Banana-Almond Smoothie

So this smoothie really isn’t much to look at, but its humble looks are deceiving. This is a speedy, satisfying, and healthy drink that is perfect for a weekday morning breakfast, snack, or post workout treat. Just 3 or 4 ingredients, a quick whirl in the blender, and bam, done. You could totally customize this to your liking- swap in peanut butter for the almond butter, use coconut milk (or other milk of your choosing) for the almond milk, add a handful of spinach, add a dash of cinnamon, the possibilities are endless!

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Banana-Almond Smoothie

Serves 1

Ingredients:

1 banana, broken into 3-4 chunks, frozen
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 Tbsp almond butter
1/8 tsp almond extract (optional)

Directions:

1. Place all ingredients in the blender, and blend until smooth. Enjoy!

Source: Bon Appetit

Strawberry-Coconut Smoothie

Strawberry-Coconut Smoothie

I hope everyone had a lovely weekend, and a smooth start to the week! I went to Washington, D.D. over the weekend to visit my brother and his fiancee, and it was such a wonderful trip. I’ll be posting about it sometime this week! I was not ready to come back to Connecticut at all… if only I didn’t have to work…sigh… How amazing would it be to perpetually be on vacation (whether travelling or just hanging out at home)- I don’t think I’d ever tire of it (as long as I had money to do fun things and eat delicious food that is). I guess that’ll have to wait until retirement, or I suddenly become a millionaire.

So I wanted to give you a quick and delicious recipe to start the week off right. This is a super tasty and healthy smoothie that is such a satisfying snack! It would also make a wonderful breakfast, or even dessert… I think it’s delicious enough to drink anytime of day. This smoothie is thick, creamy, and seems much more decadent than it actually is, and it’s something you can feel good about indulging in.

Strawberry-Coconut Smoothie

Strawberry-Coconut Smoothie

Serves 1

Ingredients:

1 cup frozen strawberries, slightly thawed

1 banana

2 Tbsp light coconut milk

1 tsp lemon juice

3/4 cup water

Directions:

1. Add all ingredients to a blender, and blend until smooth.

Source: Whole Living, January/February 2013

Antioxidant Smoothie

When I was doing the Whole Living 2013 Action Plan, one of the things I loved about it were the smoothies that you start your mornings with the first week of the plan. They really made me feel like I was starting the day on the right foot, fueling my body with good things from the get-go. I feel like they are something I need to incorporate back into my daily life… not necessarily as a breakfast, but either a breakfast or snack during the day. Since I’m not a huge fruit eater, these smoothies were such a good way to get fruit into my body. This antioxidant smoothie was one of my favorites of the cleanse, and it couldn’t be simpler. Mixed frozen berries, unsweetened pomegranate juice, and water- that’s it. They make a refreshing, healthy smoothie that contains lots of nutrients and antioxidants that will make you feel like you are doing something good for your body. Don’t be surprised if you see a lot more recipes for smoothies on here 🙂  (Also- I’d love to get a juicer soon and start experimenting with making some juice!)

Antioxidant Smoothie

Antioxidant Smoothie

Serves 1

Ingredients:

1 cup (4.5 ounces) mixed frozen berries

1/2 cup unsweetened pomegranate juice

1/2 cup water

Directions:

1. Add all the ingredients to a blender, and blend until smooth. Easy peasy!!

Source: Whole Living

Green Monster Smoothie

Did you know that the term Green Monster was coined by Angela over at Oh She Glows?  I didn’t know that until this week when I was researching different Green Monster smoothie-type drinks.  I’ve been reading Oh She Glows for a while, and I found this news to be very exciting!  It’s the small things that excite me- Dunkin’ Donuts, a good burger, a basket of kittens, you know, the usual!

I’ve been very curious about these green drinks for a while, and because I’m really working on sticking to my New Year’s resolutions of eating well, and exercising, I figured it was the perfect time to try one of these out. I am so happy to say that I loved my green monster.  There are a lot of variations of this smoothie, and I’m sure that I’ll be experimenting with them frequently, but my very first try was awesome!  You can really barely taste the spinach- I think there is a very slight hint of something green, but except for the green color, I think you’d be hard-pressed to pinpoint it if you didn’t know what was in this. Me?  I don’t mind the green color at all- after all, it is my favorite color.

Green Monster Spinach Smoothie
Serves 1

Ingredients:
1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1/2 cup 0% vanilla Greek yogurt
1 banana, sliced, and preferably frozen
1 tbsp peanut butter
2-4 cups baby spinach
Ice, optional (I use about 3 ice cubes in mine)

Directions:
1. Add all ingredients to your blender and blend until smooth.
2. Drink your greens 🙂

Source: Iowa Girl Eats and Oh She Glows

Butterbeer

Butterbeer is one of those things that I’ve wanted to try since reading about it in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.  I knew it obviously was a fictional drink*, but much like I wanted the magical world of Harry Potter to be real, I also wanted the treats from the books to be real as well.  With the final movie just having been released, there has been a proliferation of Harry Potter inspired treats making their way around the internet which has awakened my craving, and since The Wizarding World of Harry Potter made Butterbeer real, I knew it was something that I just had to make…. it’s taken me this long, but I have finally lived the dream!!  Now, since I’ve never been to the theme park (which hopefully I’ll remedy someday relatively soon!!), I have no idea whether this version tastes like theirs, but I have to say that it is still incredibly delicious, and very much like how I imagined butterbeer tasting- namely, butterscotchesque.  This drink is fizzy, creamy, sweet and very easy to make.  This is a non-alcoholic version, but you can spike the drink as well.

*Apparently Buttered Beer was a real drink in ye olden times consisting of beer, sugar, eggs, nutmeg, cloves and butter, and another old recipe calls for liquorish root and anise seeds to be added….. muy interestante!

Butterbeer
from The Pastry Affair, originally adapted from The Huffington Post
Makes 4 drinks (*if you want to share, that is)

Ingredients:
1 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp water
4 tbsp butter
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup heavy cream, divided
Four 12-ounce bottles cream soda, chilled
Directions:
1. Combine brown sugar and water in a small saucepan.  Heat on medium, and bring to a boil, stirring frequently.  Cook until mixture reached 240 degrees F on a candy thermometer, or if you don’t have one like me, bring to a gentle boil, and cook for about one minute, then remove from the heat.
2. Once removed from heat, add butter, salt, vinegar and 1/4 cup heavy cream.  Stir until the mixture is smooth, and then cool to room temperature.
3. Once the brown sugar mixture is cooled, beat together 2 tbsp of the mixture with the remaining 1/2 cup heavy cream until it forms soft-peaks- this will make some really delicious whipped cream!
4. In your serving glass, combine 1/4 cup brown sugar syrup with 1/4 cup cream soda, stir until combined.  Top with remaining cream soda, and then with some whipped cream.
Notes:
  • The original recipe in the Huffington Post includes 1/2 tsp of rum extract stirred into the brown sugar syrup along with the butter, salt vinegar and cream.  I didn’t have any rum extract in my pantry, but if you do, and want to try that, go for it!