Posts tagged green smoothies

Candy Cane Green Smoothie

So I’m going for healthy and festive here! Not only will this smoothie get you in the holiday spirit… it will freshen your breath. Come on, you may find yourself under the magic mistletoe with that special someone. The question is, does anyone even hang mistletoe anymore?!? 

I’ve been playing with this recipe and there are so many variations that there are no excuses not to partake! It first came about because I bought Westsoy’s Chocolate Peppermint Stick Soy Beverage. I used it in my smoothie and it was amazing. Then I went back to get more, the store was out and I couldn’t find it anywhere. So, I thought I would just make a similar smoothie from scratch so that my friends would be able to replicate it with ease.  I used Blue Diamond Almond Breeze Chocolate Milk out of laziness as part of my concoction, but there’s no reason you can’t use regular almond milk and add Cacao powder. Or skip the chocolate all together. There is no real reason for chocolate being involved other than an excuse for a treat! 

Let’s not forget my other favorite Holiday Nog Recipe. You will find me sipping on it at some point this weekend. So Delicious brand just came out with a version of Nog, I may have to try this! If I know them, my favorite nog drink now has the potential to turn out even richer. I’m all about that!

Oh yes, and the Christmas cookies. I haven’t started baking yet but I will be continuing where I left off last year, veganizing the family favorites. I am playing around with a raw/vegan almond crescent cookie, rolled in powdered sugar and our favorite traditional candy cane cookies! I found a similar vegan recipe I want to try. I may add almond extract too (per our original recipe) and add our famous touch, which is sprinkling real crushed candy canes and organic sugar on these cookies right when they are hot out of the oven. It sure makes them pretty! So that’s tomorrow’s project. Wish me luck…

Enjoy candy cane cookies along side your candy cane green smoothie. Hey, it’s the holidays! If you are feeling a little guilty just make your green smoothie even greener. Add my favorite green superfood powder. I am already on my third jar of this stuff!

I know the holidays are usually rushed and hectic. This year I have not forgotten about those less fortunate. I found an amazing program that makes it possible to help someone help themselves. The program is called Kiva. Kiva’s mission is to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty. So this means that people who face poverty in the most remote places in the world can get the help they need to help themselves and others! How cool is this? The plan is to get your money back however there is a small chance that you may not. That doesn’t bother me. I never write off my tithing or giving on my taxes nor do I have plans to. It’s a gift. Read more about Kiva and how it works. What are some great giving ideas you have to help those less fortunate this holiday season? Please share in the comment section at the end of the post.

I had some fun with this photo shoot… check out the slideshow and recipe below!

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Candy Cane Green Smoothie

Ingredients

  • 2 large handfuls of organic Spinach
  • 1/2 of a large ripe Avocado
  • 1 cup cold non dairy Chocolate milk such as Almond Breeze
  • 1/4 tsp (give or take) pure Peppermint Extract
  • Agave optional

Directions

Combine all ingredients in your high power blender. Blend until smooth and creamy. Taste and adjust if necessary, depending on how strong or sweet you prefer it!

May your holidays be filled with love, peace, joy and prosperity and that whatever you give from your heart comes back million fold!

Enjoy!

~The Karmatarian

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The Shamrock: Introducing the Green Smoothie

Green Smoothie

St. Patty’s day is upon us and I’m thinking green. So I figured I’d share one of my favorite Green Smoothie recipes. It’s not only one of my favorites, but was also the hit recipe at the Green Smoothie party my girlfriends and I had a few months back…  yep, I did say Green Smoothie party! A really fun way to  share recipes and inspiration with other health conscious friends. Why deny an excuse to get together?

What’s a Green Smoothie?

Whenever I heard the term “Smoothie” I would automatically think yogurt and dairy mixed with fruit as most people do. But I am here to tell you that those types of smoothies are SO yesterday! Now it’s all about the green. Some people give me the strangest looks when they find out I actually put greens such as Spinach or Kale in the blender and blend with fruit for a powerhouse of raw nutrition that tastes amazing! Don’t knock it ’til ya try it!

My girlfriend Jinny who is a raw food extraordinaire, introduced me to this health drink about a year ago. I threw my first Green Smoothie party in March 2009 and had her teach me and a few friends how easy it was to make them  (once you wrap your mind around the concept that is) there are tons of recipes and combinations. Never boring! Some days I do have better luck than others when creating smoothies (just being honest) but 99% of the time they usually turn out great. You can be sure I will post more recipes on this blog.

So March happens to be my one year Green Smoothie anniversary! I haven’t missed more than a day or two the whole year. I think I’m addicted! I truly swear by these green concoctions which have made the greatest impact on my health over anything I have tried! I’m mostly happy about the fact that my 2 1/2 yr old also loves and drinks one with me every day. It puts my mind at ease to know he’s drinking something healthy, because as a typical toddler he is getting much pickier about food. Ugh!

Green Smoothie Party

Why Greens

  • Greens are very important for us as they have cancer fighting properties
  • Greens have high protein and fiber which aid in eliminating toxins
  • Greens help bring down acidity in our pH and make us more alkaline. Cancer and disease thrive in acidic environments which the standard American diet helps promote.
  • Chlorophyll molecules (plant blood) closely resemble human blood and it helps to purify our blood

Why Raw

Green Smoothies are “Raw” which means, not cooked. Therefore we retain all the vitamins, nutrients, fiber and living enzymes.  When we eat cooked food, our body produces a large amount of white blood cells (Leukocytosis) indicating a foreign invader has entered our system. When we eat the same food raw, there is no increase in the white blood cell count. When you cook food, you cook away  important enzymes our bodies need to properly digest food. Our immune systems are also greatly compromised. Salads are a great way to get raw nutrients but they’re not always convenient.  Green Smoothies are fun and easy way to get more greens and raw foods into our diets.

Health Benefits after 1 month on the Green Smoothie

  • Weight loss
  • More energy
  • Lifts depression
  • Less cravings and blood sugar fluctuations
  • Clearer skin
  • Regular bowel movements to eliminate toxins
  • Sleep better
  • Lessen or eliminates PMS
  • Helps to fend off Asthma attacks
  • Stronger nails and hair
  • Improves sex life… why isn’t this the best reason to drink Green Smoothies?

These are just some of the health benefits which continue to increase the longer you drink Green Smoothies!

What you’ll need

Green smoothies are fast to make and easy to clean up. All you need is a blender with a decent motor. Trust me, I have friends with fancy blenders which are amazing, but I use a hand-me-down almost made it to the good-will pile Oster blender from 1970 something because my fancy Cuisinart turned out to be a lemon! The Oster works great and gets abused everyday.  However, I am dreaming about trading it in soon for a shinier model.

Tips

Organic produce is important to use because conventional, unsustainable farming practices usually only have about an 1/8th  of the vitamins and minerals of organically grown produce.

Always use very ripe fruit which have the most enzymes and will sweeten your smoothies naturally. You can start with more fruit and work your way to adding more greens if you desire. Try 60% fruit to 40% greens and then work your way to 60% greens and 40% fruit.

I usually don’t use fruit with seeds like raspberries or strawberries because the seeds don’t blend and they aren’t as fun to drink, but that’s just me.

If you use berries, be ready for a brown looking smoothie. Tastes great, looks pretty gross… just sayin’

Try to alternate your greens. Your body can develop a toxicity by being exposed over and over to the same greens day after day.

The Acidity of the fruit can work on your tooth enamel, therefore it is wise to wait an hour before brushing your teeth after you drink a green smoothie. I drink mine through a straw which I feel helps.

You can use frozen fruit, or add ice cubes if you like it nice and cold. Try freezing bananas to use in your smoothies.

If your greens are too strong try adding a little vanilla. You can add a little organic agave sweetener as well.

You can always add more liquid if the blender is not catching and blending. I found that is what mine usually needs because it’s old. But….

Words of Caution: Try not to use a wooden spoon to push things down in the blender while the motor is running! Bad, bad habit of mine. I have cleaned many green smoothies off of the ceiling due to this dangerous and risky action not to mention I found unwanted fiber from my wooden spoon in the smoothie! Don’t do it, as tempting as it is!

So here is a great Green Smoothie recipe that’s perfect for this green holiday and any other day! Spinach makes really smooth smoothies. You will be surprised!

The Shamrock

2 Cups or large handfuls of Baby Spinach leaves

1-2 or even 3 Ripe Bananas  (I usually just use 1)

10 Mint leaves (give or take)

1-2 Tbs Cocoa powder (start with 1, add as desired)

1 Cup filtered water (adding more liquid as needed)

Squirt of Agave nectar ~ Optional

*Agave nectar has a desirably low glycemic index and when consumed won’t cause a sharp rise and fall in blood sugar as compared to other sweeteners.

*Variation~ Try Coconut milk, Coconut water or other Nut milk in place of water for an extra creamy treat  and more added health benefits.

I would love to hear your reviews or variations, please post a comment.

Enjoy!

The Karmatarian~

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For further reading on the nutrition benefits of this smoothie:

Spinach~ www.Whfoods.com

Banana~ www.healthynewage.com/fine-gifts.htm

Cocoa~ www.Astrologyzine.com/healthy-chocolate.shtml

Mint~ www.helpwithcooking.com/herb-guide/mint.html

Coconut milk~ www.coconutresearchcenter.org

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