Posts tagged ‘green smoothies’

January 27, 2014

In a Hurry? Drink Up!

Come on, let's go!

Come on, let’s go!

Hey peeps! It’s Brooke, here. Is it hard for you to squeeze in your recommended 3-5 daily servings of vegetables? Are you waiting until lunch (or even worse, dinner!) before laying eyes on your first piece of produce? Oh no, this will NOT do! You deserve better than this, and so do I. But sometimes life’s a bit of a struggle, isn’t it? I barely sit still enough to eat, or at least eat as well as I want to. And I often eat my food in shifts (e.g., scrambled eggs at the counter before getting ready, then my oatmeal and my protein shake packed in a cooler to take with me to work). It’s not the greatest system, but it gets me through most mornings. Lately, however, I’ve been trying to take better care of my husband and myself. I’ve loved concocting fresh juice to start our days feeling happy and light.

If you’re a crazy person on the go like me, you’re probably pretty tight with your juicer and blender already. If not, now’s the time to make friends with these kitchen helpers, because they will save you from yourself 😉 Here are a few of my favorite recipes for you to try. They are super easy and delicious!

 

Freshly-Pressed Juice, aka Liquid Gold

Morning Garden Delight

Morning Garden Delight

Morning Garden Delight

Serves 2

  • 1 big handful baby spinach, washed
  • 1-4 romaine leaves, washed
  • Several sprigs fresh mint
  • 1 cucumber, peeled if not organic
  • 2 carrots, scrubbed and ends trimmed
  • 2 celery stalks, washed
  • 1 apple, organic
  • 1 pear, organic

Cut produce, if needed, to fit your juicer’s feeder tube. Feed veggies and fruit into the juicer, and capture the yummy goodness that comes out of the spout. Stir fresh juice, and pour into glasses. Garnish with mint sprig if you like (and I always like ;).

 

Sweet Carrots

Sweet Carrots

Sweet Carrots (or Happiness in a Glass)

Serves 2

  • 4 carrots, scrubbed and ends trimmed
  • 2 apples (Braeburn or Red Delicious are awesome)

Cut produce, if needed, to fit your juicer’s feeder tube. Feed the apples and carrots into the juicer, and collect the juice. Be sure and stir the juice to blend the flavors, and pour into glasses. Pure heaven!!!

 

Blend, Baby, Blend

Berry Spinach Smoothie

Berry Spinach Smoothie

Berry Spinach Smoothie

Serves 2, or 1 if you hog it for yourself like I did! (makes 20 oz.)

  • 2 handfuls baby spinach, washed
  • 1 c. almond milk
  • 4 strawberries, organic
  • 4 raspberries, organic
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder (I chose Sunwarrior Raw Vegan Classic Blend, but any protein will do)
  • 1 Tbsp. almond butter
  • Dash of cinnamon
  • Dash of cayenne pepper, optional
  • Ice, for desired consistency

Blend spinach and almond milk together until spinach has been broken down. Then add berries, protein powder, almond butter, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper. Last, add ice and blend until the smoothie is desired consistency. Talk about a delicious, nutritious powerhouse of a smoothie!

 

Gorgeous and green, just the way I like!

Gorgeous and green, just the way I like!

Drink up, you beautiful thing!

Brooke

December 16, 2013

Healthy Holiday Snacking

popcorn

Morning, Friends! It’s Brooke here. ‘Tis the season for decadent holiday delights. This time of year is packed full of parties, gift exchanges, and general festive cheer that usually involve treats of the most delicious kind. But let’s be honest—it’s not just the sugar haze that warms our hearts when we give and receive these treats. We show our love and care for people in our lives by the cooking we do and the food we serve them. But we can also serve tasty morsels that bring a healthy heart, trim body, and joyful energy to those we care about.

A Simple Checklist

When you or your family need a boost between meals, think about this simple checklist as you assemble your snack. It’s not rocket science, so have fun with it!

  • Lean protein (whey or vegan protein powder, hummus, (healthy) bean dip, hard-boiled egg, low-fat Greek or plain yogurt, or edamame)—protein will help fill you up and satisfy your hunger
  • Healthy fat (nuts, seeds, avocado, or nut butter)—healthy fats also satisfy your hunger and keep your brain sharp and skin supple
  • Complex or non-starchy carb (whole grains, green veggies, or fruit)—these carbohydrates will boost your mood and give you clean-burning energy

Nutritious Nibbles

Cashew-Apple-Greenie-on-TheShiksa_com-healthy-green-smoothie-recipe-640x480

Green smoothie or juice + nuts or seeds: Prepare 12-16 oz. of your favorite green drink and then grab 10-15 unsalted almonds, 10-15 walnuts halves, or 24 pistachios. You will feel amazing after this snack—so clean!

Apple and cheese plate: Thinly slice ½ organic apple, ½ organic pear, and 1 oz. hard cheese like Cheddar or Swiss. You can even add some slivered almonds or chopped dried cranberries to dress up this dish.

Grown-up popcorn: Prepare 3 c. air-popped popcorn, and then while popcorn is still hot, sprinkle with your favorite spices:

  • Grated parmesan and cayenne pepper
  • Garlic powder and smoked paprika
  • Dill weed and sea salt
  • Cinnamon and stevia

Sesame carrots and hummus or bean dip: Roll some raw baby carrots in toasted sesame seeds and add a pinch of sea salt. For a pretty contrast, you can even roll the carrots in dill weed or lemon pepper (my fave!). Serve with your favorite hummus or bean dip. If you need a bit more substance to this snack, add some whole-grain or gluten free crackers.

Berries and spiced yogurt: Prepare 1 c. of your favorite winter berries or mix blackberries, strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries for a gorgeous power snack. Take 1 c. low-fat Greek or plain yogurt and mix in 1 tsp. cinnamon, ½ tsp. nutmeg, ¼ tsp. ground cloves, and if desired, stevia (to taste). You can dip your berries into the yogurt dip or throw everything together in one bowl if you want to get really wild 😉

Five Spice Pistachios

Five-Spice Pistachios

For a really elegant and easy snack, try this killer pistachio recipe. It takes 5 minutes to prepare and about 45 minutes for the pistachios to dry after coming out of the oven. Can cooking be any simpler? My mouth is already watering!

Five-Spice Pistachios

  • 6 Tbsp. orange juice
  • 6 Tbsp. Chinese five-spice powder
  • 4 tsp. sea salt
  • 6 c. unsalted pistachios

Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of oven; preheat to 250°F.

Whisk orange juice, five-spice powder, and salt in a large bowl. Add pistachios; toss to coat. Divide between 2 large rimmed baking sheets; spread in an even layer.

Bake, stirring every 15 minutes, until dry, about 45 minutes. Let cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

Recipe shared from Eating Well: http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/five_spice_pistachios.html

Ok, my friends. I hope you enjoy these ideas for ringing in the merry while keeping your belly nice and trim. If you have a favorite healthy snack recipe, please share: Brooke@healthyhousewives.com. I’m always looking for fabulous ideas to share!!

Blessings and joy,

Brooke

June 24, 2013

Healthy Hospitality

green smoothies

Hi, Friends! It’s Brooke here. I’d love to share a special discovery we had on our recent girls’ trip to Mexico. Now I’d like to say I stepped off the plane that morning rested and relaxed, ready for adventure, but after only 4 hours of sleep (guess who packed until midnight?!), I lurched off in a daze, dragging my suitcase behind me. Here I was in a tropical paradise, half conscious and dehydrated. All was not lost, however. . . Forty-five minutes later, as we arrived at our beautiful home for the next few days (the incomparable Rosewood Mayakoba), the staff greeted us warmly and treated us to a sparkling emerald-green welcome drink—the Chaya Mojito. This delicious treat was served without the rum normally found in the Cuban cocktail, and it was lovely. What a way to start a vacation!

We learned that chaya (pronounced “CHY-ah”) is a popular supergreen found in Central and South America but difficult to find in the United States. My tired mind was so addled when we first learned about chaya that I thought our host was mispronouncing “chia,” like chia seeds. Thank goodness I didn’t say anything! This wonder green is called “tree spinach” and is actually very similar to the spinach we are already familiar with. The young shoots and leaves of the chaya are treasured for their multitude of health benefits, which include lowering cholesterol, improving circulation and digestion, reducing inflammation, and fighting diabetes and arthritis. Actually, these leafy gems are packed with even more vitamins C and A, protein, calcium, potassium, and iron than spinach is. Chaya is so nutritious that it has been used for centuries in regions of Central and South America where access to other greens and vegetables is limited or impossible. Wow!

I’d love to share the recipe for our special welcome drink, compliments of the beautiful Rosewood Mayakoba (http://www.rosewoodhotels.com/en/mayakoba/). This mojito would be an excellent addition to your next summer party—I can’t wait to share it with my family and friends! (Note: 25 grams is approximately 0.8 ounces. This conversion can be a little tricky, so I’d put in a small amount of chaya and mint and then add more as you play around with it. Does this lack of exact instruction make you nervous? Me too!)

Chaya Mojito

  • 4 oz sparkling water
  • 1 oz lime juice
  • 25 grams fresh mint
  • 25 grams fresh chaya (or baby spinach)
  • 2 oz sugar syrup (simple syrup—sugar dissolved in hot water)
  • 2 oz aged rum (optional)

Mix all the ingredients with ice in a blender. Serve in a highball glass and garnish with lime and a sugar cane, if desired. Enjoy!

May you have a refreshing week!

XO, Brooke

 

May 27, 2013

Green Energy—Yum!

green scene

Happy Memorial Day, Friends! It’s Brooke here with a few questions for you: Do ever have those days (or weeks) that you feel tired and sluggish, even after getting a good night’s sleep? Do you wish you had more pep in your step after lunch?  No, the solution’s not caffeine, although it does make my world go ‘round. Answer: Time to load up on the veggies and fruit! There are lots of ways to add green goodness to your life—you can grab some produce and munch away, create some amazing salads, throw some greens into your cooked dishes, or juice that precious goodness into a glass. But one of my favorite ways to enjoy the bounty of the earth is to make green smoothies.

The USDA’s recommended daily amount varies for each person according to caloric intake, metabolism, and physiology, but a good standard for someone consuming 2,000 calories a day would be at the very least 2-3 servings of vegetables (more if possible!) and about 1.5-2 servings of fruit per day. The average American gets only 1.5-3 servings of veggies and fruit—total!—a day.

pretty veggies

When you realize all of the amazing ways that fruits and vegetables can help you live a healthier, longer, more vibrant life, you will run—not walk—to your nearest grocery store or farmer’s market. They are packed with vitamins, minerals, enzymes, antioxidants, and energy from the sun. Studies have repeatedly shown that a healthy diet low in saturated fat, high in whole grains, lean proteins, veggies, and fruit reduces the risk of most chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, high blood pressure, diabetes, and so on. Consuming the abundant vitamins and minerals found in vegetables and fruit helps improve our mood; boost energy; enhance immune function; maintain efficient digestion; impart radiant skin and hair; and reduce risk of chronic and lifestyle-related diseases. This is great news!

I love green smoothies for several reasons:

1) They appeal to my lazy side—with just a little prep work, I can throw everything into my blender and within 30 seconds, I have a pitcher full of happiness that supplies about 3 or 4 glasses throughout the day.

2) They are fun to drink—as I live my fit life, salads make up a good portion of my diet. But sometimes I get tired of dealing with all the fixings (my salads are always full of crunchy, tasty veggies, nuts, and fruit) and coming up with new ideas all the time. Smoothies are a nice change of pace.

3) They make me feel good—this can also be said of dark, green leafy salads as well as freshly juiced produce. I’m slightly embarrassed to say this, but when I first cleaned up my eating, this fresh energy from the abundance of raw vegetables was a new experience. I noticed this after eating a lunch of quinoa, black beans, avocado, and then a big salad (spinach, chard, arugula, etc. plus celery, carrots, green onions, zucchini, tomatoes, mushrooms, and almonds). I didn’t get the charge of caffeinated energy I knew so well, but my insides felt so light and clean, not heavy and bogged down.

heart veggies distressed

Digestion is the most energy-consuming function that the body carries out. That’s why you are so sleepy after stuffing yourself on a large meal—your body uses much of its available fuel to process what you just ate. Let me put it this way: meat can take 2-3 days to completely pass through your system (yikes!), a regular full meal can take 6-8 hours to digest, and most fruits and vegetables are out of your system in 2-3 hours. By consuming green salads or (especially) smoothies and juices, you are able to bypass much of this effort because the produce is mechanically broken down into smaller, more bioavailable parts. Almost immediately, your body begins to utilize the vitamins and minerals to repair and renew your body. This is why you feel so much better and full of energy within a day or two of adding dark green salads, juices, and smoothies to your menu.

cute vegetables

Here’s one of my favorite recipes. The fun part about smoothies is that the sky’s the limit on what ingredients you decide to use. A good rule of thumb when you are starting out is 1:1—1 green vegetable to 1 fruit. Ideally, you want to use more veggies than fruit. Green vegetables are virtually dripping with nutrients that you need for a radiant glow and optimum health. Also, fruit does contain sugar, even though it’s natural—so just be mindful of those luscious gems, especially if you are tightening up your sexy body. You’ll see, however, in my recipe below that I used more fruits than vegetables, mainly because I was out of more vegetables and my peaches were very ripe and had to go!

Sweet Greens

Note: Use organic produce when possible.

 smoothie ingredients_corrected

  • 2 c. spinach, raw
  • 1.5 c. water
  • 3-4 stalks of celery, roughly chopped
  • 2 peaches, small
  • 1 pear
  • mint, small handful
  • 1 banana (optional)

Add spinach and water to the blender and blend on medium speed. Add celery in handfuls as it is incorporated with the spinach and water, increasing speed to high. Add peaches, pear, mint, and banana. Add some ice to add thickness if you like. Pour in a glass and enjoy!

Makes 4-5 10-oz. glasses

Here’s to your brighter, healthier day—drink up!

Brooke

green smoothie_corrected

Lovely and tasty!