RASPBERRY LEMONADE GREEN SMOOTHIE – A REFRESHING SIP OF SUMMER

“Like winds and sunsets, wild things were taken for granted until progress began to do away with them. Now we face the question whether a still higher ‘standard of living’ is worth its cost in things natural, wild and free. For us of the minority, the opportunity to see geese is more important than television.”
-Aldo Leopold

Anticipation. The promise of summer has grown stronger each month. From the moment my daffodils, hyacinths, and tulips starting showing off – I have been waiting for the distinctive rattle of the cranes as they touch down in our pasture, the smell of fresh mown grass, and the warmth of slightly pink shoulders after a day in the garden. Not to mention, strawberries that finally taste like strawberries and tomatoes that taste like tomatoes. Knowing nothing will ever be as wonderful as that first bite.

Our beautiful Golden Gracie loves having me home for the summer!

As a young girl I always anticipated summer days so I could swim, ride my bike, and attend Fortune Lake Lutheran Camp. Since my birthday was at the end of the month, when school was not in session, my mom would always make a special treat for to me to bring to my classmates on the last week of school. I remember the year she made homemade cupcakes and topped each one with a gorgeous pink icing rose. I was so proud of those birthday cupcakes that I can still remember handing out each one.

One of the benefits of being a teacher is holding on to that anticipation of the end of the school year. While it ends up being a whirlwind trying to tie up all the year’s loose ends by wrapping up grading, tucking away my classroom, and finishing the end of year reports. However, when that final bell rings – I still feel the rush of freedom that comes with time off for vacation and projects!

Apollo loves walking up and down the “river” to our pond, but he does not jump into the pond.

While I feel fortunate to have the luxury of time in the summer, I have to be careful to make sure that I am productive. While it may sound tempting to lounge around in pajamas drinking coffee all day, I try to start my mornings with a schedule (imagine that) to make sure that my time is structured. This year part of my morning routine includes exercise and a green smoothie.

I prefer a tart smoothie over a sweet one (especially in the morning) unless I am drinking the green smoothie in place of dessert. If you are new to green smoothies, I always recommend starting with spinach since it is naturally sweet and easy to blend. A frozen banana is also essential. The banana imparts sweetness and makes the smoothie cold and creamy.

This recipe is for a surprisingly simple and refreshing summer classic. You can control how much banana and lemon you add depending on the level of tartness or sweetness that makes your taste buds happy.

RASPBERRY LEMONADE GREEN SMOOTHIE

*3 cups of spinach
*1 lemon (juice and zest)
*1 cup of raspberries (fresh or frozen
*1 small frozen banana
*1 cup of water (you can use coconut water)
*A handful of ice cubes
*Optional – chia seeds and/or fresh mint

It always makes me feel productive when I share a new recipe and focus on healthy living. I have plenty of projects this summer that will help fill the void of my empty classroom and I have to fuel my body properly to accomplish everything on my list. I hope you join me in lifting a glass to celebrate summer.

Make sure you check out the other green smoothie recipes on my blog. In fact, I have an entire month of green smoothie recipes, with printable shopping lists, posted in case you want to commit to a healthy challenge.

My photo bomber Apollo

 Tips for those new to green smoothies

1. Start by adding a small amount of greens. Spinach is naturally sweet.

2. A frozen banana is essential. It gives the smoothie sweetness and makes it creamy. Buy a couple of bunches of bananas a week and when they ripen, peel and toss into a bowl or bag in the freezer.

3. Fresh ginger root helps mask the grassy flavor of greens that have a stronger taste (such as kale and dandelion greens). Raw ginger also helps promote digestion, as do parsley and cilantro (it may sound odd to add cilantro to afruit smoothie, but it is a wonderful and unexpected addition).

4. If you do not like bananas you can use dates, maple syrup, or raw honey for sweetness.

5. You can add other liquids other than water: coconut water, milk, almond or coconut milk.

6. Chia seeds are filling and are a great source of calcium, protein, and Omega-3.

7. Protein powder and Greek yogurt are great additions to make a smoothie filling.

8. We use a Vitamix blender at our house, but if you do not have a high-powered blender, blend up the greens and liquid first and then add the fruit (cut up in small pieces) a little bit at a time. When you freeze your bananas you will want to slice or break them into small chunks.

My happy place.
My azalea bushes finally bloomed after several years!
Lupine and Iris
Iris
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Cherry Almond Coconut Shake ~ Plant-Based Healthy Indulgence

Guilt-Free Cherry Almond Coconut Shake by Produce with Amy “Well, I like to eat, sleep, drink, and be in love.
I like to work, read, learn, and understand life.”
― Langston Hughes

I woke up this morning with thankfulness. This is an intentional routine that I try to practice each day. I believe that we shape our own energy. Life can be fraught with stress (a majority that we manufacture ourselves). Therefore, it is important to stop and think about what is really important. Start each morning with a smile. (Smile right now…it made you feel lighter…did it not?) 😀

It is easy for me to type these things as I sit on the sofa enjoying a cup of peppermint tea and bask in the morning glow of my spring holiday. With each breath in and out ~ I am reminding myself to slow down and make the most of this time. Enjoy. Savor. Appreciate.

Today I will be mindful of the relaxation that my mind and body both need but I will also make a few preparations for next week. I acknowledge that going back to work will be a shock to my body (and the 160+ teenagers that share a classroom with me each day). I want to finish the last couple months of school with positive energy, commitment, and all the passion that led me to a career in education. Today I will prepare for the whirlwind that I will encounter next week by accomplishing some household chores and by getting a jump on my weekend cooking.

Along with a positive attitude, I believe that the food that we consume also plays on our mood and attitude. I find that when I am not consuming refined sugar and caffeine that I feel more balanced and able to manage stress and my emotions. The same goes with creating meals that are assembled with whole non-processed food. I am not saying that a bag of chips, soda, chocolate bar, or processed food item never ends up in my shopping cart, but it is a rarity.

A couple of posts ago, when I shared my recipe for a Peach & Raspberry Cobbler Shake, I explained how I made the shift away from store-bought dairy substitutes because of the long list of ingredients on the carton. It seemed like a natural change since I did invest in a Vitamix blender a few years ago and I always have raw nuts on hand. Why not make my own?

In anticipation of summer and warmer weather, today I am sharing another recipe for a Bowl of Cherrieshealthy dessert that tastes indulgent but is full of nutrients and will help you fuel your day. It is inspired by my favorite summer treat ~ cherries. I spend a bundle of money on fresh cherries each summer. In part, I believe, because they remind me of my childhood. My mom always had plenty of cherries (watermelon, grapes, and nectarines too) in the cooler when we spent long summer

Target carries my new obsession ~ real vanilla, almond, and peppermint extract.

Target carries my new obsession ~ real vanilla, almond, and peppermint extract.

days on the shore of Fortune Lake in my hometown of Crystal Falls, Michigan.

Since cherries are not in season in April, I had to settle for frozen cherries for this shake (I am calling it a shake instead of smoothie because it is thick and rich and tastes like a perfect dairy-free substitute for a traditional milk shake). The raw almonds help make it thick and give the drink a filling boost of protein. My advice is that you do not leave out the almond extract ~ I have made it without, and trust me, it does not taste the same.

Cherry Almond Coconut ShakeCHERRY ALMOND COCONUT SHAKE

  • 1 cup frozen cherries (If you are lucky enough to be using fresh cherries, make sure to freeze them first)Vitamix
  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 1/4 of raw, soaked almonds (soak overnight or for a few hours prior to making the shake)
  • 1 teaspoon real almond extract (I added a bit more)
  • Ice cubes (I added a few)
  • 3/4-1 cup of plain coconut water (I made sure it was cold and added 1/2 cup at first and added more until it was the consistency that I wanted. My shake was very thick and resembled a milk shake in texture)
  • Optional ~ 1 Tablespoon organic coconut flakes for garnish

Blend well. A great addition to this shake would also be a touch of vanilla extract and a dash of cinnamon.

Printable recipe: CHERRY ALMOND COCONUT SHAKE

Pin it HERE.

Cherry Almond Coconut Shake by Produce with Amy

Cherry Almond Coconut Smoothie

 

Cherry Almond Coconut Plant-Based Shake

If you are interested in other nutritious desserts, check out my Healthy Indulgences tab.

Thank you for stopping by my blog and please follow my posts via email, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr and make sure to find me on Facebook. I love the reciprocal nature of social networks. Together we can create a community of health minded individuals that are concerned about the fuel that put into our bodies. I look forward to sharing more recipes with you and please post your comments and feedback. Have a marvelous day and remember to stop to breathe, appreciate, and savor the world and all the gifts that are all around us.

Appreciation

Peach & Raspberry Cobbler Shake ~ Plant-Based & Guilt Free

Guilt-Free Peach & Raspberry Cobbler Shake by Produce with Amy“Freedom from obsession is not about something you do; it’s about knowing who you are. It’s about recognizing what sustains you and what exhausts you. What you love and what you think you love because you believe you can’t have it.” 
― Geneen Roth

Over the past couple months I have received several requests for plant-based desserts. Unfortunately, I am not much of a baker and in recent years my sweet tooth has been replaced by a love for salty and savory food. It may be due to the fact that I eat a lot of fruit and that my body and taste buds have adjusted to not consuming refined sugar very often. When I do get a sugary urge for something, other than a piece of fruit, I assemble healthy ingredients in my Vitamix blender and mix up a smoothie.

Since I have had recent requests for desserts, I decided that I would share some of my non-green smoothie recipes. The combination that I am sharing today tastes more like a milk shake than a smoothie. It tastes creamy, indulgent, but because it is made with frozen fruit and coconut water, it still has a refreshing edge to it.

When I first started experimenting with a plant-based diet, I started buying coconut and almond milk as a dairy substitute. I have noticed that these products have gained popularity, and not just for those who are lactose intolerant or those who follow a plant-based diet. I know that many of my Weight Watchers members gravitate toward it because the unsweetened varieties are lower in Points Plus than cow’s milk. However, if you are concerned about the nutritional value of food and trying to eat as cleanly as possible, I recommend that you look at the ingredient list on the packaged version of these dairy substitutes. Unfortunately, many of the products carry a long list of ingredients (most of which we do not recognize as real food). I do not imagine that almond milk contains many almonds because if it did they would have to charge much more for it (you know this if you have purchased almonds lately since they carry a relatively high price tag).

Peach & Raspberry ShakeWhat I have been trying to do is to make my own nut based milks with raw nuts and my Vitamix. I have bought dairy substitutes on occasion for convenience. The couple times that I did purchase almond milk, most went down the drain since I do not use it often.

For Weight Watchers members who are concerned about the PP value of this smoothie, I find that smoothies or shakes that I make with raw nuts (instead of dairy substitutes) tend to be much more filling. Nuts do have healthy fats and supply protein as well. So not only is this shake a great way to satisfy a sweet tooth but it is also strong nutritionally speaking. It is well worth the PP since it is real food.

For this shake I decided to use plain coconut water and raw nuts as the base. I used a mix of nuts (walnuts, cashews, almonds, macadamia, and pistachio) and I soaked them overnight (but they can be soaked a couple of hours in advance). Soaking raw nuts helps increase their enzymes and nutritional value, makes them easy to digest, and will make them softer and have a less gritty texture in recipes.

Ingredients for Peach & Raspberry Cobbler Shake by Produce with AmyPEACH & RASPBERRY COBBLER SHAKE

  • 1 cup frozen peaches
  • 1/2 cup frozen raspberries
  • 1/4 of a frozen banana (I added this after a quick taste of the shake because it needed to be a touch sweeter for my taste. If you want the shake sweeter add more banana)
  • 1/4 of raw, soaked nuts
  • 1 teaspoon real vanilla extract
  • Cinnamon to taste (I added approximately 1/2 a teaspoon and sprinkled more on the top before blending)
  • Ice cubes (I added a few)
  • 3/4-1 cup of plain coconut water (I made sure it was cold and added 1/2 cup at first and added more until it was the consistency that I wanted. My shake was very thick and resembled a milk shake in texture)
  • Optional ~ 1 Tablespoon organic coconut flakes for garnish

Blend well. This shake is versatile and you add your choice of fruit, but I recommend freezing the fruit first so the shake is thick.

Printable Recipe: Peach & Raspberry Cobbler Shake

Pin it HERE.
10Peach & Raspberry Dairy-Free ShakeRaspberry & Peach Cobbler ShakeFinding healthy ways to satisfy our cravings is simple if you use the right ingredients. I love to experiment with different combinations and enjoy being able to share my findings with you. If you like this shake you might want to try my Guilt Free Chocolate Pumpkin Shake and my Chocolate Covered Strawberry Smoothie.

If you enjoy my blog please stop by my Facebook page and give it a like and join the conversation. I love hearing from those who try my recipes and the tweaks made so they fit one’s personal taste and lifestyle. Healthy and delicious food is one of my passions and I am so thankful for the opportunity to share and learn together. I look forward to hearing from you. Cheers to our health!

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