Quick and Easy Ways to Enjoy the Season’s Best Produce

<b>Quick and Easy Ways to Enjoy the Season’s Best Produce</b>“></td>
<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – You’ve read the articles, seen the news stories — you know that cooking from scratch means feeding your family healthier, less expensive meals. But when you’ve just left the office and need to get home so you can drive the kids to soccer practice, opening a few jars, much less turning out a gourmet meal, seems impossible.

Creating quick, healthy meals at home might be easier than you think. The right equipment can certainly speed things up. For example, one blender, the Vitamix 5200, is so powerful that it can liquefy whole fruits and vegetables, including their peels and seeds, in seconds.

Those using the Vitamix 5200 (www.vitamix.com) can make homemade smoothies, sauces, pestos, hummus and soups in minutes, so convenience is no longer an excuse for choosing the drive-thru. And while high-end blenders aren’t inexpensive, they will eventually pay for themselves, as families stop buying jarred tomato sauce and canned soup — even peanut butter and mayonnaise.

As fresh, seasonal produce hits farmer’s markets, families should take advantage of the naturally delicious food available. Try serving a whole-wheat pasta with Pesto Sauce, followed by a healthy Peach Sorbet for dessert. If you don’t have a Vitamix, you can still make the recipes using a blender or food processor.

Pesto Sauce

Makes 1 1/2 cups (enough for one pound of pasta)

1/2 cup olive oil

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

3 medium garlic cloves

2 cups fresh basil leaves

3 tablespoons pine nuts

salt and pepper, to taste

Place all of the ingredients, except for salt and pepper, into the Vitamix container in the order listed and secure lid. Select Variable 1. Turn on the machine and quickly increase the speed to Variable 7. Blend for 1 minute, using the tamper to press the ingredients into the blades.

Peach Sorbet

Makes three cups

3 fresh peaches, ripe, halved, pitted

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

3/4 cup sugar

4 cups ice cubes

Place all of the ingredients into the Vitamix in the order listed and secure lid. Select Variable 1. Turn the machine on and quickly increase the speed to Variable 10, then to High. Blend for 30 seconds. The sound of the motor will change and four mounds should form. Stop the machine. Do not overmix or melting will occur. Serve immediately.

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