recipes

The Secret Ingredient For Smooth, Sweet, Banana-Free Smoothies + Recipes

 

medjooldates

We all love to throw a banana in our smoothies for that creamy, sweet texture, but sometimes it’s good to take a break. If you’re eating a smoothie every day (or you’re simply intolerant to bananas), there’s a secret ingredient you can use to make sure your smoothies not only taste amazing but also pack a nutritional punch.

Meet Medjool dates!

Medjool dates are a rising star in the produce department thanks to their delicious flavor and powerful nutritional composition. One serving (2 Medjool dates) has 33 grams of carbs and 281 mg of potassium. (That’s 50 percent more potassium by weight than bananas.)

The potassium, fiber, and mineral-filled Medjool dates have a caramel-like flavor that perfectly sweetens smoothies.

If you have a high-powered blender, simply drop Medjool dates in with whatever else you’re blending. If you don’t, blend your Medjool dates with the water first (with greens and any other high-fiber ingredients), then add the frozen components and any other bonus ingredients.

Here are a few recipes to get you started!

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Strawberry and Beet Superfood Smoothie

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 2 cups frozen strawberries
  • ½ cup sliced beets (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 cup dark leafy greens like spinach or kale
  • 3 Medjool dates, pitted
  • ½ cup coconut water
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 1 scoop protein powder

Method

  1. Blend all ingredients together for 60 seconds in a high-powered blender.
  2. Enjoy in a glass or bowl! Add toppings like nuts, seeds or carob chips!

 

Blueberry-Muffin-Smoothie

Blueberry Superfood Smoothie

Serves 1

Ingredients

  • 3 pitted Medjool dates
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1 cup chopped raw or frozen kale
  • ¼ cup frozen riced cauliflower
  • 1½ cups unsweetened almond milk
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ tablespoon all natural almond butter (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons oats or oat bran
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds

Method

  1. Blend all ingredients together for 60 seconds in a high-powered blender.
  2. Enjoy in a glass or bowl, and top with toppings of choice!

 

 

 

 

health · recipes

5 Reasons To Drink Matcha Everyday Instead Of Coffee + Recipe

icedmatchalatte

Drinking matcha green tea has been a time-honored tradition in Japan for more than 900 years. Buddhist monks valued matcha as a health elixir and consumed it prior to meditation. Matcha is cultivated from a high-quality leaf known as tencha. The tencha leaves are sheltered from the sun to produce a vibrant shade of green due to the increased amount of chlorophyll. Matcha leaves are carefully harvested by hand and briefly steamed to protect the leaves from oxidation.

The careful production of matcha ensures its unique flavor and high levels of antioxidants. Here are five reasons I love matcha green tea and why you should be drinking more of it:

1. It contains high levels of antioxidants.

The first amazing benefit of matcha is that just 1 cup provides at least three times as many antioxidants as regular green tea — the highest rated by the ORAC (oxygen radical absorbance capacity) method.

2. It has energy-boosting power.

Move over, coffee! Matcha is a perfect energy enhancer but with no caffeine jitters. Matcha contains about half the amount of caffeine than regular coffee. So go ahead and enjoy a matcha latte!

3. It aids in weight loss.

When it comes to boosting your metabolism and helping with weight loss, few things are more beneficial than matcha green tea, due to its high concentration of catechins (an antioxidant).

Green tea extract, rich in catechins, has thermogenic properties and promotes fat oxidation beyond that explained by the tea’s caffeine content.

4. It offers immune system support.

Matcha contains incredible immune-boosting properties in every cup. Like many antioxidants, catechins have a multitude of healing properties on a cellular level.

These catechins are also effective in fighting various bacterial, viral, and fungal infections. Just one bowl of matcha provides substantial quantities of potassium, vitamins A and C, iron, enzymes, and calcium.

5. It gives you mental alertness along with a calm feeling.

Matcha tea works effectively in providing a calming effect to the mind and body.

Matcha green tea contains L-theanine, a unique amino acid that assists in boosting alpha waves in the brain. These alpha waves promote mental relaxation and induce a feeling of mental clarity and a more alert state of mind.

How to Drink It

A fantastic way to include matcha in your daily routine is by simple drinking it on its own, or by adding it to a green smoothie or other beverage.

Here’s a quick and easy recipe that is perfect for the warm spring and summer months when you want a cooling and refreshing pick me up! It is lightly sweetened with a subtle hint of vanilla. This version uses vanilla almond milk but feel free to use the milk of your choice!

Recipe Ingredients:

12 ounces vanilla almond milk

1 1/2 tsp matcha green tea powder

2 tsp honey, maple syrup or sweetener of choice

splash of vanilla extract

Directions:

Place all ingredients in a blender for about 30 seconds or until powder is fully dissolved. Taste and add more sweetener if needed. Pour over ice and enjoy!

Tips:

You can triple the recipe and store in the fridge for up to 3 days. Just pour your desired amount over ice when you’re ready to drink it. It’s perfect for those mornings when you need to get out the door quick.

You can add some vanilla protein powder as well to the mixture to get an extra protein boost.

 

 

 

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recipes

3 Ingredient Vegan Iced Chai Tea Latte

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I love chai tea- hot or cold, it’s hands down one of my favorite teas to drink. The spiciness of the cloves and cinnamon mix so well with the sweetness of almond milk and stevia. Unfortunately I can’t drink most of the premade, premixed drinks due to the added sugars and dairy that just don’t fit into my dietary needs.

There’s an easy and cheap way to make your own cold brew chai tea. Just steep some chai tea bags in water in the refrigerator. One bag for every 1/2 cup of water makes a double strength brew. Then add your choice of dairy free milk and stevia, and it’s done!

It’s a quick and yummy drink that is a great afternoon treat. No blending, measuring, or mixing complicated ingredients.

This recipe is gluten free, dairy free, sugar free and vegan. It would also work well with green tea or any other strong flavor tea that is a favorite of yours.

Want it hot? Just heat up the mixture and blend in your blender for a foamy hot chai tea latte.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup chai tea concentrate (see below)
  • 1 cup unsweetened nondairy milk of choice
  • 10-12 drops liquid stevia

Instructions

  1. Pour all ingredients into a large jar or cup filled with ice. Stir or shake to combine and enjoy immediately.

To make chai concentrate, place 8 chai tea bags in a jar and add 32 ounces of cold water (you can make more or less if you like – just use 4 ounces of water per tea bag). Cover and steep in refrigerator overnight. It will keep in the fridge for at least a week – I just leave the tea bags in the jar the whole time.

recipes

5 Ingredient Vegan Gluten Free Pumpkin Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

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I’m always looking for a delicious dessert that fits all my dietary restrictions and doesn’t take a ton of energy or time to make. The only “bad” thing about these cookies is that they’re dangerously easy to make — and eat! But with only five ingredients and no refined, processed ingredients, these cookies are one of your best options when the urge to splurge strikes. Store in an resealable container in the refrigerator for up to one week.

Makes 8 cookies

Ingredients

  • 1/2 medium banana
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin purée
  • 1 Tbsp. almond butter
  • 1/2 cup gluten-free oats
  • 2 Tbsp. dairy-free sugar-free chocolate chips

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a baking mat and set aside.

Add banana to a medium bowl, mashing against sides of bowl until small chunks remain. Stir in pumpkin purée and almond butter, vigorously mixing to evenly distribute.

Fold in oats and chocolate chips.

Drop mixture by the Tablespoonful onto prepared baking sheet, using your finger to press down the center of each one.

Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and allow cookies to cool on tray for 5 minutes before transferring to a baking rack to cool completely.

That’s it! They are super easy to make and go great with a nice cold glass of dairy free milk. Enjoy!

recipes

Black Bean Sweet Potato Breakfast Tacos

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I love a good tasting, easy meal that I can make ahead for the week. I made myself a batch of these black bean and sweet potato tacos to have for breakfast this week and boy are they good and filling!

The fiber, potassium, folate, vitamin B6, and phytonutrient content of black beans, coupled with its lack of cholesterol, all support heart health. This fiber helps lower the total amount of cholesterol in the blood and decrease the risk of heart disease.

Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of vitamin A (in the form of beta-carotene). They are also a very good source of vitamin C, manganese, copper, pantothenic acid and vitamin B6. Additionally, they are a good source of potassium, dietary fiber, niacin, vitamin B1, vitamin B2 and phosphorus.

Ingredients

  • 4 corn or gluten free tortillas
  • 1 15-ounce cans organic black beans (look for cans that are BPA-free)
  • 3 small/medium sweet potatoes, diced
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • salt + pepper

Preparation

1. Heat olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the sweet potatoes and onions and season with salt and pepper. Cover and let cook, for about 10 minutes stirring every few minutes for even cooking. Remove the lid and cook for another 5-10 minutes or so until the potatoes are soft and lightly browned.

2. Add the black beans to the pan and season with salt and pepper. Cook until warm, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat.

3. Directly before serving: Over a low flame on a gas stovetop, place the warm tortilla directly on the burner. Heat for a few seconds on each side. Remove from heat and place in cloth towel to keep warm.

4. Serve the tacos with guacamole, diced avocado, cilantro, salsa or your favorite hot sauce.

 

That’s it! It’s super easy, will keep you full and energized and is healthy. I just assemble all the tacos at the same time, roll them up in some aluminum foil and when you’re ready to eat them, just heat in a toaster oven or microwave and enjoy!

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