Berry Melon Smoothie

Well, I am officially 23 weeks along. Only 17 weeks plus or minus a few until we meet our new little dude. Both Luke and I were baffled last night by the size of newborn diapers as I was putting some into our changing. They are just so TINY and we don’t remember Mason being that small anymore. Yikes! I am sure it will be like riding a bike though. Once the little man is in our arms we will immediately know what to do.

We also starting prepping the nursery. For Mason, we painted his room a light blue. We decided to go with yellow this time around and the first paint looked like the sun and I mean a bright sun blew up on the walls. Seriously, you needed to wear sunglasses to even enter the room. Luke showed it to Mason and his response was, “Oh, it is beautiful daddy.” However, we just had to repaint with a more toned down shade of yellow!!

Aside from the prepping the nursery we are also in the process of building Mason (and baby #2) a sand box. We have been letting him play in our unplanted garden bed (aka… what I call the dirt box), but man does he get dirty. Grant it sand is not much cleaner, but at least you can brush it off easier than dirt.

We have also been planting our garden with cold weather crops, such as kale, spinach, peas, onions, green leaf lettuce, carrots, etc. They are coming up nicely and boy I cannot wait to eat them soon! With summer coming right around the corner, I really wanted to make a refreshing smoothie for breakfast. Hence the mix of melon and berries along with salad greens. YUM-O! Hope you enjoy!

Berry Melon Smoohtie
Serves 2
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
10 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 C Spinach
  2. 1 C Honeydew
  3. 1 C Watermelon
  4. 1 Banana
  5. 2 C Berries, Frozen
  6. 1 1/2 C Apple Juice
  7. 1 1/2 C Water
  8. 1 Lemon, juice
  9. 1 tbsp Honey or Maple Syrup (optional)
Instructions
  1. Add ingredients to blender and mix until smooth.
  2. If the smoothie is too thick, add an additional tablespoon of water or juice until desired consistency. If too thin, add an additional 1/2 cup of frozen fruit.
Notes
  1. This smoothie was created as a meal replacement (makes 2 - 32 ounce servings). If you are looking for a smaller portion cut the ingredients in half.
http://barerootkitchen.com/
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Grapefruit Pomegranate

I liked this smoothie so much that I made it two days in a row, which is a rare occurrence for me! This is a superfood powerhouse with grapefruit, pomegranate, chia seeds, kale and maqui powder. If you are not familiar with maqui powder than you should know that these berries contain more antioxidants than any other food on the planet, making them a perfect addition to your morning smoothie! 

Aside from this smoothie we had our 16 week check up with my OB yesterday. Nothing really eventful except we heard a strong heart beat. Every time I hear the heart beat I get a huge sense of relief knowing the baby is doing great. It puts my worry wart nerves at peace for a couple weeks! 

Mason and I also had a fun day yesterday. It was 50 degrees, so we played outside for a change. Of course the lil dude went right for the mud puddles. What fun is dry pavement! Plus, I just let him because that is what baths and washing machines are for! I fully imagine this is only the tip of the dirty little boy ice berg :) 

Grapefruit Pomegranate
Serves 2
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
10 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 Grapefruit - skin and peel removed
  2. 1 C Pomegranate Juice
  3. 1 C Almond Milk
  4. 1 Banana, frozen
  5. 2 C Mixed Berries, frozen
  6. 2 C Kale, stems removed
  7. 1 C Water
  8. 2 tsp Maqui Powder
  9. 2 tsp Chia Seeds
Instructions
  1. Add ingredients to blender and mix until smooth.
  2. If the smoothie is too thick, add an additional tablespoon of water or juice until desired consistency. If too thin, add an additional 1/2 cup of frozen fruit.
Notes
  1. This smoothie was created as a meal replacement (makes 2 - 32 ounce servings). If you are looking for a smaller portion cut the ingredients in half.
http://barerootkitchen.com/
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Banana Walnut Pancakes

To have something different than a smoothie for breakfast (which I currently have a distaste while being pregnant), I put together these pancakes. They are chalked full of protein and taste incredible with sweetness from the banana and the nuttiness from the almonds and walnuts. I will definitely make these again very soon! 

I topped these pancakes with a blueberry syrup. I made it using 2 cups of frozen blueberries, 2 tablespoons of water, 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, 3 tablespoons of honey and 1 tablespoon of tapioca starch. I added all of these ingredients to a small sauce pan over medium-high heat until it started to boil slightly. Once it started to boil, I turned it down to low and let it simmer for 10 minutes. Use this in place of maple syrup.

You are probably wondering what are the benefits of using almond flour in pancakes? Refer to the following detail from Elany’s Pantry:  

Health Benefits

  1. Almonds are high in monounsaturated fats, the same type of health-promoting fats as are found in olive oil, which have been associated with reduced risk of heart disease. ((http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=20.))
  2. Researchers who studied data from the Nurses Health Study estimated that substituting nuts for an equivalent amount of carbohydrate in an average diet resulted in a 30% reduction in heart disease risk. Researchers calculated even more impressive risk reduction–45%–when fat from nuts was substituted for saturated fats (found primarily found in meat and dairy products). ((http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=20.))
  3. In addition to their cholesterol-lowering effects, almonds’ ability to reduce heart disease risk may also be partly due to the antioxidant action of the vitamin E found in the almonds, as well as to the LDL-lowering effect of almonds’ monounsaturated fats. (LDL is the form of cholesterol that has been linked to atherosclerosis and heart disease). ((http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=20.))
  4. In addition to healthy fats and vitamin E, a quarter-cup of almonds contains almost 99 mg of magnesium (that’s 24.7% of the daily value for this important mineral), plus 257 mg of potassium. ((http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=20.))
  5. Almonds appear to not only decrease after-meal rises in blood sugar, but also provide antioxidants to mop up the smaller amounts of free radicals that still result. ((http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=20.))
Banana Walnut Pancakes
Serves 4
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
25 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
25 min
Ingredients
  1. 3/4 C Walnuts
  2. 4 Eggs
  3. 1 tsp Vanilla
  4. 1 tsp Baking Soda
  5. 1 Banana
  6. 1 1/2 C Almond Flour
  7. 1/4 tsp Salt
  8. 3 tbsp Non-Dairy Milk
Instructions
  1. Place walnuts to a food processor and blend until broken down into a course powder. Add in remaining ingredients and mix together until thoroughly combined.
  2. Heat up a large skillet over medium heat. Spray with non-stick cooking spray. Pour 1/2 cup of batter on to the pan per pancake. When the pancake starts to bubble in the center, turn and cook on the other side.
  3. Top with maple or a fruit syrup.
http://barerootkitchen.com/
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Banana Split Smoothie

I went through a phase in high school where I loved Banana Split Blizzards from Dairy Queen. Pretty sure it stemmed from one of my co-workers having me try one during my 32-day work stint at Dairy Queen! 32 days, I know! Whoop, whoop!

Let’s just say I despised working at Dairy Queen. Making their make ice cream cones is a pain in the rear! I can’t tell you how long I practiced making them just right. I am sure the first two looked fine, but I am a perfectionist and it just wasn’t my gig. 

Besides my longest job on tenure. Oh wait, I have one that is shorter. I lasted for four hours at Chilis. Talk about dedication. Boy I am beginning to sound like a frosted flake from this post. Maybe it will be helpful to know that I have worked for my current company as a research analyst/director for almost 8 years :) 

All right, so I had a craving for a Dairy Queen Banana Split blizzard today! However, I know their ice cream has carrageenan and a boat load of sugar, so I opted for making a thick smoothie from fresh fruit, walnuts and juice. Boy, boy was it delish!

Banana Split Smoothie
Serves 3
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Prep Time
15 min
Total Time
15 min
Prep Time
15 min
Total Time
15 min
Ingredients
Strawberry Walnut Layer
  1. 1 C Strawberries, frozen
  2. 2 C Cherries, Frozen
  3. 3/4 C Pomegranate Juice
  4. 3/4 C Water
  5. 1/4 C Walnuts
  6. 1 1/2 C Spinach
Pineapple Banana Walnut Layer
  1. 2 Bananas, Frozen
  2. 1 C Pineapple, Frozen
  3. 3/4 C Apple Juice
  4. 3/4 C Water
  5. 1/4 C Walnuts
Directions
Strawberry Walnut Layer
  1. Blend together ingredients in a high speed blender until a thick frozen mixture forms. Layer into the bottom of three glasses.
  2. Rinse out the blender for the next layer.
Pineapple Banana Walnut Layer
  1. Blend together ingredients in a high speed blender until a thick frozen mixture forms. Add to the the top of three glasses.
Notes
  1. Serve with finely chopped walnuts, fresh bananas, strawberries, chocolate or shredded coconut on top.
http://barerootkitchen.com/
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Hazelnut Banana Cakes

As I mentioned in my post yesterday, I am brewing up some breakfast goodies! The first recipe in the breakfast roundup are these delicious Paleo friendly Hazelnut Banana Pancakes. Not really sure how I thought of this recipe. Honestly I was looking over ideas on Pinterest and was going to do some Paleo blueberry pancakes. However, when I got into the kitchen yesterday morning the idea popped into my head of why not make good use of the Justin’s Hazelnut spread that I just bought at the grocery store!

Now, I know the go to Hazelnut spread is Nutella, but have you ever looked at the ingredients? All I can say is GROSS (it is filled with garbage). Check this out:

Nutella Hazelnut Spread: sugar, palm oil, hazelnuts, cocoa, skim milk, reduced minerals whey (milk), lecithin as emulsifier (soy), vanillin: an artificial flavor

Sugar is the number one ingredient and hazelnuts are third. Wouldn’t you expect hazelnuts to be first if that is what it is, A HAZELNUT spread. Also, I do not like additives of lecithin emulsifier and vanillin (artificial flavor). Artificial flavor, really? All right so here is your healthier show down: 

Justin’s Chocolate Hazelnut Butter: Dry Roasted Hazelnuts, Dry Roasted Almonds, Organic Cane Sugar, Organic Cocoa, Organic Cocoa Butter, Palm Fruit Oil*, Vanilla, Sea Salt.

OH SNAP, the number on ingredient is hazelnuts and WOW, you can make a product without artificial ingredients and additives (WHO KNOW?). Oh and sugar is third ingredient and not first, but even better it is evaporated cane sugar. Most importantly it just tastes real to me in comparison to Nutella. I will let you be the judge, but I LOVE Justin’s stuff. They make bombtastic almond butter. I mean seriously, THE BEST PRODUCTS! I know it is pricey, but it is worth it considering they do not add crap like artificial flavors and emulsifiers. 

Hazelnut Banana Cakes
Serves 4
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
25 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
25 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 C Blanched Almond Flour
  2. 1/4 C Almond Milk (or other non-dairy milk)
  3. 1/4 C Cacao Powder
  4. 1/4 C Hazelnut Butter
  5. 3 Eggs
  6. 1 tsp Baking Soda
  7. 1/2 tsp Kosher Salt
  8. 1/2 tsp Almond Extract
  9. 2 tbsp Coconut Palm Sugar
  10. 2 Bananas
  11. 1 tbsp Coconut Oil
Instructions
  1. Mash bananas with a potato masher in a small bowl.
  2. Add dry ingredients (almond flour, salt, baking soda, cacao powder and coconut palm sugar) to a food processor and pulse a few times until combined.
  3. Pour in the milk, almond extract, eggs and hazelnut butter into the food processor. Mix until combined together.
  4. Heat up coconut oil on a large griddle over medium heat. Pour 1/4 cup of the pancake mixture in four sections of the griddle. Make sure you leave a little space between or you will have one large pancake. When bubbles start to form in the middle of the pancake, flip them over and cook them on the other side. Each side will take about 2-3 minutes on a hot griddle.
Notes
  1. For thinner pancakes use additional almond milk (2-3 tablespoons).
http://barerootkitchen.com/
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Summer Breeze Smoothie

We had a fabulous Saturday at Created to Grow. It is an art studio our friend started that specializes in art class for kids of all ages. The class started out with a dinosaur sensory table, story time, spray painting monsters on easels and playing in the toy room. Mason and the other girls had a ton of fun. Here is a link to our friend’s website if you are looking for a fun thing to do with your kids: www.createdtogrow.com

Before heading to the art class, I made this smoothie to jump start our day. Lately Mason has not really been that interested in drinking smoothies, but he kept asking Daddy for more! I used the Vegan Tropical Strawberry superfood blend from Shakeology, but this is entirely optional. You can leave it out or use another shake powder that you enjoy.

In fact, I put the shake powder in mine, but not Luke’s and he said it was still delicious. He can’t have Shakeology right now because it has chia/flax seeds and oat/rice protein. However, we are starting to reintroduce nuts/seeds/rice during the next two weeks, so hopefully it won’t be too long before he can have it too!

On a positive note he tolerated almonds okay (e.g. no arthritis flares). This is a huge win because then I can start incorporating almond flour into recipes again.

Summer Breeze Smoothie
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Prep Time
5 min
Prep Time
5 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 Oranges
  2. 3 C Swiss Chard
  3. 1 C Pineapple, frozen
  4. 1 C Mangos, frozen
  5. 2 C Ice
  6. 1 1/2 C Orange Juice
  7. 2 C Water
  8. 1 C Coconut Water
  9. 1 Scoop Vegan Tropical Strawberry Shakeology (optional - omit for Paleo/AIP diet)
Instructions
  1. Add ingredients to blender and mix until smooth.
  2. If the smoothie is too thick, add an additional tablespoon of water or juice until desired consistency. If too thin, add an additional 1/2 cup of frozen fruit.
Notes
  1. This smoothie was created as a meal replacement (makes 2 - 32 ounce servings). If you are looking for a smaller portion cut the ingredients in half.
http://barerootkitchen.com/
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Green Tea Maca Smoothie

For my “morning” (I actually made this closer to lunch) smoothie I wanted a BURST OF ENERGY! Actually I don’t really need it because I have been feeling absolutely fantastic from the five day clean eating challenge, but I felt the need to get a new post going on ‘up in here’.

All right, so what the heck is maca and matcha you say? Check out this post related to maca: Pineapple Maca Smoothie. For the green tea I used an organic powdered known as Matcha and here is the health benefits of this superfood from MatchaSource:

  • Matcha Is an Antioxidant Powerhouse – One of biggest the buzz words in nutrition, antioxidants are naturally occurring chemical compounds that prevent aging and chronic diseases. Nowadays, a variety of fruits and vegetables are lauded for their antioxidant properties, leading to a host of products with all kinds of claims. But matcha is unparalleled in comparison. Firstly, matcha is packed with exponentially more antioxidants according to the latest innovation in antioxidant research. Using the testing method known as ORAC (oxygen radical absorbance capacity), experts at Tufts University discovered that matcha possesses an amazing twenty times more so than pomegranates or blueberries. Matchas ORAC rating is a mighty 1300 units per gram, compared to pomegranates 105 units per gram or blueberries 91 units.
  • Energy Booster – One of the most unexpected benefits matcha drinkers experience is a boost of energy through the day. In one study, researchers had thought that this was from the caffeine in matcha, but they found that it was actually the combination of matchas natural properties. Another recent study in particular found that matcha even improved physical endurance by 24%. Even if you arent facing a grueling workout, matcha can help you through the everyday marathon, whether its that project due the next day or getting the kids from school to soccer practice.
  • Calorie Burner – Already nearly calorie free, matcha is a great addition to a weight loss program by tackling the problem from both sides. It boosts metabolism and burns fat. One recent study even suggested that matcha may help burn calories by four times. At the same time, matcha does not put any stress on the body. It doesnt raise blood pressure or heart rate, making it a safe alternative to questionable quick fixes or pharmaceuticals ridden with side effects.
  • Detox Deluxe – Green is truly the color of health. Matcha helps to safely cleanse and purge the body of harmful elements. Chlorophyll the element that gives green tea and other plants their signature verdant color is also a powerful detoxifier, helping to eliminate both chemicals and heavy metals from the body. And because matcha is carefully shade-grown, it is substantially richer in chlorophyll than other green teas, making it a superior daily detox.

Knowing these health benefits is why I tossed both maca and green tea into my smoothie this morning. 

Green Tea Maca Smoothie
Serves 2
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
10 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 Bananas
  2. 3 C Spinach
  3. 2 C Mixed Berries, Frozen
  4. 2 Pears, cores removed
  5. 1 C Apple Juice
  6. 1 C Tangerine Juice
  7. 3 C Water
  8. 1 tbsp Agave Nectar
  9. 1 tsp Green Tea Matcha Powder
  10. 1 tbsp Maca Powder
Instructions
  1. Add ingredients to blender and mix until smooth.
  2. If the smoothie is too thick, add an additional tablespoon of water or juice until desired consistency. If too thin, add an additional 1/2 cup of frozen fruit.
Notes
  1. This smoothie was created as a meal replacement (makes 2 - 32 ounce servings). If you are looking for a smaller portion cut the ingredients in half.
http://barerootkitchen.com/
 
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Blueberry Basil Smoothie

Some days are good, some days are bad and some days you just want to go back to bed until the next day! That was my day yesterday.

My day started out with finding out that my sister’s friend shot her self and is in a coma. Now grant it, I didn’t know her, but I just can’t fathom life being so bad that you would try to leave behind a grieving little brother, parents, family and friends. This got me thinking about my life. I am not suicidal, but some days are so crazy stressful that I become impulsive and get agitated/angry very quickly. I recognize that this could escalate into mental health issues (depression) and am working on simplifying my life to make it less stressful and more enjoyable. Working less and blogging less is what I have come to reduce the hours that I am “working.” Instead I should be resting, reading or napping (I don’t know just something relaxing).

I know, I know I have worked so hard to get to this point with my blog, but I have realized that I need a break. It is hard work developing recipes, taking pictures, writing up posts and getting everything posted via newsletters or social media. In fact it is the most time consuming thing that I have ever done. Maybe that is why I pushed it so hard, challenges fuel me.

So, this brings me to my goal for day 4 of my cleaning eating challenge: eat well and reduce the stress in my life! This means that after writing up the clean eating challenge I am going to limit blogging of new recipes to 1-2 per week (I had been average 4-6). Obviously, when I make a fabulous recipe or do some gluten free/paleo holiday baking I will share it with you, but for the next month I may be a little quiet! 

Blueberry Basil Smoothie
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Ingredients
  1. 5-6 Small Basil Leaves
  2. 2 C Blueberries, frozen
  3. 2 C Cherries, frozen
  4. 1 C Strawberries
  5. 1 C Purple Kale
  6. 2 C Spinach
  7. 2 C Pomegranate Juice
  8. 2 C Water
  9. 1 tsp Honey
  10. 2 Tangerines, peels removed
  11. 2 Bananas, peel removed
Instructions
  1. Add ingredients to blender and mix until smooth.
  2. If the smoothie is too thick, add an additional tablespoon of water or juice until desired consistency. If too thin, add an additional 1/2 cup of frozen fruit.
Notes
  1. This smoothie was created as a meal replacement (makes 2 - 32 ounce servings). If you are looking for a smaller portion cut the ingredients in half.
http://barerootkitchen.com/
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Cherry Coconut Smoothie

Don’t be fooled by the name, this is still a GREEN smoothie! Actually, almost all of the smoothies on my blog are ‘green’. This one is a good starter green smoothie because it uses spinach instead of kale. Some people find kale woody and detect it right away in a smoothie. Spinach just blends right in, so you would never know it is there!

Now, me on the other hand am a kale junkie! Serious, I love it because it stays crunchy in salads and even after you let it sit for hours (having a toddler makes the consumption of fresh meals impossible at times)!

All right, so this bottom line is this smoothie rocks! I sucked down it in 2.2 seconds, well probably closer to two minutes, but who is counting. ENJOY! 

Cherry Coconut Smoothie
Serves 2
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
10 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 C Coconut Water
  2. 2 Bananas, peeled
  3. 3 Tangerines, peeled
  4. 1 Apple, cores removed
  5. 2 C Apple Juice
  6. 1 C Water
  7. 2 C Berries, frozen
  8. 3 C Cherries, frozen
  9. 3 C Spinach
Instructions
  1. Add ingredients to blender and mix until smooth.
  2. If the smoothie is too thick, add an additional tablespoon of water or juice until desired consistency. If too thin, add an additional 1/2 cup of frozen fruit.
Notes
  1. This smoothie was created as a meal replacement (makes 2 - 32 ounce servings). If you are looking for a smaller portion cut the ingredients in half.
http://barerootkitchen.com/
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Banana Carob Muffins

My little guy loves muffins and especially these! He ate 2 1/2 yesterday morning for breakfast and I didn’t mind because they are much healthier than most muffins due to the removal of processed sugar.

When making banana bread I normally mash the bananas and fold them into the batter. However, for this recipe I wanted to keep the bananas in chunks so that you get a nice bite of banana with the carob chips. 

Carob chips are bitter in comparison to a 65% dark chocolate. If you prefer a semi-sweet chocolate substitute the carob chips for mini chocolate chips. A great allergy free brand to use is Enjoy Life. 

Banana Carob Muffins
Serves 12
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 Bananas, broken into chunks
  2. 2 Eggs, room temperature
  3. 1/2 C Palm Oil Shortening
  4. 1 C Arrowroot Powder
  5. 1/4 C Coconut Flour
  6. 1 tsp Cinnamon
  7. 1 tsp Vanilla
  8. 1 tsp Baking Powder
  9. 1/4 C Carob Chips or Mini Dark Chocolate Chips
  10. 1/3 C Honey
  11. 1/2 tsp Salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line muffin tin with paper liners.
  3. Cream together shortening, honey, eggs and vanilla together in medium sized bowl.
  4. Stir together coconut flour, cinnamon, arrowroot powder, baking soda and salt in a separate bowl.
  5. While mixer is running, slowly add in the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Mix for 1 minute until combined together.
  6. Fold in the carob chips and bananas.
  7. Pour batter into muffin liners about 2/3 of the way up.
  8. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean from the center of the muffin.
  9. Store in a plastic storage bag at room temperature for up to five days.
Adapted from The Paleo Kitchen
Adapted from The Paleo Kitchen
http://barerootkitchen.com/
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Pineapple Maca Smoothie

Let it snow! We are going to get dumped on today! We could get a foot of snow or more today. Doesn’t that make you want to move to Minnesota! This is actually abnormal as we haven’t had a storm of this magnitude this early in the year since 1991.

Winter Wonderland

I am just hoping we do not have a super hard winter because I am training for the Boston Marathon. I knew signing up for the race that I would have to train in sub-freezing (maybe even sub-zero) temps and run through buckets of snow, but I didn’t think this would happen until December or January. The snow gods have it out for me. Jerks!  

I know, I know…..it seems strange making a smoothie when snow is on the horizon, but I just love getting as many fruits and vegetables as I can into my morning routine. I used to be a gluten-free cereal or yogurt parfait breakfast girl. Every morning I would either grab a bowl and load it up with some dairy-free milk or have some Greek yogurt and granola. These breakfast choices always left me feeling a little sluggish and never sat well in my tummy! Knowing that I was having issues tolerating grains and dairy, I started a 21 cleanse in July where smoothies were the main staple.

While on the cleanse, I fell in love with having smoothies every morning for breakfast. Honestly, I thought I would get sick of them, but it hasn’t happened yet. Plus, the best part is I have noticed a tremendous difference in my energy and overall well-being.

All right, I was a naughty girl yesterday and flooded my system with at least two pieces of my gluten-free Lemon Cream Carrot Cake (not Paleo friendly, but 100 percent delicious) for my birthday. To get my system flushed out, I wanted to start my day out with some great nutrients. The smoothie I have for you this morning is full of greens and has the nutritional supplement of Maca powder. You are probably not familiar with it or have it readily available. Just skip it if you don’t have it, but you should know that Maca powder is a Peruvian nutritional supplement that is used to treat various conditions, ailments and diseases. Researchers have found Maca powder:

1) Boosts Energy – Maca powder has been found to enhance athletic performance. In a study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, “eight healthy cyclists were timed while completing a 40-kilometer bike ride before and after 14 days of taking maca. The study found that maca supplementation significantly improved the athletes’ cycling time, pointing to maca’s energizing effects.”

2) Balances Hormones/Mental Health – A 2006 study published in the International Journal of Biomedical Science found yellow, red and black maca reduced depression in rats, while black maca improved learning and cognitive functioning. The scientists attributed these results to the balancing effect maca has on the production of stress-inducing hormones of cortisol and adrenaline in the body.

3) Lowers Blood Pressure – Maca is rich in potassium, which prevents high blood pressure. A 2010 study from Bioresource Technology found maca was associated with lower blood pressure because its phenolic compounds inhibited the enzyme relevant to hypertension during cultured experiments. 

If you are feeling experimental and what to reap the benefits, try adding some Maca powder to your smoothies! 

Pineapple Maca Smoothie
Serves 2
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
10 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 3 C Pineapple, frozen
  2. 2 Bananas
  3. 2 C Romaine Lettuce
  4. 2 C Kale
  5. 1 Avocado
  6. 2 Lemons, juice
  7. 2 1/2 C Orange Juice
  8. 2 C Water
  9. 2 tbsp Maca Powder
  10. 1 tbsp Agave Nectar or Honey
Instructions
  1. Add ingredients to blender and mix until smooth.
  2. If the smoothie is too thick, add an additional tablespoon of water or juice until desired consistency. If too thin, add an additional 1/2 cup of frozen fruit.
Notes
  1. This smoothie was created as a meal replacement (makes 2 - 32 ounce servings). If you are looking for a smaller portion cut the ingredients in half.
http://barerootkitchen.com/
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Purplicious Carrot Smoothie

Good morning lovelies! 

It is my birthday on Sunday and oh what to do…my husband asked me what I would like to do and the only thing that comes to mind is eat carrot cake! LOL! Besides that I want to take Mason to a choo-choo train store just to be able to watch his excitement as he plays with the Thomas engines. Obviously the last thing is to get a good steak in my belly and watch some football. I LOVE FOOTBALL. Not sure if I have mentioned it before, but I am in three fantasy football leagues and even run a ladies only league.  

Now, onto business. Our CSA box had a purple theme this week, which included purple carrots, purple leaf lettuce, purple daikon radishes, purple cauliflower, purple cabbage…okay you get my drift. Just purplicious goodies all around! My first item of business was to tackle the overflow of purple in my refrigerator with this creamy purple carrot smoothie. 

For the carrots, if you have a high-powered blender you can just remove the stems and toss them uncooked in your blender. I have a Vitamix and this smoothie came out silky smooth!

Speaking of Vitamix, if you are in the market for a new blender, Target is running some great deals on reconditioned blenders right now (they are selling for $300 and are normally $500). I know $300 is still a big chunk of change, but it is TOTALLY worth it. I LOVE MY VITAMIX! Look out Luke, but I am cheating on you with my blender. 

Purplicious Carrot Smoothie
Serves 2
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
10 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 4 Purple Carrots, tough stem removed
  2. 2 C Purple Leaf Lettuce
  3. 2 Bananas
  4. 2 Pears, core removed
  5. 2 C Pomegranate Juice
  6. 2 C Water
  7. 1 C Strawberries, frozen
  8. 1 C Pineapple, frozen
  9. 1 C Mango, frozen
Instructions
  1. Add ingredients to blender and mix until smooth.
  2. If the smoothie is too thick, add an additional tablespoon of water or juice until desired consistency. If too thin, add an additional 1/2 cup of frozen fruit.
Notes
  1. This smoothie was created as a meal replacement (makes 2 - 32 ounce servings). If you are looking for a smaller portion cut the ingredients in half.
http://barerootkitchen.com/
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Pomegranate Kale Smoothie

Our second trick or treating experience was a blast! Good thing we know all of our neighbors because Mason likes to go in their houses and take a little tour! Here is a picture of our Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle:

Mason Turtle
 
Now, what to do with all of the extra candy lying around our house. Lord knows there is no way we can physically eat all of it without going into a diabetic coma. I am researching giving candy to our military troops to show gratitude for their service via this site: Soldiers Angels.

Now on to cleansing my body through smoothies after days of eating candy and gluten free sugar cookies! I am starting out November with this smoothie and it is full of antioxidants via blueberries and pomegranate juice. Hope you enjoy! 

Pomegranate Kale Smoothie
Serves 2
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
15 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 3 C Pomegranate Juice
  2. 2 Bananas
  3. 2 Apples, cores removed
  4. 3 C Frozen Blueberries
  5. 3 C Kale
  6. 1 tbsp Maple Syrup or Lucuma Powder
Instructions
  1. Add ingredients to blender and mix until smooth.
  2. If the smoothie is too thick, add an additional tablespoon of water or juice until desired consistency. If too thin, add an additional 1/2 cup of frozen fruit.
Notes
  1. This smoothie was created as a meal replacement (makes 2 - 32 ounce servings). If you are looking for a smaller portion cut the ingredients in half.
http://barerootkitchen.com/
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Sunny Citrus Smoothie

When I think of citrus, I think of warm climates, sunny beaches and picturesque sunsets.

Living in Minnesota we are able to enjoy a slice of warm heaven over the summer, but the rest of the year it is a bit cooler. Contrary to what people think, we actually have great weather for 9 months of the year. It is the three months of cold and bitter winters which gives Minnesota the frozen tundra stereotype.

To survive through the bitter cold I like to add citrus to my smoothies. It gives me a sensation of being someplace warm and helps me remember the beautiful spring, summer and fall weather we have. Plus, the vitamin C content in this smoothie is the perfect defense against the upcoming flu season.

Sunny Citrus Smoothie
Serves 2
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
10 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 Meyer Lemons, juice
  2. 1 Lemon, juice
  3. 1 Grapefruit, juice
  4. 3 C Orange Juice
  5. 1 C Carrot Juice
  6. 1 C Water
  7. 1/2 C Mint Leaves
  8. 2 Bananas, frozen
  9. 2 C Pineapple, frozen
  10. 1 C Mango, frozen
  11. 1 C Strawberries, frozen
Instructions
  1. Add ingredients to blender and mix until smooth.
  2. If the smoothie is too thick, add an additional tablespoon of water or juice until desired consistency. If too thin, add an additional 1/2 cup of frozen fruit.
Notes
  1. This smoothie was created as a meal replacement (makes 2 - 32 ounce servings). If you are looking for a smaller portion cut the ingredients in half.
http://barerootkitchen.com/
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Blueberry Lucuma Smoothie

I have been dying to try lucuma powder in smoothies! I do not always put a natural sweetener in smoothies, but some of the greener ones (high content of kale specifically) need it! Finally, I broke down and bought some to give it a whirl in a kale smoothie!

So, you are probably wondering, what is lucuma powder? Well, lucuma powder is made from drying whole Peruvian Lucuma fruit at low temperatures and milling it into a fine powder. This low-glycemic sweetener has a distinct maple-like taste and contains many nutrients including beta-carotene, iron, zinc, vitamin B3, calcium and protein. For those looking to decrease their sugar consumption, the low sugar and carbohydrate content make it the perfect addition to smoothies, yogurt, cereal or desserts. 

This blueberry lucuma smoothie is heavenly I must say! As far as flavor, I found the lucuma powder to be a cross between medjool dates and maple syrup (which I love, love, love). In a smoothie, the taste is very mild and it gives of a delicious element of sweetness. YUMMY! You don’t need very much either as I only added two teaspoons (equivalent of 20 calories and 4 carbohydrates). 

For information, the lucuma powder I bought came in a pack of two for $21 on Amazon. If you are wondering why I also add turmeric powder to this smoothie please check out my post turmeric ginger smoothie

Blueberry Lucuma Smoothie
Serves 2
Lucuma powder is the perfect low-glycemic natural sweetener to add to green smoothies. This Peruvian fruit also contains a trace of key nutrients, antioxidants, and micronutrients.
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
10 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 C Blueberries, frozen
  2. 2 C Mixed Berries (strawberry, raspberry, blackberries), frozen
  3. 2 Bananas, frozen
  4. 3 C Purple Kale
  5. 1 tsp Turmeric Powder
  6. 1 C Orange Juice
  7. 2 C Pomegranate Juice
  8. 2 C Water
  9. 2 tsp Lucuma Powder
Instructions
  1. Add ingredients to blender and mix until smooth.
  2. If the smoothie is too thick, add an additional tablespoon of water or juice until desired consistency. If too thin, add an additional 1/2 cup of frozen fruit.
Notes
  1. This smoothie was created as a meal replacement (makes 2 - 32 ounce servings). If you are looking for a smaller portion cut the ingredients in half.
http://barerootkitchen.com/
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“Pumpkin” Pie Smoothie

This recipe was created as a request for my sister-in-law, Danielle. She really wanted me to add a dairy-free “Pumpkin Pie” shake to my blog. In this version, I actually used frozen butternut squash instead of pumpkin. I know, I know the request was for pumpkin, but one little hidden secret is “pumpkin” pies actually taste better if you use acorn, buttercup or butternut squash. In fact, growing up my grandmother never used pumpkin and to this date she makes the best “pumpkin” pie. 

You are probably wondering what is the difference between butternut squash and pumpkin from a nutritional perspective, so I come up with the following stats from Nutrition and You:

Butternut vs. Pumpkin 3

At a high level, butternut squash and pumpkin stack up pretty similar from a nutritional standpoint. However, butternut squash has more vitamin A and vitamin C than pumpkin. At 10630 IU per 100 g, it has the highest levels of vitamin-A in the Cucurbitaceae squash family with about 354% of RDA. Why is this important? Well, Vitamin A is a natural anti-oxidant that helps the body maintain skin and mucus membrane integrity and optimal eye-sight. Research studies also suggest vitamin A rich foods protect the body against lung and oral cavity cancers. Based on this detail, there is nothing wrong with using pumpkin for pies, smoothies and other desserts as it still contains many nutritional benefits, but butternut squash is a superior choice! 

Now going back to the shake I was asked to make. I broke another rule, I actually made a smoothie because I didn’t have any homemade coconut milk to add to this yummy creation! However, my recommendation to make it creamier (this is for Danielle) is to replace the apple juice with a non-dairy milk and add another cup of frozen butternut squash (for a thinner shake leave out the extra butternut squash). If making a thick shake you will want to stop to stir your blender every 15-20 seconds to get a uniform mixture and also so you do not burn out your blender motor!

Cheers to Danielle and her lovely family. Hope this is yummy for you, your adorable daughters (Abi and Eleanor) and of course Adam too! 

"Pumpkin" Pie Smoothie
Serves 2
Fall is my all-time favorite season because I love butternut squash, pumpkins, apples and cranberries! Therefore, I decided to incorporate two of my favorite fall foods into this delicious smoothie. Substitute a non-dairy milk for the apple juice to create a delicious shake or just use this recipe as is for a wonderful breakfast item.
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
10 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 Bananas, frozen
  2. 2 Apples, frozen
  3. 4 C Butternut Squash, frozen
  4. 1 C Carrot Juice
  5. 3 C Apple Juice
  6. 1 C Water
  7. 1 Lemon, juice
  8. 1-2 tbsp Maple Syrup
  9. 2 tsp Cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Add ingredients to blender and mix until smooth.
  2. If the smoothie is too thick, add an additional tablespoon of water or juice until desired consistency. If too thin, add an additional 1/2 cup of frozen fruit.
Notes
  1. This smoothie was created as a meal replacement (makes 2 - 32 ounce servings). If you are looking for a smaller portion cut the ingredients in half.
http://barerootkitchen.com/
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Turmeric Ginger Smoothie

Growth and development is so fascinating! I never imagined it would be so exciting to watch kids grow up at every step of the way. For example, yesterday just out of the blue Mason saw a spider and sang the entire song of “Itsy Bitsy Spider” while I was cowering under the table wishing someone would kill the spider! Nevertheless, I was amazed because we have sung it many times before, but never he never once sang along with us or said any of the words. Guess the saying is true that toddler are sponges! 

Again these random thoughts have nothing to do with a turmeric ginger smoothie, but I am just spouting out the adorable and fun moments of being a parent! All right, now on to the goods….

Many people suffer from arthritis (my husband being one of them). According to the Maryland University Medical Center, turmeric has been found to reduce pain, inflammation, infection and gastrointestinal problems in individuals suffering from autoimmune diseases. Other health benefits of turmeric were highlighted in a 2013 peer-reviewed research study from the “Current Pharmaceutical Design.” In the study, the compound of curcumin found in turmeric was effective at preventing and destroying breast and bone cancer cells in comparison to ginger essential oils. The article is pretty scientific (which would be wa, wa, wa, wa, wa, wa for the masses- quoting Charlie Brown’s teacher), but I included the link (click on the “Current….”) if you are a nerd like me and want to dive into the nitty gritty details. 

With medical research highly recommending turmeric extract for preventing/inhibiting cancer growth and reducing joint inflammation, I have started to incorporate more turmeric into my recipes. However, I have recently learned that if you really want to reap the powerful medicinal properties of turmeric, you need to buy an extract powder that has a higher concentration of the bioactive compound of curcumin. The turmeric spice from grocery store shelves only contains 2-6% curcumin by weight, which is not concentrated enough to reduce inflammation or produce the same effects from the breast cancer research. Also, to attain greater absorption of turmeric extract it is suggested to pair the extract with black pepper or a fatty meal. So, bacon and smoothies was my husband’s suggestion! 

To help with absorption, I recommend pairing this little hidden gem with homemade coconut milk (the store brands are TERRIBLE FOR YOU, see my Greek Yogurt Cream Cheese recipe for details on the harmful food additives found in non-dairy milks) or avocados if using in smoothies. The high fat concentration from the coconut and avocado will bind to the turmeric and allow your body to digest more of the nutritional properties. If you can tolerate diary, you could even use a high fat Greek Yogurt.

The University of Maryland Medical Center recommends 1,200 to 1,800 milligrams of the standardized extract powder daily, which is equivalent to about a 1/2 teaspoon. I just bought this product on Amazon: turmeric extract. Make sure you get a brand that has standardized 95curcumin (curcuminoids). I will let you know how I like it. Oh and you can also buy turmeric extract in the capsule form, but I personally wanted it in the powder form to add to smoothies. 

Turmeric Ginger Smoothie
Serves 2
Turmeric is a wonderful food to add to smoothies because it contains properties that help ward off inflammation, cancer and common flu/cold symptoms. If added as an extract the body will get a higher concentration of curcumin and reap more health benefits. In addition, to the nutritional aspects of this smoothie it is also delicious! Give it a try!
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
10 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 C Water
  2. 2 C Coconut Milk
  3. 1 C Grapefruit Juice
  4. 2 C Orange Juice
  5. 2 C Pineapple, frozen
  6. 2 C Mango, frozen
  7. 2 Bananas, frozen
  8. 1 C Peaches, frozen
  9. 1 tsp Turmeric Extract Powder (see link in post for suggested powder)
  10. 1 tsp Fresh Ginger
Instructions
  1. Add ingredients to blender and mix until smooth.
  2. If the smoothie is too thick, add an additional tablespoon of water or juice until desired consistency. If too thin, add an additional 1/2 cup of frozen fruit.
Notes
  1. This smoothie was created as a meal replacement (makes 2 - 32 ounce servings). If you are looking for a smaller portion cut the ingredients in half.
http://barerootkitchen.com/
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Tropical Cleanse Smoothie

Another catch up smoothie recipe and this is one I made weeks ago! Going on vacation and getting caught up with work priorities has left me quite behind in the blogging world. However, despite this fact I was able to visit one of my favorite couples in New Hampshire during my vacation.

If you have read my “About Me” section I talk about Josh (Pat and Doug are his parents). It has been 10+ years since I last visited Weare, NH to see Josh’s parents and his brother, Jon. In my opinion that is way, way too long! I drove from NYC to Weare, NH and it was a beautiful drive with rolling hills and the foliage just turning red, orange and yellow. The weather was absolutely gorgeous for late September (80s and sunny) with no wind. We sat out on the Hall’s screen porch that overlooks their backyard. Josh made his presence by leaving a feather in the door of the screen porch. Doug made some great seared ahi tuna and steak for dinner. After dinner, Doug and I drove to see Josh’s dedication bench from the Audubon Society. The bench is granite and has an inscription of what Josh wrote for his entrance exam into New England College. I don’t remember the exact words (Doug and Pat do), but I will try to get close with this: “I hope to return to the spot where 1,000 song birds flew overhead.” Jon picked out the perfect spot for his bench as it on the edge of a beautiful, wooded pond. I am sure Josh is proud of the choice considering he was an avid outdoors man and bird lover! In all, being a mom and knowing how wonderful of a person Josh was I can only imagine how much Pat and Doug miss their son. Despite this loss, they are still one of the most warm and caring families I have ever met! It was really sad to say goodbye, but the good news is I will get to see them again in April when I travel to run in the Boston Marathon.

Now I need to try getting my head back into the game and actually write out the recipe to this smoothie. This smoothie’s name has “cleanse” in the title because of the addition of turmeric. Turmeric’s antispasmodic properties help smooth muscles, reduce digestive distress and decrease menstrual cramping. For women who experience monthly menstrual cramps, consuming turmeric extract or bitters twice daily for two weeks prior to expected menstruation has been found to reduce the severity of cramps. So, I guess you could also call this the PMS smoothie :) Ginger is also in this smoothie, which helps to reduce symptoms associated with motion sickness, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, and cold sweats. Maybe that is why they have a case of ginger ale on airplanes? It all makes sense now! 

Tropical Cleanse Smoothie
Serves 2
This smoothie is loaded with digestive benefits. So, give this smoothie a try if you are experiencing indigestion, bloating, cramps or nausea.
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
10 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 1/2 C Mango
  2. 1 1/2 C Papaya
  3. 1 1/2 C Pineaple
  4. 2 Bananas
  5. 3 C Spinach
  6. 2 C Orange Juice
  7. 1 C Carrot Juice
  8. 1 C Water
  9. 1/2 tsp Turmeric
  10. 1 tsp Ginger, crushed
Instructions
  1. Add ingredients to blender and mix until smooth.
  2. If the smoothie is too thick, add an additional tablespoon of water or juice until desired consistency. If too thin, add an additional 1/2 cup of frozen fruit.
Notes
  1. This smoothie was created as a meal replacement (makes 2 - 32 ounce servings). If you are looking for a smaller portion cut the ingredients in half.
http://barerootkitchen.com/
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Apple Blueberry Smoothie

I need to get my creative juices flowing this morning! Normally I post something more interesting here, but quite frankly I am tired and only have maternity claims on the brain. And I say maternity claims that are not for me, but for a work project that I just kicked off yesterday. It is sort of exciting (in the nerdy sense) because I will get to evaluate pregnancy costs and outcomes for low income mothers engaging in a maternity support program compared to those who did not. The hypothesis is mothers who engage will have lower incidence of NICU babies, low birth weight babies, etc.

Are you asleep with my boring rambles yet? If not and you are still with me then let’s get down to business! It is smoothie time once again. This one is like pie filling in a cup … apples, blueberries and cinnamon OH MY. It looks good, doesn’t it? Give it a try! 

That is about all I have for today, now back to my geeky research job. 

Apple Blueberry Smoothie
Serves 2
Rise and shine sleepy heads, this smoothie is a delicious start to your day with the combination of apples, cinnamon and blueberries.
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
10 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 3 Apples, peeled and cored
  2. 3 C Blueberries, frozen
  3. 2 Bananas
  4. 1 Lemon, juice
  5. 2 C Apple Cider
  6. 1 1/2 C Water
  7. 1 tsp Cinnamon
  8. 3 C Spinach
Instructions
  1. Add ingredients to blender and mix until smooth.
  2. If the smoothie is too thick, add an additional tablespoon of water or juice until desired consistency. If too thin, add an additional 1/2 cup of frozen fruit.
Notes
  1. This smoothie was created as a meal replacement (makes 2 - 32 ounce servings). If you are looking for a smaller portion cut the ingredients in half.
http://barerootkitchen.com/
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Kiwi Strawberry Smoothie

Woot, woot. I signed up for a chance to run in the 2015 Boston Marathon this morning. I will not get the final word until October, but I have a good shot considering registration they are now accepting the fastest runners below a previous marathon of 3 hours 40 minutes. My qualifying time was 3 hours and 23 minutes, so my time should be quicker than other applicants. However, there is always a BIG BUT to things as running in this race is also conditional on conception of baby #2. We have been trying, but have been unsuccessful thus far. I have had a history of infertility issues and coupling that with my husband being on steroids for his autoimmune conditions the odds are not in our favor. Knowing how much this race means to me my husband gave me the green light to apply knowing that: A) I might not get in to the race if applicants are faster than me and B) I might not race if pregnant (depends on how far along I would be and how the pregnancy was going). Risky yes, but worth it because running the Boston Marathon has been my dream for years. Anyway, wish me luck on all accounts! 

Now that I got this good news (or potentially bad news) off my chest, now I can share this delicious smoothie. For this yummy drink, I offset the tartness of the strawberries and kiwi with pineapple and bananas. I also added some Kale for additional health benefits. This is the perfect drink to start out your day. For me, it fueled me through my morning run this morning! Enjoy!

Kiwi Strawberry Smoothie
Serves 2
Sweet and tangy, oh my! This smoothie is a healthy and nutritious way to start your day or it also works great to power you up for running, walking or whatever exercise gets you moving.
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
10 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 4 Kiwis
  2. 2 C Strawberries, frozen
  3. 1 1/2 C Pineapple, frozen
  4. 2 Bananas
  5. 1 C Acai Juice
  6. 1 C Pomegranate Juice
  7. 1 C Water
  8. 3 C Baby Kale
Instructions
  1. Add ingredients to blender and mix until smooth.
  2. If the smoothie is too thick, add an additional tablespoon of water or juice until desired consistency. If too thin, add an additional 1/2 cup of frozen fruit.
Notes
  1. This smoothie was created as a meal replacement (makes 2 - 32 ounce servings). If you are looking for a smaller portion cut the ingredients in half.
http://barerootkitchen.com/
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