smoothies

double chocolate chai smoothie

Posted by on Jan 28, 2014 in breakfast, desserts, featured, smoothies, snacks | 0 comments

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My brother and sister-in-law gave me a NutriBullet for Christmas to replace my tired old Magic Bullet.  Since 2014 began, I’ve been on a smoothie kick, blending up different concoctions each day for at least one of my meals. Some of my smoothies have turned out so yummy while others I probably won’t repeat. Regardless, I’m giving my body a powerful nutritious punch with each one. Today, I’m sharing with you my favorite smoothie I’ve made so far this month.

Reasons I love smoothies…

  • Requires no skill in the kitchen
  • Leaves minimal mess
  • Quick
  • Portable
  • Easy to digest
  • Energizing
  • Promotes detox
  • Unlocks nutrients from fibrous fruits and veggies
  • Hides all kinds of nutritious goodies
  • Gets large amounts of fruits and veggies into one meal
  • Kids like them
  • Delicious!

I don’t drink sodas or sports drinks, so I keep all kinds of teas on hand to drink when I need a change from water or infused water. Chai is the word for tea in other parts of the world. When I hear the word Chai, I think of the spiced milk tea that originated in India and is made of black tea, milk, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, pepper, cloves, and a little something sweet. Its signature flavor is both warming and soothing but with a little kick to get me moving in the morning. I love it so much that I decided to take it to a smoothie.

In my “reasons I love smoothies” above, I listed “hiding all kinds of nutritious goodies”. In this smoothie, I tried a new hidden gem recommended by my Airrosti doctor…cauliflower. Cauliflower is a cancer fighting, liver cleansing cruciferous veggie that does not change the taste, texture, or color of the smoothie. In fact, my kids unknowingly drank cauliflower in their smoothie this morning. Rob wasn’t super keen on the idea of trying to sneak it in, but I decided to experiment anyway, and they didn’t say a word. I also added greens to this smoothie, but that is nothing new. I throw greens in every smoothie.

I used my basic smoothie formula to come up with this Double Chocolate Chai Smoothie: 1 cup liquid like almond milk or coconut water, greens, creamy fruit like banana or mango, additional fruits and veggies, a little healthy fat, a little protein, a little fiber, a little stevia, additional nutrient boosters like cacao, maca, goji, acai, etc., and spices and/or flavorings.

To make this smoothie, I blended a cup of unsweetened almond milk, a handful of spinach, a handful of cauliflower florets, a banana, a tablespoon of almond butter (sunflower seed butter also works well), a scoop of chocolate protein powder, a tablespoon of finely ground flax seeds, a dropper of liquid stevia, a tablespoon of raw cacao powder, and chai spices: cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, cloves, and pepper. I topped it with a little bit of dark chocolate bits (cacao nibs is another great choice).

 

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double chocolate chai smoothie
Author: 
Recipe type: breakfast, smoothie, snack, desserts
Serves: 1
 

Ingredients
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • handful of greens
  • handful of cauliflower florets
  • 1 banana
  • 1 tablespoon almond or sunflower seed butter
  • 1 scoop chocolate protein powder
  • 1 tablespoon finely ground flax seed
  • 1 tablespoon raw cacao powder
  • dropper of liquid stevia (I used vanilla flavored)
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ⅛ teaspoon ginger
  • ⅛ teaspoon cardamom
  • ⅛ teaspoon cloves
  • ⅛ teaspoon pepper
  • handful of ice
  • optional: dark chocolate bits for a garnish

Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in a Vitamix or other blender, and blend for 30 seconds.

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cake batter smoothie

Posted by on May 3, 2013 in desserts, featured, smoothies | 2 comments

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Growing up, I loved to bake.  Chocolate chip cookies were my favorite.  More often than not, by the time the cookies were baked, I wouldn’t even be hungry for more than a bite because, you see, I had satisfied my craving by nibbling on the dough in the process.  Sometimes I think I my main motivation for making cookies was to eat the dough.  Whoever came up with cookie dough ice cream and cookie dough bites is a genius, as these were some of my favorite treats in my sugar-holic, gluten eating days.

 

Another one of Rob and my favorites to bake was yellow cake with chocolate frosting.  Like Betty Crocker or Duncan Hines – whichever boxed variety was on sale.  I shared on my “about me” page that before we had children, we were known to bake a yellow cake and eat it for dinner!  Yes, I showed absolutely no self control with my sweets.  And with two of us living in the same house with insatiable sweet tooths, we were terrible!

 

So this smoothie (almost like a milkshake!) is right up my alley – flavored like yellow cake batter – buttery, with a cake-y texture and a hint of vanilla and almond.

 

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To achieve the buttery flavor, I used a heaping tablespoon of macadamia nuts and a tablespoon of coconut butter (coconut oil or macadamia nut oil will do).  I added a frozen banana and almond milk for creaminess and a dried fig and extracts for sweetness and flavor.  If you don’t have a dried fig, a couple of medjool dates will work just fine.  I flavored the cake batter smoothie with vanilla and almond extracts.

 

 

 

 

For a cake-y texture, I added a scoop of Sunwarrior raw vanilla protein powder.  Any vanilla flavored protein powder will work, but I like Sunwarrior because it lends a grainy texture that to me, helps the smoothie resemble cake batter.  Sunwarrior protein is a combination of cranberry, pea, and hemp protein, and I like that it is vegan, raw, and easy for my body to digest.

 

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Before blending the smoothie, I prepared my glass by coating the rim with honey, and then dredging the rim through dark chocolate shavings.  I made the dark chocolate shavings by processing a handful of dark chocolate chips in my Magic Bullet.

 

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I blended the smoothie for at least 30 seconds, so the macadamia nuts and fig would be smooth.  What a delicious yet fairly guiltfree dessert with a little added protein boost.  To make the smoothie even more guiltfree, add some spinach for a green cake batter smoothie.  I promise you won’t even taste the greens.

 

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cake batter smoothie
Author: 
Recipe type: dessert, smoothie
Serves: 1
 

Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon macadamia nuts
  • 1 tablespoon coconut butter (coconut oil or macadamia nut oil will work)
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 dried fig (2 medjool dates will work)
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • optional: honey and dark chocolate shavings to garnish

Instructions
  1. Process a small handful of dark chocolate chips in a food processor or Magic Bullet.
  2. Prepare glass by coating the rim in honey and then dredging the rim in dark chocolate shavings.
  3. Blend together all other ingredients until smooth, and pour in the prepared glass.

 

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green butterscotch smoothie

Posted by on Feb 15, 2013 in featured, smoothies | 0 comments

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Sometimes I feel like smoothie girl, as I make a smoothie for a meal almost every day.  I came to love them back in the beginning of my healthy journey as a way to take my supplements.  Because my digestive system was so messed up due to years of gluten and sugar eating plus my recent OD on antibiotics, I had trouble digesting and absorbing my food.  I turned to supplements to boost my energy and health.  But, when you aren’t absorbing very well, all those very expensive nutrients go right through you.  I searched and experimented with a LOT of supplements and landed on something called Reliv.  My body just gobbled up the goodness in this dietary supplement.  But, the only problem was that because it is a powder, I had to take it in a drink, and it tasted NASTY!  So I got good at making the gritty, chalky taste palatable by mixing it into some darn good smoothies.

 

I stopped taking Reliv several years ago and instead focus on sneaking lots of healthy real food into my smoothies instead.  My two favorite healthy foods to include are those leafy greens (the most lacking in our diets) and extra fiber (also lacking in most people’s diets).  Navitas Naturals also makes some great powerfood nutrient boosters to add to my smoothies.

My most recent smoothie creation is based on a new one (at least new to me) of those Navitas Naturals foods:  lucuma.  Lucuma has a buttery maple flavor and is actually a fruit from Peru.  Even though it’s sweet, it’s low in sugar but high in vitamins and minerals, making it a healthy compromise between your sweet tooth and your waistline.  Peruvians enjoy lucuma as an ice cream flavor (some say is better than chocolate or vanilla!) or as a flavoring for other dairy products.  I decided to use it in my smoothie to accomplish a rich butterscotch flavor.  I love butterscotch!  My grandmother (and then my mom) made the most wonderful butterscotch pies growing up.  Her pie is my dad’s absolute favorite indulgence, so my mom makes him one for his birthday every year.

 

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Don’t let the slightly green hue scare you away from trying my butterscotch smoothie – it’s just a teeny tiny bit of spinach snuck in there.  I promise you won’t even taste that little bit of iron energy (25% of your daily requirement) I added.

 

 

 

Ingredients
  • 1 cup almond or coconut milk
  • 1 banana
  • 1 teaspoon lucuma
  • 1 teaspoon maca
  • 1 dropper English toffee stevia (or a little maple syrup)
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1 tablespoon almond butter
  • 1 tablespoon finely ground flax seed

Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender, and blend until smooth.

 

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pumpkin gingerbread smoothie

Posted by on Oct 8, 2012 in featured, smoothies | 0 comments

Fall has arrived and that means pumpkin season – pumpkin pie, pumpkin soup, pumpkin bread, pumpkin risotto…  Bring in the season with this energizing smoothie and enjoy the health benefits of the natural sweetener, molasses.  Blackstrap molasses is one sweetener that actually has health benefits, as it contains quickly used carbohydrates and lots of necessary minerals.

4 reasons to enjoy blackstrap molasses:

  • Increases your energy by increasing your iron.  Iron is an important part of hemoglobin, the part of your blood that carries oxygen to all of your cells including your muscles and brain.
  • Provides a good source of calcium, the mineral needed for many, many important processes in your body like muscle contraction, heart rhythm, blood clotting, nerve impulses from the brian, and of course strong bones and teeth.
  • Provides an excellent source of other energizing minerals:  copper, manganese, potassium, and magnesium.
  • Provides a good source of vitamin B6 and selenium.

Besides this smoothie, enjoy blackstrap molasses in baked beans, in baked items like cookies, cakes and breads, and in marinades for chicken, turkey, or salmon.

pumpkin gingerbread smoothie
Author: 
Recipe type: smoothie
Serves: 2
 

Ingredients
  • 1 cup pumpkin
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 – 2 tablespoons blackstrap molasses, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons almond butter
  • ½ – 1 dropper of vanilla creme stevia, to taste
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ginger
  • optional: 3 – 4 ice cubes

Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in a Vitamix or other blender, and blend for 30 seconds or until smooth.

 

 

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banana almond hemp smoothie

Posted by on Sep 24, 2012 in featured, smoothies | 0 comments

I picked up these little hemp hearts at Costco last week.  I’ve tried hemp protein and oil, and although I’ve seen these little guys on the shelf for a while now, I hadn’t taken the plunge and purchased.  Well, I’m glad I did!

So what exactly is hemp?  Hemp is a variation of the plant cannabis sativa, and it is used for many, many things besides a nutritious food like fuel, clothing, and cosmetics.  As a food, hemp is jam packed with healthy fats including omega 3s and plenty of easily digestible protein that includes all essential amino acids.  And, of course hemp provides tons of vitamins and minerals.  The hemp hearts are the most nutritious part of the hemp seed (even better!) and lend a rich nutty flavor and delicious crunch too.  So pick up some of these little raw goodies the next time you are at your natural grocer or Costco, and try this smoothie!

Other ideas for hemp hearts:  add to your “Good Morning Muesli” or sprinkle some on your salads or Greek yogurt.

banana almond hemp smoothie
Author: 
Recipe type: smoothie
Serves: 1
 

Ingredients
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 2 tablespoons almond butter
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 tablespoons hemp hearts
  • ¼ teaspoon almond extract
  • optional: handful of ice

Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in a Vitamix or other blender, and blend until smooth.

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chocolate raspberry smoothie

Posted by on Aug 6, 2012 in smoothies, snacks | 2 comments

A delicious and nutritious way to sneak in some greens and healthy oils and lignans.  Adding flax seed oil and ground flax seeds to any smoothie is an easy way to pack in a non-animal source of omega 3 essential fatty acids, which are deficient in most people.  These important fats reduce inflammation in our bodies and benefit our brain and nervous system, and they’re essential because our bodies cannot build them.  Especially important to women are the lignans in flax, 70-800 times more lignans than any other plant food.  Lignans are known to reduce hormonal and menopausal symptoms like hot flashes.

chocolate raspberry smoothie
Author: 
Recipe type: smoothie, snack
Serves: 2
 

Ingredients
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 large handful spinach
  • 1 cup frozen or fresh raspberries
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond or coconut milk
  • 2 heaping tablespoons raw cacao powder
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein (whey, egg, rice, or pea)
  • 1 tablespoon flax seed oil
  • 1 tablespoon ground flax seeds
  • 1 dropper vanilla creme liquid stevia
  • Optional: ½ – 1 frozen banana for a sweeter smoothie

Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in a Vitamix or other blender and blend until smooth.

 

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