Raw Healthy Pumpkin Banana “Shake”

This is super healthy and tastes great.    Perfect flavor combination with the canned pumpkin and the “Pumpkin Pie Spice” for the upcoming Halloween and Thanksgiving holiday to entice picky children yet with all the healthy nutrition and non dairy aspects parents love.   This is naturally sweet on its own, but you can add a little bit of sugar, honey or stevia for added sweetness.  I utilized a few “light coconut milk” cubes to add some healthy fats give  a nice frothy rich milkshake feel to a “raw” shake.  I finished it off with some sweet nutmeg spice and chopped walnuts sprinkled on top.

Ingredients:

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 4 “light coconut milk” cubes or 1/2 cup unfrozen coconut milk (coconut milk frozen in an ice cube tray)
  • 1/2 cup organic canned pumpkin (I used Trader Joes brand from last year)
  • 1 1/4 cup unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk (I used Almond Breeze)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Pumpkin Pie spice, couple shakes to taste (I used Trader Joe’s brand or you can make homemade)
  • stevia,  a bit of honey, sugar to taste (I didn’t need any)
  • Optional : top with  sweet nutmeg or pumpkin pie spice and chopped wlanuts

Directions:

  1. Blend all ingredients except sweetener in a high speed blender
  2. Taste and add sweetener if necessary
  3. Pour into two glasses and top with sweet nutmeg, pumpkin pie spice and chopped walnuts
  4. Serve and enjoy

 



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Basic Green Drink Recipe for 1

 

This is my basic “go to” recipe for my green drink I make in my high speed blender a couple times a week.  Great for beginners.  I like this recipe because the ingredients are easy to find, store and blend together in a snap.  There are a lot of “extras” you can add, or variations you can do with  this basic recipe which I will be going over here in the future.  I think adding in a a few basic “green drinks”  made for just one person is an simple quick starter item to add if your starting a healthy diet.  Just add in a couple of times a week if your just beginning out, and then start getting more creative.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup spinach leaves
  • 1 cup chopped Dino (also called Tuscan)  kale
  • 1 small apple or 1/2 of a large apple,  sliced, skin on (your choice)
  • Half to one whole banana (I use frozen banana slices for a colder drink)

Directions:

  1. Put all ingredients in a high speed blender (I use a Vita Mix) for a minute or two, until well blended.

Optional: (you can add a small scoop of vitamin fortified “Greens” powders, there are many on the market, I use Green Vibrence, Vital Scoop, ect.  There are many on the market at Whole Foods or any supplement or vitamin store.

Drink and Enjoy

This drink is filled with lots of nutrition and less than 200 calories if using unsweetened Almond Milk, and around 230 with an added greens powder

 

 



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Healthy Chocolate Almond Butter “Milkshake”: Vegan or Organic Dairy

This shake is packed with protein and and healthy fats.  Super fast, easy to make, filling and great for recovery after working out.  I used almond butter because I like its flavor better than peanut butter, but you can substitute peanut butter if that’s what you prefer.  For me this is super “decadent” tasting, so I make a batch and split it into 2 servings of 8 ounces each.  Works out to about 210 calories each with over 25 grams of protein.

Ingredients:

Directions:

  • Blend all ingredients in a high speed blender (I use my vitamix) until well blended.
  • Sprinkle with a little cocoa powder on top
  • Serves 2.  Enjoy 🙂

 

 

 

 

 



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Fresh Fruit Cubes for Beverages and “Granitas”

I hate wasting food of any kind.  Lots of times I’ll go to the Farmer’s Market and see gorgeous fruit or produce and grab it, only to find I don’t have any use for it right away.  As far a fruit goes, to make sure you get the full nutrients out of them, you are are supposed to eat it within 2 to 3 day of purchase. If its organic, fruit starts to go bad sooner than the modified non organic produce you get in the chain grocery stores.

I started freezing my fruit, whole, before it went bad a few years ago and found its stays good in the freezer for at least a month. Then I read a  couple of recipes in Chef Rebecca Katz’s “Cancer Fighting Kitchen” cookbook, where she would make “granitas” with pureed melons and watermelon, mint, lime and agave, for patients going through chemotherapy.  They were delicious!

Now I always keep a variety of melon and strawberry cubes in my freezer for beverages, or on hand to make “mock” sorbets and granitas. These cubes also taste great with the alcoholic and non alcoholic version of Chef Marcus Samuelson’s Champagne Sake Mojitos. Or, for a quick sweet and sour frozen treat, take a few of the strawberry cubes, carbonated or filtered water, mint and a fresh squeeze of lime, puree in the blender and serve in a chilled glass with straw. Yum!

Directions:

  1. Take any fruit, and puree in blender.  Optional add ins are lime, mint, basil, certified organic agave  or liquid stevia.  Be creative!
  2. Pour into ice cube trays and freeze
  3. When frozen after about 3 hours, remove from trays, and store in airtight containers.  Can be stored up to 3 weeks.


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Organic Apple Ginger Tea


My boyfriend and I are fighting a flu or cold today and I just made a big batch of this. I found this little gem of a recipe through the nutritionist, Cheryl V Mitchell, who taught with me at Cooking Matters. The best part about this is it’s simplicity to make. This drink is super healthy, non fat, low in calories, yet naturally sweet in taste through the apples. Fresh ginger is really good for upset tummies or good for nausea. This is also a fun tasty little drink to have around in cold, rainy or snowy weather. In Tahoe we almost always have a big pot of this going on the stove all day long while siting next to a crackling fire while watching the snow fall. The scent of the warm apples, ginger and cinnamon fill the house and I’ve had guests ask “what kind of scented candle is this?”

I make this in a big pot over the stove or in a large slow cooker, and bring to a simmer, but then turn down and keep on low heat the rest of the time. With this recipe, as with all my recipes, please adjust the ingredients to fit your own specific tastes

Ingredients:

  • 5 to 8 Apples quartered with skins left on (how “apple” you want the tea to taste is up to you)
  • 1 big knob of fresh ginger (I like a real large knob, I love the ginger flavor and spicy flavor it gives)
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 8 to 12 cups of filtered water
  • Optional: Stevia or Organic honey to added additional sweetness after your ready to drink
  • Optional: ground nutmeg to taste

Directions:

  1. Put all the ingredients in a slow cooker or a large pot
  2. Cover with the filtered water
  3. Bring to a high simmer, reduce heat to medium or medium low, and allow flavors to infuse for at least an hour
  4. I used a ladle to scoop out the “tea” into my cups
  5. You can also add extra water once, over the ingredients if the pot starts running low on liquid
  6. Enjoy!

*** This recipe kindly shared with me by Cheryl V Mitchell of The Diabetes Bootcamp

 



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Masala Chai (Indian Spiced Tea)


 

I love Indian spiced tea.  However I have found in some of the chain coffee houses, they are too sweet, too much milk, and in reality, an overpowering version of the real deal.   There are are a lot of pre made chai tea spice blends on the market, which are nowhere near as tasty if you make them yourself. Its easy to find several different variations of chai recipes, but I have found through trial and error, its best to use chai recipes, just as as guide, and then adjust them to your own taste.

All the spices and teas used in chai, have a multitude of beneficial health properties to them from cancer fighting properties, calming the gut, easing digestion, balancing blood sugar, reducing nausea and more.  Its a great compliment to any healthy diet, but a great beverage for patients undergoing chemo as well.

This particular recipe is a slight spin on the recipe I found in my new favorite book on spices, “Healing Spices: How to Use 50 Everyday and Exotic Spices to Boost Health and Beat Disease “, by Dr Bharat B. Aggarwal.  I use “non dairy” organic lower calorie almond milk instead of regular milk.   I dry toast my spices over medium heat until I have released the flavors  then pulverize in an electric coffee grinder or grind in a mortar and pestle.  I usually make a big batch and then keep it heated on low heat in my crock pot.  I save calories from the higher calorie versions you get in coffee houses by using low calorie almond milk, use almost no sugar, and add sweetness through the all natural zero calorie sweetener, Stevia.

The basic spice blends for chai tea usually utilize all these spices or variations of : cardamon pods or seeds, cinnamon sticks or ground cinnamon, black or white peppercorns, cloves, fennel seeds, ground ginger and  black tea. (ie English Breakfast or Darjeeling). For this particular recipe, you will use the following:

Ingredients:

  • 10 – 15 cardamom pods or 1 tsp cardamom seeds (I prefer removing the seed from the pods myself, its fresher)
  • (1) 2 inch cinnamon stick
  • 4 black peppercorns
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 3 cups of organic lower calorie almond milk (with unsweetened vanilla flavor if you can find it)
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 3 cups of water
  • 2 bags of black tea
  • Stevia – as needed, add sweetness to fit your own tastes

Directions

  1. Dry roast the cardamom seeds, cinnamon stick, peppercorns, and fennel seeds in a hot skillet until they release their “flavors”, aprox 3 minutes.  Be careful not to brown or burn too much, you want them just toasted.
  2. Put the spice mixture in a mortar and pestle and hand grind, or use an electric coffee grinder (my personal choice) and grind to a fine powder.
  3. Put the almond milk in a saucepan over medium heat, and add the ground spice mixture, brown sugar and ginger and allow the flavors to infuse through out the milk for about 5 to 10 minutes.  Do not let this boil!
  4. Heat the water in another pot and bring to a boil.  Add the tea bags and let steep for a few minutes. Remove the tea bags
  5. Personally I like to add the tea to my crock pot, and then pour the spiced almond milk through a strainer over it into the crock pot.  However you can just do this with any pot or saucepan you decide to combine the tea and milk in.
  6. Allow the chai to rest for a few minutes, and then add Stevia to add some extra sweetness if you like
  7. Enjoy!

 

 

 

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