Cranberry Peach Smoothie

Last night’s smoothie was so great I had to share it!  It was born of a need to decrease the freezer content. Putting something new in the freezer has become a joke around here, with all the food preservation and freezer meals we have crammed in there.  So, we are going to work on using ingredients and meals we already have frozen in the next few weeks. This smoothie is working on our load of cranberries and peaches hiding out in the deep freezer. My daughter claimed it tasted like a milkshake, so it’s definitely a win-win!

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Cranberry-Peach Smoothie
2 cups coconut milk or other dairy or non-dairy milk
1 cup full-fat Greek yogurt
1/2 a banana
1 Tbsp vanilla bean paste or 1 tsp real vanilla
2 peaches, frozen (just estimate if you have sliced frozen peaches. Mine
are in halves so it’s easy to count this way)
4 large strawberries, frozen
2 large handfuls cranberries, rinsed (approx 1/3 cup)

Layer all ingredients in order listed in high-powered blender and blend until smooth. Makes 3 large servings or 4 medium-sized servingsIMG_1595.JPG.

Feel-Better Mint Herbal Tea

Whether it’s major allergies or the first cold of the season is still to be determined, but I can say with certainty that I’ve felt better other days of my life than I do today.  So, I’m sharing and sipping my Feel Better Mint Herbal Tea.  I hope that the school-year sickies haven’t visited your house yet and that when they do you have some mint herbal tea kicking around to combat the stuffy head.  You will also need some honey (preferably in a darling pot, because that will make anyone feel just the tiniest bit better) and a lemon.  This is great before bed to ease stuffiness and supress a cough.  Did you know that scientists have actually studied the effectiveness of honey as a cough suppressant for people ages one and up?

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Feel Better Mint Herbal Tea
10 oz boiling water
2 mint tea bags (3 if you’d like to serve this cold rather than hot)
1-2 tsp honey
2 tsp lemon juice (can substitute lime juice)

Steep the tea bags in boiling water for 5 minutes.  Squeeze and discard bags.  Stir in honey and lemon juice until honey is completely dissolved.  If serving cold, pour over a cupful of ice.  Sip and feel better soon!

Tropical Peach Smoothie

Monday mornings (or any weekday mornings for that matter) very often call for breakfast through a straw around here.  We are still a little groggy from the rude awakening of the alarm clock, and not moving quickly enough for a leisurely breakfast.  Enter: the smoothie.  IMG_0928

If you do the smoothie right, it is a balanced breakfast that can be consumed quickly, or grabbed for an on-the-go, carpool-driving ma.  I do recommend an unbreakable cup with a lid for the latter occasions:

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The key to a nutrient dense smoothie is a balance between carbs (think fruit and veggies), protein (think yogurt, nuts or nut butter) and fat (think full-fat dairy, coconut oil or some seeds).  If you load your blender with only carbs, you’ll be hungry much sooner.

The trick to a quick-blending, smooth smoothie is layering.  A good, high-powered blender definitely helps too, especially if you’re blending flax or other seeds into your smoothies.  (Note: I do not personally recommend the Ninja brand.  I’m a Vitamix girl myself and would recommend a Blendtec , a Breville or a Cuisinart as alternatives.)

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Add all liquid ingredients to the bottom of the blender first.  Then add the soft solids, like yogurt, nuts and seeds.  Next comes fresh fruit, in this case it’s peaches.  Finally add your frozen ingredients such as frozen fruit or ice cubes.  Now, just blend it up on smoothie setting and you’re set to go.  If your blender doesn’t have a smoothie setting, simply turn it on low for a few seconds and then increase the speed up to high over the next 3-5 seconds.  Blend on high until the desired consistency is reached.  Layering, along with the right balance of soft to solid ingredients, should eliminator the need to stop the blender and scrape down the sides (in most blenders).  Now just add a straw and breakfast is served.  (Note: these straws are the recommended version for smoothies and shakes because they are larger in diameter, but we find the originals work just fine for our needs.)

Tropical Peach Smoothie

1 cup coconut milk beverage (can also use almond milk or dairy milk)
2 cups yogurt (I use full-fat for that nutritional balance)
3 medium peaches, peeled
1 cup mango chunks, frozen
1/2 cup pineapple chunks, frozen

Layer ingredients into your blender in the order listed and blend either on smoothie setting or as described above.  Sip through a straw for the full tropical experience!