Beat the heat with these tasty treatsWritten by Susan Thanavaro | Tuesday, July 9th, 2013

The thermostat has been hitting the upper 90s in Boulder, and we’re burning up. The weekly dip in the pool just isn’t cutting it. If ever there were a good excuse for a daily frozen treat, the July heat is it. We have a bunch of organic dried fruit that pairs perfectly with cold dishes. Even better, each of these 3 recipes is simple to prepare. Perfect for you to cool off after work or to distract your kids from the unhealthy ice cream truck that might be rolling by. Before summer gives way to fall, make the most of this hot opportunity to indulge in some cold and fruity treats.

Dried Pineapple Pina Colada  
Most pina coladas are made with canned pineapple juice, and thats just not okay. Use the real stuff to add some really good flavor.  Just add your favorite rum coconut milk and cream, fruit and puree.  So easy and such a festive way to keep summer’s heat at bay. You may not be able to escape to the Bahamas, but this fruity drink is the next best thing.

Fruit-Infused Ice 
Plain old H2O ice cubes? Boring! Why not jazz up your water and tastebuds with fun fruit-flavored cubes that are just as pretty to look at as they are to eat. The great news about making your own fruit cubes? The cocktail combinations are endless. Drop them in your favorite or try this dinner-party stunner: Make a mojito, add mango cubes, stir and enjoy.

Apricot Rice Pudding Pops
Sure, you can find creamy pops in the store, but not like these. Imagine your favorite rice pudding in summer form. These pops remind of the winter classic, though we’ve dressed them up with the addition of creamy coconut milk. They’re head and shoulders above anything you’d find in the store since they’re also free from artificial colors and you control the amount of sugar you add. Under the noon day sun, we think there’s no reason to not enjoy  one.

Consider these your prescriptions to survive the dog days of summer. Take with copious amounts of pool time, chill tunes and breezy conversation.

Do you have a favorite cool recipe? We’d love to hear about it!

Make your own preserves, with no sugar added!Written by Susan Thanavaro | Wednesday, June 19th, 2013

Oh, the delight of sinking your teeth into a buttery biscuit smeared with homemade jam.  Grandma (and maybe even mom) made it a tradition to preserve seasonal fruits so you could enjoy strawberries and peaches year round but in today’s go-go-go world, who can spare the time?  Well, with this done-in-a- snap recipe, you do! Beyond the lip-smacking delight of homemade preserves spread on well … anything, here are a few other reasons doing it yourself can’t be beat. Mango Preserves

 1.     Quality Control. We know exactly what fruit is going into our preserves (USDA Certified Organic of course) and exactly how much added sugar (none please!). If your family is as big a fan of jam as we are, these are two areas you’ll want to monitor. When you buy non-organic jam you can bet that in addition to the fruit listed on the label, each jar contains a host of pesticides. It’s also likely full of sugar since the sweetener is a natural preservative.  Because fruit is naturally sweet, we don’t think it needs much.

2.     Diversity. Craving plum preserves? How about mango or cranberry? They’re all within reach since many of our dried fruits can be used to easily prepare preserves that aren’t found anywhere else. Then the real fun begins—pairing and savoring. How about fig jam with brie on walnut toast points? It’s at your fingertips.

 3.     Cool points. Life just seems to come a little easier for some. Who doesn’t want to be in that crowd? Make your own preserves to earn instant wow-factor points and make your mark as a do-it-yourself gift giver. Jars can be paired with cheese and wine in a festive gift basket, or even better deliver a bag of your favorite Made In Nature Fruit and the below recipe. Now, that’s the gift that truly keeps giving.

Making your own preserves is as easy as 1, 2, 3–which you’ll see in the below video. We love these homemade mango preserves used as salmon topping or simply eaten as is. Enjoy!