Cold Brew Cashew Smoothie

The local smoothie shop makes a version of this that peaked my interest in coffee smoothies for the hot summer.

Ingredients: recipe makes 1 serving

6oz cold brew coffee

4oz non-dairy milk (I used almond)

2 dates or to taste if you prefer more or less sweet

1/4 cup raw cashews

1/2 tsp vanilla

pinch of salt

3 ice cubes optional (add more for a slushy smoothie)

Put all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth and creamy. Mix up the measurements for your personal taste adding more vanilla, coffee or cashews to see what you like best.

Aquafaba! (vegan merengue/whipped cream from the brine of beans)

Thanks to the Twitter heads of from a friend, I began looking up “aquafaba” and found that it literally means “bean water” and has been used to replace eggs and mayonnaise, create merengue, marshmallow, whipped cream and macarons.

This recipe is for a fluffy whipped cream that I used over fresh strawberries, however, I’ve included a baked merengue alternative that you can also make with this recipe:

Ingredients: 

liquid from 1 can of chickpeas (about 3/4cup) you can also use the brine from fresh-cooked chickpeas instead of canned if you prefer.

1/8tsp cream of tartar

1 cup cugar

1tsp vanilla (or your favorite flavor extract)

Directions:

Pour the liquid in the bowl of a stand mixer and add the cream of tartar. Mix well.

Add the sugar and vanilla and mix on high for 10-15minutes (it’s a long time)

Mix on high until the aquafaba becomes white and fluffy and forms stiff peaks.

**You can store the leftovers in an airtight container for 2-3 days. Re-whip the mixture with your mixer on high for 3-5minutes until fluffy and stiff peaks re-form.**

Serve immediately as a whipped cream over fruit, on cakes or fold into baking batter as an egg alternative (3TBSP aquafaba=1 egg)

You can also try baking merengue:

Scoop or pipe the aquafaba mixture into mounds onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 90 minutes. (The meringues will be hard to the touch.) Let meringues cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes, then serve. (Meringues can be stored in an airtight container for up to three days.)

Curried Carrot Dip

Thanks to a friend Lo fro bringing this dip to a summer bbq, it’s been my go-to dip or quick side dish since then!

Ingredients:

1 pound carrots, washed and cut into small chunks

1/4 cup unsalted raw or roasted sunflower seeds or cashews

2 teaspoons olive oil or other preferred oil

1 glove chopped garlic

1 tsp curry powder or Penzey’s Turkish Seasoning

1/2 tsp cumin

1/4 tsp salt (to taste)

1 TBSP fresh lemon juice

Directions:

Bring a pot of water to boil and add the carrots. Cook until tender. Drain and let cool for a few minutes..

In a food processor, add the remaining ingredients and blend until a fine crumble. Add the carrots and blend until smooth, scraping the sides of the processor as you go.

You can refrigerate for 30 min for a cold dip or serve right away for a warm, spicy taste.

Creamy Cashew Chai Spiced Smoothie

This is quickly becoming a winter favorite smoothie for its creamy texture and calorie dense meal quality.

Ingredients

makes 2 servings

2 cups almond milk, coconut water (or favorite non dairy milk)

2-4 TBSP raw cashews

2 dates or 2 TBSP date crumbles/pieces

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 inch cube of fresh ginger

pinch of cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg and cloves (to taste) or try 1/8-1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice

pinch of sea salt (to taste)

Add all ingredients in a blender and mix until smooth and creamy. Add ice for a cold smoothie.

Additional add-ins to boost your smoothie and keep it interesting:

1 banana

1 TBSP sunflower seed or almond butter

1 TBSP ground flax meal, flax oil or coconut oil

1 stalk of fresh kale

1 carrot

1 TBSP raw cacao

Lemon Tahini Dressing

This is my winter go-to dressing on piles of steamed veggies. A little fat, a little citrus zing, perfect.

Ingredients

juice from 2 fresh lemons

2 TBSP water

1 TBSP Braggs aminos or tamari

1TBSP rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar

1/4-1/2 cup tahini

1/4-1/2 cup olive oil, flax oil or coconut oil

Mix all ingredients in a bowl with a whisk until smooth. Add more water if it is too thick.

Or put all the ingredients in a jar with lid and shake until smooth.

LPB’s Candied Grapefruit Peel

I just made this fantastic recipe for homemade holiday gifts!

LPB gave me this recipe and it came out great. It took some time but the work was minimal. I recommend coating all the pieces in some sugar when done, otherwise they seem very sticky and hard to package.

4 grapefruits

4 cups sugar

(or a 1 to 1 ratio of whatever amount of peels that you have)
The measurements and times listed are for 4 grapefruits. You can amass a good amount by cutting and prepping your peels and keep them in a bag/tupperware in the fridge until you’re ready.
After eating the fruit, slice into quarters and each quarter in 4 or 5 strips.
Bring pot of water to boil (large stock pot) and drop peels in water. When the water returns to a boil, remove and strain the peels.
Repeat this 3 more times, using fresh, cold water each time.
On the 4th and last boil, let the peels stay in the boiling water 10-15 minutes. This will plump them up.
After the last boil, strain and keep the peels and about one cup of the water in the pot.
Add the sugar on top of peels and cook over high heat, stirring a bit to help dissolve sugar. When the sugar syrup comes to a boil, reduce heat to medium and cook until the syrup thickens, about 25 minutes. (To test, dip in a rubber spatula and test with your finger on the spatula. you want it to be sticky)
Place a wire rack over a clean baking sheet. Use the spatula or thongs to remove the peels and lay out on a single layer on the rack. Let cool for about 5 minutes.
You can leave them plain or coat them 4-5 at a time in a bowl of sugar. Coarse sugar makes them nice and crunchy.
Lay the coated peels back on the rack to dry some more.
Store in a sealed container in a cool, dry place.
LPB’s tip for the leftover grapefruit infused sugar syrup:
“Of course I saved the excess syrup. going to use it in a bourbon drink verrry soon.”

PRODUCT REVIEW: Botan-100% soluble vegetable protein drink

Some of you have seen my Instagrams and tweets about testing a brand new, ready-to-go nutritional beverage, Botan. I was pretty thrilled when they contacted me to test their product and to see and taste this vegan, gluten-free, non-GMO drink that delivers 12g of protein per bottle (25% of the FDA’s recommended daily amount) with just 110 calories. I’ve struggled to find a non-chalky or non-silty vegan protein that is free of soy, gluten, dairy, whey, artificial preservatives. I especially like that Botan lists their ingredients n a detailed way on their website too. Botan uses pea protein, describing peas as having an essential amino acid, rich in BCAAs (branch chained amino-acids), which delays fatigue during exercise; they contain arginine, which enhances immunity; and they are rich in lysine, which promotes bone health. 

Pea protein powder is listed on the label as their protein source and the solubility is described here:

“Botan is the result of a unique and patented method designed to extract proteins from plants and make them completely soluble. We use this amazing technique, combined with a simple natural ingredient (our trade secret), and the result is a 100% soluble plant protein containing a balance of all of your essential amino acids.”

I regularly make a protein smoothie after workouts and races or as an on-the-go breakfast or lunch. I was pretty sold on just grabbing a hydrating cold bottle out of the fridge or cooler to make that process even easier. After speaking with the company founder, Edward Cannan, I was pretty convinced, that even if I didn’t like the taste, this was a brand I wanted to get behind! Edward started the company after a severe injury and used plant-based nutrition to turn his health around and regain his vitality and wellness. Edward’s passion for surfing and outdoor sports drives his education on the environmental impact of packaged products and their disposal. Botan is thinking ahead with an Earth-friendly focus, using glass bottles that are recyclable and renewable and won’t contaminate the beverages. 

 

Sounds right up my alley!

I received my case of Botan to test and decided to try the 3 different flavors (strawberry-cucumber, pineapple-coconut, cherry-tomato) it in 3 different ways for review:

1. cool or room temperature, as if I’ve tossed it in my bag for after a workout or race

2. Icy cold from the fridge or cooler, as if I packed my cooler with me for after a race or workout, or grabbed at home

3. Blended in a smoothie as the liquid base, as if I made it at home after a workout or as a breakfast or lunch

 

Botan recommends shaking the product well and drinking cold, so the first test of drinking at room temperature resulted in the product tasting sweet but not refreshing. 

Next up, I tried it cold from the fridge and it was much more tasty, refreshing and easy to drink. I ultimately put it over ice and would recommend drinking it served over ice for the best flavor and most hydrating drink-ability. This will be ideal in the winter months when it’s too cold to make smoothies.

Lastly, I made it into smoothies, using Botan as the base, adding banana and some frozen fruit. This was basically amazing during this hot summer. I didn’t need to add protein powder, sweeteners or essential vitamins-they are all already in the bottle of Botan! With just 110 calories, making Botan into a smoothie is a great way to make a recovery beverage or small meal after workouts or racing. 

 

I gravitated to the pineapple-coconut flavor at first but found it to be too-sweet tasting straight up but excellent as a smoothie base. 

Botan is sweetened with monk fruit and stevia and I personally think all of the flavors could be less sweet and more tart or earthy to highlight the natural flavors of the fruits and vegetables used.

I ultimately prefer the strawberry-cucumber served over ice as my go-to and the cherry-tomato.

I was surprised to find Botan so filling, yet light and hydrating and a perfect midday snack while I’m at work.

So far this product is a great addition to my training, racing and work lifestyle and I’m happy to share my experiences testing it. If you’re local to me and you want to try some, let me know! 

 

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