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Recipes

Recipes

Pesto

Pesto, so versatile, so delicious, and so simple. The recipes that have fewer ingredients tend to be the best because each ingredient has to stand on it’s own and be highlighted bringing out it’s best. Pesto is not just for using on pasta, although the two seem pretty inseparable, it’s also great on eggs, salads, potatoes, green beans, soups and sandwiches. For me, pesto is a quintessential summer recipe but, even though Spring is just awakening now, don’t let that stop you from indulging in this aromatic herb provided year-round. Just cutting into it releases aroma that takes me to lofty heights of bliss. It’s no wonder why it’s also called the “king of herbs” or “royal herb.” And to make pesto less intimidating, the word literally means to pound because originally it was made with a mortar and pestle. In fact, pesto is a word used to describe anything made by pounding. So break out your food processor or revert to ancient times and use a mortar and pestle (my preference) and pound (or pulse) away!

Pesto

The pine nuts in this recipe can be substituted with other nuts. I have enjoyed walnuts quite a lot. It’s a lighter and less oil heavy alternative and does not take away from that wonderful pesto punch of flavor. There are purists that will argue that pesto should only be made with pine nuts, but what’s more wonderful than experimenting with your flavor preferences. Also, if you’re using a food processor or blender instead of a mortar and pestle, grind up the nuts, garlic and cheese first, then add the remaining ingredients and puree them until smooth, scraping down the sides.

Ingredients

  • 2 cloves peeled garlic
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 5 cups | 20g loosely-packed basil leaves (stems removed)
  • 5 tablespoons | 75ml good olive oil
  • 2 ounces | 60g grated Parmigiano-Raggiano cheese
  • ¼ cup | 30g pine nuts, walnuts, or shelled pistachios, very lightly toasted

Method

  1. Smash garlic and salt together in a mortar and pestle until smooth. (Use a blender or food processor as alternative.)
  2. Coarsely chop the basil leaves first, then add them in batches to the mortar and pound them into the garlic as you add them.
  3. Once the basil is well mashed and is a fairly smooth paste, pound in the olive oil spoonful at a time, until well-incorporated.
  4. Lastly, pound in the cheese and then pine nuts or nuts of your choice.
  5. Continue mashing everything until the pesto is as smooth as possible. Serve! Best used in a day or two because the garlic becomes more powerful as it sits. However, it can last a week in airtight container in the refrigerator or for a few months frozen (well-wrapped of course).

Recipes

Triple Chocolate Cake

This is the cake I made for my husband’s birthday earlier this month and it turned out better than I anticipated. I have had plenty of practice making pies, fails and successes, but not enough experience with cake. Doesn’t cake seem like it would be easier to make than pie? All my cakes have been pretty fail-ish, so when this cake turned out well, even with an emergency frosting change, I felt like this was my tipping-point for future success.

My emergency frosting change was doing the ganache as a drip instead of a full coverage as the recipe called for. I didn’t have enough left over to cover all the cake so I crossed my fingers and chose this route (way easier than frosting the usual way). It also called for making macarons for the decoration top, but since I wasn’t going to even think of attempting this, not to mention macarons have always underwhelmed me, I decided to go with mix berries.

Ingredients

This recipe was tweaked from the book Lomelino’s Cakes by Linda Lomelino one of my favorite dessert bloggers. Visit her blog www.callmecupcake.se.

Chocolate Cake Layers
  • 1 ¼ cups flour
  • 6 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ stick | 4 tablespoons salted butter
  • ⅔ cup buttermilk
  • 6 tablespoons strong coffee
  • 1 large egg
White, Dark, and Milk Chocolate Ganaches
  • 3 ½ ounces white chocolate
  • 3 ½ ounces milk chocolate
  • 7 ounces dark chocolate (70% cocoa)
  • 1 ¼ cups whipping cream
Decorations

berries, mint leaves……..macarons, whatever, rose buds


Method

Making the chocolate layers
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. Prepare two 6-inch cake pans with butter and flour or parchment paper.
  3. Sift the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder, and baking soda into a large bowl.
  4. Melt the butter, and mix it in a separate bowl with the buttermilk and coffee.
  5. Stir the butter mixture and the egg into the dry ingredients, and beat just until combined and the batter is smooth–do not overmix. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cake pans.
  6. Bake the layers in the center of the oven for about 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with moist crumbs.
  7. Cool the layers for 10 minutes in the pans, and untold them onto a wire cooling rack. Cool completely before frosting. You can plan ahead and make the cake layers the day before, wrap tight in plastic and keep in refrigerator. Cooler cakes make it easier to cut into layers and frost.
Making the white, dark and milk chocolate ganaches
  1. Chop each of the chocolates separately, and place each into its own bowl.
  2. Heat the cream in a saucepan. Just before it reaches the boiling point, remove it from the heat immediately.
  3. Divide the cream among the bowls of chocolate: use about two-thirds of the amount for the dark chocolate and divide the rest evenly for the white and milk chocolate. Wait 30 seconds, and stir each until the mixture is smooth and shiny. Cool the cream until it is easy to spread. If any of the ganache becomes too firm, carefully heat it for a few seconds at a time in the microwave.
Assembling the cake
  1. Slice each layer in half horizontally so you will have four thin layers for the cake.
  2. Place the first layer on a cake plate or board. Spread an even amount of White Chocolate Ganache over the layer. If the ganache is too soft, refrigerate the cake for a few minutes before adding the next layer.
  3. Add the next layer, and cover it with the Milk Chocolate Ganache.
  4. Add the third layer, and cover it with some of the Dark Chocolate Ganache, making it the same thickness as the previous layers.
  5. Place the last layer on top, cut side down. Cover the entire cake with a thin layer of Dark Chocolate Ganache to create a crumb coating (this keeps the crumbs in place and will smooth out any unevenness). Refrigerate the cake for about 20 minutes or until the crumb coating has set.
  6. At this point you can choose which direction you want to go with frosting the cake.
    1. For Chocolate Ganache Drip: Briefly warm the remaining Dark Chocolate Ganache just until it has a thick spreadable consistency (like pudding) so that it can slowly drip down the sides of the cake as you spread it out. You don’t want the ganache running down the sides. Carefully pour the ganache on top of the cake in the middle. With a frosting spatula, spread out the frosting to make a smooth top, working the ganache toward the edges, which then gently get pushed off and begin dripping down. Before the ganache sets, decorate the top of the cake and then refrigerate it to firm completely.
    2. For Smooth Chocolate Ganache Frosting: Take the Dark Chocolate Ganache and spread the top of the cake. Continue down the sides all around the cake as before. Even out the sides and then the top of the cake by carefully drawing the offset spatula up and over the edge and in toward the center so that any extra frosting is pulled toward the center of the cake. Dry the spatula completely between each pass. To make the sides of the cake smoother, you can run a dough scraper all the way around the cake. For a totally even and smooth surface, dip an offset spatula in warm water and dry it between each pass. When this is done, andyou are satisfied with the cake, decorate the cake as desired and refrigerate it to firm completely.

Recipes

Cranberry Blueberry Smoothie

Lately, I have been pretty busy. For the past month I haven’t been home. I have been either visiting family for the holidays or up in NY looking for homes (Chris and I are in the process of moving). I have been wanting to be more intentional about getting more raw fruits and veggies into my diet, so I have been incorporating smoothies into my breakfasts. Smoothies are great because you can’t really give the excuse that you are missing an ingredient. You can pretty much make anything as long as you have some raw fruit, as well as, frozen fruit.

After being away for so long, I had to quickly go to the grocery store and grab a few things in between my other responsibilities. Since I didn’t plan much, but knew that I wanted fruit, I worked with what I had the next morning when I made my breakfast. I decided to share with you what I came up with.

This is what I had on hand:

Ingredients

  • handful of blueberries
  • handful of frozen cranberries
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1-2 tangerines
  • unsweetened almond milk
  • spoonful of peanut butter (optional)
  • honey, agave or maple syrup (optional)

Directions

You’ll want to put all the ingredients into a blender (I use a Vitamix) and blend until it is smooth, or to your liking. I find that the easiest way to blend ingredients is to put the fresh fruit on the bottom and add the frozen fruit on top. I rarely have to use the plunger to help the blades along. Sometimes I put the peanut butter under a few ingredients so that it doesn’t stick to the sides.

You can definitely leave out the peanut butter if you want. I like to add peanut butter and almond milk for protein and extra nutrients. I used to use soy milk, but later learned that it can increase the amount of estrogen in my body and that is something I have been trying to avoid (I get migraines, check out my story). This has been one of the small steps towards making things better. I tried this recipe with and without sweetener. If you like tart, then leave out the sweetener. Otherwise add sweetener to your liking.  I listed sweeteners that the body tends to recognize better. Also, those cranberries can make your lips pucker!

So this doesn’t end here. I want to know if you tried it out and also if you made any changes to make it more awesome! Since cranberries are pretty seasonal and only really show up in stores around Thanksgiving (winter), I was excited to find frozen ones! That is probably the main reason why I wanted to share this recipe with you. Adding in something different to the mix is always fun!

Be sure to let me know in the comments what you are trying and if there is another recipe you like to use cranberries in. 🙂

Recipes

Corn Bean Soup

I have been making this recipe for several years now and it is an easy, quick meal if you also want something healthy for dinner. It can be cooked in a crock pot, but I cook it on the stove, usually when I am too lazy busy to make anything else in the house a complex meal* and forgot to set up the crock pot that morning. We, also, only use one type of bean, such as black or red, for the soup, as opposed to two different types of beans that the recipe calls for. I am guessing on the amount of cumin and chili powder as I usually just eyeball it. If you think that is too much, then decrease the amount to around 1 tsp each. I personally like the taste of cumin so I add a lot to everything this soup. I have also added fire roasted tomatoes as well as plain diced tomatoes at the same time. I actually prefer the fire roasted tomatoes but we didn’t have that when I made this recipe. With that in mind, there are many different combinations of this soup that make it very easy to make if you get sick of this particular recipe.

*In my house, complex meal really means anything that takes at least 2 pots and more than 15 minutes to make.

Ingredients

  • 1 can Rotel (original)
  • 1 15.5 oz can black beans
  • 1 15.5 oz can pinto or red beans
  • 1 28 oz can diced tomatoes (the fire roasted tomatoes are also really good)
  • 1 small bag frozen corn (I used about half of the bag)
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1/2 – 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1/2 – 1 tsp garlic powder (for taste)
  • Fritos or tortilla chips
  • Potential Toppings: plain yogurt or sour cream, cilantro, cheese, jalapenos, avocado,

Instructions:

  1. Mix everything together besides the Fritos and toppings in a large sauce pan.
  2. Heat until the soup is hot. I look for the liquid to just start boiling. While it is heating, stir the pot every once in awhile so that the soup does not stick to the bottom of the pan.
  3. Add chips to a bowl and eat.

I hope you enjoy this recipe! If you have a version of this recipe, please share in the comments below.

Recipes

Butternut Squash and Rice Soup

Winter squashes, such as the butternut squash, is an excellent alternative to pumpkin soup. It is technically a fruit, just like that ambiguous tomato, and is through the roof in beta-carotene (vitamin A) due to that orangey goodness like that found in carrots. If you care about your eyes you will want to make sure you get plenty of vitamin A in your diet. So if you have a strong preference of butternut vs pumpkin or vice versa, you can swap this ingredient with either one.

Ginger and rosemary make a magical flavor combination that I would have never known if not for this recipe. I don’t know about you, but the smell of fresh grated ginger always reminds me of the holidays and the aroma of rosemary just make this food prepping a delightful aromatic experience. This is a simple recipe that pops with flavor, warmth, and comfort that will surprise even the butternut squash loving people. Enjoy!

 

Butternut Squash and Rice Soup


Ingredients

For Soup:

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 large shallot, chopped
  • ½ serrano chile, seeds and all, chopped
  • fine salt
  • 1 ½ pounds butternut squash or pumpkin, peeled, seeded, and cut into ¾-inch chunks
  • 6 cups of water
  • 1 teaspoon of fresh ginger juice, pressed from grated ginger

For Lemon Ginger Rosemary Butter:

  • ¼ cup unsalted butter
  • 4-inch sprig of rosemary, leaves removed
  • zest of one lemon
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger
  • salt
  • garnishes: plain greek yogurt, toasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds), cooked brown rice

Method

Soup: In a large pot melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the onion, shallot, and serrano and a couple of big pinches of salt. Cook until softened, about 5 minutes, then add the cubed butternut squash and 6-cups of water. Bring to a simmer and cook until the squash is tender, about 15 minutes. (Note: cook time may vary if using pumpkin instead of butternut.) Remove from heat and puree with a hand blender or carefully in stand blender until smooth. Add the ginger juice and stir in more salt (about 2 teaspoons) or to taste.

Lemon Ginger Rosemary Butter: Melt ¼ cup unsalted butter in a small saucepan over medium heat and allow the butter to brown just a bit. Remove from heat, stir in rosemary leaves, lemon zest, grated ginger, and good pinch of salt. Stir well and let sit for 5 minutes. Strain butter into a small bowl, set aside, and reserve the ginger pulp mixture to serve separately.

Assemble: In your soup bowl put a scoop of brown rice on the side, a dollop of yogurt, some pepitas, and a little of the ginger pulp. Fill the bowl with soup and then drizzle some of the lemon ginger rosemary butter of the soup. (Refer to picture above for soup assembly help.)

Recipes, Well Being

Cleansing Smoothie

People sometimes wonder what the reason is for constipation. Lack of fiber is one of the reasons. It’s not easy at times to eat a special diet full of vegetables, fruits, and good healthy fluids (water, coconut water, green juices, nut milk). As a nurse it makes me sad that many of my patients are on stool softeners and laxatives all because many of them don’t eat properly. Cleaning your colon is so important. Bowel movements should happen every day and some specialists believe twice a day. Many people, women primarily, have issues with bloating, etc. A lot of the foods we eat are mostly fillers and don’t really help us. We pick convenience but sometimes that comes at a price. Making juices and smoothies aren’t always easy, but they benefit my body so amazing that the last thing I think about is the hard work.

This smoothie that I am sharing today is by someone I really admire, Yovana Mendoza, a Mexican raw vegan. This colon cleansing smoothie not only helps move your bowels, but it clarifies the mind as well.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of orange juice
  • 1 Granny Smith apple
  • 4 cups of spinach
  • 2 stalks of celery
  • 1 head of lettuce
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • water

Blend it all in a high speed blender (I used the Vitamix).

This smoothie is very tasty, refreshing, and full of fiber which helps with your digestion. Moving the bowels on a regular basis will help decrease your abdomen and  constipation.  It will make your skin clear and improves your energy.

Benefits of fiber:

  • blood sugar control
  • weight management
  • improves digestion, heart, and skin health
  • decreases risk for stroke
  • may lower hemorrhoids
  • decreases risk of gallstones, and kidney stones
  • relieves you from IBS (irritable bowel syndrome)
  • reduces the risk of diverticulitis

Remember to eat at least 50g of fiber per 1000 calories consumed! Most Americans don’t get even close to that. Enjoy this amazing smoothie, I sure will!

Until next time!

Suellen

Recipes, Well Being

Energy Smoothie Bowl

This is one of the easiest energy smoothies bowls to make and is super delicious. I love this smoothie because it’s packed with antioxidants, potassium, protein, fiber, and much more. This is the perfect pre or post workout smoothie bowl. It will give you energy, satisfies the cravings, and is light in your stomach, getting your digestive system working in a proper manner. I love smoothie bowls, and I hope you can fall in love with this easy recipe.

Add into your high speed blender (I used the Vitamix) the following:

  • handful of blackberries (about 10-15)
  • handful of raspberries (about 10-15)
  • handful of blueberries (about 10-15)
  • 2 strawberries
  • 1 banana
  • 1 scoop of Sun Warrior protein-powder chocolate flavor (vegan protein powder)
  • 1 tbsp of flax seeds
  • 1 tbsp of chia seeds
  • 1 cup of rice milk (You can use your favorite nut milk as well. I used rice milk because it was the only milk available in my fridge, but it tastes delicious! If you never have had rice milk, it’s very thin, very light, and it tastes really delicious. You can find it in the nut milk fridge isle of your supermarket. The brand I used is “Rice Dream”.)
  • ice to taste if you like it chilled ( I did not add the ice, but I would add at least 1-2 ice cubes)

Blend it all together until smooth. You will see it turn into a purple or maroon color, with kind of a mildly thick consistency. Pour it into your favorite bowl.

Add your favorite topping ingredients. I added the following this time:

  • granola
  • blueberries
  • strawberries
  • mulberries
  • coconut flakes
  • cocoa nibs

This smoothie bowl is so creamy, so delicious, so colorful, packed with vitamins, and super tasty too! Hope you can enjoy this as your breakfast, your pre or post work out, or even maybe your lunch or dinner. It is a delicious meal for real!

If you would like to try some other recipes, I have a Papaya Smoothie Bowl and Purple Granola Bowl recipe that you should try!

 

Until next time!

Sue

Recipes, Well Being

Apple Cinnamon Smoothie

This new smoothie is fantastic! Perfect for the holidays, since it contains many of the ingredients people use to bake this time of the year such as apple and cinnamon. This smoothie is perfect for fighting cravings this time of the year as well since we are all looking forward to eating a lot! I know Thanksgiving was just last week and so we indulged ourselves on the best foods in our home with family or friends. However, we still have Christmas coming up. As a Brazilian, I celebrate Christmas twice. Christmas Eve which is a tradition we celebrate with my family on December 24 and then Christmas Day with my husband, who’s American, and his family. This means we have two back to back delicious holiday meals. Although I love the holiday food, I do love to take care of what I put in my body. This smoothie is the perfect smoothie to remind you of the holidays, fight cravings, reduce belly fat, stabilize blood sugar, and is also rich in fiber.

In your high-speed blender (I either use the Vitamix or the Ninja for this) add:

  • 3/4 to 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tbsp almond butter
  • 1/4 cup oats
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp of cinnamon
  • 1 apple, chopped, skin included (I like using a Granny Smith apple for its health benefits more than any other apple, preferably organic)

Blend it all together until smooth, add ice for a cooler taste.

Some of the benefits of apple cider vinegar:

  • clears acne and balances the pH of your skin
  • boosts energy since it is rich in Potassium and enzymes that relieve that tired feeling
  • helps control blood sugar
  • aides against bad breath

Some benefits of cinnamon:

  • helps treat muscle spasms
  • the common cold
  • lowers blood sugar in people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes
  • helps to prevent Alzheimer’s disease
  • can potentially be effective against HIV
  • aides in learning abilities

This smoothie is so good, that I have been making it almost every day. I hope you get to try it and love it just as much as I do. Ps: Don’t be sacred to the apple cider vinegar. It does

Ps: Don’t be scared of the apple cider vinegar. It does give a little taste but does not overpower the smoothie. Also, there are so many other fantastic health benefits that this vinegar has that I will have to share that another time.

Until next time!

Suellen

Recipes

Pumpkin Pie

This recipe is taken from a food blogger I have been following for six years now, David Lebovitz. The original recipe calls for a marshmallow topping, but can also be made without it. A piece of good advice he gave when baking pumpkin pie is do not overcook it. That is what causes it to crack while cooling, which doesn’t change the flavor so much, but astetically isn’t pleasing, unless you’re doing the marshmallow topping then none-is-the-wiser. So if you want that perfect pumpkin pie, let me tell you, this is it.

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Pumpkin Pie

Ingredients

Pie Crust

  • One Pâte Brisée recipe
  • Pie weights (such as beans, rice or pie weight pearls)

Pumpkin Pie Filling

  • 1 ¾ cups / 425g pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup / 250ml heavy cream
  • ½ cup / 125ml whole milk
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • ¾ cups / 160g packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • Pinch of salt
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon cognac or brandy

Method

Make Pâte Brisée following the recipe for it and have dough rolled out and in pie dish ready to go, having folded any overhanging edges under and crimping the dough around the rim of pie plate or do a more decorative design like leaves.

Blind Baking: Preheat oven to 375F (190C). Prick the pie dough a few times with a fork, line dough with aluminum foil and fill halfway with pie weights. Bake the pie until golden brown, about 15 to 20 minutes. Lift out the foil with the weights, and bake for another 5 to 8 minutes or until dough is well-browned. Now turn down oven temperature to 350F.

Making Pumpkin Pie Filling: While the crust is baking, in a blender or with an immersion mixer, mix together the pumpkin puree, cream, milk, eggs, brown sugar, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, pepper, nutmeg, salt, vanilla, and cognac or brandy.

In a medium saucepan, gently heat the filling, stirring constantly, just until it’s warm to the touch. Do not overheat or you will get scrambled eggs in your filling. (Eggs begin to cook at 140F.)

Baking the Pumpkin Pie: Pour the warm filling into the prebaked pie shell and bake (at 350F) about 45 to 50 minutes, or until when you jiggle the pie the center looks just about set. The pie should puff up a little but still be slightly jiggly in the middle. To be safe, start checking it about 10 minutes before the suggested times. Let the pie cool completely on a wire rack. Once cool, the pie can be chilled (up to two days), or left at room temperature for serving.

Recipes, Well Being

Chia Seed Smoothie

Chia seeds are one of my all times favorite ingredients for my smoothies bowls, and my protein shakes. Although they have a funny consistency after they are soaked, they are excellent for our bodies. They are full of nutrients that benefit the body and brain. Here is one of my top smoothies that I make in the morning for breakfast. It’s very easy to make. Are you ready?

Ingredients (serves 1):

  • 8oz of coconut water
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 TBSP chia seeds
  • 1 TBSP Almond Butter
  • handful of spinach
  • 2 to 3 ice cubes

Blend it all together in your high speed blender (I either use the Vitamix or the Ninja) and enjoy!

This smoothie is packed with protein which is great for a pre or post work out and fiber helping with bowel movements.

Benefits of Chia seeds:

  • helps lower blood pressure
  • helps lower cholesterol levels
  • helps lower the risk of diabetes
  • prevents constipation since is loaded with fiber
  • rich in Omega-3s helping decrease the risk of thrombosis, arrhythmias.
  • helps in loosing weight
  • rich in antioxidants
  • rich in Calcium, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Manganese, Copper, Iron, Niacin, Zinc and Molybdenum

I hope you enjoy making this wonderful and tasteful smoothie. I love it, and hope you do too.

Until next time.

Sue

Recipes

Pumpkin Granola

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Fall means all things pumpkin are on my wish list of what to bake and when it comes to a new season, what better way to celebrate than making granola with all those cozy spices and smells. Here is an easy go-to pumpkin granola that you can modify to your hearts content – swapping out almonds with pecans, adding cranberries instead of raisins (or both), etc.. And when it comes to the heavenly spices of cinnamon and nutmeg, feel free to amp them up with a dash more. Just taste the mixture before it’s baked and if you want more of something, keep adding a little more at a time until you get your POP!

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Pumpkin Granola

Ingredients

¾ cup pumpkin puree

1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon

¼ teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg

⅛ teaspoon ground ginger

½ teaspoon salt

¾ cup brown sugar

¼ cup maple syrup

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 cups rolled oats

1 cup raisins (or dried cranberries or mixture of both)

½ cup plain almonds

¼ cup unsweetened coconut flakes

¼ cup pumpkin seeds

 

Method

Preheat oven to 350F (175C) and line baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, add pumpkin puree, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and salt and mix together. Next, stir in the brown sugar, maple syrup, and vanilla extract until combined. Then add the oats, raisins, almonds, coconut, and pumpkin seeds. Use a rubber spatula to stir and fold oats into wet mixture until everything is evenly coated. At this point give the granola a taste. If it needs more spice or salt add it, mix evenly, and taste again until you achieve what your tastebuds are searching for.

Spread the granola evenly on the prepared baking sheet and place in oven on middle rack. Bake for 20 minutes then stir the granola to prevent burned spots and place bake in oven. Continue to bake for an additional 15-20 minutes. It should look golden-orange and the coconut flakes should be lightly golden. Remove from oven, place baking sheet on cooling rack and allow to cool completely before storing in airtight container. Enjoy!

Recipes, Well Being

Homemade Protein Shake

Protein shakes? No more after this super delicious protein shake! I bought my first ever protein powder the other day. Since I’m a vegetarian now (I have been for the past 3 years) it’s always good to have some healthy protein in my body. You don’t need animal protein to have protein. There are so many good kinds of protein. Protein is in all of our fruits, vegetables, and nuts! This shake is protein from start to end. Wonderful for your pre or post workout.

  • 2 cups of almond milk or your favorite non-dairy milk (I made my own almond milk, non-sweet)
  • 2 dates to make it sweet (optional, but makes it very tasty)
  • 1 banana preferably if frozen (leave it in a zip-lock bag and let it sit in the fridge for about 2 hours, or just leave it there for your next shake or frozen desert)
  • a dash of Himalayan salt
  • 1 tablespoon of raw organic cocoa powder
  • last but not least, Sun Warrior Protein Powder chocolate flavored (Sun Warrior is a vegan protein powder. I bought it at Whole Foods for $45.00, but you can add any protein of your choice)
  • optional: add ice to taste if you like it cold, or if your banana is not frozen.

Blend it all in your high-speed blender,  (I either use the Vitamix or the Ninja), and pour it in your workout cup or you can also have it as a breakfast smoothie bowl, too, by adding your favorite ingredients. That’s what I call a breakfast!

Benefits of protein:

  • Hair and nail are made of protein and your body uses protein to build and repair tissues.
  • It is important for making enzymes, hormones, and other important chemicals.  bones, muscle, cartilage, skin and blood
  • Needed to nourish the bones, muscle, cartilage, skin and blood

Hope you enjoy this wonderful protein and super healthy and delicious shake!

Until next time!

Suellen