Best Smoothie Making Tips

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smoothieTop Tips For Making A Delicious Smoothie  (Island Smoothie Recipe Below)

Now that the season of overeating all those tasty, but typically not-so-healthy treats is over, it’s time to re-energize our body with tasty and healthy treats….a yummy, energy and nutrient dense smoothie.

How to create a truly delicious smoothie:

1.  Throwing a bit of this and some of that into a blender may make a smoothie, but taste is really important, so make sure that to every cup of greens you’re going to use, add 1 ½ cups of fruit.

Greens to choose from: Spinach, Kale, Collards, Romaine (use 1 cup (tightly packed) greens for each serving)

Liquids to choose from: Water, Milk, Almond Milk, Rice Milk, Coconut Milk (use 1 cup of liquid for each serving)

Fruits to choose from: Berries, Mangos, Bananas, Peaches, Pears, Apples, Avocados, Grapes, Pineapple (use 1 ½ cups of fruit for each serving)

Additions (optional, and to taste): Spices (cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg), Protein Powder, Nut Butter  Continue reading

2.  The order in which you blend things will determine whether you end up with something lumpy-bumpy or smooth and yummy. Follow these steps and you’ll be a smoothie-master in no time:

  • Step 1: Blend Greens with Liquid until smooth
  • Step 2: Add Fruit & optional Additions, and blend again til smooth

Note: Some of the Fruit or Greens can be frozen to make a chilled smoothie. (No need to defrost them…just toss into your blender straight from the freezer following the Steps above)

Also, using frozen fruit instead of ice will enhance the thickness and pleasant mouth-feel of the finished smoothie, not to mention better taste.

3.  Instead of using sweeteners, try using sweet fruits, such as bananas, dates (pitted), figs or mango to kick up the sweet factor in your smoothie.

4.  If you’re really pressed for time in the mornings, make your smoothies the night before and store, with a well-fitting cover, in the fridge. In the morning, pour your smoothie into your travel mug, and you’re on your way!

Island Smoothie Recipe (one of my fave’s!):

Serves 1

  • 1 cup fresh Spinach leaves
  • 1 cup Coconut Milk
  • ½ cup Mango chunks
  • ½ cup Pineapple chunks
  • 1 banana
  • pinch of cinnamon

Blend following the Steps above.

Do you have a favorite smoothie recipe?  Post in the comments, and Thanks for reading.

 

 

Scrumptious Gluten Free Coconut-Vanilla Cupcakes

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vancupI had a hankering for something sweet, but not chocolate.  I know, right?  I must have lost my mind…no chocolate?!  Banish the thought!  But there I was, in the middle of my kitchen, my tastebuds fully in control of my brain – desiring something a bit sweet, definitely fluffy (which ruled out cookies or brownies), and it had to be light (not dark, gooey, and decadent as per usual).

Cupcakes…Vanilla Cupcakes…fluffy little sweet pillows from heaven.  Then I was looking through my recipes (yes, I still keep recipes from days long gone – just in case.  In case of what I don’t know.  The internet blows up?  Who knows.)

I stumbled upon an old recipe my sweet grandma used to use when I was a wee widdle one.  Of course it called for regular flour and cows milk – both easily “fixable”.  And lots of sugar – another pretty easy fix (reduce, reduce, reduce).

Voila! My tastebuds were dancing with anticipation as if the lottery numbers were being read, and each was a match to the ticket I held in my hand.

Continue reading

These are delicious, moist, well-crumbed cupcakes, that fluff up like magic for any type of frosting delicacy that you’d like.  (I didn’t frost mine tonight – I know, right?  Shame on me!)  But they’re so delicious, that if you want something sweet, but not cra-cra over the top sweet, they’ll fit the bill perfectly.  If you want them really sweet, add more sugar to the batter, or frost them to your heart’s delight (and you can even fill them!)

Makes 10-12, depending on how much batter you pour into each cupcake liner.

 

Prep:

  • Melt the butter and let it come back to room  temperature.
  • Get eggs out to come to room temperature.
  • Measure Coconut Milk and let come to room temperature.
  • Line cupcake pan with liners.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees (or if you prefer, preheat oven to 325 and cook the cupcakes a bit longer than called for here)

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cups Gluten Free All-Purpose Flour (I recommend using a mix that already has the Xanthum Gum added to it)
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 1/4 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Sea Salt (reduce this if you’re using salted butter)
  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick), preferably unsalted, melted and at room temp
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar (you can use white sugar instead, or you can use more sugar if you’d like the cupcakes to be sweeter.  You can use alternative sweeteners, if you prefer – though check conversion  measurements)
  • 2 large eggs lightly beaten and at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 tsp pure Vanilla Extract (use gf if you have gluten sensitivities)
  • 3/4 cup Coconut Milk at room temperature

 

Directions:

  1. In a medium size bowl, whisk together gf flour, baking powder, baking soda, and sea salt. Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, mix butter with sugar until well combined, about 1 minute.
  3. With the mixer running, add the beaten eggs, one at a time, then the vanilla, mixing 30 seconds after each addition.
  4. Reduce mixer speed and slowly add about half of the flour mixture. Then add half the milk, then the rest of the flour mix and the rest of the milk. Mix until just combined and smooth (don’t overmix), scraping down the sides of the mixing bowl as needed. The batter should be thin.
  5. Pour batter into the lined cupcake pan. Fill each to about ½ full.
  6. Bake for 12 -14 minutes at 350°F, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. (Mine took just under 14 minutes)
  7. Remove from oven, let them cool in the pan for a couple minutes, then remove them to a cooling rack.
  8. They’re done and ready to dive into unless you want to frost them.  Let them cool to room temp before frosting so your frosting doesn’t run down the sides.

 

What frosting would you choose for these?  Leave your comments below, and thanks for reading!

 

 

Apple Pie Spice Mix Recipe

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Make This Yourself

Easy to make and you can use this in coffee, on coffee cakes, add to your basic muffin mix…oh, and let’s not forget, Apple Pie!

 

 

Apple Pie Spice Mix

  • 1/2 c. ground Cinnamon
  • 2 Tbps. ground Allspice
  • 4 tsp. ground Nutmeg (if using fresh, cut this down a bit, so it doesn’t overpower the other spices)
  • 4 tsp. ground dried Ginger
  • 1 tsp. ground Cardamom (optional, though I like the extra depth of flavor it gives)

 

Mix all the above together well, and store in an airtight container.

Do you use this mix for something special?  Leave and comment, and thanks for reading!

Pumpkin Pie Spice Recipe

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Make This Yourself

Make This Yourself

This is so easy to make, and is very versatile to use as well.  Besides using in making pumpkin pies (yum), you can use this recipe for scrumptious pumpkin latte’s, great tasting pumpkin bread, luscious pumpkin ice cream…you name it!

Do you have a special way of using this spice mix?  Leave a comment and thanks for reading!

 

Pumpkin Pie Spice Recipe:

  • 1 1/2 tsp. Allspice
  • 2 Tbps. Cinnamon
  • 2 tsp. ground dried Ginger
  • 2 tsp. ground Nutmeg

 

Mix all the above together, and store in an airtight container.

The recipe can be doubled or tripled.

Stay Cool Tomato Salad

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Tomato SaladThis is so easy and tasty – a perfect salad for hot summer days.

Serves 1-2

 

 

Ingredients:

1 large tomato, cut into 1″ chunks

1/2 cucumber, cut into 1/4″ slices, then quarter the slices

2-3 radishes, cut into small chunks

Dressing of choice, to taste (Italian and Vinaigrettes work well) Continue reading

Directions:

Cut and place vegetables into serving dish.

Sprinkle dressing over the top.  (Less is more)

Add a small pinch of salt & pepper, if you desire.

Mix gently, and serve.

Enjoy!

 

Stove-top Roasted Vegetables

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Stove-top Roasted Vegetables

Roasting vegetables brings out their sweet, earthy flavors.  The brussel sprouts take on a mellow flavor very unlike the way they taste when boiled.

The carmelized onions and the ground black pepper make this dish really tasty.

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 1/2 lb fresh green beans, rinsed
  • 1/2 lb fresh brussel sprouts, rinsed
  • 1 ear corn, shucked and rinsed
  • 1/2 med onion, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp good olive oil
  • pinch of salt & pepper (to taste)
  • pinch fresh thyme (or dried is fine too)
  • pinch garlic powder Continue reading

Eat Better And You’ll Live Better

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Natural FoodAccording to The World’s Healthiest Foods, to ensure we get the RDA of all the vitamins & minerals our body needs, our daily intake of the following food groups should be:

6 servings of Vegetables
4 servings of Fruit
2-3 servings of Whole Grains
2-3 servings of High-Calcium Foods

plus during the course of each week we should have the following:

5 servings of Beans (Legumes: Black Beans, Kidney Beans, etc.)
5 servings of Nuts and/or Seeds
3 servings of Fish (including Pacific Salmon & Albacore Tuna)

This sounds like a lot of food, until you take a look at the serving sizes: Continue reading

For Vegeys & Fruits, the following Serving Sizes apply:
1/2 cup Chopped, Cooked, or Raw
1/2 cup Juice
1 cup Raw Greens
1 Medium Piece of Fruit

A Serving of Beans (Legumes) is 1/2 cup cooked

A Serving of Nuts is 2 Tablespoons

3 ounces of cooked Fish is 1 Serving

For Whole Grains a serving is:
1 Slice Whole Wheat Bread (100% Whole Wheat)
1/2 cup Brown Rice (no, the white stuff doesn’t count)
1 cup of Whole Wheat Pasta (or other Whole Grain Pasta)

A High-Calcium Food Serving is:
1 cup low-fat Milk, Yogurt, or Cottage Cheese
1 ounce Reduced Fat Cheese

Eating 3 meals a day, plus 1-2 nutritious snacks would easily cover the recommendations.

For more information on which foods provide the most nutrition per serving, visit The World’s Healthiest Foods at http://www.whfoods.com.  They also have a variety of easy & tasty recipes, simple yet nutritious menus, healthy cooking tips, and much more.

I would enjoy your feedback and wish you THE BEST of HEALTH.

Live Life Fully,

Sandy