Smoothie Packs

I finally got a new refrigerator for my room! The other one was so old, and was used in this room for I don’t know how many years before I moved in eight years ago. The extra tiny freezer wouldn’t freeze food properly, and I don’t think it was keeping the food in the refrigerator part as cold as it should have. And the little freezer area was needing a full defrost ever 5 or 6 weeks, verses the once a year when I moved in. Ugh. It desperately needed to be replaced.

I bought it myself, and opted for one of the little refrigerators with the separate freezer. One door for the fridge, and one for the freezer. Yay! It cost a pretty penny. Just over $150. But it was well worth the money. And I just love having the freezer separate.

This freezer is more than twice as big as the other one was, so I needed to decide what to put in it. Smoothie packs were the first thing I thought of.

Using quart size freezer bags, I made 28 smoothie packs, each with two servings. So I got 56 smoothies out of my efforts, and still had plenty of room left for other things.

Smoothie Packs

bananas

frozen mixed berries

kale

frozen cranberries

fresh strawberries (leftovers)

fresh blueberries (leftovers)

celery leaves

***** These were super simple to put together. Here is what I did.

  1. Opened the bags as I needed them, setting them up as a sort of assembly line.
  2. Peeled and sliced the bananas, using about 1/4th banana per bag. This gave me 24 bags.
  3. Split the fresh strawberries and blueberries between eight bags.
  4. Split the frozen berry mix between between the rest of the bags.
  5. Split the cranberries between the all of the bags.
  6. Split the celery leaves between six of the bags.
  7. Split the kale between the rest of the bags.
  8. Pushed the air out of each bag, closing it.
  9. Placed them in the freezer.

I didn’t label them because I know I’ll use them before they go bad, and before I make more.

It feels great to have a freezer I can actually use.

Do you freeze smoothie packs? What are your favorite combinations?

~ Shannon

Orange Smoothie

Spring is here! I love smoothies, especially during the spring and summer months. I make my smoothies super healthy, so as to nourish my body and my soul each time I have one.

A new, and interesting, tidbit of information I learned is that orange peels are edible, and can be put into smoothies. So what I did was cut the orange into quarters, and only peeled three quarters to test out the theory.

This easy smoothie only took a few minutes to prepare. Let me know what you think.

Orange Smoothie

1 small banana, peeled and sliced

1 small orange, quartered, 3/4 peeled, saved the peel in a covered container in the fridge for future smoothies.

unsweetened vanilla almond milk

1 tsp pea protein powder

1 tsp ground flax seed

  1. Put a quarter of a cup of milk in the blender cup.
  2. Add banana slices.
  3. Add orange quarters.
  4. Add pea protein and flax seed.
  5. Add as much milk as you need to.
  6. Blend until all is smooth.

Tips:

  • You can also eat kiwi skins. Who knew? Certainly not me.
  • It’s important for your immune system to get plenty of Vitamin C.

Serving Suggestions:

Roasted Potatoes & Carrots with Corn + A Smoothie

I’m still loving these Misfits Market boxes. I skipped the Christmas week box because I wasn’t going to be preparing as much food at home,  but I will be getting another box in a little over a week. I still have fresh produce at home that I’m working on eating, and again I’ll only be preparing some of my meals here.

The last box had a good amount of potatoes and carrots, and I had some some other things I had to use up, so this was my dinner the other night. (By the way, I love how colorful everything is.)

(I served the following two items with corn as a side.) (And I had this a few weeks back as well. It’s a good meal.)

Roasted Potatoes & Carrots

Ingredients

three each: small red and yellow potatoes

1 each: small orange, purple, red, and yellow carrots

oil of choice

sea salt

rosemary

thyme

parsley

  1. Wash and towel dry the vegetables.
  2. Cut the top off the carrots, and any bad parts off the potatoes.
  3. Cut the carrots and potatoes into bite-size chunks of roughly the same size.
  4. Lay out on a baking sheet.
  5. Drizzle oil over the vegetables.
  6. Sprinkle salt and herbs over them.
  7. Mix the vegetables on the baking sheet with your hands to evenly distribute the oil and seasonings.
  8. Place in an oven at 400 degrees. Bake 25 minutes.
  9. Take out of the oven and turn the vegetables.
  10. Bake again at 400 degrees for another 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender. Remove from oven.

During the last few minutes of bake time, prepare the smoothie.

Ingredients

1/2 to 3/4 cup coconut milk

1 small banana

a handful of blueberries

a handful of raspberries

1 tsp pea protein powder

1 tsp ground flax seed

1/2 tsp coconut oil

  1. Put the liquid in the blender.
  2. Add the banana.
  3. Follow that with the pea protein, flax, and coconut oil.
  4. Add the berries.
  5. Blend until smooth, adding more liquid only if necessary.

Tips

  • Mix things up, using items you have on hand to save money.
  • Beets are great roasted, as is fennel, if you’d like to try something different.

Serving Suggestions

  • These two items could be served alongside a salad, rather than corn, for an extra nutrient boost.

Enjoy!

~ Shannon

 

Spiced Almond Nog

Because my body does not like to process dairy well, I’ve been missing eggnog so much at the holidays that I have cheated and had some the last couple of years. I never feel good after, so I take Imodium. I know. I know. Why would I consume something that does not treat my body well? It was always one of my favorite parts of the holidays. That and the canned, jellied cranberry sauce.

This year I noticed that Blue Diamond Almond Breeze has an almond nog. Yay!

Does it taste exactly like eggnog? Don’t know. I use it to make rum drinks with, and it works great for this purpose.

The price is high at $3.28 per quart, but I can get three drinks out of it if I use wine glasses rather than tall glasses.

While working my shifts at The Inn, I am sometimes gifted different types of alcohol from certain guests. Twice in a two month period, one guest gave me a of Bacardi Rum, and another gave me whiskey. For this recipe, I’ve been using the rum.

The amount of rum used will depend on your tastes. I do not use a lot. Just enough for a little added flavor. I don’t measure out any of the ingredients for this recipe. I use organic spices because the taste is superior.

Spiced Almond Nog

Ingredients

rum

nog

cinnamon

nutmeg

  1. Pour just a little rum into a the wine glass.
  2. fill the rest of the way with nog and stir.
  3. Sprinkle cinnamon and eggnog over the top.

Happy Holidays!

~ Shannon

Simple Orange Juice

I don’t have a juicer. I want one, but haven’t decided what type would be best. For now, I just use a blender or my little metal hand-held juicers. I don’t drink a lot of juice, at least not yet, preferring to eat the fruit. But, once-in-a-while, I do want juice to go with my breakfast. In particular, orange juice. Although, if I had a juicer I’d have a grand time experimenting with flavor combinations.

That is when I break out the hand-held juicer. The orange metal one.

I love when my Madness Boxes from Misfits Market (Affiliate Link – Use this referral code so we can both get a discount: COOKWME-PI4FFE  Get your discount today!) include oranges. I made this juice last weekend, to use up the oranges. It lasted a few breakfasts.

While I used organic fruit for this recipe because it came in one of my boxes, I would not buy organic oranges in the store. They have thick skins, and I prefer to use my money to buy organic produce that are thin-skinned. As I learn more, I may decide organic oranges are the way to go but, for now at least, I am good with this choice.

Simple Orange Juice

Ingredients

oranges

Directions

  1. Squeeze the juice or oranges into a canning jar or other glass bottle with a cover.
  2. Cover and refrigerate until you want to drink it.

Tips

  • Don’t go overboard with orange. I only drink about 1/4 cup in a day, unless I am sick. Then I will do so a few times throughout the day being sure do so with a meal that includes protein.

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Banana-Orange Smoothie

Smoothies are a great breakfast beverage to have alone or with a separate protein source. I’ve been adding pea protein to mine, but sometimes I’ll enjoy them with an egg. I don’t consume the smoothies regularly during the autumn and winter months, but I begin to enjoy them each spring and through the summer.

I may change this habit, drinking them during the colder months more often. They are a great way to extra nutrients into your diet.

I used store-bought bananas as a base, but the rest of the produce was from my Madness Box from Misfits Market (Affiliate Link). (Use this referral code so we can both get a discount: COOKWME-PI4FFE )

Everything but the bananas were organic. In all honesty, I don’t usually bother with organic bananas because the skin is so thick on the fruit. This may change in the future, as I learn more about things. But, for now. non-organic is the way I am going with store-bought, thick-skinned produce.

Note that I do use a personal blender, not a full-size one. There is a fill line, so I don’t measure things out. I just fill until I hit that line.

Banana-Orange Smoothie

Ingredients

1 small banana, peeled

1 orange, peeled

1 tbsp pea protein powder

1 tsp honey

frozen spinach or kale, a few sprinklings of it chopped

almond milk (can also use soy, rice, cashew, or even dairy milk if your body can handle it)

Directions

  1. Add a little liquid to the blender cup.
  2. Break banana into small chunks and add to the blender cup.
  3. Add orange slices to the cup.
  4. Add pea protein and honey.
  5. Sprinkle frozen kale or spinach bits to the blender cup.
  6. Add milk choice to cup, up to the fill line – or however much you need.
  7. Blend a few seconds, then pulse until smooth.

Tips

  • Serve at lunch with a salad.
  • Serve with a hot breakfast for added nutrients.
  • Drink a smoothie at snack-time for extra nutrients.
  • Make a thicker smoothie by using less liquid. Pour into a bowl, and top with more fruit, nuts, seeds, and coconut.

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Lemon-Limeade

I’ve been enjoying the Madness Boxes. They’re coming every two weeks, and there are some variances each week. I get to make something different with each shipment of produce. Variety is the spice of life. That’s not say there aren’t similarities in the boxes. With produce, you do have to use what is in season.

I love fresh lemons and limes. They smell amazing, are bright and cheery in color, and I’m so happy I’ve been able to enjoy them in one of my favorite beverages this summer. Lemon-Limeade. Easy. Cold. Refreshing. Who could ask for more on a hot summer day?

A note about honey. I’m not really sure how much I put in my lemon-limeade. Not as much as I used to. I lessen the amount from time-to-time, as I get used to having less sweetness in this beverage. I’m doing this deliberately. Honey is a sweetener, after all. I don’t want to go overboard on sweeteners in my diet.

I use hand-held juice squeezers. You know the type. The metal ones. Orange for oranges. Yellow for lemons. Green for limes. Nothing particularly technical.

I’m also using organic ingredients for this recipe but, if you can’t afford organic everything I would suggest you concentrate on at least having organic honey – if you can.

Lemon-Limeade

Ingredients

1 lemon

1 lime

honey, to taste

1 quart water

Directions

  1. Wash and dry the lemon and the lime.
  2. Pour honey into the bottom of a pitcher.
  3. Squeeze the juice from one lemon into the pitcher.
  4. Do the same with the lime.
  5. Add one quart of water and stir.
  6. Refrigerate and serve cold.

Tips

  • If you have the insert for the pitcher, feel free to cut the lemon and the lime halves in half and add them to the insert.
  • Don’t worry if you can’t afford organic.
  • To save money, use store coupons.
  • Wait for sales on honey. Plan ahead.
  • You can drink this at room temperature.
  • Can also be served over ice.

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Cucumber-Banana Smoothie

Cucumbers are a great addition to most smoothies. Their water content is high, so you might not need as much milk in this recipe as you do in others. Use what greens are in season. You’ll save money if you grow them yourself. Use organic ingredients whenever you can.

This recipes uses leftover ingredients from other recipes. Another great way to save money and create less waste.

Ingredients

vanilla almond milk

1 handful of greens – kale, chard, baby spinach

10 cucumber slices

1 egg

6 banana slices

5 watermelon chunks

  1. Place everything except the vanilla almond milk into a blender.
  2. Cover and blend until smooth.
  3. Add the vanilla almond milk a little at a time and blend, until the smoothie is at the desired consistency.
  4. Pour into a tall glass.
  5. Add a straw and enjoy!

Tips

  • Save money by using leftovers, and by purchasing produce in season.
  • Switch up ingredients for different flavors.

Serving Suggestions

  • Serve with breakfast or as a snack.

Enjoy!

Shannon

 

 

Vegetable-Banana Smoothie

Another leftovers type of smoothie for you to try. A lot of times I just use whatever I have on hand. Add more milk if it isn’t smooth enough. Smoothie recipes pack quite the nutritional punch at snack time, or with your breakfast.

Ingredients

1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (may need more)

1 egg

small handful of greens – kale, chard, or spinach

a few pieces of broccoli

10 baby carrots

3 chunks watermelon

1 small banana

  • Place everything into a blender.
  • Blend until smooth.
  • Add a little more almond milk if needed.
  • Blend again.
  • Pour into a tall glass.
  • Add a straw.
  • Enjoy!

Tips

Serving Suggestions

  • Serve with homemade Paleo granola cereal at breakfast.

Happy Days!

Shannon

 

Tropical Vanilla Smoothie

I love throwing whatever I have into the blender to see what happens. This is one of the food combinations I came up for a recent smoothie. Smoothie recipes are especially tasty, and certainly more healthy, when using organic foods. Feel free to use bits of leftover fruits and vegetables in this smoothie, as I have done with the kiwi.

Ingredients

1/2 to 1 cup of coconut water

1 egg

small handful of a spinach or lettuce

1 small banana

3/4 of a peeled kiwi

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  1. Place all but the coconut water into a blender.
  2. Add 1/2 cup of coconut water.
  3. Blend until smooth, adding more coconut water if desired.
  4. Pour into tall glasses.
  5. Add a straw.
  6. Enjoy!

Tips

  • Try adding a few slices of cucumber.
  • Look for produce in-season to save money.

Serving Suggestions

  • Serve with a breakfast of Paleo pancakes and sausage.

Happy Days!

Shannon