My Favorite Treat of the Season

 

I have really been into smoothies and chia or avocado puddings this summer. Since going Paleo 6 weeks ago, my sugar intake has gone way down, and I have found myself being drawn more towards fresh fruit this season. Some of my favorite smoothies have been papaya with cardamom and cinnamon and this one, which is actually more of a pudding than a smoothie.

Roberto is the smoothie maker in the family, I just tell him what I want in mine and he whips it up in the vitamix. We usually have a smoothie after dinner on most nights.

Once papaya season was over, I started getting mangoes. For some crazy and fateful reason, the day Roberto made the first mango smoothie, he added an avocado to the mix. The result was amazing, the best treat of the season! As anyone who has made a smoothie with avocado knows, the consistency is more of a pudding that a smoothie. With the addition of lime juice, and the color of the avocado, this dessert is reminiscent of a key lime pie filling. As the season draws to a close, be sure to get in one of these delicious smoothie-puddings! You won’t regret it!

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup coconut milk
1 mango
1 avocado
2 pitted dates
Juice of 1 lime
½ tsp cinnamon
Ice

METHOD:
Place all ingredients in the blender in the order they appear (except the ice). Go from low speed to high slowly to make sure that all the ingredients blend well together in a smooth consistency. Once it has been blended add 1-2 ice cubes at a time until you reach the desired consistency. Serves 2.

Versatile Smoothie Recipe

This recipe is kitty approved!

I have been posting a lot recently on my Facebook Page about my post workout Pumpkin Smoothies and those posts have created quite a buzz! I am a huge pumpkin freak and I enjoy it all year long – seems like a lot of you are too! I don’t know what I enjoy better, my workouts or these smoothies afterwards- the best of both worlds! This smoothie is great way to get in some extra grain-free carbohydrates, fat and protein post workout.

That said, many times when I post a specific recipe, I get a lot of great comments like: “can I substitute Y ingredient for X ingredient?” or “I wish I could make that, but I don’t consume X ingredient” or “I wish I could make this but I don’t know where to get X ingredient” or simply “I don’t like X ingredient”. You get the gist…so although I will post my awesome pumpkin smoothie with options and add ins, I will also give you ideas for entirely different smoothie recipes. This is mix and match folks! :)

This is your smoothie recipe – easy to tailor to your tastes and needs. I give some suggestions, but feel free to improvise. Like chocolate? Add a TBS or two of fair trade cocoa powder (no sugar added). Don’t do sugar? Try stevia, or fruit sweetened smoothies – dried dates are great for this. Want to make it a greenie? Add a handful of spinach or kale. The possibilities are endless!

Here are some of my recent combinations:

raw milk, pumpkin, 1/2 banana, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and a little stevia
raw milk, egg, pumpkin puree, almond butter, cinnamon and molasses
coconut milk, avocado, cocoa powder, cinnamon, maple
kefir, soaked almonds, dried dates/figs, frozen berries, vanilla extract

This smoothie recipe is so versatile you can enjoy it for breakfast, a snack, dessert or part of any meal when you need an extra boost.

INGREDIENTS: per smoothie (@ 16 oz)

Base liquid: 1 cup liquid – Kefir, Raw Milk, Coconut Milk are good choices
Thickener: 1 banana – I also like using instead 1/2 avocado
Nuts: 3 TBS almond butter – you can use any other nut butter or a handful of soaked nuts – I usually use almonds – click here to understand about the benefits of soaking nuts
Sweetener: 1 TBS 100% pure maple syrup, honey or molasses or 1/8 – ¼ tsp or one or two dried dates (optional)
Optional add ins: ¼ cup of pumpkin puree, 1/4 yogurt, 1/4 berries, 2 TBS cocoa powder, kale or spinach, dash of cinnamon, 1 shot of espresso or ¼ cup of coffee, 1 TBS coconut oil, raw pastured raised chicken egg (do not use conventional eggs from the grocery store), vanilla extract, powdered ginger, nutmeg, etc.
Ice

METHOD:
Place all the liquids in your blender first. Then add the fruit, butters, oils and nuts and then the cinnamon. Process on medium speed until well mixed, then start adding ice, a handful at a time, gradually, until the smoothie is at your desired consistency. I usually turn up the speed to high during the ice process. Pour and enjoy!

Your Favorite Posts of 2011

 

I really want to take a moment to thank all of my readers and blogging friends for your support this year, both on this blog, as well as through Facebook and Twitter! As social media grows, it seems more of our interactions together take place on other websites, for example my Facebook page and Twitter account has amassed so many followers, I am just astounded and overwhelmed. I have really enjoyed getting to know many of you this way! Thank you!

It is hard to believe another year of blogging has gone by! Getting these posts together every year is always a great look back on all the wonderful food we have enjoyed. I hope all of you reading this also had a great 2011 and are all looking forward to 2012! Here are the top 10 posts from this year. If you enjoy something that I post, please click the “like” button at the top, to “like” it on facebook, also feel free to tweet about it or leave me a comment. This is very helpful to me to know what kinds of posts you all want to see!

Please leave a comment and let me know what kinds of posts you would like to see on this blog in 2012! Happy New Year!

 

NUMBER 10: Breakfast of Champions and my First YouTube!


 

Number 9: The BEST Gluten-Free Pancakes EVER

 

Number 8: Drying Apples For Winter Storage

 

Number 7: Raw Avocado Chocolate Pudding

 

Number 6: Coconut Milk Panna Cotta Parfaits

 

Number 5: Musings on Homesteading

 

Number 4: How to Make Kefir at Home…and Why You Should!

 

Number 3: DIY Holiday Gift Series: Dairy-Free Decadent Chocolate Truffles

 

Number 2: Making Yogurt at Home: Filmjölk

 

And your favorite post of 2011: Number 1: Got Raw Milk? Food Freedom Fighters!


Guest Post: Delicious and Healthy Avocados

So, just as I promised, here is the first post in a series of guest posts for this blog, featuring some of my favorite blog authors! We are kicking things off with a post from my good friend and longtime blog buddy Ben Herrera of What’s Cooking Mexico.

Ben and I started blogging around the same time, and I have always loved his unique and delicious recipes featuring REAL Mexican food. Just like many other food cultures, real Mexican food features fresh and local ingredients, and uses them to the fullest.

I have also really enjoyed watching his food photography and styling skills skyrocket over the years! Ben lives in Mexico City and offers insider peeks of all the delicious markets and fresh food that Mexico City has to offer. Today he shares a post about a staple food to Mexican cuisine- the delicious and nutritious Avocado, and shares his recipe for guacamole with an unexpected ingredient! So here is Ben! THANK YOU, BEN!

Who hasn’t tried guacamole at a Mexican restaurant or watching a football game with friends? Avocado is the main ingredient for that delicious dip that has become very popular in the US. I love avocados. I can eat them in many different ways, from slices in salads and tacos to sauces and as one of the ingredients for bread. Their buttery texture and flavor makes them what my dad calls nature’s butter.

But avocados are not only delicious. They’re also a great source of healthy nutrients.  Avocados promote heart health because they contain oleic acid, a monounsaturated fat that may help to lower cholesterol. They are also a good source of potassium, a mineral that helps regulate blood pressure, and folate, a nutrient important for heart health.

Furthermore, they promote optimal health because they are a concentrated dietary source of the carotenoid lutein. It also contains measurable amounts of related carotenoids (zeaxanthin, alpha-carotene and beta-carotene) plus significant quantities of tocopherols (vitamin E). Avocados also increase your absorption of carotenoids from vegetables and recent studies show that they help to combat oral cancer, a form of cancer more deadly than breast, skin and cervical cancer.

Next time you’re at the grocery store look for this healthy fruit. I’m sure you’ll find a delicious way to eat them. If you have never bought avocados before you might want to keep in mind these simple tips:

  • A ripe and ready to eat avocado should be soft when you squeeze it, but it should not have dark sunken spots or cracks.
  • If you are not planning to eat avocados right away select the ones that are harder when you squeeze them. Avocados ripen in a few days outside the refrigerator, but if you are not planning to eat a ripe avocado, put it in the fridge and that will slow the ripening process.
  • The flesh of the avocado starts turning black the moment it comes in contact with air. Lime juice slows this process. If you are storing an open avocado wrap it in plastic to prevent contact with air.

Two of my favorite ways to eat avocados are in guacamole and salads. Making guacamole is very easy. However, I like to twist it a little bit adding mango. It gives the guacamole a very special and sweet flavor.This is how you prepare it:

The ingredients:

  • 2 large avocados
  • 1 mango
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • handful of cilantro, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • salt and pepper to taste

The how-to:

  • Cut avocados and mango and put them in a bowl.
  • Smash with a fork and add the rest of the ingredients.
  • Mix well until they form a smooth salsa.
  • Enjoy!

To make a healthy avocado and tuna salad, just cut one avocado in half and dice it. Mix one can of tuna, one can of mixed vegetables, one TBSP of low fat mayonnaise and the avocado and serve. It’s easy enough for a quick lunch.

I hope you like these simple ideas to eat avocado, one of nature’s most delicious fruits.

Buen provecho!

Sources:

More avocado ideas from Ben’s blog – Avocado Corn Muffins