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Ruby Red Grapefruit & Blood Orange Juice

One of the ways I try  improve my overall health is by making fresh juice most mornings and sometimes again later in the evenings for a refreshing drink.  Right now (winter season), grapefruits and oranges are at their best so they are absolutely delicious and juicy.

My favorites are the ruby red grapefruits and blood oranges, which are almsot the same color as red grapefruits on the inside but taste relatively the same as other oranges. Don’t be turned off by the name…

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A Quick Guide to Dates & How to Store Them

Our latest guest post is by Nadia Hubbi, Founder & CEO of Sweet Pillar & Co. Her chocolate-covered dates captured me so much that I asked her to tell us all about how to find the perfect one for our tastebuds and the origins of this ancient, lovely fruit so that we can appreciate them all the more.

Let’s talk about dates and not the kind between couples but the sweet dried fruit that has been around for centuries. Dates, bite-size brown fruits, are packed with health benefits and for the most part are available year round. While they are popular in organic and nutrition stores and during Ramadan, when many Muslims break their fast with a date, not many people know much more about them.

Dates & Cream for Iftar, dessert or a healthy snack

Dates originate from the Middle East where for generations they have sustained life in the hot arid region. In the 1920s, a rare disease called Baioudh deciminated most of the crop in the Moroccan desert, but eleven offshoots of the Medjool dates travelled to Southern California. Nine of the original eleven survived and have since flourished in the Coachella Valley in California. These account for more than 200 pounds of dates produced annually.

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Fresh Organic Produce Straight to Your Door– Enter the Giveaway!

After recent holidays like ‘Eid ul Adha and Thanksgiving, everyone is tired- tired of shopping, cooking, and maybe even tired of eating! It is, however, a great time to get healthy and commit to eating more fresh produce to detoxify the body and rejuvenate health.

My sauteed organic kale and onions that came fresh from Door to Door Organics

You might be thinking that with the change of season (to cold, gloomy and blustery winter) your days of getting fresh organic produce were over, at least until the spring. Or, maybe you’re just too busy to get to the indoor farmers markets on Saturdays or even fight the long lines at your favorite grocery store over the weekend.

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Super Quick Cherry Galette

Let’s face it- we’re all busy. We want to eat healthy and watch the ingredients in our food products for safety and for their halal factor, but it isn’t always possible to do absolutely everything from scratch, nor is it practical for most people. I’ll be the first one to say that it used to be a huge stress on my mind to want so much to make pleasing baked goods for family gatherings or visits to friends’ homes, but no time to do it. It helps to know that there are more and more wonderful vendors of great, high-quality products that meet halal standards which help us put together a nice, somewhat homemade gift or simply a treat for yourself at home.

I love this super quick cherry galette recipe because I’m tied to the memory of buying the cherries on a wonderful weekend getaway to Door County, Wisconsin. Fresh cherry season was over, but it seemed as though the entire county got busy dried and preserving these bursting red, tart cherries. I checked around to a lot of the local shops to see which one had the least amount of extra ingredients and make sure that fruit pectin was used before buying a jar of preserved cherries. My thoughts were that someday down the line this Fall, I would love to warm up the house with a cherry pie or galette, even if I had to purchase a good quality pie crust, even though I normally make my own.

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Date and Walnut Tart

Dates are also the perfect baking fruit- they freeze well, they don’t make your baking products soggy and they add just the right about of sweetness to a dessert. Below is a deliciously simple tart recipe adapted from one of my favorite and most-used cookbooks, Mediterranean: A Taste of the Sun in Over 150 Recipes by Jacqueline Clark and Joanna Farrow.

The original recipe calls for a few things I didn’t have or didn’t have time to make, such as the homemade pastry dough. Instead, I buy a good quality one with very few ingredients, all of them natural and healthy and then freeze the crust for times like these.

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Cherry-Strawberry Frozen Juice

Contrary to what might be popular belief, not every Muslim family is a large one. There are people all over the world, especially in the U.S. who live far away from extended family whether overseas or across the country. There are those new to Islam who will be breaking the fast alone or with just one other person (i.e. couples, students, singles, etc.) during Ramadan.

If you’re one of those people, why not make iftar special (without all the fuss), even if it’s a small one?

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Peach Lemonade Slush

Lately it’s been so hot outside that I have been craving some really fruity and cold drinks. I love lemonade and love to experiment with a variety of additions to lemonade drinks, adding different types of fresh fruits and blending them together with ice to create an incredibly fun and delicious drink to go with … Read more

Quick Apricot Jam

I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve been a sort of lazy cook recently. With a super busy schedule of writing, cooking classes, publishing my Clean Your Kitchen Green book and spending quality time with family, there isn’t much energy left over to stand over a stove and sterilize dozens of jars to preserve … Read more

Super Quick Guacamole or Avocado Spread

I use avocadoes for a lot of things: sandwiches, homemade beauty care (it’s the best facial ingredient ever) and more. But, most people know avocadoes as the main ingredient in guacamole. In fact, some people (I’ve heard them say) confuse avocadoes with guacamole- in other words, they don’t really realize the main ingredient in guacamole … Read more

Dates & Cream Iftar

Ramadan Mubarak! Muslims all over the world are embarking on another blessed month of fasting from food and drink (pre-dawn to sunset) in order to re-focus on what is spiritually important in their lives. Although they’ll  be breaking the fast in different ways around the world, according to their own particular and culturally desirable tastebuds, one food that … Read more

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