8.15.2014

Fresh Peach Sangria Mocktail My Way


I have always been intrigued with the traditional Spanish Sangria. Recipes generally include wine, brandy, club soda or sparkling water with various citrus and apple slices.  They look and sound so refreshing.  

I'm not an alcohol drinker (heck I don't even drink soda).  I loved the idea of creating a Sangria made with freshly juiced fruit and coconut water.  How refreshing is that?  I pictured myself coming home from a long, hot run and pouring myself a refreshing Sangria ala Janet.  


Because peaches are coming on in Utah right now and because I'm completely obsessed with them, I decided to create a Sangria using peaches as the star.  (Please tell me that you cry too when you see bushels of beautiful peaches at the local Farmer's Market).  I seriously get teary eyed and emotional. 



For a freshly juiced Sangria you will need the following:

2 cups fresh peach juice or 5 large ripe peaches, cut in half and pits removed
1 cup fresh pineapple juice about 1/4 pineapple
1 cup fresh orange juice or 2-3 oranges, peeled
1 lime, peeled
2 peaches, pits removed and thinly sliced
1/2 lime, thinly sliced
10 mint leaves
1 liter of coconut water or sparkling water

optional sweetener:
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup cane sugar


Let's talk a minute about juicers.  I believe I have mentioned before that I researched the different types of juicers out there.  I decided to buy this Breville Juice Fountain Multi-speed juicer.  I purchased it from Williams-Sonoma (my mother ship) for around $200.00.  I'm not saying this is the best juicer on the market.  I'm saying that it seemed to fit my lifestyle at the moment.  I wanted a juicer that was fast and one that didn't require me to do a lot of chopping or other prep work.  This Breville is a centrifugal type juicer.  It's fast and I like it.  I'm sure there are juicers out there that can extract more juice than this particular type.  Williams-Sonoma has a good selection of juicers you may want to read about the different styles and types they have, if you are interested in purchasing one for yourself.  I find the reviews from customers extremely helpful.  

My son has an Omega cold press juicer, or masticating juicer.  He told me it's really easy to clean and the pulp comes out quite dry.  The only down fall, for me, is the fruits and vegetables required more chopping to fit into the small feed tube.  He's quite happy with his choice.

I'm sure I will upgrade someday because I'm becoming a juicing crazy lady. I love it.



My juicer requires peeled citrus.  I'm juicing 3 oranges,or enough to make 1 cup juice.  A whole orange will generally fit into the feed tube of my juicer.




Peal 1 lime.



Peel and cut 1/4 of a pineapple or enough to make 1 cup of juice.  You can see how to peel a pineapple on this blog.

Don't throw out the center core.  You'll be surprised how much juice you can get from the core.


Remove the pit from 5 peaches or enough to make 2 cups of juice.

Make sure your peaches are nice and ripe.  If they are still firm, place them in a paper bag and let sit out on the counter for a few days or until ripe or a little soft when gently pressed.



Simply drop the fruit into the juicer while it is running.




Instant juice!



Repeat with pineapple, oranges and lime.




This is an optional step, if you would like to sweeten your Sangria.

If the peaches and oranges are sweet, additional sugar isn't needed...in my opinion.



If the juice appears to be quite tart, then I will use evaporated cane juice organic sugar or honey.  I don't use artificial sweeteners of any kind.



To a small sauce pan add 1/2 cup water.



and 1/4 cup sugar.



Bring to a simmer until the sugar has completely dissolved.



Set aside to cool.  This is called a simply syrup.


To mix the Sangria, pour 2 cups fresh peach juice into a large 2 quart pitcher.


Add 1 cup fresh orange juice.


1 cup pineapple juice and juice from one lime (I mixed the lime juice with the pineapple juice)



Stir to blend juices.  (This pitcher belonged to my Great Grandmother and is absolutely beautiful a true treasure.  It's from the late 1800's)


If desired, add the simple syrup to sweeten.


Slice two peaches.


Add to the juice mixture


Slice 1/2 of a lime.


Add to juice mixture.


Add 10 mint leaves that have been washed, stems removed.



Stir.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.  I prefer overnight.  If you add more fruit, it's possible you will need a larger pitcher once the liter of coconut water or sparkling water has been added.



In place of adding alcohol, I give my family two options, sparkling water or coconut water. Bottled or fresh coconut water.  Of course, I prefer coconut water.  Nothing quenches like water or coconut water.

I'm a water drinker.  As mentioned, I don't drink soda.  I gave up soda after my son was born over 28 years ago.  I wanted to make healthier choices in my diet.



If adding coconut water, add 1 liter to the juice and fruit mixture before chilling.

If adding sparkling water, add 1 liter after chilling.  





How gorgeous is this?

To serve:  Add slices of peaches, oranges and limes to a tall glass.  Add ice if desired.



I have a 20 mile training run this Saturday.  This will be the first thing to cross my lips when I finish.

I can't think of anything more refreshing than fresh peach juice combined with coconut water to replenish my electrolytes and potassium.  Almost makes it worth running 20 miles.






Fresh Peach Sangria Mocktail

2 cups fresh peach juice or 5 large ripe peaches, cut in half and pits removed
1 cup fresh pineapple juice about 1/4 pineapple
1 cup fresh orange juice or 2-3 oranges, peeled
1 lime, peeled
2 peaches, pits removed and thinly sliced
1/2 lime, thinly sliced
10 mint leaves
1 liter of coconut water or sparkling water
1 liter coconut water or sparkling water

optional sweetener:
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup cane sugar

In a two quart pitcher stir together the peach juice, fresh pineapple juice, orange and lime juice.  Add the slices peaches, lime slices and mint leaves.  Stir.  If using coconut water add, cover and refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight.  If using sparkling water, add right before serving.  Makes a over 2 quarts.


Print this recipe

8.11.2014

And the Winner is...

The winner of the Cuisinart yogurt maker is:  



Jessica Sims

Congratulations to Jessica.  
The winner was selected through Random.org #109

Jessica is on her way to luscious yogurt.  



My thanks to everyone who entered.   Yogurt dressed with granola and fresh fruit with a drizzle of honey and a a few nuts seemed to be everyone's favorite.

 I'm counting down the days for the fresh peaches ripening on my counter.  I plan on making Bircher Muesli with bruleed peaches.  Be still by heart.

xo
Janet

8.07.2014

The Lazy Way of Making Yogurt, Greek Yogurt, and a Giveaway.


Yogurt. Thick. Luscious. Tart. Tangy.

This is how I make my yogurt.



I tried culturing my own yogurt and didn't have much luck.  I wanted a dump and walk away method.  That's when I discovered this little gem that has added so much happiness to my life.

I know what you're thinking.  Yogurt is so readily available, why make your own?

Answer:  Because

I just love homemade better. However, I have to admit that the Honey Greek Yogurt by Greek Gods is just sinfully delicious. It's like eating cheesecake.




This is how I make my yogurt.  There are many different techniques and recipes. This works for me.

4 cups whole milk (yes WHOLE milk)
1 package Yogourmet cultures OR 1/2 - 3/4 cup plain whole milk yogurt




Pour milk into a saucepan.



Heat milk to 180 degrees F (82C)


Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.  




Once the milk has cooled add one package of a freeze-dried yogurt starter.

Yes, you can use yogurt as a starter.  I add 3/4 cup plain whole milk yogurt.



Sprinkle it over the milk.




Stir well making sure there are no lumps and the culture has dissolved.




Pour into the yogurt maker bowl.




Cover.



Set timer.  If the milk has been heated and cooled again, the yogurt should be ready is 4 - 4 1/2 hour.  I check to see if it's thick.  You may want to adjust the timing.  Most of the time I set it for 8 hours then go to bed.

Let me tell you why this yogurt maker is so wonderful.  It will automatically turn off and COOL the yogurt. The yogurt won't be cold, but it will be cool.  What a great feature.  It's pretty much a no brain way to making yogurt.




This has cultured for 8 hours.  It's pretty thick and tart.  Notice that it seems to be a bit grainy or lumpy.  No problem.  I just whisk through it and it's silky and nice, but will thin down the yogurt a bit.




I like to store my yogurt in a glass jar in the refrigerator.

I read many reviews on the Cuisinart Yogurt maker before my purchase.  Many reviews stated that the yogurt wasn't thick enough.  I have found that leaving the yogurt in the machine longer only makes it more tart not thicker.  The reason the yogurt was thin was because of the whey in the milk.

Remedy?  Drain the whey!




For Greek yogurt simply drain of the whey.  This is so simple.  So, so simple.

You will need:

Well chilled yogurt, a strainer and a coffee filter.




1) Place the strainer over a bowl.
2) Line the strainer with the coffee filter.
3) Pour in chilled yogurt.




I should buy larger coffee filters so I can make a larger batch.  As you can see I have filled the coffee filter pretty much to the top.



4) Cover and refrigerate until the yogurt reaches your desired thickness.  The longer it is drained the thicker it will become.




As you can see the yogurt has reduced considerable.  Almost by half.




I drained this batch just overnight.  Look how thick it has become.




This is the whey that drained off the yogurt.

DO NOT throw this away.  I use it to make Crusty Bread.  The whey gives the bread a sour dough flavor.




I lift the thickened yogurt and turn it over into a bowl.




Leave the coffee filter in place.  Press it firmly to the top of the yogurt.  This will help the yogurt store longer by keeping a tight seal against the top of the yogurt. Cover bowl and store in the refrigerator.




When ready to use just peel off the coffee filter.




Greek yogurt...it only looks like whipped cream.

Homemade Yogurt and Greek Yogurt

4 cups whole milk (yes WHOLE milk)
1 package Yogourmet cultures OR 1/2 - 3/4 cup plain whole milk yogurt

Heat milk to 180 degrees F (82C).  Allow milk to cool to room temperature.  Stir in powder yogurt cultures or plain yogurt.  Stir to dissolve powder or blend in yogurt.  Culture for 4-8 hours.  


Reasons why I'm giving away a Cuisinart yogurt maker:

  • I hate being lazy alone and I would love for one of my readers to be lazy with me.  
  • I hate being so awesome alone and I would love for one of my readers to be just as awesome.
  • I make about .10 cents (seriously) an hour blogging. I thought it would be nice to share my wealth. 
  • Your comments make my day
  • Why not?
Disclaimer:  This is not a Cuisinart ad.  I have not been compensated for using or promoting this product. I'm sorry but the contest is for U.S.A. readers only.

Contest ends Monday, August 11th, 2015.  
Winner announced Monday, August 11th at noon MST
You can enter once daily...why not?  
Make sure you scroll down to enter your name and email address, which will be completely private.