Homemade Pear Liqueur

If you really want to get into the fall spirit(s), try this simple homemade pear liqueur recipe. The hardest part is the wait!

Life and Garden Update + A Giant Summer Salad

For all of last month, I did something I’ve never done since I started this site: I took a break from blogging, complete with not posting on my Facebook page, logging into Pinterest, or doing any other of the tasks that seem to be required these days if one wants to keep a steady stream of traffic coming to visit their blog.

I needed the break and I’m really glad I took it. Stepping away from blogging gave me time to reflect on how different my life is now from when I first started Healthy Green Kitchen. Some examples: when I started blogging, my kids were pretty young and now they are teenagers; I was casually doing karate and now I am competing in powerlifting. I was content to sit in front of the computer for many hours every single day working on this blog and now I am not (there are simply too many other things I want to do, including becoming a nutrition and strength coach…I am currently taking the steps necessary to make this happen). I’ve been thinking a lot about how I can switch things up here to better reflect the current state of “me”. I don’t quite have it all figured out; I’m trying to just be patient and see how things here naturally evolve.

winnie abramson garden

winnie abramson garden

Something else that’s evolved quite a bit since I started this site is my garden. After focusing on expansion year after year, my husband and I recently made the decision to change direction a bit. We had built so many raised beds for veggies: I really couldn’t keep up with all the maintenance. So we made the garden smaller in order to create a space that’s more manageable. We also fenced in portion of of our yard next to the garden to accomodate five fruit trees (2 varieties of heirloom apples, 2 varieties of plums, and one nectarine) and more room for our chickens to roam.

plums_

It’s been raining a ton, so I haven’t had to water much, which is always nice. I am of course looking forward to our first cukes, tomatoes, etc. In the meantime I’ve been enjoying lots of fresh herbs, radishes and all sorts of greens daily. Here are some garden photos…I’ll share more as the summer moves along!

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Blood Orange, Papaya, and Dark Cherry Smoothie

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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Chocolate Marshmallows

chocolate marshmallows | healthy green kitchen @winnieab

Chocolate Marshmallows | Healthy Green Kitchen

I competed in my second powerlifting meet this past Sunday. My goals for this one were to get more experience lifting in front of judges, and to qualify for USA Powerlifting (USAPL) Nationals in October. My lifts went pretty much as I planned and I accomplished my goals. I also got a pretty gold medal (full disclosure: I was the only one in my weight class) so I am very pleased!

One thing I am learning about meets is they are very draining for me, both mentally and physically. I tried really hard to stay super calm in the weeks before this one, trusting that my training, nutrition, and rest have all been very solid, but the day of the meet was still pretty nerve-wracking and exhausting. When it was over, all I wanted to do was get home and curl up on my couch with some hot chocolate embellished with these chocolate marshmallows. So I did just that, and I’ll be taking it easy the rest of the week, as well.

Chocolate Marshmallows | Healthy Green Kitchen

I’ve long wanted to try sweetening marshmallows with honey so when I saw this chocolate version in Brittany Angell’s new book Every Last Crumb, I knew I had to make them. I love how they turned out, and how they melt in hot drinks. I’ve enjoyed them in warm honey sweetened milk and coffee in addition to hot chocolate.

chocolate marshmallow fluff on whisk

marshmallows in pan

This chocolate marshmallow recipe is just one of more than 150 Paleo-inspired recipes found in Every Last Crumb. If you follow a Paleo-ish diet or have food sensitivities, I think you will love this book (though I don’t eat Paleo nor do I have food sensitivities and I am really enjoying it!). Every Last Crumb features grain-free recipes for numerous specialty breads such as bagels, croissants, and naan. But the book isn’t just about bread; Brittany shares lots of creative ideas for savory foods and treats, too.

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Silvana’s Gluten-free Blueberry Swirl Muffins

Happy 2015! I hope the coming year brings you all good things.

This is my second year belonging to a winter farm share. One of the items I’ve happily learned to count on each month is frozen organic blueberries. With these berries, I usually make smoothies, scones, and muffins.

blueberries | healthy green kitchen

Recently I was flipping through the new book Silvana’s Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free Kitchen: Timeless Favorites Transformed. (Silvana is a friend of mine and she was sweet enough to give me a copy of her book.) The blueberry swirl muffins caught my eye: they feature both whole and swirled cooked blueberries, along with a lemon sugar topping, and looked positively delectable. So I gave them a try, and delectable they are!

blueberry swirl muffins | healthy green kitchenblueberry swirl muffins | healthy green kitchen

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