Pink Passion Slushie

It’s Valentine’s Day!!! 

How about a Pink Passion Slushie to share with your sweetie?

Not only does this slushie taste yummy…it is chock a block full of awesomeness!



  • 3 cups ice
  • 2 cups brewed hibiscus tea (2 tea bags/2 cups water), cooled or ideally chilled
  • 1 cup pink grapefruit, peeled and chopped (seeds removed)
  • 1 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate juice
  • 1 tsp Camu Camu powder
  • 1 tbsp agave, honey or maple syrup to taste
  • *Additional antioxidant boosters: 1/2 tsp Amla powder (Indian Gooseberry)
  • 1/2 tsp pomegranate powder



  1. Brew the hibiscus tea and let steep for 10 minutes. Allow to cool completely before using.
  1. Place 3 cups ice in a high speed blender, add the hibiscus tea, pomegranate juice, grapefruit, strawberries ,Camu Camu powder and chosen sweetener. Blend on high until smooth.
  2. Get two straws and share with your special someone…or…drink it all yourself!!

So not only is this yummy and full of deliciousness, this smoothis has some amazing fruits that are sooooo good for you!

Camu Camu is a cherry like fruit from the Amazon Rainforest of Peru which has the highest known source of vitamin C. In 100 grams of fresh fruit, vitamin C content ranges from 1880-2300 mg depending on ripeness.

Vitamin C is incredibly important for immune function, mood regulation, energy and collagen production to name a few. Vitamin C is naturally sour tasting, so blend the powder into your smoothies, raspberry vinaigrettes or add to your energy bars.  You can purchase Camu Camu from health food stores, specialty boutiques and online.

Amla, also known as Indian Gooseberry, is a fruit from a deciduous tree native to India. It is considered sacred due to its very high antioxidant, vitamin and mineral content. This cooling herb is a staple in traditional Ayurvedic medicine. Amla fruit is sour tasting due to its high vitamin C and antioxidant content. Its traditionally used to promote longevity, enhance digestion, strengthen the heart to name a few. In India the fruit is eaten raw, pickled or cooked into various dishes, including savoury & sweet. Amla powder is also used to prepare inks, shampoos, and hair oils. The wood from the trees are used to line water wells to provide clean and sweet tasting water for drinking and cooking.

Add Amla powder to your drinking water, smoothies, juices and salad dressings. You can purchase Amla, at health food stores, Indian grocers and online. A good rule of thumb is use 1 tbsp Amla to 8 ounces of liquid.

We hope you all have an amazing Valentine’s Day!!! 


We be jammin’…with peaches

Peach season in Southern Ontario is met with mixed emotions for me.  As a kid, it marked the month of August and the upcoming Winona Peach Festival, which was fun, but also meant the end of summer.  As an adult, although I know the summer won’t last here forever, I do enjoy the changing of the seasons and try to embrace the best out of each one.  Peaches are definitely high up on the list of favourites for the summer.

Ever since our summer at Pie Bird Farm Sanctuary, where we attended a jam making weekend, I have used the same recipe to make peach jam.

Although the process can seem a little intimidated at first, it is quite easy.  Make sure you have a block of time to dedicate to making your jam without interruption and you will end up with some beautiful, fresh peach jam that will last you the winter.

This recipe can be used for just about any type of fruit and can be found in the package of the Sugar free Pectin box.  There is no artificial sweetener in this Pectin.  You can use some something to sweeten your jam but we just used unsweetened apple juice.

Before getting the fruit cooking, I get my canning pot going because it takes a while to get all that water boiling.  Get out your jars and lids to ensure they are clean.  Put the lids and rings in a smaller pot of boiling water and leave on simmer.  I sterilize my jars by putting them lying down in a 150F oven for about 10-15 minutes.  In fact, I keep them in there while my peaches are cooking.  This will heat them up as well for when the hot peaches go into the jars.  Peel and dice your peaches as well.  This recipe makes about 4, 250ml jars of jam.


4 cups of peeled and diced peaches

1 cup of apple juice or white grape juice

2 tablespoons of lemon juice

1 package of sugar free pectin

In a large pot, put the peaches in on medium heat.  Pour in the apple or white grape juice and lemon juice.  Cook until fruit is soft and able to mash.  Mash the peaches to the point that you like them.  Some people like a more chunkier jam.  Once mashed, pour in pectin and continue to cook until starts to thicken.

I have a handy-dandy funnel for my jam jars that is well worth the purchase at your local grocery store or hardware store.  They are not expensive and saves you a lot of aggravation.  Ladle the prepared peaches into the jars and fill to about 1/4″ or 0.5 cm from the top of the jar.  Make sure there isn’t any jam on the outside of the jar and put the lids and rings on them.  Hand tighten. Put the jars into the boiling water of the canning pot.  Making sure there is at least 1″ or 2.5 cm of water covering the jar lids.  Put the lid to the canning pot on and let them boil for 10-15 minutes.  Take out using jar tongs (also another good purchase) and let cool in an upright position for at least 24 hours.  Check the jar seals and make sure the centres are pressed down.  Label. Store and enjoy fresh jam for the fall and winter.  Personally, peach jam is one of our favourites and last year I tried a couple of mangos mixed in and that made a nice addition to the peach flavour.  Of course strawberry, raspberry, apricot, or blackberries all make great jams too.  With the abundance of fresh seasonal fruit here, the possibilities are endless.

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Apricot Fruit Leather

Please note that no animals were harmed in the making of this leather…


Val’s apricot bounty continues and she harvested some more this past weekend.  We had talked about experimenting with fruit leathers and with her handy new dehydrator and  the plethora of apricots, this proved to be the perfect time to give them a try.

The funny thing is when trying out new recipes or methods, you never quite know how they are going to turn out.  This experiment proved to be very successful!  The fruit leathers were awesome!

Fruit leathers make such a convenient and portable snack, they are perfect for active lifestyles and if you want to curb that craving for sugary treats.  Use fruit in season and create your own combinations by mixing different types of fruit.  We are using the apricots this time, but hope to try out other types as well.

Val’s dehydrator is perfect for this use, but you can use a low oven, so we have given you both recipes.


4 cups ripe apricots, washed, blemishes removed and pitted (cut apricot in half and remove pit)

2 tbsp fresh lemon juice

4 tbsp ground chia seeds (use a coffee grinder to process)

optional: 2 tbsp maple syrup or more depending on how ripe the fruit is


Select ripe apricots that have reached their peak in flavour, colour and texture. The fruit leather will taste sweeter if the apricots are fully ripened.

Place all the ingredients into a high speed blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Taste the puree and adjust sweetness as needed. Do not use granulated sugar as it will dry out the fruit leather and crack. Wait 15 minutes to allow the mixture to thicken before spreading it onto your dehydrator trays.

Spread the puree onto your teflex sheets that come with your dehydrator and pour to a depth of 1/4 inch thick.

Dehydrate the fruit leather at 145 degrees (F) for one hour, then reduce heat to 105 degrees (F) and continue for about 16 hours. Check for dark spots on the leather, this is a sign that the leather is not completely dry. Press the fruit leather to ensure that it is not sticky.

Peel the leather from the dehydrator. If the leather peels away easily, it is ready.

Allow the leather to cool before storing as this will prevent moisture loving bacteria from forming.

Cut the leather into squares or triangles depending on your dehydrator configuration.

Roll them up and place them in an airtight container lined with parchment. Store in a cool dry place or ideally in the fridge. This leather will keep for at least 4 weeks or more. It will also keep in the freezer for up to 12 months.

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Oven Method:

Preheat the oven to 140 degrees F.

Pour the above apricot mixture onto a lightly oiled baking sheet and spread the puree evenly to a 1/4 inch thickness. Coconut oil is a good option here.

Bake overnight for approximately 8-12 hours. The leather is ready when it is no longer tacky on the surface and has no dark spots.