Smoothie

Yesterday was another big day – for Basil.

Basil was dropped off at the vet in the morning, he had a minor surgery and a teeth cleaning. Poor sweet puppers was so dopey and sleepy when I picked him up last night… but his teeth are squeaky clean and his surgery went well.

So, can I show you the cutest thing ever?

Basil in his 2012 Halloween costume (um, Halloweenie costume…). Isn’t he just so dang cute?? I can’t get over the “pants”. <– How cute is that?? We have been calling him Pants. It’s his new nickname.

This actually was perfect timing – the vet told me if we had a small tee he could wear, it would work better than a cone. So he gets to wear his Skeleton Pajama Pants all the time now! His recovery will be 14 days before the sutures come out, I may have to go find a couple more costumes like this…

chai-spiked pumpkin shake

dairy, egg, soy and gluten free, vegan

serves two

2 scoops pumpkin ice cream*
1/3 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup coconut milk (carton)
2 tablespoons chai tea powder (Natures Flavors)
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

In blender, combine ice cream, pumpkin puree, coconut milk – blend until smooth. Add chai, cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice, pulse blender to combine. Pour into glasses and garnish with a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon. 

*For a smoothie rather than a dessert, replace the ice cream with two scoops of vanilla protein powder and another cup of coconut milk.

I’m playing Puppy Nurse today – he’s wagging his tail right now so I know he’s feeling a little better – we are spending the morning making more pumpkin ice cream…

 

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Last week I discovered you all like Piña Coladas. Several people have already made the Lightened Up Piña Colada, and I am happy to report that “lightened up” did not mean missing anything. So far so good – people are liking this light version.

Since we really shouldn’t begin the day saying “it’s five o clock somewhere”, I have a solution for the early cravings of those creamy cool and sweet tropical flavors. Unless you’re on vacation. Then go for the real thing.

Piña Colada breakfast smoothie

dairy, soy and gluten free, vegan, no added sugar

serves two

11.2 ounces coconut water (small container)
1/3 cup coconut milk
1/2 fresh pineapple, peeled, cored and cubed
2 scoops vanilla protein powder
handful ice cubes

Combine all ingredients in a high powered blender, serve with pineapple garnish and enjoy!

As you can see, I really do have a fresh pineapple around at all times in the summer. I’ve been having these each morning since Sunday. Today’s has spinach as well – yum!

 

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I am still juicing at least once a day, most days. Lately I have brought back the juiced smoothie (juice then add to spinach and other fruit in the blender)), and sometimes just a smoothie.

I have been loving raspberries lately! I found some at the farmers market the other day, and as I do every year, stood at the kitchen counter eating the whole pint. Good thing I bought a whole flat – I know myself.

I can’t say the guava is from the farmers market, or even that it is local. Sometimes I need a guava. They make smoothies especially fluffy creamy smooth.

triple berry guava smoothie

vegan, gluten free, dairy free

serves two

1 1/2 cup coconut water
juice of 1 lemon
2 scoops vanilla protein powder

1 cup blackberries
1/2 cup raspberries
1 frozen banana, pre sliced
1 guava, cubed

Combine coconut water, lemon and protein powder in blender. Add berries, banana and guava, blend on high until smooth.

Enjoy outside in the sun, before facing the living room full of boxes that still need unpacking…

Cheers!

 

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We had a few days of rain and cold recently – I actually had to turn on the heat one night, and I saw the neighbor had built a fire. Oregon is using her prerogative to change her mind…

now we are back to sunny! As the temperatures return to warm glimpses of summer, we move back outside. We grill, we lounge in the sun, we have Happy Hour at Home. We get creative with cocktails, and this time of year, the cooler and lighter the cocktail, the better.

This version is lower in saturated fat and calories than it’s traditional counterpart. Which means you can have two, right?

Creating a lighter version of a Piña Colada came from the June issue of Cooking Light magazine. I am more than beside myself thrilled to be working with them as a member of Cooking Light’s Bloggers Connection. One of my favorite magazines and first subscriptions years ago, I admire their promotion of great tasting food that is also healthy. Aside from the essential indulgence, that is my philosophy as well.

This recipe has a couple steps that are make ahead. I prepared those components the day before, and it was well worth it – fifteen minutes worth of work the night before, another few minutes to blend these together. Perfect for a patio party, or a Thursday.

light and fresh Piña Coladas

adapted from Cooking Light

dairy, soy and gluten free, vegan, no added sugar

serves 4

1 1/2 cups flaked coconut
11.2 ounces coconut water (small container)
1/3 cup coconut milk
1 fresh pineapple, peeled, cored and cubed
2 cups ice
3/4 cup rum

In saucepan over medium heat, combine flaked coconut, water and milk. Simmer until it just bubbles (do not boil), about 7 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Transfer to covered container and refrigerate (I cooled overnight).

Quarter pineapple lengthwise, reserving 1/4 for garnish (slice garnish into wedges). Remove skin and core from remaining 3/4 pineapple, chop into cubes. Arrange on baking sheet and freeze until firm, at least one hour (I froze overnight).

Strain coconut mixture, pressing/squeezing to save as much liquid as possible. Discard solids. 

Combine frozen pineapple, ice, and rum in blender, process until smooth. Add coconut mixture and continue to blend. Pour into glasses and garnish with pineapple wedge.

Tart and sweet, fruity and cool. Cheers, here’s to summer!

 

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I know. I just shared my chai-spiked pumpkin milkshake. A glorious thing, you all agreed. A few of you asked for the pumpkin smoothie I make. I am currently enjoying these on vacation, so here it is!

We enjoy these smoothies in the morning.

Basil enjoys the sunshine in the morning.

Basil looking out over Elliot Bay.

He finds his patch of sunshine and will follow it along the balcony all morning…

You know he’s wondering if his smoothie is ready yet

pumpkin smoothie

serves two

vegan, gluten free, dairy free

4-5 handfuls spinach (a VitaMix full!)
2 cups water
3 scoops vanilla protein
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
2 tablespoons pumpkin pie spice
2 tablespoons sweetener (agave)
ice cubes (optional)

Add all ingredients to a blender and blend; add ice cubes for icy cold smoothie. 

These are easy to make on vacation – you know I travel with my blender. Bring a couple cans of pumpkin with you, and since this road trip was only a few hours drive, I brought my own spinach, too. I always travel with protein powder (I think even if I forget to pack it I have a couple sample packages in my handbag at all times) and pumpkin pie spice is easy enough to pack.

Cheers!

Do you bring food on road trips?

 

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When I was a kid, I got to walk around on Halloween night with The Hulk.

My best friend’s dad was a body builder, and each year he would paint his upper body and face green, and wear a tank top. As far as I recall, he simply wore regular pants, nothing ripped up Hulk-like. He loved walking around with all us kids, and we were obviously safe with The Hulk walking around with us.

I always thought that was pretty neat back then, and looking back now, I appreciate it even more. He was definitely one of my favorite ‘parents of a friend’ – he had the best sense of humor and always cracked me up. I used to go to church with their family, and he would purposely make me laugh by pretending to nod off snoring.

But that’s a story for another day.

Today’s smoothie is a recovery drink a bodybuilder or The Hulk would enjoy – from tart cherries which provide natural anti inflammatory properties to protein and these Ormus Greens – wow. They give me more energy! You all know I like my nutrients and minerals from the real deal – spinach and kale and other fruits and veggies – but these Ormus Greens really boast some great stats and I like to use this after a workout or as a snack. Ormus Greens is where the peppermint comes from, too.

chocolate cherry mint smoothie

a.k.a “The Hulk Smoothie”

serves one

1 1/4 cup water
2 scoops Sunwarrior raw chocolate protein
1 scoop Sunwarrior Ormus Supergreens
1 tablespoon maca
1 tablespoon chia
large handful frozen tart cherries 

All into the blender – Blend! Pour! Enjoy!

The first time I made this, as I was throwing the cherries in I thought “this is not going to taste good” but I was pleasantly surprised. The cherries are more of a tartness than a strong flavor, the chocolate is… well, chocolate, and the mint is a nice strong flavor.

Did you know any parents who would dress up on Halloween?
Did they also goof off in church? ;)

*Last I checked, my pepper jacks were in first place!! If you have not already voted, I would so appreciate if you did! Those who have – thank you Thank You THANK YOU again! 

 

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Happy Monday! I hope everyone is enjoying an extended holiday weekend, I know we are. This morning I am organizing and rearranging my photography room, preparing for the differences in daylight that will soon be upon us. I have a West facing window I will be utilizing for morning shots in addition to the East facing window I currently use. I can’t wait to get in there and move things around, take photos and test the lighting.

As soon as I finish first breakfast – this smoothie.

I like my smoothies ice cold. I don’t like to water down the flavor with ice, preferring to use frozen fruit. Jason wanted a smoothie this morning instead of fresh juice, and this impromptu smoothie was created entirely of what I found in the freezer. Well, with the exception of protein powder.

protein berry smoothie

vegan, gluten free, dairy free

serves two

1/2 cup frozen organic apple juice concentrate
1 cup frozen blackberries
1/2 cup frozen raspberries
1 frozen banana, sliced
1 1/2 cup coconut water
juice of 1 lemon
2 scoops vanilla protein powder 

Combine coconut water, lemon and protein powder in blender. Add juice concentrate, berries and banana, blend on high until smooth.

This smoothie is full flavored, an icy cool blend of tart and sweet. The protein adds the oomph to last through a workout, until second breakfast.

Speaking of photography, this morning I had some help with editing:

Is today a holiday for you? Doing anything fun?

 

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Peanut butter and Chocolate. Always a classic combination, even if the recipe isn’t so classic. or even a recipe, really.

I am still reeling over my amazing weekend, and will recap every detail soon. I’m still on a plant-based high with a goofy grin, and there are some people still in Portland for a few more days so I’m spending time with new friends!

I managed to develop quite the sweet tooth as a result of all the amazing food we enjoyed this weekend. In three days. I crave sweets now, wanting dessert after dinner. Breakfast and lunch too, if I’m being honest.

Today I have the honor of guest posting for my friend Eden – whose blog I love for many reasons – she makes me laugh, inspires me to think, and instigates many fun comment conversations. So when she asked me to guest post, I put my thinking laptop on to come up with something fun.

This satisfies that sweet tooth.

The breakfast one.

The theme is “not on my blog” – visit Eden to see what I have to say.

What is your favorite chocolate peanut butter combination?

 

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