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).

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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Shrimp Scampi Salad

Salads are common fare during the spring and summer months, as we try to eat lighter after a winter of hearty meals. Experimenting with different combinations of foods keeps our meals new and exciting. I don’t know about you, but I get so bored with food after a while I need to break out and try something different or I wont feel like eating at all.

This recipe is super-easy, and is so good. I use the same recipe for shrimp scampi that I used to make Lettuce Wraps: Shrimp Scampi & Veggies. As a matter-of-fact, I used leftover shrimp from the scampi made for that meal with no loss of flavor.

Photograph by Shannon L. Buck, copyright 2017. http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/shannonbuck

What a beautiful salad! How about making one for yourself.

Ingredients

about a dozen shrimp from the scampi recipe (I used the one from Paleoplan.com) (Hot or cold. does not matter.)

2 romaine lettuce leaves, rinsed, patted dry, and shredded

a little cabbage, shredded

3 slices cucumber, cut in fourths

3 slices zucchini, cut in fourths

7 or 8 sugar snap or snow pod peas

4 baby carrots, diced

  1. Layer the vegetables on your plate, however you like.
  2. Top with the shrimp scampi and a little of the sauce from the pan.
  3. Enjoy!

I try to use mainly organic vegetables when possible, though sometimes cost trumps everything.

This is a good-size salad, so I count it as a main meal.

Tips

  • Use whatever vegetables you can get affordably to save money.
  • Try different types of seafood.

Serving Suggestions

What are your favorite salad recipes?

Shannon

 

Frugal Popsicle Ideas

Spring and summer are the best times for popsicles. Sitting on the front porch with the family on a warm evening, enjoying a popsicle, and watching the stars, was one of my favorite things when Skye and Zowie were little.

These popsicles are easy for children to make, though mom or dad may need to cut the fruit for them.

You can make popsicles from these drinks by simply pouring them into popsicle molds bought for $1 per set at a dollar tree, making these very frugal treats for everyone. Pull them out when you hear the ice cream truck approaching.

Liquids for Popsicles

Fruit add-ins for popsicles

Adding fruit to the popsicles will make them extra special.

  • kiwi
  • banana
  • apple chunks
  • pear chunks
  • strawberry chunks
  • raspberries
  • blueberries

What are your favorite popsicle liquids and add-ins? Let us know in the comments.

Shannon

 

 

Cheeseburger with Vegetables, and a Chocolatey-Good Smoothie

When the weather starts to warm, I like to be outside more and my food choices change. Now I want more fresh vegetables and less heavier foods. Fruits and vegetables make up the bulk of my meals, especially during the spring and summer months, and healthy smoothies are made almost daily.

My lunch today included a burger (minus the bun!), a smoothie, and corn on the cob. Then all the vegetables came in to play. A few notes:

  • I don’t usually eat corn. Once a year, in the spring, I buy four ears of corn and that’s it for the year. Corn is such a huge GMO crop, and I’m pretty sure the corn sold where I shop is not organic.
  • Notice the lack of bun. I’m going back to limiting grain intake substantially, because I always seem to gain weight back so quickly when I eat pastas and breads.
  • The vegetables on the cheeseburger plate are all organic, and oh-so tasty!
  • The cheese is all-natural. I don’t eat cheese often, either. I feel like it is also a contributing factor when I gain weight, so I’m back to limiting it.
  • The ketchup I use is organic.
  • The parsley is organic, and I dried it at home and keep it in a canning jar.
  • I’m using coconut butter more often than not, rather than regular butter. I find it brings out the natural flavors of different foods, and is far healthier.

Cheeseburger and Vegetables

1 quarter pound ground beef

1 slice of mozzarella cheese

coconut oil

sea salt

pepper

garlic powder

onion powder

dried parsley

4 homemade bread and butter pickles

3 slices of cucumber

3 baby carrots

6 each snow peas and sugar peas

fresh broccoli

raw spinach

organic ketchup

  1. Melt a tablespoon of coconut oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Form 1/4th pound of ground beef into a patty, and place it in the hot skillet. While this is cooking, I flip it four times.
  3. After I’ve flipped it three times, I grind a little salt and pepper over the patty, then add a little of each powder.
  4. Place the fresh spinach at the center of a plate and top with the cucumber slices and pickles.
  5. Chop the carrots, and place those and the remaining vegetables around the plate.
  6. After flipping the patties for the last time, I repeat step 3, then sprinkle the dried parsley over the top.
  7. Turn the burner off, and place the cheese over the patty.
  8. Make the smoothie. (see recipe below)
  9. When the cheese is melted, place the cheeseburger on the spinach, cucumber slices, and pickles.
  10. Add ketchup to the burger.

Corn

1 ear of corn

water

coconut butter

  1. Fill a small pot half way with water.
  2. Place the pot on the stove over high heat. (I did this when I started melting the oil for the beef patty.)
  3. Break the corn in two, and place in the pot.
  4. When the burger is done, the corn should be hot enough to eat.
  5. Place the corn on a plate, and spread a little coconut oil over each half.

Chocolatey-Good Smoothie

(I use a one-serving blender, so this recipe is catered to that.)

almond milk

about 7 or 8 baby spinach leaves

1 small banana, sliced small

frozen fruit mix (today I used apple slices, cherries, grapes, strawberries, and blueberries.)

  1. Pour a little almond milk in the bottom of the cup.
  2. Place the spinach in the cup.
  3. Add the banana slices.
  4. Add the mixed frozen fruit up to the fill line.
  5. Fill the cup to the fill line with more almond milk.
  6. Cover and blend about 10 seconds.
  7. Let sit a few seconds and blend another 10 seconds.
  8. Let sit again, then blend again until well mixed. 10 to 20 seconds, usually.

Tips

  • Buy organic when possible, but don’t feel guilty when you can’t. My meat, corn, and fruit was not organic. It is too expensive for me to eat all organic foods, so I simply do the best I can. You’re still going to be eating better than when you buy mostly processed foods. I have a very limited budget for groceries, but I make the best choices I can.
  • Mix up the vegetables. Use whatever is affordable when you shop for this meal.
  • Change the frozen fruit mix once-in-a-while.

This was a delicious meal, and I’m planning to have it for lunch tomorrow as well.

Shannon

 

 

Patriotic Holiday Recipes: Red, White, and Blue Parfait

A simple treat that can be used as a side to any meal, or a snack, or even as a dessert. And, they are great when served at Patriotic holiday tables. Small children can help with this one as well, if you cut the grapes yourself.

Keep these in the refrigerator until they are ready to serve. The measurements will depend on how many you need to make.

Ingredients

red grapes

blueberries

coconut cream concentrate

pure vanilla extract

  1. Rinse the fruit. Dry carefully with a clean towel.
  2. Halve the grapes.
  3. Combine the coconut cream and 1+ tsp pure vanilla in a bowl, and whisk or beat a couple of minutes to blend well.
  4. Place some blueberries into the bottom of each sundae cup, and a dollop of cream, then add grapes.
  5. Add another dollop of cream to the top, and a few more blueberries.
  6. Refrigerate.

Tips

  • Rather than using grapes, try red apple slices, raspberries, or strawberries. Whatever will allow you to save a little money.
  • Drizzle the top with an easy syrup: Raspberries or strawberries, boiled in water to make a syrup. Do not add sweetener.

Serving Suggestions

  • Serve at breakfast with pancakes and sausage.

You may also enjoy these patriotic holiday recipes

Watermelon Stars

A Simple Food Platter

Berries and Cream

Fruit Salad

Berry Parfait

Happy 4th of July!

Shannon

Patriotic Holiday Recipes: Watermelon Stars

These snacks are so easy to make, and are great fun for children to help with. Be sure to do the cutting with the knife yourself, then set them to making the stars while you prepare the cream.

You will need a medium size star cookie cutter, or a set of different size ones. Set the stars out on a platter, or a large sheet of cardboard covered with aluminum foil.

Ingredients

1 medium watermelon (Because the children will want to eat some while helping!)

1 can coconut cream concentrate

1+ tsp pure vanilla

1/2 to 1 pint blueberries

  1. Rinse the fruit, and pat dry with a clean towel.
  2. Cut the watermelon into slices thin enough so the cutters will go all the way through.
  3. Use star-shaped cookie cutters to cut stars from the watermelon slices, and place on a lined platter (or cardboard!).
  4. Pour the cream into a bowl and add some vanilla. Whisk or beat for a couple of minutes to combine well.
  5. Spoon a little cream on each star, smoothing it out evenly.
  6. Top each star with a few blueberries.

Tips

  • Try doing the same with honey-dew or cantaloupe sometime.

Serving Suggestions

  • These make great appetizers, or even snacks.

You may also enjoy these patriotic holiday recipes

Red, White, and Blue Parfait

A Simple Food Platter

Berries and Cream

Fruit Salad

Berry Parfait

Don’t forget the take the kids outside with their own watermelon slices, and have a seed spitting contest!

Happy Fourth of July!

Shannon

Patriotic Holiday Recipes: Berries and Cream

In trying to come up with some easy patriotic recipes, I find myself concentrating a lot on berries because of their brightness of color.

Fresh, they are the tastiest fruits to use. Try picking them on your own for the most affordable way to get them. Growing them is easy, or you can find them out in the wild. Picking them at farms is another way to go, though this time of the year (end of June) you may find they are just as affordable in the store.

This is a simple way to use berries. Find clear bowls, or even clear sundae cups (coupled with real tea spoons!), to chill and serve these in.

Ingredients

1 pint blueberries

1/2 to 1 pint strawberries

a fresh mint for each bowl or cup for garnish, + extra for chopping

coconut cream concentrate

1 tsp or more pure vanilla

  1. Rinse the berries, and blot dry carefully with a clean towel.
  2. Hull and slice the strawberries, and add them to a bowl with the blueberries.
  3. Rinse the sprigs of mint as well, again blotting dry with a towel.
  4. Peel the leaves of mint from a sprig, and chop roughly. Add this to the berries.
  5. In a separate bowl, combine coconut cream and vanilla, whisking or beating for a couple of minutes to combine well.
  6. Fold the cream into the bowl of berries and mint, carefully mixing until coated. Start with half the cream, then add more if needed. A light coating is all that is necessary.
  7. Spoon the berry mixture into clear bowls or cups, and add a sprig of mint to each.
  8. Chill until ready to serve.

Tips

  • Try different berry combinations. Use whatever is in season.
  • See if you can stock up on cream and vanilla while on sale, and look for coupons to save money.

Serving Suggestions

  1. Serve this as a side with a burger and side salad.
  2. Or, serve as a dessert after lunch or dinner.

You may also enjoy these patriotic holiday recipes

Watermelon Stars

A Simple Food Platter

Berries and Cream

Fruit Salad

Berry Parfait

Red, White, and Blue Parfait

Have a happy Fourth of July!!!

Shannon

 

Patriotic Holiday Recipes: Fruit Salad

Salads are great for patriotic holidays, because of the sheer number of color combinations of the different foods that might be added. This salad concentrates on combining reds, whites, and blues, in a tasty way that will make your mouth water. Sweetness, with a bit of tang. Perfect for the Fourth of July or any other patriotic day.

I love fruit salads. Previously, I have made them with whipped topping. Feel free to do so if you prefer, but I am trying to eat healthier. This is a new recipe for me, in that it uses coconut cream instead of whipped, as well as berries.

I am sometimes able to get a couple pints of blueberries at the grocery store for $4.00, or can buy them for $2.00 per pint on the side of the road. Fresh berries are the best to use, and often the most affordable.

There are no measurements for my version, as I usually make a lot and eat what is left over the following few days. I really just guess at everything. I will try to give measurements here though. Use them or not. Change them if you please.

This is a great recipe for kids, but an adult will want to open the cans and cut the fruit.

Ingredients

1 can pineapple chunks in water

1 large banana

1/2 to 1 cup of unsweetened coconut flakes

1 pint blueberries

1 pint raspberries

1/2 pound strawberries

1 can coconut cream concentrate

1 tsp or more pure vanilla

  1. Drain the pineapple chunks, reserving the juice for later use in a smoothie or another recipe by storing it in a covered canning jar.
  2. Peel the banana, and slice into rounds. Cut the rounds into halves or quarters, whatever you prefer.
  3. Rinse the remaining fruits, and pat dry with a clean towel.
  4. Cut them into slices or chunks.
  5. Place all the fruit in a bowl. Cover with coconut flakes.
  6. Pour the coconut cream into another bowl, and add vanilla to taste. Whisk or beat for a couple of minutes to combine well.
  7. Pour as much of the cream as you think you will need into the bowl with the fruit and coconut flakes. You can always add more if necessary. Combine the cream with the berries, and coconut, using a rubber spatula, until well combined. Add more cream if necessary. If not, store in a covered container in the refrigerator.

Tips

  • Try using different types of berries. Whatever is affordable (or free!) at the time.
  • Look into whether it would be more affordable to buy a whole watermelon than canned.

Serving Suggestions

  • Serve at barbecues and picnics with burgers, corn on the cob, and other foods.

You may also enjoy these patriotic holiday recipes

Watermelon Stars

A Simple Food Platter

Berries and Cream

Red, White, and Blue Parfait

Berry Parfait

Happy 4th of July!

Shannon

 

Patriotic Berry Parfait

I love berries and coconut cream, and this parfait recipe ­čÖé

This dessert parfait can really be eaten any time, but is great for patriotic holidays. It will pack some nutrition into your holiday meal, as well as provide some sweetness without going overboard on fat and calories.

This is a great recipe for children to make, but an adult will have to cut the strawberries.

Ingredients

coconut cream, with a few drops of pure vanilla or mint extract

blueberries

strawberries

raspberries

toothpick flags

  1. Rinse the fruit well, and cut the strawberries into small chunks.

  2. Layer coconut cream, strawberries, more coconut cream, and blueberries in each cup, and top with a dollop of the coconut cream.

  3. Add a few raspberries to the top.

  4. Place a flag on each parfait.
  5. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.

Tips

  • Save money by looking for sales and picking your own berries.

  • Top each parfait with colored jimmies, chocolate curls or mini chocolate chips, if you allow sugar.

You may also enjoy these patriotic holiday recipes

Watermelon Stars

A Simple Food Platter

Berries and Cream

Fruit Salad

Red, White, and Blue Parfait

Happy Fourth!!!!

Shannon