Monthly Archives: April 2012

Hot Pink Breakfast Smoothie

 

This is a recipe I got from one of Robyn Openshaw’s recipe books(she’s the Green Smoothie Girl) and very lightly adapted. It’s called the ‘Hot Pink Breakfast Smoothie’. It has coconut liquid, beets, dates, carrot, cashews, flax oil, vanilla and frozen strawberries. I like to drink it for lunch. Charlie(age 5), Annabelle(3) and Jane(1) all really like it too! In my opinion, it’s best to start on whole and healthy foods when the kids are young. They take to it much easier and with excitement that way. Elisabeth, though still young, is not as young as the others and she is a little more challenging when it comes to eating some of the “fun” things I make. Some of the whole foods or recipes we have, she has to try over and over and over again before she develops a taste for it. It’s not impossible to have older kids develop a taste for healthy foods, just a little harder. Scott thought this smoothie was okay, but he says he likes cashews plain (so do I), so he’d rather eat them that way and leave the things like kale and beets to be pureed and hidden in the smoothies :).

Just in case you’re not sure what chopped dates or a young coconut look like, here ya go. I buy the dates in bulk at health food stores or Winco. And in the picture below I have both the Young or Thai Coconut and the Coconut Juice(or coconut water) so you can see what they look like but I only use one or the other. If you use the actual coconut, you’ll need all the water it has inside. But when I’m using the coconut juice from the can, I usually only use about half of the can because it holds more, and then I’ll add another 1/4 – 1/2 cup of filtered water…that way I only buy one can for two smoothies.


I cut up a beet and use half of a small one or 1/3 of a large beet in this recipe. You can store the other pieces in the fridge in a ziploc bag for several days, or you can freeze it for months. You can either use a fresh young coconut or you can open a can of coconut water. Just be sure there isn’t any other added ingredients if you’re using something that has been canned.

To open the young coconut, take off the wrapper, place it on it’s side on a cutting board. Steady it with a hand near the pointy end and with a sawing motion and a large knife, cut off the flat end, about an inch or two thick(there’s an indent on that flat end all around the diameter, which you can follow.).

I then take a screwdriver, put it in the eye of the coconut(you’ll see a white circle once you cut of the flat end and it’s a little softer) and then tap it with your hammer until it makes a hole. I also make another small hold somewhere else close by as an air hole to allow the water to come out faster.

Drain your coconut water directly into your blender or you can put it in a jar if you’re going to use it later.

Once you have your coconut liquid in your blender(about 1 1/2 c), add in your large carrot, washed and cut into thirds, your beet, dates, vanilla and your cashews. Blend it all together for about 2 minutes in a high power blender(may work in another blender, but will probably need it to run longer). Add in your frozen strawberries and any of the optional ingredients. I like to put in soaked flax seeds or kefir. Blend it again on high until it’s smooth, about 2 minutes more. It’s ready to serve! This makes about 32 oz.

THE RECIPE:

Hot Pink Breakfast Smoothie– very lightly adapted from Robyn Openshaw(green smoothie girl)

makes about 32 oz
1 1/2 c coconut liquid (from a young or Thai coconut; can also use canned or boxed coconut juice just read the ingredients and be sure the only ingredient is coconut water/juice and/or with it’s pulp)
1 large carrot, washed & cut into 3 pieces
1/4 of a medium beet, raw and peeled (you can freeze these for later use in smoothies)
1/4 c cashews
1/4 c chopped dates
2 tsp vanilla
14 large frozen strawberries
optional: 1-2 Tbsp soaked flax seed or flax oil, protein powder, kefir or yogurt

Place the ingredients, in order listed, into your high power blender leaving out the strawberries and optional ingredients. Blend for two minutes. Add the strawberries and optional ingredients and blend on high until smooth, about another 2 minutes.

* Once you’ve taken the water out of your coconut, don’t throw the rest of the coconut away. Instead, open it(I have my 6 year old son take it out back onto the patio and smash it a few times just by throwing it to the concrete as hard as he can), scoop out the coconut meat, rinse it and use it in other recipes. You can even freeze the coconut meat to use for later. I like to freeze mine and make Butter Pecan Ice Cream which I’ll post on here soon. If you’re going to freeze it, make sure you measure your meat in a measuring cup and then mark and label your bags with how much meat is inside.

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Filed under Breakfast, Lunch, Smoothies, Uncategorized

Peanut Butter Cups

These peanut butter cups are hands down, my absolute favorite whole foods treat. They are amazing! But then I love peanut butter. When I make these, I have to hide them from my two youngest daughters because otherwise, they’ll get in the fridge and eat several without me knowing… yes, even my almost two-year-old does this. But I always know soon after the fact because she hass carob smeared all around her mouth. Just like her mamma!

Just in case you don’t know what some of these ingredients look like, here are mine all laid out on the counter for you. I buy my carob chips in bulk at the health food store or Winco for the best price. I’ll sometimes make half of my peanut butter cups with carob chips and the other half with white chocolate or chocolate chips(the sunspire brand uses cane juice and they don’t have trans fats). I try and always use the honey sweetened graham crackers, but those things are like gold…so expensive, so I also don’t let my kids just snack on them whenever they want. I get my Sucanat in bulk as well, which is that brown stuff in the clear plastic bag off to the right, though lately I’ve been using coconut sugar which is wonderful and which you can usually find on the baking aisle in most grocery stores; sometimes it’s out with the other sugars and sometimes it’s with the ‘healthier options’ for baking. Maple sugar is really yummy too, but heavens, it’s SO expensive! And I haven’t been able to find that one in bulk locally.

Once you’ve got everything out, go ahead and line your muffin tins with paper liners. I usually make 6 normal sized pb cups(or perhaps to some people, they’re extra large) and 12 mini ones. The mini ones are for my kids and the big ones are for me :). I’m generous like that. But hey, at least I share at all!

Next, you’ll want to grind up your graham crackers into really fine crumbs. I put mine in a gallon ziploc bag, close it tight and roll over it with my rolling pin, using a lot of pressure.They should all end up looking like the fine crumbs in the middle of the ziploc bag below.

You can set your bag aside and start warming up your butter in a small saucepan. Once it has melted, add the peanut butter, graham crackers and Sucanat. Once you mix it all together, take your saucepan off the heat and put it on a pot holder next to your muffin tins. Then you’ll start scooping about 2 Tbsp of this peanut butter mixture at a time into the muffin tins. If you’re using the mini muffins, you’ll use about 1 Tbsp per cup.

Next you’ll want to melt your carob/chocolate with your milk over medium heat. Make sure you continuously stir until it’s all melted. Take it off the heat, transfer it to your hot pad next to your muffin tins and spoon the chocolate mixture over each peanut butter cup. To finish it off, sprinkle some chopped nuts over top. I usually use peanuts or almonds because they’re fairly inexpensive. Once that’s done, put them in the fridge and allow them to set for at least 2 hours.

THE RECIPE:

Peanut Butter Cups- adapted from Alicia Silverstone

Makes 12 regular muffin sized pb cups or 24 mini cups

½ c butter (earth balance if you’re doing vegan)

¾ c crunchy peanut butter (unsweetened and unsalted)

¾ c graham cracker crumbs or 10 graham cracker squares(use ones that are naturally sweetened or low in sugar)

¼ c coconut sugar, Sucanat, maple sugar or other granulated sweetener

3/4 c grain-sweetened carob chips or other chocolate chips*

¼ c milk (cow, almond, soy, rice etc)

¼ c chopped pecans, almonds or peanuts

Fill a 12 cup muffin tin with paper liners or you can do 12 mini and 6 regular(or another similar combination). Set aside.

Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the peanut butter, graham cracker crumbs, and sugar and mix well. Remove the mixture from the heat. Evenly divide the mixture, approximately 2 Tbsp per cup, among the muffin cups.

Combine the chocolate and milk in another pan. Stir over medium heat until the chocolate has melted. Spoon the chocolate evenly over the peanut butter mixture. Top with chopped nuts. Place in the fridge to set for at least 2 hours before serving.

*non dairy carob if you’re vegan. I sometimes do half carob chips and half white chocolate chips.  When I do it that way, I use two pans and do half the chocolate/milk recipe in each pan using white chocolate chips in one and carob chips in the other.

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Filed under Desserts, Snacks/Sides/Appetizers, vegan