Let’s kick things off here by just admitting that I feel so very blessed to live in close proximity to Nino Salvaggio in St. Clair Shores. I have been visiting Nino Salvaggio’s for as long as I can remember. My mom used to go shopping here all the time and my mind was always blown by the beautiful, colorful fruit and vegetable displays there. It is sort of like a work of art… an installation of the prettiest produce your eyes have seen. Nino Salvaggio takes pride in the products that they sell, and it shows! This store is absolutely stunning and you can see that they pay attention to detail.

Today I will also be sharing a recipe for an exotic fruit smoothie bowl that I created with passion fruit and guava. Passion fruit is one of my favorite fruits and I love the sweet and sour taste of it. Guava is another favorite exotic fruit of mine and I don’t get a chance to enjoy it very often. I could not resist buying one from Nino Salvaggio.

Produce section of Nino Salvaggio - Isn't it just spectacular?
Produce section of Nino Salvaggio – Isn’t it just spectacular?

About Nino Salvaggio

Nino Salvaggio is the go-to place in the area if you want some perfect and flawless ingredients in your food. It’s not just fruits and veggies though! Nino Salvaggio also has a deli and meat counter. They also have a great little grocery section with some very cool, unusual ingredients. And you just have to see the gorgeous bakery at Nino Salvaggio. I get my chocolate cassata birthday cake from Nino Salvaggio every single year. And speaking of birthdays, mine is next month and I will be enjoying that cake soon! Yippee!

Nino Salvaggio has four convenient locations in Michigan to serve you. They are located in St. Clair Shores, Troy, Clinton Township, and Bloomfield Township. You can find out more about Nino Salvaggio and their mission HERE. This is a store that is highly committed to providing high quality foods.

I visited Nino Salvaggio this past weekend to pick up some exotic fruits. I knew ahead of time that I wanted to pick up a couple passion fruits (one of my all-time favorite fruits). The dilemma was that I really was not quite sure what I wanted to combine it with for my smoothie bowl. Then I saw the guava and I knew that would pair well with the passion fruit so I took home one of those.

Gorgeous produce at Nino Salvaggio's
Gorgeous produce at Nino Salvaggio’s

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Exotic fruits that intrigued me at Nino Salvaggio International Marketplace

The exotic fruits section at Nino Salvaggio is the most interesting place to shop, for me anyway! This is the spot in the store where you can get brave and muster up the strength to try something new!

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Passion Fruit

So this is the fruit that I was really going after with my trip to Nino Salvaggio. Passion fruit just might be one of my all-time favorite fruits to chow down on. With the passion fruit, you get the wonderful combination of sweet & sour. If you don’t like the texture of tapioca you probably won’t like this. It does, to me, have a tapioca texture. It is slimy and seedy but the taste blows my mind. Using this as the star of my smoothie bowl was a wise choice!

Passion fruit is a nutrient-dense fruit that has a great amount of Vitamin C in it and it is great for the immune system. The passion fruit also has some fiber, Vitamin A, potassium, and a bit of iron. It is a small fruit and contains around 17 calories per serving. You can learn all about the health benefits of the passion fruit HERE.

Passion Fruit at Nino Salvaggio International Marketplace
Passion Fruit at Nino Salvaggio International Marketplace

Guava

Guava is the second fruit that I ended up going with for my smoothie bowl. These guavas are oh so yummy but they are pricey! I only took home one small guava. One turned out to be just enough for the flavor that I was going after.

As far as nutrition goes with the guava fruit, you are going to find some antioxidants, Vitamin C, fiber, and beta carotene in the fruit. There are 8 wonderful health benefits of the guava fruit and you can feed your brain with knowledge over here.

Guava at Nino Salvaggio International Marketplace
Guava at Nino Salvaggio International Marketplace

Rambutan

Now here is an interesting piece of fruit! This is a rambutan and it sort of reminds me of lychee fruit. I was really tempted to get more of these but the steep price deterred me and I only purchased one! Me and my daughter, Chloe, split the rambutan in half and we each tried a small piece. It definitely does have a taste reminiscent of lychee. The flesh was soft and also reminded me of grapes. I would give this a whirl again. We really enjoyed the experience of trying this unique fruit.

Rambutan fruit at Nino Salvaggio International Marketplace
Rambutan fruit at Nino Salvaggio International Marketplace
Rambutan fruit from Nino Salvaggio
Rambutan fruit from Nino Salvaggio

Quince

Quince is a new-to-me fruit too. Never ever had one in my life had quince! These tart fruits are grown in Chile and you can eat them raw, but it is advised to cook these if you want the best flavor to come through.

Quince at Nino Salvaggio International Marketplace
Quince at Nino Salvaggio International Marketplace

Ya Ya Pear

The ya ya pear is a pear that originates from China. This white pear’s flavor can best be described as a cross between a rose and a pineapple. The ya ya pear is crisp and sweet, but not overly sweet. Just the right amount of sweetness!

Yaya Pear at Nino Salvaggio International Marketplace
Yaya Pear at Nino Salvaggio International Marketplace

Passion Fruit / Guava Smoothie Bowl RECIPE

For this Passion Fruit/ Guava smoothie bowl I used two frozen bananas, two passion fruits, one guava, coconut milk, chia seeds, and coconut flakes. This tropical smoothie bowl makes a fantastic treat for breakfast!

Passion Fruit & Guava Smoothie Bowl

Want a smoothie bowl with exotic flavor? 

Give this tropical passion fruit and guava smoothie bowl a whirl!

  • 2 Bananas (Frozen)
  • 1/4 cup Full fat coconut milk
  • 2 Passion Fruit
  • 1 Guava
  • 2 tbsp Coconut flakes
  • 1 tbsp Chia seeds
  1. Place two frozen bananas, 1 passion fruit, 1 guava, and 1/4 cup of coconut milk in the blender. Use your smoothie mode if your blender has one.

  2. Once blended up pour the smoothie mixture into a large bowl. Soup bowls work well. 

  3. Top your smoothie bowl with some shredded coconut flake and chia seeds. And now you can use your other passion fruit to top the smoothie.

  4. Eat and enjoy! Hope you love it!


Fruits that I used in my Passion Fruit & Guava Smoothie Bowl
Fruits that I used in my Passion Fruit & Guava Smoothie Bowl
Close-up of the passion fruit and the guava
Close-up of the passion fruit and the guava
Passion Fruit & Guava Smoothie Bowl topped with coconut and black chia seeds
Passion Fruit & Guava Smoothie Bowl topped with coconut and black chia seeds
Passion Fruit & Guava Smoothie Bowl
A spoonful of Passion Fruit & Guava Smoothie Bowl
Passion Fruit & Guava Smoothie Bowl
TALK ABOUT YUM! Passion Fruit & Guava Smoothie Bowl


Final thoughts

Sounds strange (maybe??) but I sure do get excited about taking a little trip to my favorite fruit & veggie store- Nino Salvaggio! If you are looking for top-notch produce you will find whatever it is you are looking for at Nino Salvaggio. Definitely make sure you visit the exotic fruit section of the store. What you need to do next is get brave and try some of these unusual fruits and vegetables. My blog is all about trying new things and eating with an open mind. I hope this inspires you to eat with an open mind. There is an entire universe full of unusual food and it is just waiting for you to give it a whirl!

Question time! Have you ever been to Nino Salvaggio? Leave me a comment and let me know what you think about this incredible place to shop!

 

Find out more about Nino Salvaggio

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THIS POST CONTAINS AFFILIATE LINKS. I DO RECEIVE A SMALL COMMISSION IF ITEMS ARE PURCHASED THROUGH THESE LINKS (no extra cost to you). ALL OPINIONS STATED HERE ARE MY OWN.


Surround Yourself With Squash & Gourds- Tried It Out Tuesday (Dumpling & Buttercup Squash)

Have you ever gone on a squash adventure? No? Neither have I until this past weekend when I went to Nino Salvaggio International Marketplace in St. Clair Shores, MI looking for something interesting to try this week for Tried It Out Tuesday. We ended up taking home four different types of squash. In this post I will be discussing the dumpling squash and the buttercup squash that we tried.

I have written about this place before and I love going here on a fun little foodie adventure when I have a small wad of cash to blow. Some girls spend their dollars getting hair & nails done or buying trendy new clothes. Not me, not this girl right here! My family enjoys being adventurous eaters so when we have a little extra cash we like to treat ourselves to something delicious and tasty.

There is a whole world of squash out there in the universe just waiting to be discovered by you!

When you eat with an open mind you allow yourself the chance to experience new foods, new flavors. I went to Nino’s with no clear plan. I just wanted to go in there and walk out with something that I have never tried and experienced.

A little bit about Nino Salvaggio’s

Nino Salvaggio’s is a great local place that is chockful of interesting fruits and vegetables right at your fingertips. They currently have 3 locations with another added location in the works. I live closest to the smaller, St Clair Shores location, and believe it or not I have been going to this little store my whole entire life. On weekends I remember my mom taking us out to fruit markets to stock up on produce. We would go to Randazzo’s on Gratiot in Roseville and we would go to Nino’s in St Clair Shores. Honestly, I absolutely hated going to these stores when I was growing up. I thought it was boring and I would get a bit antsy and impatient and want to leave.

Look at me now! I am all grown up and going shopping for food is always the highlight of my days and I look forward to it. I just can’t seem to get enough of it.

Nino’s is bustling with people on the weekend and for good reason! They have the most beautiful displays of fresh produce that I have ever witnessed. They are super picky about what gets put out on the display for purchase, and they only put out the best of the best.

I will be writing frequently about my shopping experiences there. Other than Eastern Market, this is my go-to place for interesting eats. If you live in the area of Nino Salvaggio’s I highly recommend taking a little trip there to see what you can stock up on. There is always something new and interesting there to feed the senses.

My little haul of unusual squash

Squash that I bought at Nino Salvaggio's
Squash that I purchased at Nino Salvaggio’s: Dumpling Squash, Buttercup, Hubbard, and Sweet Potato Squash

I am a huge fan of summertime in Michigan. I pretty love and cherish most things about summer here, minus the god-awful humidity. I do enjoy a good barbeque feast on the weekends and I do love the food during the summer BUT my favorite foods are all autumn related. I love a good, filling bowl of soup on a cold day. I love a thick & hearty stew. I enjoy eating pumpkin flavored desserts. Just last year I recently discovered that I am also a huge fan of squash. The first squash I fell in love with last year was the butternut squash. I pureed it and made some paleo soup with it and topped it with a coconut milk drizzle. And then next up I ventured into trying out acorn squash. I remember serving it as a side dish with a maple syrup drizzle on it.

So this year I was up for the challenge of taking home some new-to-me squash. Nino Salvaggio’s had a grand display of squash, pumpkins, and gourds out in the front of the store. I grabbed a shopping cart and starting asking Google a bunch of questions on my phone about these squash I was about to purchase. I filled up my cart with four varieties: dumpling squash, buttercup squash, sweet potato squash, and an orange hubbard squash. I had a general idea on what I was going to do with them. Maple syrup always goes well with roasted squash so I got myself a bottle of pure Michigan maple syrup.

I did not even step foot into the store and I already had my mind made up on what I was going to take home… SQUASH and lots of it!

My daughter, Chloe, was scoping out the heirloom pumpkins and observing them in amazement. She fell in love with a tall white pumpkin that you can see in the photo below.

I also had to rummage through the basket of decorative gourds and bring home a few of them. We enjoyed looking at how unique each and every one of them was.

Dumpling Squash at Nino Salvaggio's International Marketplace
Dumpling Squash at Nino Salvaggio’s International Marketplace
Buttercup Squash at Nino Salvaggio's International Marketplace
Buttercup Squash at Nino Salvaggio’s International Marketplace

Continue reading “Surround Yourself With Squash & Gourds- Tried It Out Tuesday (Dumpling & Buttercup Squash)”

Family Of 3 Weekend Foodie Adventure – Part One

My husband has a new work schedule which clears his Fridays and Saturdays for family togetherness time. The last two days were full of fun and there were so many cooking/baking frenzies happening over her in the Give It A Whirl Girl kitchen! My family gets so much pleasure a food-filled weekend. This will be an ongoing series of our weekend adventures. More to come soon! Our two days together kicked off on Friday morning with some Unicorn French Toast. I have a major weakness for paleo-friendly French toast. I am always brainstorming some new ways to prepare it. It actually might just be “paleo-ish” and “healthy-ish” because I just had to add a sprinkling of candy sprinkles on there… another major weakness of mine. This was a total blast to make for breakfast and even more fun to sit down, eat, and enjoy it! I think this was next-level French toast because for this batch I made a vanilla custard batter to dip & soak the bread slices in.

Chloe and I at the Dotty Wotty House
Chillin on the steps

Unicorn French Toast for breakfast! YUMMY

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Unicorn French Toast
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Unicorn French Toast

Miles Cake & Candy Supply

Later on that day (Friday) I had my husband chauffeur me to the baking supply shop in Clinton Township~ Miles Cake & Candy Supply. I used to visit this store often when I made resin jewelry. I would shop there for sprinkles to preserve in the resin. Now that phase of life is done and over with and I am buying these things for actual baking! I went there with the intention of purchasing a donut pan and I did score a nice pan from Wilton. It is a six cavity mold so you end up with a half-dozen of baked donuts.

Miles Cake And Candy Supply
rainbow sprinkles galore!

Milestone Grill Restaurant

Friday evening we were looking for a new place to dine at. We found a coupon for a restaurant in Eastpointe, MI I and it was the Milestone Grill.  Our meals there were quite disappointing if I am going to be blunt about it. I ordered some baked whitefish with a cup of lobster bisque. When I see lobster bisque as an option I do get quite giddy and excited about it. Oh man… my soup came out and I then discovered (and I am certain of this) that it was FAUX LOBSTER! You know, like the fake crab stick meat. Yeah. Ugh. I recently ordered lobster biqsue at Nino Salvaggio’s and that soup was chockful of big lobster meat pieces. That bowl of soup there was just divine. The soup at Milestone Grill was a major letdown.

My baked whitefish was just ok to me. Pretty bland if you ask me and also my steamed vegetables looked quite dull. Joe had some chicken fajitas. When you order fajitas you expect Spanish rice. They served the fajitas with a RICE PILAF with peas and carrots in it. What???

Rochester Mills Milkshake Stout

I do have one nice remark about that place… my beer was great! I ordered a Rochester Mills Milkshake Stout. Boy, was it ever good! I have tried their other beers in the past and they never disappoint. Any kind of stout with a dessert-like flavor is right up my alley of the tasty department… wink wink!

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Rochester Mills Beer Co. Milkshake Stout

Homemade chocolate donuts with the Wilton Donut Pan

Saturday started off with me whipping out my new Wilton donut pan. I could not wait to use it. I found a recipe at Elana’s Pantry and used that for inspo. So shoutout to Elana’s Pantry for the amazing recipe.

The recipe called for four eggs. I only had two eggs to work with so I ended up making my own “egg”. Did you know that you can use chia seeds in place of eggs in a recipe? You need 1 tablespoon of chia seeds for each egg. You add three tablespoons of water to that and let it soak for a bit.

If you ever had a devil’s food Entenmann’s donut these sure did resemble that as far as the taste goes. The great thing about these donuts for me is that they are gluten-free. I used coconut flour to make them. I am pretty fond of coconut flour being used in recipes. I think it injects a great flavor into the final product. I used a generous scoop of LivFit Cacao Powder in the donuts. Cacao powder is an incredible superfood with some wonderful health benefits so I am excited to use it in my recipes.

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Paleo (minus the sprinkles) Chocolate Donuts
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Paleo (minus the sprinkles) Chocolate Donuts

Taking my Thunderbird Bars to Eastern Market in Detroit

The remainder of our Saturday was all planned out to head down to the city (Detroit) to go check out Eastern Market. I packed up my camera bag and brought along some of my Thunderbird Bars for the journey. I also had some of the ThunderKids Bars so I brought that along for my daughter, Chloe. It was our first time trying them and they were simply delicious. They offer a great line of bars with healthy and nutritious ingredients… real food! Their flavor combinations are quite unique. They are also filling. They are perfect for fueling your next adventure. I look forward to trying out the rest of my sampler pack.

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Thunderbird Bar – Pineapple Mango Papaya
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Thunderbird Bar for kids – Chocolate chip cookie

MooTown Creamery

We always love to visit MooTown Creamery during a visit to Eastern Market. I ordered a Maple Bourbon scoop, which I believe was paleo! How often do you find options like that at an ice-cream shop? I was so excited to see that and I was very pleased with the taste! Two thumbs up!

Eastern Market veggie haul!

After our ice-cream pitstop, we went to the sheds to look for some gorgeous fruits and veggies. Eastern Market is the place to be if you want great deals on great foods! You can check out my awesome haul in the photo below. I am most excited about those purple carrots. I was hoping to find them there and I scored a batch. I am going to serve them as a side dish with an herbed ghee sirloin steak.

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Eastern Market produce haul
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Could not pass up this mushroom blend… YUM
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Joe and Chloe

One of my favorite places to go! Heidelberg Project in Detroit

We always make it a priority to stop at the Heidelberg Project during our Detroit day-trips. Tyree Guyton is constantly adding to this outdoor art installation. It truly is something that everyone should witness at least once in their lifetime.

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Homemade from-scratch PIZZA!

It was a long day that made me feel a bit tired when I arrived home but I was bound and determined to make my family a couple made-from-scratch gluten-free pizzas. I had a bag of Bob’s Red Mill Pizza Crust Mix and it was simple and easy to use.

I also love to make my own sauce. I use Muir Glen tomato sauce and Muir Glen Tomato Paste to make a nice, zesty sauce. I used my pizza seasoning packet that I picked up at Eastern Market. Spice Miser made the seasoning and it was a great blend! I would have never thought to add anise and rosemary to my pizza sauce but it gave it a great flavor and it was the best pizza sauce I have made to date.

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My family of 3 ate both 12 inch pizzas with one last slice leftover. We were too stuffed to eat that lone piece. Making a from-scratch pizza is a long process that requires dedication and time. It sure is rewarding though to sit down and enjoy your kitchen creation. To me, a homemade pizza is edible art!

My daughter, Chloe, also helped me make this pizza. It was her first time helping out with a pizza. I am spending more and more time with her in the kitchen. I see her passion for cooking and baking and it warms my heart and soul. She is my little foodie sidekick. For an 8-year-old child she has experienced a vast array of foods. She eats with an open mind and I am so proud of her! She currently wants to become a pastry chef. We owe that all to the Netflix show, Sugar Rush. We love watching that show together. She also loves Nailed It but we watched every episode of that already. She loves the show so much that she told me it is her birthday wish for me to make it onto the show. That would totally be a dream come true!

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Homemade gluten-free pizza
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Homemade gluten-free pizza

Carrot Cake Donuts

It is currently Sunday morning and I started the day off with a bang in the kitchen. I made some carrot cake donuts but my glaze was too thin. I can assure you that they were tasty because I ate two of them. I used one of my purple carrots to top the donuts and it really does look like chopped bacon! This recipe was inspired by Paleo Hacks. They are a great resource for paleo recipes.

Paleo Carrot Cake Donut with Purple Carrots

Maranatha Almond Butter Fruit-Loaded Toast

Last but not least, Chloe had a piece of toast with some chocolate Maranatha almond butter on it. I also added some strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries to it.  She is a big fan of toast like this. I know avocado toast is all the rage these days but for her it is berries, berries, and more berries!

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I always love to crank out a great Sunday dinner but I have not made up my mind yet. It is either going to be an orange duck or sirloin steaks.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Wow! What a long post! If you made it this far, thank you so much for reading. I truly appreciate and love all of my readers. I am hoping to make this blog into something so fantastic someday. It is baby steps all of the way there. Thanks to all who are holding my hand to get to that destination with this blog. XOXO

 

THIS POST CONTAINS AFFILIATE LINKS. I DO RECEIVE A SMALL COMMISSION IF ITEMS ARE PURCHASED THROUGH THESE LINKS (no extra cost to you). ALL OPINIONS STATED HERE ARE MY OWN.


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