Tag Archives: smoothies

Look, it coordinates.

Pink sweater. Pink smoothie.My smoothie coordinates with my sweater and scarf today. Yes, I am a big dork.

The lovely red color comes from beets. The smoothie also contains frozen bananas, frozen blueberries, and tahini (for protein and calcium).

Thank you to Linda for the beet suggestion on the Food For Thought Radio Show. I love beets, and they’re one of the World’s Healthiest Foods. They contain powerful nutrient compounds that help protect against heart disease, birth defects and certain cancers, especially colon cancer.

From World’s Healthiest Foods:

Beets are unique in their rich combination of betalain pigments. Both betacyanins (red-violet pigments) and betaxanthins (yellow pigments) can be found in beets. Betanin and vulgaxanthin are betalains that have gotten special attention in beet research.

Beets are also an excellent source of hearth-healthy folate and a very good source of the antioxidant manganese and heart-healthy potassium. Beets are a good source of digestive-supportive dietary fiber, free radical scavenging vitamin C and copper, bone-healthy magnesium, and energy-producing iron and phosphorus.

Beets are in season right now, so go eat some!

 

 

It’s B-A-N-A-N-A-S!

Vegan MoFo 2011 - Vegan Month of FoodDid you know that a machine has been invented with the sole purpose of turning your frozen bananas into frozen desserts? What specialty gadget will they think of next?

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I’m all for this healthy idea, but I have a machine that does this already. It’s called a 13-year-old blender. I guess I’m not a specialty kitchen gadget kind of person.

brown smoothie

My blender made this oddly-colored smoothie many times last week. It has a base of frozen bananas and SoDelicious Vanilla coconut milk, plus kale, dark red cherries (or strawberries, I can’t remember), cocoa powder, and hemp oil. It tastes very much like a chocolate shake, has no refined sugar, and is completely kid-approved. Lance asked for it every day last week. We’ve been plowing through bananas like a herd of wild apes around here.

sausage muffin

When I’m not in the mood for a drinkable breakfast, I’ve been heating up some Herbed Breakfast Sausage patties from the freezer and eating them on toasted English muffins, along with some vegetable juice or a piece of fruit. The patties are from Vegan Diner. Like bananas, they also freeze well.

When it comes to breakfast, the freezer is your friend. It’s easy to keep a few containers of frozen fruit on hand, and a container of non-dairy milk in the fridge to make smoothies. My frequent mix-ins like cocoa powder, agave nectar, cinnamon, and ginger are all within an arm’s reach of my blender. And kale is an easy addition. Just rinse it off, strip off the stem, and place it in the blender. I have the best results when I add the milk first, then put the kale on top of that, then top it off with frozen ingredients. The kale seems to blend more finely when it’s on top of the heavy frozen stuff.

Are you eating breakfast? Did you know that eating breakfast is a characteristic common to successful weight loss maintainers and may be a factor in their success?

 

Random Eating: Aug. 28 – Sep. 3

seitan fajitas

Seitan Fajitas: Simple Seitan from Veganomicon (similar recipe on Post Punk Kitchen), sauteed with taco seasonings (chili powder, paprika, cumin, onion, garlic), water, and vinegar. I was going for a chorizo-type flavor. It was very tasty, but I’m not sure about the texture of simmered seitan. I like it more chewy, like what you get from the Julie Hasson steaming method.

peaches and greens smoothie

It was still hot this week (it’s September already!) so I had a few smoothies. This is a Peaches and Greens Smoothie: coconut milk, agave nectar, kale, frozen bananas, frozen peaches.

ukranian borscht and waldorf salad

Lunch at work: red peppers and basic homemade hummus, grapes, waldorf salad (granny smith apples, black raisins, walnuts, cinnamon, low-fat Vegenaise), with Ukranian Borscht from Common Ground Co-Op.

portabella steak dinner

Portabella steak dinner: steak sauce-marinated mushrooms, yellow basmati rice, sauteed zucchini.

zaatar

This week I finally tried Za’atar. I am SO addicted! I’ve seen this many times at World Harvest foods, always sold in what seemed like very large bags, and wondered… who would need that much of a spice? Now I know.

Za’atar is a mixture of thyme, oregano, sumac, sesame seeds, salt, and other spices that you can mix with olive oil and use as a spread, dip, or condiment. I like it mixed with olive oil on bread. I sprinkled it on some spring mix salad. It’s also good with hummus.  I should make some chapatis for dipping.

channa masala with zaatar

Here is more za’atar, with basmati rice and channa masala.

mobile crockpot unit

Despite the 90 degree heat this week, I made a big hot crock pot of vegan chili to share with colleagues. Everyone liked it. I’ve made chili twice in the last two weeks, and I’m a little tired of it, so I think I’ll freeze the leftovers for later.

Today’s Smoothie with Zucchini

I hope that today’s smoothie helps me fight off whatever annoying bug is trying to take over my body. I woke up with a foreboding throat tickle and sinus congestion. Yuck.

vegan smoothie with melon, cherries, romaine lettuce, and zucchini

Cinnamon and ginger are going to be a regular addition to smoothies. And though it’s not listed on the photo, there is a little agave nectar in here too.

The zucchini is just some “scraps” left over from making zucchini pasta ribbons. I peel the outside meaty parts off with a vegetable peeler, and save the seedy insides for smoothies. You don’t taste the zucchini at all.

Random Eats: Week of July 31

Tofu with Black Bean Garlic Sauce from Cravings Restaurant, Champaign, IL. We love the owner of this place. He will cook us anything. My favorite dish is the green beans with spicy lemongrass. Their szechuan chili oil dishes are served sizzling-hot in little iron kettles, and will make you cough from across the room, they are so extremely spicy.

Black Bean Garlic Tofu

Our regular Channa Masala, cooked on the stove instead of the crock pot, with added cubes of super firm tofu. After marinating in the sauce, the texture is very, very close to paneer. I foresee a lot of vegetable + indian tomato gravy + cubed tofu combinations in my future.

channa masala with tofu

Pita with Cashew Goat Cheese (Vegetarian Times), fresh basil, and local tomatoes. With some fruit and nuts, it was enough to fuel a 9-mile run.

tomato basil pita with vegan goat cheese

Very Red Berry Smoothie. Super thick, almost like a dessert. I think this one contained frozen dark sweet cherries, frozen mixed berries (blackberries, raspberries, blueberries), kale, golden flax meal, coconut milk, and a little cocoa powder.

red berry smoothie

I didn’t get a picture of the finished product for the ingredients below, but they became sauteed zucchini with Penzeys Greek Seasoning. Lance and I battled over the second helpings.

zucchini with greek seasoning

Smoothies with Chocolate: Still Learning

I’m not a person who needs chocolate daily to survive, but I like it. I’ve been experimenting with smoothies for breakfast, and wanted to try some chocolate combinations.

cherry cacao smoothie

The Cherry Cacao Smoothie above was a good first attempt. Part of this was a total win… frozen tart red cherries, frozen banana, unsweetened coconut milk, some Pure Via powdered stevia, a scoop of Vega Whole Food Smoothie Infusion, and a few leaves of boston lettuce. Yum. I always try to include a leafy green in my smoothies, and boston lettuce is sweet, watery goodness.

Then I added about one tablespoon of raw cacao nibs. They blended up just a little, resulting in a crunchy-weird texture, but they were not bad. I enjoyed the bursts of strong, dark chocolate flavor. I will try this again, but grind the cacao nibs before adding them to the mix.

chocolate strawberry smoothie
Round Two: Chocolate Strawberry Smoothie

The Chocolate Strawberry Smoothie turned out with a better texture, although I opted for a fresh banana versus the frozen ones I usually use, mostly in the interest of time. (Note: when freezing bananas for smoothies, peel them first, then throw them into a gallon-sized freezer bag or plastic container.) This one contained almond milk, which worked well with the unmeasured amount of cocoa powder I dumped into the blender. I added too much cocoa powder, as you can tell from the dark, rich color. I also added some green ingredients (Vega Smoothie Infusion and boston lettuce) and powdered stevia to balance out the bitterness of the cocoa.

With a bit less cocoa and a frozen banana, this would taste like a really good milkshake. Not bad for breakfast.