How To Build The Perfect Smoothie

Can you believe April is here? My year runs alongside the school calendar, so I particularly can’t believe the school year is almost over! April brings the start of some warmer weather, and of course, April vacation; which after that the school year simply flies by. The next few months are exceptionally exciting for me, and I can’t wait to soon share all of the excitement that is going on with you guys, my internet family! 

But let’s get to this week’s Healthy Food Friday with American Express. This month we are focusing on smarter money and budget-friendly healthy foods. Starting off with bananas seemed like a no-brainer. Bananas are a power fruit. They are packed with health benefits, there are so many ways creative ways to incorporate them into your daily diet, and bonus, they are a total budget-friendly fruit!
Bananas

Aside from some other delicious uses for bananas (i.e: banana bread donutsprotein pancakescocolate chip banana muffins, and waffles), I can’t get enough of frozen bananas in my morning breakfast or post-workout smoothie. Let’s talk about building a perfect smoothie, shall we?

Step One: Choose a base, 1 cup

Step Two: Choose your fruit (fresh or frozen, I go frozen), 1-2 cups

Step Three: Make it green, 1 cup

Extras:

Step Four:  Make it creamy, 1-2 tbsp

Step Five: Add a boost, 1-2 tbsp

Step Six: A Little Something Sweet

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How To Build The Perfect Smoothie
SmoothierecipesCoconut Banana Cream Protein Smoothie

My Go-To Coffee Banana Smoothie

Creamy Green Smoothie

Mini Chocolate Covered Banana Milkshakes 

Vanilla Almond Chai Green Smoothie from  Taste Love and Nourish

Orange Julius Ice cream from Kitchen-Tested

Avocado Green Smoothie from Alidas Kitchen

Strawberry Banana Coconut Smoothie from Cupcakes and Kale Chips

Caramelized Banana Peanut Butter Blender Ice Cream from Savory Simple

Almond Joy Smoothie from The Corner Kitchen 

Lemony Green Sorrel Smoothie from With Food and Love

Healthy Shamrock Shake from An Edible Mosaic  

Skinny Cherry Banana Smoothie from Inside BruCrew Life

Frozen Bananas Smoothie  Prep

I was selected by American Express to contribute to their Tumblr community. As such I was paid for my services, but all opinions in general and about American express are my own.

What is your all-time favorite smoothie?

Vanilla Maple Almond Sunbutter

I am just loving this Healthy Food Friday series with American Express. I can’t believe this is the last friday in March! Have you caught on that the emphasis this month was DIY and foods that give you energy/keep you healthy? Next month is all about budget-friendly!

Let’s recap: We started the month off with the immune system-boosting garlic, then for week two we had eggs, to give you protein-packed fuel for a busy day (plus a DIY homemade mayo recipe), last week we had coffee (which has more health benefits than just keeping you focused), and now we’re here with… ALMONDS!

The Benefits of Raw Almonds

Almond butter is a no-doubtly a delicious snack. I mean really delicious. Some days you just need a spoonful, but on other days, the options are endless; spread it on some fruit, top your morning pancakes or cereal bowls, even add it into a smoothie for additional healthy fats. A good quality almond butter can be over nine dollars in your grocery store. Making your own DIY nut butter is so easy, SO delicious, and budget-friendly. Plus, you know the exact ingredients that are going into it. Although healthy fats, keep moderation in mind: 2 tbsp of almond butter are about 200 calories!

Vanilla Maple Almond SunbutterI absolutely love this creamy combination of almonds, sunflower seeds, maple, and vanilla.Vanilla Maple Almond Sunbutter

 

Vanilla Maple Almond Sunbutter
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup raw almonds
  2. 1 cup raw sunflower seeds
  3. 1 tsp vanilla extract
  4. 2 tbsp pure maple syrup
  5. Dash Himalayan sea salt
  6. 2 tbsp coconut oil
Instructions
  1. 1. Preheat oven to 350, Line a baking sheet with 1 cup sunflower seeds and 1 cup raw almonds and roast for 5-7 minutes
  2. 2. Add your roasted nuts to your food processor (I use a 10-cup food processor, this is the one I use- It is inexpensive and works great)
  3. 3. Start your food processor and blend until nuts become flour-like for 3-5 minutes
  4. 4. Now it's time to be patient, add in your coconut oil, put your food processor on, and let it do the work. After another 8-10 minutes or so, scrape down the sides
  5. 5. Put the food processor back on and blend for an additional 10 minutes. Stop every few minutes or so to scrape down, add in vanilla and pure maple syrup here- at this time it should be just about almond butter consistency- blend until fully smooth and creamy (just when you think it'll never happen, it does, so be patient)!
Notes
  1. -The process should take about 20-25 minutes. If you use a different size food processor you'll need to adjust the amount of nuts you use, and the time as it will vary.
  2. -I don't recommend using a food processor smaller than 10-cups (I've broken one before)!
Lexi's Clean Kitchen https://lexiscleankitchen.com/

Vanilla Maple Almond Sunbutter

Aside from a fun take on your traditional almond butter, here are a ton of other recipes using almonds, all of which are gluten-free, dairy-free, and paleo-friendly.
Usethemin

7-Minute Warm Apple Crumb Minis 

Sweet or Savory Protein Crepes

Paleo Coffee Crumb Cake Muffins

Zesty Paleo Chicken Bites

Honey Lime Fruit Salad with Paleo Cinnamon Sugar Chips

Double Chocolate Raspberry-Filled  Cupcakes with Ganache Frosting

Linzer Torte Thumbprint Cookies 
Aroundtheweb

Almond Ricotta Cheese from Beard and Bonnet 

Raw Apple Pie Energy Bites from So, Let’s Hang Out 

Crunchy Almond Cookies from Gourmande in the Kitchen 

Chipotle Almond Spread from Tasty-Yummies 

Almond Flour Coconut Waffles from PaleOMG 

Gluten-free Cinnamon Bun Twist from Kitchen-Tested 

Stone Fruit Tart with Almond Crust from Seasonal and Savory

Homemade Almond Milk from Nutmeg Nanny 

Date Almond Hamantaschen from Busy in Brooklyn

Cocoa Dusted Almonds from Corner Kitchen 

I was selected by American Express to contribute to their Tumblr community. As such I was paid for my services, but all opinions in general and about American express are my own.

What is your favorite way to sneak almonds into your diet?

Is Coffee Healthy?

I don’t know about you, but coffee definitely starts off my day. Therefore, I place a big importance on the freshness; the type of coffee I buy, where it comes from, and how I store it. Some people choose to give coffee a bad rap, but truth be told (and studies that prove it), coffee can have major health benefits and you can make healthy coffee drinks. Like anything else in this world; everything in moderation!

Healthy coffee drinksWhat You Need to Know About Healthy Coffee Drinks

Have you ever felt tired after drinking a cup of coffee? Good coffee is great for you, but bad coffee can contain mold, along with other things. Therefor it can affect different aspects of your body negatively if you aren’t choosing quality-coffee. So, definitely consider the coffee you purchase, where it comes from, and how fresh you keep it. For example, you wouldn’t buy a pre-sliced cake and expect it to last as long and be as fresh as a whole, unsliced cake, right? Buying pre-ground coffee is no exception!

information about making coffee healthyMy order? I usually go for black with some cinnamon, and if my local coffee shop offers almond milk, I’ll take a splash or two! Anyone else dreaming of warm weather, iced coffee, and windows down in the car? I definitely am! I also love coffee in my morning smoothie and morning pancakes!

Check out these recipes using coffee:


I was selected by American Express to contribute to their Tumblr community. As such I was paid for my services, but all opinions in general and about American express are my own.

Healthy Food Friday: Garlic

Garlic

Happy March, my friends! March brings a few things, two of which being Daylight Savings and the First Day of Spring (hallmark occasions in my book after the Winter). This month we are focusing on foods that give you energy and keep you healthy! I want to start the month off with garlic because it is an essential part of my cooking for so many reasons. Of course, it adds great flavor to many savory dishes, but more so, it is used around the world as a natural medicine to boost immunity when sick, help with inflammation, can aid in clearer skin, and more. When I’m feeling a cold coming on, I’ll add some fresh garlic into my tea!

Garlic

 Now… let’s talk peeling garlic! There are many different ways, but here is my go to.

Healthy Food Friday: Garlic

1. Place garlic clove on your cutting board

2. Place the flat part of your knife (edge away from you) on top of the clove

3. With the palm of your hand, press down onto the garlic clove

4. Now simply peel skin right off!

Now… how can you use that garlic? 

garlicgadgets

Organic Garlic Mill

OXO Garlic Press

Garlic Storage Container

GARLICRECIPES

Salmon Alla Puttanesca

Lemon Roasted Chicken {with Garlic, Capers, and Artichokes}

Light Sesame Asian Meatballs

Crock-Pot Pesto Chicken Salad

icon_aroundtheweb

 Thai Fish Cakes with Spicy Mayo from All Day I Dream About Food

Honey Garlic Chicken Wings from Savory Simple

Garlicky Kale with Red Beans & Rice from With Food & Love

Spring Zucchini Pasta with Peas, Leeks, and Watercress from Inspiralized 

Chicken Rollatini with Arugula Pesto from Ask Chef Dennis

Sun-dried Tomato Pesto Stuffed Flank Steak from Running to the Kitchen

60 Second Garlic Mayonnaise from Apron Strings

Creamy Roasted Garlic and Cauliflower Soup from Tasty Yummies

Roasted Garlic Salad Dressing from An Edible Mosaic 

I was selected by American Express to contribute to their Tumblr community. As such I was paid for my services, but all opinions in general and about American express are my own.

What are your favorite ways to incorporate garlic into your diet?

Healthy Food Friday: Pears

Healthy Food Friday: PearsHealthy Food Friday is back! If you missed last week’s post, HFF is a new series I am bringing to you for American Express’ Tumblr!

As we roll into March, we begin to get hopeful that Spring is upon us (depending where you live of course). It is becoming lighter earlier in the morning, and then in mid-March we meet the official First Day of Spring. I personally cannot wait, but there are a few things I’ll miss about Winter. I’ll mostly miss the in-season Winter produce and making warm comforting dishes. Although Pears have a longer seasonal life than many fruits (mid/end of the summer- well through the winter), I am sad to see them slowly depleting from the stores! So, if you’re in an area where pears are still happening, let’s get in a few more in, shall we? Pears are loaded with good-for-you health benefits!

Healthy Food Friday: Pears

 UsetheminCranberry Apple CrispPear Chutney

 

I was selected by American Express to contribute to their Tumblr community. As such I was paid for my services, but all opinions in general and about American express are my own.

What are your favorite ways to use pears?

Healthy Food Friday: Dark Chocolate

Friends, I am so excited to introduce you to a new Friday series brought to you by yours truly for American Express’ Tumblr! Healthy Food Friday’s will feature a different food each week, provide you with some health benefits, and I’ll even mention a few recipes you can use them in. 

This month, since we’re still feeling the Valentine’s Day love (at least I am!), let’s start the series off with dark chocolate and some of its health benefits.

Healthy Food Friday: Dark Chocolate

Healthy Food Friday: Dark ChocolateI was selected by American Express to contribute to their Tumblr community. As such I was paid for my services, but all opinions in general and about American express are my own.

UsetheminChocolateRaspberryGanacheCupcakes5img_2128Paleo Flourless Chocolate Cake