Last Taste of Summer Smoothie

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Guys, summer is almost over. Even though it was 83 degrees the other day and I was sweating my butt off in a sweater at work, there’s this certain…feeling in the air.

A friend posted on Twitter recently that she had her first pumpkin spice latte of the season, so I guess that feeling’s not off base. Winter is coming, folks, and pretty soon all I’ll be posting are soups and stews and some kind of pasta and all that warm, cozy stuff that makes you almost glad it’s below zero outside.

But until then, I’m going to continue posting smoothies while I still can.

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Homemade Almond Milk

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Folks, this is a recipe that is messier than it looks. You probably won’t believe me, looking at that nice, clean mason jar up there, filled with creamy, frothy almond milk. “How hard can it be?” you’ll ask, skimming the recipe. You’ll decide to make fresh almond milk every morning from now on, in what you imagine to be a Gwyneth Paltrow-esque future, filled mostly with vegetables, water, yoga, sunlight, and one light American Spirit cigarette a week.

Do you have that picture firmly in your head? Good.

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Smoothie

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I don’t know about you, but some days, chocolate for breakfast just sounds delicious. But responsible adults also have to keep in mind things like protein, a minimal amount of sugar and a breakfast filling enough to keep you going until your lunch break (if and when that happens).

Consider this smoothie a compromise between your inner child who wants to eat Cocoa Puffs with chocolate milk for breakfast and your reasonable side who wishes you could be satisfied with eating a salad or a sensible bowl of oatmeal. It’s packed with protein, thanks to the protein powder and the peanut butter, but also basically tastes like you’re drinking a peanut butter cup milkshake. It’s incredible. 

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Minty Beet Smoothie (vegan, gluten-free, paleo)

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People seem to like their green smoothies, amirite? You feel all virtuous, sipping on something full of chlorophyll, pretty much like you’re eating a salad for breakfast…except better, because it’s basically a juice, and people go on juice cleanses all the time, so they must be good for you. 

And while I am all about a good green smoothie several times a week (though mine usually have some protein in the form of peanut butter and are fortified with chia seeds and a banana), sometimes, a girl needs a change. Change in the form of…a pink smoothie.

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Ginger Beet Smoothie (paleo, vegan, gluten-free)

ginger beet smoothie vegan gluten-free

Sometimes, I’ll eat something and feel like my entire body just rises up and says, “YES, YES, THIS IS WHAT WE NEEDED. MORE OF THIS, PLEASE.” It happens for me with Oh She Glows’ Pad Thai, even with a steak sometimes if I have been feeling particularly anemic.

It never happens with milkshakes, sadly, because I think it’s a special feeling you get only when what your body needs and what you can give it are exactly aligned. My body, as much as I want it to, never needs ice cream.

I had that feeling when I drank this smoothie, adapted from this one at Food52, a few days ago. Continue reading

Good Morning Smoothie (paleo, gluten-free, vegan)

good morning smoothie vegan paleo gluten-free

I didn’t realize smoothies were controversial until Food52 posted one of their “Put A Filter On It” challenges — take an Instagram shot of whatever smoothie or juice you’re enjoying as spring approaches.

After the standard “So excited about this!” comments, there were a number of very grumpy people who started complaining about the high glycemic index of many juices, how smoothies are just calorie bombs and how people with diabetes couldn’t participate in the challenge.

While I am not unsympathetic, smoothies and juices are not always as evil as they’re being made out to be. Continue reading

Green Monster (vegan, paleo, gluten-free)

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I had to make something green for you for St. Patrick’s Day. It’s somewhat (but not entirely) coincidental that this grass-green smoothie is excellent for hangover recovery.

Remember how you used to drink in college? You’d knock back some obscene amount of alcohol and wake up most mornings with nothing more than a headache and a vague feeling of nausea that could be quickly squelched with pancakes doused in lots of syrup and some good, strong coffee. Then, suddenly, you turned 25 and more than two glasses of wine meant you probably woke up feeling like you wanted to die.

Or at least, that’s how it worked for me. Continue reading

PB&J Power Smoothie (vegan, gluten-free, paleo option)

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I’ve started running again. That doesn’t sound like much, but after six months of working so hard at my day job that I didn’t have time or energy for the gym, it’s a lot. After trying to juggle work, my home life, and cooking for this blog, I realized I needed to make time for running again or suffer some emotional consequences.

It was the right choice. Though my body’s sore, it already feels happier. After a month or two of indoor treadmill training, I’ll be ready for the hiking season — and ready to run outdoors with my favorite exercise buddy.

A renewed exercise plan means a renewed focus on food as fuel.

When I was doing CrossFit, my instructor used to tell us to go home and eat something with protein in it to speed recovery; my fiance’s trainer used to tell him to drink chocolate milk after  workout, for the sugar-protein combination. Rather than do that, though, or choke down a protein bar that may or may not be full of processed food-like substances, I went searching for a more natural recovery option.

This smoothie, adapted from a recipe by Minimalist Baker, is just the ticket. All sugars are natural, from the raspberries, banana, and prunes; I’d recommend using unsweetened almond or peanut butter and unsweetened almond milk in this recipe, as the prunes and fruit make it sweet enough. The flax and nut butter give you the protein boost you need without all the terrifying ingredients that can be found in regular protein powder.

I modified it only slightly in that I used prunes instead of dates and raspberries instead of blueberries, to give it more of a classic PB&J flavor.

It’s pretty much the ideal post-workout snack. It is, however, a little high-calorie. If you’re doing pretty intense workouts, that’s not a problem — if you are walking a mile with no incline and calling it a day…well, maybe this becomes breakfast rather than a snack. No hardship either way, trust me.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Smoothie
Ingredients
  • 4 prunes (or dates, I guess, but I actually like the prunes here)
  • 1 Tbsp unsweetened peanut butter (almond butter for paleo)
  • 1 small banana
  • 1/2 cup almond milk (I used unsweetened almond-coconut milk)
  • 1/3 cup frozen raspberries
  • 1 Tbsp ground flax seed
Instructions
  1. Add ingredients to the blender in this order: milk, flax, banana, berries, peanut butter, prunes. Blend until smooth; serve cold.
Notes
  1. Add more almond milk if you’d like this a little thinner! You can also substitute light coconut milk if you can’t find additive-free almond milk where you are.
Adapted from Minimalist Baker

Detox Smoothie

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Last week, I had the time of my life in a cabin on a lake about 60 miles north of where I live. There is nothing like a five-day vacation in the middle of nowhere with no Internet connection and very, very limited cell service. We hiked, we biked…but also we drank our weights in rum punch and ate a lot of delicious (non-Paleo) food.

Oh yeah. And we got engaged.

So when I got home, I was exhilarated emotionally, but also sluggish, bloated, and ready to put something really, really, healthy in my body. Enter Oh She Glows and the Pink Power Detox Smoothie. Continue reading