I love baking with sweet potatoes—I’ve made Sweet Potato Bread, Sweet Potato Biscuits, Loaded Sweet Potato Muffins, and Sweet Potato Cinnamon Cake… so I thought it was about time to try a sweet potato pound cake! I found a recipe that I tweaked a little, using some brown sugar along with granulated sugar in the batter, and adding a little more cinnamon and nutmeg, plus some chopped pecans. Continue reading
I had some kale that I needed to use up, and smoothies are always great ways to use extra fruit and greens that you’re not sure what else to do with. 🙂 So I began searching for kale smoothie recipes and found this one at Green Plate Rule. The site mentions that kale has 10 times the vitamin C, 4 times the vitamin A, almost 2 times the vitamin K, and more calcium and vitamin B6 than spinach does. Wow-I had no idea kale was so super-nutritious!
I did make a few small changes and I really liked the way this turned out! Usually I add honey to sweeten up my smoothies, but the 5 different kinds of fruit in this, especially the pineapple, make the smoothie sweet enough on it’s own. When you put all the ingredients in the blender, you might think that 1/4 cup orange juice is not enough liquid like I thought at first…
…but it blends up into a really nice, thick smoothie–the perfect consistency!
ORANGE PEAR KALE GREEN SMOOTHIE by NancyCreative, adapted from Green Plate Rule
Makes about 24 ounces, or 3 (8-ounce) servings
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- 1/2 cup green grapes
- 1 pear, cut into slices or chunks
- 1 orange, peeled
- 1/2 cup frozen pineapple chunks
- 1/2 frozen banana
- 1 cup kale, well packed
Add all ingredients into a high-powered blender and blend until smooth, at least 1 minute. Pour into glasses and serve.
I’m starting to use kale a little more since it’s so healthy. I like it in smoothies and soups. I think it’s a little bitter for salads so I don’t use it that way much. What different ways have you tried using kale?
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This is an easy, fruity drink to make–perfect for enjoying on a sunny spring day! This cooler has strawberries that you mash, or muddle, to release the juices, and then you add in the orange juice for a really great fruity combination! If you need to make a larger amount of servings, just multiply the ingredients by the number of servings you need–you could even mix up a large batch in a pitcher!
When I was mashing up my strawberries, I found it was easier to do that in a medium-size bowl, and I used a spoon to mash them. But you could also mash them right in the glass if that works best for you.
STRAWBERRY–ORANGE MINT COOLER by NancyCreative, adapted from Martha Stewart
Makes 2 servings
- Half a pint (8 ounces) of strawberries, hulled
- 4 fresh mint leaves
- 2 cups orange juice (or tangerine or mandarin juice)
- mint springs for garnish, optional
Divide strawberries between 2 (10 or 12-ounce) glasses. Add 2 mint leaves to each glass. Muddle (or mash) strawberries until they are crushed and juicy (you can use a spoon or muddler to do this). Add 4 or 5 ice cubes to each glass, then fill each glass with 1 cup of orange juice. Garnish with mint sprigs, if desired.
If you want a slightly fizzy drink, use 1 cup juice mixed with 1 cup sparkling water. It will be less sweet, but the fizziness is nice!
This would be a great beverage to serve at a spring breakfast or brunch. Maybe even on Easter! What types of fruity beverages do you like to make?
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Smoothies are a summer staple for me–they’re so refreshing in the hot weather! Here’s a great strawberry smoothie recipe I like to make. I love strawberries in just about anything. And I especially like this smoothie because it has healthy flaxseed in it.
Recently, I received some samples of different healthy flaxseed superfood blends to try out from Linwoods. The items I’m trying are:
- Flaxseed & Goji Berries
- Flaxseed, Almonds, Brazil Nuts, Walnuts, & Q10
- Flaxseed Cocoa & Berries
- Flax, Sunflower, Pumpkin & Sesame Seeds & Goji Berries
I also received some Shelled Hemp, which I had never tried before, but it was great mixed into some Greek yogurt for breakfast! You can use it just as you would use flaxseed meal.
I’m sprinkling these blends over cereal and oatmeal, and mixing them into smoothies, for an extra healthy dose of fiber and nutrients. You could add these blends to many other foods, too, for a healthy boost–like salads, soups, casseroles, pasta, and stir fry. Or try mixing into your baked goods to make them a little healthier! I really like the variety of the Linwood blends and all the healthy ingredients that are combined with their flaxseed. These blends are available at Whole Foods; Bed, Bath, and Beyond; Fresh Market and other select stores.
I used the Linwood Flaxseed and Goji Berries blend in this smoothie, but you can use any type of ground flaxseed that you prefer. It’s a super healthy way to start your day!
STRAWBERRY-FLAX SMOOTHIE by NancyCreative
Makes about two 10-oz. servings
- 1 heaping cup frozen strawberries
- 3/4 cup plain or vanilla yogurt (I like using Greek yogurt)
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup orange juice or grapefruit juice (use smaller amount if you want it a little thicker)
- 1 Tablespoon honey
- 1 Tablespoon flaxseed meal
- 1 banana
- 3 ice cubes
Place all the ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth and frothy.
This smoothie makes a great breakfast or healthy snack during the hot summer months! Have you tried mixing in flaxseed or other types of fiber to your smoothies?
It is hot outside today…the type of day you think about having an Orange Julius. I had found a recipe at Mel’s Kitchen Cafe that I wanted to try, and I thought it was really good! I added a little more sugar to mine, but if you don’t want a sweeter Julius, then stick with the lower amount of sugar in the recipe (see below). I especially love the frothy, creamy foaminess of this drink…I’m sure it partly has to do with the powdered sugar in it. It’s a real treat, and great to have any time of day…for breakfast, brunch, or as an afternoon refreshment. Super easy to make, too!
ORANGE JULIUS slightly adapted from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe
Makes 3-4 servings
- 6 ounces frozen orange juice concentrate
- 1 cup milk (can use lowfat or whole milk)
- 1 cup water
- 1/4 to 1/3 cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 10 to 12 ice cubes
Combine all ingredients, except the ice cubes, in a blender and process until smooth and frothy. Add ice cubes and blend until smooth (I used the “ice crush” setting on my blender and that worked out great).
Then sit in a shady spot and enjoy your Julius!
Have you had very hot weather where you live? What types of things do you like to make on hot days?
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