Try my Summer Greens Smoothie (recipe below!)
Have you joined the smoothie craze?
There are so many benefits to starting your day with a delicious smoothie including glowing skin, improved digestion, more energy and extra vitamins and minerals all in one lovely glass.
Unfortunately, so many people add too much fruit and extra sweetened milk drinks into their smoothies. When you throw in a banana, mango, pineapple and sweetened almond milk into your blender the end result may be delicious but you are going to cause a spike in blood sugar and you will have a huge crash in energy hours later.
That’s not what drinking a smoothie is all about.
I believe in adding very high quality pure protein powder and more greens than fruit. This way, it’s a low glycemic meal and your energy levels will be sustained for several hours after drinking the smoothie.
Here are three helpful ways to add more greens and goodness into your morning smoothies:
- Throw in a handful of spinach, kale, watercress or chard into the smoothie. Steamed broccoli is also delicious. You don’t have to measure exactly but a small handful is what I go for. Tip: add this into a berry smoothie (blueberries, blackberries etc.) and you won’t even notice that there is anything green in there. This is a great tip for fussy kids.
- Do you like salad? Add your salad to your smoothie! Romaine lettuce, parsley and cilantro are all wonderful choices and provide additional flavor.
- Add green powder. I like a teaspoon of spiraling or wheatgrass powder to my morning smoothie for an extra concentration of protein and iron.
Here is a simple recipe for a summery green smoothie that I’m loving right now:
Summer Greens Smoothie
1 small handful spinach
1 small handful kale, roughly chopped
1 sprig cilantro (or to taste – it’s quite a strong flavor!)
1/4 ripe avocado
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/2 frozen banana
2 scoops chocolate or vanilla protein powder: I love Shaklee 180 protein powder
Blend together until smooth and enjoy immediately
Chilled soup has got to be one of the best ways to survive a hot New York summer. I love to make gazpacho when I have an excess of tomatoes but recently I’ve been experimenting with some different chilled soups. I always thought chilled soups should be tomato based so working with zucchini, celery and a few other ingredients actually surprised me. This zucchini soup is light in flavor, delicate and so cooling. Cleansing and delicious, it’s a perfect way to use up some of your excess zucchini and mix in other ingredients. I love to include this soup as part of my summer detox and it gets rave reviews every time!
COOL CREAM OF ZUCCHINI
(Makes 2 Servings)
1 medium zucchini, unpeeled and sliced or chopped
1 1⁄2 teaspoons miso
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 small clove raw garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
3⁄4 cup filtered water
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- Prepare all the ingredients and put them in a blender.
- Blend until smooth and creamy.
- Chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes and serve with chopped basil or parsley as a garnish.
As temperatures are rising this month and we’re all eagerly awaiting the summer holidays, it got me thinking about how we can stay cool in the heat. During the winter months, we rely on soups, stews and rich comfort food to keep our bodies warm. Right now we need to switch our grocery shopping and cooking around to lighter and fresher meals. Here are my top 3 tips to stay cool this summer so you can stay cool and happy all season long.
- Stay hydrated. This is the number one rule of the summer. As we are more active and sweat more, we need to stay well hydrated every day. Increase the number of glasses of water you drink or try a green juice or smoothie. Coconut water is also very hydrating. Just try to steer clear of iced coffee, soda and alcohol which you may think are refreshing but are actually very dehydrating.
- Eat lighter meals, especially salads and chilled soups. What I love about the summer is not having to use my oven so much. You can make hearty salads like my massaged kale salad or Greek holiday in a bowl and add some smoked salmon or sardines on the side. Why not make a big batch of gazpacho too for lunch throughout the week? Cooling snacks such as watermelon, grapefruit and cucumbers are perfect to beat the summer heat.
- Eat smaller portions. I’m sure you don’t feel like sitting down to a roast dinner or huge curry in the summer. Lighter meals and lots of cooling snacks will hydrate you and give you energy throughout the day.
What are you favorite ways to cool down naturally with food or drink over the summer? I’d love to hear your tips!
Last Friday, my friend Laurisa and I hosted a healthy breakfast event at Real Simple magazine in Manhattan. We were up bright and early to serve Green Beauty smoothies with chia seeds for the editorial and marketing teams. The staff oohed and aahed at the beautiful smoothies and tried to guess all the delicious detoxing ingredients (hint: avocado, spinach and coconut anyone?) in the smoothies. As readers of this blog will know, I’m a big smoothie aficionado and try to start my day with them throwing in all sorts of fruits and veggies into the blender as well as protein powder and my homemade almond milk.
We were also at Real Simple to present the next 5-Day Reset Challenge starting on June 23. It’s a mini program that will help you lose weight, get rid of carb and sugar cravings and back into your skinny jeans in time for summer. It’s completely healthy, nutritious and delicious.
• Lose up to 5 pounds in 5 days
• Get better eating habits
• Control cravings for carbs and sugar
• Improve your nutrition
• Look and feel fabulous
• Recipes from Anneka for smoothies, healthy dinners and snacks
• Vegan protein powder for up to 3 smoothies per day
• Daily support
• Access to private Facebook group
Join the Real Simple team and sign up today by emailing me and I will send you all the information!
Greek Summer Holiday In A Bowl
Our local food coop in Brooklyn organizes monthly cooking classes with students from the Natural Gourmet Institute. It’s a fantasy of mine to attend this school one day, but for now I’m happy to attend these monthly classes and learn from the culinary masters. Recently, we were shown how to make this delicious Greek (or Mediterranean inspired) chopped salad and here’s my version of it. It’s so fresh and perfect for picnics and summer gatherings and will be sure to impress your friends.
I love this kind of summer cooking: using the freshest ingredients with the freshest of flavors. The original recipe calls for sour cream but I think it makes it too rich and I love the tangy taste of Greek yogurt here. This salad has beautiful notes of lemon and dill and tastes just like a Greek summer holiday in a bowl. Enjoy!
Summery Greek Chopped Salad
Makes 8 servings
1 tub organic cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half
1 large long cucumber, diced (you can peel it if you want to)
1 can chickpeas, rinsed
6 oz feta cheese, diced into small pieces or crumbles
1 small bunch of fresh dill, finely chopped or 1 tbsp dried dill
1 cup Greek yogurt
1 lemon, zest and juice
1 large clove of garlic, minced
Sea salt and black pepper
- Mix the Greek yogurt, zest and juice of lemon, dill and garlic together in a small bowl. Set aside for 10 minutes so that the flavors mingle beautifully together. Add sea salt and black pepper to taste.
- Chop cucumbers and tomatoes. Rinse the chickpeas. Chop the feta cheese. Place in a large salad bowl.
- Pour over the yogurt dressing and toss. Let it sit for 10-15 minutes before serving.
I used to be a daily sandwich girl until a few years ago. I still love a good sandwich once in a while but there are so many other healthy options for lunch. This is what I made today. Took 5 minutes. I normally have a batch of cooked brown rice and quinoa in containers in my fridge which are great bases for lunch or quick suppers. Today I mixed quinoa with mint, avocado, kale, lemon juice, tomatoes, sunflower seeds and a splash of olive oil for an easy and nutritious Monday lunch. Open your fridge and play with your ingredients to make something really yummy!
Minty Messy Lunch Bowl (serves 1)
Place all ingredients in a large bowl and eat straight away:
1 cup cooked white or red quinoa
4-5 mint leaves, roughly torn up
1/2 avocado, sliced
6-8 cherry tomatoes, sliced or cut in half
2 tablespoons roasted sunflower seeds
2 leaves of kale, shredded
Juice of half a lemon
1 tablespoon olive oil
Summer’s not over just yet and with lots more beach days and long weekends coming up I thought I’d share one of my favorite summery drinks. Just a few ingredients and something cool and refreshing for your next BBQ or summer picnic! Watermelon is very hydrating and cleansing keeping you cool in these hot summer days of August.
A cool and refreshing drink for any summer day
Watermelon-Lime Agua Fresca
What would summer be without watermelon? This is a bright and thirst quenching drink from Mexico.
(Fills one blender)
2 pounds seedless watermelon (1/8th of a good-size watermelon)
1 cup filtered water
2 teaspoons lime juice
(optional 1 tablespoon raw honey or maple syrup but I think this is sweet enough!)
Place watermelon, water and lime juice in blender, sweeten to taste and serve over ice with some chopped up mint leaves.