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Vegan for the Holidays

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Vegetarians in Paradise
Ask Aunt Nettie

We're delighted to share our Aunt Nettie with you. Since 2009 Aunt Nettie has known people were struggling to stretch their dollars during the recession. So she focused her tasty recipes on low-cost ingredients that would still offer delicious, healthy, stick-to-the-ribs foods, yet were affordable.

With the economy improving and more people back at work, Aunt Nettie felt the time was right to ease up a bit on strict bargain-bin shopping and gussy up the menu with a few small splurges.

Aunt Nettie is still happy to answer questions that come her way, but what she loves most is offering seasonal fixin's that inspire her while shopping at the farm stand.

Howdy there darlin's,

Well, wouldn't ya know it, the 4th of July is a'comin' up mighty soon! I surely loves this holiday 'cause it's so full o' happy folk jes' ready fer some grand ole fun.

Actually, July 4th could be one o' my fave-rit' holidays! Ever since I was a young'un, I remember watchin' the fireworks like it was magic in the sky. There I was settin' up on my daddy's shoulders so I could see each an' every one o' them starbursts in the sky better 'n anybody in the park. An' jes like the l'il chile I was, I cried when it was over.

Now I'm surely not young any more, but I still love seein' fireworks in the sky and feel excited that July 4th is comin' mighty soon. What I r'member from a long way back when I was jes a l'il tot, was that the weather was so, so, so hot, all I wanted was somethin' nice 'n sweet an' cool ta drink.

Well, it didn't take me very long ta blend up some mighty fine fixin's jes perfect fer the July 4th celebration. I wanted ta share a glass o' nice chilled fruits blended up with some coconut milk an ice cubes.

Then ta give this l'il cooler a touch o' holiday spirit, I fancied it up with some plump blueberries an' strawberries a'settin' on top o' the glass. I think its mighty purty and purty darned deeeelicious, too!

Now, y'all let me know how ya likes it, ya hear?

Yer ever lovin' Aunt Nettie

Greet your July 4th guests with a rejuvenating beverage that starts the holiday celebration in grand style. Cooling, pleasantly sweetened, and fruity to the max, this delightful smoothie is the perfect way to welcome party guests on a hot, steamy July 4th or to simply treat yourself to a cooling refresher during the steamy hot weather.

For a large gathering, prepare several batches of the recipe and pour them into pitchers that can be chilled in advance.

July Fourth Fruit Smoothie


Yield: Makes about 4 cups, or 4 to 5 servings

    1 (13.5-ounce) can low-fat coconut milk (about 6 grams total fat)
    1/2 ripe peach, chopped
    1/2 ripe nectarine, chopped
    1/2 ripe apricot, chopped
    1/4 ripe plum, chopped
    1/4 cup maple syrup
    2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

    1 1/2 cups ice cubes

    4 to 5 skewers
    20 to 25 fresh blueberries
    8 to 10 fresh strawberries

  1. To make the smoothie, combine the coconut milk, peach, nectarine, apricot, plum, maple syrup, and lime juice in the blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Add the ice cubes and blend on high speed until they are incorporated and the smoothie is pleasantly chilled.
  3. Pour into glasses that hold about 6 to 8 ounces. Thread the skewers in the order that follows: 2 blueberries, 1 strawberry, 1 blueberry, 1 strawberry, 2 blueberries. Lay 1 skewer across the top of each serving and enjoy!

If You Haven't Met Aunt Nettie. . .

Our Aunt Nettie has a head like a hard disk. It's filled with megabytes of information about food and cooking. And she's just itchin' to share her learnin' with city folk who live in mortal fear of the stovetop.

Aunt Nettie grew up on the farm. She did not eat out of a can or reach into the freezer. There was no microwave to pop her food into. Everything she made was from scratch. All the food she ate was natural, without pesticides. It was grown right there on the family farm, and she had to cook to survive. At eighty-three years young she still leaps and bounds around the kitchen and can shake, rattle, and roll those pots and pans with the best of them.

Nowadays, Aunt Nettie just shakes her head and complains, "Nobody cooks anymore. They have no idea about puttin' a meal together." She's on a mission. She wants to help those younguns eat better so they can grow up healthy like her own eight kids.

Click here for past Ask Aunt Nettie Columns

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