Lucuma ice cream was my favorite as a child living in Peru. And mango everything was everyone’s favorite. I was shopping at a different Whole Foods in the suburbs of Boston last week and I came across lucuma powder. I was skeptical at first but I bought it anyways. It was pricey at about $14 a bag but I couldn’t resist hoping for a taste of my childhood. Thankfully I wasn’t disappointed. Lucuma is a tropical fruit native to the highlands of Peru, Chile and Ecuador and it is packed with minerals and vitamins including carotenes and vitamin B3. The taste is sweet but mild making it unique to other fruits, in my opinion.
This morning I made Gabriel’s daily fruit smoothie and I sneaked some of the lucuma powder into the shake. I handed him the glass with a straw and watched out of the corner of my eye to see his reaction. Gabriel has such a sensitive palate that he can tell when anything is out of the ordinary in his food. To my joy (or sadness because of the price of the powder), Gabriel drank the whole thing down and said “mas!” I thought I would have a bit of smothie leftover for me but no go. It’s all good though since I made this delicious lucuma mango smoothie after I dropped him off at school. More for me!
If you can’t find the powder at your local grocery store try Amazon. I looked today and it is actually cheaper if you buy two 8 oz packages. They are about $10 a piece this way and I won’t be sweating it out when Gabriel becomes addicted to the lucuma taste.
Dates are a nice way to add a little bit of a sweeter bite and, literally, little bites of dates as you slurp up the smoothie.
Top with strawberries or nothing at all and enjoy this light delicious beverage for breakfast or a healthy low-cal snack.
I have always loved polenta and in the most traditionally cooked ways. Polenta is popular in Italy and Latin America where many times it is served with a red sauce on top. Sometimes I make it in this way too but it is a heavier dish and better left for the winter time. These polenta rounds are made in a more contemporary way and are lighter as well as easy to make since you can buy a tube of pre-cooked polenta and just cut slices.
Usually an 18 ounce tube will serve about 16 rounds slices or 8 people, although most will want more than two slices each so account for that. You need some arugula, olive oil, garlic powder, salt and freshly cracked pepper and voila! Of course you also need an oven and about 5-10 minutes of your time.
Bake for 7 minutes or so and you have a delicious side dish or appetizer.
Savory, simple and colorful. People will think you slaved over this…but you didn’t!
Edamame is a favorite side dish/snack that I serve my family a few times a week. My husband and toddler both love it and I am overjoyed that my little one is getting protein and fiber while having fun picking the beans from the pods. We eat edamame plain mostly but when I want spicy, salty and garlicky, seasoning these babies is the way to go. Best part is that you can make edamame in a few minutes without thinking too much about it.
Just grab a pack of frozen edamame at the store and boil in water. The directions say to boil for 6-7 minutes but I like my soybeans extra crunchy so I only cook them for 5 minutes.
Serve edamame as a snack anytime of day or in a bowl for a great cocktail appetizer.