"Reinventing Indulgence" One meal at a time!

Archive for the ‘Smoothies’ Category

Cheers to the sweet potato!

“I’ll start juicing as soon as I get the right juicer or blender –
which one should I get?”
How many times have you said that? Anything to procrastinate right?

I might have a Vitamix but my Mom has style and grace! I was going for a pre-Thanksgiving day visit (yes it’s time to catch up on my blog entries). I had been on a smoothie kick and wanted to try something new and see if my Mom would get into smoothie making. It’s a quick and easy way to have a nutritious meal or snack. I was tempted to bring my Vitamix but figured my Mom would for sure have a blender. She has every kitchen appliance you could imagine or so I thought. I was bummed out with my sweet potato in hand as I realized there was no blender to be found. There was just a cheap $15 shaker/ mixer from who knows where. I was determined to make this shake even if it meant whisking or beating the ingredients by hand! It was called a Thanksgiving smoothie.

Don’t worry as I catch up on blog posts; you don’t have to wait until Thanksgiving to have this. It’s super healthy and packed with nutrition. Besides, everyday should be Thanksgiving anyway!

Sweet Potato Nutrition

  • Exceptionally rich in beta-carotene which the body converts to Vitamin A
  • Vitamin A is important for eyesight, growth & tissue healing, healthy skin, antioxidant protection and our overall immune system health.
  • Not considered a “nightshade” vegetable for those interested in reducing inflammation

I was amazed that this cheap little plastic shaker not only worked but did the job quite well. You know what that means right? NO EXCUSES! Anyone can do this anytime. The only real catch here is that you have to bake a sweet potato in advance. Sweet potatoes are amazing – loaded with nutrients. You can make a few at a time, refrigerate and then throw them in this smoothie to go.

 

IMG_3021I pretty much just followed the recipe here.

Spinach
Almond milk
Sweet potato (baked)
Frozen mango
Nutmeg
Cinnamon

A bit nervous about drinking my typical Thanksgiving vegetables, I was amazed how good this tasted. Although we began with a cheap shaker, I for sure couldn’t beat my Mom’s glassware and table setting.
It turned out to be a wonderful smoothie lesson. If anyone is procrastinating, now you know just go for it!

 

Disclaimer: The information given here is for educational purposes only. You should not use this to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified health care provider.

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Protein Powerhouse Chocolate Peanut butter MEGA bomb

Nothing like a contest to get my creative juices flowing! This time it’s to win a Vitamix! The contest is at ThisIsStory.com. Lately, I have been in a straight up peanut butter mood. I would normally say almond butter, but I was out this time. I felt like having a hearty AND deliciously rich smoothie shake!

I call this the Protein Powerhouse, not that I am consumed by the “P” word at all- but others are so why not!

The official title is: Protein Powerhouse Chocolate Peanut butter MEGA bomb with Sun Warrior RAW protein, hemp seeds, vanilla hemp milk, cacao powder, peanut butter, dates, banana and blueberries. This is a rich superfood smoothie- all thrown together in my vitamix!

Recipe

banana-1
blueberries- 1 cup
dates- 2
protein powder- 1-2 scoops
hemp seeds- 2 tablespoons
cacao powder- 1 1/2 tablespoons
peanut butter- 1 1/2 tablespoons
hemp milk- about 2 cups

Here is a link to the cacao I like to use so you can see what it looks like. The hemp seeds I like are Nutivia or Navitas.

Hemp is rich is essential fatty acids, protein and fiber! It’s an especially excellent source for vegetarians and vegans. Some of the many benefits of hemp include:

  • Improved heart health 
  • Improved memory and brain related functions
  • Healthier skin
  • Weight loss
  • Better digestion
  • Stronger immune system

Enjoy!

Disclaimer: The information given here is for educational purposes only. You should not use this to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified health care provider.

Vegan day 228: Raw Piña Coladas

“Piña Colada” in any recipe book would get my attention but this one really made my day since it was all raw- all vegan!
 
“If You Like Pina Colada” from Brigitte Mars’ RAWSOME
As soon as I saw this title, I knew it was a wrap!
I had to make it!
 
1/2 cup macadamia nuts soaked for 4 hours
1/4 cup chopped pineapple (of course I used more)
1 orange peeled
1/4 cup young coconut meat 
1 1/2 cups of coconut water  
 
I defrosted my young coconut meat that I had delivered last week from Exotic Super Foods. That takes about a day and a half in the refrigerator. I soaked the macadamia nuts for 4 hours and then rinsed them well. I blended everything together in my Ninja blender. I may have added a little agave had I had it but instead added 1-2 tablespoons of vegan sugar to this creation. It may depend how sweet the pineapple is to determine if it is even necessary. I was in heaven. 
To date, I will delightfully say that I have no allergies. My throat did however become a tiny bit scratchy after drinking this. Obviously, being an x-frozen drink addict, this was not about to stop me. I didn’t even blame the nuts! I thought I was coming down with the beginnings of a cold. Since I drank this the next day as well, I may have to admit it probably was the nuts. Raw vegans don’t get sick that easily after all hehe!
 
The mixologist in me has to of course add the comment that it could be de-virginized with some dark rum heavily splashed in! 
 
Disclaimer: The information given here is for educational purposes only. You should not use this to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified health care provider.
[Wednesday August 15th 2012 blog]

Vegan day 222: Purple Haze (Smoothie)

I have heard this name before and have seen her book online- it was time to buy it! The same time it arrived- I fell in love. For a moment I wished that my blog had more than 143 days left. That moment of insanity was fleeting however since I quickly reflected back to how this blog has taken over my life. The pressure of a daily blog is far more than I had imagined. My drive to stay as close to on point as possible is probably the greatest achievement in dedication that I have ever accomplished in my life. I can handle the daily experiences and challenges to make and taste new food items but then to write about it too- this is a true test in commitment. Perhaps after this, I will be closer to a visualization in long-term relationships- I don’t know. Everything is somehow connected. 

 
I started to flip through the pages and there were so many recipes that I wanted to try. This one in particular was classified as a power punch. For me, it was a quick and easy smoothie. I added raw vegan protein powder to mine.
 
PURPLE HAZE
3 dates pitted of course and soaked for 20 minutes
1 1/2 cups of coconut water
1 cup of blackberries (I used blueberries)
1 banana
 
BLEND & drink!
 
Disclaimer: The information given here is for educational purposes only. You should not use this to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified health care provider.
[Thursday August 9th 2012 blog]

Vegan day 203: Lilli Pilli Berri Bar White Plains NY

Lilli Pilli Berri Bar- say that 3x fast after a few wheat grass shots!
I was so excited that there was an organic smoothie bar in White Plains where I am spending the weekend. I can’t run to Whole Foods every time I need something! 

I guess you can say that this is my kind of place! I was easily distracted from a smoothie to a tea to a wheatgrass shot to a juice. For me this is a good thing! I’m well into my raw vegan month and this is really the only kind of menu that interests me.

 I began with a smoothie. Actually, funny story: I know I am headed out of NYC and into White Plains so I bring my own raw vegan protein powder— but of course! lol I asked them if they could make me a smoothie with my protein powder. They were very nice and accommodating  but did ask me why. I think they were just curious. I explained how I was on a raw vegan diet and that most places didn’t carry that kind of protein. They asked the name and I told them SUN WARRIOR – honestly, I was AMAZED when they pulled that out from the prep area. I was so happy that I think I ordered everything in the store! While they were making the smoothie, I had wheatgrass shots with my friend and I ordered some vegetables to go. As I was about to leave I noticed the fresh pressed juices. I didn’t even realize this was a juice bar but happily delighted to see that it was. Of course, I will travel for fresh press. Oh.. and don’t think that iced green tea matcha wasn’t starring at me the whole time lol. I figured I would come back for that in the afternoon!

Everything was really wonderful- I have to say they saved me! I can’t forget to mention nor take for granted that it’s organic and local too- my favorites!

Disclaimer: The information given here is for educational purposes only. You should not use this to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified health care provider.
[Saturday July 21st 2012 blog]

Vegan day 187: Press + Blend smoothies (Woodstock)

Back to the PRESS + BLEND my new favorite raw vegan stop while I am upstate visiting Woodstock! I came in here the other day for a smoothie.. and left with inspiration! The inspiration and motivation is what I had needed to to begin my challenge to a one month raw vegan food experience.. and my continued efforts on my one year full vegan journey. I was so excited to see so many delicious options for both juices and smoothies. They use 100% organic produce 100% vegan and 100% raw! They make cold pressed juices (with a Norwalk juicer), superfood smoothies, raw desserts and raw foods! 
 
The other day I ordered ECHOS OF MY MIND: Acai, raspberries, peach, cashew, coconut water, coconut meat, agave, kale, spirulina and cacao.
Today I ordered BANANA BOAT for the girls.. and THE TEA LADY for me. Their’s had banana, cashew, water, dates, vanilla and sea salt- a favorite among the kids! Mine had green tea matcha, banana, coconut water, coconut meat and agave. The agave was raw.. my new friend Mario even lifted the container for me. I love what some people will do to spread the joy and happiness of health! I really have to say.. I so appreciate all the extra efforts people make to accommodate my eating lifestyle. 
 
The smoothies were all delicious, refreshing and nutritious!
 
Press + Blend is also great for snacks and desserts. I often pick up whatever they have made that day- acai cheesecake, acai cacao bowl, granola, nuts and dehydrated chocolate cookies etc! 
Thank you PRESS + BLEND for being in one of my favorite towns!
 
Disclaimer: The information given here is for educational purposes only. You should not use this to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified health care provider.
[Thursday July 5th 2012 blog]

Vegan day 184: Raw cashew milk protein shake

It always more fun when kids are around.. to prep the foods and make them from scratch. You may be surprised.. but kids like to eat something that they can be proud that they made themselves.. and if nothing else it was a learning experience! I was so happy when one of my friend’s daughters wanted to help me out. Raw vegan food takes time and prep.
 …Side story… of course: This woman comes into the bar the other day and says to me.. “I need help.. I have a question for you. What can I eat .. or not eat.. I will try anything but don’t ask me to cook. I can’t cook or prep anything because I don’t have time!” lol

This is the problem folks! No one has the time.. or makes the time. I promise you this though- you can make health a priority now… or health will make you a priority later. 

One or two hours a day for food preparation, eating and exercise is essential to ones health, well being and vitality. That’s what I told my friend at the bar.. take at least one day a week to prepare some meals.. and give up one bad habit.. lol 
ANYWAY...

  • We prepped our cashews the night before.
  • Now it was time to MILK THE CASHEWS!!!!!!!!
  • First we drained the soaked nuts and then RINSED them well!
  • We added the nuts to the NINJA BLENDER (thanks again Tee)
  • My Sous Chef Kayla added water just over the amount of nuts by about 2 inches. 
  • She blended and we both tasted it. 
  • Since I was making it with her.. and she is an 11 year old trying out vegan food.. I added some maple syrup. It really didn’t need much! Other things you can add for sweetening would be dates or figs. I have done both with almond milk in the past. 
  • I have never made cashew milk. We were both amazed as we blended it into a creamy white texture that closely resembled dairy milk. Wow we did it ourselves… no cows or suction cups.. or pus, hormones, antibiotics or GMO feed. Ok.. I admit we could have used gloves.. but we were experimenting.. we were drinking it.. and it was FUN!
  • This step here is where those gloves would have come in handy: MILKING THE CASHEWS! You can’t just drink it from the blender (well.. maybe) because it’s gritty! So here we squeeze the milk out through a milk bag… or in this case… a paint bag. I always heard you could use a paint bag and I finally gave in and tried it- super!
  • I am a messy bartender at work … and a messy chef in the kitchen. I wanted to make the shakes first.. clean second. Even my little sous chef was nervous about that and wanted to clean. lol Anyway- we made her shake first without the protein powder. Kayla had the fresh cashew milk with bananas and strawberries.

  • Next up was my special raw vegan meal of the day: Sun Warrior RAW VEGAN PROTEIN POWDER mixed with cashew milk, banana and strawberries!
  • ALL DONE! We even had 2 small mason jars of cashew milk for the next day!
  • Check in tomorrow to see what we did with the macadamia and pine nuts!

Disclaimer: The information given here is for educational purposes only. You should not use this to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified health care provider.
[Monday July 2nd 2012 blog]