Posts tagged smoothie
Juice vs Smoothie... a video comparison!

I was really curious to see what a juice vs a smoothie would look like when using the exact same ingredients.

This simply stemmed from simple curiosity on my part, I'm typically a smoothie girl but I do appreciate that juices have great nutritional benefits as you get a lot of nutrition in very small volume, which can be very beneficial if you're trying to assist your body in getting back on track after an indulgent period such as Christmas!

I have made a little video for you comparing them and giving my thoughts, it also gives some top tips and ideas on how I go about my juice and smoothie prep. I've blogged about my favourite smoothie recipe before I think, but have noted it again below for quick reference. The exact same ingredients are used in the juice.

Recipe: My favourite green smoothie (or juice)

Ingredients:

Makes approx 1 litre

  • 2 cups packed spinach 
  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 2 cm fresh ginger
  • 1/2 lemon juiced
  • 1 apple- cored not peeled
  • 1 1/2 - 2 cups water (or more/less to reach desired thickness) 
  • pinch of xanthan gum (optional but makes the consistency beautifully creamy)

Method:

For smoothie: Blend everything together until as smooth as possible. I find it easiest to add half the water first, blend well and then add the remainder and re-blend to get the smoothest consistency.

For Juice: Juice everything and do not add the water or xanthan gum.

this wasn't the photo of the smoothie I made in the video (as I didn't take one!) but it looks the same :-)

this wasn't the photo of the smoothie I made in the video (as I didn't take one!) but it looks the same :-)

Here are  a couple of other juice pulp recipe ideas:

Juice pulp coleslaw

Oaty fruit squares


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Lemony Blueberry Smoothie

Today i'm off on holiday. Well a holiday of sorts as my plan is to work... hard!

I hadn't originally planned to go on holiday as I went away not so long ago with family over Easter, but the opportunity to take some time out with friends in Spain was too good to miss. However I'm planning on taking my laptop and getting up nice and early (way before normal people do on holidays!) to write up lots of notes and create some coaching materials before the day gets underway. When I go away with my girls there is always a lot of sitting by the pool reading books... it just so happens that my books will consist of 'The Blood Sugar Solution' 'You Can Heal You Life' and 'I Quit Sugar' instead of the latest light hearted fiction blockbuster...

Without the distraction of the Internet it will be interesting to see how the next few days turn out! I'm curious, scared and excited to be without the 'lifeline' that is the internet and email.

In other news the I have been busy creating another ebook for The Real Food Source (I know I've mentioned it a few times in recent months) it's been long in the works and became much more involved than originally anticipated but is finally being launched in the next few days. The focus is all on nut butters (or nut pastes which are basically unroasted pure blended nut butters) it has been such a fun book to create and the recipe ideas were almost infinite! The nut pastes (almond and cashew) they sell on their website are fabulous and I have been buying... erm... rather a lot of it, particularly during my strict candia phase when nut butter became a bit of an obsession! I worked out it's actually about the same price to buy 1kg tubs of pre-blended organic nut paste as it is to buy the nuts and blend them myself! The ebook will be another free download from their website and i'll link it directly next week when i'm back from my holiday.

In the meantime here is a little teaser recipe, I wanted to share a simple nut butter smoothie recipe and since this had a tropical holiday vibe I felt it was pretty appropriate for the summer sunshine and my holiday!

Enjoy!

Recipe: Lemony Blueberry Smoothie

“Pack a purple punch with this fruity delight. Blueberries are packed with antioxidants and are one of the lowest sugar fruits... so be generous!”

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups frozen blueberries
  • 1 banana
  • Juice of half a lemon (plus grated rind for top)
  • 2 heaped tbs unroasted nut butter (either almond or cashew)
  • 1 ½ cups water

Method:

Blend everything together until very smooth. Add a little extra water if you prefer a thinner smoothie. Pour into glasses and grate a little lemon rind on the top of each.

Note: as an alternative to lemon you could try ½ tsp vanilla bean powder blended through.

I'd love you to join me in other places too!  

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Coconut water smoothies...mega hydration!

During my endurance training for Tough Mudder I really got into drinking coconut water blends. Chia seeds and coconut water are great for hydrating the body and coconut water in particular for boosting electrolyte intake. However I've never been a huge fan of coconut water on its own, to me it has a little bit of an odd taste that's kind of sweet as if it doesn't really know what flavour to be… sorry coconut water I don't want to diss you as you are so healthy!

strawb coconut 2.jpg

I began adding it to my drinks and desserts such as this tropical chia pudding and these watermelon and cucumber coolers. However much as I like the coolers I still wanted to come up with a way of keeping the coconut water as close to its original state as possible and with even less prep.

Enter the coconut water smoothie!

Simply add a dollop of fresh fruit and chia seeds for an extra boost. So far I have experimented with raspberries, mango and strawberries… However the key ingredient is banana! Literally a generous inch chunk of a banana will be enough to emulsify the other fruit so that it doesn't separate when mixed together.

Just check out the difference between the two photos below of the strawberry version....the only difference between each was a small piece of banana.

strawb coc compare.jpg

I used a quarter a cup of fresh fruit in addition to 1 tablespoon of chia seeds. Therefore approximately three quarters of the large glass consisted of coconut water. It had a lightly creamy and not too watery consistency without being particularly thick either, the chia seeds helps to ever so slightly thicken and emulsify so that I could barely taste them within the final drink when blended up so finely… It's a winning combo!

After trying lots of variations my favourite combo is simple vanilla and banana and so this is the one I have given a little recipe for below...but obviously have a play with other 'fleshy' fruits too!

banana coconut 1.jpg

Recipe: Vanilla banana coconut water smoothie

serves 1-2

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups coconut water
  • 1 small banana (or 1/2 a large one)*
  • 1 tbs white chia seed (dark will work but will not look so pretty)
  • 1/4 tsp pure vanilla bean powder
  • (* options- reduce amount of banana to approx. 1 tbs and add 1/4 cup berries or mango)

Method:

Blend together well and serve. The banana is important as this is what emulsifies the liquid and prevents separation.

strawb coconut 1.jpg
banana coconut 2.jpg
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Buffet Bites and the ‘Egg’ nog experiment

Well, these last couple of weeks have been a bit of a whirl-wind.

Cake still adorns all surfaces- waiting to be eaten, unwrapped presents lounge in boxes and bags, post-it notes and ‘to do’ lists remain half ticked off….

…..but this evening I relaxed! Work in the office is over for the rest of the year and now I can look forward to the holiday season with increasing excitement and last minute preparations!

egg nog smoothie

Actually I have been getting quite excited this year, since the festive recipes have swung me into the holiday spirit, but some years Christmas is literally knocking at my door before I realise that time has come around.  That’s the problem with being ‘too busy’… if you’re not careful it’s easy to miss all the fun, particularly all the build-up and anticipation which is often just as much fun as the big day itself.

Sometimes you just need to take a little time out. Take a step back and spend just 5 minutes looking around you. Smile from within. Calm.

I’m always busy, always rushing and always have another plan up my sleeve. It’s the way I love to be, but I also know I can be my own worst enemy when things don’t go to plan. I am not very good at creating some flexibility and allowance for if things take a ‘slightly different turn’ from how you anticipated. It is very easy to blame others or to blame the situation, which only serves to leave you frustrated when in actual fact you simply need to build in a little contingency plan. That way you can’t lose…and if it does all go to plan- bonus!

This statement is definitely a case of ‘do what I say and not what I do’. I really need to learn to listen to my own advice. It’s crazy that I can see this so clearly sitting here on the sofa, as I type with a clear and peaceful mind, the house is quiet and it’s almost time for bed. Why is it that in the flow of day to day chaos my mind seems set in a permanent state of ‘fast-forward’. Stop…rewind…so what was it I said?

Sometimes you just need to take a little time out. Take a step back and spend just 5 minutes looking around you. Smile from within. Calm.

Ok, ok I’m listening. Practice makes perfect. Hopefully one day I’ll master the balancing act.

But now for food, since that’s probably what you came here for? Although you may find my questioning mind creeping in a little more! Sometimes simply writing it down helps.

I’m all caked out. So this is a savoury post…a round up if you like of savoury nibbles or buffet bites (as it sounds cute).

These healthy nibbles should help see you through the holidays and beyond. I have here a combination of my previous posts, plus the outcome of my ‘egg’ nog investigation and experiments that some of you will be aware of from my facebook page- we simply cannot get soy-nog in the UK!

Some savoury nibbles to get the party going….

Speedy seedy crackers - Great for dipping, also great cut into strips as a healthy alternative to cheese straws!

Coconut cashews - Er, no explanation needed!

‘Meat’ balls - Serve these instead of scotch eggs or sausage rolls, satisfying finger food!

Plus I came across a great idea for using up Christmas Day ‘leftovers’….. Pasties!

I will try and post this recipe and my results on boxing day as I plan to make the pasties, but in essence the method is simple….

Use four smallish plate sized rounds of rolled ready-made or homemade shortcrust pastry (it’s usually vegan anyway but check the label). Add a mug of veggies and up to a mug of nut roast/stuffing all crumbled up together. Add a few dollops of sauce (whatever type you had with the meal- cranberry, bread sauce, gravy). Lastly add a few pinches of herbs. Spoon ¼ of the mixture in to the centre of each pastry round leaving 2-3cm of pastry round the edge. Lift up and seal the edges together making a semi-circle with the seam at the top. Place on a baking sheet, brush with soy milk and bake at 180C for approx. 40 mins until golden. Serve warm or cold.

So simple… I’ll try and post pictures on boxing day.

Now, for my ‘egg’ nog experiment 

(Gosh this has ended up being a long post- hope you're still with me!)

I checked out various recipes and they were all so diverse!! Some used tofu, some used nut butter, and some used banana.  There seemed to be various options to obtain the desired thickness.  I wanted to create a nog not using tofu, no real reason for that other than I fancied the challenge. A banana and nut butter combo inspired me as I didn’t want there to be an over-dominant banana-ry taste. I also used a thickener to ensure light and delicate flavours but it may also work by doubling the amount of banana and nut butter and omitting the thickening stage- note this has not been tested!

The result….? A  thick milk-shakey frothy drink that is creamy and lightly spiced. It tasted good to me but then I have never had real or soy egg nog before….maybe you can be the judge?

Recipe: Christmas Nog

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup cashew or almond butter
  • ½ a large banana- chopped (I used a frozen one but fresh should be fine also)
  • 4 dates
  • 2 cups ‘milk’ (I used a combination of 1 1/3 cups rice milk and ½ cup soy milk)
  • 2 tsp thickener (I used cornstarch but arrowroot/tapioca should also work)
  • 1 tbs ground flax
  • 1 tbs maple syrup
  • Spices- 1 tsp vanilla extract, ½ tsp nutmeg, ½ tsp cinnamon

Makes approx. 2 large glasses

Method:

Mix thickener with approx. 2 tbs of water for form a paste. Pour the ‘milk’ with the thickener paste added into a small saucepan and also add the dates. Simmer until it boils and thickens and the dates begin to soften. (note: it should be at least half as thick as the nog will end up). Add the ‘milk’ mixture to a blender along with all the remaining ingredients. Blend until totally smooth and creamy and frothy on top.

Chill until cold and then pour into glasses to serve. Sprinkle some extra grated nutmeg to the frothy top if desired.

Cheers!!


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