Prickly Pear Raspberry Smoothie

2 years ago we posted Cameron's Prickly Pear Slush...but I wasn't a huge fan. It just had a funny aftertaste; he loved it though. Today I played around until I had a Prickly Pear Raspberry Smoothie that I LOVE. 
I just can't get over the color of the prickly pear fruit. It really is so vibrant and awesome.


  • 1/2 c. frozen unsweetened raspberries
  • 1/2 c. prickly pear fruit puree 
  • 1 c. plain yogurt 
  • About 2-3 TBS of water
  • About 1-2 tsp. olive oil (I know...seems weird, but your body needs good oils in it and olive oil's not bad...if you have sunflower oil that works great too)
  • Sweetener (sugar, truvia, jam, whatever you want to use)
  • And then I added a tiny squirt of Berry Pomegranate MiO to help cancel out the prickly pear aftertaste (I love the initial prickly pear's the aftertaste that's a little odd)
  • If you have prickly pear juice and not the puree, then omit the water in this recipe
Combine all ingredients in the blender and blend till smooth. I accidentally added too much water so I had to add a small handful more of frozen raspberries to give it the right consistency. 

Healthy Fruit Dip

So I've been wanting to eat more fruit...but I'm not one to just pick up an apple and munch away. So I read a few recipes online and made a healthy fruit dip to help entice me to eat more fruit. It's working like a charm. I love this stuff.

8oz. fat free sugar free (or reduced...or regular) plain yogurt
8 oz. fat free cream cheese
Sugar (I used truvia instead). I didn't measure...I just added a little bit at the time until the taste was about right. I probably used about 2-3 teaspoons of truvia (which is sweeter than sugar, so you'd have to add more sugar than that)

Just mix them all together with a hand mixer until it's light and fluffy. Mine's almost looks like marshmallow creme.

Bitter Gourd, a Cautionary Tale....

Our neighbors have turned out to be pretty good at container gardening, which has been fun for us since they are from Sri Lanka and grow some things that we haven't seen before. Among them you will find bitter gourd. About the same size and roughly the same shape as a cucumber, except a little bit different. 
 They were kind enough to give us one or two specimens, so we googled how to cook them and gave it a try, although Gaji did warn us that we probably wouldn't like them as much as he does. We started by giving them a good washing, and then sliced them up. I'd read that you can remove some of the bitterness by heavily coating them in salt and leaving them to sit for a little while. So we did this, rinsing the salt off before we were ready to cook them.

 We didn't do anything else to prep these babies, just dropped them in a pot of hot oil and gave them a good fry until they were golden brown.

I think I salted them after we took them out of the oil, but I'm not sure really.
The texture was about what you'd expect of any fried food. Crispy and crunchy and perfect.
Then the taste hits.
The first thought that pops into your head is "wow, we WAY over-salted these puppies".
Very shortly after that you realize that maybe it's not just the salt you're tasting.
Then you think "ummm, this is kinda gross, but I guess I can finishing chewing and swallow it".
This progresses to "If I can't find somewhere to spit this thing I'm going to DIE!!!!!!!!!".
Next comes "OH MY GOSH! I already spit it out, why is the flavor still intensifying on the back of my mouth?"
All this is ended by spending the next couple of minutes frantically eating and drinking ANYTHING you can get your hands on, because at this point you'd probably eat poop if it would get that ever increasing foul taste out of your mouth.
Moral of the story, don't EVER eat bitter gourd unless you wish to die a slow and incredibly nasty death while the worst taste imaginable builds on your palate until it takes over and squeezes the life out of you.

Gaji was not surprised to find out we didn't much care for his favorite snack, but he's probably glad. There are now two less people in the world he has to compete with for a supply of bitter gourd.