Don't Man-handle that Melon! How to Check if your Summer Fruit is Ripe.

 Fresh, Ripe Summer Melons from your Farmer's Market!!

Fresh, Ripe Summer Melons from your Farmer's Market!!

Do you ever find yourself at the grocery store or farmer's market squeezing and sniffing all the fruit because you have no idea how to tell if those melons are ripe?! Then the produce guy starts giving you the glare so just quickly drop some melons in your cart. Well I'm here to help you tell how your summer fruit is ripe without man-handling the melons. ;) The best way to get fresh fruit is to head to your local farmer's market. Not only will you be supporting your local farmers, you'll be getting some of the best quality fruit because it hasn't been pick before it's ripe in order to travel hundreds of miles. 

1) Pineapple

I live in Hawaii so of course I'm going to talk about pineapple! You've never tasted anything as delicious as pineapple grown in Hawaii. It's sweet and tart at the same time and you don't even care when the juice drips down your chin! So how to tell if it's ripe you ask. The whole pineapple should be golden brown with a sweet scent. If you still see some green and there's no scent it's not ripe yet.

2) Cantaloupe

Cantaloupes are one of the harder fruits to tell ripeness. The best ways to check a cantaloupe are by touch, smell, and weight. If you press the stem it should give a little, it should smell sweet and fragrant, and it should feel heavy in your hand. 

3) Watermelon 

What would summer be without a juicy slice of watermelon?! Watermelons should be hollow when knocked on, but the easiest way to check is by color. A ripe watermelon will have a yellow spot on it somewhere when it's ready to eat. 

4) Mangoes

There are many different varieties and colors of mangoes so the only way to really tell if they're ripe is by touch. Mangoes should give a little when gently squeezed. Remember no man-handling people! ;) 

So Get out there and Eat Some Fruit!! 

Summer has some of the best fruit from mangoes and pineapple to strawberries and blueberries to peaches and apricots. Each have their own excellent nutritional values. So get out there, enjoy summer, and eat some ripe, local fruit! 

Chocolate Pumpkin Oatmeal Bake

When you're craving a donut or sweet breakfast treat, but don't want all that processed sugar, try this delicious, refined sugar-free, chocolate pumpkin oatmeal bake. It will fix your sweet tooth and give you a healthy boost to start your day off right!! 

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup Gluten-free Oats
  • 2 T Pumpkin Puree (not pumpkin pie filling, just the pumpkin puree)
  • 2 T Unsweetened Applesauce
  • 1.5 T Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • 1/4 c Unsweeted Almond Milk or Regular Milk
  • 1.5 T Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1/8-1/4 Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/4t Baking Powder
  • 1.8 t Sea Salt

Toppings:

  • Raw Honey
  • Berries or any fruit will do
  • Almond or Peanut Butter
  • Get creative with it! 

 

What Nourishes You?

When we hear the word nourish we usually think of healthy food, but nourishment is more than just food; it’s what feeds our soul. It’s also important to note that according to dictionary.com nourish is a verb. Nourish is defined as:

  1. to sustain with food or nutriment; supply with what is necessary for life, health, and growth.
  2. to cherish, foster, keep alive, etc.
  3. to strengthen, build up, or promote

There’s no right and wrong when it comes to what nourishes you. But you do have to take the time to get quiet and listen to your heart. Quiet all the outside voices and expectations and listen to your heart, your intuition. Find out what makes your heart soar; what gets you up in the morning ready to take on another manic Monday!

Then when you find what truly nourishes you mind, body, and soul you have to take action. You have to make healthy choices that help you grow, feel alive, and make you happy!

I’ll share with you a few things that nourish me:

  • laughing with friends and being goofy while living in the moment
  • eating fresh, local food 
  • a challenging workout that makes me sweat
  • traveling to new and exciting places
  • a glass of red wine after a long day

My challenge for you is to find what nourishes you and take action today!

St. Patty's Day Pop-up Farm to Table Dinner

When: Tuesday, March 15, 2016
Where: 1821 W. Hubbard Street
Time: 6:30pm - 9:00pm

Join me for a St. Patty’s Day themed 4 course meal paired with hand-crafted cocktails. A whimsical foodie event with quirky designs elements to tickle the senses! Support local while celebrating the Luck of the Irish and you might just win a pot of gold...each guest will leave with a unique gift!

All sponsors are local chicago start-ups and entrepreneurs. A portion of each ticket will go to Culinary Care, an excellent non-profit in Chicago that delivers free meals to cancer patients and their families.

Chefmade
I'm collaborating with Sarah Arel, founder of Chefmade, to create a four-course meal paired with hand-crafted cocktails around a St. Patty's Day theme. There may be a cotton candy machine involved with green Irish cream flavoring.

Flowers for Dreams
Locally crafted flower arrangements. 1/4th of their profits are donated to local charities every month.

Chicago Candle Factory
CCF is a start-up company that recycles liquor bottles from Chicago bars to create organic soy candles.

Bow Truss Roasters
Quality Chicago-based specialty coffee roaster.

Willa Organic Vodka
A super premium alcohol distilled from organic Italian grain, and blended with the glacial waters of the Nantucket Aquafir.

CH Distillery
Spirits distilled from Illinois grain in Chicago's West Loop. 

Traveling in Costa Rica

I love traveling to new places. It allows me to immerse myself in a new culture and experience things with a whole new perspective. I was blessed to visit a friend and past wellness client in Costa Rica this past Spring 2015. Words can not describe the peace, love, and happiness I felt while in Costa Rica.

Here you see a floating bridge from the Selvetura Cloud Forest Park in Monteverde. Walking along that bridge, swaying in the mist of clouds, was magical. I was lucky to go at a time when no one else was around. As I stood on that bridge I felt at peace. I was able to hear my voice as the noise of the world fell away. I will never forget the gorgeous views, the sounds of the forest, and the feeling of true peace.

At the Don Juan Coffee Plantation in Monteverde, I’m sporting a basket that’s still used today to hand pick coffee berries. I am a serious coffee snob so I was in love! Don Juan is a small plantation that picks their berries by hand, does not use chemicals, and they also grow cocoa trees for chocolate. The farm has been in the family for generations. I was amazed to learn that an entire coffee tree only produces 1Ib of coffee beans! So you can imagine the amount of trees needed to supply the world with it’s serious caffeine addiction! I left with several bags of whole coffee beans and several chocolate bars. My favorite was the dark chocolate infused with hot chilies!

An amazing sunset I captured as the sun was just about to drop beneath the mountains. The image does not do it justice. The colors were gorgeous, the cloud formations were from a fairytale, and I could have sat there all night.

I encourage each and every one of you to travel and see the world, even if it’s just the next town over. It’s important to stretch your knowledge of people, places, and cultures. Traveling allows you to open your mind, open your heart, and feed your soul.

“We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us”
-anonymous

Holiday Cookies & Cocktails Mixer

When: Tuesday, December 17, 2015
Where: Catalyst Ranch, 656 W Randolph St.
Time: 7:00pm - 9:00pm

Join Kim Ready at the Catalyst Ranch for a night of holiday cheer. Come mingle and munch on Holiday goodies while sipping local craft cocktails. Leave with a beautiful hand-crafted box of holiday treats to give as a gift, share with friends and family, or devour shamelessly all by yourself! 
 
Support local Chicago bakeries and local distilleries during the Holiday Season!