Tag Archives: summer

How to Make Delicious Summer Spritzers – Stay Hydrated!

Summer is finally heating up and there is nothing like a cold drink on a hot day!  Here in Seattle, the weather is still trying to make up it’s mind, but even with a cloud cover, the sun and warmer temps are here! It’s time to fire up the BBQ and enjoy summer! If you are like me, you don’t like to drink your calories. Since I avoid artificial sweeteners & diet sodas, the options can seem limited. That is where these delicious summer spritzers come in. They are tasty without any added sugar or calories! Best part: they are super easy to make & perfect to enjoy solo or take to a party.IMG_4469

One of my favorite parts of summer is all the fresh fruit which is featured in these spritzers. While these are perfect for summer, you can enjoy these any time of year. I’m sharing 4 different recipes, but the sky is the limit with the different combinations you could mix up. IMG_4468

Not only do they make drinking water tastier and easier, they also look beautiful! These spritzers are huge hits at family get togethers and BBQ with friends. They always gets lots of compliments. πŸ™‚ Like I mentioned before, I also love that I can enjoy a  delicious and lightly flavored  drink without any added sugar or calories!IMG_4466Aren’t these glasses adorable?! Get them here. Only $10 for the set!

Summer Spritzers 

The base recipe for these is very simple:
Fill a large pitcher with water OR sparkling water. Then add fruit combination of your choice (listed below). Let is sit for a least one hour so the flavors infuse into the water. It is best to drink this within 24 hours as the fruit can start to get mushy. 
The amounts listed below are for a full pitcher. They can be adjusted according to your taste preference. While you can make these in individual servings, I prefer to make a lot at once. Trust me, you will drink it quicker than you think! 

Blackberry + Cucumber

15 blackberries, 1/2 cucumber, peeled and sliced. IMG_4472

Watermelon + Mint

1 cup watermelon, 10 mint leaves. IMG_4473

Pink Lemonade

2 pink lemons. 1 sliced, the other squeezed into water for extra flavor boost. If you cannot find a pink lemon, use regular or meyer lemons. IMG_4470

Strawberry Citrus 

1 lime, sliced. 12 strawberries, tops removed, sliced in half. 1 orange, peeled and sliced. IMG_4474

For a beautiful presentation, place a few pieces of fruit into each glass. You can also add a garnish on the side if you wish & serve in a  cute glass.IMG_4480

A Easy Summer Salad featuring FREEKEH! {recipe + giveaway}

Have you ever tried freekeh? You could win a bag!! Enter to win & more details at the bottom of this post.

So, what is Freekeh?

Freekeh (pronounced free-kah) is an ancient grain that is wheat which is harvested early while it is green and then it is roasted. Because freekeh is harvested young, it has more protein, vitamins and minerals than it’s counterparts. It’s very similar to quinoa in that it’s lower in carbs and higher in protein and packed with fiber making it a great grain option. The ONLY downside is it’s NOT gluten free πŸ™ (stay tuned, there is a gluten free option for the recipe). IMG_5669

Freekeh is most comparable to quinoa. Check out this infographic I found:Evernote Camera Roll 20150819 134830

If you are not allergic to gluten, freekeh is definitely worth trying!

Shrimp & Avocado Freekeh Salad

Because summer is still in full swing (hang on all you pumpkin spice latte fanatics), quick and easy salads are the perfect thing for a hot day. This shrimp and avocado salad is great for lunch or dinner and is really filling.IMG_5695

If you are allergic to gluten, like me, you can make quinoa for the freekeh in this salad.
This recipe was inspired by FitMenCook

You will need:

  • 1 cup uncooked freekeh
  • 1 pound shrimp (you can buy cooked or uncooked) 
  • 1 large Haas avocado
  • 1 large cucumber
  • 2 roma tomatos
  • 1 bunch of cilantro,  chopped
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 1 bell pepper
  • 1 lime

Makes 4 servings. 

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1) Cook up your freekeh (or quinoa) according to directions. This will be done cooking by the time you are done prepping the rest. If you prefer, you can cook grain ahead of time.IMG_56912) If you bought uncooked shrimp, put them on now and cook them while chopping up veggies. Cook shrimp your favorite way, I grilled mine πŸ™‚IMG_5689 3) Dice veggies, avocado and cilantro while shrimp and grain is cooking.
IMG_5692 4) Allow freekeh to cool to room temperature. Then toss together with the veggies lightly in a bowl. Squeeze with lime juice & season with salt and pepper to taste. IMG_56935) Add in the shrimp, mix lightly one last time & ENJOY! 

I made this for dinner and I enjoyed the same salad, just the gluten free version with quinoa. My husband and brother in law LOVED the freekeh. My husband liked it so much, he had a second helping. He said it had a wonderful toasty flavor to it. 

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gluten free with quinoa is front, freekeh salad behind.

Freekeh Foods makes this freekeh in 3 different flavors, original, rosemary sage and tamari. I used the regular in this recipe. 

Giveaway!

You could win your own bag of freekeh from Freekeh Foods to try! Enter below. The giveaway winner will be announced on Monday August 24th. 

Click here to view this promotion.

XOXO
Stay Sweet & have a great weekend! 
Sarah

Summer Ready Coffee + Coffee Ice Cubes

Summer weather is here and guess what?! You can still enjoy coffee, even in the summer. In this post I’ll show you how to get your coffee summer ready! IMG_0492.JPG

You guys know I love coffee, and even in the hot summer days of August I drink it. Part of it is the need for caffeine (and I use it as my pre-workout) and the other part is I really love the taste of coffee!

IMG_0007-0.JPGThe last few years, iced coffee has been all the rage. What is iced coffee? It’s exactly what it sounds like, coffee that is brewed the traditional way (with hot water) and then cooled down and served over ice. This coffee is usually made stronger so that when the ice melts the flavor of the coffee is not affected.

Now, cold-brew coffee is taking over. What is cold-brew coffee? It is coffee that is brewed in COLD water. This process takes much longer (12-20 hours) but produces a much smoother and richer coffee that you can enjoy over ice. 

How do you get cold-brew coffee? You can make your own (blog post on how to do that coming soon), or you can purchase a cold-brew concentrate. Stumptown Coffee from Portland has one that’s pretty popular and really tasty, but it is like $3-$4 for a single serving bottle. Trader Joe’s cold-brew that is my favorite. Get more info on it HERE. Depending on how strong you like your coffee, it lasts at least a week, if not longer. Much less than going to a coffee shop every day! You dilute the concentrate to your liking with water or your milk of choice. IMG_0011.JPGWhether you like iced coffee or cold-brew, you obviously need ice! When we were in Hawaii, we ordered iced coffee at this breakfast place, and they served it with coffee ice cube. It was so delish! That inspired me to make my own coffee ice cubes to add to my cold coffee. It is SO easy, if you have a ice cube tray, coffee and and coffee maker you can do this! 

What you need:
Coffee
Coffee maker (french press or drip)
Ice cube tray
Freezer

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This is the ice cube tray I used. It is silicon and makes perfect cubes.  I LOVE this ice tray, its so easy to get the ice cubes out and very easy to clean. The brand is Tovolo, you can buy it HERE. I found mine at Homegoods but it is actually cheaper on Amazon.

Start by brewing the coffee. One 10-12 cup pot of coffee will fill the two ice cube trays. We only have a 4 cup coffee maker and I had to make two pots. 
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Let the coffee cool a little bit before pouring into the ice cube trays. 
IMG_0015.JPGPlace the ice cube trays in the freezer overnight or until frozen. IMG_0014.JPG

 

Gently pop out how ever many ice cubes you need for your coffee. IMG_0013.JPG Then pour your iced coffee or cold-brew and enjoy! Don’t forget to dilute it a little bit with either cold water or milk, unless you like super strong coffee. 
IMG_0009.JPGI added cold water and a splash of cashew milk to mine. 
IMG_0006.JPGEnjoy!!!!

Do you drink coffee in the summer? Do you prefer cold-brew or iced coffee? Let me know in the comments below!

XOXO
Stay cool!
Sarah