Friday, April 18, 2014

Chocolate Oat Smoothies


Once again, I've saved the best for last!

These smoothies truly feel decadent. Indulgent. Kind of like a Wendy's Frosty. Kind of. But I will tell you, these are much healthier for you than a Wendy's Frosty. Because, you know, there's oatmeal in these.


There's also Nutella... Moving on :)

I loved these smoothies. Loved, loved, loved them. They would make a great dessert if you are watching your calories. Even the hubby enjoyed them. I'm not sure why, but I never think chocolate when I think smoothies. I think fruit. I think yogurt. But chocolate? Not so much. Well. Quite frankly, forget that! I'll be putting chocolate in more smoothies from now on. Many, many more.

So, Smoothie Week is now over. I'm pretty pleased with how delicious they all turned out, not to mention how well the photographs turned out. I'll be back next week with a few non-liquid recipes. Since it's been birthday season around here, I'll have a couple of cake recipes for you. I made a Pecan Pie Cake for my mother-in-law's birthday, I'm beyond excited to share it. It was a decidedly elaborate cake. A perfect share for blogging.


Some exciting news! I was a featured recipe over on The Country Cook's Weekend Potluck. This is my second time, and it still feels just as good as the first time. I must say, starting a blog is hard work, and a reward such as this every once in awhile really makes it all worth it. Sometimes, on those weeks where you get no hits and no one comments on anything, I get that nagging thought that I suck at this and I need to give it up. I follow a number of different blogs, I know this is a typical feeling among bloggers and one that no one is immune to. Sometimes you just need a pat on the back to keep going. And that's exactly what I got. Well played Country Cook, well played.

Between this and our driveway being completed, I'm heading into the weekend on Cloud 9. It's supposed to be a true Spring weekend here, with sunshine and nice weather without the nasty humidity of summer. I'm planning to get a couple of runs in, especially since I've been eating so much cake as of late.

No rest for the wicked :)

Have a great weekend everyone!


Ingredients (makes 2 smoothies):

1/3 cup Nutella
1 cup quick cooking oats
2 frozen bananas, sliced
1 cup vanilla Greek yogurt
1/2- 1 cup almond milk

Directions:

1. Combine all ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth. Add more almond milk to achieve a thinner consistency. Distribute between 2 glasses. Serve immediately.


Thursday, April 17, 2014

Frozen Peach Smoothies


Smoothie Week forges on!

Mmmm, peaches. I just love peaches. Peaches and summer go hand in hand for me. I look forward to peach season every year, they're one of my favorite summer fruits. You know, along with raspberries. In fact, peach and raspberry will forever be one of my favorite combinations. A perfect marriage, in my opinion. There are a zillion things I like to do with peaches. One of my favorite peach recipes is this quesadilla recipe. You haven't lived till you've had peach in a quesadilla. So. Good. I also like to put peaches in cobblers, muffins, salads, sandwiches, and of course, on their own. 

I'll admit, fresh peaches are definitely preferred the majority of the time. However, I used frozen peaches for this smoothie because I didn't want to use ice. For a smoothie, frozen peaches are really the way to go. Their frozen texture provides the perfect velvety consistency for a smoothie. I'm in love with this incredibly simple frozen concoction. There are only 3 ingredients, it doesn't get any easier. Or more delicious.


When I was in college, I had several experiences making smoothies. My first job in college was at the sandwich shop, Blimpies. Does Blimpies even exist anymore? I'm not sure. Anyways... Blimpies made smoothies. Or rather, I made the smoothies. They weren't healthy, and they actually contained shockingly little fruit. It was mostly frozen yogurt, heavy syrup, ice, and a smattering of fruit. I wasn't fond of those smoothies. They had a peach smoothie that tasted more like artificial peach than real peach. That's one of my biggest pet peeves. I'm not fond of the artificial flavors of most fruits, peach being near the top (although, strawberry takes the cake on that one!). I later worked at Baskin Robbins, which of course serves smoothies. Again, these smoothies were unpleasantly similar to Blimpies smoothies. Hardly any fruit, and mostly the unhealthy stuff. Ugh. Give me the real thing!

I must add (for humor's sake) that I, more than once, brought home smoothies to the sorority house with the intention of adding alcohol. Now that was a smoothie! :) The best combination? Mixed berry made with raspberry sherbet and tequila. Holy yum.

Kids, if you work at Baskin Robbins, do not do that :)



I'm a little distracted today. The driveway is getting poured today, so we've got workers outside the house. Gizmo is feeling positively nutty. He's roving from room to room, alternatively growling and barking. Haloti has been sitting in the window watching them, but hasn't made a sound. Gizmo, this dog that the hubby was convinced would be a mute, will not be silenced. The goofiest dog ever. I'm so excited to be getting the driveway! I definitely plan on taking lots of pictures when the project is done later today, which I'll probably get around to showing next week. Or maybe Saturday. I've got one more smoothie this week (tomorrow, obviously), and then Smoothie Week is over! This week has flown by, it's been absolutely crazy.

Speaking of which, today is going to be crazy.

I should probably get going.

Sigh.

One more day till the weekend friends! Happy Thursday!


Ingredients (makes 2 smoothies):

3 cups frozen peaches
1 (8 oz) cup Greek yogurt, peach flavored (I used Chobani)
1 cup orange juice

Directions:

1. Combine all ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth. Add more orange juice to achieve a thinner consistency, blend until combined. Distribute between 2 glasses, serve immediately.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Green Smoothies


Don't be put off by the color of these smoothies. They taste ah-mazing! Yes, there may be fistfuls of spinach in these frosty bad-boys, but you'd never know if I didn't tell you. The smoothie just tastes like kiwi and vanilla. It is so good! I've always heard you can put greens in a smoothie (spinach, kale, arugula, etc.) without flavoring the smoothie, but believe it or not, I'd never experimented. Well. Now I know I should have done this before.

This is the one of the smoothies this week that I used ice in. I suppose you could freeze your kiwis if you are looking to skip the ice. I blended and blended these smoothies (you know, with my little blender), and arrived at the perfect texture. Not a single ice chip! I made these pretty thick, you could definitely add more liquid and less ice to achieve a thinner consistency.


This may seem like a strange combination. Kiwi and spinach? Turns out to be one of the best combinations! Perhaps you don't eat kiwi. Let me tell you why you should, besides the basic, obvious reason that they are freakin' delicious. These little fuzzy fruits are one of nature's super foods. They're high in vitamin C and potassium. Studies have shown kiwi can lower your risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and obesity. They are good for your skin, can help you sleep better, and help lower your blood pressure.

Ok, after hearing all that, why wouldn't you eat more kiwi?

I think the world would be a happier place if people would just eat more fruit. My springtime diet has morphed into a fruit free-for-all. On top of trying to avoid processed food (excluding fruit snacks, my Kryptonite), I try to eat mostly whole foods and allow myself as much fruit and veggies as I want. I've had an easier time managing my weight by eating this way than I ever did eating a calorie-restricted diet and keeping a food journal. I've got a highly unscientific theory that my body doesn't like the stress of obsessing about food and calories. I think everyone would have an easier time managing their weight if they just ditched all the pre-made and processed food.

Did I mention these were unscientific theories? They are :)


All right, Jessica out. It's my mother-in-law's birthday, and I'm taking her out for lunch. Before I stuff my face with pizza however (oh the irony, after I just waxed poetic about ditching processed foods!), it's cardio day at the gym. Gotta go work up that appetite! Then...

Time to come home and bake a cake!

I love birthday season :)

Happy Hump Day!


Ingredients (makes 2 smoothies):

4 kiwis, peeled and sliced
3 cups spinach
1 cup Greek vanilla yogurt
1/2- 1 cup almond milk
2-3 cups ice

Directions:

1. Combine all ingredients in blender. Add more almond milk to make your smoothie thinner. Add more ice to make your smoothie thicker. Pulse until you reach your desired texture. Distribute between 2 glasses. Serve immediately.


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