sweet summer splash

Jessica Penner, RDDrink, Recipes12 Comments

This month the Dietitians over at The Recipe Redux have challenged us with the following: 

Fresh from the Garden: The season of bountiful produce has arrived. Whether your produce comes from the farmers’ market, a CSA share, or a plot of dirt out back, show how you are using fresh July fruits or veggies. And if you have gardening successes – or failures – please share! 

I really really want to become a good gardener. This is my second year attempting to grow my own food. It’s a long process to learn because you only get one opportunity a year to make adjustments and improve on your methods! This year, one of the main changes I made was to add a couple of things when I first planted seeds or transplanted my plants. First, I mixed in a little bit of compost to the topsoil. Then when the plant was in, I sprinkled a bit of this Miracle Grow All Purpose Shake n Feed.  

I’m fairly pleased with how everything is going! I had a bit of a late start since we were on vacation during the weekend you’re supposed to plant and then I was sick when we got back. Considering the plants went in two weeks late, they look great!

My tomatoes

In February of last year I tried growing tomatoes from seedlings. Absolutely nothing sprouted. Then I bought a couple of established plants from the greenhouse. Those got bottom rot. It was enough to make me want to give up on tomatoes forever. This year I probably wouldn’t have tried tomatoes at all except a wonderful lady at my church gave me a couple of tomato plants so I figured I had nothing to lose. And this year is a completely different story. These babies are more than surviving… they’re thriving! I don’t feel like I can take credit though. I’ve been told by other people that this lady has mad tomato skills. 


Red tomatoes… already!

tomato plant

Look how full and luscious that plant is!

My herbs

I bought mint and basil plants from the greenhouse. These guys are growing like weeds! I pick some every couple of days and it just keeps growing back bigger and better. Growing herbs is one of the best money savers because a package or bunch in the store are between $2-3. Now I have fresh herbs all summer long for only a couple of dollars for each plant!

basil mint wide

basil mint close up

My peas and beans

For some reason I thought beans liked to grow up a trellis so I planted them in front of one. As I’ve since found out, only certain varieties do and I didn’t buy one of them. Ay ay ay. They’re doing pretty well in this box anyway! The peas are still pretty young and fragile so time will tell with those guys. 



My leafy greens

These are my biggest disappointment. I planted two rows of different types of leafy greens. Only one came up and it’s looking pretty weak. It’s in a shady spot and I thought they liked shade. Maybe they also like something else I don’t know about. I feel like gardening is a complete guessing game. 

salad greens

My zucchini and cukes

My zucchini plants are HUGE but, sadly, they have what I have Google-diagnosed as powdery mildew. My mother-in-law, an expert gardener, came to take a look at them. She told me it wouldn’t likely kill the plant, so that’s good news. And I’ve already picked a medium-size zucchini!

The cucumber plants have blossoms so I’m feeling pretty hopeful about them, too. If those do well, expect a pickle recipe on the blog in the fall! 


zucchini close up

My squash and carrots

These are still in the baby stage so there’s not too much to report on these guys! 




Herbal Veggie Refresher 1


Since my basil and mint are the most useful at this stage in my garden, I decided to feature them in this recipe. The flavours come together SO WELL! There are so many words to describe this recipe:

  • invigorating
  • refreshing
  • light
  • slightly sweet
  • flavourful

I was feeling the mid-afternoon slump when I made this drink. But after I had it, my energy was completely restored! I felt amazing! I’d love to hear if other people experience the same renewal. Please, make this and report back to me!

If you give this recipe a go, let me know! Leave a comment, rate it, or snap a photo and tag it with #smartnutritionrecipes on Instagram!  I’d love to see your creations! Knowing someone has enjoyed one of my recipes always makes my day brighter. 


Sweet Summer Splash

  • Author: Jessica Penner, RD


A refreshing drink using garden veggies, herbs, and frozen grapes.


  • 2 baby cucumbers
  • 1 stalk of celery
  • 1 handful of mint
  • 1 handful of basil
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen green grapes
  • 1 1/2 cups water


  1. Put all ingredients into a high powered blender.
  2. Start on low then increase to high.
  3. Blend until smooth.
  4. Pour into glasses.


  • Serving Size: 1
Calories: 97.5 | Fat: 0.5g | Carbs: 25.5g | Fibre: 2.5g | Sugar: 19g | 1.5g 


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12 Comments on “sweet summer splash”

  1. This looks and sounds delicious! I have never thrown grapes in to a smoothie or juice– but that really makes it green.

    Your garden looks like its off to a great start! Would love to have one myself again someday– living in Asia in a condo– not a great place to have a garden. Even the herbs on my balcony can’t take the heat here 🙁

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