Kiwi, Apricot and Feta Salad with Hemp Honey Dressing #NOWwellness

 

This post is sponsored by Now Foods via Mamavation.Gold Kiwi Apricot & Feta Salad with Honey Hemp Dressing is an easy, elegant and amazingly nutritious addition to your dinner party.

One of the best things about summer is the abundance of amazing fruit at every turn. Watermelons, berries, stone fruits, and exotic discoveries like golden kiwis! While everyday green kiwis are pretty darn good, the golden kiwi is especially exceptional. It’s a bit bigger and bursting with supersized flavor – so sweet!  My recipe for Gold Kiwi, Apricot & Feta Salad with Honey Hemp Dressing takes advantage of the season’s best offerings – and a yummy salty-sweet taste!

Golden Kiwi, Apricot and Feta Salad with Honey Hemp Dressing

NOW Foods Organic Toasted Hemp Seeds perfect for snack or recipes.

If you’re not familiar with hemp seeds, let me introduce you! Hemp seeds have so many nutritional benefits – this superfood is an excellent source of heart-healthy fats, is a complete protein providing all eight amino acids, and is rich in numerous vitamins and other essential nutrients. A tablespoon or so a day is the perfect nutrition boost for everyone, but an especially great option for those following a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle.  I’ve used NOW Real Food® Organic Toasted Hemp Seeds in my fresh and fit recipe – this seeds are lightly toasted and sprinkled with sea salt to enhance their nutty flavor.

Gold Kiwi, Apricot & Feta Salad with Honey Hemp Dressing Recipe

  1. Peel kiwi and chop into small bits. Peel and seed apricot and chop into small bits.
  2. To small bowl, add chopped kiwi, chopped apricot, feta cheese crumbles and 2 tablespoons of the hemp seeds. Gently stir until combined
  3. Divide mixture and press mixture into two 6 ounce ramekins. Place small plate on top of ramekin and invert quickly; gently tap to remove fruit.
  4. In small bowl, whisk together avocado oil, lime juice, honey and cumin until combined. Drizzle over top of salads and garnish with fresh herbs. Serves 2.

Here are some other wholesome ingredients from NOW Foods that I have been enjoying this summer in my healthy recipes:

LivingNOW Tri Color QuinoaTri Color Quinoa – I’m a big fan of quinoa, especially on those nights when I’m making a meat-free meal.  This product in the wholesome LivingNOW line features a pleasing blend of white, red and black quinoa and is certified organic and made in a dedicated gluten-free, allergy-friendly facility. Quinoa is a great source of protein and iron, making it a hearty and healthy meal when mixed with seasonal fresh produce.  One of the easy salad dishes I like to make in the summer is my recipe for Triple Berry Quinoa Salad – it would be perfect for the 4th of July!

 NOW Gluten Free Flour perfect for baking all your goodies up tender and light!All-Purpose Gluten Free Flour – Have gluten allergies? You can get out your mixing bowl and start baking again. This gluten-free baking flour uses ingredients that are free of gluten and eight of the most common food allergens.  The texture is surprisingly light and fluffy, making it perfect for cookies, coffee cakes, bread and more!

Garlic Coconut Oil -- perfect for stirfry, sauteeing and even drizzled on popcorn!

Ellyndale Organics™ Coconut Oil Infusions – Enjoy the rich taste of coconut oil (along with the health benefits) AND a punch of garlic with this oh-so-yummy oil. It’s great for sauteeing thanks to a high smoke point, but it’s also good on salads and . . . wait for it . . .POPCORN made in the microwave with a brown paper bag

 

 

Avocado Oil has a high smoking point, making it perfect for stirfrys, sautes, and even drizzled on salads.Ellyndale Naturals™ Premium Avocado Oil  Did you know Prevention Magazine named this versatile oil to their list of “100 Healthiest Packaged Foods”  — it’s all the healthy monounsaturated fats and Vitamin E! Perfect for sautéing and stir-frying thanks to the high smoke point of approximately 520°F! Avocado Oil is ideal for high-heat cooking such as sautéing and stir-frying – or just drizzle on your salads and other raw dishes for butter-rich deliciousness.

 

 

Stock up on these Pantry Staples:

What is your favorite fruit of summer? Have you ever tried hemp seed, how did you use it? Please share in the comments below! XOXO -Jennifer 

Candied Meyer Lemon Cake with Blackberries – Paleo and Gluten Free Recipe

Candied Meyer Lemon Cake with Blackberries - Paleo

I never paid much attention to Meyer lemons until recently – I mean a lemon is a lemon is a lemon, right?!  Well, come to find out, not all lemons are created equally. The Meyer lemon is a soft-skinned citrus fruit that looks a lot like a 10-cent lemon, but actually tastes like sweet million bucks.  That’s because the Meyer lemon is actually a lemon crossed with an orange, taking some of the acidic bite. Even though Meyer lemons are more fragrant and sweeter, they’re still a bit tart and better balanced in a recipe.

Meyer Lemon

I got my Meyer Lemons from Friedas.com!

Paleo Blackberry Lemon Cake - TheFitFork.comUse the perfect pucker of Meyer lemons in cocktails, with chicken piccata, in salad dressing, to make a sweeter lemon curd, or alongside fish and seafood – or even better, use them to make my delicious Candied Meyer Lemon Honey Cake with Blackberries (it’s also Gluten-Free). I was inspired by a lemon cake recipe I saw in the Food Network Magazine, but of course I tinkered with it to make it my own! I made this cake to take to Easter dinner at my Aunt’s house — it’s just bursting with spring flavor and a beautiful sight to behold.She’s going to love it.

berry lemon smoothieBy the way, if you don’t have time for cake-making, you can get a quick fix with my Blackberry Lemon Smoothie.

 

 

 

 

Notes about the recipe:

  1. If you are unable to get your eggs to the glossy peak stage, don’t worry the cake will still taste just as delicious (it just won’t be quite as fluffy – it’s a denser cake anyway).
  2. Do not skip the steps of simmering and draining the lemon slices three times. It seems redundant, but you are boiling off the bitterness from the pith and acid from the lemon flesh.  The result is lemon peel that is delightfully tender, edible and yummy.
  3. Feel free to swap out raspberries for the blackberries in the syrup and garnish.

Blackberry Lemon Cake

Paleo Blackberry Lemon Cake - TheFitFork.com
Candied Meyer Lemon Honey Cake with Blackberries
Print Recipe
This gluten-free dessert recipe is bursting with flavor - lemons and blackberries make perfect for Easter, graduation and other spring celebrations
Servings Prep Time
8 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
50 minutes
Servings Prep Time
8 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
50 minutes
Paleo Blackberry Lemon Cake - TheFitFork.com
Candied Meyer Lemon Honey Cake with Blackberries
Print Recipe
This gluten-free dessert recipe is bursting with flavor - lemons and blackberries make perfect for Easter, graduation and other spring celebrations
Servings Prep Time
8 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
50 minutes
Servings Prep Time
8 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
50 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 325 F degrees. Line bottom of 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper and spray top of paper and sides of pan with coconut oil cooking spray (or just rub with coconut oil).
  2. In medium bowl, whisk together almond flour, coconut flour and salt in medium bowl. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, add ½ cup sugar, 1/3 cup honey, zest from 2 lemons, 4 egg yolks, vanilla and olive oil. With mixer on medium, beat for 2 – 3 minutes until smooth and creamy.
  4. With mixer on low, slowly add almond flour mixture to egg mixture bowl, beating until just combined (don’t over beat).
  5. In a clean bowl, add 6 egg whites that are at room temperature. With mixer on medium, beat for approximately 1 minute or until foamy. Add in ½ cup sugar and beat on medium-high for another 3 minutes or until glossy peaks have formed.
  6. Scrape ½ of egg white peaks into almond meal and gently incorporate by hand with spatula. Add the remainder of egg whites and stir until mostly combined.
  7. While cake is baking, make candied lemons by adding 2 thinly sliced and seeded lemons to small saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to simmer for 3 minutes. After 3 minutes, drain water and refill with fresh water on lemons. Simmer for another 3 minutes. Repeat this process a 3rd time to remove bitterness from pith.
  8. After lemon slices have been simmered and drained 3 times, add 1 cup of fresh water, remaining ½ cup sugar, remaining 1/3 cup honey and the juice from 2 lemons. Bring to a boil over high heat and then reduce to medium and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  9. Use a fork to transfer lemons to plate and let cool. Keep lemon syrup in saucepan and add 1/2 of blackberries. Simmer over medium for an additional 10 minutes, mashing up blackberries with fork.
  10. Remove cake from springform pan, using a knife to loosen sides before unlatching. Transfer cake to serving platter and brush top of cake with blackberry syrup. Top cake with candied lemon slices, fresh blackberries and drizzle with remaining blackberry syrup (or reserve leftover syrup for another use).
Recipe Notes
  1. If you are unable to get your eggs to the glossy peak stage, don’t worry the cake will still taste just as delicious (it just won’t be quite as fluffy – it’s a denser cake anyway).
  2. Do not skip the steps of simmering and draining the lemon slices three times. It seems redundant, but you are boiling off the bitterness from the pith and acid from the lemon flesh.  The result is lemon peel that is delightfully tender, edible and yummy.
  3. Feel free to swap out raspberries for the blackberries in the syrup and garnish.
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Honey-Sweet Pecan Apple & Hemp Granola Recipe

hemp protein granola apples and pecans

I have more granola for you! You just need to run over and grab a handful before it’s long gone. Sprinkling a couple of crunchy tablespoons on my Greek yogurt in the morning is a must; however, my husband prefers to munch it straight out of the bag. To create a more satiating snack, I almost always add a couple scoops of whey power and some raw, shelled hemp seed to my granola recipes for an extra protein boost. By the way, check out my granola recipe round up post for some other healthy breakfast, dessert and snack ideas.

pecan apple hemp granola with honey

Honey-Sweet Pecan Apple Hemp Protein Granola Recipe

  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup organic honey
  • ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup (2 scoops) vanilla or plain protein powder
  • 3 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (Gluten-Free, if needed)
  • 1/3 cup shelled hemp seed
  • 1 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup honey pecans, chopped*
  • 3/4 cup dehydrated apples, chopped
  1. Preheat oven to 300F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or Silpat.
  2. Place the coconut oil, honey, applesauce, water and protein powder in a medium saucepan. Turn heat to medium-low and whisk until mixture is smooth, thick and creamy and just beginning to bubble. Remove from heat and whisk in vanilla.
  3. Pour oat, hemp and cinnamon into pot, stirring to combine and coat. Pour mixture out evenly on prepared baking sheet.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for approximately 45 minutes, stirring once or twice. If granola still seems moist, keep baking in 5 minute increments until dry. Remove from oven and let cool completely on sheet. Crumble up in bowl and stir in chopped pecans and apples.
  5. Store cooled granola in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks, or freeze for up to 2 months.

*Sugared and honey-coated nuts tend to burn easily, so I add them after baking. However, if you substitute raw nuts, they may be added with the oats before cooking.

healthy ingredients coconut oil and honey

I love trying out new ingredients and brands in my recipes; it makes me feel like an experimenter of epicurean proportions! I was recently sent some new products to try out, and give a thumbs up to both. First, I was surprised to find that the LouAna brand made a coconut oil. This great southern company, in business since 1894, has been making nearly every type of cooking and salad oil imaginable.  LouAna Coconut Oil is ideal for baking, sautéing, stir-frying and more – the scent is enticing and there are no trans fats or cholesterol. You also get all the benefits of this heart-healthy “super fat” at a budget-friendly price – I’ve seen it at my local market for $6.00 per huge 30-oz. container.

I’ve used all types of sweeteners in my granola before including maple syrup, stevia and (gasp) real brown sugar. We have a couple honey-lovers in the house, so I decided to try Wholesome Sweetener’s Organic Honey. Here in Austin, Texas, it’s not hard to get my hands on some pretty delicious local honey – but, I must say, I did love my bottle from Wholesome Sweetener. It was a beautiful amber color and really did have the “butterscotch essence” as advertised! Aside from the superior taste, I feel confident using this product in recipes and letting my kids squirt it all over their biscuits, bacon and yogurt – that’s because this honey is fair trade-certified, non-GMO and organic.  One thing I did notice is that it’s important to reduce the baking temperature by 25 F degrees; honey tends to caramelize (and burn) fairly quickly.

I’ve been practicing these one-armed pull-ups so I can get my workout in AND much granola at the same time. Well, just kidding – it was a dare and I figured out a way to make it happen. Sorry the video is sideways, oops.

 

Movie Night Manna – Crunchy Caramel Almond Popcorn with Coconut Oil & Honey

jennifer fisher - thefitfork.com - caramel almond popcorn coconut oil honey

Did you know that the average American scarfs down more than 50 quarts of popcorn per year? I know I eat my fair share. In theory, this whole grain sibling in the maize family is a healthy whole grain snack, low in calories (just 31 per cup, air-popped) and high in dietary fiber. But, more often than not, the “healthy treat” is a real fat and sodium bomb. A study by the Center for Science in the Public Interest revealed that a large tub of popcorn (from Regal Cinemas), holds 20 cups of popcorn with 1,200 calories, 60 grams of saturated fat and 980 mg of sodium. This doesn’t even include the mystery yellow oily substance the concession stand pours on top after asking, “do you want butter with that”?

Store-bought microwave popcorn is even worse. For extended shelf life, the kernels are sitting in artery-clogging trans-fatty oils and use the chemical diacetyl for fake butter flavoring. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, there are nearly four dozen other chemicals in a package of microwave popcorn including the aforementioned nasty diacetyl. Diacetyl vaporizes at high temperatures and seeps out when you open the bag and breathe in the buttery aroma. Repeated exposure to the toxic steam can actually give you “popcorn lung.” This sounds silly, but it is a serious respiratory disease known as bronchiolitis obliterans.

The good news is that you can make your own popcorn completely free of anything using a brown paper lunch sack. It’s as easy as making toast or boiling water. In celebration of “Caramel Popcorn Day” on Sunday, April 7th, you can jazz up your plain popcorn with a healthier sweet coating.  I hope you love my Crunchy Caramel Almond Popcorn with Coconut Oil & Honey recipe  In fact, why don’t you pop in a movie tonight and make this salty-sweet snack can be the starring attraction!

 

Crunchy Caramel Almond Popcorn with Coconut Oil and Honey 

  •  ¼ cup organic popcorn kernels
  • 2 teaspoons coconut oil (I am fond of the Now Foods brand)
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 teaspoon Stevia (2 – 4 packets)
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1-ounce (about 24) roasted, salted almonds
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

jennifer fisher - thefitfork.com - brown bag popcorn

Pour popcorn kernels into brown lunch-sized paper bag. Fold down top and place in center of microwave; cook on high for approximately 3 minutes or until kernels have slowed down to popping every three seconds. Set aside.

In 2-quart pot, melt coconut oil over medium-low heat. Add honey and Stevie, stir until well-combined, approximately 1 minute. Stir in vanilla. jennifer fisher - thefitforkk.com - cool caramel popcorn

Stir in baking soda; this will cause mixture to foam up. Remove from heat and toss in almonds and popped corn. Stir until popcorn is coated with caramel mixture.

It’s fine to eat as is, but if you like it crunchier, place on parchment-paper lined rimmed baking sheet and bake at 250 F degrees for about 30 minutes. Sprinkle with sea salt.

Makes four 1-cup servings.

honey-almond-popcorn-made-with-coconut-oil-nutrition