Red, White, & Blueberries
I love practical things, and to me, that's exactly what mason jars are. Most of our cheap, plastic cups and containers have been swapped out for Ball jars of all shapes and sizes. First thing in the morning after I do my oil-pulling, I go downstairs and grab out my 32-ounce mason jar that has a handle (good thing, because it's a wrist-breaker!) and fill it with water. For breakfast I make a huge, green smoothie and pour it in my 24-ounce, wide-mouth mason jar that came with a lid and straw, making it easy to take with me on the way to work. When I chop ripe bananas to throw in the freezer, you guessed it--I use a huge half-gallon mason jar to store them. In the evenings before dinner I typically like to have some carbonated water with a squeeze of citrus or some fresh-chopped strawberries in it, and that's when the standard, 16-ounce mason jar works perfectly! Needless to say, I'm a little obsessed, and despite what you might think, this is not a paid advertisement!
Clear + Chemical-Free
Besides the fact that mason jars just scream summertime, they're also safer than plastic. When plastic containers, packages, and water bottles are exposed to extreme temperatures, BPA and other potentially harmful chemicals can leach into your food and drinking water and may have negative effects on hormones. Glass is your best friend. It's clear, it's safe, and it lasts!
While we're on the topic of avoiding harmful chemicals from plastics, traditional food coloring and dyes can also negatively impact health--red and blue included. In the second and third treats below, I was able to achieve a super-vibrant red and blue hue by using all-natural, 100% red beet powder and blue spirulina powder, both found on Amazon.
All of that being said, it's hot out, and the Fourth of July is the time of year when we need something to cool us down. Here are 3 Berry Patriotic Ways To 'Cheers' To The Fourth Of July this weekend--mason jar included!
Red, White, & Blueberries On-The-Go
There are no rules here! Simply layer a wide-mouth ball jar with your favorite red, white, and blue fruits and screw on the lid. I love to do this when I'm hopping on my bike to ride to my parents' house to swim, or when I'm traveling I keep one in my backpack water-bottle holder so I can snack mid-flight. If you're having a small get together, use a smaller size mason jar for guests to grab and enjoy on the patio; they're also a quick-fix for kids going to summer camp! Now that's what I call a fruit snack!
Patriotic 'Pre-Tox' Cherry Bomb
This bright, blue beverage is the perfect detoxifying, or 'pre-tox' drink, as I like to call it! If you're planning on indulging in food and drink this Fourth of July, prepare yourself to feel your best the next morning by drinking this fizzy, alcohol-free mixed drink. Apple cider vinegar is said to have a wide variety of health benefits, from curbing your appetite, to healthy digestion and detoxification. Spirulina is a nutrient-dense superfood that's packed full of essential amino acids, vitamins, and minerals. Cherries are in season right now, and they add the perfect bit of sweetness, while mint is refreshing and energizing.
- sparkling water (Sodastream or bottled Perrier)
- 1/8 teaspoon blue spirulina powder
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 5-10 pitted cherries
- fresh mint leaves
- Use Sodastream to carbonate water or simply pour bottled carbonated water in a tall glass or pitcher.
- While gently stirring, sprinkle in blue spirulina powder.
- Add in apple cider vinegar.
- Remove the pits from a handful of cherries and add to drink.
- Chop a couple of mint leaves and stir in.
- Garnish with a cherry and mint leaf, cheers, and enjoy!
- When adding apple cider vinegar, you will likely get some fizzing and bubbling, so be sure to use a tall glass that won't overflow when mixing.
Twice-As-Nice Raspberry-Blueberry Nice Cream Swirl
Banana Nice Cream is my go-to summertime snack! Not only is it dairy-free, it's also fat-free and certified delicious! Using two plant-based superfoods, you can create a patriotic dessert or poolside treat without any added chemicals or dyes. Beets are a fantastic source of nitrate, which can improve blood flow and lower blood pressure, and blue spirulina is said to be one of the most nutrient-dense superfoods on the planet. Both beets and spirulina are fantastic for athletes, aiding in oxygen-use and muscle recovery, (and we all know that the potassium in bananas is also great for our muscles), so feel free to make a big helping of nice cream pre- or post-workout! Whenever you eat it, eat it fast, because it melts quick!
Creamy Crimson Nice Cream
- Allow bananas to ripen until brown and speckled. Peel, chop into smaller chunks, and place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper in the freezer for a few hours.
- Place half of your batch of frozen bananas in a high-speed blender, like a Vitamix, or in a food processor. Allow to thaw for about 15 minutes before blending so you don't damage your appliances.
- When bananas are thawed, add in frozen raspberries and red beet powder.
- Blend until smooth. Use a spatula to scoop into one half of a glass baking dish and place in the freezer while making blue nice cream portion.
Icy Indigo Nice Cream
- Follow the same steps as the Creamy Crimson Nice Cream, adding blue spirulina instead of red beet powder. (You might also think about adding blueberries, but when I tried it, the nice cream didn't have as nice of a blue color as I had expected. The taste is amazing with or without them).
- Use spatula to scrape out and add to other half of glass baking dish in freezer.
- Allow both batches to harden and chill for about 5 minutes and then take out.
- Use spatula to mix and swirl red and blue nice cream and scoop into a mason jar or bowl.
- Top with red, white, & blueberries and enjoy!
- I like to freeze a large batch of ripe bananas about once a week and store them in extra large mason jars so they're always on-hand for smoothies and other sweet treats.
Here's a snapshot of some more Red, White, & Blueberry love--one of my recent pairs of free J.Crew #shinyponies that arrived at my doorstep the other day. I'm not sure if I'll be lighting off any noisemakers in these bad boys, but I will have to take them out for a spin this weekend--maybe a dinner date! ;)
Have a Bomb Fourth of July!
Be safe, eat lots of red, white, and blueberries, and cheers to summertime's favorite glass--the mason jar! My advice is to start your morning sipping the Patriotic 'Pre-tox" Cherry Bomb, cool down poolside in the afternoon with some Twice-As-Nice Raspberry-Blueberry Nice Cream Swirl, and pack a mason jar full of Red, White, & Blueberries for your evening enjoyment while watching fireworks!
I may or may not have another Fourth of July recipe comin' at ya in a day or two, so stay tuned! Sign-up for my monthly In The Raw newsletter and to stay up-to-date on the latest EAT.MOVE.REST. blog posts!