This weekend we honor the mothers who do so much for so many. My own mom and mom-in-law are out of state, so I will be sending flowers-- deep pink roses-- for these are the color and hue that represent gratitude and appreciation. As for the celebration of my own motherhood, I plan to create this yummy-looking raspberry rose ice cream with my daughter who is home. (She pretty much makes vegan ice cream of some sort several days a week, so we already have the ingredients on hand. We even have a bag of organic food grade rose petals that I ordered online to make rose brownies for my other daughter's birthday this month.).
Whether you are celebrating your own mother, another nurturing woman in your life, or your own self, perhaps we can each allow the deep hue of raspberries and blissful, intoxicating scent of rose to serve as a tiny reminder of the incredible strength, grace, and beauty of all the divine goddesses who make up our world.
P.S. I have plenty of rose petals to share if you would like to sprinkle a bit on top! You can also celebrate the moms in your life this weekend at Abhyaasa, May 8th-10th by bringing her as a guest to any of our regular yoga or belly dance classes and/or purchasing a special Mother's Day gift card ($100 for $80 through May 10th), so that she can continue to nurture herself.
Kate's notes: Find this and other vegan recipes at elegantlyvegan.com
1 dL = 100 mL :)
My daughter, Meghana made this recipe twice now, and you would not believe the secret ingredient is black beans. It is quick, vegan, gluten-free and just plain delicious. She found the recipe at a site called ChocolateCoveredKatie.com. Thank you, Katie! We will definitely try some of your other healthy recipes. :-)
Black Bean Brownies Recipe: Preheat oven to 350 F. Combine all ingredients except chips in a good food processor, and blend until completely smooth. Really blend well. (A blender can work if you absolutely must, but the texture—and even the taste—will be much better in a food processor.) Stir in the chips, then pour into a greased 8x8 pan. Optional: sprinkle extra chocolate chips over the top. Cook the black bean brownies 15-18 minutes, then let cool at least 10 minutes before trying to cut. Makes 9-12 brownies.
Warm weather is here (finally!) and smoothies are a delicious and satisfying way to pack a lot of nutrition into a single meal. Here is a handy list of Super Foods and their benefits from Simple Green Smoothies. Most of these ingredients are easily found in more health-focused markets such as Whole Foods and some even in the more mainstream supermarkets.
10 Superfoods You Should Be Eating
If you are looking for a green smoothie staple then you have come to the right place. These do-it-all superseeds are good for your head with their high content of omega fatty acids that increase healthy brain function, but have also proven to be good for your heart by fighting high cholesterol and heart disease. They even boast a wide variety of nutrients, such as: protein, fiber, amino acids, vitamins, minerals, iron, calcium and antioxidants. Use up to three tablespoons of chia seeds in your smoothie for a thick consistency and a mildly sweet flavor.
If you are exercising for weight loss then coconut oil will be an important ingredient for you. The fatty acids in this superfood fight body fat by converting into energy that boosts metabolism as opposed to saturated fats that add body fat. Use one tablespoon of coconut oil in your green smoothie for breakfast and you should notice less of yourself in the mirror in no time.
Flax seed is best known for its fatty acids and fiber. When talking about omega fatty acids it is better ask what they can’t do then what they can. This powder plays its part in proper cardiovascular and immune system health, brain function, joint function, soft skin, and more. The fiber in flax is also good for many things, but especially effective with eliminating toxins from your body. Add just one tablespoon of ground flaxseed or try whole seeds to your smoothie for a subtle, nutty flavor with more than subtle nutrition.
Perhaps one of the tastiest top ten treats, goji berries are known for their healing strength. The nutrients included in these berries are antioxidants and amino acids, but the real strength lies within their more than 20 vitamins and minerals. These precious nutrients have been used for centuries in Asian cultures to strengthen eyesight, fight against viruses, balance hormones, and even to assist with the longevity of life. Not feeling the best? Sweeten things up with 1/2 cup of these berries in your smoothie!
Of course, superfoods aren’t always made from glamorous plants. Sometimes they are made from pond algae, like Spirulina. Though its taste may be subpar, its high content of everything nutritious makes up for it. Spirulina’s top two ingredients are protein and omega fatty acids. We highly recommended it to anyone who has recently taken on the challenge to eat vegetarian. Use anywhere from one to two teaspoons of spirulina in your daily smoothie.
Cacao Powder and Nibs
Cacao is filled with two things that we love: antioxidants and chocolatey flavor! The antioxidants boost your immune system which helps to resist those nasty colds and sickness. The rich, chocolatey flavor is delicious and dessert-like which helps to resist those sugar cravings while still satisfying your sweet tooth. Blend two to four tablespoons of cacao powder with your daily smoothie and enjoy the warm flavors. Or sprinkle some cacao nibs on top for just a hint of goodness. Or both!
We always have avocados on our counter. They are a big part of our diet. We toss them in smoothies, make guacamole and constantly eat them by themselves. These green gems contain almost 20 vitamins, minerals and beneficial plant compounds that will boost your smoothie real fast and make it extra creamy. They are loaded with heart-healthy fats that will keep your skin glowing and your tummy full longer.
At times it can be difficult to receive the proper amounts of protein and fiber that our bodies need in a healthy way. Hemp protein powder makes it a little easier boasting a whopping 50% protein content and much higher levels of fiber than soy-based protein powder. The hemp content is also kid friendly, as it encourages childhood growth through its amino acids. Athletes can also turn to this superfood for its ability to repair muscles. You can add one to four tablespoons of hemp protein, which has a much stronger taste. You can also buy hemp hearts and sprinkle one to two tablespoons of top of smoothies or add to your salads for a nutty, protein packed punch.
Camu is all about the “C” that it starts with… Vitamin C. Camu berries come from the Peruvian river regions and are packed with more vitamin C than any orange you’ll ever eat. Vitamin C has been linked with stronger immune systems and protection against viruses helping you fight off those nasty colds, and may even help to keep your skin healthy and vibrant. Camu powder’s tart taste works well with all kinds of fruits. You only need to add one teaspoon or so to your smoothies to achieve that perfect combination of tart and sweet.
A-what? This smooth superfood is popular for its mispronunciation (uh-sigh-ee), but even more popular for keeping you fiery and full. These Brazilian berries are loaded with antioxidants that boost your body’s energy and ability to focus. Their protein and fiber will also keep you feeling full making the Acai berry (or powder) a weight fighting superhero. Acai has a wide range of possibilities. Its creamy consistency and almost chocolatey flavor works well with both sweet and savory flavors by adding just one tablespoon to your smoothie.
Bringing superfoods into your green smoothies is really all about knowing how to use them and knowing what you need in your diet. It is important to find superfoods that enhance the flavor and consistency of your smoothies, and work with your mix, but just as important to incorporate the superfoods that give you the nutrients you are looking for. Nothing beats finding that perfect combination of taste and nutrition to help you eat healthy and help our world.
Anyone have a favorite super food smoothie recipe to share?
In honor of the upcoming Modifications for Expecting Mothers with Rachel (Read more and register here.), I'm sharing some delicious smoothie recipes borrowed from the founders of Simple Green Smoothies. These recipes are naturally abundant with folic acid, calcium, fiber, iron, protein, omega-3, magnesium, potassium, and Vitamin B6. While these nutrients are especially important during pregnancy, these smoothies can be enjoyed by others seeking a healthy boost.
Note from Kate: If you have a Vitamix blender; create away. Other blenders may require additional processing of the carrots-- know your blender before you begin. :-)
Baby Brain Booster Green Smoothie – Serves 2
2 cups spinach, fresh
2 cups coconut water, unsweetened
1 cup pineapple
1 cup carrots, uncooked
2 tablespoons chia seeds
Baby Body Booster Green Smoothie – Serves 2
2 cups almond milk, unsweetened
2 cups swiss chard, fresh
1 cup raspberries
1 cup strawberries
1-2 tablespoons flaxseed powder
One quick word of caution! Green smoothies and eating healthy are great things to do while pregnant, but avoid doing a full-blown cleanse or detox (drastic changes in eating habits can cause a detox, too). If your body begins to detox while pregnant, then these nasty toxins will leave your body any way possible–including through the placenta and into your baby. Doing a body cleanse is a great thing to do, but just make sure to do it when your baby isn’t dependent upon you to nourish it.
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