Summer is the time of year when laziness is acceptable and noshing on frozen treats is expected. Make healthy-ish popsicles loaded with tropical goodness to satisfy your craving. Sweet check, healthy check, back to lounging? Check!!
1 ripe banana
2 cups frozen, organic mango chunks (you can freeze your own, seems like my mangos go ripe all at once like bananas. so I chop them and freeze them)
1/2 cup almond milk (or your favorite dairy or non-dairy)
Add all ingredients in high speed blender and mix on high until mixture is smooth and pour-able. You may need to add more almond milk. In a blender, add all ingredients and blend until smooth. Pour into popsicle molds and freeze until set. This takes longer than you think! Overnight or several hours ):
The following recipe is from one of my favorite websites:https://paleomg.com/
Caramel Coconut Cream
1 batch Vanilla Bean Salted caramel Sauce from Juli Bauer's Paleo Cookbook* ( you can use store bought Carmel but you'll find nasty unknown chemicals in them and they won't taste as good. I highly recommend her carmel sauce!
4 cups diced fresh pineapple
1 cup canned full fat coconut milk
¼ cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon cardamom
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
Make caramel sauce and set aside to cool slightly.
Blend pineapple in high speed blender until smooth and completely combine. Pour pineapple puree ⅓ of the way up evenly in 6 popsicle molds. Place the rest of the pineapple puree in a separate bowl and rinse out blender.
Place coconut milk, maple syrup, vanilla extract, cardamom, cinnamon and 3 tablespoons of caramel in a blender and blend until smooth. Pour the coconut milk mixture into the popsicle molds evenly throughout, another ⅓ of the way up.
Top the coconut mixture with about 1-2 teaspoons of caramel. Top the caramel layer off with the rest of the pineapple puree.
Place lids on popsicle molds and place in the freezer to freeze overnight. Or wait allll daaaay and maybe they will be frozen after dinner? One can hope...
Run mold underneath hot running water for about 20 seconds to help remove popsicle from the mold.
Warning the carmel sauce is killer, you’ll want to eat it all!
In January, I did a 48 hour smoothie cleanse. My daughter and I did it long distance, texting pictures and encouraging each other. I should opt for a longer, more intense cleanse, but this seemed just right. It did allow me to see I'd been eating too much!!
I was pleased by the taste and variety the smoothies provided. I used recipes from Blender Girl by Tess Masters and Oh She Glows by Angela Liddon.
One of my favorites is Tastes Like Ice Cream Kale, from Blender Girl. I added vanilla sun warrior protein to most of my smoothies. The first time I made this I didn't have fresh ginger, but oh boy, it adds a delightful je ne sais quo to the drink! If you find kale bitter but want to incorporate it into your healthy life, this is the drink to try. My husband claims it has helped his eyesight. Here is the recipe slightly adapted to my taste.
2 cups water
1/2 cup raw, unsalted cashews (soaked in water overnight first)
1 cup torn-up curly green kale leaves ( no stems, please they are bitter)
2 sliced medium ripe bananas ( I use frozen chunks of bananas ~ it make this more ice cream like)
1/4 cup chopped pitted dates soaked ( I use the 1/4 cup or so of water they have soaked in as well, it adds sweetness)
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon natural vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon minced ginger
1 cup ice cubes plus more as needed (I add about two handfuls of ice cubes)
1 scoop vegan protein powder ( I like vanilla because it blends well with flavors)
Directions: put everything into your high powered blender and whirl up! If you have leftovers (makes enough for two generous smoothies) put in a mason jar and screw the lid on tight. Make sure to consume within 24 hours and shake well.
Another favorite smoothie from blender girl is her recipe for raspberry cheesecake. I used frozen pitted cherries here instead of the raspberries, but I have also made it with peaches and blueberries. It has lemon zest and juice in it. The soaked cashews lend it a creaminess. This one is filling and yummy and you can adapt it to what frozen fruit you like best.
Okay I admit, I love me some chocolate! I loosely followed Oh She glows recipe for creamy chocolate hemp smoothie and came up with a dreamy, creamy smoothie. I changed the hemp seeds to two tablespoons because I find hemp can be somewhat chalky and tastes a bit like eating dirt...maybe just me? But, I love the nutrition it adds. I used an additional 2 tablespoons of flax seeds and extra ice cubes. The cinnamon combined with chocolate is amazing, reminds me of Mexican hot chocolate.
The above photo is another smoothie adopted from the cheesecake theme. It is a breakfast smoothie I make all the time. I add in about 1/4 cup of old fashioned rolled oats, for fiber and oaty goodness. A sprinkle of cinnamon is good for keeping blood pressure down!
I aim to eat at least two tablespoons of flax seeds per day for their omega 3's! I add flax to smoothies and soups and sprinkle it on soups. "Wherever flax seed becomes a regular food item among the people, there will be better health", said Mahatma Gandhi. Flax as a health food has been known for centuries. Indeed, flax was one of the original medicines, used by Hippocrates the father of modern medicine! This smoothie sticks with you on busy mornings.
The above smoothie opened my eyes to the joys of a vegan lassi. This drink made widely in India contains yogurt, spices and fruit. This one from the Blender Girl cookbook has non dairy yogurt, cardamon and rosewater. It was exotic and refreshing, but not filling. I didn't add my protein because I wanted to taste the delicate rose flavor. This would be perfect on a hot summer afternoon.
While a water only fast may be too hard on your body, a smoothie fast gives your digestion a break and allows you to rethink how much focus and time you spend on eating. Also, it can help reset your appetite to allow you to eat less and be satisfied.
“Everyone can perform magic, everyone can reach his goals, if
he is able to think, if he is able to wait, if he is able to fast,” Herman Hesse in Siddartha.
“Tea” say the word and breath deeply. Then take a break from your hectic life and experience a moment of grace by having a cup of tea. We all need more moments of grace and peace. Preparing a cup of tea slows us down to savor the moment. Tea creates a ceremony and soothes the spirit, but did you know each type of tea has it’s own particular benefits?
Tea is considered by purists to be only green tea, black tea, white tea and oolong tea. These types of tea come from the Camellia sinensis plant and contain antioxidants called flavonoids. The most potent of these, known as ECGC, may help guard against free radicals that contribute to cancer, heart disease and clogged arteries. All these teas, from Camellia sinensis, also have caffeine and theanine. These components affect the brain by heightening mental alertness.
Black tea is made by fully oxidizing the leaves to produce the darkest, most hardy cup. To make black tea the leaves are withered, rolled and heated, and fermented before the final heating process.Black tea has the highest caffeine content and thus energizes.
Studies have shown that black tea may protect lungs from damage caused by exposure to cigarette smoke. Drinking it may reduce the risk of stroke.
Black tea reduces plaque formation as well as restricts bacteria growth that promotes the formation of cavities and tooth decays.
Black tea contains polyphenols and these antioxidants are different from those obtained from fruits and vegetables. Drinking tea then provides an even wider spectrum of healthy antioxidants.
Green tea preserves it’s natural green color because it does not go through any oxidation. Green tea is delicate and subtle. Green tea’s antioxidants may interfere with the growth of bladder, breast, lung, stomach, pancreatic, and colorectal cancers. There is research to suggest that green teas may help prevent clogged arteries and assist in lowering your bad cholesterol. Green tea has been shown to increase fat burning and boost the metabolic rate.
Green and black tea consumption reduces the risk of stroke. Research concludes that individuals who consume three or more cups of tea have a 21% lower risk of a stroke than people who consume less than one cup of green or black tea per day. So raise your cup, cheers! White tea (seen close up in the above photograph) is hand-picked once a year in early spring. When they are plucked, the leaves are dried with the least amount of processing of any true tea. White tea is both uncured and unfermented. One study showed that white tea has the most potent anticancer properties.This is because white tea contains even more antioxidants than green tea.
Rooibos (ROY-boss) is a South African herb, native to the Cederberg region. Many people refer to it as red bush tea even though it is not part of the true tea (Camellia sinensis) family. This herbal tea is caffeine free and has a natural sweetness. One of the key health benefits of rooibos tea is that it contains several vital minerals. These include: magnesium for the nervous system, calcium & manganese for strong teeth and bones, zinc important for metabolism and iron essential for helping blood and muscles distribute oxygen.
Herbal infusions, also known simply as herbal tea, is made using botanical ingredients other than from the tea (Camellia sinensis) family. Many popular herbs make great tea, like chamomile, peppermint, hibiscus and lemongrass. Each herb has specific benefits.
For instance, chamomile relieves indigestion and Rosemary eases headaches. There are many books and articles that explore the benefits of each herb tea. You can look up an ailment like menopause or the flu and get a list of teas to help.
Remember the tea kettle – it is always up to its neck in hot water, yet it still sings! ~Author Unknown
Chai Spice Blend
2 teaspoon ground cardamom
2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground allspice
½ cup of plain, loose leaf black tea
Store in mason jars in cool dark location
To make two cups of Chia tea gather the following:
2- 4 tablespoons Chai Mix
2 cups boiling water
1/2 cup hot milk ( I use almond milk)
Optional: agave, sugar, coconut nectar or favorite sweetener or grated nutmeg or cinnamon stick for garnish
Maple Cinnamon Almond Butter
Ingredients: 2 cup raw almonds
2 tbsp whole flax seeds
2 tbsp hemp seeds
1 tbsp chia seeds
3 tbsp pure maple syrup
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp kosher salt, or to taste
1.5 tsp pure vanilla extract
Directions: 1. Preheat oven to 300F. Line a baking sheet with parchment or a non-stick mat. In a large bowl, mix together the almonds, flax seeds, hemp seeds, chia seeds, and maple syrup. Spread out almond mixture onto baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes, stirring once half way through.
2. Remove from oven and allow the almond mixture to cool for a few minutes before placing into a food processor. Process for about 10 minutes, stopping to scrape the bowl every 30-60 seconds as needed. The mixture will be very drippy and smooth when ready. Add in the vanilla, salt, and cinnamon and process until mixed well.
Remove the almond butter from the processor. If you’d like crunchy almond butter, add some almonds (about a 1/2 cup) into the (now empty) processor and process until chunky. Stir the chunky almonds into the almond butter. Makes 1 and 1/4 cups.
This stuff has really great flavor and makes a good fall gift. I also appreciate the extra protein and nutrition from the chia and hemp seeds. I use the maple almond butter on pancakes, swirled in vegan yogurt ( I like coconut), in smoothies and just on crackers! Enjoy and check out OhSheGlows cookbook. I love every recipe I’ve tried.
Metabolism-Boosting Green Citrus Tea
This recipe is from Oh She Glows cookbook
3 cups of boiling water to steep two tea bags of favorite green tea
The juice of one grapefruit
The juice of one lemon
Big pinch of chipotle pepper (Oh She Glows cookbook suggests using cayenne pepper, but I like the smokiness of chipotle pepper and think it compliments the green tea well)
Directions: Steep tea in water for three minutes
Squeeze the juice of fruits through fine sieve to remove seeds and pulp
Use spoon to press all the juice through sieve
Drink warm or chilled
This drink is refreshing and energizing!
“You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.”
― C.S. Lewis
1/3 cup Old fashioned rolled oats (not instant or quick)
1 cup almond milk, and more if needed
1-2 tablespoons chia seeds
1 ripe banana, peeled and smashed
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Directions: Mix together the above ingredients in a bowl and place in fridge overnight.
I used slightly less almond milk and forgot the vanilla extract. It was delicious, but the surprizing thing is how much energy it provided for hours!
If you like muesli, then this is for you. My husband calls it goop, but if you top with crunchy nuts and seasonal fruit, like Rainier cherries or strawberries, it is full of divergent texture. This breakfst saves well for a few days in a mason jar. If you want gluten free, look for those specialized oats (expensive) in any good healthy grocery store.
Read more: https://ohsheglows.com/2010/04/08/easy-vegan-overnight-oats/#ixzz31RaORsrH
“Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”
― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland
The peaches and raspberries are sweet, tasty and fragrant now. I needed a break from my usual granola or Greek yogurt muesli. So, what to put the yummy fruit on?
I took left over brown rice and warmed it in almond milk, with a drizzle of natural maple syrup and a dash of sea salt. When it was hot, I used a slotted spoon to remove rice from the almond milk.
In the cool months, I leave the rice in longer until it breaks down and becomes creamy, more like a rice pudding ~ But, today the hot rice kernels over the fresh peaches, raspberries and almonds were amazing. A hearty breakfast like this keeps you full for a long time.
Brown rice is a great source of selenium, magnesium and it also provides fiber. The almonds offers calcium, magnesium, vitamin E and compounds called phytonutrients, that may help protect against cardiovascular disease and even cancer. Peaches are high in vitamin A and like brown rice and raspberries they are packed with phytonutrients.
Remember to eat bright colored foods daily, as nutritionist say, a whole rainbow.
No, Lucky Charms don't qualify, only real fruits and vegetables ~ things your great grandparents would recognize!
Ingredients: Trader Joe's Greek Honey Yogurt, raisins, peeled diced apple, toasted almonds, blueberries, old fashioned oats, grape nuts and Justin's Maple Almond butter.
Directions: Mix enough yogurt & oats to fill two parfait glasses, this is about one cup, depending on the size of the glass. Keep in mind the oats swell overnight, so you want a loose base to start.Put a sprinkle of grape nuts to the yoghurt mixture for added crunch. Layer the parfait by starting with fruit and nuts in the bottom, then top that with yogurt mixture. Continue until you only have a few spoonfuls of yogurt mix left for the top layer. Add to that one teaspoon of Justin's Almond Butter and mix well.
Spread this over the top and add a finishing sprinkle of raisin, blueberries and toasted almond. Chill in refrigerator overnight covered with cling wrap or a clean cloth. Serve to your sweet heart with hot coffee or tea first thing in the morning.
To make flavored oil, you need pretty bottles, peppers, peppercorns, bay leaves and herbs. I start a month before Christmas, but you can make bottles this week and just add a tag instructing recipient to let sit for a couple of weeks in a sunny windowsill. I like to use peppers because I think spicy oil is hard to find, plus I grew a lot of peppers this summer.
Gather bottles, olive oil and herbs and spices you wish to use. Then, simply pour good quality Olive Oil into your bottle, then add the spices you wish.To appeal to anyone, make a classic, flavored oil with rosemary, peppercorns and bay leaf. Add the herbs with chop sticks and make sure they stay beneath the oil. The only time folks have mold problem is when herbs pop out from under the oil and they let it sit for years. Use your flavored oil in three months to avoid any troubles. I place a tag with a vinaigrette recipe and storing instructions on finished bottles. You can add a ribbon or raffia. Let them know to store in a dry dark location and to use before three months time. You can caution to place in refrigerator if herbs emerge from oil bath. To use solidified olive oil after refrigerating, just bring bottle to back room temperature.
When you start a batch, let the bottles sit for at least two week so the flavors infuse. If anything looks decayed, pour the oil
through cheesecloth and remove tattered herbs after the two weeks. Then, I usually add a few fresh herbs so the bottle looks pretty, but my peppers held up very well and I did not have to sieve anything off. This makes a lovely gift for your postman or gardening friends.
Give yourself some twice baked miniature potatoes!
I got some baby potatoes at Trader Joe's. I love all the colors! I decided to make twice baked potatoes in miniature.
This is easy to make, but time consuming because potatoes are so tiny. I love to add several veggies to baking pan for potatoes for future dishes. You may as well since the oven is on! Today, I baked red pepper strips for soup and roasted a head of garlic for dressing, while I baked the potatoes. I think now I deserve a coffee and Bailey's Irish cream!
1. wash and dry potatoes
2. coat with olive oil & salt and pepper and bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes
3. cut potatoes in 1/2 and scoop out the innards leaving some potatoes so the shell doesn't tear.For these little guys use a teaspoon to scoop out baked potato.
4. In a large bowl, use a potato masher to begin to mash the potatoes. Then, combine potatoes with small amount of soy milk, cream or milk and your favorite grated cheese. This recipe is intuitive and depends on how many potatoes you have and how cheesy you want it. Don't be afraid because with potatoes and cheese nothing can go wrong!
I served mine mini-twice baked potatoes with soup and they were delicious. I think I will make some ahead for Christmas eve! They can sit in refrigerator until I need them. And the just warm at 350 until cheese is bubbly and lightly browned.
Happy Holidays with warm thoughts from my kitchen to yours!