Banana-Blueberry Smoothie

This is another basic smoothie, but a very good one. I’m trying to find produce at good prices, and to couple my coupons with sales for whatever other ingredients I’m using for each recipe. I want to spend as little money as possible, while still packing the nutrients into each beverage. I hope you enjoy 🙂 Again, I used my single serve blender.

Ingredients

small banana

a handful-and-a-half of blueberries

single serving of coconut yogurt

water

  1. Place everything but the water into the blender.
  2. Add 1/4 cup water.
  3. Blend for about 30 seconds, or until everything is blended well, adding more water if needed.

Tips

  • Try using different types of berries if they are on sale.
  • Add other ingredients if you would like.

Shannon

 

Flower Petal Ice Cubes

These are simple to make using organically grown flowers. Try making them in season using the petals from flowers such as:
  • Carnations
  • Johnny Jump-Ups
  • Lilacs
  • Roses

Simply place the petals into ice cube trays and cover with water. Freeze and use in water, iced teas, or lemonade.

Shannon

Chocolate-Banana Pudding with Berries, and a Smoothie

I admit it. I love chocolate. I don’t know too many women who don’t. However, I’m trying to eat healthier foods. Traditional chocolate desserts are a no-no, and I comply with that most of the time. When I really want chocolate and am at home, chocolate pudding is a dessert I enjoy. Because there is only one of me, I don’t eat the whole thing, but I do take half and make a smoothie for the next day. Both recipes are below.

Just let me say that I had never had an avocado, so I had no idea what this might taste like starting out. I was pleasantly surprised when I made the pudding and the smoothie. I still have never had just an avocado, but I do know I like it mixed in with other foods.

Avocado is not necessarily cheap, mind you, which means I don’t make this often. One costs me about .98. I can get more kiwi or bananas for the price, which is what I often do with a portion of my fruit money. But for only a once in a while treat, this is perfect.

Chocolate-Banana Pudding with Berries

Ingredients

1 chocolate-banana pudding recipe (I use this Paleo one from Paleotable.com)

2 large strawberries, the green cut off

a few blueberries

  1. Make the banana pudding recipe according to the directions on Paleotable.com.
  2. Mix with a blender and taste. If it’s not chocolatey enough for you, and another tablespoon of the cocoa powder.
  3. Chill for an hour or so, then split half the pudding between two small cups or bowls.
  4. Top with diced strawberries, and a few blueberries.
  5. Refrigerate the other half, covered.

Chocolate-Banana-berry Smoothie

Ingredients

1/2 of the chocolate-banana pudding recipe above

1/3 cup full-fat coconut milk that has been refrigerated over night

a few strawberries, greens cut off

a handful of blueberries

  1. Place everything into a blender.
  2. Cover and blend until combined.

Tips

  • Buy coconut milk on sale, preferably with a coupon, to save a little money.
  • Try adding strawberries or other berries to the smoothie.
  • Top the pudding with apple slices for dipping.

Serving Suggestions

  • Serve the pudding over a Paleo brownie, or with fruit slices for dipping.
  • Serve the smoothie for breakfast, with eggs on a bed of spinach.

Have a great day!

Shannon

Apple-Banana Smoothie

Smoothies are a great way to use up small bits of food. The other day I wanted to make Apple-Maple Syrup, but I didn’t want the apple peel to go to waste so I used it to make a smoothie. I also had a little cucumber and raw broccoli left over from previous meals.

Ingredients

peel from 1 apple

2 small pieces of broccoli

small handful of raw, frozen spinach

3 slices of cucumber

1 banana

1 tablespoon protein powder

chocolate almond milk

  1. Put the apple peel, cucumber, broccoli, and spinach into the blender.
  2. pour some chocolate almond milk over the foods, and pulse until everything is broken up.
  3. Add the other ingredients, and more milk if necessary.
  4. Blend until well mixed.

Notes

  • Using odds-and-ends of vegetables in smoothies does not really change the taste much, and it means you’re not wasting perfectly good food. It also adds extra nutrients.

Serving Suggestions

Shannon

 

What Fruits do You Use?

Every so often, a reader will email me or comment here on the blog with a question. I decided it was about time I added a category here for answering these questions.

One question people have asked recently is what fruits I use when preparing foods, beverages, and just for eating as are. Usually this would be whatever is cheap, lol. But I do have other criteria.

Budget permitting, some items are organic. I try to follow the Dirty Dozen and Clean 15 when possible.

Also, I do not usually eat a lot of fruit – I’m working on losing weight and fruit has sugar. So I try to stick to one, sometimes two, servings of fruit a day. And food servings are usually smaller than we think, so this means eating a small banana or other fruit, and not a large one.

So, what fruits do I usually get?

  • bananas
  • kiwi
  • apples
  • oranges
  • lemons and limes for use in recipes or beverages
  • pears
  • berries
  • pineapple

Are there other fruits I sometimes eat? Of course:

  • melons
  • peaches
  • plums
  • other fruits I find good deals on

What fruits do you enjoy? And in what recipes do you use them?

Share with us in the comments, or by emailing me at shannonlbuck@gmail.com. I respond to all emails.

Shannon

Festive Hot Cocoa

Every so often, even I like to have a treat. Now that the autumn holidays are over, I’m craving hot cocoa. I wont have it often, but once in a while I will sit to relax and watch a movie, with a hot cocoa.

This simple recipe is what I  usually use. Depending on taste, you may not need the agave nectar for sweetness once the candy cane is added and has a chance to melt just a bit.

Photograph by Shannon L. Buck copyright 2014.

Ingredients

1 – 13.66 fluid ounce can full fat coconut milk

2 level tablespoons full unsweetened cocoa

1/2 teaspoon agave nectar (optional)

1 candy cane

  1. Shake the can of coconut milk before opening, to break up the cream that rises to the top.
  2. Pour the milk into a saucepan, and place the pan on the stove. Turn the burner to medium-high heat.
  3. Whisk 2 level tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa into the milk while heating, mixing until completely combined, then until warmed through.
  4. Once hot enough that you will have to let it cool for a bit before drinking, add 1/2 teaspoon of agave nectar, if using it.
  5. Pour hot cocoa into a mug, place a candy cane into the cup, and let sit until it is just warm enough to drink.
  6. Some of the candy cane may have already melted into the hot cocoa. Stir with the rest of the candy cane every so often, while enjoying your cocoa.

Tips

  • Top with mini marshmallows, or fluff, instead of, or with, the candy cane.
  • Try using different types of milk, such as almond, cashew, or hazelnut.
  • Use coupons on the ingredients to save money.
  • Buy the candy canes after the holidays, while on clearance.

Serving Suggestions

  • Serve with a festive dessert, such as gingerbread cake with whipped cream, iced sugar cookies, or brownies.

(UPDATE 2017) Now that I’m trying to eat a mainly Paleo diet, wont really be adding candies and such to my hot cocoa. I will be switching the agave out for honey.

Happy holidays!

Shannon

Meal Prep for the Coming Workweek

Another workweek. Another food prep day. Do I mind spending an entire day each week cooking? Absolutely not! I love to cook. And I have less to do on a day-to-day basis when I do this.

This week was pretty basic, and not overly expensive. Here goes:

Photograph by Shannon L. Buck copyright 2014
Photograph by Shannon L. Buck copyright 2014

I started with a slow cooker meal. This week I made an Autumn Sausage Slow Cooker Meal that came out real well. I love slow cooker meals. They’re so easy to put together, and free up plenty of time for preparing other foods and getting my cleaning done. Then I also have time for writing. The squash I used in this recipe was a freebie from my parents garden. And the cost before taxes for the sausage was $3.75. Take a look at the store’s selection. You may find a more affordable sausage option than what you use already. I did.

Photograph by Shannon L. Buck copyright 2014
Photograph by Shannon L. Buck copyright 2014

I then made the base for my iced tea for the week, Berry-Orange Iced Tea. In a few days I will change the tea bags and replace the old orange slices with new. I just keep refilling the pitcher with water during the week. The tea bags were left over from last winter. The fruit was left over from last week. So I did not pay any more to make this.

Photograph by Shannon L. Buck copyright 2014
Photograph by Shannon L. Buck copyright 2014

Next I made more Chunky Applesauce. This is such a simple recipe. I cook the apples down in water. I don’t add anything else when cooking. When I’m ready to eat the sauce, I add some organic cinnamon. Organic tastes so much better than the stuff I used to buy. The apples were also leftover from last week, so this is essentially another freebie.

Photograph by Shannon L. Buck copyright 2014.
Photograph by Shannon L. Buck copyright 2014.

And I put together 6 Vegetable Jars. This weeks jars consist of carrots, celery, broccoli, sugar snap peas, cherry tomatoes, and a bit of cheese. The carrots were left over from last week. As was the slice of cheese that I broke into 6 pieces.

Photograph by Shannon L. Buck copyright 2014.
Photograph by Shannon L. Buck copyright 2014.

Plus I had leftover vegetables to have with other meals or as snacks.

Photograph by Shannon L. Buck copyright 2014
Photograph by Shannon L. Buck copyright 2014

After using up all the sandwich meat that comes in the covered containers, I reuse the containers for packing my lunches. I split the food between the containers. I know it does not look like much, but I bring other foods as well.

Photograph by Shannon L. Buck copyright 2014.
Photograph by Shannon L. Buck copyright 2014.

This all made 6 meals, and I have a few snacks. Not too bad.

Photograph by Shannon L. Buck copyright 2014.
Photograph by Shannon L. Buck copyright 2014.

So, this is my food from the days work:

  • 6 proportioned out slow cooker meals.
  • 6 vegetable jars.
  • Extra vegetables.
  • 2 applesauce jars.
  • A jar of pickled beets.
  • An orange.
  • 2 bottles of water. Free from a guest at work. (She actually gave me 8 bottles.) I’ll drink tea at work when I don’t have the water (also free), or the iced tea I made is for when I’m at home.

That is 6 meals and, because my work schedule changed this week, I only need two of them for work. I put three slow cooker meal portions into the freezer. They will be good on my days off.

You may also enjoy

More Work Week Meal Prep

Even More Work Week Meal Prep

Enjoy!

Shannon

 

Berry-Orange Iced Tea

I’m still coming up with the occasional iced tea recipe. This one is really good. It has a couple different kinds of tea bags, as well as some orange slices. Lemons could be used instead, if those are what were on hand.

Ingredients

(I use a pitcher with an insert.)

2 Bavarian Wild Berry tea bags
3 Lipton tea bags
3 orange slices

ice

water

  1. Put a couple handfuls of ice in the bottom of the pitcher.
  2. Place the insert into the pitcher.
  3. Cut the tag and string off the tea bags. Place the bags into the insert.
  4. Put the oranges slices into the insert as well.
  5. Pour water over the fruit slices and tea bags inside the insert.

Tips

  • Try sliced strawberries instead of the orange slices.
  • Buy tea bags on sale, with coupons, to save money.

You may also enjoy:

White Tea

Lemon Sun Tea

 

Enjoy!

Shannon

 

Minty Strawberry-Orange Lemonade

Lemonades are great but, since I made that orange-lemonade I have experimented more. This one does not have as much lemon, but is pleasing just the same.

Ingredients

2 oranges

2 lemons

4 or 5 large strawberries

1/8 to 1/4 cup honey

fresh mint leaves

water

ice

  1. Rinse the fruit and mint leaves.
  2. Dry them with a clean towel.
  3. Cut the tops off the strawberries, and cut the oranges and lemons in half.
  4. Squeeze the juice from 1 lemon, pouring it into a pitcher.
  5. Do the same with 1 1/2 oranges.
  6. Add 1/8 to 1/4 cup of honey.
  7. Place the pitcher insert (if you have one) into place.
  8. Cut the remaining half orange into chunks, and slice the strawberries.
  9. Remove the mint leaves from the stems, bruising them a little.
  10. Put the chunks of orange into the insert followed by the mint leaves, then add the strawberry slices.
  11. Pour water over the fruit.
  12. Cover and refrigerate.
  13. Fill glasses with ice. Pour the minty strawberry-orange lemonade over the ice.
  14. Place stainless steel straws into each glass. Add a fresh mint leave, and a slice of lemon.

Tips

  • Grow your own mint to save money. If you can’t garden outside, do so on a sunny windowsill.
  • Try different types of berries for something new.

Serving Suggestions

  • Serve with sandwiches for lunch.

 

Enjoy!

Shannon

Orange-Lemonade

I wanted lemonade a couple of weeks back, but did not have enough lemons. So, I made orange-lemonade. It was simple, and the beverage was refreshing. This is what I do: Improvise. Experiment with new things. You might be surprised at what you will enjoy.

Ingredients

2 large oranges

2 lemons

1/8 to 1/4 cup honey

water

  1. Wash the fruit. Use a clean towel to dry them.
  2. Cut the oranges and lemons in half.
  3. Squeeze as much juice out of each half as possible, into the pitcher.
  4. Add the honey, then set the insert (if there is one) into the pitcher.
  5. Cut the lemon peel into chunks and place them in the insert.
  6. Pour water over the fruit, then cover and refrigerate.

Tips

  • Try using different types of fruit.
  • Did you know you can grow organic Meyer lemon trees in your home?

Serving Suggestions

  • Serve over ice on a hot summers’ eve, garnished with fresh mint and a lemon slice.

 

Enjoy the warm weather!

Shannon