Category Archives: Smoothies

Maca Date Shake

This is a great shake for anyone, but especially athletes as it contains dates (many runners and bikers eat dates on their long runs), and Maca Powder which is considered a Superfood because it not only has a positive effect on hormones, but also increases energy levels and stamina. Health benefits aside, I love this shake! It’s almost like having a milk shake. It’s important to enjoy the foods we eat. I love when the shakes about done, but there are some tiny bits and pieces of the dates that have sunk to the bottom. They’re sweet and chewy.

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And a word of advice on the dates. I buy mine at Costco in the produce section, as that’s where I find them for the best price, and unless used within a week or so, should be stored in the fridge, but I will take out the 4 I need for this recipe the morning of, put them in a baggie and let them sit out for a couple of hours until I’m ready to make my shake, because my blender has an easier time blending them up when they’re at room temperature. And I have a high power blender.

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THE RECIPE:

Maca Date Shake
serves 1

1 c unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1/4 c dates (about 4 medjool dates, at room temperature or 1/4 c of the chopped dates in oat flour)
1 Tbsp almond butter
1/2 tsp vanilla(I only use this about half of the time…great either way)
1 tsp maca powder
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
1 c ice

Optional: 1/2 frozen açaí packet (only use 1/2 c ice if you use this option…also, açaí will change the color and make it look more chocolatey) 

Place in high power blender, milk first, and blend until smooth.

*Maca Powder: of the cruciferous family (like broccoli), and is considered a Super Food. Grown in the mountains of South America, Maca has a positive effect on hormone balance, energy levels, and is a health booster.

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Powdered Peanut Butter & Banana Protein Shake

For those of you who follow me on instagram(elisa_realfoodsmom), you’ll recognize this recipe from a post I did last week.

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I found this powdered peanut butter on sale at Sprouts and picked it up when I saw there were only three ingredients and no refined sugar (peanuts, salt and coconut sugar, which is unrefined).

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Since then we’ve made multiple batches of peanut butter and banana protein shakes! You could also sub the powdered stuff for all natural peanut butter, 1:1 ratio (if you’re watching calories though, the powdered is the way to go).

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THE RECIPE:

Powdered Peanut Butter and Banana Protein Shake
*Makes about 14 oz

10oz unsweetened almond milk
2 tbsp powdered peanut butter
1 scoop vanilla protein powder (I like sunwarrior vegan mix)
1/2 frozen banana
4 ice cubes

Blend until smooth. Makes about 14 oz!

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Filed under Breakfast, Smoothies, Snacks/Sides/Appetizers, vegan

Acai Protein Shake

My macro counting didn’t last very long, and actually, I don’t think I ever hit the protein amount they suggested :). I recently read some research about how too much animal protein in our diet (including dairy, whey etc), spikes the insulin, which reminded me of T. Colin Campbell’s research from his book The China Study, also talking about how we should only be consuming smaller amounts of animal protein to prevent sickness and disease…I should pick that book up again as it’s been too many years. I highly recommend it. Anyhow, I am still counting calories because I love food so much, even whole healthy foods, that I tend to eat more than my body needs, so I’m trying to reign that in a little :). For now I’m trying to eat like the French people(“French kids eat everything” is another great read), with 3 meals a day and one snack. Counting calories helps me to stay within those boundaries. I don’t feel like I’m super hungry all the time because I’m not, I’m getting a good amount of food and of the right kinds of foods, a lot of plants, but I don’t ever really feel stuffed either, which is also good because being stuffed is not good for our stomach.  I have  four more weeks to go with my calorie counting goal, and then I’m hoping I will have established some good healthy habits that I will  continue to keep.

I’ve been finding that my late afternoon snack is often times some sort of a vegan protein shake or some veggies, fruit and hummus.  I’ve been experimenting with a lot of different protein shake recipes and this Acai and chia shake is a good one that’s full of so many nutrients, including omega 3 fats from the chia seeds.

Start by pouring your almond milk into your blender, add the chia seeds and then let it sit for a few minutes (they will swell and get ‘jelly’) while you pull out your remaining ingredients. Add everything else and blend until smooth. You can use a few stevia drops to sweeten or a little stevia powder.

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THE RECIPE

Acai Protein Shake
*makes 20 oz

2 c unsweetened almond milk
1 Tbsp chia seeds
1 scoop Sunwarrior vanilla protein powder (or another vanilla, but I love this vegan mix)
1/2 Acai Smoothie packet (could sub another smoothie packet like pitaya)
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
3 drops liquid stevia

Pour milk into blender and add chia seeds. Allow to soak for a few minutes and in the meantime get out the remaining ingredients. Add the protein powder, acai, cinnamon and stevia and blend until smooth. Enjoy!

253 calories; 10 g fat, 20 g carbs, 21 g protein

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Spirulina Power Green Smoothie

I’ve been playing around with my green smoothie recipe, wanting to use both chia seeds and spirulina powder as they have so many health benefits. The tricky part is coming up with a recipe that tastes good when spirulina powder is added. But after playing around a bit, I found one that is delicious and my kids think so too! This recipe makes about 24 oz which means it makes just enough for me for breakfast :).

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THE RECIPE:

Spirulina Power Green Smoothie
*makes 24 oz

10 oz cool water
1 Tbsp chia seeds
1/2 tsp spirulina powder
4 c power green mix (spinach, kale and chard)
5 baby carrots
1/2 lemon, peel cut off
1/2 apple, cored
1 frozen banana
1/2 c frozen blueberries

Pour water into high power blender and add chia seeds. Allow the chia seeds to soak for a few minutes, and in the meantime gather and prep your other ingredients. Add spirulina, greens and carrots and blend until combined, about 10 seconds. Add the remaining ingredients and blend on medium power, until smooth (I take my blendtec through two full cycles of blending to get it to the smooth consistency I like). Drink immediately.

*chia seeds get thick and gel-like when they sit in liquid, so if you don’t drink this all right away, store it in a jar in the fridge and before drinking, give it a shake.

-Why a “power” green smoothie

  • chia seeds are considered a super food, high in omega-3 fat, which is something most people don’t get in their typical diet unless they’re regularly eating fish or taking fish oil, also a good source of protein and fiber as well as vitamins and minerals
  • spirulina powder is an algae, fresh water plant, and is also a super food. It is full of minerals and vitamins and is a good source of protein
  • lemons are alkaline and are a cleansing food, also high in vitamin c and antioxidants
  • bananas are high in potassium and are especially a great food to consume before or after exercising. Good source of vitamins, minerals and fiber
  • blueberries are very high in antioxidants and a good source of vitamin c
  • spinach, kale and chard are high in fiber and they act as a broom in your body and sweep up and clear out heavy metals and toxins, also high in vitamin A and vitamin C

324 calories; 4 g fat, 70 g carbs, 10 g protein

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Cranberry Ginger Green Smoothie

Green smoothies are a staple in our house. I have had one every morning for the past 6+ years. I have a basic recipe I follow (water, greens, fruit), but it changes slightly through out the year, depending on what fruits are in season etc.

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After Thanksgiving I had half a bag of cranberries leftover that I decided to freeze, not sure what I was going to do with them, and then when I went to make my green smoothie that morning, I pulled open the freezer drawer to grab some frozen fruit and there they were, just waiting to be used. I also cut up fresh ginger root, into small maybe 1/8 inch slices, and freeze those as well. Be sure to keep them in a ‘freezer’ ziploc bag. I’ve had trouble with freeze burned foods when I try to freeze them in normal sandwich bags.

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Start with your water and greens, and blend them in a high power blender until smooth. Then add in your fruit. I use about 10 cranberries which is around 1/4 cup. And here’s my half a lemon with the peel cut off, and my slice of ginger. In the recipe I put the lemon as optional, and that’s because it tastes great with or without, I just love using it because lemons are so alkaline and a great cleanser, but it’s okay if you don’t use it. Blend everything until it’s smooth, which is two, 50-second cycles on my Blendtec.

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I love this Pioneer Woman mason jar I got at Walmart last year. I use it every day. I love the handle because I often drink this smoothie as I’m driving kids to school in the morning and it’s nice to have something to hold onto to…less spills for me this way :). Enjoy!

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THE RECIPE:

Cranberry Ginger Green Smoothie (vegan, gf)

*makes about 40 oz

12 oz cold water
2 handfuls power greens (mixture of spinach, kale and chard. Can do just spinach)
1 stalk celery, cut in half
optional: 1 small handful parsley (parsley removes toxins and metals from your body; great cleanser)
optional: 1/2 lemon, peel cut off (another great cleanser and very alkaline)
1 apple, cored
1 banana, peeled
10 frozen cranberries (about 1/4 cup)
1/8” thick slice of ginger (fresh or frozen)
1 c frozen strawberries
1 c frozen pineapple (or frozen blueberries)

Pour water into high power blender. Add in greens and blend until smooth. Add remaining ingredients and blend until smooth (My Blendtec gets to the consistency that I like in  two, 50 second cycles).

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Green Smoothie

I love green smoothies and have been drinking one daily for the past 6 years! I rarely miss a day because I don’t feel my best if I do. Green smoothies help me to feel energized and clean, and how many people do you know that get this many greens in a day, let alone just at breakfast:

2016-01-08 08.38.34Yeah, not many…probably just the crazy people :), like me. Even when I travel, I try and drink green smoothies…if a blender isn’t available for me to borrow then I’ll usually find a local health food store and buy premade green smoothies.

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I posted another green smoothie recipe on this blog about 4 years ago which you can find by clicking here.  I change my recipes up regularly, using different greens and fruit that are in season, but the outline is the same:  water, greens, fruit and ice or frozen fruit. Sometimes I’ll add a super food like spirulina, acai, maca, chia, hemp, oats, flax etc. for added nutritional benefits.

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The recipe I’m sharing today uses spinach, kale, chard, parsley and celery, plus some wonderful, sweet fruit.

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My husband and kiddos sometimes share my smoothie with me in the morning, but I’m the regular drinker in our house. I drink a lot of it at breakfast and I’ll save a cup or two to have later in the afternoon if I’m feeling hungry, or if I get cravings before dinner.  I like to drink it at breakfast because most people don’t get greens or any veggies at breakfast and because I  have a set morning routine which includes things that make me strong and healthy physically, mentally and emotionally, this habit fits in perfectly.

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I have a Blendtec which is a high power blender that makes smoothies Jamba Juice smooth, and Vitamix does the same thing. Using other blenders is possible, but you will not get the same smooth consistency. I LOVE this blender and use it often, not only for smoothies but also sometimes for soups, chopping nuts, and for grinding nuts and coconut into flour. It’s pretty amazing.

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Green Smoothie
*makes about 36 oz

1 1/2 cups cold water
2 large handfuls spinach, kale, chard mix (or just spinach if you’re just starting out with green smoothies)
2 stalks celery
1 small handful parsley
1 banana
1 apple, cored (or 1 orange or handful of grapes, or any other piece of fruit you have on hand)
1/2 a lemon, with juice squeezed
1 c ice (or you can do 1 cup of frozen berries/fruit)
optional: 1/2 tsp spirulina powder (spirulina has a very strong taste so I don’t usually do more than this)
optional: 1 Tbsp chia seeds or flax seeds or oat groats
optional: 1 tsp acai powder

Place water in high power blender. Add in greens and blend. Add in the rest of ingredients and blend on high until smooth. Add more ice if not cold enough, or can add a little frozen fruit. FYI: If you use dark berries(blueberries, raspberries etc) it will change the color of your smoothie from green to a brownish color.

*Why I like these ingredients:

Greens (spinach, kale, chard) : high in beta-carotene, cartonoids and flavonoids, vitamin K, A and C and numerous minerals like calcium, manganese, magnesium, zinc, folate, and selenium(these will help with aging). Lots of fiber which will sweep wastes and toxins from your body. Kale provides free-form amino acids which can be assimilated directly into the body and built into protein and it also has the flavonoids kaempferol and quercitin along with many others, that fight against the formation of cancerous cells.

Celery: anti-inflammatory; calming effect on the nervous system possibly because of high concentration of alkaline minerals including calcium, magnesium and potassium, and it helps lower high blood pressure. Detoxifier, and aids in elimination of toxins from the body by promoting healthy and normal kidney function. Natural laxative.

Parsley: High in vitamins A, C and in folic acid. Flavonoids that act as antioxidants(for anti-aging). High in iron. Blood purifier and helps kill bacteria in the body. Restorative digestion remedy. Helps cleanse liver of toxins and rejuvenates it.

Lemon: One of the most restorative foods for the liver. High in Vitamin C. Blood purifier and cleansing agent that flushes bacteria and toxins out of the body. Aids digestion.

Apple: contains pectin fiber, both soluble and insoluble. the soluble form swells with water in digestive tract, creating gel-like substance that binds with fats in the intestine which helps lower cholesterol and creates stable blood sugar levels. The insoluble fiber roughage helps cleanse the colon which helps to have clean blood.

Banana: High in B6 which helps with irritability and insomnia. Also it’s magnesium helps promote better sleep patterns. A combination of nutrients, healthy carbs and essential amino acid tryptophan in bananas can fight depression and help you stay in a good mood. High concentration of fiber and Vitamin C which helps promote good digestion and prevents constipation. Helps maintain healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Good source of potassium which helps regulate proper fluid levels in the body. Vitamin A and natural oils help keep skin moisturized.

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Peach Smoothie

 

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It’s that time of year and our peach tree is overwhelmed, and completely weighed down with the amount of fruit that’s growing from it. We picked about 75 last night after dinner, and it barely looks like we touched the tree!

We love to eat peaches raw and we love cobblers and crisps, but you can only make so many cobblers before it gets old…and that’s too much sugar to have regularly. So we’ve been making peach smoothies! (We’ve also been slicing and freezing peaches for later use in smoothies).

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My older kids can make smoothies all on their own, and my younger ones love to get involved and help put things in the blender so it’s a fun and tasty activity for the whole family.
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Here’s what  you’ll need: almond milk (or another milk), plain yogurt (or another yogurt), ice cubes, honey and 4 large, ripe peaches (can use frozen if fresh are not available, but use less ice).

 

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Combine all the ingredients in your blender, starting with the milk, and blend until smooth.

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Delicious, light and refreshing!

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THE RECIPE:

Peach Smoothie
*makes about 40 oz

12 oz Almond Milk (or other milk)
1/2 c plain yogurt
4 large peaches, pit removed
2 c ice cubes
optional: 2 Tbsp honey

Add milk to blender, then add remaining ingredients. Blend until smooth.

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Pina Colada Smoothie

My husband and I are preparing for our first  mini triathlon which will take place in just over a week. We decided that we’d do a month long sugar fast leading up to our triathlon to help us be on top of our game(which is not much of a ‘game’ considering we’re not good swimmers). We still consume natural sugars in fruits and honey, but all refined sugars are out. We’ve been eating a lot more fruit and smoothies and because of that, we’ve come up with a couple new favorite smoothie recipes, one of which is the Pina Colada Smoothie.

You can alter smoothie recipes pretty easily depending on preferences; add more fruit to make it sweeter, more ice or frozen fruits to make it thicker, more liquids to thin it out etc. So that being said, I’ll tell you how I made mine, but just know that you can change things up a bit to make it the way you like it, and if you don’t have an ingredient on hand, like canned pineapple, you can certainly use fresh or frozen, though if you use frozen, you also might want to decrease the amount of ice.

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Place all the ingredients you see below, in your blender, starting with your liquids, and blend until smooth. The shredded unsweetened coconut is optional, I personally love it because it gives it a stronger coconut flavor.

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Fruit smoothies are the perfect summer dessert, light, cool and refreshing. Enjoy!

THE RECIPE:

Pina Colada Smoothie

*makes about 24 oz

1/2 c coconut milk
1/2 c pineapple juice
1 banana
1 c  pineapple (can use fresh, canned or frozen but may want to decrease ice if using frozen)
optional: 1/4 c shredded unsweetened coconut
2 c ice
*if you use frozen pineapple or banana, you’ll want to decrease your ice; start with 1 c.

Place  all ingredients in blender, in order, and blend until smooth.

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Festive Whole Foods for Valentine’s Day

In honor of Valentine’s Day which is this Saturday, here is a recipe roundup of some of our favorite fun, festive, foods we like to eat to celebrate the holiday.

Breakfast Ideas:

Granola with yogurt and some blueberries and strawberries would be delicious, filling and beautiful! Fruit smoothies are considered a treat at our house because usually I make green smoothies :). I don’t mind having a fruit smoothie for breakfast every once in a while, and I think it’s a fun and pretty way to start out Valentine’s Day. We love this Heart Smoothie.

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Berry Banana Smoothie is another great smoothie for Valentine’s Day.

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Whole Wheat Cinnamon Rolls cooked in a red foil heart pan (pan not pictured below because I forgot to take a pic when we did this on Valentine’s.)

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These are always a BIG hit.

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Whole wheat pancakes or waffles topped with fresh strawberries or with a strawberry and banana cream cheese sauce.

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Lunch Ideas:

I don’t have any pictures of this one but you could make heart shaped sandwiches using a large heart-shaped cookie cutter, served with a side of fresh strawberries. I love this bread recipe.

Dinner Ideas: 

We really only do pizza for dinner on Valentine’s. It’s tradition and it’s a family favorite. But on Valentine’s we shape our dough into a heart which makes it a little more festive. Here is the Best whole wheat pizza dough recipe ever!

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You can serve it with some of the red(pomegranate) Izze drinks, which are basically sparkling juice. IMG_8207

Dessert Ideas:

There are lots of great Valentine desserts out there, but we try and keep it somewhat wholesome since we know the kids will most likely be getting a bunch of sugary treats at school (we let them pick out a couple of favorites from the valentine’s they bring home and everything else goes in the trash). We love these Peanut Butter Cups . They take a little time to set up in the fridge so make sure you plan ahead.

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Another idea is to make heart-shaped Whole Wheat Peanut Butter Cookies. There are not very many cookie recipes out there that taste great with all whole wheat flour, but these are the exception. These whole wheat, honey and maple syrup sweetened cookies are amazing!

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My ten-year-old daughter who is in fifth grade, asked if she could make some of these and bring them to her four closest girlfriends for their valentine. I thought it was a brilliant idea and was happy to help. We turned them into giant, heart-shaped cookies…three cookie scoops of dough in each cookie.

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We cut out some cardboard squares and covered them in foil so that our giant heart shaped peanut butter cookies wouldn’t break when she transported them to school.

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Our weekdays are crazy busy and I knew I wouldn’t have much time to whip them out the day before their school Valentine’s celebrations on Thursday, so we made them the week before, sealed them in quart ziploc bags, and froze them. She will take them out of the freezer Thursday morning and they should be thawed and ready to eat within an hour.

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We’ll also be making some chocolate covered strawberries on lollipop sticks this week to bring into my daughter’s first grade class…she’s turning 7 soon and wants to bring these in for her birthday treat to share, which will also be on the Thursday when they celebrate Valentine’s so we thought we’d bring something festive. Happy Love Day!!!

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Filed under Breakfast, Desserts, Dinner, Lunch, Smoothies

Heart Smoothie

This fruit smoothie would be perfect for Valentine’s Day breakfast, or with dinner, or as a dessert. It’s pretty and purpley-pinkish (made up word) and there are no added, refined sugars which is always a plus in my book! Smoothies are quick and easy which I love and they’re always a kid-favorite. This recipe calls for frozen mixed berries and frozen strawberries, but you can make this smoothie with just one type and it’ll still taste great. And actually, if you want it more pink colored and less purpley, you can substitute more strawberries for the mixed berries.

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THE RECIPE:

Heart Smoothie

1 c unsweetened almond milk (or other milk)
1/2 c plain yogurt
1 small ripe banana
1 1/4 c frozen mixed berries
3-4 frozen whole strawberries
2 Tbsp agave or pure maple syrup
optional: 1/2 tsp vanilla

Add ingredients to blender, in order, and blend until smooth. Add more milk if too thick. Add more ice/frozen fruit if too thin. Can garnish with fresh strawberry. Serve immediately or refrigerate in glass jar with lid and shake well before serving.

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