Spring Smoothies Make Terrific Breakfasts

Life is full. As the days grow longer and we start to be more active, it's as important as ever to start our days with a protein-packed breakfast. Try these smoothies to ease digestion, strengthen the body, mind, and spirit for the day ahead, and embrace spring.

These smoothies are also an ideal way to refuel after a workout, hike, or bike ride. For those of use who need extra protein to support healthy pregnancy or maintain long-term energy during physical activity, add organic hemp seed powder.

Each of these smoothies provides beneficial pro-biotic bacteria with ingredients such as kombucha. They also contain pre-biotic ingredients, such as papaya and flaxseed meal, to nourish that good gut bacteria.

Food is medicine. Learn to use it wisely. Breathe into the present moment and appreciate life for a moment before you sip your healing beverage. 

Digest-Ease Smoothie

Blueberries are high in antioxidants, spinach is rich in fiber and minerals, almond butter provides protein and is pre-biotic, kombucha is pro-biotic, and spirulina micro-algae help to cleanse the lymphatic system. Here's to your health!

You will need:

  • 2 cups blueberries - fresh or frozen

  • 2 cups spinach

  • 1 tablespoon flaxseed meal

  • 2 tablespoons almond butter

  • 1 teaspoon each: cinnamon and cardamom

  • 1 teaspoon spirulina powder

  • 1 cup kombucha

Blend all of the ingredients together in a blender.

Pour into 2 glasses and enjoy!

Anti-Inflammatory Smoothie

Turmeric stops the body's inflammatory response, ginger warms the digestive system, papaya provides potent digestive enzymes, walnuts are rich in ellagic acid to nourish the brain, and flax seed is pre-biotic.

You will need:

  • 2 cups unsweetened almond milk

  • ¼ cup dried, unsweetened papaya, soaked in boiling water for 5 minutes

  • ¼ cups walnuts

  • ½ inch fresh ginger root

  • ½ inch fresh turmeric root

  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • ½ cup flaxseed meal

Boil a bit of water and soak the papaya in a bowl.

Chop ginger and turmeric.

Drain papaya water.

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend well.

Pour into 2 glasses and enjoy!

Do you have a smoothie recipe to share? #showusyoursmoothie

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Summer Dinners

Happy Summer!

The days are long and lovely. It's time to spend time outside and soak up the green world all around us.

Try these picnic-friendly recipes to invigorate you after a long day and enjoy the evening outdoors. 

Thanks to Saveur for this recipe inspiration.


KOHLRABI POTATO SALAD

This traditional Swedish recipe is unique and delicious. Kohlrabi, a Brassica family cultivar, tastes like a cross between cabbage and broccoli.

You will need:

  • 1 pound potatoes or any kind

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 1 small kohlrabi, chopped

  • 1 cup roughly chopped kohlrabi leaves

  • ⅓ cup roughly chopped dill

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Steam potatoes in until tender, 18–20 minutes; set aside. 

Melt butter in a 12" skillet over medium-high heat. Add kohlrabi pieces; cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp-tender, 5–7 minutes. Add reserved potatoes, the chopped kohlrabi leaves, dill, salt, and pepper; cook until leaves are wilted, 1–2 minutes more. Serve warm or at room temperature.


CORN SALAD

A classic Midwest United States recipe that reminds me of my mother's Kansan heritage.

You will need:

  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar

  • ¼ cup olive oil

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  • 2 cups fresh peas

  • 3 ears corn, husks and silks discarded, kernels sliced from cobs and reserved

  • 2 stalks celery, finely chopped

  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped

  • 1 avocado, chopped

Whisk vinegar, oil, salt, and pepper in a large bowl; set aside. Bring a 2-qt. saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add peas and cook until bright green and tender, 1–2 minutes. Drain and add to bowl along with remaining ingredients; toss to combine. Let sit for 30 minutes before serving.

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Brownies!

Because it's spring, because the sun is shining, because chocolate has healing powers, try this recipe.

Cacao beans, once harvested, fermented, and roasted, are a particularly potent source of healing antioxidants. 

Georgetown University studies show that flavonols, antioxidants found in chocolate, help lower your levels of "bad" LDL cholesterol and boost "good" HDL cholesterol. They ease inflammation and help prevent clotting and arterial plaque formation.

Natural unsweetened cocoa powder has the highest level of cocoa flavonols and is the healthiest form of chocolate. 

Try to buy organic, Fair Trade–certified cocoa powder. Fair Trade certification aims to protect farmers in developing countries from exploitation by large corporations or from price fluctuations for commodity crops. In order to be Fair Trade–certified, companies are required to pay farmers a fair price for crops, enabling farmers to pay their workers a living wage, avoid using child labor and practice environmentally friendly farming methods.

Brownies

You will need: 

  • 1 1/2 cups rice OR spelt flour

  • 2 tablespoons flaxseed meal (i.e. ground flaxseeds)

  • 1/4 cup organic cocoa powder

  • pinch salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

  • 3/4 cup maple syrup

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1/4 cup sunflower oil

  • 1/4 cup boiling water

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. 

Grease an 8″ x 8″ brownie pan.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, cinnamon and salt together.

Add the maple, vanilla, and oil into the dry ingredients and mix well. 

The batter will be clumpy. 

Add the hot water and mix until batter becomes thick.

Pour into brownie pan and bake for 40-50 minutes or until a toothpick/knife comes out clean.

Allow to sit in the pan and cool for about 20 minutes.



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Terrific Rice Dishes

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Rice, oryza sativa, is the most common cereal grain world-wide. It is nourishing and soothing to a system that's depleted by cold and flu. It stops diarrhea, nourishes dehydrated tissues, and is one of the easiest grains to digest.  

American Journal of Clinical Nutrition recommends choosing whole grains such as brown rice rather than refined grain like white rice or flour to maintain a healthy body weight; high in fiber and selenium to ensure healthy digestion and mental clarity; contains phenolics, antioxidants that work to prevent disease and soothe the nervous system.


Pair any of these dishes with grilled meats, cooked beans or sauteed tempeh for a lovely meal!

CAULIFLOWER RISOTTO

You will need:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 large shallot, diced

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 teaspoon each: thyme and rosemary

  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

  • black pepper to taste

  • 1/2 head cauliflower, chopped

  • 1 cup short grain brown rice

  • 2 1/2 cups vegetable broth

  • parmesan cheese if desired

In a medium-sized pot, heat olive oil. Add the shallots, garlic, and spices and saute for 2-3 minutes or until fragrant and translucent. 

Add cauliflower and saute for 5 minutes, covered.

Add the rice, toast briefly, and then cover with vegetable broth.

Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer, and cook for 40 minutes.

Stir, add parmesan cheese if desired (about 1/4 cup), and serve piping hot!


NUTTY RICE FLATBREAD

Preheat oven to 250 degrees.

In a spice grinder, grind:

  • 1 cup sweet nuts (almonds or pecans)

  • 1 cup savory nuts (walnuts or hazelnuts)

  • 1 cup seeds (pumpkin or sunflower)

Mix together in a bowl with1 cup leftover rice. Make sure you have cooked the grains down into a porridge-like consistency before mixing them in with the nuts and seeds.

Add ½ teaspoon salt and any spices you like.

Try one of these combinations: cumin, coriander, turmeric OR thyme, coriander, oregano.

If mixture is a bit dry, add a few splashes of olive oil. Mix well before adding any additional oil – the nuts already contain oil.

Grease a cookie sheet with oil and spread mixture in a thin layer.

Bake for 1 hour. Enjoy!


SWEET POTATO RICE CAKES

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Grease a cookie sheet with vegetable oil (I like grapeseed or sunflower oil).

Combine these ingredients in a mixing bowl:

  • 1 cup rice flour

  • 4 tablespoons flaxseed meal (ground flax seeds)

  • pinch salt

  • ½ teaspoon each: nutmeg, coriander and cinnamon

Make a well in the center and add:

  • 1 heaping spoonful almond butter

  • 2 heaping spoonfuls coconut oil

  • 1 cup steamed, mashed sweet potatoes

Make a well in the center, combine the wet ingredients and stir until thoroughly blended.

Incorporate wet and dry ingredients until they are well combined.

Shape into cakes/patties, place each one on cookie sheet, and bake for 25 minutes.