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Why Fruit & Vegetable Bouquets Are Better Than Flowers

To eat, or not to eat – that is the question… Easily answered!

Apples, strawberry, oranges, peaches, grapes, broccoli, cauliflower, this may seem like a grocery list but it’s actually some florists’ favorite edible items to include in bouquets! These edible bouquets make truly magnificent gifts, both delicious and beautiful. It’s hard to find anyone who can remain indifferent to such an extraordinary surprise.

It takes an experienced florist with immaculate taste to create a balanced edible composition. From picking just the right market-fresh fruit and vegetables and matching tastes and colors, to decorating with fragrant herbs, the whole process from beginning to end usually takes several hours.

Like so many other things that are gaining popularity today, this is an example of a modern spin on an old favorite. Edible bouquets and displays appear in art as early as the 2nd century CE in Rome, but love for them really began to bloom during the 15th and 16th centuries, particularly in Europe. They could be a sign of wealth, love, and friendship, and they were the go-to gift for any festive occasion because they could both decorate the party and feed tired hosts afterward. Now, vegetable arrangements, fruit bouquets, and even herbs are starting to replace flowers at every occasion, even weddings! Like flowers, each vegetable, fruit, and herb, has a symbolic meaning; for example, mint represents wisdom and refreshment, and lavender stands for devotion and love. It’s also pretty easy to imagine that a bouquet including either one would smell incredible!

So, what is so special about fruit & veggie bouquets, and why this trend is becoming so popular? We’ve broken down the benefits of these tasty gifts and given you 3 main reasons why you should choose an edible bouquet over traditional flowers for your next special occasion:

  • Unique Gift That’s Impressive in Any Size

Traditional flowers are lovely, but even timeless gifts can be boring. Adding fruits and vegetables to flowers, or making a totally edible bouquet is a great way to add more variety to a gift they’ve seen before. Nobody expects to receive an arrangement with strawberries, apples, and exotic fruit mixed with fresh roses, but when they do it will be a big hit!

  • A Bouquet You Can Actually Eat

An edible arrangement is not only aesthetically pleasing, but also a very practical gift that, as the name suggests, is as good on a plate as it is on display (but please don’t eat the package even if it looks inviting). After several days of enjoying a unique composition, you don’t have to throw it away with remorse but can easily turn it into lunch for the whole family! Every arrangement is a rigorous combination of certain ingredients that allows you to prepare an unforgettable meal. Fresh salad, delicious smoothies, or heartwarming soups are just a few ways your loved ones can enjoy experimenting with their non-traditional bouquet.

  • Fresh & Healthy

Both fruit and vegetable bouquets are made from the freshest ingredients, picked from local fresh markets. Each arrangement is a little burst of vitamins that will fill your family and friends with energy, good calories, and a positive attitude. Such mood and health boosters are especially welcome during cold months when you need to support a family member who is sick, surprise your vegan or vegetarian friends, or simply light up your special someone’s day.

As you can see, we think edible bouquets made of fruits, vegetables, and herbs are a special, hearty gift for your loved ones. So, the next time you’re thinking about sending flowers in a bouquet, consider something they can really sink their teeth into instead.

Back to School: Easy Russian Recipes for Your Kid’s Lunch

On September 1st, kids of all ages in Russia are going back to school. Which means it’s time to share some authentic Russian recipes that are perfect for your little one’s lunchbox. These 3 sweet recipes are not only very popular in Russia, but also easy to make, healthy, and absolutely delicious!

Let’s start with a Russian dessert called Zapekanka. To give you a hint about the taste, it’s often referred to as Russian cheesecake made with cottage cheese. Easily overlooked, cottage cheese provides many health benefits, including a high protein, significant calcium, phosphorus, and potassium. Dishes containing cottage cheese usually have a delicate texture and taste and are quite popular in Russian cuisine. Zapekanka is one of the simplest and most delicious among them. Try it yourself!

Russian dessert recipe

Zapekanka – Russian Cheesecake (Cottage cheese casserole)

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Yield: 5 Servings

What you need:

  • 1 Pound (or about 500 gr) cottage cheese
  • 4 Eggs
  • 7 Tablespoon sugar
  • 2 Tablespoon sour cream
  • 2 Heaping tablespoons starch
  • Vanilla to taste
  • 1 Tablespoon softened butter
  • Raisins (optional)

Step 1

In a large bowl whisk together cottage cheese, egg yolks, sugar, sour cream, starch, and vanilla.

Step 2

Whisk egg whites in a separate bowl.

Step 3

Add egg whites to the cottage cheese, and whisk the entire mass with a spoon.

Step 4

If you want, add some dried fruit (e.g raisins) in the mix.

Step 5

Put the mixture into a baking pan. To prevent the cheesecake from sticking to the pan, place about a tablespoon of softened butter on a paper towel and coat the bottom and sides of the pan first.

Step 6

Preheat the oven to 350 F (180 C) and bake for about 30 min, or until the center is set. Serve hot or cold as is, or with sour cream on the side.

Apple Charlotte Ingredients

The next recipe is Sharlotka, or Apple Charlotte, and it probably the most popular Russian sweet cake. It is famous for being simple, affordable, and quick. Every mother in Russia knows that if she needs to fix something quickly for the kids with minimum ingredients, Apple Charlotte is the way to go. Since it only takes 20 minutes to prepare, and about 40 min to bake, Sharlotka will be a hit not only with your little ones but with anyone with a sweet tooth.

Russian Charlotte Apple Cake (Sharlotka)

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes
Yield: 12 Servings

What you need:

  • 4 Large eggs
  • 1 Cup sugar
  • 1 Cup flour
  • 3 Large or 4 medium sized apples (any tarter variety e.g Granny Smith will do)
  • 1 Tablespoon oil or butter (to grease the baking tray)
  • 1 Pinch of salt

Step 1

In a large bowl beat the eggs until frothy.

Step 2

Gradually add sugar and salt. Keep beating the mixture until all the sugar is dissolved.

Step 3

Add flour and mix thoroughly.

Step 4

Wash apples, cut out the core, peel the skin off if desired and slice into 3-4 mm pieces.

Step 5

Add apples to the batter and mix.

Step 6

Grease the baking tray with butter (It is better to use a cake mold with a hole in the middle). Pour the batter into the baking tray.

Step 7

Preheat the oven to 350 F (180 C) and bake in the middle of the oven for 35-45 min. Insert a toothpick in the center of the cake; if it comes out clean, then the cake is ready. Serve hot or cold.

Homemade Kompot

Our last recipe is a homemade Russian juice called Kompot. Russians of all ages really enjoy this healthy alternative to soda and other sugary drinks. We’re betting it will become your little one’s favorite. Unlike freshly squeezed juices, it can be stored in the fridge for up to a week, and that is another reason why busy moms like it. Generally, it can be prepared from any fruit but since apricots are in season now here is a version using apricot juice.

Homemade Apricot Juice Kompot

What you need:

  • 1 Pound (about 500 gr) ripe, firm apricots
  • 10 Cups (about 2.5 litres) water
  • 1 Cup sugar

Step 1

Wash the apricots, cut in half and get rid of the pits.

Step 2

Put cold water and sugar in a large pan and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat and cook for 5 minutes.

Step 3

Put apricots in the pot, turn the stove off, cover with a lid and let it cool down.

Step 4

Strain the juice and pour it in a clean pitcher. For the best flavor, wait for 12 hours (or overnight). Serve cold.

Image #1 by Olga/Олька

Image #2 by Alexey Ivanov

Image #3 by Janice Cullivan

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