Citrus Minted Melon

Citrus Minted Melon

This recipe is perfect for the heat of summer when crisp, sweet melon is paired with the cooling freshness of mint and mouthwatering effects of fresh lime.  I also love bringing this dish to a summer barbeque as a delicious, yet simple recipe.

I always have mint growing in the garden at this time of year.  The kids love running over and picking a leaf to munch on while playing outside. I enjoy watching them chew on the various herbs in the garden; mint being their favorite in addition to lemon balm.

Lemon balm is also in the mint family and would be a delicious addition to this dish along with lemon thyme.   Mint is cooling and helps with most stomachaches and can be invigorating to the brain in the essential oil form.  Lemon balm is relaxing to the nerves and perfect for unwinding after a long day in a glass of iced tea. All these herbs are easy to grow.  I recommend growing mint and lemon balm in a pot as they will take over your entire garden if given the opportunity.  I don’t mind having extra mint, so I let it roam at will in my garden.

Mint is one of those herbs that will root itself if you pick a sprig and put it in a vase.  I love mint also for flower arrangements in my summer bouquets.  It will last for a few weeks and by then will have rooted itself.  I often will send my guests home with a fresh bouquet of herbs from my garden so they can plant the mint, sage and rosemary in their gardens in a few weeks.  I especially love this because the plants I have now are ones that my mother originally planted in our garden when I was a child over 25 years ago.  It is so satisfying to send my friends home with a piece of my family history.

How do you pick out a great watermelon? My mom and Kansas-born father taught me how to pick out a good watermelon.  You want the watermelon to sound snappy when you slap it.  It will sound resonant and crisp versus a flat thud.  This is because a ripe, crisp watermelon has tight cells that hold in the juice of the melon.  If the watermelon is overripe the cells will start to degrade and get mushy therefore giving you that flat thud sound. I like to hold the watermelon in both hands.  Then with one hand I slap the melon and see if I get that resonant and crisp snappy sound and feel the vibration that travels through the tight, crisp cells to the other hand.  If it sounds dull and my other hand doesn’t feel a strong vibration I know I have an overripe melon.

Watermelon is rich in a phytonutrient called lycopene.  Lycopene is particularly important in cardiovascular health and some budding research has shown that lycopene may also be important in bone health.  In addition to lycopene,  watermelon has a rich source of an amino acid called citruline.  Citruline can be converted in our kidneys and other organ systems into arginine, which is particularly important in dilation of blood vessels, important in cardiovascular health.  Watermelon holds a power punch of Vitamin C, phenolic antioxidants and flavonoids to boot.  So sit back and create your summer memories with a crisp, sweet, minty and citrus rich bowl of watermelon.


8 cups of watermelon, cut into cubes
2 large sprigs of mint, stems removed and thinly sliced
1 lime, juiced
Optional: vanilla salt or a dash of sea salt to contrast the sweetness and to draw the flavors of the fruit forward

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients. Gently combine the mint and lime with the watermelon by scraping the sides of the bowl and turning the ingredients inward and repeat several more times until ingredients are well combined.
  2. Serve in a shallow clear, white or green serving bowl if you have one to allow the mint and bright red color of the watermelon to stand out.  No worries of you do not of course.


Blueberry Popsicles

Blueberry Popsicles

Today we made some blueberry popsicles.  Luca has a sore throat and was requesting that we make some.  I literally made them in 2 minutes while the kids were in the stroller ready to get some fresh air during our morning walk.  I love blueberries because they are rich in bioflavonoids that are great for lowering inflammation that comes with a  sore throat.  I also love them in the form of an icy popsicle.

Bioflavanoids give blueberries their deep purple color.  In addition to lowering inflammation in the body, I use bioflavonoids for the following: to strengthen blood vessels preventing them from rupturing or leaking such as in varicose veins, hemorrhoids and heart disease; as an antioxidant preventing cells from excessive damage and for enhancing the power of Vitamin C.

A nice little tip about blueberries I love to share with people is that when they are frozen their cells burst and release the bioflavonoids that are so beneficial to health.  This release of bioflavonoids make them easier for you to absorb, especially if you struggle with digestion.  Anther quick tip, if you do not have a high powered blender at home, just freeze your kale ahead of time.  Freezing the greens will burst the cells just like frozen blueberries.  The cells will burst and will blend smoothly rather than having fibrous pieces of kale in the popsicle.


3 cups frozen blueberries or frozen fruit of your choice
3 cups rice milk or milk of your choice
2 cups packed spinach or kale

  1. In a high powered blender, combine all ingredients and blend until smooth.
  2. Pour liquid into popsicle containers and freeze approximately 5 hours.
Amaranth Pudding

Amaranth Pudding

I love to make amaranth for a quick breakfast or dessert.  Amaranth is a gluten free whole grain that is native to Peru and was used extensively by the Aztecs.  According to the Whole Grains Council, amaranth has one of the highest protein contents among grains as well as being rich in minerals such as calcium, magnesium, potassium and iron.  I suggest amaranth to my patients for its rich source of protein to help with blood sugar control and as a good gluten free alternative.  I like to use organic canned coconut milk to make it more like a rich pudding after the amaranth has been cooked.  I suggest this to parents when their children need to gain weight or for prevention of weight loss in patients with such diseases as cancer.  To make a lighter version, just use light organic canned coconut milk or any other milk alternative such as almond, rice or hemp.


Serves: 4

2 1/2 cups water
1 cup amaranth
1 cup canned coconut milk
3 medjool dates, pitted
fresh berries, apples, pears, nuts, seeds or unsweetened shredded coconut to garnish

  1. In a medium covered saucepan, bring the water and amaranth to a boil then reduce to simmer.  Simmer for 15 minutes or until the amaranth has absorbed the liquid.  Remove from heat.
  2. In a blender, combine the coconut milk and medjool dates and blend until smooth.
  3. Pour the blended coconut milk into the amaranth and combine until evenly blended.
  4. Garnish with the desired fruit, nuts,seeds or shredded coconut and serve.
Honey and Cinnamon Baked Pears

Honey and Cinnamon Baked Pears

This is a delicious and nutritious dessert.  It only takes a few minutes to prepare to boot!   The cinnamon is warming and great for blood sugar and digestion.  I leave the peel on the pears for extra fiber and texture.  If you have difficulty with yogurt, I like to substitute with a nut butter like cashew or macadamia.  For baby food, I would leave out the honey and just bake a ripe pear with a little cinnamon and orange juice.  I made this for Etta and she loved it!

Serves: 4

4 ripe Danjou pears, destemmed, cut in half and cored
4 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons cinnamon
4 Tablespoons lemon juice, fresh squeezed
½ cup orange juice

  1. Preheat oven to 350 ⁰ F.  In a 9×13 baking dish, place pears face down.
  2. In a small mixing bowl combine the honey, cinnamon and lemon and orange juice and mix until evenly blended.  Pour over the pears and bake for 25-30 minutes or until the pears are tender.
  3. Serve face up with a dollop of Greek yogurt and honey and some raw walnuts.
Tony’s Perfect Protein Smoothie

Tony’s Perfect Protein Smoothie

In honor of my husbands birthday, I wanted to share one of the recipes he makes for me most mornings.  In addition to being a fast and delicious breakfast, smoothies can pack a powerful nutrient punch. I like to add chia seeds for their great source of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, fiber, and protein.  If  you have a child or adult in the family that needs to gain weight, substitute canned coconut milk  for the rice milk.  Also, add avocado and more nut or seed butter to increase healthy fat to the shake.  Add other greens such as kale, Swiss chard and beet greens for a good source of iron, calcium, magnesium and Vitamin K.  If you have a high powered blender, put fresh greens directly into the blender after rinsing.  If you do not, just rinse the greens, dry them on a towel, chop them into 1 inch stripes and freeze.  Freezing the greens will cause the cells to expand and burst open, allowing for the greens to blend into a fine powder and also allows you to access the nutrients within the greens much easier.  I also like to add nutritional yeast or Brewer’s yeast buds for a great source of B vitamins and minerals.  Nutritional yeast is an excellent source of Vitamin B12 for those individuals who do not eat meat.


Serving size: approximately 3 cups

1 1/2 cups unsweetened rice milk
1/2 cup frozen blueberries or mixed berries
1/2 bananna
1 cup packed fresh spinach
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1 tablespoon nut or seed butter of your choice
1 teaspoon nutritional yeast or brewers yeast buds if on hand

Blend all ingredients until smooth and serve.