Monday, October 18, 2010

Guide to the Perfect Smoothie

Think you need a recipe to make a smoothie? Think again!

Follow these basic tips to make deliciously fun, fruity smoothies everytime ^_^

Blueberry Banana Smoothie

Most of the smoothies I make are simply a combination of my favorite fruit, milk or juice.  I have listed a basic smoothie recipe below, and then below that, are some specific options for different ingredients:

1 cup fruit (fresh or frozen)
1/2 - 1 cup frozen banana
1 - 2 cups of liquid
1 - 2 tsp natural sweetener or nut butter
1tsp - 2tbsp supplement (optional)

Frozen: bananas, pineapples, strawberries, blueberries, mangoes, peaches, cherries, or a mix of any!
Fresh: honeydew, cantaloupe, mango, peaches, oranges, blueberries, strawberries

Liquid Options (or the blender's not gonna blend)
Non-Dairy Milk (I love almond milk, but soy, rice or hemp work well too)
Non-Dairy yogurt or silken tofu
100% citrus fruit juice (orange, pineapple, mango) apple juice
Water (if you're doing RAW)

Nut Butters/Natural Sweetners:
Almond butter, all natural peanut butter, cashew butter, tahini, pure maple syrup, evaporated cane juice

Vegan protein powder, ground flax seed, fresh ginger

Helpful Hints: 
  • Instead of making banana bread with those over-ripe brown bananas, try peeling, slicing, and keeping them a ziplock bag in the freezer.  Frozen bananas for smoothies anytime!
  • Trader Joe's has amazing, resonably priced bags of frozen organic fruit like strawberries, blueberries, mangoes, pineapple, and a tropical mix that's really yummy!  I have these in my freezer at all times for whenever I'm out of fresh fruit
  • Be creative! There are really no "bad" mixes of fresh or frozen fruit: strawberry/banana, strawberry/banana/blueberry (pictured above), Pinapple/banana/OJ, rasberry/peach,
  • 1 TBSP ground flax seed is a great way to add thickness to a smoothie, and boost your Omega 3s.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Vegan Cookies are Invading...

A friend of mine was kind enough to lend me her copy of Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar and I went to town baking!

Oatmeal Raisin

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Amazing recipe from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar! I think I like this oatmeal cookie recipe even better than the one from Joy of Vegan Baking (which I really, REALLY love). There is actually less sugar in this one, but it is all BROWN sugar so the flavor is really amazing! Original recipe in VCIYCJ called for soy milk, but I always use unsweetened almond milk. Baking time: 10 minutes = chewy, 12 mintues = crunchy. I like CHEWY :)

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I actually used half raisin and half dried cranberries, since I only had a half cup of each...

Mexican Hot Chocolate Snickerdoodles!

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Do yourself a favor: Make these NOW!!  You can actually find the recipe on the PPK blog here.  These cookies had the perfect blend of soft, crunch and chewy... I was a wimp, and cut the cayenne a bit, but I think next time I will make as written. 

I actually bought a bottle of chocoate extract for the express purpose of making these cookies, and it really, REALLY makes a difference in the intensity of the chocolate flavor.

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AND... last but not least in any way... 

THE chocolate chip cookie!!

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Again, these are the perfect blend of crispy and chewy!

Please, do NOT be tempted to over cook your cookies.  If they look done, they're OVER-done.  Just be patient and let them cool for 5 minutes on the cookie sheet then carefully move them to a rack to finish.