Secret Recipe Club: Very Berry Smoothie

 SRCdrink214

It’s my favorite day of the month, I get to reveal my Secret Recipe Club assignment for February

I’m honored to be a part of this diverse international group of food bloggers.  In case you forgot, everyone in the Secret Recipe Club gets “assigned” a blog from which we are supposed to pick a dish to cook.  But, it’s all done in secrecy.  It isn’t until the ultimate reveal day (today) that everyone showcases the dishes and discovers who’s been their secret foodie link.  This club has provided me valuable exposure to blogs I might not otherwise encounter.

Today’s recipe is from Colie’s Kitchen blog, authored by Nicole Sherman.  Nicole has challenged herself to cook dinner each night, but as life goes that is much easier said than done. While she isn’t on a diet, she and her family are learning how to eat the right way, and subsequently implementing a healthier lifestyle change.

Her blog boasts a plethora of simple to make recipes from Braided Spaghetti Bread to homemade Chipotle Aioli.  Since we’ve finally broken past our never-ending stretch of sub-zero days, and the many inches of snow has finally melted, I’ve got spring fever.  I’ve switched over from slow cooking casseroles every night to re-introducing dishes that are more refreshing versus hearty and filling.  Last week my Chicken and Orange Couscous Salad hit the spot.  For today’s SRC selection, I decided I’d bring flavorful fruit smoothies back to our breakfast routine.

Nicole’s Very Berry Smoothie caught my eye.  Like every smoothie, all you need is a decent blender, some frozen fruit and other ingredients of choice and you’re ready to BLEND.  I tweaked the Very Berry Smoothie a bit and poured in some of our new favorite Almond Milk as the base as well as some Chia Seeds for added nutritional benefits.  I also love the fact that there are hidden benefits from the spinach in the drink yet, you can’t taste it at all in the finished drink.  Of course the tablespoon of organic stevia added a subtle sweet touch to the drink too.

Try it for yourself.  Everyone in my family voted it two thumbs up.  And, don’t forget to check out Colie’s Kitchen for some flavorful easy-to-make recipes your family should enjoy.


Pomegranate Banana Smoothie

Well, I guess you can say we’ve got smoothies on the brain.  But apparently, so do you.  We’ve gotten many many requests for more smoothie recipes.  Maybe everyone got excited over the Ninja Blender Giveaway (which by the way, you can now purchase from our store).  Regardless, smoothies have become the favorite addition to our breakfast routine.

So, here’s the deal my friends. You don’t really need a recipe to create a good tasting smoothie. In fact, they should be called “Kitchen Sink Drinks” because you can take the liberty to add in a wide range of ingredients and chances are, the final product will be flavorful.  If there’s one time in the kitchen you should be teaming with kitchen confidence, it’s when you’re making smoothies.

Yesterday we made a very refreshing Pomegranate Banana Smoothie that bumped our Blueberry Flaxseed smoothie out of the coveted best tasting spot.  And, guess what?  We just improvised the recipe.  We had some left over POM juice in the fridge, an over-ripe banana on the counter, and lots of honey in the pantry.

This drink is a must try.  Put it on a list–we won’t distinguish which one.  It’s as good for breakfast as it is post workout. If you don’t have all of the ingredients, just add in new ones (and document it)—that’s how smoothies were created in the first place!

Remember, smoothies are way too easy to pass up.  If all you have to do is hit blend, you should be blending morning, noon and night!

So, drink up.  And enjoy!

 

Making Lemonade from Lemons

Last June I wrote a post titled,  “Teaching Your Kids to Make Lemonade from Lemons.”  I spent most of the time talking about its figurative meaning– making the most out of life and turning what could be perceived as negative or “sour” into something positive or “sweet.”  It’s still something that we continue to massage in my household; obviously a difficult concept for two young kids to fully grasp intellectually.  Today, since spring is truly in the air on the east coast, we’re talking about the literal meaning of making lemonade from lemons!  I’m ashamed to admit that I had never made lemonade from fresh lemons (and that (gulp) includes all those falsely-marketed “fresh” lemonade stands I helped orchestrate for my kids over the years).

I’m not quite sure why making fresh lemonade from real lemons, picked and squeezed, seemed so difficult to me?  Instead, to quench my thirst, I’d always default to the powdery mixes that claim to be “natural.”

My previous version of fresh lemonade

Last weekend I was visiting a close friend in San Francisco with my daughter.  We spent the morning at the Ferry Terminal Building, weaving our way throughout the most impressive, expansive, organic food market featuring local farmers’ products.  We sampled everything we possibly could: from dried fruits, to artisan cheeses, to freshly-baked breads, to obscure drinks.

Dried apricots, peaches, apples and plums

Fresh KimChee Juice!  Do you even know what KimChee juice is?

I was so impressed with the health-conscious, eco-friendly attitude that’s organically woven throughout the San Francisco lifestyle.  You can’t seem to cross one street without stumbling upon a health food store or restaurant.  Residents of San Fran are required to compost and have composting containers in their kitchens and composting trashcans staking claim on their streets.

San Fransisco trifecta: Green= Compost   Blue=Recycle  Black= landfill garbage

Heck, even the airport had mostly healthy food options and at least 5 different types of recycling trashcans for left over food and waste products.

But, the best part?  My friend has a lemon tree in her front yard!  And, the tree was bursting with fresh, joyous, RIPE, lemons!

And, still riding the wake of the SF healthy living/healthy lifestyle, I felt compelled to pick them and make freshly-squeezed lemonade, right there on the spot!

My daughter, gearing up for some real freshly-squeezed lemonade

With just six lemons, some sugar and tap water, we made the most delicious, refreshing pitcher of lemonade I’ve tasted in a looong time.

While we can’t literally pick lemons from trees here in NYC, we certainly have our pick of lemons at the various markets lining the streets.

There’s no reason that in life and in the kitchen, we shouldn’t be making lemonade from lemons!!

Go ahead, it’s time to make yours…

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