{healthy cocktail} Citrus, Mint & Kiwi Bubbly

by Danielle Omar on July 22, 2014

citrus mint and kiwi bubbly

I spent a few days last week in California, courtesy of Sunkist, to visit a citrus grove and learn about using citrus to lower salt content when cooking. Whenever I visit California I wonder why I don’t live there. It’s so gorgeous. One of the highlights of my trip was meeting and learning from Matthew Biancaniello of Eat Your Drink. Matthew is an amazing cocktail chef. I call him a chef because he was so much more than a bartender. He crafts unique and delicious healthy cocktails using farm-fresh organic foods, wild aromatics (he forages for wild plants in his spare time) and herbs from his own herb garden. His drinks were so tasty and delicious I haven’t stopped talking about them since I got back. I mean who makes cocktails with leek flowers and sage? If you’re on Instagram, search the hashtag #sunkistcitrus for a peek at some of his creations.  

So this month’s recipe redux theme could not be more perfectly timed –> spirits, extracts and other alcohols. What a great opportunity to test out my new healthy cocktail making skills! I do want to point out that although I use alcohol in my recipe it’s definitely not the star, nor is it really necessary. You can use infused mineral water or any other beverage you like to get the same effect.

Matthew’s template for a healthy cocktail is pretty simple. You take 2 oz spirit of choice + 3/4 oz fresh lime or lemon juice + 3/4 oz honey syrup + fruit of your choice + herb of your choice. I love that Matthew’s drinks build upon another huge part of my life: juicing! Many of the recipes in my juicing book can be served in this way to take your juice to a whole new level of deliciousness.

drink ingredients 2

As usual, I’m a fan of using what I have on hand when developing new recipes. This is what I had on the ready: oranges, limes, my sister’s home grown orange mint, orange blossom honey, kiwi, and cucumbers.  My challenge was to make a healthy cocktail using these ingredients. First I made the honey syrup, which is similar to simple syrup but you use equal parts honey and water instead. I haven’t purchased a muddler yet — the most important kitchen tool in this process – so I used my Vitamix instead to smash the ingredients together. It was definitely a bit too thick, but I actually didn’t mind. I kind of enjoy eating my drinks!

Once I had the taste right, I poured some of the mixture into a shaker, added prosecco and ice, and shook it up. Then I strained it into a glass. I actually didn’t strain it very well so it’s much more thick than Matthew’s drinks were but I liked it that way! If you want it to be more juice-like, then just strain it well. I zested some orange peel on top for more orange flavor and for a little color. I didn’t serve it with ice but that’s an option, too. I’m just not an ice in my drink kind of gal.

orange, mint, cucumber cocktail

The flavor was orange-y, herb-y and delicious and the drink was super refreshing — perfect for a summer afternoon!

orange lime drink2

I hope you’ll try this fun, healthy twist on cocktails at your next party or gathering. And don’t forget to scroll down and see what my other reduxers are making with spirits this month!

Citrus Mint & Kiwi Bubbly

Ingredients

  • 1 kiwi, peeled
  • 6 slices cucumber
  • 1/2 orange, peeled
  • 1/2 lime
  • handful orange mint (or any mint/herb you have)
  • 1/4 cup honey syrup (I used orange blossom)
  • 2 oz Prosecco (or any spirit, or mineral water)

Instructions

  1. Muddle together the lime juice, kiwi, orange segments, honey, cucumber and mint leaves in a shaker. Add Prosecco and ice, Shake.
  2. If using a blender, blend ingredients together and then pour contents into a shaker with Prosecco and ice and shake.
  3. Strain liquid into a glass with ice and garnish with cucumber and orange zest.
  4. Serves 2
http://foodconfidence.com/2014/07/22/healthy-cocktail-citrus-mint-kiwi-bubbly/


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{recipe} Green Salad With Warm Cranberry Dressing

by Danielle Omar on July 18, 2014

Mixed Greens salad with warm cranberry dressing

It’s been a long time since I’ve enjoyed a warm salad dressing. Probably because the warm dressing recipes I come across usually involve bacon. That’s why I was intrigued by this warm dressing that replaces the bacon with something more nutritious, more delicious and more beautiful….dried cranberries!

green salad with cranberry dressing

If you like cranberries you will love this dressing. It’s the perfect blend of tart cranberry flavor balanced with just the right amount of sweetness. Yes, dried cranberries do contain some added sugar. You actually have to sweeten cranberries to enjoy them. In fact, fresh cranberries (the kind you make cranberry sauce with) have roughly the same amount of sugar as a lemon, so they need a little sweetener to be palatable.

green salad with warm cranberry dressing

I decided to test the dressing on my favorite go-to salad…my everything but the kitchen sink salad…my salad that I throw together more than a few times per week when I’m pressed for time. It’s a mix of baby spinach and kale, orange bell peppers, hearts of palm, cucumbers, avocado, a can of tuna and a handful of pumpkin seeds, all tossed together in this creamy warm cranberry dressing. YUM!

So let’s get you making this recipe, shall we?

Green Salad With Warm Cranberry Dressing

Ingredients

    For the Dressing:
  • 4 Tbsp cranberry juice
  • 2 Tbsp dried cranberries
  • 2 Tbsp white wine vinegar or rice vinegar
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 6 Tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • For the Salad:
  • 4 cups baby greens like spinach and kale
  • 1/4 English cucumber, diced
  • 1 orange bell pepper, chopped
  • 3 hearts of palm, chopped
  • 1 small avocado, diced
  • 2 Tbsp pumpkin seeds
  • 1 can tuna, drained
  • Whatever else you want to put in it!

Instructions

  1. Place cranberry juice and dried cranberries in a small pot and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Stir in vinegar and Dijon mustard. Gradually whisk in olive oil so the mixture becomes a dressing. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Rinse spinach and kale leaves and place in large bowl. Add vegetables, avocado and pumpkin seeds. Gently toss salad ingredients with the dressing and serve.
http://foodconfidence.com/2014/07/18/recipe-green-salad-warm-cranberry-dressing/

Disclosure: This dressing recipe is not mine. It was provided to me by the Cranberry Marketing Committee. The Cranberry Institute sent me free samples of cranberries to test this recipe but I was not compensated to write this post. I just really dig cranberries. Don’t you?

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My 8 Top Trader Joe’s Finds

July 10, 2014
trader joe

Trader Joe’s has been creating food especially for me. Well not officially, but that’s how it feels these days. Inspired by this post from The Kitchn, I thought it was high time I shared some favorite finds from my neighborhood TJs. Here goes: The raw, fermented sauerkraut is my most recent find and probably the most […]

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{recipe} Zucchini Noodles with Cherry Tomatoes & Olives

July 2, 2014
Zucchini noodles with cherry tomatoes and black olives

I think pasta might be making a comeback. I keep seeing recipes everywhere for fun, light, summery dishes using orzo, penne, and spaghetti.I admit I long for the days when I could feast on pasta and not feel like I’m committing  a crime. Is pasta bad for me? Probably not. Can I eat an “appropriate” […]

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{recipe} Lemony Zucchini Noodles with Spinach, Cherries & Pine Nuts

June 25, 2014
lemony zucchini noodles

Summer is officially here and for me that means….zucchini! One of my favorite ways to enjoy the bounty of zucchini coming my way is by making zucchini noodles. I love transforming my favorite pasta dishes into light, low-carb spiralized meals that satisfy and delight. What is a spiralizer? A spiralizer is a way to turn zucchini […]

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The Most Delicious Watermelon Gazpacho…EVER!

June 18, 2014
watermelongazpacho

Our supper club theme this month was colors. We each got assigned a color and had to bring  a food to match it. My assigned color was pink/red, so I had to make a pink or red appetizer. At first, I was uninspired. Then I saw the big ole’ watermelon I had just bought staring […]

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{giveaway} Brassicas Cookbook + Smoky Kale Salad with Egg

June 12, 2014
Smoky Kale Salad with Egg 2

I love a good cookbook, especially one unencumbered by meat. For a plant-based eater like myself, there’s nothing better than perusing through a cookbook full of gorgeous dishes that I can actually eat! This is why I’m excited to share a new cookbook with you. Yes, it’s a veggie cookbook, but one that meat eaters […]

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My Formula For Easy Weeknight Meals

June 4, 2014
stirfryformula

If you’re like me, you pass on recipes with long ingredient lists and complex cooking methods.  You won’t find me making a soufflé or poached eggs anytime soon. That’s definitely going to end in tears. I’m really all about simple, easy food. I may not use common ingredients (I love my kelp noodles, miso paste […]

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