Pineapple Mint Fauxjito

Our good friend Erin, the blogger behind The Almond Eater, is back with her final recipe for our summer countdown series. If you missed her other posts, you can find them here, here and here. Cool down this weekend and celebrate the summer solstice with a sweet drink! Keep reading for Erin’s recipe. 

Enjoy a non-alcoholic version of this classic drink! This Pineapple Mint Fauxjito tastes like a fruity and refreshing mojito minus the morning hangover. It’s sweet, refreshing and ready in just 5 minutes!

 

Make this Pineapple Mint Fauxjito & celebrate the summer solstice!

So, instead of a mojito, today we’ll be enjoying a pineapple mint FAUX-jito. Get it?! I thought I was beyond clever when I “created” that word but, as it turns out, the fauxjito is real. Which is a good thing, because the flavors of a mojito deserved to be enjoyed with or without alcohol.

My cocktail of choice is a mojito. In one word, they are REFRESHING. In more than one word, they are refreshing and come in a variety of flavors and I’m fairly certain you can’t mess them up.

You definitely can’t mess these fauxjitos up – they’re that easy! They’re five ingredients and they come together in approximately 5 minutes, maybe 10 if your pineapple isn’t already cut. THAT’S IT. You’ve got your pineapple (duh), your club soda (necessary), your mint leaves (refreshing!), your lime juice (yes please!), and your…wait for it…coconut milk (YES I’M SERIOUS).

Make this Pineapple Mint Fauxjito & celebrate the summer solstice!

For whatever reason, I’ve been into adding coconut milk to cocktails recently, specifically coconut milk. Coconut milk plus any fruit equals tropical to me, and tropical equals fruity alcoholic and/or non-alcoholic beverages. Yes, it’s true. Coconut and pineapple may be the most common combination, and that’s because they go perfectly together. A match made in heaven, if you will.

So whether you’re sitting poolside with your BFFs your on your couch watching Friends reruns (no judgment here), I hope you find an excuse to sip on a pineapple mint fauxjito. Trust me, you won’t regret it!

Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups pineapple, muddled
  • 2 cups pineapple juice (1 cup fresh pineapple+1 cup water, mixed in a blender)
  • ½ cup club soda
  • 10 mint leaves
  • ¼ cup coconut milk
  • Juice from 1 lime

Directions:

  1. Place cubed coconut in a bowl and use a muddler (or a fork) to smash it down; divide evenly between two glasses.
  2. In a separate bowl, stir pineapple juice, soda, mint, milk, and lime juice together really well; pour overtop of muddled pineapple, dividing evenly.
  3. Garnish with a lime wedge and enjoy!

Share your fauxjito pics on Twitter & Instagram using #AEOSTYLE! We’d love to see how you’re celebrating summer.

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Make Your Own French Fry Bar

Erin from The Almond Eater is back with her third recipe post to help us count down the days until summer (we’re in the single digits now!). If you missed her first two posts, Caprese Kebabs and Chocolate Dipped Coconut Popsicles, be sure to check them out! Keep reading for her make-your-own french fry bar tips below.

A French Fry Bar is what dreams are made of! Homemade baked french fries sprinkled with salt and served with several different choices of condiments… talk about a tasty appetizer your friends can get behind!

Whenever someone asks “would you like fries with that?” there is only one appropriate answer: YES. How does one even go about ordering a sandwich without fries? How?! In fact, sometimes I just order fries. I know they’re considered a side, but sometimes they deserve to be the star of the show.

Like today.

Amp up your next get-together with a make your own French fry bar!

Though it may be more common to create a cheese plate or fruit platter when you have guests over, I guarantee they’d be much more thrilled to hang out with you if they knew there were going to be FRIES. Not that you’re not fun to hang out with, but c’mon. It’s a french fry bar for goodness sake! Fries on fries on fries with so many different condiments. You could even take it up a notch and add sweet potato fries into the mix.

I may be a bit biased, but a french fry bar is WAY better than a fruit platter, and I love fruit! Seriously, I do. But you cannot say “no” to fries.

I decided to use the following condiments in this spread: ketchup, mustard, truffle oil with parmesan cheese, garlic herb olive oil, chipotle mayo, and nacho cheese. Obviously you can include whatever you like – that’s the beauty of it! While I don’t like to play favorites, my favorite french fry condiments are probably truffle oil and chipotle mayo. In case you aren’t aware, chipotle mayo is simply mayo with a bit of sriracha. Yes, you can technically go to the store and buy “chipotle mayo,” but there’s really no need.

Amp up your next get-together with a make your own French fry bar!

Oh, and if you’ve never made your own fries, what are you waiting for? Truthfully, I should make them more often than I do. I like chopped, roasted potatoes anyway, so why not spend a few extra minutes chopping them up even smaller into french fry-sized potatoes. Because for some reason, fries>potatoes.

So cheers to summertime and friends and all the condiments. Oh yeah, and to fries! DUH.

Recipe 

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 russet potatoes, washed and scrubbed
  • 3-4 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt
  • Condiments of choice (ketchup, mustard, truffle oil, mayo, etc.)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 450°.
  2. Chop potatoes into thin slices; typically, the thinner they are, the crispier they’ll become.
  3. Line two baking sheets with foil and then spray nonstick spray overtop.
  4. Place potatoes into a large bowl and drizzle olive oil and salt overtop; stir to coat.
  5. Place fries only baking sheet, making sure they are evenly spread out and not overlapping one another.
  6. Bake fries for 25-30 minutes, flipping over halfway through so that they bake evenly.
  7. Remove from oven, sprinkle with more salt and serve with several choices of condiments.

Share your own take on Erin’s French Fry bar with us on Instagram & Twitter!

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DIY Chocolate Dipped Coconut Popsicles

Erin, the food blogger behind The Almond Eater, is back again this week to help us count down the days until summer. Today, we’re celebrating National Chocolate Ice Cream Day with Chocolate Coconut Popsicles – definitely a must-make on our summer to-do list. These Chocolate Coconut Popsicles are dipped in chocolate and just what you need to curb your sweet tooth and cool down on a hot summer day. Bonus: they’re dairy free and only 6 ingredients!

You know, for being a food blogger, I’m pretty terrible at keeping up with the food holidays. I blame it on the fact that there are several different food “holidays” every single day. With that said, I think it’s fun when you put up a recipe that happens to coincide with a food holiday.

Lucky for me, my friends over at American Eagle informed me that today is National Chocolate Ice Cream Day, so I figured, what better way to celebrate than with chocolate popsicles?

Chocolate Dipped Coconut Popsicles

I had been eyeing a popsicle mold for two years (kind of pathetic, I know), and I finally broke down and purchased one about a month ago. Best decision ever? I think yes. Also, if you’re ever debating something for two years, you should probably just bite the bullet and DO IT.

I don’t know about you, but popsicles instantly remind me of my childhood. After spending all day out in the sun, what else was I supposed to eat to cool down? Popsicles were always the answer. For some reason, you don’t hear about adults eating popsicles nearly as much as kids, and I’m guessing that’s partially because many of the store bought popsicles are full of fake flavors and generally just not that good. Yeah, I said it. Lucky for you, these chocolate coconut popsicles are quite the opposite!

Chocolate Dipped Coconut Popsicles

These popsicles are:

  • Creamy
  • Equal parts chocolate and coconut
  • Dairy free
  • 6 ingredients
  • Sweet but not too sweet
  • Practically perfect

The cool thing is that you can make this recipe in a blender, so the prep time is only five minutes, if that! Once you’re ready to devour them, you take them out of the freezer, dip them in melted chocolate and gobble them right up. But you already knew that.

Recipe

Ingredients:
1 can (13 oz.) coconut milk
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder or cacao
¼ cup maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup chocolate chips
¼ cup coconut oil

Directions:

  1. Combine milk, cocoa, syrup, and vanilla extract in a blender and pulse for at least 30 seconds or until mixture is completely smooth.
  2. Pour mixture evenly into popsicle mold and freeze for at least 2 hours.
  3. When you’re ready to eat the popsicles, prepare the chocolate dip.
  4. Heat chocolate chips and coconut oil in a microwave-safe dish for 2 minutes, stirring the mixture every 30 seconds; set aside.
  5. Remove popsicles from the freezer and follow instructions on the mold package on how to remove popsicles from the mold.
  6. As you remove them, dip each popsicle in the chocolate mixture and then place on a plate or baking sheet; repeat for all popsicles and then place them back in the freezer for 15-20 minutes.
  7. Remove and enjoy!

What are you eating to celebrate National Chocolate Ice Cream Day? Tell us in the comments below!

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Oven-Baked Caprese Kebabs

We’re channeling our excitement for summer’s arrival  into a master list of must-wears, must-dos, must-tries and must-haves to make the Summer of ’16 the best ever. The Almond Eater will be guest-blogging with us throughout the month, so don’t miss any of Erin’s delicious summer recipes. Today, she’s making a summer snack perfect for any picnic.

No grill? No problem! These Caprese Kebabs are made in the oven and ready in 30 minutes or less. Tomatoes, mozzarella, basil, and balsamic vinegar make up this easy appetizer–what’s not to love?

There are many kinds of foods that scream “summer”, one of them being kebabs. I also learned that there are approximately four different ways to spell “kebabs”, but this one felt the most accurate to me. Anyway, KEBABS. They’re delicious and a really simple appetizer for summertime.

I’m also certain that you love caprese anything, because how can you not? Tomatoes, mozzarella and basil combine and are drizzled with balsamic vinegar, though I must add the vinegar is optional. The best part of this recipe (in my opinion) is that these caprese kebabs are made in the oven, so even if you don’t have a grill you can still enjoy them.

Oven-Baked Caprese Kebabs made by The Almond Eater.

One of these days I’ll own a grill, but until then, I’ll keep searching for ways to make the most of my oven. If you do own a grill, feel free to utilize that since it may be too hot out to use your oven. If you don’t, I promise these are quick so your oven won’t be on for too long.

The trick here is that you want the tomatoes to be nice and soft, but you don’t want the cheese to completely melt. I opted to cook the tomatoes first, allow a few minutes for them to cool off before assembling the full kebabs with the tomatoes, mozzarella and basil and placing all of them in the oven so everything is warm and slightly cooked. Yes, it requires a tad more patience, but if you want the tomatoes to be soft and the cheese to be somewhat melted, this is what you gotta do, and it works!

If and when you’re searching for a super simple party appetizer, these kebabs should absolutely be it!

Oven-Baked Caprese Kebabs are easy and delicious - a perfect summer appetizer.

Recipe

Ingredients:
8 kebab sticks
16 oz. heirloom or grape tomatoes
8 oz. mozzarella cheese
20 basil leaves, approximately
Drizzle of balsamic vinegar (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°.
  2. Place tomatoes on a nonstick baking sheet and bake for 5-10 minutes or until tomatoes are soft and slightly browned.
  3. While tomatoes are cooking, break the mozzarella up into bite-size pieces and break 20 basil leaves off of the stem.
  4. Remove tomatoes from oven and wait 5 or so minutes for them to cool off a bit.
  5. Next, assemble the kebabs with tomato, mozzarella piece and a folded basil leaf. Repeat this process until all ingredients are used up and then place the kebabs bake on the nonstick baking sheet and bake for 2-3 minutes or until cheese has softened.
  6. Remove from oven, drizzle with balsamic and enjoy!

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How To: Make an Almond Milk Pumpkin Spice Latte

Getting your hands on a PSL without even leaving your house? YEP. Now you can skip the coffee shop line, save your wallet a few $$ and make this baby in the comfort of your own home—with just a little help from the microwave. Oh, and did we mention it’s healthy, too?

How To: Make an Almond Milk Pumpkin Spice Latte

INGREDIENTS

1/4 cup strong coffee or espresso

1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk

2 tbsp pumpkin puree

1 tbsp maple syrup (for a lighter version, use 1 packet of stevia)

1/4 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/8 tsp salt

DIRECTIONS

1] Pour the almond milk in a medium sized microwave-safe bowl. Add in the pumpkin puree, maple syrup/stevia, vanilla extract, spices and salt.

How To: Make an Almond Milk Pumpkin Spice Latte

2] Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, poke a small hole in the top and microwave until hot (about 1 1/2 mins).

3] Remove the plastic wrap and whisk until the milk is foamy. If you don’t have a whisk, a fork makes a great substitute.

How To: Make an Almond Milk Pumpkin Spice Latte

4] Pour your coffee into a cup.

How To: Make an Almond Milk Pumpkin Spice Latte

5] Pour the milk foam into your coffee.

How To: Make an Almond Milk Pumpkin Spice Latte

How To: Make an Almond Milk Pumpkin Spice Latte

6] Sprinkle pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon on top.

7] ENJOY!

How To: Make an Almond Milk Pumpkin Spice Latte

ABOUT CHAARG

We believe that working out can (and should!) be fun. We’re an organization of 2,500+ girls at more than 24 universities that encourages college-aged girls to find their fit, whether it’s yoga, CrossFit or anything in between.

You don’t need to be a marathon runner or a weightlifting champion to join—it’s all about finding what works for you. That’s the beauty of CHAARG. We’re a group of real girls with a passion for leading happy, healthy lives.

Sound like you? Learn more about us, check out CHAARG.com and find us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

How To: Make an Almond Milk Pumpkin Spice Latte

ABOUT TERESA

Teresa Sandoval is CHAARG’s Creative Project Lead. She dedicates her free time to any and all activities that let her get outside. When she isn’t taking her dog for a run or spending time in the sunshine, she can be found getting messy and creative in the kitchen.

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7 things we love…

Welcome to this week’s edition of 7 Things We Love! Get inspired by all the things inspiring US right now, from what we’re reading and eating to what we’re wearing and listening to. Let us know what you think about our picks in the comments —and give us yours, too!

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(Image Source: 1. | 2. | 3. | 4. | 5.6. | 7. | )

WHAT WE’RE WEARING: STAR PRINTED SNEAKERS
Get a little patriotic with your #AEOSTYLE by slipping a pair of star-printed sneakers on your feet! Whether you go for slip-ons or chukkas, this trend is all red, white and you.

WHAT WE’RE EATING: SALT & STRAW ICE CREAM
Let’s face it—nothing says summer like a big scoop of ice cream. But we’re not talking your typical, run of the mill vanilla here. Portland’s Salt & Straw ice cream is handmade in small batches with 17 percent butterfat, all-natural dairy, organic and local ingredients (with a few imported flavors thrown in for good measure). They had us at Chocolate Chip Mint Julep and Sea Salt with Caramel Ribbon.

WHAT WE’RE READING: ELEANOR & PARK BY RAINBOW ROWELL
Honestly? We’re loving this book for the cover alone. It’s just a bonus that this story of two star-crossed teens who meet in 1986 and bond over their mutual love of comic books is SO. FREAKING. GOOD. This is the book EVERYONE is reading right now, so don’t be left out. (Oh, and The Fault in Our Stars’ very own John Green wrote a glowing review of it in The New York Times, so there’s that.)

WHAT WE’RE WATCHING: TAMMY
It seems Melissa McCarthy can do no wrong. Her latest movie centers around a character who loses her job and finds out her husband has been cheating on her. Doesn’t sound like the most uplifting start, sure… but something tells us McCarthy’s physical comedy will find a way to give people more than a few laughs.

WHAT WE’RE DOWNLOADING: THE NEW EMOJI LIST
All right, so these aren’t TECHNICALLY available yet, but we’re chomping at the bit to get our fingers on all new emojis for our texts and Instagram posts. A few of the gems include a sports medal, chipmunk, candle, crayon and a wind blowing face.

WHAT WE’RE LISTENING TO: HUNGER OF THE PINE BY ALT-J
Indie rock band Alt-J isn’t only cool because they’re from England. They have a way of drawing you in with their mesmerizingly awesome beats. This song in particular is tranquil with an edgy vibe and just a little mysterious. (Oh, and it includes Miley Cyrus on a loop. So there’s that.)

WHERE WE’RE GOING: BOSTON
There really isn’t a better place to celebrate the 4th than in one of our most patriotic cities. Boston is home to the Freedom Trail, which includes everything from Old North Church (which, hint hint, played a major part in the American Revolution) and the beautiful Boston Common. But what we’re most excited for is the annual Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular, which takes place on the Esplanade at the Charles River and includes the concert and one of the most awesome fireworks displays you can possibly imagine. If you need a quick bite, stop at Spike’s for a Junkyard Dog—be sure to get one with a pickle spear inside the bun.

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