Thursday, July 26, 2012

Chocolate Banana Dream Smoothie!

Ladies and gents...I loooove chocolate...and I know I'm not alone here. I don't eat a whole lot of it from day to day, but I do thoroughly enjoy it when I do, and sometimes it's just what a girl needs to start the day off right!

The type of chocolate I like to use is raw organic cacao, from the Cacao Theobroma plant. This sugar-free form is still considered a stimulant, but carries many health-full properties as opposed to a eating a processed, sugar-loaded (and dairy-loaded) candy bar. You can purchase the whole beans or you can get raw cacao in powdered form from many health food stores.

With that in mind (and the fact that I had very little other smoothie ingredients in my house the other morning) I created this delicious (not to mention euphoric & antioxidant) smoothie which rocked my craving for something sweet! I hope you enjoy it!

This recipe can be altered depending on your tastes, but it's a starting point for something magnificent!

~Chocolate-Banana Dream~

2-3 C. Almond Milk
2-3 Heaping T Raw Cacao Powder
Dash of Vanilla
1-1.5 Bananas
3-4 Dates (soaked overnight)
Handful of Raw Cashews (soaked overnight)

Easy, easy...just add these ingredients to your blender, and blend until smooth! If there is anyone else around when you make it, you might want to this delicious treat is something to get jealous over! :) Yum yum!! 

Happy blending! Have a magnificent weekend! :)

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Explosions in the Sky (not talking about the band here)

The summer is here and it is blazing and beautiful! Here in the Pacific Northwest days are long (light out until around 9pm) and nights are cool-ish, and I am absolutely loving the abundance of the season!

For one thing, I recently moved into a place with delicious raspberry bushes in the yard and they have been continuously fruiting for about a month now!

Raspberries on the bush. 

Raspberry Bounty!

We have been abundant in this beautiful, nutritious berry as well as another fabulous delight...

Raspberries and Strawberries fresh picked from the garden! 

Combine all of these with the hand full of leftover cherries I had in the fridge for snacking and this lead to the creation of one fabulous smoothie fresh from the summer yard! (drum-roll please...)

Ta Da!

The Super Berry Smoothie! 

1-2 C Almond Milk (or other nut milk of your choice)
1 Handful Wild Cherries (pitted)
2 C Raspberries
1 C Strawberries
1 T Raw Honey
2-3 C (or large handfuls) Spinach
1/4 tsp. Vanilla 
Blend all in a high speed blender until smooth. 

Makes enough for 2-3 people. Enjoy! 

Share with the house, of course!
Hmm, let's other exciting news, I have just recently officially visited Cafe Gratitude for the first time!! I was visiting family recently back in the Midwest and made my way to Cafe Gratitude KC for some fantastic raw mint cacao cheesecake as well as "I Am Immortal" tonic, "Immune system enhancing, consciousness expanding, ancient tonifying elixir made from reishi, shilajit, and ormus. Served hot with coconut milk & raw honey" as it says on the menu. I skipped the additions and drank this tonic as is, and oh was amaaazing. So delicious and warming. I had already been acquainted with and loving the Cafe Gratitude cookbook, but had never had the pleasure of visiting one of the locations. It was lovely!
The beautiful beacon of raw love and goodness...Cafe Gratitude KC :)

Amazing, magnificence...raw mint cheesecake topped with cacao nibs. I wish I could remember the affirmation that went along with this incredible desert. 

If you are not familiar with Cafe Gratitude, and you live near one, I highly recommend you go and seek yourself out some delicious goodness. This food is raw and melt in your mouth fabulous! If you do not live near one, like me, you can check out the cookbook and try your own hand at creating these raw goodies. I have talked about this cookbook before, last November when I was attempting to make my own swirly "I Am Heavenly" mudslide pie for Thanksgiving. 

Visit their website for locations:

Ah yes, and in one more bit of vegan/vegetarian exploration (this entire post is a reflection of me finally getting around to uploading pics from my phone) I have just recently experienced Tofurky for the first time ever. It was 4th of July, and we decided to have a barbecue...but what to cook for a main dish for those that do not consume beef?! I considered black bean burgers, vegetable kabobs, and more but decided to be brave and try out this strange meat-like substance. Obviously not a whole food, I was not super optimistic about the whole thing,  but I was actually happily surprised by the experience! The "dog" itself was fairly tasty (it's made with organic tofu and other non-GMO ingredients right here in the Pacific Northwest!) and had a nice hot-dog-ish, sausage-ish texture. Having been a long time hot-dog-on-the-4th-of-July person throughout my life, not to mention throughout each year, I wanted to thank Tofurkey after eating this, for bringing the joy of this experience back into my reality, at least for one day, without the meat, without one GMO or "bad" ingredient, and without guilt. Ketchup (Amy's organic), mustard, bun and dog...coupled with some incredible vegan potato salad and a pickle! Divine!   

Tofurkey Kielbasa, Potato Salad, Pickle - Vegetartian / Vegan 4th of July!

So that's about it for now...I'm looking foreword to our blueberry bush fruiting later this summer! More on that later! And one of these days I will finally post about my sprouting experiment. Have a beautiful week, everyone!

(that's the sound of the 4th of July fireworks, use your imagination here) ;)