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Espresso Chocolate Chip Smoothie

This delicious espresso chocolate chip smoothie will give you energy, balance your hormones, and make you smile!
espresso chocolate chip smoothie

When I start out to make a smoothie — which I do many times a week — I almost always stop, close my eyes, breathe deeply, and really notice what kind of flavor combination my mouth wants and what kinds of superfoods and healing ingredients my body needs. Yes, I’m aware that I turn the business of smoothie making into an oddly serious affair, but hey, it works for me. And today, this espresso chocolate chip smoothie is what I wanted and needed.

Every Saturday and Sunday morning, we take our two huge dogs to Central Park for coffee and croissants. We get coffee. The dogs get croissants. We sit by the lake and people watch. It’s awesome. And then we come home and have breakfast. One of the reasons it’s not so hard for us to sit there and watch the dogs eat while we just have coffee, is that we know when we get home we can have a smoothie like this.

Today, we sat on our bench at the lake. The weather was just perfect. There was a slight breeze and the scent of coffee and wet dogs in the air… haha that’s really true. We watched the remote control boats, the hundreds of dogs running around, and we just sat. It’s kind of meditative for us.

Then we walked back home. Now, I’m really ready for something good.

For me, some types of smoothies seem to work best for breakfast.

And, some are more for an afternoon pick-me-up.

And some work anytime.

This espresso chocolate chip smoothie is more of a breakfast smoothie for me, but I did serve it to Steve in the afternoon and that was perfect for him… so, this is an anytime smoothie.

One of my favorite things about this recipe is that you don’t have to actually brew coffee for it. I’ve made smoothies with coffee before, and I brew hot coffee, then either stick it in the freezer so it will cool or add ice and hope it doesn’t get too watered down. It works, and I’ve never really minded the process…

But now, I’ve found espresso coconut water (see recipe below for details) that actually tastes like coffee, so all I have to do is use the espresso coconut water as a base. Easy-peasy.

And, if you’re in the mood for a fruity smoothie treat, try my recipe for Pink Pitaya Mango Smoothie Bowl.

espresso chocolate chip smoothie

I’m on a big customized-recipe-creation kick right now… let me customize a smoothie recipe for you that will work for whatever’s going on in your body now… I’m such a geek that I really do get excited about doing this. So CLICK HERE to be taken directly into my calendar to sign up for your free phone consultation.

espresso chocolate chip smoothie

Here are some of the awesome healing ingredients in this espresso chocolate chip smoothie recipe:

In Chinese medicine, we use coconut to strengthen the body, reduce swelling, and stop bleeding. Coconut kills viruses, bacteria, and parasites. It’s good for all types of infections and viruses in the body, including the flu, bronchitis, tapeworms, urinary tract infections, and herpes. And perhaps most importantly, it helps you keep your mind sharp and it makes it easier for you to focus. I used espresso coconut water for this recipe, and I added coconut butter.

I use cauliflower for breads, crusts, rice… everything. One of my favorite uses is in smoothies — when used frozen, it’s a great thickening agent that really has no taste, so it’s a perfect base for whatever you are adding into your smoothies. Cauliflower can be used in so many forms… and, it’s really good for you. In Chinese medicine we use it to aid in digestion and help with constipation. One of the things I find most amazing about this cruciferous vegetable is it’s ability to help with age-related memory loss (my menopausal friends will appreciate this benefit!), and weight loss. It contains a healthy amount of Vitamin B, Vitamin K and Omega-3 fatty acids and can help fight cancer and cardiovascular disease. Cauliflower also helps the body with detoxification and with reducing inflammation.

Raw cacao is a superfood. It is packed with magnesium, iron, zinc and other minerals. Not only is it packed with health benefits, but it actually has properties that help the body absorb nutrients better and it’s filled with antioxidants. Cacao can actually be translated as “food of the gods”… Raw cacao can help lower blood pressure, promote healthy heart function, improve digestion, and may even help increase the libido. This recipe makes use of raw cacao powder and raw cacao nibs.

Sunflower seeds help lower blood pressure and can relieve headaches and dizziness. In Eastern medicine we recommend eating sunflower seeds if a person is troubled by certain severe intestinal symptoms like dysentery, or intestinal worms or certain parasites. These seeds also contain calcium and magnesium and have anti-aging properties. In Chinese medicine they are often prescribed to get rid of rashes. I use sunflower seed butter in this recipe.

Maca Root is one of the superfoods I take every day. It has many healthy benefits including increasing libido, helping menopausal symptoms, relieving menstrual cramps, regulating hormones, and increasing energy.

Dates are rich in potassium, dietary fiber and tannins. Fiber is good for your gut and tannins help the body fight inflammation and infection. Dates are also rich in vitamin A and iron. The most amazing thing about dates is that they can be used to replace sugar in almost anything. I stopped using sweetened protein powders in my smoothies and now I use unsweetened ones but I add a few dates.

espresso chocolate chip smoothie

If you make this Espresso Chocolate Chip Smoothie, please be sure to let me know in the comments below. I love hearing how you like a recipe, and I love to answer your questions! If you make it, be sure to take a photo and tag me and post it on Instagram.

Espresso Chocolate Chip Smoothie
Author: 
Recipe type: smoothie, breakfast, snack, blender
Cuisine: paleo, vegan, vegetarian
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1-2
 
This delicious smoothie will give you energy, balance your hormones, and make you smile!
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Put all ingredients, except cacao nibs, into your blender.
  2. Whiz it up.
  3. Pour into glasses.
  4. Top with cacao nibs.
  5. Enjoy!

espresso chocolate chip smoothie

Energy Boosting Red Smoothie

There’s a lot of talk about green smoothies… but red ones are awesome! Try this energy boosting red smoothie!

Read more

Flourless Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies

Looking for a grain-free cookie that’s as good as the original? These flourless chocolate chip walnut cookies fit the bill… Read more

Pumpkin Turmeric Latte

pumpkin turmeric latte

I have never been a “winter” person. I just hate the cold. But, over the years as I have learned to practice gratitude on a daily basis, I have found many things I love about winter. Don’t get me wrong — I still prefer a beach to a snowy mountain, but there are so many reasons to truly be happy about winter. And one of those things is a steaming cuppa… And this cuppa pumpkin turmeric latte is really something to make you smile, no matter how frigid the temp outside may be. Brrrrrrrrrrrrr….

Other than steaming favorful lattes, some of the things I now truly feel grateful for about winter are:

* Watching huge snowflakes fall from the sky (okay, so a lot of the time, I’m inside watching them, but still grateful)
* Christmas music (all the way from Thanksgiving to New Years)
* Fuzzy boots
* Big cozy sweaters
* Delicious bowls of hot steaming soup
* The smell of chestnuts roasting in the street vendors’ carts (yup, it’s just like the song says)
* My dogs’ total happiness in the snow
* Christmas movies

During the winter, I experiment with latte recipes all of the time. I mean, it’s like I’ve become possessed or something. And, I have never steamed my milk! I heat up my ingredients in a pot and these blitz it in the blender and pour it into my favorite mug. And ta-da we have an awesome latte.

Turmeric lattes are all the rage right now. There’s a little cafe around the corner from me that has them on the menu. But… blechhhhhh… they are gross. And I have no idea why. I mean, if you are putting in the right ingredients, it’s not hard to make it come out right. Anyway, these are the right ingredients, so go ahead whip this up!

And, after you drink this awesome pumpkin turmeric latte, if you want to try another warming winter recipe, try my Hot Chocolate Smoothie Bowl!

pumpkin turmeric latte

Here are some of the healing ingredients in this pumpkin turmeric latte:

Pumpkin can help reduce pain and fever and can soothe stomach irritations. It’s a great food to treat constipation, allergies and asthma. It’s high in vitamin A and can help protect your lungs and intestines from cancer.

Turmeric is actually a Chinese herb (Jiang Huang). It is great for reducing inflammation throughout the body. If you suffer from aches and pains in your joints, try turmeric. It can help relieve menstrual pain and some other abdominal pains but, if you are pregnant, ask your doctor before you eat too much turmeric.

Black pepper is also a Chinese herb (Hu Jiao). It’s used to control vomiting and diarrhea and is good for some stomach pains. This common herb also can help the body more easily absorb nutrients, and it is sometimes prescribed to lessen the symptoms of respiratory ailments. Be sure to use black pepper whenever you use turmeric, because it increases the body’s ability to absorb the turmeric.

Collagen strengthens bones and muscles, keeps your joints healthy, improves flexibility and concentration, and helps heal your digestive system. It also keeps you looking youthful.

Dates are rich in potassium, dietary fiber and tannins. Fiber is good for your gut and tannins help the body fight inflammation and infection. Dates are also rich in vitamin A and iron. The most amazing thing about dates is that they can be used to replace sugar in almost anything. I stopped using sweetened protein powders in my smoothies and now I use unsweetened ones but I add a few dates.

Cinnamon is one of the best herbs to warm the body. It’s great if you have a cold. If you are nauseous or have diarrhea, go for the cinnamon. It also gives you energy and helps with menstrual pain. Cinnamon is a Chinese herb: “gui zhi” is the cinnamon twig and “rou gui” is the cinnamon bark. Both are warming and are used for a variety of ailments. In the winter I add cinnamon to all sorts of foods. It helps with the common cold, swelling, various menstrual issues and some aches and pains. Be careful with it if you have a fever because it is so warming.

In Asian medicine, we use coconut to strengthen the body, reduce swelling, and stop bleeding. Coconut kills viruses, bacteria, and parasites. It’s good for all types of infections and viruses in the body, including the flu, bronchitis, tapeworms, urinary tract infections, and herpes. And perhaps most importantly, it helps you keep your mind sharp and it makes it easier for you to focus. I like to use full-fat canned coconut milk for these lattes.

pumpkin turmeric latte

Pumpkin Turmeric Latte
Author: 
Recipe type: beverage, latte, hot drink
Cuisine: paleo, whole30, breakfast, snack, dairy-free
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 3
 
This is the perfect cup of steaming deliciousness. It's so healing and no steamed milk is required. I make mine with dairy-free milk.
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Heat the coconut milk and the water in a small pot.
  2. Pour the hot milk into your blender and add the rest of the ingredients.
  3. Whiz it up good.
  4. Enjoy!

pumpkin turmeric latte

Raw Chocolate Pomegranate Tart

raw chocolate pomegranate tart

I was going to a friend’s house for dinner the other night and I wanted to bring a dessert. If you know me, you know that while I can cook just about anything, I am not a great baker. And that’s saying it very kindly… I’ve been known to burn slice and bake cookies. So, when I tell you that this raw chocolate pomegranate tart is the best dessert I ever made, that’s another way for saying this recipe is idiot-proof.

One of the reasons — and I can’t stress how important this reason is — that I was able to achieve such perfection with this dessert is because the original recipe is just genius. All of that genius-credit goes to Joscelyn at Wife Mama Foodie. I just love when I can take an existing recipe and have it come out perfect the first time, so a big thanks to you Jos!

Some people are fruity-dessert people. And some people are nutty-dessert people. I am a chocolate-dessert person. And if it’s a flourless, dense, rich, creamy, velvety chocolate dessert like this one… I’m all in.

The only downside to this tart is that because it’s healthy, I’m easily able to rationalize why I can and should eat WAY too much. I think it took me a maximum of 15 seconds to scarf down a good size slice… ugh.

Back to my friend’s dinner party — I brought this dessert. And it looked beautiful. Everyone expects whatever I bring to be delicious, so I was a little nervous because this was not something I could taste before I brought it there. Can I just say that this raw chocolate pomegranate tart is unbelievable! The chocolate filling is so creamy and fudgy and the pomegranate seeds are mixed into the filling AND they are shining pretty on top… it’s the perfect taste and texture, and it’s just so pretty!

I will be making this dessert for Thanksgiving too! Which is actually kind of laughable since my brother-in-law owns a bakery and always brings a ton of desserts… but, I rationalize that I can bring this because a) it’s a healthy option and b) he’s not a chocolate-dessert guy, so someone’s gotta bring it…

Anyway, if I haven’t convinced you to make this dessert yet, just trust me… please

I’m on a big customized-recipe-creation kick right now (okay… always…), so let me customize a recipe for you that will work for whatever’s going on in your body now… I’m such a geek that I really do get excited about doing this. I’ve got a dessert recipe with your name on it…  So CLICK HERE to be taken directly into my calendar to sign up for your free phone consultation.

And, if you are more of a fruity-dessert person, you should try my recipe for Paleo Blueberry Cobbler.

raw chocolate pomegranate tartraw chocolate pomegranate tart

Here are some of the ingredients that make this raw chocolate pomegranate tart a healthy dessert:

Raw cacao is a superfood. It is packed with magnesium, iron, zinc and other minerals. Not only is it packed with health benefits, but it actually has properties that help the body absorb nutrients better and it’s filled with antioxidants. Cacao can actually be translated as “food of the gods”… Raw cacao can help lower blood pressure, promote healthy heart function, improve digestion, and may even help increase the libido.

In Asian medicine, we use coconut to strengthen the body, reduce swelling, and stop bleeding. Coconut kills viruses, bacteria, and parasites. It’s good for all types of infections and viruses in the body, including the flu, bronchitis, tapeworms, urinary tract infections, and herpes. And perhaps most importantly, it helps you keep your mind sharp and it makes it easier for you to focus. The filling of this tart is made with coconut oil.

Dates are rich in potassium, dietary fiber and tannins. Fiber is good for your gut and tannins help the body fight inflammation and infection. Dates are also rich in vitamin A and iron. The most amazing thing about dates is that they can be used to replace sugar in almost anything. I stopped using sweetened protein powders in my smoothies and now I use unsweetened ones but I add a few dates.

Walnuts are actually a Chinese herb (He Tao Ren). They are used for some knee and back pain, some chronic coughs and for chronic constipation. These nuts are also good for infertility and sexual dysfunctions, and they have been used to help people with kidney stones.

Pomegranate seeds nourish the blood. In Chinese medicine, we know that many illnesses and conditions are caused by the body making poor quality blood. Pomegranate seeds are great at helping the body make good quality blood. They are also good to combat diarrhea, anemia and incontinence.

Pure maple syrup contains antioxidants that help reduce inflammation in the body (think inflammatory bowel syndrome or heart disease). It also contains zinc, calcium, and magnesium. It’s much lower on the glycemic scale than traditional sugar. Whenever possible, use a darker (grade B) syrup because the nutritional composition is better than that of lighter syrups.

raw chocolate pomegranate tart

If you make this Raw Chocolate Pomegranate Tart recipe, please be sure to let me know in the comments below. I love hearing how you like a recipe, and I love to answer your questions! If you make it, be sure to take a photo and tag me and post it on Instagram.

Raw Chocolate Pomegranate Tart
Author: 
Recipe type: dessert, chocolate, paleo, simple, tart
Cuisine: recipe adapted from: Wife Mama Foodie
Serves: 8
 
This is the creamiest, richest, most decadent simple chocolate dessert around. And it's raw. And it's idiot-proof. And everyone loves it! Oh, and it's healthy!
Ingredients
  • For crust:
  • 1 cup pitted dates
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • pinch of sea salt
  • For filling:
  • 1-1/2 cups raw cacao powder
  • 1 cup plus 2-Tbs pure maple syrup
  • ¾ cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch of sea salt
  • ⅓ cup pomegranate seeds
  • For topping: an additional ¼ to ⅓ cup pomegranate seeds
Instructions
  1. Make crust:
  2. Place dates, walnuts and salt in a food processor and process until the mixture is smooth and sticky.
  3. Press the mixture into a tart pan with a removable bottom. (I used a 9-in. round pan.)
  4. Place the crust in the freezer while you prepare the filling.
  5. Make filling:
  6. Combine all filling ingredients in a large bowl until smooth.
  7. Pour the filling into the crust and smooth it out.
  8. Sprinkle the top with pomegranate seeds.
  9. Place the tart in the refrigerator to set, and keep it there until you are ready to serve it.
  10. Slice and enjoy!

raw chocolate pomegranate tart

 

Bulletproof Coffee Sweetened With Dates

Bulletproof coffee sweetened with dates may be just the thing you need to start your day…

bulletproof coffee sweetened with dates

Full disclosure: I am not a coffee drinker. Well, I am not a caffeinated coffee drinker. When I was in college (a lifetime ago), I remember drinking 6 cups of coffee a day. But since I discovered that caffeine is something I don’t tolerate well (or, really, at all…), I stopped cold turkey. But I’ve always loved the taste and the smell of coffee so when I want a treat, I’ll grab a good cup of decaf.

A few years ago, when I first learned about Bulletproof Coffee from the amazingly knowledgeable Dave Asprey, all I wanted to do was try it. I started making it for Steve and for others who could actually tolerate caffeine and I found people were really reaping some great benefits.

I kept hearing about increases in energy, appetite suppression, amazing focus and clarity, and I was so envious!

So, I went on a mission to figure out if I would be able to gain some of those benefits if I made my bulletproof coffee with decaf. And, I recently found out that I can! Yay! I’ve been using Dave’s Brain Octane (see recipe below for where you can buy it) and grass-fed butter and organic decaf coffee beans. And, oh my… it’s really just awesome. It keeps me energized, focused, and feeling great until I’m ready to have a healthy lunch many hours later.

In my version of this coffee, I’ve added a few dates to the blender and let me just say, the flavor is amazing!

You probably already know that I am a smoothie fiend on most mornings, but variety is the spice of life…

I recommend jumping on the bulletproof coffee bandwagon!

For those days when you want a kickstart to your day without the coffee, try my recipe for Matcha Chia Pudding.

bulletproof coffee sweetened with dates

Here are a few great healing facts about this bulletproof coffee sweetened with dates recipe:

Coffee is a diuretic and is good for constipation. It’s also good for memory and focus.

Coconut oil is awesome. In Asian medicine, we use coconut to strengthen the body, reduce swelling, and stop bleeding. Coconut kills viruses, bacteria, and parasites. It’s good for all types of infections and viruses in the body, including the flu, bronchitis, tapeworms, urinary tract infections, and herpes. And perhaps most importantly, it helps you keep your mind sharp and it makes it easier for you to focus. Dave Asprey’s Brain Octane is pure, concentrated form of coconut oil. I have used regular organic coconut oil and I’ve used Brain Octane. I like both, but I’ve been giving Dave’s oil a try lately. According to Dave, Brain Octane helps your body burn fat more easily and is better for your brain. So, far, so good for me!

Grass-fed butter is good for you! Butter from grass-fed cows is higher in Omega-3s and vitamin K2, than butter from grain-fed cows. Grass-fed butter contains the fatty acid CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) — this has actually been shown to help with weight loss. I know many people are worried about cholesterol, but there is a lot of research now to show there is no link between cholesterol and heart disease. I’m a butter lover, in moderation, but I only eat grass-fed butter!

Dates are rich in potassium, dietary fiber and tannins. Fiber is good for your gut and tannins help the body fight inflammation and infection. Dates are also rich in vitamin A and iron. The most amazing thing about dates is that they can be used to replace sugar in almost anything. I stopped using sweetened protein powders in my smoothies and now I use unsweetened ones but I add a few dates.

bulletproof coffee sweetened with dates

Bulletproof Coffee (Sweetened With Dates)
Author: 
Recipe type: beverage, coffee
Cuisine: breakfast
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
 
I've officially jumped on the bulletproof coffee bandwagon! This is bulletproof coffee my way -- blended with dates. It's delicious and healing!
Ingredients
  • 2 cups freshly brewed coffee (regular or decaf)
  • 2-tsp to 2-Tbs (start small and increase) organic coconut oil or Brain Octane (here's where to get Brain Octane)
  • 2-tsp to 2-Tbs grass-fed butter or ghee (again, start small and increase)
  • 2 dates
Instructions
  1. Pour all ingredients into blender.
  2. Blend until frothy and smooth.
  3. Drink in the morning and enjoy!

bulletproof coffee sweetened with dates

Apple Cinnamon Smoothie

It really is true what they say about an-apple-a-day, so you need to try this apple cinnamon smoothie!

apple cinnamon smoothie

I ran out of frozen fruit!!! I always have bags of frozen fruit in my freezer! Ok, clearly not always, but it’s such a rare thing for my freezer to be bare in this department, that it startled me a bit. My Vitamix was on the counter ready to go. My big glass was right next to it and my favorite glass straw was at the ready. I really wanted a fruit smoothie… so I searched the fridge. Apples! Now, I had a plan…

I make juice with apples a lot, but I couldn’t remember ever making an apple smoothie before. Sometimes, you just get lucky the first time… this is really good!

It’s tastes a bit like apple pie filling. And it’s really, really creamy. Something about this apple cinnamon smoothie is extra comforting. There’s just something about the combination of cinnamon and apples that is like a big hug. I know, that sounds really cheesy, but anything that’s reminiscent of apple pie just has to make you smile.

So, on this rainy afternoon when my tastebuds were ready for a berry smoothie, I made this apple cinnamon smoothie instead. I sat there on my couch looking out at the cold rain on the streets of Manhattan, and I savored this thick creamy hug of a smoothie. You really should try it…

If you are in the mood for a berry smoothie (and you actually have berries in your house), try this one.

apple cinnamon smoothie

There are lots of nutritional benefits in this awesome smoothie:

It really is true that an apple a day is a good thing. Apples help to strengthen your heart. They are also good for your digestion and they can help eliminate mucus when you have a cold. So, the combination of apples and cinnamon together are great for this time of year when everyone seems to be getting sick. Apples have a high antioxidant content, especially Granny Smiths and Red Delicious. This, combined with the fact that they have a lot of healthy fiber, is why apples are good at fighting Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and some cancers. They have also been shown to help ward off diabetes, high cholesterol and gallstones.

Cinnamon is one of the best herbs to warm the body. It’s great if you have a cold. If you are nauseous or have diarrhea, go for the cinnamon. It also gives you energy and helps with menstrual pain. Cinnamon is a Chinese herb: “gui zhi” is the cinnamon twig and “rou gui” is the cinnamon bark. Both are warming and are used for a variety of ailments. In the winter I add cinnamon to all sorts of foods. It helps with the common cold, swelling, various menstrual issues and some aches and pains. Be careful with it if you have a fever because it is so warming. Here’s an article about the benefits of cinnamon from Well-Being Secrets.

In Asian medicine, we use coconut to strengthen the body, reduce swelling, and stop bleeding. Coconut kills viruses, bacteria, and parasites. It’s good for all types of infections and viruses in the body, including the flu, bronchitis, tapeworms, urinary tract infections, and herpes. The base of this smoothie is made with coconut milk (the kind in the can), and it’s just perfect!

Dates are rich in potassium, dietary fiber and tannins. Fiber is good for your gut and tannins help the body fight inflammation and infection. Dates are also rich in vitamin A and iron. The most amazing thing about dates is that they can be used to replace sugar in almost anything.

Cashews are really a multi-tasking nut. I use them all the time so I say it all the time: Cashews have a lower fat content than most other nuts. Most of the fat in cashews is unsaturated and is made up of oleic acid; this is the same acid that is found in olive oil, making these nuts a heart-healty choice. I know some of you have a problem finding raw nuts sometimes — I’m happy to try to help you locate them if you need shopping suggestions, so just leave a comment and I will try to help. I buy then whenever and wherever I see them. I’m also lucky enough to live near a Whole Foods, so I sometimes buy them from the bulk bins here. Cashews help add to the creaminess of this smoothie.

Research shows that pumpkin seeds may reduce blood sugar and increase bone density. And, because they are rich in iron, they are good if you are tired or have anemia. In Asian medicine, pumpkin seeds are sometimes used to get rid of intestinal parasites and to decrease inflammation in the body. I buy pumpkin seed protein in powder form because it’s a great easy way to add protein to my shakes and smoothies without adding any extra sugar. (See the recipe below for where to buy it.)

Hemp seeds are a superfood. They are high in protein, easily digestible, and contain a full complement of amino acids. They contain disease-fighting phytonutrients that are good for your blood, immune system, tissues and skin. Hemp contains a specific fatty acid that acts as a powerful anti-inflammatory. It also helps balance hormones, making it a great choice to fight the symptoms of PMS. This super seed is also good for your liver and your brain.

apple cinnamon smoothie (vertical single glass)-2139

Apple Cinnamon Smoothie
Author: 
Recipe type: smoothie
Cuisine: superfoods, American, breakfast, snack
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 3
 
Apples and cinnamon are delicious in this creamy coconut-milk-based smoothie. Just blend up all of the ingredients, and as you sip you can feel the healthy ingredients working!
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Put all ingredients in a blender (I used my Vitamix, so it was pretty quick), and blend until smooth and creamy. Pour into glasses. Enjoy!

apple cinnamon smoothie

Acai Bowl

You are going to like this acai bowl better than the ones you buy!

acai bowl

Yesterday, I was scrolling through Facebook and I saw an article about Gwyneth Paltrow and her favorite superfoods shake. I was excited to read this because, well, I just am a sucker for anyone’s superfoods shake (especially someone who looks like Gwyneth). So, I clicked on the link and I was taken to an irate blogger talking about how all of the ingredients in this shake are made-up and fake and that no one could ever really make this “fantasy” shake. Boy, was I annoyed. I use almost all of these ingredients on a daily basis and I think everyone would benefit from their use!! And now, so many people think they don’t exist!

So, here’s my love-letter-to-Gwyneth-Paltow’s-smoothie. It’s my favorite superfoods non-fantasy smoothie bowl. And, if you have trouble locating any of the ingredients, just look at my recipe below and I will point you to some links, or just send me a message and I’m happy to help.

This winter my absolute favorite breakfast was my Hot Chocolate Smoothie Bowl. But since It’s finally getting spring-like here, my favorite breakfast is a cold smoothie bowl. I just love these bowls. I make so many different kinds, depending upon my mood at the time.

This acai bowl is awesome. It’s easy to make, filled with superfoods, pretty, and tastes divine!

Let this recipe test your flexibility. No, I don’t mean physically (you don’t need to do yoga or stretches while you make it…) — I mean mentally. Use my recipe as a guide, and then feel free to change it up with whatever ingredients you are feeling in the mood for this morning. Remember, it’s only food; nothing bad can happen with this bowl!

Sometimes I make these bowls out of whatever frozen fruit I have in my freezer. Other times I’m really in a chocolate or a peanut butter mood. This time, I wanted acai. Acai is really healthy (see the health benefits listed below) and it has a great tart and sweet taste. Also, now that many markets sell frozen acai packets, these smoothie bowls are a breeze to make.

acai bowl
Here are some reasons to feel great about this breakfast:

Acai is a berry that’s from the Amazon rainforest. It’s a superfood that promotes longevity. Research shows that acai can help to regenerate stem cells; this means it can help your body heal faster. Acai can also help the body absorb bad cholesterol better and it has been shown to help attack cancer cells.

Blueberries are filled with antioxidants and have been shown to help fight cancer, diabetes, heart attacks and strokes. In some circles, they are known as “longevity berries.” I used frozen blueberries but use any variety of berry that you like.

Cherries are one of the best foods to combat many types of arthritis and joint pain. Also, because cherries help improve circulation, they can be helpful for post-stroke patients. In Chinese medicine, we also believe that cherries help to maintain the body’s “essence” or life-force. I always keep a bottle of organic black cherry juice in the fridge and I often drink a few ounces before bedtime or put a little in my smoothies. I also keep bags of frozen cherries in the freezer. And when fresh cherries are in season, you can always find a big bowl in my kitchen.

Ginger is a Chinese herb (Gan Jiang) that warms the body. It’s especially good during cold weather and also during seasonal changes. So, when it’s winter or when winter is trying to turn into spring, and we (those of us on the east coast) get some of these cold, raw, damp days, ginger will make you feel better and will help boost your immune system. Old folklore shows that ginger was rubbed on scalps to stop baldness. And, in some circles, a ginger paste is still rubbed on arthritic joints to stop pain (don’t try this at home unless you are diagnosed with a cold-condition by an acupuncturist).

Hemp seeds are a superfood. They are high in protein, easily digestible, and contain a full complement of amino acids. They contain disease-fighting phytonutrients that are good for your blood, immune system, tissues and skin. Hemp contains a specific fatty acid that acts as a powerful anti-inflammatory. It also helps balance hormones, making it a great choice to fight the symptoms of PMS. This super seed is also good for your liver and your brain.

Chia seeds are ancient seeds that got their name from the Mayan word for “strength”. These tiny seeds have the unique ability to turn liquid into a gel-like substance when making puddings and they are great added to smoothies and shakes. They are really good for you because they are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants and fiber.

Dates are rich in potassium, dietary fiber and tannins. Fiber is good for your gut and tannins help the body fight inflammation and infection. Dates are also rich in vitamin A and iron. The most amazing thing about dates is that they can be used to replace sugar in almost anything. I stopped using sweetened protein powders in my smoothies and now I use unsweetened ones but I add a few dates.

Maca Root is one of the superfoods I take every day. It has many healthy benefits including increasing libido, helping menopausal symptoms, relieving menstrual cramps, regulating hormones, and increasing energy.

Chaga mushrooms are a longevity superfood. I use a chaga mushroom extract powder that makes it easy to add this immune-system-boosting mushroom to my smoothies. There’s a lot of research being done on the power of chaga right now and it’s possible ability to help fight cancer. It’s also good for your intestinal system and it can help calm your nerves. (See the recipe below for where to buy this amazing ingredient.)

acai bowlacai bowl

Acai Bowl
Author: 
Recipe type: smoothie bowl, breakfast
Cuisine: superfoods
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1 large bowl
 
Here's the perfect breakfast smoothie bowl. It's so healthy, tastes delicious, is made in the blender, and it's easy to substitute whatever ingredients you have on hand.
Ingredients
  • 1 3.5 oz packet frozen acai
  • ½ cup frozen blueberries
  • ½ of a banana (mine was frozen, but it doesn't have to be)
  • 6 Tbs coconut water
  • 1 slice of fresh ginger, peeled (about ⅛-inch thick, the size of a quarter)
  • 2 Tbs hemp seeds (I like this one)
  • 1 Tbs chia seeds (these are good)
  • 1 tsp maca root powder (you can get it here)
  • ⅛ tsp chaga mushroom extract powder (you can try this one)
  • 1 Tbs raw cashews
  • 2 Tbs black cherry juice (here's one)
  • optional toppings: frozen raspberries, bee pollen, raw buckwheat groats, raw pumpkin seeds, raisins, dried cranberries, chopped walnuts, shredded coconut
Instructions
  1. Put all ingredients, except toppings, in a blender. I used my Vitamix, so it was quick; I assume it will take a bit longer in a regular blender.
  2. Pour into a bowl.
  3. Arrange the toppings on top.
  4. Enjoy and let the healing begin!

acai bowl

Hot Chocolate Smoothie Bowl

This hot chocolate smoothie bowl is my favorite breakfast of all times! It’s deliciously healing and energizing.

Hot Chocolate Smoothie Bowl

This is my favorite breakfast of all times!!!

I know I say a lot of things are my “favorites” but I really mean it this time…

Many mornings I make a healthy superfoods packed shake for breakfast. I adjust the ingredients depending upon what my body needs on that particular day. I use herbs, superfoods, fruit, vegetables… you name it and I’ve blended it up for breakfast.

Last week, on a cold windy morning, my husband wasn’t feeling great and asked me to make him a shake to make his sore throat and emerging cold feel better. Now, I’ve done this many times before so I started pulling out the cold and flu healing ingredients from the cabinets and refrigerator.

All of a sudden it was like a lightbulb went off and poof… the best idea ever!

It’ cold outside. He’s cold inside. He needs something warm and comforting. I’m going to make a hot shake! And I started putting the ingredients into a pot on the stove before I put them into the blender. When the new creation was done, I tasted it and it was incredibly delicious, but too thick for a shake in a glass. It ended up being a warm smoothie bowl, and it’s the best breakfast ever!

It tastes like hot chocolate in the consistency of a smooth and creamy chocolate mousse. Yum. And it’s got a kick of ginger and the sweetness of bananas. This Hot Chocolate Smoothie Bowl is truly amazing. You have to try this!

He felt better, but I made this yummy bowl 3 mornings in a row, and I rarely make the same thing more than once… but this is that good!

My favorite summer smoothie bowl is my Cherry Berry Smoothie Bowl, so if you want something cold try this one too!

Hot Chocolate Smoothie Bowl

Look at some of the amazing things in this healing smoothie bowl:

In Asian medicine, nuts are known to be good for your brain, heart, skin and reproductive system. Almonds are particularly nutritious. They are a good source of protein and they give you energy. And, they are gluten-free. Almonds will help relieve a cough and asthma and are also good for constipation. Even if you are not on a dairy-free diet, almond milk is the way to go.  This recipe uses almond milk and almond butter.

Raw cacao is a superfood. It is packed with magnesium, iron, zinc and other minerals. Not only is it packed with health benefits, but it actually has properties that help the body absorb nutrients better and it’s filled with antioxidants. Cacao can actually be translated as “food of the gods”… Raw cacao can help lower blood pressure, promote healthy heart function, improve digestion, and may even help increase the libido.

Baobab is a superfood that is a powder made from an African fruit. This amazing superfood has tons of vitamin C to boost your immune system and it’s great for energy. Sometimes I put some in my water bottle to keep my hydrated throughout the day. It’s easy to put a scoop in anything for a pick-me-up.

Maca Root is one of the superfoods I take every day. It has many healthy benefits including increasing libido, helping menopausal symptoms, relieving menstrual cramps, regulating hormones, and increasing energy.

I add grass-fed gelatin powder to my smoothie bowls. Gelatin is great for your bones, joints, sleep, skin, and hair. It’s a superfood and it’s a protein. (See the recipe below for the one I like and where to buy it.)

Research shows that pumpkin seeds may reduce blood sugar and increase bone density. And, because they are rich in iron, they are good if you are tired or have anemia. In Asian medicine, pumpkin seeds are sometimes used to get rid of intestinal parasites and to decrease inflammation in the body. I buy pumpkin seed protein in powder form because it’s a great easy way to add protein to my shakes and smoothies without adding any extra sugar. (See the recipe for where to buy it.)

Ginger is a Chinese herb (Gan Jiang) that warms the body. It’s especially good during cold weather and also during seasonal changes. So, when it’s winter or when winter is trying to turn into spring, and we (those of us on the east coast) get some of these cold, raw, damp days, ginger will make you feel better and will help boost your immune system. Old folklore shows that ginger was rubbed on scalps to stop baldness. And, in some circles, a ginger paste is still rubbed on arthritic joints to stop pain (don’t try this at home unless you are diagnosed with a cold-condition by an acupuncturist).

I love to add bananas to smoothie bowls; they give it a great natural sweetness and a nice thick texture. Bananas are good for your intestines (an old Asian remedy was to eat a banana every day to relieve hemorrhoids) and your lungs, and they even help relieve the effects of overindulging in alcohol.

Dates are rich in potassium, dietary fiber and tannins. Fiber is good for your gut and tannins help the body fight inflammation and infection. Dates are also rich in vitamin A and iron. The most amazing thing about dates is that they can be used to replace sugar in almost anything. I stopped using sweetened protein powders in my smoothies and now I use unsweetened ones but I add a few dates.

Chaga mushrooms are a longevity superfood. I use a chaga mushroom extract powder that makes it easy to add this immune-system-boosting mushroom to my smoothies. There’s a lot of research being done on the power of chaga right now and it’s possible ability to help fight cancer. It’s also good for your intestinal system and it can help calm your nerves. (See the recipe below for where to buy this amazing ingredient.)

Hot Chocolate Smoothie Bowl

 

Hot Chocolate Smoothie Bowl
Author: 
Recipe type: Breakfast, Smoothie Bowl
Cuisine: American, superfoods
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
 
This is a hot smoothie bowl! It tastes like hot chocolate, is filled with immune-boosting superfoods and has the texture of a creamy chocolate mousse. It's the best breakfast ever!
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Put the almond milk, almond butter, cacao, baobab, chaga, maca, coconut oil, gelatin, pumpkin protein, and ginger in a medium pot. Whisk to combine.
  2. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer about 3 minutes.
  3. Put the banana and dates into a blender.
  4. Pour the liquid from the pot into the blender.
  5. Cover the blender tightly with a clean dish towel (using a towel instead of the blender cap will allow steam to escape so you don't burn yourself), and blend until creamy and smooth.
  6. Pour into 2 bowls.
  7. Top with chopped walnuts

 

Hot Chocolate Smoothie Bowl

Pumpkin Peanut Butter Fudge

Keep this pumpkin peanut butter fudge in your freezer and you’ll always have an awesome healing dessert ready to grab!

Pumpkin Peanut Butter Fudge-0012

Open your freezer right now. Look in. Is there a healthy grab-and-go bite-size dessert in there? If not, think how happy you would be if a tray of this deliciously creamy no-guilt fudge was starting at you.

This is how it works. I make at least one tray of petite freezer-friendly dessert every week. After dinner or when we are binge-watching TV shows, I don’t have to worry about it when Steve grabs his idea of healthy snacks (which somehow he can rationalize as being fried chips with a whole tub of dip), because I can just open the freezer and grab the best desserts ever.

This fudge is not one of those desserts that “tastes good for something that’s healthy.”

It IS really good… even if it wasn’t healthy you would grab it. I mean it. Really.

With this pumpkin peanut butter fudge in the freezer, the chips in our cabinet went stale. Yup, this one’s a winner and even trumped the chips in flavor.

A great thing about this fudge: you can  have 2 or 3 pieces without killing your diet. It’s actually good for you, tastes like a combination of decadent peanut butter fudge co-mingled with an ice-cream bonbon, and no cooking experience is required.

Pumpkin Peanut Butter Fudge (single)-0047

I’ve made many batches of healthy fudge, but this one is my favorite. Here’s what’s in it and why it’s so good for you:

Pumpkin can help reduce pain and fever and can soothe stomach irritations. It’s a great food to treat constipation, allergies and asthma. It’s high in vitamin A and can help protect your lungs and intestines from cancer.

Cashews are really a multi-tasking nut. I use them all the time so I say it all the time: Cashews have a lower fat content than most other nuts. Most of the fat in cashews is unsaturated and is made up of oleic acid; this is the same acid that is found in olive oil, making these nuts a heart-healty choice. For this fudge I used cashew butter and it really is just perfect — I like the creaminess it lends to the fudge and it tastes awesome. I know some of you have a problem finding raw nuts sometimes — I’m happy to try to help you locate them if you need shopping suggestions, so just leave a comment and I will try to help. I buy then whenever and wherever I see them. I’m also lucky enough to live near a Whole Foods, so I sometimes buy them from the bulk bins here.

Dates are rich in potassium, dietary fiber and tannins. Fiber is good for your gut and tannins help the body fight inflammation and infection. Dates are also rich in vitamin A and iron. The most amazing thing about dates is that they can be used to replace sugar in almost anything. I stopped using sweetened protein powders in my smoothies and now I use unsweetened ones but I add a few dates. This fudge requires no sugar because we fill it with dates — amazing, really!

Goji berries are a chinese herb (Gou Qi Zi). They are great for your blood. I prescribe them to some people with chronic pain in the legs and lower back. They are also good for men experiencing impotence and can be used to treat some eye problems. Women who are pregnant and people with intestinal issues should be careful not to eat too many gojis, but the amount in this fudge should be fine for anyone.

Cinnamon is one of the best herbs to warm the body. It’s great if you have a cold. If you are nauseous or have diarrhea, go for the cinnamon. It also gives you energy and helps with menstrual pain. Cinnamon is used in different forms in Chinese medicine: “gui zhi” is the cinnamon twig and “rou gui” is the cinnamon bark. Both are warming and are used for a variety of ailments. In the winter I add cinnamon to all sorts of foods. It helps with the common cold, swelling, various menstrual issues and some aches and pains. Be careful with it if you have a fever because it is so warming.

Maca Root is one of the superfoods I take every day. It has many healthy benefits including increasing libido, helping menopausal symptoms, relieving menstrual cramps, regulating hormones, and increasing energy.

Pumpkin Peanut Butter Fudge (closer)-0044

 

Pumpkin Peanut Butter Fudge
Author: 
Recipe type: dessert, fudge
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 15-18 pieces
 
It's like a dream come true: fudge that will actually heal your body. And it tastes like real fudge. Amazing!
Ingredients
  • 1 15-oz can pumpkin puree
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • ½ cup almond milk
  • 6 Tbs cashew butter
  • 2 Tbs peanut butter
  • 1 Tbs goji berries
  • 20 pitted dates
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp maca root powder (optional)
  • For topping:
  • ¼ cup chopped pecans
  • 2 Tbs raisins
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients (through maca root powder) in a food processor and process until smooth.
  2. Pour into a parchment-lined loaf pan.
  3. Top with nuts and raisins.
  4. Let set in freezer at least a few hours or overnight.
  5. Cut into squares.
  6. Keep leftovers on a tray, covered in freezer.
  7. Enjoy!