formats

Favorite Green Smoothie

Published on November 6, 2012, by in Drinks, Raw, Recipes.

GreenSmoothie

 

Are you eating baby food? Is that algae? Are you drinking peanut butter? What is that?

These are real questions I’ve received from people who’ve seen me enjoying a green smoothie. Usually these questions are accompanied by a look of fear mixed with disgust. It always makes me laugh. I explain what a green smoothie is and that it actually tastes good. People don’t seem to believe me.

But this green smoothie is GOOD! And it’s so GOOD for you! Seriously, look at those ingredients. You feel healthier just reading about them, right?!

I’ve heard it said that you should drink a green smoothie once a day. It’s a great way to get a power-packed dose of raw fruits and vegetables…especially greens (hence the name). I try to heed this advice and make a large green smoothie almost every day. I split it into two servings and usually have one for breakfast and one in the afternoon (I take it to work in a glass jar as shown above). I like to drink mine with a straw, too. It’s just better somehow.

There are MANY recipes…even entire websites…devoted to the wonderful green smoothie. This is the tried and true recipe I’ve developed for myself through experimentation. I do change up the ingredients from time to time, maybe add a different fruit or more greens, but for the most part I keep it the same. I don’t really measure the ingredients, so the flavor does change a bit, but I’d rather not have it be exactly the same every day.

Of course I try to stick with all raw for a green smoothie, since I want to maximize the nutritional value. I think the only thing I use that isn’t raw is flavored liquid stevia (or at least I assume it isn’t raw), although I have used raw agave before.

I use a Vitamix blender, which is wonderful for creating a smooth drink, but I have also used small personal blenders before and they work good, too; it might not be quite as smooth, but it will still be yummy and full of health-boosting goodness.

Kale is super nutritious and has a pleasant, sweet taste. But if you’re not used to the “green” in the green smoothie, you may want to start out with more spinach and less kale. Spinach is milder and is easily masked by any fruit that is added. I have gradually added more kale to my smoothies over time and even sometimes have only kale, and I have grown accustomed to and actually enjoy the flavor now. It may not look appealing (and if you add extra berries it might turn sort of a sick brown color), but just think of all the green goodness you’re getting!

Cinnamon is definitely the key ingredient in this smoothie. It takes the edge off the green-ness and just really brings everything together into a tasty and sweet (with a little stevia!) drink.

I encourage you to experiment with ingredients to find your perfect green smoothie.  It only takes a few minutes to whip one up and it’s a great addition to your diet!

Favorite Green Smoothie
Author: 
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
 
Ingredients
  • 1 large leaf or several small leaves of kale (thick stems removed)
  • handful of baby spinach
  • a small handful of almonds or walnuts (about 8-10 nuts)
  • 1 T. chia seeds
  • 1 carrot
  • handful of blueberries or raspberries (I usually use frozen)
  • cinnamon to taste
  • lemon or vanilla liquid stevia to taste (I use about 1-1/2 droppers for two smoothies)
  • ¼ to ½ cup almond milk (I use homemade raw)
  • 2 T. raw hemp protein powder
  • water (amount depends on how thick you want the smoothie)
Instructions
  1. Put all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth.
Notes
If you don't have flavored stevia, you can use plain and add lemon juice or vanilla extract or use agave (or try it without sweetener and see how you like it). If I don't have almond milk handy, I have used only water before, which works fine, or sometimes I use coconut milk, which is not raw, but has a great flavor. For variation, I also sometimes add in ingredients like shredded coconut, almond butter, grapes, and raw cacao powder (yes, I like to try chocolate with everything!).

 

 

formats

Weighing In & A Little Inspiration

 

The photos in this post have nothing to do with weight loss, but I wanted to share some of the beautiful scenery I encountered on a recent trip to North Carolina.  I shared the trip with my parents, and we saw some of the most beautiful views in West Virginia, Tennessee, Kentucky, and of course North Carolina.  When we breathe in the freshness of God’s creation and wonder at its magnificence, we can’t help but be inspired.  Seeing these places makes me feel healthier and want to be healthier…so I guess these photos are related to weight loss after all.

It’s been over two weeks since I last weighed in, and I’m still at the same weight.  I’m not disappointed, though.  After traveling for a week, I’m actually amazed that I’m still at 15 pounds!  I did try to make healthy choices while I was gone, but I also made some not-so-healthy choices (including a very overpriced package of M&Ms).

The main reason for the trip was to attend a Hallelujah Acres women’s retreat.  I received loads of inspiration there as well.  I heard from incredibly knowledgeable speakers who offered practical insight into maintaining a healthy lifestyle.  I learned about the benefits of fermented foods (we all need friendly bacteria!), a new way to approach exercise, important supplements (like vitamin D), and a whole LOT of good information from Dr. Joel Fuhrman.  It was a great experience, and I’m sure I’ll be sharing some of the things I learned in the weeks to come.

One fun thing I got to do in Charlotte, NC, was to eat at two different vegan restaurants.  I’ve never been to a vegan restaurant or even a vegetarian restaurant, but I’ve always wanted to. This isn’t an option I have in my small town, so it’s fun to take advantage of what the “big city” has to offer.  At the first vegan restaurant, called Bean Vegan Cuisine, I had jackfruit carnitas tacos.  Who knew jackfruit could be a meat substitute?  Wait a minute…what is jackfruit?  You can check it out here.  Actually, I had eaten jackfruit years ago on a mission trip, and I thought it was disgusting.  But disguised as pork it was pretty darn good.

The second place I ate at was called Luna’s Living Kitchen, and it was AMAZING!  They specialize in raw foods, and everything I tried was so delicious.  I had a raw taco salad.  My parents had raw lasagna and a coconut curry dish.  I also got to sample fresh coconut milk and kale lemonade.  So good!  If you’re ever in Charlotte, I highly recommend it.

Lastly, I got to visit the most beautiful and amazing Whole Foods Market.  Again, I live in a small town, so I’ve been to Whole Foods maybe two other times in my life, once in Los Angeles and once in Cleveland.  But the store in Charlotte was the most impressive.  There was so much wholesome goodness in there I could hardly stand it!  Of course, not everything advertised as a health food is healthy, but it was still inspiring to see so many options — beautiful produce, loads of organic and gluten-free products, and let’s not forget the most glorious display of olives I have ever seen.

Living healthy is an adventure.  Go exploring!

formats

Zucchini Patties

Zucchini Patties

 

Part of the fun of learning to live a healthy lifestyle is experimenting in the kitchen. New foods. Different combinations. A lot of trial and error (some days mostly error).

These zucchini patties were an experiment that went wonderfully right. They are delicious!!  And I’m not the only one who thinks so.  Everyone who has tried them so far has wanted more. I have made this recipe probably seven or eight times over the last few weeks. I had some for lunch just a couple hours ago and already just writing about them I’m thinking, “Mmmmm…I want one of those.”  Seriously.

The key to this recipe is garbanzo bean flour.  This is a relatively new ingredient for me, discovered on my quest to go grain free.  And so far I am really liking this flour.  You will no doubt see more recipes as I continue experimenting.

The texture of these patties is moist yet firm; they hold together great, which is a problem with other recipes I’ve tried.  The fresh zucchini still has a little crunch to it, and the mustard provides just a bit of a kick.  Several people have compared these to delicious salmon patties — minus the salmon of course. They’re great served with salsa or even crumbled on a salad, or you can be more traditional and make a sandwich (with gluten-free bread of course!). Another bonus is they keep well and make great leftovers.

The recipe below will make about ten patties, but these little delights are so popular I’m now making them in bigger batches!

 

Zucchini Patties

 

Zucchini Patties
Author: 
Serves: 4
 
Vegan, grain-free, and delicious zucchini patties.
Ingredients
  • 1 small zucchini, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
  • ½ cup garbanzo bean flour
  • ¼ cup almond meal or flour
  • 2 T. nutritional yeast
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. garlic & herb seasoning
  • 2 tsp. mustard
  • ½ c. water
Instructions
  1. Mix together dry ingredients.
  2. Add mustard and water and stir until well combined.
  3. Stir in zucchini.
  4. Drop by rounded tablespoon (I use a cookie scoop) onto a lightly greased skillet or griddle. Spread out batter slightly to form a patty.
  5. Cook on both sides over medium-high heat until lightly browned.
Notes
Makes 10-11 patties. As a variation, try adding spicy salsa to the batter. I usually just dump some in, but I'd estimate ¼-1/2 cup. If the salsa is watery, you may want to reduce the amount of water slightly. I haven't tried this with frozen zucchini, but if you did use frozen, you'd want to make sure it was drained well; you could also cut down on the amount of water in the recipe.

 

formats

Easy Banana Ice Cream

Banana Ice Cream

 

This really isn’t a recipe. It’s just a super easy way to whip up a quick frozen treat. It’s cold and creamy and 100% good for you.

This can be 100% raw, too.  Just put three frozen bananas plus 1/4 cup of raw almond milk in a food processor and let it go!  It may seem like the bananas aren’t going to get creamy, but they will.  Just give them a few minutes.  Before you know it, you’ll have a thick, scoopable treat.

You really don’t need to add anything else.  But, if you want to play around with the flavors a bit, you can try adding a few drops of flavored stevia, lemon or vanilla extract, and/or 1 tsp. cinnamon (note these ingredients may not be raw).  In the photo above, you can see the swirls of cinnamon I added. Yum!

Of course, if you don’t like bananas, well…you won’t like this.  But if you do like bananas, this will make enough for three servings, or two bigger servings, or one extra large serving.  All guilt free.

If you’d like to check out another way to enjoy this, watch this video about making raw banana floats.  In this video, the almond milk isn’t added to the bananas, but I like the addition of the milk just to make it a bit smoother.

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