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Thursday, February 6, 2014

Triple Berry White Chocolate Smoothie starts with Driscoll's farm fresh berries

Photo/Recipe by Vicki Arsenault
I was so excited on Christmas to find a brand new Ninja blender under the tree! I could hardly wait to try out all my favorite smoothies.

When it comes to smoothies, most have a common ingredient. Fruit. And for me - fruit is a must to every great smoothie. Fresh, red ripe, sweet strawberries are the start of all my favorites. But whether I’m using just strawberries or a variety of berries, one name that is on almost all the berries in my refrigerator is Driscoll’s

Most people probably don’t think smoothies when planning meals or snacks. But if you want to get your family on board with getting more fruits and vegetables into their day - you may want to rethink the smoothie.

A recent survey sponsored by Driscoll’s - a family owned business for over a 100 years - revealed 97 percent of those surveyed, indulge in between-meal nibbling. Three fourths of those say they should be making healthier snack choices. People who snack between the hours of 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. reach for fruit, according to the survey.


Driscoll’s works with independent farmers to produce the highest quality, premium berries in the world. Whether you reach for a hand full of fresh fruit for that afternoon pick-me-up or get your healthy snack in a creamy, fresh and fruity smoothie - be sure to hit the grocery aisle and pick up a variety of fresh wholesome Driscoll berries. 

You'll get all these nutrients from Driscoll's Berry Farm fresh berries. And if you want to add even more nutrition don’t be afraid to throw in a little protein powder or flax seed.


Strawberries: Vitamin C; potassium; fiber; iron; protein
Raspberries: Fiber; vitamin C; iron; calcium; protein,
Blueberries: Antioxidant protections; vitamin C, A; iron
What’s not to love!


Triple Berry White Chocolate Smoothie


INGREDIENTS
2 cups Driscoll's strawberries
Photo by Vicki Arsenault
8-oz package Driscoll's red raspberries
1 cup Driscoll's blueberries
2 cups Vanilla Almond milk
1 cup Nestle White Chocolate chips


DIRECTIONS
Rinse and cut strawberries into quarters - enough strawberries to make 2 cups. If using medium or small berries only cut into halves. Rinse and drain the raspberries and blueberries. Pat dry and place berries (in separate containers) into freezer. Berries should be completely froze, a couple hours should be fine. To save time, berries can be prepared the day before and frozen for future use. You should remove the berries from the freezer about a half hour before using so that the berries are not sticking together. Use can use a knife to gently separate large clumps.

Measure out 1 cup of the white chocolate chips (do not freeze) and 2 cups of cold Vanilla Almond milk.

Using a high powered blender (as I stated above, I love the Ninja - works fantastic for a very well blended Smoothie) pour 1 cup of the Vanilla Almond milk and white chocolate chips in blender. Add half of each container of berries and blend until you have small chunks. Add remaining Vanilla Almond milk and berries and blend until completely smooth. During the final blending process, you may want to stop about halfway and using a spatula, push down any large chunks of berries.
Pour Smoothie into serving glasses, garnish and serve. For this recipe I garnished with red raspberries and 2 tablespoons of melted white chocolate chips drizzled over the top.


Thinking about Valentine’s Day - this recipe, provided by Driscoll’s is straight from the “Heart”.
In just 20 minutes you can treat your “Sweetie” to the perfect pair for Valentine’s Day - fruit and chocolate!


Chocolate Covered Strawberries with Sprinkles


Chocolate Covered Strawberries with Sprinkles.
Photo/Recipe courtesy of Driscoll.
INGREDIENTS
1 package (16 ounces) Driscoll's Long Stem Strawberries, if available
6 ounces semisweet chocolate (chips, chunks or chopped bar chocolate)
1 package (2.5 ounces) Sprinkles


DIRECTIONS
Rinse and dry the strawberries. Make sure you dry them well with a soft cloth. You do not want water on the berries when you dip them in chocolate.
Melting the Chocolate
Melting chocolate is a delicate but simple task that requires constant attention. Chocolate can burn quite easily, so it's important to melt at a low temperature, be patient and follow the right steps to ensure a bowl of smooth melted chocolate for dipping.
There are two trusted methods for melting chocolate: stovetop and microwave. The method you choose depends on your preference and comfort level, but you'll end up with the same result.
Stovetop
To melt chocolate on the stovetop, place chocolate in a double boiler over simmering water. If you do not have a double boiler, place a glass or metal bowl of chocolate over a pot of barely simmering water. The gentle steam from the hot water will slowly melt the chocolate while you stir constantly to help the chocolate melt evenly. Don't let any water from the pot get into the chocolate as the water will cause it to clump and "seize", not melting properly.
Microwave
To melt regular chocolate in the microwave, place chocolate in a glass bowl and microwave semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate at medium (50%) power for 1 minute then stir and continue to microwave at medium (50%)power in 30 second intervals, stirring each time, until melted and smooth. The total time will depend on how much chocolate you are melting but should only be a couple minutes.
Dipping the Berries
Line a baking sheet with wax paper, parchment paper or aluminum foil. Place sprinkles in a shallow bowl or small plate right beside the baking sheet.
Hold berries by their stem or calyx (green leaves) and dip in bowl of melted chocolate, swirling until coated as much as you like. Gently shake off excess chocolate. Immediately dip chocolate covered berry in sprinkles. Place berry on prepared baking sheet to set. Repeat with remaining berries.
Place baking sheet of chocolate-covered berries in refrigerator to set for about 15 to 30 minutes. If leaving berries in refrigerator longer than 1 hour, condensation may occur.
Chocolate-covered berries are best served the day they are made. Chocolate will hold up at room temperature for about 2 hours, depending on the temperature where they are being served. If you need to store overnight, do so in the refrigerator and let berries sit at room temperature about 30 minutes before serving.

Thank you to Driscoll's for providing the berries for my recipe.

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