Champagne Grapes

I first saw Champagne Grapes mentioned in a YouTube video and my initial thought was “champagne grapes??” Well, when I went to Walmart I noticed they had a few packages but for a hefty price tag …. $4. I love grapes, but I was not paying $4 for one pound of grapes I had never tried before.  So when I went to Trader Joe’s, I was surprised to see them there as well … for $2 a one pound pack.  So I picked them up.
I have to say these are adorable little grapes. They remind me of the old fashion pictures and commercials where someone is lounging on a lounge chair, being fanned having grapes held over their head for consumption.  There is nothing alcoholic about these grapes and these grapes aren’t even used to make wine.  From what I gather they’re given that name because they are photographed (alongside a champagne flute) because of their dainty, perfect cluster size.
They taste like very sweet grapes.  They are very small … smaller than a blueberry.  The grapes are rather fragile, so you have to take your time pulling them off the stem or they will burst between your fingertips.  Plus, they’re a great, different way of getting your fruit in.
Have you ever tried champagne grapes or even cotton candy grapes?

Blueberry Strawberry Overnight Oats

I have become obsessed with overnight oats. I love, love, LOVE them!  I made strawberry banana overnight oats with plain fat free Greek yogurt the first time but this time around I decided to experiment. I only had flavored yogurts in the house, so I opted to use those.  I found since the flavored yogurt I use is thicker, ¼ cup oats was just enough along with the fresh fruit. If I added anymore, I think it would’ve been a little too chunky for my liking.  I actually enjoyed this combination so much I recreated it using vanilla Greek yogurt.
Serves 1. 4 Points Plus Values.
          Dannon Light and Fit Greek Blends – Banana Cream (single serve) OR Yoplait  Greek 100 Calories – Vanilla (single serve)
          ¼ cup oats
          1/3 cup fresh blueberries
          3 strawberries, chopped
Add yogurt to a bowl and mix in oatmeal. When blended, add in fruit and mix so fruit is coated.
Cover with a lid or plastic wrap and allow mixture to sit in the refrigerator for a minimum of 6-hours (or overnight).

Convenience Food: Prepared Fruit Salad

So many people say “Who would pay $4.99 for a bowl of cut up fruit?”  Well …this girl!  Why? Because if it’s cut up and prepared, I’m going to reach for it in my refrigerator.  If it’s a whole cantaloupe on my counter top … I may just let it sit there long enough that it goes bad and I have to throw it away and in turn reach for a bag of chips or 100 calorie pack cookies.
I pay out of pocket for convenience because convenience really is helpful in my day to day life.  If an item is available at my fingertips I am undoubtedly going to make a better choice – even subconsciously. I’ll be honest, I don’t always buy prepared fruit cut up and ready to go – I do buy whole watermelons, cantaloupes and pineapples but typically they sit around before I cut them up.
As a human, I open the refrigerator and gaze into the fridge, my eyes scanning to see something that catches my eye.  My apples, nectarines and grapes are in the fruit draw so they are typically out of sight. I have to go looking for those.  There can be temptations in my fridge (cake, leftover pizza, etc) but if I see a nice bowl of mixed fruit salad, the colors are going to snag my eye and I’m going to leave the kitchen without a second thought or glance.  So yes, I will pay $5 for a container of fruit.  Some won’t, some will – but it all depends on what makes things easier for you and what you like taste wise.

Trader Joe’s Soft & Juicy Mango

I’ve heard a lot of people raving about Trader Joe’s line of dried fruits so on my last Trader Joe’s trip I decided to just take a quick (and I mean quick I didn’t even really scan all the shelves) peak at some of the items.  I spotted two different bags of dried mango and decided to pick up the Trader Joe’s Soft & Juicy Mango.
I know, I know, dried fruit has so much more sugar than the regular fruit – but I feel as though there are certain instances where if it’s something you like, something you enjoy and something you don’t mind splurging on once in a while it’s worth it.  In this case, dried mango is worth it for me.  Why? Because I don’t eat it all the time, it’s a once in a while type of food I have and enjoy.  Even though I do eat mangos, dried mango is just so different, particularly because of the texture.
The Trader Joe’s mango reminded me of the Philippine Brand of natural dried mango I purchase at my local wholesale club every once in a while.  Deciding to open it up and give it a try, I was quite happy with the flavor, texture and taste of the mango.  It truly reminded me of the Philippine Brand although it’s a little bit softer, stickier (because of the less sugary coating on the outside) and it tastes so much fresher.  It’s quite affordable as well $1.69 for a 6 oz bag.  I believe the bag I occasionally purchase at my wholesale club houses 30 ounces, but is $10 for the bag.
A ¼ cup serving (35g) serving is 3 points plus values.
Do you have a favorite dried fruit you’d recommend I try?

Chocolate Peanut Butter, Banana, Cherry, Strawberry & Almond Milk Smoothie

This is one of my delicious smoothies I created on a whim and am just not getting around to post about it.  One great thing with me is when I’m in the mood for a smoothie; whatever I have in the kitchen (fridge, freezer and countertops) is fair game as long as it’s not saturated in sugar sauces.  Sometimes I swap out the liquid for almond milk, skim milk or just plain water.  It really depends on how pointy I want to keep the smoothie at.  Other times I add in a yogurt along with my fruit (this usually entails adding cinnamon) and water.
This is one of the most delicious smoothies I had made and the greatest part is it was only 2 points plus values!  It had a perfect chocolate peanut buttery taste along with that rich, fresh taste you get from fruit.  It was delicious and incredibly filling.
Here’s what I used to make it:
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
6 ice cubes
2 tbsp chocolate PB2
1 Banana,
4 Strawberries
3 frozen cherries
1 Equal packet

Trader Joe’s: Dilettante Fruit Medley

While at Trader Joe’s I spotted these Dilettante Fruit Medley chocolate covered fruits.  The container contained cherries, strawberries, apricots and blueberries covered in chocolate with a mild coating on the outside to keep the chocolate from melting.  Chocolate covered fruit?  Hello, welcome to my shopping basket!  Sure, it’s a bit expensive (I believe they’re $4.99/5.99) but they are SO delicious.  I looked up the brand online and found it’s sold online for a lot more than what Trader Joe’s was selling it for, so no complaining from me!
One of the greatest part is the serving size – you get 7 pieces and it translates to being only 5 Weight Watchers Points Plus.  Not bad at all because you get a fabulous tasting snack.  The cherries and apricots are probably my favorite flavor. I will say the blueberries were rather lacking in the container.
The candies within the chocolate are almost a version of a dried fruit, but not dry and hard – kind of in between.  The chocolate is nice and mild.  The only downside is they can be completely addicting.
Have you ever tried the Dilettante Fruit Medley from Trader Joe’s?

Honeybell Tangelo’s from Florida!

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I ordered 4 trays of Honeybell Tangelos from a Ridge Island Grove in Florida back in November.  Honeybells are only available for sale in January because that’s when they are at their peak of freshness.  I cannot stress how much these oranges are seriously the BEST orange I have had in my LIFE! They’re a cross between an orange and tangerine. Typically they’re seedless but once in a while you do find a seed or two in an orange.
The skin is a little tougher than regular oranges and they are a little loose around the orange as the skin is with tangerines.  The oranges are SUPER juicy and quite delicious.  The only downside is I bought so much (I paid like $60 for the bushel) figuring it was the cheapest option that now I have SO many oranges lying around.  I was going to sell a tray to my aunt (because last time I bought 2 trays people kept taking them from me) and this year no one wants any. Pfft!!  I may try to make some fresh squeezed orange juice out of some of these.  Nommers!
Have you ever tried Honeybell Tangelos?

Healthy Chocolate Covered Strawberries

Who knew having chocolate covered strawberries for breakfast would not only be healthy BUT delicious at the same time?  I certainly wasn’t sure how it was going to turn out, but I’m glad I tried it because it was delicious!

I started off by putting a teaspoon of baking cocoa powder in a sandwich baggie.  I added in a sprinkle of cinnamon and 1/2 a packet of Equal.  I mixed it together – then washed my strawberries, dried them just a tad, then cut them into pieces and added those pieces into my sandwich baggie with the cocoa mixture.

I sealed the bag shut and shook it up — the powdered ingredients easily covering the strawberries.  I then dropped them into a bowl and ate as a side to my breakfast (ham sandwich on wheat).  The strawberries were delicious!  The cocoa turned a little wet so it wasn’t dry and ready to choke me at any minute.  Some of the strawberries as they sat in the bowl got very chocolatey.  Sinfully delicious!

This was 0 Points Plus Values since the teaspoon of cocoa powder was 0 pts — and strawberries are free under the plan.