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Category Archives: Beverages

Favorite Spinach and Fruit Smoothie

How do you get Mr.Picky to eat spinach?  There are two ways. . . make it into dip or add frozen fruit to make a smoothie.  For all of our health benefits I choose to make all fruit and vegetable smoothies.  You really can’t taste the spinach for all of you who are scared to add it in.  In fact if I even open the cupboard the blender is kept in the kids start to jump up and down.

The amount of fruit and vegetable each one of us consumes increases so much when we have an afternoon smoothie snack.  Mr.Picky and all of us enjoy a great smoothie in the afternoon.  It helps tied over between lunch and dinner.  Not to mention it fulfills our daily intake of greens.

I found a great guide from Super Skinny Me for any of you who are not familiar with smoothie making and are in need of some general guidance.  Super Skinny Me also has some great information on nutritional value and health.

The recipe below is the general smoothie recipe I throw together.  I will add and subtract ingredients depending on what we have.  I also will give you just average quantities added, we make about 3/4 of a pitcher to split between the family.  I have found that refrigerated coconut milk either plain or vanilla is the best liquid to add to a smoothie.

If you prefer a more frozen treat blend the smoothie and pour into popsicle molds.

Favorite Spinach and Fruit Smoothie:Favorite Spinach and Fruit Smoothie

  • 2 bananas (peeled and frozen or fresh)
  • 1 1/2 cup frozen strawberries
  • 2 large handfuls of fresh spinach
  • 1/2 cup oatmeal
  • 1/4 cup flaxseed meal
  • 1 1/2-2 cups vanilla coconut milk
  • 1/2 frozen peach or 1/2 cup frozen pineapple, optional
  • handful of frozen raspberries or blueberries, optional

We use some frozen fruit so we have no need for ice, but you can add ice if using all fresh fruit.  If you need a sweeter smoothie you can add a bit of honey or cinnamon.  Blend until smooth, pour and serve.

Favorite Spinach and Fruit Smoothie

 

 

 

 

 

We have tried all of the following added to our smoothies before:

  • cucumbers
  • apples
  • mango
  • yogurt (frozen or regular)
  • tomatoes
  • grapes
  • chard or pig weed
  • applesauce
  • mango or apricot nectar
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Luscious Slush Punch

This will be my fifth year as a birthday party throwing mom, and I love to host.  I found this recipe Luscious Slush Punch Recipe – Allrecipes.com five years ago and use this punch every year for the kid’s party.  It helps that we have summer birthdays, so it is hot and a nice slushy punch tastes amazing.

Not only does this punch taste great, but you can make it ahead.  Anyone who has hosted anything knows that make ahead is the key to a smooth party.  Plus the punch is frozen so there is no need to worry about buying ice, or melting of ice.

Of course I can never leave anything alone, but I did find the original recipe is a bit sweet.  You are basically adding sugar to a bunch or sugar, and then pouring a bottle of sugar on it.  So I reduced the sugar and all is well.  I have also substituted the orange juice before for apricot nectar because that is what I had.  Improvise if you need to, just keep the quantities the same or you won’t fit it in the bags.

Luscious  Slush Punch:Luscious Punch

  • 1 3/4 cup sugar
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 (6 oz.) package strawberry flavored gelatin mix
  • 1 (46 oz.) can pineapple juice
  • 2/3 cup lemon juice
  • 32 oz. or 1 quart orange juice
  • 2 (2 liter) bottle of lemon-lime soda

Bring sugar, water, and jello to a boil in a large pot.  Boil for 3 minutes.

Remove from heat, and stir in the 3 juices.

Divide mixture into 2 gallon size freezer bags.  I use the technique of putting my gallon bag in a pitcher and filling, as shown in the picture.

Freeze the bags of punch until solid, I place my bags in a large bowl in the freezer.  I once laid them flat and had one bag leak, what a mess.

Combine each bag with one 2 liter of soda, mix about 20 minutes before serving for the slush to form.

Best Coffee Creamer

I drink my coffee everyday with some vanilla cream, just a bit.  Enough to take the edge off my extra strong coffee I like.  But after reading all the ingredients on my creamer bottle, I couldn’t pronounce all my ingredients.  Not to mention, I think I was needing to cut out some dairy and to try to find a healthier substitute.  I enjoy a vanilla creamer, but you could play with seasonings or make plain if you would like.  People who have tried my creamer have described it as “the flavor of homemade vanilla bean ice cream” or “real whipped cream”.   I think it is just an amazing creamer which is cost-effective and a lot better for you.  I have played with the recipe so much but this is my favorite.  Feel free to experiment with sweetness or flavor.

Now if you read this and say I hate coconut and won’t it taste like coconut try this and tell me it isn’t good.  It really does not have a coconut flavor.  In fact my sister despises coconut and anything with coconut in it, and she thinks it’s great.

We use coconut milk for a variety of things in our house, and this is how I realized that is makes great creamer.  I then bought vanilla coconut milk to try.  It changed my plain creamer, to this rich and velvety vanilla bean creamer.  I also tried making my own sweet and condensed milk, and it worked but only if you have a few extra hours to kill a few times a month.  Sweet and condensed milk, is just sugar and milk reduced down.  I save my time for other creations and buy mine.

Best Coffee Creamer:

Best Coffee CreamerThis will make a quart jar.  I was using a quart jar for a long time, until my wonderful sister found a lovely pink glass bottle that fits perfect in the door of my fridge and pours a lot better (Thank you sister of mine).

  • 14 oz. can of fat-free or regular sweet and condensed milk ( use only half a can and save half in fridge)
  • 1 cup of fat-free half and half (more of less depending on taste)
  • refrigerated coconut milk ( I prefer SO Delicious brand, I tried many)  Plain or Vanilla Flavored

In a quart jar pour in  half a can of sweet and condensed milk and half and half. If you like your coffee really sweet add the whole can.  I was for a while and realized I was drinking so much coffee because it was so good.  I now just use half  a can and save half in the fridge or make a double batch.  I shake this up a bit while the jar is not so full.

Then fill your jar with coconut milk, sorry I don’t measure.  If you prefer a plain creamer flavor then use plain coconut milk, if you love vanilla (a real vanilla bean flavor) use the vanilla flavored coconut milk.  Now shake until mixed.

Just be aware this will kind of separate and look curdled almost, the next time you go to use it just give it a good shake it won’t separate as much after that.  I do shake it every time I use it so the flavor is even throughout.  I store this in my fridge until the sell by on the half and half, although it doesn’t usually last that long.  You could make this with milk instead of half and half or all coconut milk, or even almond milk might be good.

My morning Frothed Coffee

Oh, how I look forward to my coffee every morning.  Sometime I go to bed early because I can think of nothing more than my coffee.  I started drinking coffee my senior year in high school occasionally, with in a few months of college I was a full fledged coffee drinker.  At the time I enjoyed that taste but was drinking large quantities into the night to keep up with two jobs and college.  I didn’t like the taste of brewed coffee but drank espresso  from the beloved chain store.  Everyone needs one vice and this would be mine.

After college I was still drinking coffee but cut myself down to one latte a day, at $3.50 a pop.  Now its more like $4.50 a cup.  These trips to my local chain coffee house are now for special treats or really bad nights up with the kids.  When I gave up our extra income to stay home with the kids, it would have been selfish of me to continue drinking these delicious and expensive drinks.  I had tried brewing coffee and was getting better at drinking coffee at home, but it wasn’t the same.  I craved those vanilla lattes on a daily basis.  I drink my coffee with vanilla creamer, trying different brands to my liking.

About two years ago I was standing in a check out lane of a store and was these little electric whisks.  I joked to my husband, “who would by such a thing, they must be lazy” then I realized it said milk frother.  I worked in a coffee kiosk for a time, and knew that the richness I craved came from the foam or air in my milk.  The air in the milk or cream you use is like magic on your tongue.  The frother (like the one below) was only a few dollars, so I bought one.  It changed my life and anyone’s lives who have come over to my house for coffee.  I am pretty sure all my friends and family have bought one, once they tried it out.

I pour my allotted creamer (or milk) in my mug first.  Froth it for thirty seconds or less and fill my mug.  It gives you a whole new experience with home brewed coffee.  I no longer crave my vanilla latte, this is just as good.  My sister likes really hot coffee and heats her coffee creamer before frothing which works as well.

Morning Frothed Coffee

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