Sweet Tart Smoothie

SWEET TART SMOOTHIE

I call this a Sweet Tart Smoothie because that is exactly what I thought it tasted like!  How fun is it that a green smoothie can taste like candy?!

The sweet/tart flavor comes from  Aronia Berry.  This smoothie also contains mixed berries, a banana, chia (for those plant-based omega’s), kale (another powerhouse nutrient-filled food), and aloe vera juice.

SWEET TART SMOOTHIE BLENDER

SWEET TART SMOOTHIE ALOE VERA JUICE

Now THAT’S a healthy smoothie, AND it tastes like candy!  What more could one want?

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Have you heard of this powerhouse, superfood, full-of amazing-goodness  Aronia Berry?  Let me tell you a bit about it.

~Aronia berries have the HIGHEST antioxidant capacity among berries and other fruits evaluated to date. (as of 2012)

~they contain high levels of vitamin C which make them great immunity boosters

~the antioxidants they contain protect against many degenerative diseases, including cancer, heart disease and just aging in general

~they help protect the skin from harmful pollutants & the sun’s ultraviolet light. They keep our skin from aging and are part of an anti-wrinkle diet

~they have anti-viral properties and a rich history– Potawatomi Indians used them to cure colds.

~a group of Bulgarian scientists found Aronia melanocarpa to have in-vitro and antiviral activity against type A influenza virus.  It also was found to have anti-bacterial activity against Staph & EColi.

~reasearchers from the Department of Nutrition & Food Science at the University of Maryland analyzed the extracts in grapes, wild blueberries and aronia berries for their chemoprevention activity against colon cancer.  All three extracts inhibited the growth of cancer cells, but aronia berry extract was the most potent inhibitor.

~Aronia berries taste yummy

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I have read that they are so potent, that you do need to limit your consumption to a serving a day.

FROZEN ARONIA BERRIES

This works out well for me, as they are sold at our local food co-op in pretty small amounts for a pretty large penny! This package was $7.00.  It is worth it, as they are locally and organically grown & come frozen.  I’m willing to pay well for food that is THIS nutritious.

If you cannot find them fresh or frozen, you can order them dried on Amazon.  They are said to make a great tea when rehydrated.  Steer clear of Aronia Berry juice.  Most of the antioxidants are lost when juiced and bottled.

I’m excited to experiment with this little sweet tart berry.  I’ve seen Aronia Berry pie, cobblers & crisps.  I’m sure if we searched Pinterest, there would be all kinds of fun ideas.  I will share anything I try that I love with you in future posts.

Have you tasted the Aronia berry?  What do you think?

SMOOTHIE TO GO
 {Don’t you LOVE the lid and straw? My new favorite.  Click here to purchase}

Sweet Tart Smoothie

1 ripe frozen banana*
1/3 cup frozen aronia berries
1/2 cup frozen mixed berries
1 handful baby kale
8 oz aloe Vera juice
1 tbls chia
 
Add all to a high-speed blender.  Blend until smooth.
 
If you don’t have a high-speed blender, start with the aloe vera juice & kale, blend well.  Add the rest of the ingredients & blend until as smooth as possible.  Your smoothie might have some texture to it, but it will be delicious!
*If you banana is not ripe, which makes it sweet, you may need to add either stevia or a couple of medjool dates or date paste for sweetness.

 

 

*source

Cinnamon Maple Iced Latte

mason jar of cinnamon maple iced latte

I recently was given an awesome hand-me-down espresso maker,(thanks Dad & Pam!) and I have been having great fun with it.  My latest concoction is this delicious Cinnamon Maple Iced Latte.

If you don’t have an espresso maker, don’t worry.  This can easily be made with cold-brewed toddy.  Cold-brewed toddy is a low-acid coffee made by simply soaking coffee grounds in water overnight, then straining.  Read here for instructions.

If you do have an at-home espresso maker, just make 4 ounces of espresso.  Don’t worry about cooling the espresso down, ice will do that job for you.

This recipe is a breeze if you do just a couple of steps ahead of time.  It uses a cinnamon syrup, which keeps really well in the refrigerator.  Make once and use for a week or two. If you skip the espresso process and use toddy, then that, too, can be stored in the refrigerator for several weeks.  Talk about streamlining the process of making a quick iced drink!  Just grab your jar of brewed toddy, grab the cinnamon syrup, grab your ice and milk and voila–a delicious and very inexpensive Cinnamon Maple Iced Toddy Latte.

This really is a special tasting drink.  I like it better than what I can buy at my favorite coffee shops, especially when those said drinks cost me over $4.00 a pop!

 

Cinnamon Maple Iced Latte

1 Tbsp cinnamon syrup

1 Tbsp pure maple syrup (more or less depending on how sweet you like it)

4 oz espresso (or cold-brewed toddy)

4 oz milk of choice (I use vanilla almond milk–delish!)

glass full of ice

 

Cinnamon Syrup

1 cup filtered water

1 tsp cinnamon 

Combine water and cinnamon in a small saucepan over low heat for about 5 minutes, whisking often.  Do not go longer.  Overcooking will turn it into the consistency of egg white, and you DO NOT want that.  Pour the syrup into a jar and store in the refrigerator.

 

To Make Cinnamon Iced Toddy:

Fill glass with ice.  Measure milk into a glass measure.  Add maple syrup and cinnamon syrup. Stir, then pour over ice.

Add espresso or toddy.  Give a gentle stir.  Pop in a straw and enjoy!

 

I have a thing for drinking iced coffee drinks with a lid and straw.  I think I just got used to it from purchasing so many iced lattes in my lifetime! I have ADORED the mason jar lids and straw you see in the above picture.  They turn a mason jar into a portable cup with straw, or a sippy cup without the straw.

If you want even more fancy, use a pretty glass and pop one of these stainless steel straws in.  Love it!