Perfect Quick-fix Smoothies! – UPDATED!

UPDATE: FUNNY STORY… A reader made the Peppermint smoothie, and the dear followed my recipe exactly. Through her, I realized I accidentally said to include 1/2 TABLESPOON of peppermint extract, when I meant to say 1/2 (or even 1/3 will do!) TEASPOON of the stuff. Needless to say, her sinus is now clear. 😀

Also, as an FYI–these smoothies are servings for 2 or more. (I usually limit my consumption to 8 oz.).

Thank you readers, friends, and supporters for catching my glitches and offering suggestions! It is so very appreciated!

-Tiff

Hey All!

It has been way too long since I have posted (don’t worry–I have about fifty NEW recipes, but have been swamped as of late!)

Yoga is calling my name, so I don’t have time to tell you about the amazing Raspberry tart bars I created (Vegan, Paleo, Gluten-free…and heavenly). I’ll get to those tomorrow!
I do want to leave you with something, however, so I have decided to share some of my favorite smoothie recipes with you! Smoothies are perfect meals on the go. In addition, they make great healthy-alternative dessert substitutes (Mint chip? Pumpkin pie? Sign me up!)

Because I try to stay away from dairy (it’s dairy’s fault for being mean!) these smoothies are all vegan. Of course, you could add greek yogurt or something additional for packed protein (but that also means packed calories. I feel better when I have lean, filling smoothies!)

The first is my favorite Banana-Nut-Butter Protein Smoothie I drink this when I need something to hold me over for a long time. It is packed with protein, and tastes as good as a milkshake (or better?)! Image
Ingredients:

  • 1 banana, ripe if possible
  • 1/2 c. almond milk, coconut milk, or other (unsweetened) milk of your choice
  • 1 tbsp. almond (or your favorite) nut butter
  • 1/2 tsp. organic vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. chia seeds
  • 1 organic date (seed removed)
  • 1 cup ice

Directions: Blend together all ingredients  and enjoy!

Nutritionists recommend detoxing the system of toxins, and smoothies can be a great way to do this. On mornings when I am feeling adventurous (and on mornings when I’m wanting to detox) I like to make this version of Green Lemonade: Image

  • 1 organic green apple, core removed
  • 3 strawberries
  • 1/4 cup chopped pineapple
  • 1/2 freshly squeezed orange
  • 1/2 freshly squeezed lemon
  • 1 cup organic kale, stems removed
  • 1 cup organic spinach
  • 1 tsp. chia seeds
  • 1/4-inch cube of raw ginger root (I use ginger because of the detoxifying properties)

Directions: Mix and enjoy! *If you’re new to the smoothie business, the green will totally freak you out. Never fear! If I can do it, you can do it! (And seriously, it’s actually pretty good!)

For the days when you’ve got extra carrots left over in the fridge, give this one a try! It’s my favorite simple smoothie, and it packs a big nutritional punch! ImageCarrot-Mango Dream:

  • 1 1/2 cup baby carrots or 4-5 large, organic carrots
  • 1 mango, chopped
  • 1/2 orange, chopped
  • a pinch of grated nutmeg

Directions: Mix and devour!

…what about dessert?

When you want pumpkin pie but you need to fit into a dress for an auction this Saturday (I speak from experience!) this treat is a great substitute that will surely satisfy any sweet tooth! Not to mention, the pumpkin packs a ton of fiber and vitamins! Pumpkin Pie in a GlassImage

  • 1/2 c. almond milk
  • 1 banana, chopped and frozen for at least an hour
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin (organic, of course!)
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice, to taste

Directions: Chop and freeze the banana (this alleviates your need for ice, plus, frozen bananas give smoothies more creamy textures!) Then, blend all ingredients!

Another favorite dessert substitute is my Mint-Chip Smoothie (I promise, it’s better than ice-cream and totally guilt-free!): Image

  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 c. almond, coconut (or your favorite) milk
  • 1/3 tsp. peppermint extract
  • 1/4 avocado (trust me!)
  • 1 tsp. organic honey
  • 1 tbsp. cocao nibs
  • 1 cup ice

Directions: Mix and enjoy!

Light & Filling (+ Delicious) Springtime Lime-Cilantro-Quinoa Salad (Gluten-Free, Vegetarian, Heart-healthy)

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Quinoa has been dubbed the “Supergrain of the future” by nutritionists—and I totally agree. It was first discovered around 3,000 years ago by the Incas—who realized the seed (yes, it’s a seed) was safe for human consumption. So, though it seems relatively “new” to modern day Americans (many thanks to the pasta that has hogged the grocery shelves for so long), quinoa has ancient roots—and it is extremely healthy.

Quinoa is one of the most protein-rich foods we can eat, it contains nearly twice the fiber as other grains, it contains high iron, it’s rich in magnesium, and it’s high in Riboflavin (vitamin B2)—which improves energy and metabolism.

In addition to the benefits mentioned above, as a runner with a big race coming up, it is crucial to “carb up”—and quinoa is one of the best carbs out there.

This recipe is light, fresh, and definitely one of my “go-to” meals before a big event. I’ll post more recipes with quinoa in the future (seriously, the seed is so versatile that it can be eaten as oatmeal or baked in a casserole—there are no limits to quinoa’s reach!).

 Ingredients:

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon of Himalayan salt
    2 cups halved cherry tomatoesImage
    ½ cup fresh chopped cilantro
  • 3 finely chopped geren onions
  • ½ cup chopped spinach
  • 2 teaspoons organic garlic powder

Directions:

  1. Boil quinoa as per directions (different brands very slightly on length of time). Drain quinoa after boiling, then set aside in a large bowl.
  2. In a small bowl, mix extra-virgin olive oil, lemon juice, and lime juice. Once whisked, pour over quinoa and mix thoroughly. Image
  3. Combine finely chopped green onions, halved cherry tomatoes, cilantro, and chopped spinach. Mix with quinoa.
  4. Sprinkle the remaining ingredients on quinoa (cumin, salt, and garlic).
  5. Once quinoa is thoroughly mixed, serve and enjoy!

    Note: Though the Quinoa seed is gluten-free, it is sometimes processed in places that also process foods that contain gluten.

    Quinoa

Gluten-Free, Heart-Healthy, Vegan Garlic Avocado Hummus (the perfect Dip, Spread, or Dressing!)

Honest moment: I love dips. (Who doesn’t!?) Dips just make eating veggies so much more fun.
What I don’t love are the over-processed, additive-laden, high-sodium dips that line many of the supermarket shelves.

In general, I suggest store bought hummus as a healthier alternative to other dressings—but it can be expensive, and even the stuff branded as “healthy” can have high fructose corn syrup, tons of sodium, and other not-so-great ingredients.

So…I decided to give homemade hummus a whirl. Like everything I make, I gave it a little twist.

This is a hearty spread with tons of protein, fiber, and flavor! I’d recommend a serving size being about 2 tablespoons, and trust me—this will fill you! (Note: Even though this hummus is filled with good stuff, it should be consumed in moderation because of its calorie content!)

Enjoy!
avocadohummustiffstips

Ingredients:

  • 4 15-oz cans of drained garbanzo beans/chickpeas
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup Tahini Paste/Sesame seed butter
  • 2 ½ tbsp. minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp. minced cilantro
  • 4 tbsp. minced parsley
  • 1 tbsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. Himalayan salt, or to taste
  • Ground pepper to taste
  • The juice of ½ lemon
  • The zest (grated skin) of a small lemon (ZZZZZest!)
  • 1 tbsp. minced basil leaves
  • ½ large Avocado or 1 small avocado
  • 1 organic tomato, chopped, to top the hummus as presentation

Directions:
1. Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor.
2. Refrigerate overnight, or for at least four hours. (The flavors strengthen overnight.)
3. Chop tomato, and serve on top of hummus (optional)
4. Enjoy being the “coolest mom ever” when you serve this to your kids…or the “favorite employee” when people try to steal your lunch.

Note: if you keep your hummus in an airtight container in the fridge, it will last for around a week. Save money on shopping and know what you’re eating!

Eat this with…veggies, like bell peppers, carrots, celery, chopped jicama, and more! Or, use up to 2 tbsp. as a hearty salad dressing. If you eat whole wheat bread, this makes for a wonderful “mayo” substitute to spice up any healthy turkey sandwich! ENJOY!

Better-Than-Anything (Gluten-Free, Vegan, & Paleo) Chocolate-Banana-Almond Milkshake

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This shake is a perfect cure for even the most insatiable sweet tooth—and yet, it won’t derail your healthy eating efforts! Almond butter is lower in fat than peanut butter but contains a high amount of protein. (Side note: almond butter is approved on the Paleo diet while peanut butter is not—because peanuts are technically legumes, not nuts!) In addition, the ground flax sneaks in a good bit of fiber! This thick shake makes a perfect meal, and if you share with a friend—it makes an amazing dessert! This is mom-approved because of the nutritional benefits and kid-approved because, well, it’s delicious!

Ingredients:
1 ½-2 ripe organic bananas, sliced, chopped into 1-2 inch. Pieces and frozen (this makes the shake thicker because the consistency of blended frozen bananas is similar to ice cream)
2 cups almond milk (or coconut milk) (preferably unsweetened)
2 tbsp. almond butter (either make your own with almonds in a food processor, or go with all organic, unsweetened, no sodium almond butter)
2 tbsp. dairy free chocolate chips (Enjoy Life) melted
1 tbsp. ground flax (I used Bob’s Red Mill brand)
1 tbsp. honey (organic)
½ tsp. organic, gluten-free vanilla extract
Optional: 3-4 chopped, pitted dates for additional sweetness

Directions:
1. Peel, chop and freeze bananas for at least an hour.
2. Melt the dairy free chocolate chips in the microwave until it becomes a liquid—about fifteen seconds.
3. Combine all ingredients into a Blendtec or blender.
4. Enjoy!