Bits and Bites

News from Jen Messer Nutrition “a mid-month mini edition.”

National Days of July

I love these National Food Holidays - it gives dietitians ideas for their newsletters 😂. July has some great days to celebrate - I picked three of my favorites to feature with recipes; Ice Cream, Mangos, and Avocados.

However, I would be remiss if I didn’t at least mention that Sunday, July 24, 2022 to Saturday, July 30, 2022 is Salad Week!

Chocolate Avocado Pudding

First up: Avocados. They contain many vitamins and minerals that are important for your body, including vitamin C and fiber. Avocados contain healthy fats and are a great source of energy. The best news? Fresh avocados do not need to be cooked or heated so sometimes they are ready when you are. How can you find an avocado you can trust? I don’t know about you but sometimes I can experience the Goldilocks effect - too hard, too soft (and brown), but here are tips for getting them “just right.”

Avocados (and bananas) hold a special place in my heart as the first foods my daughters ate- soft, nutritious, so easy, and portable.

3 more tips for Avocados:

  • Sub in some ripe avocado in place of some of the olive oil in pesto recipes to create a thick yummy sauce that is dairy free; (1 ripe, fresh avocado, 1 cup packed fresh basil leaves, 1 Tbsp. olive oil, 1 Tbsp. lemon juice, 2 cloves garlic, 2 Tbsp. walnuts, 1/4 tsp salt)

  • Tuna salad with avocado as a substitute for mayo.

  • Use it in smoothies to give a really creamy effect without dairy. Frozen avocado chunks are available for this too.


  • 1 avocado pitted

  • 1 4 e ⁄ teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 4 ⁄ cup cocoa powder

  • 10 drops liquid stevia

  • 1 pinch cinnamon

  • 1 pinch salt

  • 1 tablespoon water

  • Garnish 1 strawberry halved


  1. Scoop avocado flesh into a bowl.

  2. Add others ingredients and blend until smooth. A food processor might work well here too.

  3. You can add another tablespoon of water if needed to help blend easier.

  4. Chill for 10 minutes before serving.

  5. Top with strawberry to look pretty. Enjoy!

Mango Chillers

Did you know that July 22nd is National Mango Day? So here “keeping it cool” is a simple recipe to toss together as a quick dessert or after-workout refreshment. Ideally for a high-powered blender but I have also put my food processor to task on this too. If I can’t find fresh mango the freezer mango chunks are another option and really no ice is needed. Bonus: my daughters love this! Since they were young and it’s my middle daughter’s go-to for dessert. Even in the winter! Sub in other fruits or mixes, add a little extra liquid and you also have a great pancake or waffle topping.


  • 2 ripe and chilled mangoes

  • 1 2 ⁄ lime juiced

  • 2 cups ice


  1. Peel and pit the mangoes and transfer the flesh to the blender along with the lime juice.

  2. Secure the lid and puree.

  3. Add the ice. Secure the lid on the blender and start at a slow speed, gradually increasing until the fruit and ice are pureed into a smooth consistency.

  4. Serve immediately.

Chocolate Banana Ice Cream

Sunday, July 17th is National Ice Cream Day! This recipe can be modified to enjoy on any day though. Lots of possibilities but this is my stand-by combination.


  • 1 frozen peeled banana, cut into chunks

  • 1-2 teaspoons cocoa powder

  • 1 teaspoon natural peanut butter (optional) - I don’t actually think this is an option

  • A dash of unsweetened almond milk if needed.


  1. Place banana chunks into a small food processor or blender. Blend on high until smooth and creamy.

  2. Add cocoa powder and peanut butter, if desired. Continue to blend until mixed. Add a dash of almond milk if needed.

  3. Add in cacao nibs or chocolate chips (if using) and pulse once more.

  4. Scoop/spoon ice cream into a bowl and enjoy immediately!

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