Super Green Smoothie

IMG_0511You know I LOVE my green smoothies but sometimes I do get a little bored and like to tweak things a bit. Well, thanks to http://www.thekitchn.com for providing me with the inspiration for this yummy twist! If you are bored with your morning fuel, try this for something new and delicious…sure to put a spring in your step!

1 large handful chopped kale or spinach
1 banana
1/2 sliced avocado
2 T almond butter
1 c pure unsweetened coconut water or coconut milk
1 T ground flax seeds
1/8 t ground cinnamon
a few ice cubes

Drink up!
Melissa

Charlie’s Favorite Smoothie

Try this delicious smoothie on your most critical  little sprout!  Charlie came up with it himself and it is sweet, healthy…well, pretty fantastic!

Pineapple Banana Smoothie

1.5 cups frozen pineapple

1 ripe banana

2 T flax meal

1 big handful baby spinach

1.5 cups vanilla rice milk

handful of ice cubes

Why eat pineapple?  Loaded with vitamins and minerals, pineapple is  full of health benefits.  Manganese, a trace mineral, is needed to build connective tissues and bones.  Bromelain helps suppress coughs,  loosens mucus, and aids in digestion.  Pineapple is also known to prevent macular degeneration, which leads to vision loss, and alleviate arthritis. There’s plenty more, but I think you get the picture:)

Enjoy your holiday weekend!

Melissa

Oh, and by the way, I am putting the finishing touches on our September Newsletter!   If your food cravings drive you mad, this is the newsletter for you!  Sign up just to the right!

Power Breakfast by Sprouting Souls

I’ve been having more Greek yogurt this summer than ever before.  I needed a protein-packed breakfast or snack after a tough work-out and this is what I came up with.  I think it’s REALLY YUMMY and I love using whatever berry comes in the Produce Box or is abundant at the farmer’s market.  I also used cantaloupe when I ran out of berries and it was equally good.

Why does it have to be Greek plain low-fat yogurt?  Because Greek yogurt is packed with 15-20 grams of protein in a 6oz serving compared to 9 grams in regular yogurt.  That means you’ll feel fuller longer.  It also contains half the carbs and sodium of regular yogurt.  Another added bonus: the straining process used to make Greek yogurt removes some of the lactose which makes it easier on the stomach for those with lactose intolerance. It should be plain because if it isn’t it will be loaded with sugar or a sugar substitute.  Last, but not least, no one over the age of TWO needs full-fat dairy.

Super simple to throw together, just put yogurt in a bowl, toss on whatever berry or fruit is available, drizzle with agave syrup, and sprinkle with a tablespoon of roasted sunflower seeds.  You could also put this together in a mason jar at night to grab and go the next morning.  Yummy, healthy, easy…

Peace and greens,

Melissa

Challenge #8

TGIF!  Looking forward to our last weekend before school starts for my kids on a year-round schedule.  We’ve had 4 weeks of fun and I know they will want to blow it out this weekend with lots of pool time, ice cream, and probably a trip to a favorite pizza or Mexican restaurant.  When I know “crazy” is coming, it helps to stock my fridge with quick, healthy options to grab on the way to the pool or for a fast lunch.  I like to make a salad that will last all weekend and be sure to have plenty of fruit on hand.

The challenge for the weekend is two-fold.  First, take a few minutes to prepare or shop for some easy, healthy options.  I love this cold chickpea salad recipe.  I have to run out this morning for more tomatoes but I promise to make it today and post a picture.  It is super easy and you can be creative and add whatever other chopped veggie you’d like.  The second part of the challenge is to look ahead to your weekend and see where you can carve out at least 30 minutes of time for yourself.  If you can find an hour, even better.  Sneak off to the hammock, coffee shop, closest park. Take a book or take nothing at all.  Just be. Breathe. Observe. Enjoy!

Cold Chickpea Cucumber Salad

Ingredients:

2 pints grape tomatoes, sliced in half (of course, any variety will work!)

2  15 oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

1  large cucumber, peeled, quartered and sliced

1 cup snipped fresh cilantro (or 3 cubes frozen Trader Joes cilantro, microwave for a few seconds, mix with a drizzle of olive oil and add to bowl)

1/2 cup finely chopped red onion

juice of 1/2 lemon

6 T olive oil 

4 T red wine vinegar

 2 tsp coarse kosher salt

1 clove garlic, minced

Toss everything together and chill for at least an hour.  I like this salad even better the second day when all the flavors have really mingled.

Be back later with a photo!

Melissa

 

Mint Pea Mash

My favorite new side dish, especially when you need something quick! We don’t always think of peas as being a nutrition powerhouse but new studies have shown that they are full of a unique assortment of health-protective phytonutrients. One of these phytonutrients–a polyphenol called coumestrol–is thought to offer protection from stomach cancer.  Peas are also a great source of key antioxidants and anti-inflammatories.

This dish couldn’t be simpler, but feels like comfort food to me.  I paired it with steamed mashed cauliflower (I actually ended up mashing them together just slightly) and the boys loved it too.

Mint Pea Mash

2 T olive oil

1 minced onion

1 handful fresh mint leaves, chopped

1 lb frozen peas

Heat olive oil in a large saucepan.  Add onion, cook for about a minute.  Add mint and frozen peas.  Cover and let steam for 5-10 minutes on medium low.  Add sea salt and pepper to taste.  YUM!

 

Peas and greens,

Melissa

Green Pear Spirulina Smoothie

I’m always trying to change up my morning smoothies with whatever I have on hand.  Yesterday I decided to try adding a pear and it was so good that I thought I’d share.

I also wanted to mention a good addition to smoothies, Spirulina.  I am not at ALL into supplements but after reading so much about Spirulina I decided it really does have a lot to offer.  You’ve probably heard how good sea vegetables are for us…seaweed, algae, nori, they are all from the superfood family of sea vegetables.  Well, Spirulina is a natural sea algae that you can buy in powdered form and add to smoothies without it changing the taste.  (It does make the smoothie more blue-green in color though)  I’ve been adding Spirulina to all my smoothies because it gives me Vitamin B12, something I don’t get on a vegetarian diet, as well as beneficial fatty acids, chlorophyll, protein, and many more vitamins and minerals.  Research has shown that Spirulina can be beneficial for people with type 2 diabetes, helps ward off heart disease and cancer, and acts as a detoxifier for the liver.  You can find Spirulina at any health food store.  I buy Pure Hawaiian Spirulina Pacifica from Whole Foods.  A 5 oz bottle is about $20 but it lasts quite a while. Be sure to store in the fridge after opening.

This smoothie is great with or without the sprulina!

Green Pear Spirulina Smoothie (serves 2)

1 ripe pear, any variety, peel on, chopped in half

1/2 c frozen pineapple

2 large handfuls spinach

2 T flax seeds

2 t spirulina

1 C unsweetened vanilla almond milk

1/2 c water

ice

Blend and enjoy! 

melissa