Helping families eat healthier for less

Helping families eat healthier for less

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Refrigerator Zucchini Pickles

Refrigerator Zucchini Pickles
Raising the Bar on food in a jar is the Recipe Redux theme for August.

I have an abundance of zucchini. I only planted one zucchini plant in my own vegetable garden, but also get zucchini in my weekly CSA package. So when I learned about the theme of this month’s Recipe Redux, I decided to make zucchini pickles.
I did some web surfing and came across a recipe from McCormick for refrigerator bread and butter pickles. I started with this recipe for my inspiration because it seemed easier than “traditional” pickle recipes. You simply put thinly sliced cucumbers (zucchini in my case) in a canning jar, heat a mixture of white vinegar, sugar and spices and pour it over the cuke slices. Then you put the jar in the refrigerator and shake it once a day for 3 to 5 days. No real canning involved. However, this means the jar must be kept refrigerated, but it is good for up to 2 months.
Here are photos of the preparation
Preparation of Refrigerator Zucchini Pickles
I was very pleased with the way the zucchini pickles came out. A new way to enjoy zucchini!
Here is the complete recipe:

                   Refrigerator Zucchini Pickles


2 pounds zucchini, trimmed

2/3 cup agave syrup or honey

3 cups distilled white vinegar

1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion

2 tsp kosher salt

2 tsp mixed pickling spice

2 tsp mustard seed

2 tsp ground turmeric

2 tsp dried dill weed


 Using mandolin or knife, carefully slice zucchini into 1/16th-inch slices. Divide sliced zucchini equally between two clean quart size canning jars. Mix remaining ingredients in medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally to dissolve sugar. Reduce to low and simmer for 5 minutes. Pour vinegar mixture over zucchini in jars, leaving at least 1/4-inch headspace. Let cool. Screw on metal lids and shake to distribute contents. Refrigerate pickles. Shake jars once a day for 3 to 5 days to redistribute seasonings. Store in refrigerator for up to 2 months.

Makes 2 quarts (16 servings).

 Nutrition Information per Serving (1/16th of recipe):
66 calories,0 g total fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 1 g dietary fiber, 1 g protein, and 274 mg sodium. One serving of this low cost recipe provides a good source of vitamin C.

Cost per Serving: $0.39

Pricing Note: all ingredients were at “regular” prices.
Click here to download and print a copy of this recipe.
Be sure to check out these other canned favorites from fellow Recipe Reduxers.


Saturday, August 10, 2013

Nothing Says Summer Like Popsicles - Avocado Raspberry Popsicles


Avocado Raspberry Popsicles

Disclaimer: I received free samples of California Avocado mentioned in this post. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by California Avocado and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.
I grew up in Southern California where Hass avocados are widely available. My brother used to rent a house that had several avocado trees  on the property and he’d let me pick as many as I could carry in a large grocery paper bag. What great memories I have from those days.

There are many reasons to love avocados. I love their taste and creamy texture. They’re also loaded with “good” monounsaturated fats, the predominant type of fat found in Mediterranean-style diets. A one-ounce serving, or 1/5 of a medium avocado provides 3 grams of monounsaturated fat and 0.5 grams of polyunsaturated fat. Contrary to some beliefs, one serving of avocado is only 50 calories, provides 2 grams of fiber, and has no sodium or cholesterol.

California avocados are in peak season from March through September, making them perfect for summer gatherings.

Because avocados provide “healthy” fats, they are a good substitute for unhealthy saturated fats. So, for instance, try spreading avocado on your toast or bagel in the morning instead of butter, or use mashed avocado instead of mayonnaise on your sandwich bread, or dip raw veggies into guacamole instead of a sour cream-based dip. Although I haven’t yet tried this, I’ve read that avocado can be substituted for butter or oil in baked good recipes, such as cookies, cakes or muffins. “Though the result may vary slightly by recipe, you can use a one-to-one substitution of avocado for butter, however when substituting avocado for oil it may be necessary to add another liquid to balance the recipe and "thin out" thicker batters or mixes.”[1]

To me, nothing says summer better than popsicles. Here is a recipe for cool and creamy Avocado Popsicles.  I don’t have any fancy popsicle molds, so I simply use 5-ounce Dixie cups with a wooden stick. Foil over the top of the cup helps to hold the sticks upright while freezing. This recipe takes about 10 minutes to prepare. I love the combination  of raspberries and avocados in a green salad, so I used those two flavors in this popsicle recipe. It’s so easy, but looks impressive. One popsicle is only 129 calories and provides a good source of protein, fiber, and vitamin C.
Step one is to blend together one ripe peeled and seeded California Avocado in a blender with honey and an individual container of coconut vanilla nonfat Greek yogurt and pour into cups (or a popsicle mold.  Cover with foil, insert wooden stick and freeze for 2 hours.

Step One

Step two is to blend together fresh or frozen raspberries with an individual container of raspberry nonfat Greek yogurt and then spoon this mixture over the top of the frozen avocado mixture. Top with foil and freeze for 2 hours.
Step Two
Here is the complete recipe.

Avocado Raspberry Popsicles

Prep Time: about 10 minutes

Total Time: 4 hours, 10 minutes



1 ripe Fresh California Avocado, seeded and peeled

1 tablespoon honey

1 5.3-ounce container toasted coconut vanilla nonfat Greek yogurt

1 5.3-ounce container raspberry or strawberry nonfat Greek yogurt

1 cup fresh or frozen red raspberries

4 5-ounce paper cups

4 flat wooden sticks



Step One:

Combine avocado, coconut vanilla yogurt, and honey in blender. Cover and blend until smooth. Divide mixture evenly among paper cups. Tap cups gently on counter to make avocado mixture even within cups and to eliminate any air pockets. Cover cups with foil and insert stick into center of each cup. Freeze for 2 hours or until completely frozen.

Step Two:

When first layer is frozen, remove foil from pops. Combine strawberry yogurt and raspberries in blender. Cover and blend until smooth. Spoon mixture into each cup over the frozen avocado layer. Again cover cups with foil with sticks poking through center. Freeze until completely frozen, about 2 hours.

To eat, peel off paper cups. Enjoy.

Serves: 4


Nutrition Information per serving:

129 calories, 5 g total fat, 1 g saturated fat, 3 g monounsaturated fat, 1 g polyunsaturated fat, 5 mg cholesterol, 28 mg sodium, 302 mg potassium, 14 g total carbohydrates, 4 g dietary fiber, 9 g total sugars, 9 g protein, 1.2% DV vitamin A, 18.5% DV vitamin C, 8.7% DV calcium, 2.5% DV iron, 0 % DV vitamin D, 9.2% DV folate, and 0.04 g omega 3 fatty acids.

Click here to download and print a copy of this recipe.

Check out these other avocado summer delights.