Wednesday, June 15, 2022

How to Make a Tempting Red, White, and Blue Dessert


Red, White, and Blue Berry Combo

Want to learn how to make a tempting red, white, and blue dessert that’s perfect for July 4th, your next picnic, or summer potluck?


Put together this delicious, nutritious strawberry, blueberry, and coconut dessert to celebrate a national holiday or any day you crave a colorful, tasty treat.

Buy in-season, locally grown produce. This is an easy way to find strawberries and blueberries that are at the peak of their flavor and eye-appeal. 

In-season fruit and veggies are usually the ones on sale. If you have a green thumb, grow your own.


You're sure to see smiles on the faces of family and friends with this three ingredient recipe. It's a snap to assemble, so just follow the steps below.


1 Quart Organic Strawberries or about 16 oz. of berries that are hulled (see below)


1 Quart Organic Blueberries or about 16 oz., washed in cool water


1 Cup unsweetened shredded coconut (either fine or coarsely shredded)

What to do:

1. Wash and hull strawberries by doing the following:

a. Angle a small sharp knife and cut, in a circular motion, around the green leafy top of the strawberry and into the pale flesh directly underneath, being careful to remove core (hull) and discard, but not a lot of the flesh of the strawberry. 

Hulled Strawberries at Colors 4 Health

b. Then wash strawberries thoroughly in cold water before using.

2. Wash blueberries. Place them in a medium-sized glass bowl and mix them together with strawberries.

3. Sprinkle the berries with coconut flakes. Insert serving spoons into bowl and place on your picnic table. 

For a more formal touch, portion mixture out into individual dessert dishes or cocktail glasses.

Strawberries and blueberries contain many healthful elements. They are high in vitamin C and 
phytonutrients and have no cholesterol. 

The Environmental Working Group names conventionally grown strawberries as the number 1 offender on the 2022 "Dirty Dozen Produce List."

For more details about blueberry and strawberry health benefits read 6 Colorful Summer Fruit Superstars.

Healthy, Colorful, and Delicious Summer Berries

Shredded coconut adds a festive touch to this treat and provides fiber, iron, and healthy fat that satisfies and staves off hunger.

Isn't it amazing how simple and appealing a red, white, and blue dessert can be?

Please enter your comments in the section below.

What is your go-to picnic dessert? Is it watermelon? Sure hope you'll try this berry combo instead. If you make it, please let us know.

No links in comments please, as they won't be published that way. Thanks for understanding.

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Wednesday, June 1, 2022

Make the Best Tomato Gazpacho Soup


Best Tomato Gazpacho Soup
best tomato gazpacho soup with basil garnish

Tomato gazpacho is a Spanish style soup, preferably made from juicy in-season tomatoes, cucumbers, garlic and red onion, red bell peppers, and tasty condiments, herbs, and spices. 

Discover how easy, colorful, delicious, and healthy it is to put together this raw vegan soup. It works wonders to cool you down on a hot summer day. 

Gazpacho's main ingredients (tomatoes, red bell peppers, and cucumbers) are packed with fiber and water, and are high in nutrients including Vitamin A, C, and E.

Tomatoes and red peppers are colorful and contain lycopene and beta-carotene, powerful antioxidants that are found in brightly colored fruits and vegetables. 

These antioxidants play a vital role in detoxifying and removing free radicals from the blood system and body tissue.

The color red stimulates energy and helps you feel excitement, passion, courage, and love. Tomato gazpacho is a red-hued soup that's good to eat, when you feel stuck in a rut, lack enthusiasm, and want motivation to act.

Gazpacho recipes traditionally include olive oil. If you don’t add oil or extra salt to my recipe, it still tastes yummy.

Leaving these ingredients out will help you combat water retention, hydrate skin, and make you feel full and not bloated. An added bonus is tomato gazpacho is low in calories.

How to Make the Best Tomato Gazpacho Soup


4 large organic ripe plum, beefsteak, or heirloom tomatoes (about 2 pounds) unpeeled, and chunked

2 cups low sodium tomato or tomato veggie juice (I like the organic kind that's sold in glass jars) 

1 English cucumber or 2 or 3 Kirby cucumbers scrubbed but unpeeled, and chunked

1 large or 2 small organic red peppers washed and prepped (seeds and core removed) and red pepper cut in chunks

1 organic red onion peeled and cut in quarters

3 cloves peeled garlic

1/2 cup fresh basil, 1/4 cup fresh parsley

1/4 cup lemon juice or red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar  or combo of vinegar and lemon juice 

fresh ground black pepper to taste

Optional ingredients (to taste): Sriracha or Tabasco sauce, chopped jalapeno pepper (seeds removed), or red pepper flakes. 


1. Cut vegetables into chunks and put them and other ingredients into a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Pulse until soup ingredients are coarsely chopped. Do not over-process. If the bowl of your food processor is small, chop ingredients in batches.

2. Pour soup into a large glass bowl, cover, and refrigerate until ready to serve or for at least four hours. 

3. Ladle the soup into bowls or highball glasses.  

4. Garnish with beansavocado slices, jicama slices, parsley or basil, pine nuts, or croutons made from chunks of toasted day old bread. 

tomato gazpacho with jicama and red onion garnish
tomato gazpacho with jicama and red onion garnish

This recipe serves four. It is a light, refreshing soup, but becomes more filling, when served with a hummus or tempeh salad sandwich, or cornbread, or olive bruschetta for dipping and slurping.

Gazpacho’s flavorful ingredients meld, when chilled before serving. Gazpacho can also be served warm, but can be an especially lively pick-me-up when served chilled on a sweltering day. 

The veggies in this soup tend to get soggy after a few days. If this happens, blend soup again until it is a liquid and drink it that way. 

Have you made tomato gazpacho in the past and how did it come out? If you've never made it, does this simple to make recipe inspire you?

I'm delighted I had the opportunity to share my non-fat rendition of Tomato Gazpacho Soup to show you how easy and slimming it is to cut out the oil without sacrificing the flavor.

Please leave a comment below with questions, ideas, or your tips about making gazpacho soup. I read and appreciate every one.

Please don't put links in your comment, as I won't be able to publish it that way.

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Thanks so much for the visit and have a colorful day!

Signature line at Colors 4 Health

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Sunday, May 15, 2022

Summertime and Reading is Easy and Awesome


If you're making vacation plans for this summer, or prefer to relax close to home, this post shows you why summer reading is an awesome way to self-care and refresh yourself. 

Books can carry you on amazing journeys, increase self-awareness, and provide insights about the human condition.

Books may shift thinking, and help you exercise your mind. Studies show when you make reading a habit, it helps improve memory and gives your brain a work out.

Why not feast your eyes on the pages of a book set in a place you’d love to see? 

Perhaps your forte is reading cozy mysteries or thrillers for entertainment. 

Romance and fantasy novels may be your cup of tea, and you get totally immersed in bigger than life situations or alternate realities. * 

Each of us relishes reading certain genres or favorite author's' works. Summer is an awesome time to peruse those books we consider "guilty pleasures."

Some books may help us recall and reminisce about a person we've read about, whether they be non-fiction or fiction.

This may be the season we're able to improve our outlook by listening to an audio-book about topics we want to understand better.

To stimulate imagination look at the quotations that follow. Which one puts you in the mood to read more this summer? πŸ“š

Quotations about Books and Reading 

"The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more you learn, the more places you'll go." ~ Dr. Seuss


“Let us dance in the sun, wearing wild flowers in our hair...” ~Susan Polis Schutz


“Bees do have a smell, you know, and if they don't they should, for their feet are dusted with spices from a million flowers.” ~Ray BradburyDandelion Wine


“Come with me,' Mom says. To the library. Books and summertime go together.” ~Lisa Schroeder, I Heart You, You Haunt Me

"I was the kid who read a lot and who was academic, and who was more of an indoor person than an outdoor person. I would win the summer reading contest at the library." ~ Julianne Moore

“They are embossed on every song that was a hit that summer, in every novel I read during and after his stay, on anything from the smell of rosemary on hot days to the frantic rattle of the cicadas in the afternoon—smells and sounds I’d grown up with and known every year of my life until then but that had suddenly turned on me and acquired an inflection forever colored by the events of that summer.” ~AndrΓ© Aciman, Call Me by Your Name

“Books are a uniquely portable magic." ~ Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the  Craft

Reading tastes vary, yet most summer reading is light-hearted and amusing.

Look below for links to help you choose books for summertime enjoyment:

 New York Times Bestseller List

See the Indie Reader for book reviews, articles about independent publishing, and book news roundup.

If you enjoy motivational and goal setting topics, see this Essential Health and Wellness List for inspiration.

Want a celebrity recommendation? Look at The Complete List of All 95 Books Chosen for Oprah’s Book Club

Like Psychological Thrillers? See these eBooks at BookBub

Borrow eBooks, audiobooks, magazines, and more from your local library for free! Libby is the library reading app by OverDrive, loved by millions of readers worldwide.

Check out "A Fun Summer Reading Challenge for Adults," from Book Blogger Julianne a/k/a Jules Buono

See 50 Summer Books from Goodreads' Shelves

What books would you like to read this summer? Do memoirs, historical fiction, essays, poems, or short stories fascinate you?

Can you devote an afternoon or evening each week to curl up with a book, eBook reader, tablet, laptop, or audiobook? 

Please comment below in the space provided. 

How do you decide which books you'll read this summer? 

Do you have a favorite author or use a recommendation from a friend, newsletter, website, book blog, or other source of book information including the library?

I'd love to know.

I appreciate feedback, questions, and social shares about this and my other posts. Please reach out to me.

I also wonder if you're curious about the books I want to read this summer. 

I may do another post with my reading list, if there is enough interest.

When you leave a comment, please don't put links in it or I won't be able to publish it. Thanks for understanding. πŸ“š

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Sunday, May 1, 2022

Why I Adore Eating Bananas

 Banana Nutrition Info, Banana Recipes

I adore eating bananas, because they supply a host of health benefits, wear eye-catching bright yellow peels, and taste delicious any way they are served.

Fresh bananas are one of the world's most popular fruits and can be purchased year-round. 

In the U.S., each person eats, on average, 13.4 pounds (6 kilograms) of bananas per year. 

A 2021 survey reveals bananas are the most widely purchased fruit among U.S. consumers.

Look below and see why I adore eating bananas and simple, healthy ways to serve them.

Bananas are loaded with nutrients including potassium and vitamin B6. 

"One large banana is about 8- to 9-inches long and equal to one serving of fruit. It has about 120 calories and 490 milligrams of potassium. That’s 19% of a woman’s daily potassium needs and 15% of a man’s. 

Potassium can remove sodium from the human body and relax blood vessel walls, which helps manage blood pressure. 

Bananas are also a good source of vitamin B6, which is essential for the immune system, nervous system, and brain."

Bananas contain 8% of the DV of magnesium, another mineral that’s important for heart health.Trusted Trusted Source

Magnesium deficiency may be linked to an increased risk of heart disease, elevated blood pressure, and high levels of fats in the blood. 

Bananas are also a good source of prebiotics. Those are the carbs you don’t digest, but they’re a food source for the more-popular probiotics. Probiotics help support health promoting bacteria found in your gut. 

Probiotics can help reduce diarrhea people get after they take some antibiotics, reduce yeast and urinary tract infections (UTIs), treat some gastrointestinal infections, and ease irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

Bananas are economical even in organic form, making them a thrifty fruit choice to add to meals and snacks.

Banana Nutrition and Recipe Ideas

Bananas are versatile, and their pleasing aroma, flavor, and texture makes banana recipes shine.

This golden yellow fruit is the color of sunshine and its color energy perks up mind, body, and spirit with increased optimism. 

A banana's golden yellow wrapper serves as an on-the-go care package for those who travel away from home. 

It's convenient to take a banana to work, school, the gym, or whenever you need a healthful, portable pick me up.

Look below for easy banana recipes 

and delicious serving suggestions

First up is a recipe for Homemade Baked Banana Chips from Laura at MOMables. Her video and post  shows how to make a simple yet scrumptious banana snack the whole family will love. 

Next up is Mel, the creator of A Virtual Vegan who shares her recipe for Vegan Banana Smoothie. If you want a gluten free version, make sure the oats you use are labelled gluten-free.

Next is a serving suggestion from yours truly that's easy, colorful, and nutritious. Two of my favorite kinds of fruit (organic bananas and organic raspberries) are placed on a platter, and topped with a sprig of mint to create a luscious dessert.

Banana and Raspberry Dessert at Colors 4 Health

The finale is 

Dreamy Vegan Banana Smoothie 
by Nancy Andres

Dreamy Vegan Banana Smoothie Recipe from Nancy Andres

I love to cool off with a thick, creamy banana smoothie, especially on a sultry summer day. 

When I notice I have extra ripe bananas (those dappled with spots) hanging on the banana rack, I cut bananas into 1/4 in. round slices and place the bounty into one or two airtight glass jars or glass storage containers. 

I mark them with masking tape tags- “frozen bananas” and add the date I saved them. Then I pop them in the freezer for up to a month, to use later in smoothies.   

I live sustainably and one of my mottos is "waste not."  

Need a quick breakfast or a healthy snack? Reach for a container of frozen bananas, and make this fun recipe soon.

Dreamy Vegan Banana Smoothie tastes refreshing when made with frozen bananas, but you can use unfrozen ripe bananas in a pinch. 

Frozen bananas help to chill the smoothie and make it extra thick and creamy, similar to a milkshake. 

If you use fresh bananas, you may want to blend in a few ice cubes to chill the smoothie.


1 cup ¼ in. round sliced frozen bananas (approx. 1 large banana)

½ cup unsweetened coconut, soy, or almond yogurt

½ cup unsweetened coconut, almond, or soy milk

¼ real vanilla or almond extract (if you use vanilla or almond flavored yogurt omit the extract)

Optional ingredients: 1 teaspoon almond or cashew butter, sprinkle of chia or flax seeds, and fresh pineapple, mango, strawberries or melon, etc.


What to do:

1. Assemble a lg. banana with other ingredients (layer) and place in the bowl of a blender. Blend on high speed until this drink is the consistency you enjoy. 

2. If some items stick together, turn off blender and remove the glass bowl from the base. Give the ingredients a swirl. Then, blend until smooth, adding more milk if needed to reach desired consistency.

3. Pour into a chilled glass and add a cinnamon stick, sprig of fresh mint, or slice of lime or lemon if desired.

This recipe serves 1 thirsty person and is best if used immediately.

To make multiple smoothies for family and friends, it's wise to make one smoothie at a time. 🍌

Did you know and understand these interesting details about bananas? Which information is new to you?

What reasons do you have for eating bananas?

Do you have a favorite way to eat or drink bananas?

Please explain in the comments section below.

I read and appreciate every comment. Just please don't put links in your comments, as I can't publish them that way. Thanks for understanding.

Want to make a blogger's day? Comments sure do that! So leave a comment here then visit the other bloggers mentioned in this post and give them a πŸ‘ andπŸ’– too.
This post is intended for information and entertainment purposes only and is not intended as medical advice. Consult with a health provider for that.

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