Posts filed under ‘Smoothies & Beverages’
I forget how much I LOVE summer! Sunny mornings and brisk afternoon showers…the grass is bright green and flowers are in full bloom. I sleep with my windows open, and I wake up to the sun peaking in my window and sound of birds chirping…so flippin’ cool. Does that almost sound like an opening to a Disney movie?! Let’s not forget all the fresh produce as well – juicy melons, spicy crisp radishes, sweet cherries and loads of zucchini just to name a few – YUM.
I have really been craving fresh foods and cold, refreshing dishes, especially after sitting out in the sun to soak up some Vitamin D for a bit. I’ve also recently discovered my love of frozen figs…yep, frozen ones. They were selling a huge bag of organic green figs at Costco, and I’ve had them stashed in the freezer for a couple months since limiting my fruit intake on my elimination diet. I was craving something sweet and cold the other night, and I thought I’d give these a try on my stomach. Tummy approved and WOW, are they delicious!
I let a couple figs sit out on the counter for a few minutes, then nibbled at a frozen one…a little bite of heaven! Ever since, I’ve been incorporating them in a variety of recipes (and trying to eat them in moderation as I am reintroducing fruits). First up, this frosty fig and vanilla smoothie is one of my favorites…I’ve had it for dessert a couple times too! This smoothie is perfect as an afternoon pick-me-up or a quick breakfast to start your day with loads of energy :)
Frosty Vanilla Fig Smoothie
Grain-free, Gluten-free, Paleo & AIP-friendly, Nut-free, Vegan, Dairy-free, Soy-free, Refined Sugar Free, Nightshade-free
1 cup coconut milk (I used from a can, but any milk would work based on preference/allergy)
1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract (alcohol free for AIP) or vanilla powder
a couple shakes of ground cinnamon
2-3 medium green figs, frozen and rough chopped (can use other color and varieties)
*If you’re sensitive to sugars, add 1/4 avocado for creaminess and use 1-2 figs, but will be less sweet
handful of leafy greens (baby spinach, chard, kale)
1/2 cup of frozen banana, your favorite berry or mango for a different flavor
1. Add ingredients in order as they are listed to a high-powered blender (such as a Vitamix). Blend on high until smooth.
Notes: If you do not have a high-powered blender, you might need to let your figs de-frost for 15 minutes or so and chop them smaller OR add more liquid.
Smoothies are an everyday must-have for me…99% of the time I start my day with a large glass of blended goodness (aka energy surge in a jar), mmmm!
I find that kicking off the morning with a smoothie or fresh juice is easiest on my tummy. Not only does it rev-up my digestion for the remainder of the day, it also squelches my hunger for a couple hours when I have time to eat a more solid meal and ensures that I have at least one nutrient-packed, high-quality meal no matter what the day throws at me.
Oh you know, the days when you plan on cooking that new elaborate dish you’ve been eyeing for a while…but (after a longer day than you anticipated), you wind up eating a couple scrambled eggs over quinoa for dinner…or a bowl of popcorn and a leftover energy bar from your purse. Yep, I have had more days recently like the latter than I’d like to admit.
I also realized it had been quite some time since I had posted a drink or smoothie recipe, so when I was assigned Rebekah’s lovely blog Making Miracles for the February’s Secret Recipe Club post…I chose her Hemp Chocolate Protein Shake for this month’s reveal, I was so excited to come across this recipe!
I had a giant bag of hemp seeds from Costco in my fridge calling my name and I was craving something sweet and chocolatey, yet simple…wa-la! This shake was a delicious change from my go-to blueberry-Maca blend I’ve been making…so much so that I craved this nutty-cacao smoothie the next morning too :)
I tried to stay true to Rebekah’s recipe…I couldn’t help but add my usual handful of baby greens (kale/chard/spinach) and I wound up soaking the hemp hearts, dates and water in the fridge the night before to soften the dates a bit. The next morning all I had to do was add the remaining ingredients and blend…Breakfast on the go!
Just a few perks about Hemp Seeds in case you need a little nutritional nudge:
- REWARD YOUR TASTE BUDS: Hemp hearts are delicious, they are nutty, often compared to sunflower seed or pine nuts… only better! Sprinkle on salads, cereal, quinoa, rice, roasted veggies, yogurt, add to smoothies, muffins, breads and other recipes…or eat a spoonful straight from the bag.
- REWARD YOUR BRAIN: Your brain has many of the fatty acids found in bulk Super Hemp. Regular consumption may help improve your memory. Super Hemp seeds may also help symptoms of anxiety and depression while improving your mood.
- REWARD YOUR WEIGHT LOSS: Super Hemp is a natural appetite suppressant making you feel full longer. Adding just four tablespoons of hemp seed to your meal can reduce your food cravings significantly. You will also feel more energy which can help you power through workouts and other activities to lose weight.
- REWARD YOUR HEART AND LOWER BLOOD PRESSURE: Super Hemp seeds contain essential fatty acids that help reduce blood cholesterol. This keeps the heart healthy and also prevents plaque buildup in your arteries. Super Hemp fatty acids also reduce inflammation that can cause high blood pressure and poor blood circulation.
- REWARD YOUR DIGESTIVE TRACT: Super Hemp provides high amounts of both insoluble and soluble fibers which keep your digestive tract healthy and clean. Super Hemp contains plant sterols and antioxidants helping reduce risk of colon, breast and prostate concerns. Super Hemp does NOT contain oligosaccharides such as found in soy, which often causes stomach upset and gas.
Intrigued? Give this shake a shot!
Hemp Chocolate/Cacao Protein Shake (slightly adapted from Making Miracles)
(Vegan, Dairy-free, Gluten-free, Grain-free, Fruit-Sweetened, Refined Sugar-free, Primal, Nut-free, Egg-free)
1 cup cold filtered water
1 cup ice cubes
1 banana, cut into chunks (or use frozen for a colder, thicker textured shake / smoothie)
1/2 cup raw hemp seeds/ hemp hearts
2-4 pitted dates, depending taste (I used two but increase if you prefer sweeter)
1-2 Tbsp raw cacao powder or cocoa powder, to taste
Handful or fresh leafy greens (such as baby spinach, kale, and/or chard), optional but for added nutrition
5 minute prep Directions
- Blend water, ice, banana, hemp seeds, dates (remove any pits), and cocoa powder together in a blender until smooth.
- Enjoy immediately, refrigerate any leftovers.
Plan-ahead soaking method Directions
- The night before, combine hemp seeds, dates and water in a jar. Refrigerate overnight.
- When you are ready to make your smoothie, add hemp/date/water mixture to blender container. Add ice, banana, cacao/cocoa powder and greens. Blend until smooth.
- Enjoy immediately, refrigerate any leftovers.
I’ve been loving on my “crunch bowls” or “dessert soups” for snacks or breakfasts. It’s more satiating and longer-lasting than a bowl of cereal with all the texture and flavor that I crave.
Lately I’ve been in the mood for carrot cake and warm spices so when I was short on time and had an abundance of baby carrots, I knew just how to use up a few. Too lazy to pull out the juicer (and clean it), I opted for a speedy blender bowl with a carrot cake-inspired recipe!
Side note: I had good intentions when I bought a juicer but I have yet to use it since the first few times I’ve pulled it out. I have a weakness for kitchen gadgets but ones that require a bit of cleaning have been set to the side with my schedule these days…excuses, excuses :) My speedy blender came to the rescue, again!
If you aren’t keen on slurping this “dessert soup” from a bowl, sip this from a glass in smoothie form :)
Carrot Cake Crunch Bowl (inspired by my Recovery Crunch Cereal Bowl)
6-7 baby carrots, chopped
1/2 cup plain coconut milk yogurt (can use cottage cheese, tofu or other yogurt for variations)
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk (or other non-dairy milk)
1/4 cup fresh or frozen pineapple (can omit
1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder, optional
splash of pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon (or more to taste)
1/8 tsp ground ginger
1 medjool date or drizzle of honey or agave (do not use honey if vegan)
4-5 ice cubes
2 Tbsp raw buckwheat groats (granola can be subbed)
1 -2 Tbsp chopped pecans, walnuts or almonds (or a combo)
1 -2 Tbsp unsweetened coconut flakes (or shredded coconut)
1. In a blender, combine carrots through ice and blend until smooth, about 1 minute.
2. Pour into a bowl, top with buckwheat groats, nuts and coconut flakes and enjoy!
Have you ever eaten (or slurped) a smoothie out of a bowl like soup? Apparently, this is a blog/food trend that I missed…
Naturally, I had to give it a try…it was an experience, but I admit that I prefer to sip a smoothie from a glass. Now, if I added some crunchy granola on top I might be singing a different tune. Or maybe I was quite hungry and the spoon got in the way :)
Whether enjoyed in a bowl or glass, this smoothie is a refreshing breakfast, snack or light meal. The pomegranate and orange juice combo really hit the spot and the tangy citrus notes and slightly sour arils remind me of summer. Hot days here we come!
Tangy Orange Pomegranate Smoothie Bowl
1/4 cup pomegranate arils
1/3 – 1/2 cup orange juice
1/3 cup almond milk (or other non-dairy milk)
splash of pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt (cottage cheese, silken tofu, or non-dairy yogurt – use tofu/non-dairy for vegan)
drizzle of honey/agave, 1 date or a pinch of stevia – optional for added sweetness
1 Tbsp chia seed or chia meal (for extra nutrition, flax would also be a great addition)
Pomegranate arils for garnish and texture, optional
For an extra protein boost, add 1/2 to 1 scoop of your favorite protein powder
Serving suggestion: Crunchy Superfood Buckwheat Granola or other cereal for serving
1. Add all ingredients except to a blender and blend until completely smooth, about 1 to 2 minutes. Pour into a bowl (or glass), sprinkle with arils and/or granola and enjoy!