Most mornings, after I have had my triple shot of espresso, I start my day with a green smoothie. Certain ingredients are given and others change.
- One Bag of spinach, baby spinach, mixed greens, kale or whatever greens you want (I usually buy whatever is on sale)
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup of water
- 3 apples, cored and quartered
- 3 bananas (The riper the better. Also note: you can peel and freeze bananas that are too ripe to eat otherwise, and they work really well in smoothies. Just remember to peel them before you freeze them. Once peeled place in a freezer friendly zip top bag and then place in freezer. They are much more challenging to peel once they are frozen.)
- 1 box of silken tofu (This gives the smoothie both protein and a creamier texture akin to when people add yogurt.)
- 1 small/medium bag of frozen fruit (This ingredient replaces the need for ice and invokes creativity. Sometimes I use mixed berries or peaches. In the fall I stock up on cranberries, when they are BOGO, and freeze them. Cranberries are by far my favorite frozen fruit to add to smoothies.)
- 6 dates, 3 packets of stevia, OR 3 tsp of sugar in the raw (optional, if you desire the smoothie to be sweeter)
- Fresh juice from 2 limes or 1 large lemon (optional); adds a nice acidity to the smoothie
Serves 3. I make this batch about twice a week for myself. I store the batch in an air tight pitcher that I can shake up for day 2 and 3.
In a blender:
I put the greens in first with 1/4 to 1/2 cup of water. Then add the apples and bananas and tofu. I blend all that and then I add the frozen fruit and any of the optional ingredients. I blend till smooth. When I first started doing this in a conventional blender, I had to baby it and do it in smaller parts. You could always third this recipe and make it daily, if that will help your blender. Just remember to properly store the remaining silken tofu. Out of convenience and since we gifted our household one Christmas with a Vitamix blender, this process has become much easier.
Each year around Christmastime, my hubby, Chris makes Caramel Corn. Be warned: it is very addictive and scrumptious!
- Popcorn kernels (and popcorn popper)
- 2 c. Brown Sugar
- 1 c. Vegan Butter (like Earth Balance)
- 1/2 c. Light Corn Syrup
- 1 tsp. Salt
- 1 tsp. Baking Soda
- 1 tsp. Vanilla
Make 30 cups popped popcorn. Mix and bring to a rolling boil the brown sugar, butter, corn syrup, and salt. Boil gently for 5 minutes. Stir occasionally. Remove from heat. Add baking soda and vanilla. Mix well. Pour over popped corn and blend thoroughly. Bake 1 hour at 200° stirring every 15 minutes. Store in airtight containers.
Last Monday, my Aunt Carolyn and Uncle Ray gave me some beautiful large scallions out of their garden. I am not typically a green onion fan, but this week I found a wonderful use for them. A while back my husband and I were watching Claire Robinson on Five Ingredient Fix, a cooking show, when she made a ranch dressing with just 5 ingredients. Well this recipe is inspired from that one. Simple yet refreshingly lovely. I serve it with fresh raw veggies like: broccoli, carrots, celery, cauliflower, tomatoes, yellow summer squash, zucchini, etc.
- 8 ounces of Vegan Sour Cream* (for dressing use Vegan mayonnaise instead)
- Fresh Scallions (I used 3 or 4 really big ones) coarsely chopped
- 2 or 3 cloves of garlic (peeled)
- Dill Weed
- Lemon Juice
In a food processor pulse together the garlic cloves and green onions. Then fold into the sour cream. Add other ingredients to taste. Serve immediately.
*You can either buy Vegan Sour Cream or you can make your own:
Homemade Vegan Sour Cream:
- 1 package of silken tofu
- 1 tablespoon canola or olive oil
- 4 to 5 teaspoons lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon stevia
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
Place all ingredients in a food processor or blender. Blend for several minutes, until very creamy and smooth. Then refrigerate. In addition to being a great base for the above ranch dip (or dressing), it is also great in mexican dishes and as a topper for baked potatoes. It stays fresh for approximately 5 days. (The homemade vegan sour cream recipe is adapted from Matt Eberhart.)
When I was recently sick, my husband started making me smoothies. After many incarnations and me recreating it later, this is the one that emerged best, so far. This smoothie is a great way to start the day or wonderful as post workout snack. It is a wonderful source of protein and fiber.
Smoothie for 1:
- Frozen cranberries (1/3 of a bag)
- enough orange juice to cover the cranberries in the bottom of the blender
- 1 banana (fresh or frozen)
- 1/2 of a small carton (1/3 of a larger carton) of silken tofu
- 1 tsp of stevia
Put cranberries and orange juice in blender. Begin blending. Meanwhile, peel banana and get out silken tofu. Stop blender (scrape down sides if necessary) and add banana, silken tofu and stevia. Blend till smooth. Voila! Easy and awesome smoothie. The frozen cranberries make it cold enough for me. If you want it colder, you can always add ice.