Tag Archives: ginger

Blueberry Ginger Smoothie

ncBlueberryGingerSmthienm

We’ve had a few little tastes of spring this winter–several days of 50 and 60 degree sunny weather, which I’ve thoroughly enjoyed! And on one of those days, I made this smoothie. It has a rich blueberry flavor and the fresh ginger gives it an energizing zing. It’s a pretty thick smoothie, so you’ll probably want to use a straw when you drink this. Even if the weather isn’t warm and sunny, it’s still a wonderful smoothie to make!

BLUEBERRY GINGER SMOOTHIE by NancyC

Makes 1 (10-ounce) serving

  • 1 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1/2 cup plain low-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup low fat milk
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground flaxseed or wheat germ
  • 2 to 3 ice cubes

Add blueberries, yogurt, milk, honey, ginger, flaxseed, and ice cubes to blender; blend until smooth and creamy. Serve immediately.

It’s so nice having a little touch of spring weather to break up the winter blahs. The weather did get cold again, but now it’s starting to warm up some more…so I’m sure I’ll be making more smoothies! They remind me of spring and summer because I make them often during the warm weather seasons–my favorite times of the year! Are you looking forward to spring as much as I am?

Linked to Fiesta Friday at The Novice Gardener, Thursday Favorite Things at Katherine’s Corner, and Inspire Me Monday at Create with Joy.

Advertisements

Rejuvenating Beet Smoothie (Non-Dairy)

ncRejuvSmoothie1nm

There sure are a lot of big food-related holidays and events during the winter. There’s Christmas, New Year’s Eve and Day, Superbowl Sunday, Valentine’s Day, and St. Patrick’s Day–no wonder it’s so hard to diet this time of year! If you feel like you’re needing a little dose of something healthy, this is just the thing. I was inspired by this Beet Rejuvenator at New Nostalgia and decided that yes, I did need some rejuvenating! 🙂 I don’t eat a lot of beets, but I know how good they are for you. This smoothie is supposed to be super cleansing–it also has carrots, cucumber, lemon, and ginger root in it, so I’m sure it is! I made a few changes, using a whole (small) beet instead of half, and using the juice from one lemon. I also added some honey, so I’m not sure if or how that affects the cleansing qualities of the smoothie. I thought the blend of the veggies with the lemon juice and ginger was good, but I liked having the smoothie a little sweeter. I used raw honey, which has more nutrients than the processed kind.

Also, I used a blender, so I cut my veggies into chunks for easier blending. If you’re using a juicer, you won’t need to do that. If you use a blender, you’ll probably have to stop and stir the ingredients a few times to help blend it, and you’ll have a thicker smoothie. Be sure to use organic veggies if you can! This smoothie does make you feel like you’re getting a little healthy boost, so if you’re in an unhealthy food rut, try this out for a refreshing change!

REJUVENATING BEET SMOOTHIE by NancyCreative, adapted from New Nostalgia

Makes about 2 servings (16 ounces)

  • 3/4 cup sliced carrots (about 1 large or 2 small carrots)
  • 1 medium-size cucumber, cut into slices or chunks
  • Juice from 1 large Lemon
  • 1-inch piece of Ginger Root, cut into small chunks
  • 1 small Beet Root, cut into chunks
  • 2 Tablespoons raw honey

Put all ingredients in your blender or juicer, and blend till smooth (if using a blender, you may have to stop it and stir to help the mixture along). Pour into 2 glasses and serve.

Have you ever made a smoothie with beets? What other healthy kinds of smoothies do you like to make?

Pumpkin Spice Cream Cheese Spread or Dip

ncPumpSpiceCrCh1nm

After I made my Pumpkin Hummus, I had half of a can of pumpkin left over. What to do with it? I thought some of it might be good in a cream cheese spread. I was inspired by this recipe from Better Homes and Gardens. I wanted to sweeten the spread with honey instead of sugar (although you could use brown sugar instead if you want to have a thicker spread) and made some other changes, and this is what I ended up with!

It’s a lightly sweet and spicy spread with a very creamy texture that’s great on bagels or pumpkin bread for breakfast. Or, use as an appetizer spread on crackers or as a dip for fruit. It’s very soft and creamy when you mix it up so it does need to be refrigerated for at least an hour or two after mixing. Even after it’s refrigerated, it’s more creamy than other cream cheese spreads I’ve made–so if you want a thicker spread, use brown sugar instead of honey and omit the vanilla. If you don’t have all the spices I used in this, you can use 1 1/4 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice.

PUMPKIN SPICE CREAM  CHEESE SPREAD by NancyCreative, adapted from Better Homes and Gardens

Makes 1 1/2 cups

  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese or light cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 3 Tablespoons honey (or substitute brown sugar for a thicker spread)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

In medium bowl, blend all ingredients together until smooth (if using an electric mixer, blend on medium speed). Pour mixture into a small serving bowl, then cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight. Makes about 1 1/2 cups of spread. Serve on bagels or pumpkin bread for breakfast. Or, serve as an appetizer with crackers or apple and pear slices.

If you like pumpkin-flavored things, you’ll need to try this out! What other ways do you like to use leftover canned pumpkin?

Apple Cinnamon Ginger Water

ncAppCinnGingWaternm

I like making my own flavored water, and now that it’s autumn, I thought I’d try a water recipe with the flavors of fall. I was inspired by a recipe for apple-cinnamon water at Sarah’s Cool Stuff–apples and cinnamon are such a classic fall flavor combination. There are sliced apples and cinnamon sticks in this, and I added some slices of fresh ginger root for a little extra mild spice. It’s really refreshing!

You can also add some ground cinnamon if you like, for a stronger cinnamon flavor, but it will color the water more brownish and it tends to clump up in the water when refrigerated. I recommend just adding 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon to your water if you decide to try that, and mix it in before you add the apple slices and other ingredients.

Make this in the evening, refrigerate overnight, and it will be ready to drink the next day. The water does get a little cloudy as it refrigerates. The apples will start to brown a little the next day, but the water is still good to drink for a day or two after you make it. To help prevent the apples from turning brown, you can squeeze fresh lemon juice on the slices as you’re slicing the apples.

I sliced up 2 different kinds of apples for my water to add extra color–a Gala apple and a Granny Smith apple–use whatever types of apples you like best! Although I used a tart Granny Smith apple in this batch of water, I recommend using sweeter apples–I really liked the slightly sweet flavor of the water when I made it another time with 2 Gala apples.

APPLE CINNAMON GINGER WATER by NancyCreative, adapted from Sarah’s Cool Stuff

Makes a large pitcher (half-gallon) of flavored water

  • 8 cups of water
  • 2 medium organic apples (sweet apples work best–Fuji apples are a good choice), cut into thin slices (if you don’t use organic, peel your apples so you don’t get the pesticides from the skins in your water)
  • 4 to 6 cinnamon sticks
  • 6 thin slices of peeled fresh ginger root

Fill pitcher with 8 cups of water. Slice apples, putting the slices in the water right away (this helps prevent the slices from browning too soon). Add cinnamon sticks and ginger root, and stir all ingredients together in the pitcher. Refrigerate overnight before serving. When ready to serve, add ice cubes to pitcher and stir right before serving or add ice to individual serving glasses and pour your flavored water over the ice.

If you prefer a fizzy water drink, you can use Seltzer water instead of regular water (Club Soda is high in sodium and Tonic Water is sweetened with high fructose corn syrup, so Seltzer water is best).

Note: This water has a very light, mild flavor–if you want a stronger apple flavor, you could also mix in some unsweetened apple juice to taste.

If you’re wondering what you can do with the fruit when you’re done drinking the water, here are some ideas: If the apple slices are still crunchy and just slightly brown, I eat them-or I eat them as I’m drinking up the water. You can also put the apple slices, ginger root slices, and cinnamon sticks in your compost pile.

What fruits do you like to use to flavor your water?

Pumpkin Gingerbread

ncPumpGing2nm

I had planned on making a traditional gingerbread recipe for the holidays, but then I saw this recipe for Pumpkin Gingerbread at Allrecipes.com…it had a 5-star rating, so I figured I couldn’t go wrong with this! It makes two 9 x 5″ loaves, and I was so happy with how they turned out! I substituted milk for the water, canola oil for vegetable oil, and added a ginger glaze. If you prefer your quick breads without a glaze, these loaves are so moist and flavorful, they don’t really need one…so you can’t go wrong either way. These loaves take an hour to bake, which is great when the weather is cold…your kitchen gets nice and warm and scented with a great pumpkin-ginger aroma! 🙂

PUMPKIN GINGERBREAD by NancyCreative, adapted from AllRecipes

  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1 (15- oz.) can pumpkin puree
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 9 x 5″ loaf pans. In large bowl, combine sugar, oil and eggs; beat until smooth. Add milk and beat until well blended. Stir in pumpkin, ginger, allspice, cinnamon, and cloves. In medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt, and baking powder. Add dry ingredients to pumpkin mixture and blend just until all ingredients are mixed. Divide batter between prepared pans. Bake in preheated oven at 350 degrees for 1 hour, or until toothpick inserted in center of loaves comes out clean. Let loaves cool in pans for about 5 minutes, then remove from pans and let cool completely before adding glaze, if desired.

GINGER GLAZE:

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 4 Tablespoons milk or half and half
  • 3/4  to 1 teaspoon ground ginger

In small bowl, blend powdered sugar and milk or half and half; mix until well-blended. Stir in ground ginger and blend well. Drizzle over cooled loaves, as light or heavy as you want. You may have some glaze left over…I always save the extra glaze in a small container and refrigerate it…there’s usually something else I bake later that I can use it on!

But like I said, these loaves are great without glaze, too…you may just want to forget the glaze and eat it warm, fresh out of the oven!
ncPumpGing1nm

NOTE: If you want to make mini-loaves for gifts, this recipe makes six 3 x 5″ mini-loaves. Or you could make one large loaf and 3 mini-loaves. The baking time for mini-loaves is about 35 minutes.

Linked to Motivate Me Monday, Mouthwatering Monday, Tuesdays at the Table, Tempt My Tummy Tuesday, What’s Cooking Wednesday, We Did It! Wednesday, Show and Tell, Foodie Friday, Fat Camp FridayFavorite Things Saturday.