Pumpkin And Sweet Potato Fall Smoothie

Pumpkin and sweet potato smoothie
It’s a rainy day here so I’m sheltering from the rain on my front porch drinking this smoothie. Doesn’t the color look so beautiful and bright against the gray?

I love pumpkin at this time of the year and like to stock up my cupboards with handy cans of (organic) pureed pumpkin to pop into soups and smoothies. This is a really simple smoothie to make and is sweetened by adding half a banana. I added some sweet potato too since that’s what we had for dinner last night and it was already roasted and sitting in my fridge. You can play around with the ingredients to make it have more of a pumpkin or sweet potato flavor. This would make a delicious breakfast or lunch.

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Decadent Chocolate Smoothie For Your Valentine

Chocolate smoothieIt’s that time of the year again when all the shops are full of red and pink candy and boxes of chocolate. Valentine’s Day can be a real problem if you’re trying to stay healthy and stick to your New Year’s Resolutions. I’m here to tell you that you can have chocolate and stay healthy too! This is a decadent chocolate smoothie for your valentine which would be a perfect accompaniment to my strawberry heart gluten free breakfast pancakes. It contains raw cacao, chocolate protein and maca known for increasing libido and fertility. Raw cacao is full of antioxidants and great for heart health and it adds a really delicious deep chocolately flavor to this smoothie too. Make this smoothie and everyone will fall in love with you!

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Apple and Oatmeal Bars

apple and oatmeal barsI’ve gone a little bit apple crazy this month, even though it’s not strictly apple season. I ordered extra apples in my CSA box this past week which I made a huge batch of apple sauce with and today, I made this simple and delicious apple and oatmeal bar with the applesauce too.

I’m always trying to find healthy snacks for my family that aren’t filled with sugar and are nutritious and will fill them up and give them energy. The apple and oatmeal bars are easy to make with ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen and will last you a few days. They are also easy to pop into lunch boxes or have for breakfast if you are pressed for time.

This recipe is forgiving enough that you can add in different fresh and dried fruit (I imagine pear and figs would be delicious here) and spices (allspice or nutmeg for example). You could even add an extra 1/2 cup of sunflower seeds too. This recipe is vegetarian, vegan and dairy free and perfect if you are on any clean eating or detox program.

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5 Healthy Fats To Add To Your Green Smoothies

green-smoothie

Do you love green smoothies as much as I do? I have one nearly every day, adding in kale, chard, spinach or parsley and watercress into mine. Green smoothies are so delicious and nutritious. If you have digestive problems, it’s the perfect way to add extra greens into your diet.

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Three Ways to Add More Greens To Your Smoothies

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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:

  1. 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.
  2. Do you like salad? Add your salad to your smoothie! Romaine lettuce, parsley and cilantro are all wonderful choices and provide additional flavor.
  3. 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

Vanilla Chia & Cinnamon Pudding

This chia pudding is a perfect afternoon snack or dessert. [Note to my British readers: this is more like a tapioca or rice pudding, but so much better than anything you were ever given for school dinner.] It’s rich and creamy and you can add in lots of different spices depending on the season and your mood.  We’ve been making this a lot this month in our house. I am a mama to a very picky eater but surprisingly this pudding is one of my son’s very favorite things to eat.  It’s great to make a batch like this and have it in the fridge for an impromptu dessert or snack whenever needed. Chia seeds are full of omega 3s, antioxidants and fiber. Serve with some seasonal fruit and seeds for extra nutrients too.

Vanilla Chia Seed pudding

Vanilla Chia Seed pudding

Vanilla Chia Pudding 

5 tablespoons chia seeds
2 cups almond milk (here’s a recipe for how to make your own almond milk)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup (to taste)

{Other ideas: use different spices such as ginger or cardamom. Serve with freshly chopped fruit such as pear, mango or apple and seeds such as pumpkin or sunflower}

1. In a glass container, mix in all the ingredients and give them a good stir so that the chia seeds are covered in the milk.

2. Seal the container and place in the fridge for at least 2 hours or overnight.

Feel free to adjust the amount of almond milk or chia seeds depending on how you like the texture.

How To Make Your Own Almond Milk (It’s Easier Than You Think!)

almond-milk

Making your own almond milk is super easy!

When I tell my clients and friends that I make my own almond milk and have been doing so for over a year, they stop in their tracks. What kind of granola-eating-sandal-wearing-hippy are you they are probably thinking. When I explain to them the process of making almond milk, they stop again. They realize it’s so simple they have to try it too. And they do. And they love it.

Making your own almond milk is as easy as 1-2-3. It’s wonderful for people who are avoiding dairy in their diet, or people who want to try a dairy alternative in their morning coffee or smoothies. Plus when you make your own almond milk, you know exactly what is going into it: almonds and water. There is no waste from Tetrapack boxes, no hidden artificial ingredients and I promise it tastes so much creamier and better! Try it yourself. There is no turning back.

Almond Milk (4 cups, keeps about 2-3 days in fridge)

1 cup raw almonds (with skins on)

3-4 cups filtered water

(If you want to sweeten the almond milk, you can add 1 date and a 1/2 teaspoon vanilla when blending together)

1. Cover raw almonds in water and soak overnight in a bowl.

2. The next morning, strain and rinse almonds.

3. In a blender, pulse and blend almonds with 3-4 cups filtered water for about 2 minutes until really blended.

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Strain the almond mixture through a cheese or nut milk bag

4. Strain almond mixture through a cheese or nut milk bag and into a clean jug. Really squeeze out the last part of the almond mixture to make a creamy milk. By the way, you can use the leftover almond meal in muffins, pancakes or breads and even as a facial scrub!

5. Enjoy the almond milk in your morning smoothies, drinks and on granola or by the glass.