“The product, information, and gift card have been provided by the makers of In The Raw® so that I could try the product and share my thoughts and information about Stevia In The Raw®. The opinions expressed in this post are my own and do not reflect the opinions of the makers of In The Raw® sweeteners.”
We have a week of rainy cool Fall weather here in the Midwest, so I plan on finding some extra slow, cozy moments with my hands wrapped around a warm mug!
A mug full of homemade, no-sugar Salted Caramel Pumpkin Latte to be specific.
Fall Season = Pumpkin Season
Rainy fall season means it is pumpkin season! Every time I go to the store, I find myself grabbing a can of pumpkin.
They are piling up at home and I couldn’t be happier about it. I have pumpkin plans ya’ll!
I was giddy when I saw that this recipe called for a good 1/3 cup of pumpkin. Talk about a fun way to get some veggies in!
Green smoothies are an easy and delicious way to consume 5 plant servings in one glass! I can’t think of a more efficient and purposeful way to get those nutrients and colorful plants in. 5 plant servings equal over half of the 8 (1/2 cup) servings of fruits and vegetables recommended per day, all in one delicious green smoothie!
5 Plant Servings = 1 Green Smoothie Breakdown
Let me break it down and show you how one smoothie contains 5+ plant servings. Remember, a serving is 1/2 cup or approximately what can fit in palm of your hand.
1/2 frozen banana = 1 serving
1 cup baby spinach = 2 servings
1/2 cup frozen mango = 1 serving
1/2 cup frozen peaches = 1 serving
We are already up to 5, and we have yet to add nut butter and seeds, which are also both plant foods and will add even more amazing nutrients.
Get Plant Servings in Early
Eat this for breakfast and feel proud that you have such a great head start in getting those fruits and veggies in.
Do you fast for breakfast? Then break your fast and have the green smoothie for an easy, portable, filling and ‘full-of-goodness’ lunch.
By the time dinner rolls around, you are on a roll and adding a simple vegetable side or green salad to dinner can easily get you to 8 servings.
Not quite there by the end of dinner? Munch on a carrot stick as an after dinner snack or before you consume any treats after dinner.
When green smoothies are made with the right ingredients, they can be a great snack or meal full of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, protein, healthy fats and so much more!
My goal lately has been seeing how far I can push the vegetable content in my green smoothies, always trying for more veg than fruit.
Balancing the fruit with veg, seeds, nut butter or nuts helps keep blood sugar stable as the natural sugars in fruit can cause spikes.
I’ve been experimenting with frozen greens, frozen zucchini, and even frozen cauliflower. Watch for more posts and recipes to come on this!
Green Smoothie Tips
Any milk can be substituted for almond milk–coconut, dairy, cashew, etc.
Taste your smoothie before you pour. The sweetness often differs depending on how sweet your fruit is. If you want more sweet, add 1 T organic agave nectar, 100% organic maple syrup, raw honey, or a Medjool date (remove the pit first). My first choice is no added sweetness, but a date is my second choice as it adds some fiber along with the sweetness.
Use ripe bananas. This will make your smoothie super sweet!
If you don’t have a high-speed blender, blend the greens and liquid first, then add the rest of the ingredients. If you do have a high-speed blender, all ingredients can go in at the same time.
Use frozen fruit whenever you can to make smoothies nice and frosty cold!
The key to good consistency is seeing a vortex when blending. If you don’t see this, add more liquid.
Use organic ingredients as much as possible! The number of plant foods that go into a smoothie can really concentrate the number of pesticides if the fruit is not organic. This is especially important if you are drinking a green smoothie every day.
Have leftover smoothie? Do what I did all the time when my girls were young and pour into a popsicle mold and freeze. Can also freeze in a small mason jar and thaw to drink later. Just set out on the counter to thaw for at least an hour.
Any greens can be used instead of spinach. Baby spinach is the mild and the taste disappears. Baby kale is my second fav. Swiss chard, microgreens, etc can all be used! Mix it up!
To increase protein content and make your smoothie more like a meal, add protein powder. I like to use organic pea protein or any plant-based protein. But…my first choice is protein from natural food sources like nuts, nut butters and seeds.
Add 1 T of chia or hemp seeds to power up your smoothies even more and full of plant power! I love the ease of throwing in a couple of tablespoons of my make-ahead super seed mix.
Have good straws on hand. I love glass straws or metal straws. I’ve been eyeing these large metal straws because they are nice and wide for gulping those thick green smoothies down quickly.
I also love drinking my smoothies from mason jars. I have this Cuppow sipping lid that screws right onto the top of a wide mouth mason jar. I also have these lids that have an opening for a large straw.
Make green smoothie frozen ziplock packs to conveniently grab and throw in the blender. If I have these in the freezer, my family uses them up like crazy and I get the satisfaction of knowing all those nutrients went into the ones I love.
2 Ways To Freeze Bananas Tip
Peel bananas, half them, and freeze them in a ziplock.
Throw ripe, unpeeled whole bananas in the freezer. The skin will turn brown, but the banana will not. Fill blender with hot water and place unpeeled frozen banana in it to thaw for a few minutes, but do not thaw completely. Empty the water, them slip and slide the banana right out of the peel.
Sneak Peek New Nostalgia Shop Launch
Have you noticed the fun green smoothie cards in the photos? They are a little sneak peak of what is coming very soon from New Nostalgia! You will be able to purchase them once New Nostalgia shop launches the first week of October 2018!
Eek! We are almost there!
I have been working hard behind the scenes creating card sets that I know will be helpful for you! These cards on rings will be printable, portable and have themes for all areas of life that you will be able to refer back to over and over again.
Anti-Anxiety Cards, Green Smoothie Recipe Cards, Prayers for your Kids Cards, Room by Room Home Rescue Cards, 20 Favorite Essential Oil Blends–these are just a few of the card sets that you will find in the New Nostalgia shop.
They have been life-changing for me, allowing me to live life in an efficient and purposeful way. I can’t wait to share more about them and offer them to you, too!
This green smoothie is an easy and delicious way to consume 5 plant servings in one glass! I can't think of a more efficient and purposeful way to get those nutrients and colorful plants in. That is over half of the recommended 8 (1/2 cup) servings of fruits and vegetables per day in one delicious green smoothie!
1/2 cmangofresh or frozen
1/2 cpeachesfresh or frozen
1ckale or baby spinachfresh or frozen
1calmond milkor milk of choice
Blend spinach and milk until smooth.
Add remaining ingredients and blend again until smooth and vortex appears. If vortex does not move freely...add more liquid.
*This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Shopko. The opinions and text are all mine.
DIY Cold Brew Coffee
Are you a cold brew coffee fan but don’t like paying coffee shop prices? Do you love coffee but wish it were less acidic and easier on your tummy? Do you love iced toddy lattes with dreamy creamy toppings but don’t like the added processed sugar?
I don’t know about you but I can say yes to all of those questions. I also found a great solution for ALL of them with the help of the Primula 51 Ounce Cold Brew Iced Coffee Maker from Shopko, and an amazing whipped cream recipe to top your cold brew!
My old way of doing it was with a french press but honestly, it was messy and I had to put too much thought into the measurements and the ratio of coffee to water for it to become an easy habit.
If you want to know how to make it in the french press, you simply stir 1/4 cup of coarse coffee grounds into 1 cup of cold water. Let sit out on the counter overnight. The next morning, add another cup of cold water. Then press the grounds and pour over ice. This makes 2 cups of coffee.
Cold Brew Coffee – Jar System
You could make this in a glass jar instead of a French press, but instead of pressing, strain through a coffee filter twice. Again, it is messy and a slow straining process–not my favorite–but if you are desperate for cold brew coffee and have a glass jar and coffee filters on hand, you can use this method.
Place 1/4 cup of coffee grounds in a jar with 1 cup of cold water. Let sit in the refrigerator on the counter overnight. The next morning, add another cup of cold water. Then strain the grounds and pour over ice. This makes 2 cups of coffee.
Primula Cold Brew Coffee Maker
What is my favorite way to make cold brew coffee? With the Primula Cold Brew Coffee Maker from Shopko. It takes all guesswork out of making cold brew coffee and streamlines the process, making it as simple as possible.
Put milk into a saucepan. Add teabags. Steep the teabags in milk for 5-7 minutes & warm to desired temperature. Add chai concentrate. Stir. Pour into 2 mugs, sit with a loved one and sip slow.
Hint: if you don’t have pumpkin spice tea (my favorite is from Trader Joes) you can use black tea or rooibos tea and sprinkle in a little pumpkin pie spice. Also, the brand of chai I like is Oregon Chai Concentrate. Tazo is another popular brand but its cardamom flavor is too strong for my taste.
2-3 dashes of cayenne or a pinch of red pepper flakes
pinch of salt
Brew a double strength coffee. Heat the almond milk until quite hot. Add cocoa powder. Whisk the cocoa powder into the milk, briskly stirring until all clumps have melted away. Stir in the coffee, spices and maple syrup. Adjust the sweetness and spice according to your own taste. Snuggle up in your favorite chair and sip slow.
Hint: if you don’t have vanilla flavored almond milk, just add a drop or two of vanilla extract.
Best Ever Hot Chocolate
8 oz milk of your choice (almond, soy, dairy)
3 Dove chocolates (or your favorite brand chocolate square, milk or dark, I like dark)
1-2 teaspoons Godiva Chocolate liqueur
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar (optional)
Heat in microwave until hot (less than 2 minutes.) Whisk until combined.
Squeeze 2 wedges of lemon into your tea cup. Add the wedges into the cup for added benefits of the oils from the lemon skin. Add 2 slices of ginger. Heat water in a tea kettle–I love my electric one that heats in minutes. Pour over ginger and lemon. Add honey and stir. Steep for a good 5 minutes. Strain, hug the mug, inhale the steam and sip slow.
What if you could have homemade lemonade without juicing a bunch of lemons? How great would that be? What if I told you this is possible thanks to Blender Lemonade? Yes, it is true. Blender Lemonade is my new favorite way to make lemonade and I think it will be yours, too.
Blender lemonade sounds like it could be a recipe for slushy lemonade, but that is not this. This blender lemonade recipe is a way of making lemonade that is quick and easy. The final product has the goodness and health benefits of lemon oil from the peel because you use the entire lemon to flavor the lemonade.
It also uses a couple of tablespoons of sweetened condensed milk, so the finished glass of lemonade has a milky hue to it. It is quite beautiful in a glass over ice, and the bit of creaminess is very appealing to the palate, which makes a this lemonade special. It is a great recipe to make when having company, or just sitting on the porch with a friend.
Come January I am usually trying to cut out processed sugar after the holidays, & this Creamy Banana Mango Smoothie has been just the thing to help me in that process!
A Natural, Healthy Sweet
Whenever I am craving something sweet, a fruit smoothie really helps satisfy the craving. I love a green smoothie, and I love berry smoothies, but this smoothie with banana and mango is a great break from my typical green smoothies. My youngest girl, Avery, loves this one because there are no seeds in it from berries, and because it is extra creamy!
Health Benefits of This Smoothie
Banana gives great potassium, mango is full of vitamin C, & the yogurt gives great probiotic’s that help keep the gut healthy and happy. Yogurt is also a great source of protein. I love when a smoothie recipe has natural protein in it, whether it is from yogurt or soaked nuts.
Storing Your Smoothie
We like storing smoothies in these fun little glass milk bottles, and I usually double my smoothie recipe just so I can have extra to store in the refrigerator, ready to grab and go. I ordered these glass milk bottles off of Amazon and you can too, using this link. They are a great size, especially for a snack or for kids. They look so sweet all lined up in my refrigerator! We always drink our smoothies with a straw. I’ve been drooling over these extra-large stainless steel straws for smoothies, and want to order some soon. I have the regular size stainless, but extra large would be great for thick smoothies!
What are your favorite smoothie recipes?
Do you ever make extra and store it?
Creamy Banana Mango Smoothie
3/4 cup organic yogurt
2 cups frozen cubed mango
1 frozen banana*
honey to taste (optional-usually not needed-depends on the sweetness of your fruit)
Blend yogurt, frozen mango & frozen banana on high until smooth. Add water if needed to thin enough to create a nice vortex, but not so much that you lose the creamyness! Taste. Add some honey if it is too tangy & blend some more until incorporated.
*to easily peel a frozen banana, I fill the blender up with warm water & place the frozen banana in it for a few minutes. I use the blender container because it is tall enough to submerge the entire banana & I will be using it anyway. Once it has soaked enough for the outside of the banana to feel soft, (you don’t want it completely thawed) slice off one end of peel, (I just use my fingers), empty the water, & help the banana slip & slide right out into the blender. If it does not slide easily, you need to let it thaw a bit more, but don’t soak so long that the banana thaws completely. It only takes a minute or two.
Every year around this time, I find myself crunching on Peppernuts made by my Grandma Thelma’s sweet hands, and thinking about how I MUST share this great recipe and meaningful family tradition with you! Well, this year I’m doing it, and you are going to love it!
I took the photos for this post, then sat down with my tiny tree dish full of peppernuts & my mug of almond nog. I’m a happy camper as I type away at this post with my delicious little snack.
Have you seen that Silk now makes Silk Almond Nog? They have original and pumpkin spice and they are SO good. They are both so creamy that you won’t believe they are dairy-free, and there are no eggs in either of these nogs! I’m drinking the original Almond Nog & it is full of nutmeg and cinnamon, & has the smooth velvety flavor of classic eggnog.
The peppernut cookies are a family tradition that I just love. My Grandma makes them every year for everyone in the family, and has for as long as I can remember. I have such fond memories of helping her roll and slice the long, thin rolls of dough when I was a young teen. It means the world to me to receive them as a gift from her each year, & it is so fun to see my girls grow up and enjoy peppernut cookies, too.
Peppernut cookies are a tiny spiced holiday cookie that are popular in Germany, Denmark, & the Netherlands. The cookies are roughly the size of a nut, and can be eaten by the handful, hence the name. They have anise oil in them, but it is not overpowering & adds just the right unique spice. These little crunchy cookies are so addicting! I love that they can keep indefinitely & are great for snacking and for sitting around in covered dishes for your guests to enjoy.
We celebrated Christmas early with my Mom’s side of the family, which meant getting these little peppernut cookies early, too. The cookies pictured are made by my Grandma, but one of these days I’m going to make them myself.
I’m feeling quite sophisticated eating my peppernuts and drinking my almond nog. It is like having cookies and milk, but way more special because it is peppernuts and nog! I can drink a mug or two of Silk Almond Nog without feeling naughty because it is made without eggs, dairy or saturated fats & there are only 80 calories or less per serving! I especially appreciate that there are no artificial colors or preservatives in Silk products. Grandma’s cookies, on the other hand, are a bit naughty, but I can’t bring myself to mess with a recipe that has been handed down & that is so, so good. I will keep it as it is written, and enjoy every little cookie as we only have them once a year.
1 16 oz bottle dark corn syrup
1 1/8 cup sugar
1 cup of oleo (margarine or butter) (melt in hot syrup)
~Pour above mixture into flour & mix. You will end up using your hands–just like Grandma!
~Form into long rolls, about the diameter of a quarter. Wrap in plastic wrap & let it get good and cold, or you could freeze at this point until you are ready to bake. Cut into fairly thin slices, and place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Each cookie should be about the size of a quarter.
~Bake 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes.
~These get better with age, so don’t be afraid to bake a bunch!
I love sharing such simple joys of the season with you! I hope you can find a quiet moment or two to cozy up, slow down, sip on some nog, & savor recipes that have been passed down. It is amazing how something as simple as the cinnamon flavor of a creamy nog or the spicy hint of anise in a crunchy cookie can cause one to pause and find comfort in meaningful memories of seasons past.
Visit Silk Holiday to learn more about Silk Almond Nog & find more simple joys of the season, like recipes, a free digital holiday recipe book, a coupon & more!
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Silk . The opinions and text are all mine.