Category Archives: Smoothie

My #Smoothie Journey: Getting Back to the Green with @CalifiaFarms Toasted Coconut Almond Milk

IMG_0521The weather is supposed to move into the nice part of spring this week, instead of the cold, rainy version we’ve been experiencing, and my thoughts are turning from warm vegetable curry to smoothies. I’m not quite ready to break out the ice, but a bit of frozen fruit does a body good. My husband and I both enjoyed this sweet smoothie yesterday during a break from eating chocolate eggs and jelly beans. This smoothie hit the spot so completely that I went out later on to buy more fruit, ready for the warm weather starting tomorrow.

Sweet Green Smoothie

serves 2

  • 2 cups spinach
  • 1 cup Califia Farms Almond Milk, toasted coconut flavor (yum!)
  • 1/2 cup frozen pineapple
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1/2 cup cold water

Blend first four ingredients for about 30 seconds in a high speed blender and divide between two cups. Then pour in the cold water and reblend to get some of the spinach stuck along the blender walls back into your cup, and divide that between your serving cups as well. Sweet and refreshing!

almond coconut

We’d Rather Be Writing Releases! #cookbook #recipes

wedratherbewritingBuy here:

Have you ever wished you could find more time to do the things you want to do, rather than just doing the things you have to do? Most authors juggle day jobs and family responsibilities along with their writing. Because they need to find time to write, they look for ways to save time in other aspects of their lives.

Cooking often takes up a huge chunk of time. In We’d Rather Be Writing: 88 Authors Share Timesaving Dinner Recipes and Other Tips you’ll find easy, nutritious recipes for meat, poultry, pasta, soup, stew, chili, and vegetarian meals. All of the recipes require a minimum of prep time, freeing you up to read, exercise, garden, craft, write, spend more time with family, or whatever.

Within the pages of We’d Rather Be Writing: 88 Authors Share Timesaving Dinner Recipes and Other Tips you’ll be introduced to authors who write a wide range of fiction—everything from mystery to romance to speculative fiction to books for children, young adults, and new adults—and some who write nonfiction. Some of the authors write sweet; others write steamy. Some write cozy; others write tense thrillers.

Some are debut authors with only one published book; others are multi-published and have had long publishing careers. Some are New York Times and USA Today bestselling authors who may or may not be familiar to you, but being a bestselling author doesn’t mean they still don’t have to juggle their day job along with their writing.

The authors who contributed to this book are a rather creative and resourceful bunch when it comes to carving out time from their busy lives. So in addition to timesaving recipes, within the pages of this book you’ll find timesaving and organizational tips for other aspects of your life. And if you happen to be a writer, you’ll also find a plethora of great ideas to help you organize your writing life.

Authors who contributed to this book include: Lisa Alber, Reggi Allder, Judy Alter, Krista Ames, Rose Anderson, Cori Lynn Arnold, Judy Baker, Beverley Bateman, Donnell Ann Bell, Paula Gail Benson, Kris Bock, Maureen Bonatch, Ava Bradley, Susan Breen, Lida Bushloper, Michelle Markey Butler, Ashlyn Chase, Judy Copek, Maya Corrigan, Mariposa Cruz, Melinda Curtis, Lesley A. Diehl, Conda V. Douglas, Nancy Eady, Helena Fairfax, Jennifer Faye, Flo Fitzpatrick, Kit Frazier, Shelley Freydont, Mariana Gabrielle, Rosie Genova, Marni Graff, Joanne Guidoccio, Margaret S. Hamilton, L.C. Hayden, Linda Gordon Hengerer, Heather Hiestand, R.Franklin James, Kathryn Jane, M.M. Jaye, Elizabeth John, Stacy Juba, Gemma Juliana, Carol Goodman Kaufman, Melissa Keir, Kay Kendall, A.R. Kennedy, Lynn Kinnaman, Marie Laval, B.V. Lawson, Claudia Lefeve, Alice Loweecey, Cynthia Luhrs, Sandra Masters, Lisa Q. Mathews, J.M. Maurer, Sandra McGregor, Kathy McIntosh, Claire A. Murray, Ann Myers, Tara Neale, Stacey Joy Netzel, Jayne Ormerod, Alice Orr, Laurel Peterson, Irene Peterson, Pepper Phillips, Caridad Pineiro, Kathryn Quick, Renée Reynolds, Josie Riviera, Elizabeth Rose, C.A. Rowland, Cindy Sample, Sharleen Scott, Terry Shames, Susan C. Shea, Judy Penz Sheluk, Joanna Campbell Slan, Karen Rose Smith, Lynette Sofras, Kaye Spencer, Skye Taylor, Lourdes Venard, Lea Wait, Regan Walker, Lois Winston, and Aubrey Wynne.

My #Smoothie Journey: What to do with root vegetable greens #vegetarian #recipe

IMG_0238Did you know that some root vegetables have greens that you can eat? I’ve tried beet and radish greens so far. Here is a recipe that was successful for me. I created this one, but the Blender Girl Smoothies cookbook has other, fancier ones. Happy drinking!

Beet Green Smoothie

serves 2

  • 2 cups unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 tbl chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup finely torn beet greens
  • 1 cup pineapple
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1/2 cup yogurt
  • 1 cup ice cubes

Blend this one a little longer than you usually do. The greens are hard to break down. The results are delicious!


My #Smoothie Journey – Figuring out the Fruit #Recipe


I’ve gotten kind of repetitive in my smoothie making. Once I figured out the “perfect” smoothies for watermelon and cantaloupe, I kept on making those with side tests on a cookbook I’m reviewing. Another thing I’m trying to figure out is the balance between sweet and sour. It’s an individual thing. Yesterday I made a mango/pineapple smoothie from a recipe that I didn’t like. It was too sour for me. Of course I had played with the recipe to lower the calories and when you start substituting you can ruin an otherwise good recipe. If you have patience, it’s always a good idea to make a recipe as shown first.

This is my take on a mango/pineapple smoothie. Not too sweet and much less sour!

  • 1/2 cup frozen mango
  • 1/2 cup pineapple
  • 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1/4 tsp almond flavoring
  • 4 ice cubes

Blend together! Makes one serving.

My #Smoothie Journey–Tropical Cantaloupe #Recipe #Fruit #NutriNinja

cantaloupeAs I continue on my smoothie journey, I think of new fruits to play with. For those of you who eat a lot of fruit this is no big deal, but I was never very interested in fruit until now. Cantaloupe is a new favorite, a little reminiscent of mango in smoothies for me, adding a sweet, bland taste that is very easy to drink. I came up with this refreshing mix today, after yesterday’s very healthy smoothie. I added celery to a smoothie for the first time and it worked out better than expected!

Tropical Cantaloupe Smoothie

  • 1/2 cup pineapple
  • 1/2 cup cantaloupe
  • 1/2 cup full fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 tbl honey
  • 1 cup crushed ice

I wanted crunchy ice, so I crushed it in my NutriNinja blender, and then blended the other four ingredients before re-adding some of the ice. This added some texture to the blend.

My #Smoothie Journey — Taste testing Aloha Green Powders and Protein mixes

Get $20 off your first purchase when you use the code HEATHER431 during checkout!


I received a test box of five different Aloha products this week and I’ve had fun trying them out. The end result is that I decided to continue with the brand and my first monthly box is coming soon. Based on a quick run through grocery store Fred Meyer, their prices are a fair amount higher than basic store brands, but not insanely so. I’m assuming the quality is better. Certainly the taste is! When I go to Whole Foods next I’ll see how their prices compare.

I tried the original Good Greens powder (Daily Good Greens) in water alone, feeling brave. Sure, it isn’t the yummiest potion ever, but I drank it fast and it didn’t give me any trouble. I also managed to get my work done for the day, despite about five hours of sleep the previous night, so maybe it did up my energy as advertised. I certainly needed some.

I was most intrigued by the Chocolate green powder. I added it to a basic nut milk and banana/date smoothie. The end result was simply delicious to start, but changed on me quickly. I recommend drinking it in non-leisurely fashion. I had better luck with the Berry green powder. I mixed it into a simple, three ingredient fruit smoothie (idea from a Blender Girl smoothie recipe) and it worked out very well.

Next, I broke out the Vanilla Aloha Protein. I found a drink recipe here: Some yummy looking stuff, but I did doctor up the recipe I found with banana and spinach to make sure it had more than protein going for it. The drink was quite good, but even though my smoothie was around 400 calories, it didn’t make me feel like I had a meal. So, back to the drawing board with a protein smoothie. With that many calories I don’t want to feel hungry for at least a few hours. I might still be happier using food sources for protein, like yogurt, but I’m going to experiment more with this product when my first month’s shipment comes in.

What is your favorite protein source for smoothies?

My #Smoothie Journey — Making It Palatable #Superfoods #Recipe

IMG_0131If you’re like me, on the quest to get some healthy products into your diet, you probably didn’t just buy whole foods, but also some of those lovely powdered superfoods that promise so much. This is the one I purchased, pictured above. I didn’t have much luck using it at first. It destroyed the drinkability of the first (perfectly good otherwise) smoothie recipe I added it to. I halved the dose of the powder and that did better, but I thought there must be some combination that can hold up to a full dose of my canister of green powder. Today, I hit upon it, and here is the recipe. Enjoy!

Green Superfood Smoothie

  • 1 scoop green superfood
  • 1 bosc pear, chopped
  • 1/2 cup cooked oatmeal (I use Snoqualmie Falls Lodge brand)
  • 1 cup cashew milk, semi-frozen
  • 3/4 tbl maple syrup

Blend until the pear is broken up.

What makes superfood powder or other green stuff tasty for you? My theory is that it is the maple syrup/oats combination that is cleaning up the powder taste. What do you think?

My #Smoothie Journey – No Cheat Days, Our Favorites

crazysexykitchenI find that when something is important to me, I have to do it every day. Whether it is drafting a manuscript (1K a day no matter how excruciating the process or difficult my family makes it), exercise, or a new dietary habit, I can’t cheat. My husband fell off the smoothie wagon quickly. A mix of not being hungry and not liking the looks of a smoothie I presented one night. I take some of the blame by being inconsistent as to what meal of the day I’m having my smoothie, but the weather in the part of the world I live in is wildly varied in May, and I can’t always handle a large, cold drink at lunch vs. dinner. So I change it up depending on the weather.

I need to make it possible for my husband to do a quick smoothie for breakfast, since he isn’t home for lunch. So far, I’ve resisted the breakfast smoothie for myself. Any recipes that are so good a breakfast smoothie is a must have? Let me know!

I have refused to give up. There was one day where my smoothie was dessert, rather than a meal, but I’ve done well. Overall, no weight loss, but I’m staying healthy. Next up, I’d like to investigate allergy support smoothies, because it is high allergy season for us, and bad allergies are as uncomfortable as a head cold.

You might wonder what our favorite smoothies are so far. My husband says his is the Strawberry Fields from Crazy Sexy Kitchen. I have two I have utterly adored. The For the Love of Nog! from the same cookbook. Also, the Strawberry Pina Colada Smoothie from Natural Chow.

What is your favorite smoothie?

My #Smoothie Journey: Don’t wear white shorts while blending #recipe

cherrygarciasmoothieYesterday I technically had a smoothie as a snack, but I’m guessing McDonald’s smoothies don’t count in my health journey, so I decided not to count. At least I had that instead of a high calorie coffee drink like I normally would have. So, when I came home from my shopping trip I put on my new white shorts (oops) and started concocting. The results were delicious, but dribbly, so be warned! Don’t wear white while playing with frozen blueberries!

Pineapple Blueberry Delight

  • Half cup pineapple
  • One cup frozen or fresh blueberries
  • One cup mixed spinach and arugula
  • One cup almond milk ice cubes (I freeze my own in advance)
  • Half cup milk (I used cow for extra protein but could be non-dairy)
  • One tablespoon coconut oil
  • Half lime squeezed

Blend until the ice cubes are dissolved. I found I could really taste the coconut and arugula in this one. Delish!

What are you using for protein in meal replacement smoothies? I had been thinking almond milk did the trick but then I looked at the box. It’s only one gram of protein per cup, compared to nine in cow’s milk.

My #Smoothie Journey – A New Concoction #recipe

carrot smoothie 1So far, I haven’t picked up the kindergarten crud, and I’m trying to keep my smoothies extra healthy. This turned out surprisingly delicious. It was my first carrot smoothie experiment, and I was attempting to add a little staying power to the smoothie with fat and protein.

Carrot Smoothie #1

  • 10 small, chopped baby carrots
  • 1/2 chopped green apple
  • 1 clementine orange
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1 tbl almond butter
  • 1 tbl coconut oil
  • 1 squeeze ginger pulp
  • 4 oz coconut water
  • 1/2 cup ice cubes

Blend together for 45 seconds or so. I’m finding with my new Nutri Ninja, that the individual blending cup does a fantastic job, but apples take up a lot of room, so I have to blend with 1/2 the apples first, then add the rest.

What is your favorite ingredient?