Banana and Almond Butter Smoothie with Cacao Nibs

yummy smoothie

Banana and Almond Butter Smoothie with Cacao Nibs

Do you have one of those people at your house? You know the kind. The kind of people, that if the banana has a spot or two (or twenty) on it, it suddenly becomes inedible. Yeah, those people. Poor banana, it didn’t do anything to deserve such disrespect.

spotty banana

Unloved and unwanted

I say we respect the spotty banana! It’s just now coming into it’s full flavor! It’s just perfect for banana breads and muffins. It’s even better to just slice up and freeze. Use those frozen chunks of yummy banana for a fast, healthy, ice cream substitute after a quick trip in the food processor, or better yet, use them for this smoothie! We love you , spotty banana! So, take that banana and peel it.

peel the nana

peel the nana

Slice it up, put it on a plate and freeze it.

frozen banana

frozen banana

Now, we’re ready to make this awesome, decadent, smoothie.

cacao nib smnoothie

Banana and Almond Butter Smoothie with Cacao Nibs

Cacao nibs. Let’s talk about them, ok? You heard on some Doctor’s show, that these are a super food! A power house of nutrition! Rush right out and buy some! I know I did. Then, I popped a handful into my mouth and discovered that these suckers are quite bitter. I guess you could get used to eating them, but I’d rather add them to some that already tastes good, so I can make it taste awesome! That, right there, is this, oh so, good smoothie. This is what I have almost every day for breakfast. It fills me up, and keeps me going until lunch, or later. It fills me up without making me feel full. You know what I mean? You get none of that bloat, that you get from whatever breakfast sandwich you gobble down. And, if you already have frozen bananas in the freezer, tucked away in a zip top baggie, this smoothie takes scant minutes to make. Take it on the road. The ultimate fast food!

smoothie stuff

The fixings

You’ll need half a frozen banana, some silken tofu, unsweetened vanilla almond milk – or milk of your choice – cacao nibs, almond butter and a couple of ice cubes.

Measure out 1/2 cup of vanilla almond milk, 1/4 cup of silken tofu, 2 tablespoons of cacao nibs, and 1 1/2  tablespoons of almond butter.

measure out the ingredients

measure out the ingredients

Get out your blender. Drop 5 ice cubes and 4 to 6 one inch slices of frozen banana into it.

add the ice and bananas in

add the ice and bananas in

Then, add in the rest of the ingredients.

add the rest into the blender

add the rest into the blender

Then, cap that blender up and flip the switch!

Blenderization!

Blenderization!

Blend it until it’s as smooth as you like it. I wait until I no longer hear the ice cubes banging around. If it’s too thick, thin it out with a bit of water. Then pour it into a glass and enjoy. Easy-peasy!

Chocolate, nutty, banana awesomeness!

Chocolate, nutty, banana awesomeness!

Banana and Almond Butter Smoothie with Cacao Nibs
Author: 
Recipe type: Drinks
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 16 ounces
 
A decadent, protein filled smoothie to start your day. Or, for anytime!
Ingredients
  • 5 ice cubes, or as much as needed
  • ½ peeled banana, sliced and frozen
  • ¼ cup silken tofu
  • ½ cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk or equivalent milk substitute.
  • 1 ½ Tablespoons Almond butter
  • 2 Tablespoons cacao nibs
  • Water, as needed to thin smoothie
Instructions
  1. Place 5 ice cubes in the bottom of your blender, along with the frozen banana slices.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients to blender and blend until smooth.
  3. Serve immediately. Garnish with additional cacao nibs and a sprig of fresh mint, if desired.

This tastes like, like – a nutty, chocolaty, nana milkshake. Like something that you shouldn’t have because it’s sooo good! Except! There’s nothing bad in here. Nope, nada. It’s all good for you. So, be good to yourself and have this. Trust me, you’ll love it! You don’t even have to have it for breakfast. This is an excellent, energizer for lunch.

Whole cranberry orange sauce

cran orange sauce

Gobble gobble

It’s that time of year again. You know what I’m talking about. The holiday that gets squeezed in between Halloween candy sales and the onslaught of Christmas goods. Thanksgiving! Time for pies, and sweet potato casserole – hold the marshmallows, thank you – smashed taters, vegetable tarts & terrines, bread and my absolute favorite, dressing! I know there’s a big debate about whether it’s called stuffing or dressing. My opinion, for what it’s worth, if you pile it in another ingredient – say a squash, eggplant, zucchini or other  vegetable, then it’s stuffing. If you pile it into a casserole dish and bake, it’s dressing. Anyhow, dressing needs cranberry sauce. It needs it. Or, maybe I just need it. Confession time. I am a cranberry sauce junkie. Growing up, we only had the canned plop. It was okay, I guess. I could never get past the can ridges that were embedded along the sides. They were always there because everyone just slid that baby out of the can and onto a plate. Can imprints. Yuck. Throw away the can! You can make your own whole berry cranberry sauce! It’s the easiest thing to do. You will exert more effort using the can opener. Put it away and buy a bag of cranberries. You’re halfway to the best cranberry sauce you’ve ever tasted.

And, it’s time for another confession. My mother in law loves the stuff. It brings back memories of her childhood, when her mother made it. She used the canned stuff when my husband was growing up. The first time she had Thanksgiving dinner with us and had the fresh made stuff? Yeah, baby, you know who’s the favorite daughter in law now, uh huh! We’ll be out of town this year, so, being the darling that I am, I made her a batch to keep in her fridge, so she won’t do without.

Here we go!

whole cranberry sauce

Cranberry sauce ingredients

You’ll need 4 cups of fresh cranberries. My co-op was offering these cranberries. The clamshell reads, Sandhill Cranberry LLC, Wisconsin. This amused me. See, sandhill cranes are a migratory bird. So, it’s feasible that the birds that wade in their cranberry bogs, are the same that pick over my garden in central Florida.

Sandhill Cranes

Sandhill Cranes, sorry. Not much left.

You’ll also need one cup each of orange juice and sugar.

sugar, oj and berries

Measure it all out.

Rinse off the berries. Pour the OJ into a medium sized sauce pan and dump the cup of sugar on top.

OJ AND sugar

If you’re doing what you ought to, you pour the sugar – wait, that’s not how it goes.

Heat until boiling, giving a stir, to help the sugar dissolve.

boiling sugar in oj

Boil the mixture

Then, dump in the cranberries.

cranberries

Add the berries

Return to a boil and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. You’ll hear the berries pop. They’re supposed to.

cranberry sauce with OJ

Foam is ok.

It will get foamy. Don’t worry, it’s all good. That foam will settle back down while it cools. When your 5 minute timer dings, remove the pot from the stove and let it cool off.

cranberry sauce

Too hot!

Once it’s cool, pour it into a pretty dish and serve. That’s it. Super simple, isn’t it. You can make this a week ahead of time and keep it in the refrigerator. When the day comes, just serve it up in a dish with a couple of cute orange peel strips. I have pictured this with our *official* cranberry sauce utensil. It makes an appearance, tarnish and all, just for homemade cranberry sauce. I have no idea what it’s real purpose it. That’s the fun of it. Get yourself an official cranberry sauce spoonish type thing and enjoy!

Whole Cranberry Orange Sauce

Whole Cranberry Orange Sauce

Whole cranberry orange sauce
Author: 
Recipe type: sauce
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
A delicious blend of cranberries and orange juice.
Ingredients
  • 12 ounces or 4 cups of fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1 cup sugar
Instructions
  1. In a medium saucepan bring the orange juice and sugar to a boil. Add the cranberries and keep at a full boil for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and let cool. Pour into a serving dish, cover and refrigerate until needed. Keeps in the fridge for up to a month. Can be frozen, too.

 

Carrot Apple & Ginger Smoothie

Carrot Apple and Ginger Smoothie

Carrot Apple and Ginger Smoothie

Today’s color is orange. Orange, as in carrots. These gems are packed with Vitamin A, providing you with over 400% of your daily requirements. Did you know, that if you ate too many carrots, you would turn orange? Must be true, the internets don’t lie. Lesson to be learned – don’t over do the carrots!

Here we go –

smoothie

Beware the carrots!

Start with 2 whole carrots, about 7 inches long, 1 whole apple, a couple chunks of crystallized ginger, 1 cup of ice and 1/2 cup of water.

chop carrots

rough chop the ingredients

Trim the ends off the carrots and cut them into 1 inch chunks. Core the apple and cut into wedges. This is a very handy apple corer. Cut the crystallized ginger into smaller pieces, too. I used this instead of fresh, because, I rarely have fresh ginger. I planted some, so, I’ll have some in a couple of months. But, I couldn’t wait. Use what you have!

smoothie blender

Load the blender

Starting with the ice, add the water, carrots, apple and crystallized ginger to the blender.

blending carrots

blendy, blendy

Secure the lid and push power. The carrots will cause the blender to chug a little, so you may have to use a tamper to push the ingredients down. If it’s just too think – and it all depends on the size of your carrots – add some more water. Blend until smooth. Pour into glasses, sprinkle a little cinnamon or nutmeg on top and enjoy!

Carrot Apple and Ginger Smoothie

Carrot Apple and Ginger Smoothie

Carrot Apple & Ginger Smoothie
Author: 
Recipe type: beverage
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
 
A fiber packed smoothie, super high in Vitamins A and flavored with the spiciness of ginger.
Ingredients
  • 2 carrots – 6 to 8 inches long
  • 1 medium apple
  • 2 Tablespoons of crystallized ginger
  • 1 cup ice
  • ½ cup water, more if necessary
Instructions
  1. Wash the carrots and remove the stem ends. Cut the carrots into 1 inch chunks. Core the apple and cut into wedges. Cut the crystallized ginger into smaller pieces.
  2. To the blender, add the water, ice, carrots, apples and crystallized ginger and process until pureed and smooth. If smoothie is too thick, thin with more water until it's your desired consistency.
  3. Serve immediately. Garnish with a sprinkle of cinnamon or nutmeg, if desired.
smoothie carrot

sprinkle on some nutmeg

 

Kiwi Melon Smoothie

Kiwi Melon Smoothie

Kiwi Melon Smoothie

Today’s smoothie features melon, kiwis and the often overlooked wheat germ. I often use the more popular flax, chia or sprouted things. But, back in the corner of my fridge sets the underappreciated wheat germ. I used to always throw a scoop into my oatmeal or any baked goods that I made. Neat way to slip in more fiber. Then, I started grinding my own grains and forgot about the jar of wheat germ. After I apologized to it, I promised to use it more often. Like in smoothies! And, here’s one of those.

kiwi melon smoothie ingred

Wheat germ!

Your list of ingredients- 2 cups of melon chunks, 2 kiwis, 3/4 cup of greek yogurt, 2 tablespoons of wheat germ, the juice of half a lime and 1 cup of ice.

Peel and chop the kiwi and measure out the rest of the ingredients.

chopped kiwi

All nice and neat.

Starting with the ice, add it all to the blender and squeeze the lime juice in.

kiwi melon in blender

smoothie stack

Next, close it up and hit the power button. Blend until it reaches your desired smoothness.

kiwi melon smoothie in blender

It’s not easy being green.

Pour it out into a pretty glass and enjoy. I got these at my local thrift store for cheap! I love them. Anyway, this kiwi melon smoothie is a great source of vitamins A, K, Folate and Manganese, plus all the magic that the wheat germ brings!

Kiwi Melon Smoothie

Artistic interpretation

Kiwi Melon Smoothie
Author: 
Recipe type: beverage
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
 
A refreshing smoothie, high in Vitamins A, K, Folate, Manganese and nutrient-rich Wheat Germ.
Ingredients
  • 2 cups melon chunks – I used a honeydew.
  • 2 kiwis - peeled and chopped
  • ¾ cup of greek yogurt
  • 2 Tablespoons wheat germ
  • 1 Tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 cup ice
Instructions
  1. Blend melon, kiwi, greek yogurt, wheat germ, lime juice and ice in a blender until pureed and smooth.
  2. Serve immediately. Garnish with a lime slice, if desired.

 

Triple Berry Chia Smoothie

Triple Berry Chia Smoothie

Triple Berry Chia Smoothie

This smoothie is berry good for you! (see what I did there?) It’s got vitamin A for healthy vision, vitamin C, for healthy everythings and vitamin K, for healthy bones and blood. By the way – here’s a little health tip for you. If you are prone to bruising or one of your kids is playing sports and getting banged up – go to the health store and buy a container of Vitamin K cream. This stuff is remarkable in lessening the duration and pain of bruising. Now, back to this very delicious smoothie!

The ingredients:

Triple berry indregients

Use organics when possible.

You’ll need 1 cup of strawberries, stemmed and quartered, 1/2 cup each of blueberries & raspberries. 1 Tablespoon of ground flaxseeds. Use the ground kind, because they are easier to digest. 1 teaspoon of chia seeds. And, finally, 1 cup of ice.

3 berry chia smoothie

Soon, my pretties, soon.

Starting with the ice first, dump all the ingredients into the blender.

smoothie with berries and chia

It’s blending time.

Snap on the lid and power it up.

smoothie with berries and chia

Little specks of blueberries & chia seeds.

Pour it into a nice glass, garnish with a big strawberry and drink a toast to your health!

3 berry chia smoothie

Sláinte!

 

Triple Berry Chia Smoothie
Author: 
Recipe type: Beverage
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
 
A berry filled smoothie packed with Vitamins A, C, K, Manganese, and all the nutrition of flax and chia seeds
Ingredients
  • 1 cup strawberries- stems removed and quartered
  • ½ cup blueberries
  • ½ cup raspberries
  • 1 teaspoon chia seeds
  • 1 Tablespoon ground flaxseeds
  • 1 cup ice
Instructions
  1. Blend chia seeds, ground flaxseeds, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries and ice in a blender until pureed and smooth.
  2. Serve immediately. Garnish with additional berries, if desired.

 

Raspberry Peach Smoothie

peaches and raspberries

A very hairy berry.

It’s time to get your smoothie on. Nothing like a little fresh fruit and some protein to start the day with. If your mornings are a frazzled rush of getting the kids ready, tending the cats, dogs, and trying to find some time for yourself, well, it’s time to blend up a little sunshine! Shoot, smoothies are so easy, you’ll be handing one to everybody as they head out the door.

Raspberry peach smoothie

A great anytime treat.

It’s blenderizing time!

smoothie stuff

fruit, yogurt and ground flaxseeds

 You’ll need some yogurt. I am in love with the Fage Total 0% greek yogurt. It’s so flavorful, that you can’t tell it’s fat free. I also think that the thicker greek yogurt makes a better smoothie. You’ll also be using a couple of medium sized peaches, a cup of raspberries and a tablespoon of ground flaxseeds. Do yourself a favor and buy organic fruits. Peaches have some of the highest pesticide residues. Organic.org When you add ground flaxseeds to the smoothie, or any food, you’re giving yourself a boost of Omega-3s, antioxidants and fiber! Did you know that raspberries provide more than half your daily vitamin C requirements? You’ll be chasing the flu bug away with these little red gems.
Start by dumping the cup of ice into the blender. Add the cup of yogurt on top of that. Cut the peaches in half and discard the pit. Slice the peaches up and dump them in the blender. Don’t forget to add the raspberries and flaxseeds!
Smoothie blender

Don’t be looking here when you hit the power button!

Firmly, I repeat, firmly, attach the lid and hit blenderize. Or, is that smootherize? Blend everything together until it’s smooth. Pour into a couple of glasses and garnish with some fresh mint and additional berries. A warning though, that berry will sink to the bottom of your glass and get stuck on the straw. You can’t suck that thing up!

Raspberry peach smoothie

A yummy for your tummy treat.

Raspberry Peach Smoothie
Author: 
Recipe type: Beverage
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
 
A refreshing blend of peaches and raspberries. Packed with protein and Omega-3s.
Ingredients
  • 2 medium peaches, pitted and chopped
  • 1 cup raspberries
  • 1 cup greek yogurt
  • 1 Tablespoon ground flaxseeds
  • 1 cup ice
Instructions
  1. Blend yogurt, ground flaxseeds, peaches, raspberries and ice in a blender until pureed and smooth.
  2. Serve immediately. Garnish with mint and additional berries, if desired.