Healthy Frozen Cherries — A Snack that Beats Summer’s Heat

Simple. Easy. Healthy. A snack that will cool you off on a hot summer’s day. Your kids will love these, and so will you!

The cherries are frozen, icy cold and covered with frost. Just right for dipping in coconut milk, which will freeze onto the cherry. Then enjoy! Just watch out for the stones. They raise havoc with the dental work!

The cherries are frozen, icy cold and covered with frost. Just right for dipping in coconut milk, which will freeze onto the cherry. Then enjoy! Just watch out for the stones. They raise havoc with the dental work!

These delightful frozen cherries are just waiting to be coated in coconut milk and enjoyed one by one! Once they’re frozen, just hold one by its stem and dip it in some coconut milk. Hold it up for a few seconds while the coconut milk freezes on, then eat it right off the stem — just beware of the cherry stone: don’t bite it (ouchie wah-wah!) or swallow it (you’ll thank me later)!!!

Add a pinch of cinnamon to the coconut milk and you’ve got yourself a snazzy treat.

The more water you leave on the cherries when you freeze them, the icier or frostier they’ll be. I happen to like them icy, so I make sure they’re not totally dry when I put them in the freezer.

The Ingredients

Sweet cherries, black or red, as many as you want to fix. Keep as many of  the stems attached as possible.
A little coconut milk (optional).
A pinch of cinnamon (optional).

The Process

  1. Sort the cherries to get rid of the bad ones.
  2. Wash them for 30 seconds under running water, or soak in water and a little veggie wash of some type and rinse well.
  3. Drain in a colander or on paper towel.
    frozen sweet cherries washed
  4. Place in a resealable plastic freezer bag or freezer-ready container.
    frozen sweet cherries bag
  5. Place in freezer until frozen.
  6. Enjoy!
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Sweetly Refreshing Paleo and Whole30 Summer Snack — Frozen Grapes

These sweet bites of frozen sugar on a hot summer day are (nearly) as refreshing as ice cream! Seedless. Scrumptious. But not sinful.

These sweet bites of frozen sugar on a hot summer day are (nearly) as refreshing as ice cream! Seedless. Scrumptious. But not sinful.

This refreshing and simple summer snack is a great choice on a hot summer day instead of ice cream. It only takes a handful of these frozen baubles of bliss and your yen for sugar will be satisfied. If you’re concerned about the glycemic spike, enjoy five or six of these sweet gems along with a handful of almonds or cashews to balance the sugar with protein and fat.

The sugar content in the grapes prevents them from freezing solid. They’ll be pretty hard, depending on the type of grape you use, but probably soft enough to bite. I like to hold one in my mouth until it softens slightly before biting it.

You can control how much frost or ice forms by controlling how much water is left on the grapes when you place them in the deep freeze. The more water, the icier or frostier they’ll be.

Definitely delish!

The Ingredients

Red or green seedless grapes — as many as you want to prepare.

The Process

  1. Remove and discard any spoiled or “bad” grapes.
  2. Wash the grapes in plain water for 30 seconds or in water with some kind of veggie wash.frozen grapes bowl
  3. Rinse well.
  4. Drain in colander or on paper towel.
  5. Place grapes in a resealable freezer bag or in a freezer-safe container.
    Frozen grapes bag
  6. Place in freezer until frozen.
  7. Enjoy!

The munchies for crunchies!

These tart-tangy-sweet colorful gems will make your taste buds dance a crazy jig! And you'll like it.

These tart-tangy-sweet colorful gems will make your taste buds dance a crazy jig! And you’ll like it.

Every so often, I get the munchies for crunchies that a stalk of celery or carrots and dip can’t satisfy. Sometimes I just want something different, and let me tell you, these babies fit that description!

I picked up these Organic Just Fruit Munchies at Nourish Organic Market here in Grand Rapids, MI, and they have had my taste buds dancing a jig!!! The company, Just Tomatoes, Etc!, apparently has lots of freeze dried goodies on the market, and a brief perusal of the web tells me they’re available online. But do your community a favor and buy local, if you can.

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This package contains only organic fruits: apples, blueberries, sour cherries (yes, they are!), mangoes  pineapple, and raspberries. The combination of sweet, tart, and sour is delightful!

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These munchies are vegan-, vegetarian-, Paleo-, Whole30-, and omnivore-ready (read your labels, just to be sure), and you don’t need a huge amount to be satisfied by the flavor and the crunchy texture.

They’re pricey — these were over $7 — but they’ll last me a long time because I don’t want a gigando helping. I’ve eaten them just out of the hand, thus far, but have plans for them to join a few pecans in adorning a green salad in the near future.

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Yup. Them are some good stuff!

Snack Attack — Dried Apple and Macadamia Nut Butter Bites (gluten-free, dairy free, no sugar added)

Five or six of these will chase away the hungries and get you to your next meal.

Five or six of these will chase away the hungries and get you to your next meal.

I had an afternoon meeting today, so I grabbed a quick lunch that wasn’t filling or satisfying, changed my clothes, and blasted outta here. Two hours later, I was crazy hungry. It was all I could do to not pull into every fast food drive-thru to grab some fries or an apple pie, which surprised me because I haven’t eaten that food in months.

Instead of succumbing to the MADness (Magnetic Allure of Destruction), I headed across town to Nourish, a local (Grand Rapids, MI) organic food market and one of my favorite little shops. I picked up a few necessities, and filled a small bag with some of their bulk organic dried apple slices.

I scarfed down a few slices in the car, then sat on my hands (mentally, for safety’s sake) for the rest of the 10-minute drive home. It didn’t take me long after walking in the door to make up a handful of these Dried Apple and Macadamia Nut Butter Bites to get me through the afternoon. Mmm hmm. Total goodness.

These are fast, simple, and you and your kids will love them. They not only are satisfying, they’re handy when you need a little something sweet, there are no apple peels or seeds or stems, and you’ll get a bit of protein and healthy fat, too.

Organic dried apples and some homemade macadamia-chocolate nut butter. A scrump-dilly-umptious combo for a quick power snack.

Organic dried apples and some homemade macadamia-chocolate nut butter. A scrump-dilly-umptious combo for a quick power snack.

Ingredients:

A few organic dried apple slices

Fresh Macadamia Nut Butter or any non-peanut nut butter you like. I used my homemade stuff laced with chocolate and cinnamon. You can find the recipe here.

These little wrinkly buggers like to stick together -- you'll have to peel them apart to get them ready.

These wrinkly little buggers like to stick together — you’ll have to peel them apart to get them ready.

Process:

Slather the nut butter on the dried apple slices. Or dip them. That’s it! Really. (Unless you want to top the little gems with some sliced almonds or shaved coconut.)

Crazy good. Unbelievably quick to make. Dried apple slices slathered with macadamia nut butter and topped with shaved coconut.

Crazy good. Unbelievably quick to make. Dried apple slices slathered with macadamia nut butter and topped with shaved coconut.

One note of caution: if you eat more than a few of these, it could trigger sugar cravings or give you sugar high followed by a sugar crash.

Fresh Macadamia Nut Butter with Chocolate and Cinnamon

Valentine’s Day, Easter, Halloween, Christmas. When you’re not eating sugar or sugar substitutes in your diet anymore, these holidays can ambush you in the grocery store with shelves of rich chocolates wrapped in bright colors and enticing packages. And then there’s the aroma — I don’t know about you, but I can smell the chocolate wafting from Hershey, PA. And I live in Michigan!

So for those times when you have a craving for chocolate — even if there’s no holiday in sight — here’s a simple, healthier way to get it without consuming enough sugar to give you a week’s worth of 3 o’clock slumps.

Ingredients

9 to 10 oz. raw macadamia nuts (or whatever nuts you want, just be sure they’re raw so you can avoid extra salt or roasting oils that aren’t good for you, like peanut or soybean oil)

3 to 4 Tbs. plain old everyday, seen-one-seen-’em-all cocoa powder

1/2 tsp. Saigon Cinnamon (also called Vietnamese Cinnamon, it’s pungent, very sweet, and worth the trip to the store)

This is one brand of Macadamia Nuts I use, but there are lots of different brands, including organic, that are on the market.

This is one brand of Macadamia Nuts I use, but there are lots of different brands, including organic, that are on the market.

Process:

  1. Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor and process until the mix is the consistency you want. If you like your nut butter chunky, process it just a short time (though that may mean the cocoa powder stays a little “sandy.”) If you like it smooth, process it longer. You’ll have to scrape the sides of the container often if you’re going for really smooth butter. And keep in mind that the longer you process the mix, the more runny it will become.

    Wha..? A man or a mouse? I'm betting it's the one with the opposable thumbs.

    Wha..? Who ate the …? Hmm. It’s either a man or a mouse. My money’s on the one with the opposable thumbs.

     

  2. Taste it to make sure it’s the flavor you want. If you want more chocolate or cinnamon, add more, process it and taste again.
    This is what I used -- a brand name spice and a local Michigan company's cocoa.

    This is what I used — a brand name spice and a local Michigan company’s cocoa.

    This looks kinda yucky, but it smells like chocolate.

    This looks kinda yucky, but it smells like chocolate.

  3. Pour the nut butter into a clean glass container that has a screw-on top or some other secure lid.

    This stuff is a little bit of heaven and really satisfies that chocolate craving.

    This stuff is a little bit of heaven and really satisfies that chocolate craving.

  4. That’s it! It takes less than 10 minutes. Your family will love you for making this stuff. It’s great on celery or apple slices. Or nuke some diced apple until it’s soft, add a dab of ghee, and stir in a couple tablespoons of the nut butter. Then eat it with a spoon while it’s still warm. A great taste treat for cold winter evenings.

NOTE: This Macadamia Nut Butter doesn’t need refrigeration, but if it’s too runny, a stint in the fridge will help thicken it a bit.