We went to the Dominican Republic back in December and boy am I missing it right now. The beach was so, so beautiful and the weather was perfect. And the fruit! The mangoes, papayas, etc. were really delicious. I drank their juices and ate plates of them every day.

Ever since I got home, I have been buying papaya at the market because I enjoy it so much. While I love a few slices with my breakfast, I’ve also discovered it’s great in smoothies. One of my new favorites is this one with fresh squeezed blood orange juice, papaya chunks, and frozen dark sweet cherries.

Blood Orange, Papaya, and Cherry Smoothie from @winnieab//www.healthygreenkitchen.com

I made this smoothie last week hoping to share it with you on Valentine’s Day. But there’s really no reason to relegate this dark red beauty of a smoothie to a holiday! It’s a wonderful winter treat you can enjoy any time.

Blood Orange, Papaya, and Cherry Smoothie from @winnieab//www.healthygreenkitchen.com

You don’t have to use blood orange juice; You can absolutely use the juice of any type of oranges. Don’t use bottled orange juice if you can help it, though…it won’t be nearly as good if you do. I’ve also made a version of this without the frozen cherries and I like that one, too, but the cherries add great flavor and a powerful punch of nutrients so I strongly recommend them.

Feel free to change up this smoothie by adding some more fruit such as banana and/or pineapple, greens, yogurt, protein powder, etc.
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Heart Disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States. To increase awareness and help prevent heart disease, the American Heart Association is currently sponsoring American Heart Month. Since eating lots of fruits and vegetables is strongly recommended as a preventative measure for heart disease, I’ve partnered with Dole on this post to inspire you to eat more of these in 2015, and especially during Heart Month.

When the folks from Dole asked me to come up with a healthy, heart-inspired recipe, I had many different ideas about what I could make. In the end, I had a lot of fun creating this Greens Quesadilla, especially since Valentine’s Day is right around the corner :)

quesadilla_hearts_text
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It’s been a brutally cold and very snowy winter so far. On days when the weather’s too unpleasant to venture out for long, I love to curl up on the couch with a hot drink and a stack of inspiring cookbooks. Aimée Wimbush-Bourque’s book Brown Eggs and Jam Jars: Family Recipes from the Kitchen of Simple Bites is one of my new favorites.

brown eggs and jam jars

In addition to being a friend of mine, Aimée is a very talented cook and writer and an urban homesteading aficianado. She is the editor of Simple Bites, a family-oriented whole foods blog, and she lives in Canada with her husband and 3 young kids. Brown Eggs and Jam Jars is her first cookbook and it’s really a gem: the seasonally-arranged recipes are at both imaginative and comforting, the photos are vibrant and inviting, and the writing is warm and engaging. So far I’ve made the Toasted Oat and Cocoa Smoothies, the Mexican Hot Cocoa, and the Citrus Cheesecake you see here: they’ve all been wonderful.

Now let’s talk about this cheesecake :)

Citrus Cheesecake from @winnieab | www.healthygreenkitchen.com
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