{Recipe; Vegan MoFo} Smoothie – Juice Hybrid

Is it a juicy smoothie or a smooth juice?

hybrid1

On the day that a Blendtec blender arrived on our doorstep, Mat was keen to see what it was capable of. He decided to make a smoothie that included a carrot. The Blendtec took it in her stride, and Mat never felt the need to add carrots to his smoothies again. Until recently.

Since purchasing a slow juicer this winter, Mat’s smoothie-juice hybrid has become a firm favourite with the adults in our house.

Ingredients

(serves 2 – 3)

4 carrots, chopped*

3 oranges, peeled and chopped*

2 apples, chopped*

1/3 cup frozen blueberries

1/3 cup strawberries

1 – 2 frozen bananas

1 cup kale (tuscan cabbage) leaves

1 cup cos (romaine) lettuce leaves

1 cup baby spinach leaves

1/2 Tbsp coconut butter

1 heaped tsp ground flax seeds

Method

1. Juice the carrots, oranges and apples. Pour the juice into a blender jug.

2. Add the coconut butter, ground flax seed, berries, green leaves, and banana to the blender jug . Blend until smooth.

3. Pour into tall glasses. Garnish with mint leaves. Enjoy!

* – You may not need to chop the carrots, oranges and apples if you are using a centrifugal juicer.

hybrid2

The Tiny Vegans’ Verdicts

As far as the Tiny Vegans are concerned, if it looks like a green smoothie it is a green smoothie. Therefore, the green smoothie fans – the tiniest Tiny Vegans – are enthusiastic about this drink. The biggest Tiny Vegans aren’t so keen.

Ally

{Recipe} Winter Smoothies

wintersmooth

Today I am featuring a sample of the smoothies that we have been enjoying over winter. These smoothies take advantage of seasonal fruits – apples, pears, strawberries, oranges, and avocados. Small, sweet bananas are in season all year round in my neck of the woods, so they feature prominently in my smoothies. I prefer to use bananas that have been frozen, as they impart a creamy, thick consistency to smoothies. I keep my freezer stocked with a steady supply of banana pieces.

I am fortunate to have a high-speed blender in my kitchen (Blendtec), but you can prepare these smoothies in a ‘regular’ blender. If you think that your blender could not cope with a particular ingredient – like apples or pumpkin seeds – leave it out or substitute. Don’t leave out the green leaves though!

applepear

Apple-Pear Green Smoothie

This smoothie is delightfully thick and satisfying. A good breakfast smoothie.

Serves 2

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups water

1/2 Tbsp coconut butter (optional)

1 pear, cored

1 apple, cored (or another pear, cored)

flesh of 1/2 an avocado

3 Tbsp rolled oats (or gluten-free oats)

1 heaped tsp ground flax seeds (linseeds)

2 cups baby cos lettuce (romaine) leaves

2 cups baby spinach leaves

 2 small dinosaur kale (tuscan cabbage) leaves, de-stemmed

2 small frozen bananas

Method

1. Place ingredients into blender in the order listed. Blend until smooth.

2. Serve in tall glasses.

***

berrycitrus

Berry-Citrus Green Smoothie

A subtle hint of citrus, and the health-giving properties of berries and pumpkin seeds.

Serves 2

Ingredients:

2 cups water

1 orange, peeled

1 cup strawberries

flesh of 1/2 an avocado

1 heaped tsp ground flax seeds (linseeds)

1 Tbsp raw pumpkin seeds (pepitas)

1 cup baby cos (romaine) lettuce leaves

2 cups baby spinach leaves

1 cup curly kale leaves, de-stemmed

1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries (I use organic, frozen)

1 small frozen banana

Method

1. Place ingredients into blender in the order listed. Blend until smooth.

2. Serve in tall glasses.

***

straw1

The following recipes are designed to be ‘kid friendly’. They contain a small amount of leafy greens, but are not green in appearance.

In our household, the tiniest Tiny Vegans adore green smoothies and happily drink them. Unfortunately, my older children are not as keen. They prefer non-dairy milk-based smoothies, like the following three recipes.

strawberryban

Strawberry-Banana Smoothie

Delightfully creamy. A delicious after school snack.

Serves 1 (or makes 2 child-sized serves)

Ingredients:

1 cup of non-dairy milk (I use soy or unsweetened almond)

1 cup strawberries

flesh of 1/4 avocado

1 heaped tsp ground flax seeds (linseeds)

1/8 tsp ground cinnamon

2 baby cos (romaine) lettuce leaves, stem section removed

2 small frozen bananas

Method

1. Place ingredients into blender in the order listed. Blend until smooth.

2. Decorate glass with a strawberry.

***

chocmint

Choc-Mint Smoothie

A refreshing burst of mint. Not strictly a winter blend, but a delectable flavour combination nonetheless.

Serves 1 (makes 2 child-sized serves)

Ingredients:

1 cup non-dairy milk (I use unsweetened almond)

1/2 Tbsp raw cacao powder or unsweetened cocoa powder

1 heaped tsp ground flax seeds (linseeds)

3 medjool dates, pitted, and soaked until soft (optional)

1/4 cup freshly picked mint leaves

2 small frozen bananas

Method

1. Place ingredients into blender in the order listed. Blend until smooth.

2. Pour into glass and top with a sprinkling of cacao nibs.

***

pear1

Pear-Chocolate Chai Smoothie

Dark caramel in colour. A satisfying hint of chai-inspired spices and a welcome burst of chocolate.

Serves 1 (makes 2 child-sized serves)

Ingredients:

1 cup non-dairy milk (I use soy)

1 pear, cored

1 heaped tsp raw cacao powder or unsweetened cocoa powder

1/8 tsp ground cinnamon

1/16 tsp freshly grated nutmeg

a generous pinch of ground cardamon

a pinch of ground cloves

1 heaped tsp ground flax seeds (linseeds)

6 baby spinach leaves, end stems removed

1 small frozen banana

Method

1. Place ingredients into blender in the order listed. Blend until smooth.

2. Pour into glass and top with a sprinkling of freshly grated nutmeg.

***

What are your favourite winter smoothie combinations?

Every Monday, I feature a delicious vegan recipe (or more!) that is enjoyed by my own family – I hope your family enjoys it too!

Ally  :)

For summer-inspired smoothies, see this post.

Linking up with Healthy Vegan Fridays.

{Restaurant Review} Cardamon Pod Vegetarian, Broadbeach

We visited Cardamon Pod Vegetarian restaurant for lunch this week. Cardamon Pod is located at Broadbeach (on the Gold Coast), just a couple of blocks from the beach. This Hare Krishna restaurant continues to impress me with its vibrant and tasty vegan food.

My strongest memories of Hare Krishna food are steeped in my university days. The Hare Krishna food on campus had few vegan options, and I can recall lots of dairy-based foods. That is not the case at Cardamon Pod. Vegans are catered for, more than adequately. There was not a dairy-based mango lassi in sight! (Disclaimer: there may be one on the menu, somewhere….).

cardamonpod1

***

We were famished on arrival. There was a hive of activity – it was 1pm, peak time. We had no trouble finding a table, and chose to eat inside. We sat at a large table with a long bench seat covered in about a dozen colourful and cheerful cushions. The décor is very eclectic, and visually pleasing to the eye. The tables are mismatched. There is a couch outside. There are purple plastic chairs, and there are wooden-framed chairs with soft, bouncy seat cushions (like the ones we sat in). There are grand looking chairs, with high backs and wide arms. We saw parrot candle stick holders, with melted wax covering the birds. The food is also visually appealing.

ecclectic decor

***

Diners at Cardamon Pod can choose from a variety of hot and cold dishes. The hot dishes are presented bain marie style. I noticed one of the staff members using a thermometer to check the temps of each hot dish, which may be reassuring for those who have concerns about eating food from bain maries.

Mat was excited to notice that they had vegan kofta balls. We only know of one other restaurant that makes vegan kofta balls, so Mat was thrilled to have the option.

I was feeling overwhelmed by my hunger and the plethora of choices. I knew that I wanted salad. Mat suggested that we order a Vegan Platter. It consisted of our choice of 2 hot dishes and 2 salads, rice and a samosa. We chose vegetable curry, Kofta balls (of course!), Sweet Potato, Broccoli and Sesame Tofu salad and Dutch Carrot, Almond and Rocket salad. The platter cost $26. It consists of more food than one person can comfortably eat.

veganplatter1

***

We also decided on vegan nachos and an additional samosa as we knew the kids would enjoy both of these. We also shared our salads with the kids. The samosas are huge, so 2 samosas between 3 kids and 1 adult is adequate (Little Baker and I didn’t indulge in samosa).
The curry, nachos and salads were gluten-free. The nachos cost $16. The samosa cost $4 and came with a sauce that was called ‘tomato chutney’. However, it had the smooth consistency of a sauce – there were no tomato chunks. Mat and my daughter couldn’t stop raving about the chutney (sauce). This was also the sauce that was poured over the kofta balls. They were right in their assessment, it was scrumptious.

vegannachos1

***

My daughter tried all of the dishes, and informed me that her favourite was the nachos, specifically the kidney bean concoction covering the corn chips. The beans had a subtle hint of lemon. The boys loved the samosas, and corn chips -of course! Mat’s favourite were the kofta balls. The Dutch Carrot salad had a surprising, but welcome, bite of chilli to it. I also enjoyed the taste and consistency of the triangles of tofu. Little Baker enjoyed them too – these are easy finger food. He was trying to use a fork at one stage, imitating his siblings. I watched him attempting to balance a piece of rocket on the fork.

I did worry about Little Baker spilling food on the beautiful cushions. He had grains of rice spread across the table and stuck to his shirt. At one stage, our 3 year old clearly forgot that we were in a restaurant. After he scoffed his samosa, corn chips and broccoli, he curled up like a cat on a couple of cushions. He was set for a nap! Someone knocked over a glass of water. Ah, eating out with 4 children is rarely completely relaxing!

smoothiemenu1

***

Cardamon Pod also has a juice and smoothie bar, and serves raw desserts like chocolate mousse. We didn’t order a drink or dessert on this visit. On a previous visit, I ordered The Hulk (they had run out of baby spinach, so I was offered a double dose of spirulina. I agreed. It was the first time I had consumed spirulina in a smoothie. It was radio-active green, and delicious. Afterwards, I felt incredibly energised).

There wasn’t room for a Hulk or a dessert this time. Mat suggested that we visit solely for dessert one day. Great idea!
So, for a grand total of $46 my family of 2 adults, 3 children and a baby left Cardamon Pod with full and happy bellies, eager to visit again soon.

Look at what we spotted across the road, etched into the footpath……

starimage1

Cardamon Pod Vegetarian

11/110 Surf Parade,

Broadbeach, QLD

Phone 0452 218 108 for opening hours.

***

RP

I want to extend my gratitude to those that have voted for me in the Circle of Moms Top 25 Vegan and Vegetarian Moms 2013

I am currently in the number 2 spot! This is very exciting! I would love to maintain this position. If you enjoy reading Made of Stars, please vote for me here.

I really appreciate your support. 

You can vote for me once every 24 hours. You are not required to register, or provide your email address. You just click. It’s really quick!

The competition ends on 7 February. Thank you. 🙂

 Ally

{Recipe} Sensational Smoothies

Our new, shiny, RED Blendtec blender arrived last week!

blender

***

Lately, our Powermill blender has been acting up, demonstrating to us that it is ready for early retirement. It has served us well for 5 years. I had always been happy with the texture achieved by the Powermill, but the Blendtec makes the silkiest, smoothest green smoothies. It leaves the Powermill for dead.

When the Blendtec arrived, we eagerly opened the box and began excitedly discussing possible smoothie combinations.

Mat decided on an orange, carrot, rockmelon, banana and baby spinach blend. Yes, a whole carrot. The Blendtec took it in her stride. I was enraptured from that moment.

Blenders get heavy use in our house, but the excitement of a new blender (that is so easy to clean) has resulted in an escalation of smoothie making. It’s so easy to clean! Did I mention that? Moreover, the jug and motor are much lighter than the Powermill’s.

I am posting a sample of the smoothies that my family enjoyed last week. I don’t usually measure ingredients when making smoothies, but I did last week in order to provide you with adequate instructions.

First up, my favourite. Green smoothies!

***

1. Green Smoothies

Mango Citrus Berry

 Mango Citrus Berry Smoothie is a standard green smoothie at our house.  All of my green smoothies contain bananas as a base, the riper the better, and usually frozen. Frozen bananas provide a beautiful, creamy texture. I also add oranges and frozen blueberries. Mangoes are cheap and abundant at the moment, so they have been featuring regularly in our smoothies.

Mat and I prefer to use coconut water, but are happy to use filtered water if coconut water is not available. I always add ground flax seeds (linseeds) and chia seeds to my smoothies. Mat likes Maca powder so I usually add that too. The greens don’t vary considerably. I always add baby spinach leaves. If we have kale, I add 2 leaves. Otherwise, I add baby cos or cos lettuce.

You will need:

(Serves 2)

500ml coconut water or filtered water, cold

flesh of 1 mango

2 bananas (frozen is preferable, for a creamy texture)

1 orange, peeled and cut in half (remove visible seeds)

1/4 – 1/2 cup frozen blueberries

4 cups baby spinach leaves, washed

6 baby cos lettuce leaves, washed

1 heaped tsp of ground flaxseed or chia seed (or use a combination, as I do)

1 heaped tsp Maca powder

Method

1. Pour coconut water (or water) in jug;

2. Add maca powder, flax seeds/chia seeds, orange, bananas (if unfrozen), mango, and all of the leaves;

3. Lastly, add blueberries and banana (if frozen).

4. Blend until smooth (obviously, the time it takes to achieve a smooth blend will depend on the power of your blender).

***

Summerrain1

This blend reminds me of summer. It is the perfect summer drink, containing mango, nectarine and pineapple. I was going to name it Summer Smoothie, but it began to rain as I took the photos, so a new name was bestowed upon it. 

You will need:

(Serves 2)

5ooml coconut water or filtered water, cold

2 bananas (preferably frozen)

flesh of 1 mango

1 nectarine, seed removed

1 1/2 cups fresh pineapple

20 (approximately) fresh mint leaves

5 cups of baby spinach leaves

1 heaped tsp of ground flax seeds or chia seeds (or a combination)

Method

1. Pour coconut water or water in jug;

2. Add the flax seeds/chia seeds, mango, nectarine, pineapple, and all of the leaves;

3. Add banana (frozen or unfrozen);

4. Blend until smooth.

Just to set the record straight, I don’t drink green smoothies out of wine glasses. I use this….

IMG_0909

….which gives you an idea of the portion size of my smoothies. No small glasses for me!

***

2. Coconut water/water-based smoothie (not green):

Mat's smoothieA

Mat usually has a green smoothie each day. Depending on the particular workout he has endured, he may also make this smoothie.

I usually have some too because it is scrumptious! Or he shares it with the kids.

You will need:

(serves 2)

15 raw almonds, soaked overnight

5 dates, soaked overnight

15g goji berries, soaked overnight

1 cup frozen blueberries

3 bananas (preferably frozen)

500ml coconut water or filtered water, cold

1 heaped tsp maca powder

3 heaped dessertspoons of protein powder (we use Vital or Sun Warrior)

Method

1. Pour coconut water or water in jug;

2. Add maca powder, protein powder, dates, goji berries, bananas (if unfrozen);

3. Add blueberries, bananas (if frozen) and almonds;

4. Blend until smooth.

***

3. Non-dairy Milk-based Smoothies

Mango Berry

Mango Berry is one of my daughter’s favourite smoothie concoctions. She’s not too keen on green smoothies, unfortunately. She will drink a tiny amount because she understands that they are healthy but she doesn’t request them. She prefers rice or soy milk-based smoothies.

Our 3 year old will drink any type of smoothie. Our 6 year old went off green smoothies a couple of years ago (after enjoying them as a toddler), but in recent days (yay!) he is enjoying them again -it must be the new blender! 

You will need:

(2 child-size serves)

1 cup organic soy milk or protein-enriched rice milk

flesh of 1 mango

1/4 cup frozen blueberries

1/4 cup frozen raspberries

1 banana (preferably frozen)

1 heaped tsp ground flax seeds/chia seeds (or a combination)

5 ice cubes

Method:

1. Pour non-dairy milk in jug;

2. Add ground flax seeds/chia seeds, mango and banana (if unfrozen);

3. Add blueberries, raspberries, bananas (if frozen) and ice cubes;

4. Blend until smooth.

***

Chocberry1

Raw cacao powder is delicious in smoothies. Bananas and frozen blueberries complement the rich chocolaty flavour. I don’t use cacao powder in my green smoothies (maybe I should!), but I do like using it to make hot chocolate (in winter) and raw desserts.  My kids enjoy it in their milk-based smoothies. I really enjoyed this smoothie, and will probably indulge in it again soon.

You will need:

(2 child-size serves)

1 cup organic soy milk (or your preferred non-dairy milk)

2 bananas (preferably frozen)

1 heaped tbsp avocado

1 heaped tbsp cacao powder

1/4 cup frozen blueberries

1 heaped tsp ground flax seeds/chia seeds (or a combination)

Method

1. Pour soy milk in jug;

2. Add flax seeds/chia seeds, avocado, cacao powder, bananas (if unfrozen);

3. Add blueberries, and bananas (if frozen);

4. Blend until smooth.

***

Peanut Butter Chocolate

My sons are enamoured with peanut butter and bananas sandwiches, so I suggested that they may like a peanut butter and banana smoothie. Of course, they thought it was a brilliant idea! The addition of raw cacao powder gives this smoothie a richer flavour.

You will need:

(2 child-size serves)

2 cups protein-enriched rice milk (or your preferred non-dairy milk)

2 bananas (Yep, you guessed it!…preferably frozen)

1 tbsp cacao powder

1tbsp natural peanut butter (sugar-free, salt-free);

1 heaped tsp ground flax seeds/chia seeds (or a combination)

Method

1. Pour rice milk in jug;

2. Add ground flax seeds/chia seeds, cacao powder, peanut butter.

3. Add bananas (frozen or unfrozen);

4. Blend until smooth.

***

What is your favourite smoothie recipe? Please share it with all of us!

If you recently posted a smoothie recipe on your blog, I am happy for you to share the link in the comments section if you would like to. 

I know that a few of you are trying to establish a regular green smoothie habit. If you would like some tips or ideas, please use the comments section too. I am sure that the seasoned green smoothie drinkers among us would be happy to help! I am all too happy to spread the green smoothie joy. 🙂

Every Monday, I feature a delicious vegan recipe that is enjoyed by my family – I hope your family enjoys it too!

RP

Thank you to eveyone who has been voting for me in the Circle of Moms Top 25 Vegan and Vegetarian Moms 2013. I really appreciate your support. 

If you enjoy my blog, I would be thrilled if you voted for me. You can find my entry here. Also, there is an icon on my home page, and you can click on that too.

You can vote more than once! You can vote for me once every 24 hours. You are not required to register, or provide your email address. You just click. It’s really quick!

The competition ends on 7 February. Thank you. 🙂

 

Ally 

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