Creamy Chocolate Covered Cashew Smoothie

CREAMY-CHOCOLATE-COVERED-CASHEW-SMOOTHIE

 

School is back in session & I’m enjoying getting back into a fall routine!   I find myself exhaling as I settle in and get busy doing the things I feel I am most gifted at doing — blogging and being a Mom!

For me, part of being a Mom with kids who are back-to-school is making sure they have a nutritious snack to come home to.  My kids come home famished and go straight away into the kitchen looking for something to eat.

I try to have several healthy options for them, but one favorite option is a smoothie. I love whipping up a smoothie for them, as long as they are nutritious. I like having something that has both fiber and protein in it, that will fill their bellies and renew their energy until dinnertime.

This Creamy Chocolate Covered Cashew Smoothie tastes decadent and you would never guess how nutritious it is.

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Check out the nutrition in this shake:

Cashew Butter = protein

Banana = fiber & potassium

Cocoa = antioxidants

Cashews = more protein!

Oats = whole grain fiber

Honey = a natural sweetener with antioxidants

Cocoa Nibs =heaps of antioxidants & considered a superfood!

Silk Chocolate Cashewmilk = a non-dairy, gluten-free, verified non-GMO, lactose free, no preservative or artificial colors or flavors, cholesterol-free milk

Pretty impressive, huh?  My blender is big enough to double the recipe to make smoothies for 4.  I like to whip them up ahead of time and store them in the refrigerator in mason jars for my girls to just grab and go!

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Creamy Chocolate Covered Cashew Smoothie

{makes 2 – 15 oz smoothies}

1/4 cup cashew butter (or almond butter or peanut butter)
1 banana
1 tbsp cocoa
1/2 cup cashews
1 cup oats
1 1/2  cup Silk Chocolate Cashewmilk
2 Tbsp honey
1 cup ice

Optional: cocoa nibs

Add all ingredients to the blender.  Use a high-speed blender for best results.  If you don’t have a high-speed blender, let the oats and cashews sit in the milk for a few minutes to soften.  Blend until smooth.  Add more Silk Chocolate Cashewmilk  if needed.  Consistency is right when a vortex forms in the blender and contents move freely.

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Let’s talk a bit more about Silk Cashewmilk.  It comes in 4 flavors: Original, Unsweetened, Vanilla & Chocolate.  It is a great, super creamy but calorie-conscious, alternative to dairy milk.

Visit Silk Cashewmilk website to sign up for registration, get a coupon & find lots more dreamy, creamy cashewmilk recipes!

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What are your favorite nutritious, after-school snacks?

This conversation is sponsored by Silk. The opinions and text are all mine.

 

5 Practices To Start Your Week With Healthy Eating

Healthy-EatingThere are several things I do at the beginning of the week to make sure we can easily access healthy food and snacks during the week.  I try to get the grocery shopping done on Saturday or Sunday, which really helps make me feel ready for the week.  I especially do this during the school year, when I need to make sure we have all that we need to pack school lunches and have healthy after-school snacks.

1. When shopping, keep foods as clean and pure as possible.

Avoid packaged foods with mile long ingredient lists.  We eat packaged foods in our family, but I make sure I buy them from stores that promote more healthful ingredients, like Trader Joes or our local health food store. For example, if you look on the package of Trader Joes chocolate chip cookies, it is familiar ingredients I would use here at home to make chocolate chip cookies.  I like that I know what they are and can pronounce them.  This is not the case if I were to buy packaged cookies from a regular grocery store, unless maybe if they were in the specialty organic foods section.

Making food homemade as much as possible just tastes better and you are in charge of the ingredients.  The freezer salsa in the above picture was made with our homegrown tomatoes and tastes so good!

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2. Buy organic…or not. Know when to compromise.

Most of the time I buy only organic fruits and veggies, but lately, to get my kids to snack on more vegetables during the week, I have been picking up this tray of already cut up vegetables and dip.  It is from Sam’s and the dip is a ranch greek yogurt dip.  Yes, I would love it to be organic, but it is not. Sure, the yogurt dip has some ingredients that are not so clean and pure, but I’m ok with it.  It is only 9.99, it is super convenient, and it gets a ton of vitamins and phytonutrients into our bodies.  We eat it up every week, and I often will chop some of the veggies up even further to throw on our dinner salads.  Eating healthy is not about eating perfectly.  Compromise is ok.

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3. Hard boil some organic eggs.

I’ve been doing this at the beginning of every week & it is a great way to get added protein into the body. I often find my girls with the egg slicer out, ready to snack on a protein rich hard-boiled egg.  I also love throwing them on top of our dinner salad for added flavor, texture & protein.

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4. Make some tea.

At first glance, caffeinated tea might not seem like the best healthy option, but it really depends what you are comparing it to.  It is SO much better than grabbing a coke, whether diet or not, and does not have added sugar, artificial colors, or dreaded artificial sweeteners. Tea also has antioxidants which other sweetened beverages do not.  I usually try to buy my tea organic but right now I’m crushing on this Tazo Iced Blushberry Black Tea.

Get rid of the pop, get rid of the Kool-aid.  Drink tea!  I make a big pitcher at the beginning of the week and it lasts quite a few days around here.  It makes a nice change from typical plain water.

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4. Keep lots of leafy greens on hand.

Here is another purchase I make from Sam’s at the beginning of each week.  The container is huge and the price is right.  I have a salad many times for lunch, and if not, I throw these greens into a green smoothie.  I also try to make sure we get some sort of leafy green salad with every dinner, so a big package is a must around here.  I’m very happy that Sam’s usually gets fresh shipments in daily, so the date on the package gives us a good week to eat up our greens. Tonight we will be topping taco’s with these greens.

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5. Go nuts with nuts.

I really like having lots of nutritious nuts on hand during the week, and I really like storing them in mason jars.  Putting them in a jar shows them off a bit, and makes it super easy to grab and start snacking.  I also like how easy it is to just unscrew the lid and sprinkle them onto our salads.  I have a big crush on cashews right now, and top almost every salad I make with them.  Who needs croutons when you have crunchy cashews?

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What are some ways you start your week off to help with healthy eating throughout the week?