit juice or salt & pepper), then drizzle onto salad. Add a few mint leaves for garnish.