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apple and pear nachos!

Apple and Pear Nachos

I have to admit...I've been eating terribly lately. Because I'm nursing, I'm hungry ALL THE TIME up until the minute I fall asleep. Which means you'll find me snacking on chips, nachos, crackers, and chocolate at 10pm and then falling asleep soon after. I try and tell myself I'm burning off the calories by feeding my baby, but that excuse only works for so long. So, we challenged ourselves to come up with a fun and filling snack that I could eat after dinner, yet has good fats and some protein to keep me full through bedtime.

And so we came up with these Apple and Pear Nachos as an update to those full-of-toppings and not-so-healthy nachos we know and love. Here are three fruity alternatives using apple and pear slices topped with dried fruits, nuts, and other fun little ingredients...

Apple and Pear Nachos

1. Granny Smith apples with marshmallow fluff, pomegranate seeds, chocolate chips, and granola. 

Apple and Pear Nachos

2. Asian pear slices topped with nutella, dried mango, coconut, and toffee. 

Apple and Pear Nachos

3. Bartlett pears with dulce de leche spread (from Trader Joe's), sliced almonds, white chocolate chips, and pecans.

Simply slice the fruit horizontally (cutting through the core), cut out the seeds, and top with whatever you like! Just like regular nachos, the fun part is in the combinations you come up with as toppings. We tried out alternates to peanut butter, but of course, you can use classic peanut butter or almond butter as a spread for more protein. 

What other ingredients would you guys top these with?

{Photos by Casey Brodley, production and styling by Julia Wester for Oh Joy}

candied apples!

Oh Joy Candy Apples

Oh Joy Candy Apples

With fall in full swing, we've been all about autumn treats lately. Pumpkin-everything, hot cocoa, and apples on sticks. Here's our version of the candied apple with a few our favorite toppings!

{Photos by Casey Brodley and styling by Julia Wester for Oh Joy. Fabric by Nani Iro from Shimgraphica.}

a farmer's market haul...

Farmer's Market Fruit on Waffles

Farmer's Market Fruit

Some people get excited about a makeup haul or clothes haul, but one of my favorite things to bring home is a big 'ole batch of the fruit from the farmer's market. This weekend, I found green figs, golden raspberries, and cherriums (a mix of cherry and plum), and I was in fruit heaven... 

What kind of summer gems have you guys found at your local markets?

{Photos by Casey Brodley and Styling by Julia Wester for Oh Joy}

mango chia seed pudding recipe...

Mango Chia Seed Pudding Recipe

Lately, I've been in a breakfast rut—especially on during the week. I find myself making Ruby's breakfast and heading to the office quickly without feeding myself. I've been searching for something healthy, yet filling, and Casey (our office manager) suggested one of her favorites—chia seed pudding. So we came up this mango version which is tasty, filling, really refreshing for summer (and actually really good for you). Have you guys tried chia seed pudding before? Today, we're sharing our version of the recipe with you. It's super easy to make and full of protein, calcium, fiber, and antioxidants...

Mango Chia Seed Pudding Recipe

Mango Chia Seed Pudding
(serves 2)

You'll need:

-1/2 cup coconut milk

-1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk

-1/3 cup chia seeds

-1 ripe mango, skinned and sliced

-optional toppings: fresh mango cubes, coconut flakes/toasted coconut, fresh pomegranate seeds, and almond slices

Here's how:

Blend the mango, coconut milk, and vanilla almond milk together until smooth. Stir in chia seeds, cover, and place in refrigerator. Let set for at least 1-2 hours. Then serve with toppings of choice (we like shredded coconut, almond slivers, pomegranate seeds, and mango cubes). Enjoy!

P.S. If you don't like coconut milk, you can use a full cup of almond milk instead.

{Photos by Casey Brodley for Oh Joy}

fruity summer striped ice cubes...

Oh Joy | Fruity Summer Striped Ice Cubes

Oh Joy | Fruity Summer Striped Ice Cubes

As summer approaches, I always find myself craving fresh fruit and juices of all kinds. I love smoothies, but it's not always possible to whip out the blender and make a fresh one whenever I want. So I decided to make these pretty (and practical) juice and smoothie ice cubes, which can be frozen and saved to have on hand anytime you need a juicy kick!

Oh Joy | Fruity Summer Striped Ice Cubes

They can be added to some sparkling water for a dose of fruit, or stored in the freezer so you can have smoothies on hand whenever you want some (just put a handful of the saved cubes in a cup and into the fridge the night before). Plus, they are so, so beautiful to look at in a pretty glass with a cute straw!

Oh Joy | Fruity Summer Striped Ice Cubes

Oh Joy | Fruity Summer Striped Ice Cubes

Here are some of my favorite combos and flavors to use, shown above:

JUICES: I used store-bought grapefruit juice, mango juice, limeade, and made some strawberry/beet juice.

SMOOTHIES: I combined kiwi, cucumber, mint and lime make for a beautiful green smoothie blend.

COCONUT MILK: I layered a lot of these cubes with coconut milk, which can be poured right from the can.

Simply add layers of pre-made juice, smoothies, and/or coconut milk (which I love for its color and for a creamy touch) to standard ice cube trays. I've even been adding veggies (like carrots, beets, and cucumbers) to my smoothie mixes for Ruby, to get her those extra vitamins whenever possible! 

What kinds of fruity ice cubes would you guys make?

{Photos: Julia Stotz. Art direction and concept: Oh Joy. Production Assistant: Michelle Tu.
This summer inspiration is brought to you by Target. Find more fun and surprises all season long on Target's #SummerUp Pinterest board. All content, ideas, and words are my own. Thanks for supporting these sponsors that allow me to create new and special content like this for Oh Joy.}

currently snacking on...

Candy-stripe-figs

Oh, California...how I love you and your magical fruit! The other day I found these candy stripe figs at our local grocery store and had to try them. In season for only three weeks a year, this variety of fig has flesh that looks like raspberry jam with a slightly tart and more juicy flavor than regular figs. And with its beautiful candy cane skin, it's probably one of the prettiest fruits I've ever seen...
Joy

{photo by Oh Joy}

{taste it} mango oranges...

Mango-oranges-1

One of the best things about living in Southern California is the incredible abundance of citrus fruit! The citrus season here not only lasts longer {from January through March at a minimum}, but the variety of options are pretty endless.

Mango-oranges-2

I'm a huge fan of blood oranges {especially moro}, pomelos, and Sumo tangerines. So this year, I was in search of a new breed of citrus to try out and discovered mango oranges after hearing about them from Greg. After stalking the produce guy at Whole Foods, I finally got my hands on some, and our dining table overflowed with oranges aplenty...

Mango-oranges-3

About the size of a small orange, mango oranges have a pretty pinkish hue to their flesh and taste a bit like an orange creamsicle...with a slight hint of vanilla and mango. It's on the sweet side...kind of like the meyer lemon of the orange world. They were fun to taste and would make a mean OJ lemonade mixed in with some sour lemons! Have you guys come across any other fun citrus hybrids lately you're loving? — Joy

{photos by Oh Joy}

currently snacking on...

Orange-smoothie

I was thinking the other day how you never really see a solely orange-based smoothie, and I missed that orange creamsicle-like flavor from one of my favorite stops at the mall, Orange Julius, as a kid. So, I sought out to recreate one with all natural ingredients, and it's since been my favorite treat this week. I combined one container of Chobani Champions Orange Vanilla yogurt {perfect size for making one smoothie!}, a Jolly Llama mango sorbet pop, and freshly squeezed orange juice in the blender {no ice needed because of the cold pop}...and voilà...orange creamsicle smoothie goodness! — Joy

{photos by Oh Joy}

juicy fruit...

Jolly-llama-sorbet-pops

Remember Push Ups from back in the day? I used to love those as a kid, but now for some reason, the artificial flavors don't seem quite as appetizing. Since I'm on a fruity kick lately, I'm seriously in love with these sorbet pops by Jolly Llama. The packaging is modern, the flavors are all nature, and the texture is silky and smooth...just like sorbet in a really easy to eat form. I bet kids would love 'em too. — Joy

{Available at local grocery stores here. Images by Jolly Llama.}

love these...

Claire-nereim-fruit-print-1 Claire-nereim-fruit-print-2

...winter and summer fruit prints by Claire Nereim... — Joy