Smoothie Demo at Silver Sneakers Exercise in Lawrenceburg, TN

I thought I’d surprise my Silver Sneakers workout group and make them all smoothies to sample. Here’s the Fit and Fab Smoothie I shared on Wednesday.

Most people can make smoothies, but I’m all about good ingredients (minimally processed and good sources of nutrition). I also try to inject flavors in unique ways. Being good for you doesn’t have to taste plain or boring. My base ingredients for one batch of smoothies are 1 cup plain Greek yogurt, 2 cups (about 6) fresh squeezed orange juice (including the pulp), and one frozen banana (cut in half). Some of the best combinations in addition to my base are:

  • Frozen peaches (a handful) and strawberries (about 6) or
  • Frozen peaches (a handful) and pineapple (a handful), 1 tsp. orange zest

There are a few things you can add for fiber and protein: 1 tbs. of chia seeds (fills you up and gives you energy), cacao nibs (raw chocolate pieces). and ground flax seeds (provides a nutty flavor). You can find some of these at Big Lots, Publix, Kroger and TJ Maxx. To make your smoothies sweeter without the use of highly processed sugars (like agave or refined sugar), add either: 1 Tbs of: raw honey, 1 tsp. stevia (Sweet Leaf Stevia Drops plain or with vanilla) or 1 Tbs. of date syrup (Amazon). If you do use stevia, the drops with vanilla are the nicest flavor. To add another level of flavor, you can also add one of these flavor freebies: 1/4 tsp. of extract: vanilla, almond or orange, 1 tsp. orange zest which is quite an effective flavor booster.

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Speaking at the Master Gardener Plant Sale

Photos by Sandi Pettus

We couldn’t have asked for a nicer day for the Master Gardener Plant Sale in Lawrenceburg on Saturday. I spoke on cooking with culinary herbs.

My brother Eric and his family came to give us support. I’m so thankful to my sister-in-law, Helen who worked with me during my presentation and kept me organized. I’d also like to thank a girl young named Breanna who helped us keep our area clean.

We all know there’s a multitude of ways to use herbs, so I focused on the areas of  barbecuing, condiments, compound butters, preserving, infusing, steaming and finishing with herbs. I explained some tried and true methods and gave some unique new ideas. Two of the noted favorites were an herb fire-starter and pretty ice cubes filled with herbs and edible flowers.

In the last part of my presentation, I chose to demonstrate pesto because of it’s simplicity and knew it’s something people could recognize. Pesto, which means “‘pounded” in Italian, was historically prepared using a mortar and pestal. However, it has since been revised for modern day. Most of us now use food processors to prepare this sauce.

I put my spin on the traditional basil pine nut pesto and added it to a prepared layered terrine (of sun dried tomatoes, tipenade and goat cheese) and topped it with our freshly made pesto. Then, I introduced a cilantro pepita pesto and a parsley almond pesto. Everyone got a chance to sample everything on crusty bread. I think the favorite of the day was our layered terrine.

I really enjoyed myself and was glad to see others enjoying my demos and samples. I had one lady tell me that she knows a lot about herbs, but she said she actually learned some new things, so I thought that was a great compliment! Sharing cooking knowledge is the one thing I really enjoy.

 

Tuesday Night Gluten-Free Workshop

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It was a small class tonight, but it wasn’t lacking in personality or quality!

Thanks Sandi and Suzy for weathering the storm to come out and make 2 gluten-free pizzas made from cauliflower. Sound weird? Well, I just made two more people love this great tasting pizza!

I must add, not only is this pizza gluten-free, it’s a great way to get your servings of vegetables.

The cauliflower crust contains herbs and garlic and is topped with a homemade pizza sauce.

For a side, we made a beautiful spinach salad with a homemade roasted almond dressing.

Salad dressing is easy to make, budget friendly and tastes much better than store bought! In addition, you know exactly what’s in it.

Our next class in March will be on ways to impart some great flavors into your dishes by using alcohol or vinegar.

Gourmet Salts and Extract Making

labelsSaturday, October 19, we’re kicking off our first cooking school workshop. We’ll be making 3 gourmet finishing salts (lemon, onion and wine) and an orange extract to give away as gifts for the holidays. We’ll post our photos on the blog after the event.

Get a detailed schedule of our future Workshops.