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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

Blueberry Orange Chia Pudding

Make-ahead breakfasts are awesome. Imagine opening your fridge and having blueberry orange chia pudding waiting for you in the morning… it will make you smile.
blueberry orange chia pudding

I’m like a pusher when it comes to chia pudding. I make everyone try it. And, most of them end up loving it. I’m not going to lie though… there are still a few souls I’m trying to win over, but I’m not giving up. I’ve been developing chia puddings in tons of different flavors. And, this blueberry orange chia pudding recipe won over someone who I never thought would ever eat chia pudding. I just love it when stuff like this happens!

I was hosting my book club at my apartment one night. And, I, not surprisingly, used this as an event to test out recipes on unsuspecting people. I made 8 cute little jars of this chia pudding and had them at the ready in my fridge. When book club was over and everyone was gone, I opened the fridge and realized that I had never served the chia puddings — I had intended them to be parting gifts.

Ugh. I cannot even tell you how often I leave food in the fridge and forget to serve it.

That’s why I should never be allowed to drink even one glass of wine while I’m entertaining… nah… that’s not going to happen…

Anyway, I still had all of these lovely blueberry orange chia pudding jars.

The next night I had a few friends over before a meeting we needed to attend. I passed out a few jars. One friend looked at it and at me like I was crazy and said she would take her jar with her to the meeting. I knew this meant she would probably throw it out when I wasn’t looking. Then, I saw her taste it. And a little while into the meeting, the jar was empty. To me, that was a great compliment.

That was 2 jars down.

Confession: I ate the rest of them myself. All of them. Over the next week. Okay, maybe I gave one away. Ugh. Sometimes I can be such a pig…

And, here’s my most popular chia pudding recipe: Birthday Cake Chia Pudding.

blueberry orange chia pudding

I’m on a big customized-recipe-creation kick right now… 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. So CLICK HERE to be taken directly into my calendar to sign up for your free phone consultation.

blueberry orange chia pudding

Here are some of the awesome healing ingredients in this blueberry orange chia pudding recipe:

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 rich in omega-3 fatty acids,and fiber. And, because they are so high in antioxidants, they help keep your skin looking younger. They help optimize both your digestive system and your cardiovascular system.

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 this chia pudding.

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.

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.

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.

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.”

Oranges will help boost your levels of vitamins A, B and C. In Chinese medicine, oranges have been used for many years to help coughs, colds and anorexia. Lately, oranges have been widely touted for their ability to help heal colon cancer. I peel my oranges and lay the rinds in the sun to dry, and save them for tea or for cooking because the orange rinds are an actual Chinese herb. I dry out the peels of oranges, tangerines, clementines… whatever I have. Dried tangerine peel, or “chen pi”, as it’s known in Chinese medicine, is one of the greatest and most easily accessible herbs around. It’s especially good for digestive issues like abdominal discomfort, distention, fullness, bloating, belching, and nausea. It’s also great if you have a cough with a heavy or stuffy chest.

blueberry orange chia pudding

If you make this blueberry orange chia pudding, 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.

Blueberry Orange Chia Pudding
Author: 
Recipe type: make-ahead, superfoods, chia seeds
Cuisine: breakfast, pudding, parfait
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
Make this recipe the night before and when you open your fridge in the morning it will be waiting for you... this will make you smile.
Ingredients
  • 2 cans full-fat coconut milk
  • 4 tsp vanilla extract
  • ⅔ cup pure maple syrup
  • ½ cup plus 1Tbs chia seeds
  • 4 tsp maca root powder (optional)
  • 1 tsp baobab powder (optional)
  • 1 pint blueberries
  • flesh or ½ a large orange
  • zest of half a large orange, to sprinkle on top
Instructions
  1. In a large mason jar with a lid, or a large container with a lid, shake up the coconut milk, vanilla, maple syrup, chia seeds, maca root, and baobab.
  2. Shake, shake, shake... until it's all combined really well.
  3. Put the blueberries and the juice and the orange flesh in a blender.
  4. Whiz it up shortly until broken down and combined, but not so much that it's watery.
  5. Divide the blueberry mixture among the bottoms of several small jars with lids (I used 8 really small mason jars).
  6. Pour the chia seed mixture evenly on top of the blueberry mixture.
  7. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  8. Enjoy!

blueberry orange chia pudding collage

17 Foods To Boost Your Mood

It’s pretty awesome that there are foods you can eat to elevate your mood. It’s true that food really IS medicine! The next time you need a little mood boost or emotional pick-me-up, pull out this list of 17 Foods To Boost Your Mood… Read more

Birthday Cake Chia Pudding

birthday cake chia pudding

Do you have any descriptive food words that make your mouth water? For me, if I see the words “birthday cake” or “cake batter” I have kind of a drooling, mouth watering response. I don’t know what it is about those words, but for me, when I see them, I have to have whatever it is immediately. So, when I started seeing recipes for chia puddings that were described this way, I was all in. I have to give a big thank you to Macy at Paleo Crumbs because her awesome recipe was the one that made me run to the store to buy the ingredients and make this birthday cake chia pudding.

I don’t know what mornings are like in your house, but here in my house we are kind of laid back. It wasn’t always that way. We used to run around, grab whatever we could to eat, shower, dress, and leave as quickly as possible to begin our day. It was that way for many years. Then we moved to the city. And this part of our lives magically slowed down. Now, we are able to get up, go to the park with the dogs, have an actual real conversation, and spend time together before anyone has to leave. So, oftentimes I will cook a big breakfast for us. This birthday cake chia pudding, is so good, that it can even compete with a great avocado toast or delicious eggy type breakfast, but there’s absolutely no cooking involved. The only labor here comes when you have to shake the jar!

I’ve always been a fan of chia pudding. I like that rice pudding-like texture. I love that I can customize it with whatever flavor I’m feeling at that particular moment. I also love that it is so easy to make and that it can be made way in advance. Yes, chia pudding is an awesome invention.

Now, if I’m being totally honest, I’ll tell you that I love chia pudding, but my family is not quite as enamored with these yummy jars as I am. BUT, this birthday cake chia pudding has changed all that. As soon as I stuck a spoonful in Steve’s mouth, he was a convert. It’s really that good. And, it really is reminiscent of vanilla birthday cake. Especially if you top it with sprinkles…

If you want to try another great simple creation, try my recipe for Turmeric Chia Pudding.

birthday cake chia puddingbirthday cake chia pudding

Here are some of the healing ingredients in this recipe for birthday cake chia pudding:

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 rich in omega-3 fatty acids,and fiber. And, because they are so high in antioxidants, they help keep your skin looking younger. They help optimize both your digestive system and your cardiovascular system.

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 this chia pudding.

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.

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.

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.

birthday cake chia pudding

Birthday Cake Chia Pudding
Author: 
Recipe type: breakfast, simple, vegan, vegetarian, paleo, make ahead, chia pudding
Cuisine: recipe inspired by: Paleo Crumbs
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2-3
 
Happy birthday to you! This quick, easy, healing, make-ahead breakfast will make you smile from ear to ear!
Ingredients
  • 1 13.5 oz can full fat coconut milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup
  • 4-1/2 Tbs chia seeds
  • 1/1/2 tsp maca root powder (optional)
  • 1 tsp baobab powder (optional)
  • Fruit-sweetened sprinkles (for topping)
Instructions
  1. Put all ingredients in a mason jar.
  2. Cover.
  3. Shake it up really well (really... dance around with it and work up a good sweat)
  4. Put it in the fridge overnight.
  5. Scoop into individual bowls in the morning.
  6. Top with sprinkles and enjoy.

birthday cake chia pudding

Chocolate Banana Dairy-Free Fudgesicles

These chocolate banana dairy-free fudgesicles will take you back to your childhood…

chocolate banana dairy free fudgesicles

Summer may be almost over, but ice pop season never ends. At least not in my house. Every few weeks, I make a new batch of ice pops. I love to try out new flavor combinations and new textures, mix them up, and pour them into my retro ice pop molds. These chocolate banana dairy-free fudgesicles were an experiment that came out great!

Do you have any foods that when you taste them bring you right back to your early childhood? For me, food is responsible for a lot of deja vu moments. And fudgesicles are one of those foods. I’m right back on the lawn under the fireworks on the 4th of July. Or at a BBQ, running through the sprinklers and laughing.

I will admit that sometimes when I experiment, the end result is… well… ummm… let’s just say… less than pleasing…  I’m still trying to perfect my salted watermelon ice pops — OMG are they bad if you put in too much salt…

But, the texture of these dairy-free fudgesicles is just so spot-on. They look like traditional old-fashioned fudgesicles, but the addition of banana offers up a tasty surprise. Yup, it’s the good days of summer as a child all over again.

Haha — I just got a horrible mental picture of me, today, running through the sprinklers in a pink bathing suit with pompoms… not so pretty…

Anyway, these are the perfect sweet treats to have in your freezer. I mean, who couldn’t use a healthy childhood treat that’s ready anytime you want it?

For another great popsicle recipe, try my Blackberry Kombucha Ice Pops.

chocolate banana dairy free fudgesicleschocolate banana dairy free fudgesicles

These ingredients make these chocolate banana dairy-free fudgesicles delicious and healthy:

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. I like to use full-fat canned coconut milk for these fudgesicles.

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.

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.

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.

I love to add bananas to frozen desserts; they create a great natural sweetness and a nice creamy 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.

chocolate banana dairy free fudgesicles

Chocolate Banana Dairy-Free Fudgesicles
Author: 
Recipe type: dessert, frozen, sweets, ice pops, popsicles
Cuisine: paleo, vegan, vegetarian
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
These dairy-free fudgesicles will take you back to your childhood. They are so creamy and delicious and healthy. Keep a batch in your freezer and you will be smiling all week.
Ingredients
  • 1 can full-fat coconut milk
  • ⅓ cup raw cacao (I buy this one)
  • ⅔ cup raw cashews
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp maca root powder (I buy this one)
  • 1 Tbs collagen powder (This is my favorite)
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 3 Tbs coconut sugar (here's a good one)
  • 2 bananas, sliced (I used frozen ones because they were in my freezer, but you don't have to)
Instructions
  1. Put all of the ingredients in a blender.
  2. Blend until smooth.
  3. Pour into ice-pop molds.
  4. Freeze.
  5. Enjoy!

chocolate banana dairy-free fudgesicles

Pineapple Turmeric Smoothie

There are so many healing ingredients in this pineapple turmeric smoothie… you can feel the energy as you drink it!

pineapple turmeric smoothie

It’s Memorial Day and it’s raining. To many people this would be an unhappy turn of events, but I have to say, for me… not so much. The last 3 days were gorgeous. They were filled with beach, BBQ and friends. So, a rainy gray day is not so bad because I get to do all of the things I would never do if it was nice outside.

Everyone has one of those to-do list to get through. For me, that list is overflowing with the not-so-fun tasks involved in packing up my house and moving to an apartment. Ugh… the packing. Ick… the cleaning… But, I get to procrastinate and instead of getting through these arduous tasks as quickly as I’d like, I end up in my kitchen. A lot. And this Pineapple Turmeric Smoothie is my ode-to-sunshine creation on this dreary day.

Yellow is a happy color. And, I guess even more importantly, I had a big container of pineapple in the fridge that was leftover from yesterday’s day at the beach. And the cherries that you see on top — well, those are from the beach too… I just love using the leftovers in the fridge in new and delicious ways! So, when you make this smoothie, feel free to top it with whatever’s in your fridge…

If you want to try another “happy” smoothie, try my Orange Banana Smoothie recipe.

pineapple turmeric smoothie

There are so many great ingredients in this smoothie:

Pineapple is great for your digestion and it can help stop diarrhea. It’s especially good in the summer because it fights against heatstroke.

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.

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.

Camu Camu is a plant-based powder that has the ability to boost your immune system and balance your mood. It has a large amount of vitamin C, can reduce inflammation, and can help improve mental clarity.

Lucuma powder is made from a South American tropical fruit. It’s sweet and contains a good amount of calcium, magnesium and potassium. It also has a great anti-inflammatory effect and can improve the condition of your skin. If you don’t have access to lucuma, you can use coconut sugar or add any sweetener that makes you happy.

Black Pepper is a Chinese herb called Hu Jiao. It’s used to alleviate diarrhea, vomiting and some stomach pains. When you combine black pepper with turmeric, the turmeric is more easily absorbed by the body, so this is a great combination!

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.

pineapple turmeric smoothie

 

Pineapple Turmeric Smoothie
Author: 
Recipe type: Smoothies
Cuisine: fruit, breakfast, snack
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
 
This smoothie is delicious! It's both sweet and tart and it will heal what ails you!
Ingredients
  • 3 cups cubed fresh pineapple
  • 2 cups ice
  • 2 tsp maca root powder (optional) (I use this one)
  • 3 tsp lucuma powder (or substitute sweetener of your choice) (try this one)
  • 1 tsp camu camu powder (optional) (here's one)
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder (I like this one)
  • 10 grinds of black pepper
  • ½ cup unsweetened coconut flakes (here's a good one)
  • ⅓ cup shelled pistachio nuts
  • ¼ cup almond milk
  • fresh cherries for garnish
Instructions
  1. Put all ingredients, except the cherries, into your blender.
  2. Whiz it up until it's really smooth.
  3. Pour into glasses.
  4. Sip away!

pineapple turmeric 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

Creamy Vegan Chocolate Mousse

This creamy vegan chocolate mousse is so delicious that nobody will miss the dairy!

creamy vegan chocolate mousse

Last year when I was on vacation in Carmel, California, I had the best chocolate mousse in the world. I’m not being overly dramatic. It really was The Best. Chocolate. Mousse. Ever. You know how sometimes out of the blue, for no reason at all, something just pops into your head? Well, the other night that chocolate mousse popped into my head. I really, really wanted some.

OK, so I don’t eat dairy now and I don’t eat sugar now, so what was I to do?

Also, I love eating dessert but I am not a great baker/dessert maker.

I posted a recipe for a healthy chocolate mousse a long time ago, so I looked it up. I remembered it being good, but it really wasn’t that same creamy decadent goodness as the mousse now stuck in my head. So, I played around with the recipe. And now, this recipe is awesome; it’s really, really creamy. Maybe it’s not the same as that full-on dairy-ed up version in Carmel, but it’s just as satisfying. And, don’t worry, it’s not just me who loves it… Steve (my dairy-eating husband) gives it a big thumbs up too!

Oh yeah, did I mention that this creamy vegan chocolate mousse recipe requires no cooking. It’s raw. All you need is a blender. I used my Vitamix and it came out silky and dreamy. I don’t know what the texture will be like if you use a regular blender, so if you try it please let me know.

And, if you want to try another great raw chocolate dessert, try my Raw Chocolate Bark recipe next time.

creamy vegan chocolate mousse

Here are some of the great ingredients:

Avocados are one of my favorite foods, both for their health benefits and because they taste great. In Chinese medicine, some practitioners recommend avocados to raise the sperm count. I like them because they are good for anemia, dry skin, palpitations and hot flashes due to menopause.

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.

Cashews are good for a host of conditions including fatigue, frequent urination, knee and lower back pain and low libido. They are also great for energy, constipation, and dizziness. This recipe uses cashew butter to make the mousse deliciously creamy.

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.

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.

creamy vegan chocolate mousse

 

Creamy Vegan Chocolate Mousse
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: vegan
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 3
 
This is the creamiest chocolate mousse ever! It's vegan. It's healing. It's amazing. And, it's raw -- that's right, no cooking required!
Ingredients
  • flesh of 1 avocado
  • ¾ c almond milk
  • 3 Tbs raw cacao powder
  • 1 Tbs plus 3-tsp pure maple syrup
  • 1-1/2 Tbs cashew butter
  • 1 tsp maca root powder (optional)
  • For optional topping: vegan chocolate chips (or any chips you like)
Instructions
  1. Put all of the ingredients (except the topping chips) into a high-speed blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Spoon into small ramekins.
  3. Top with chips if you like.
  4. Cover with plastic wrap.
  5. Refrigerate until cold, at least a few hours.
  6. Enjoy!

 

creamy vegan chocolate mousse

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!

Persimmon Pomegranate Smoothies

When persimmon season hits you have to try these persimmon pomegranate smoothies — so sweet and so healthy!

Persimmon Smoothie-9957

Here it is the day after Thanksgiving. When I walked into my kitchen this morning and looked around, I saw all of the food that remained staring at me. I’m not talking about leftovers (although there are plenty of those…); I’m talking about the fresh ingredients that I bought with grandiose ideas of preparing so many more dishes than we needed. Or that I had time to make. Or that I was in the mood to make after a few glasses of wine…

So,  this morning, on my kitchen island calling out to me were the most beautiful, huge persimmons you have ever seen. Persimmons are amazing. They are in season now and here in New York they are everywhere. The farmers markets have them, the fruit vendors on the street are carrying them, and the supermarkets are well stocked. So, a few days before the big event I bought 4 huge persimmons. I was going to make a salad with arugula, kale, persimmons, cranberries, nuts, and cheese. Well, that never happened. So… what to do with these deliciously sweet and juicy persimmons????  Breakfast smoothies!!!

If you’ve never had a persimmon, this is the time to try them. I was a first-timer up until a few weeks ago and now I’m kind of obsessed with them. I can’t figure out what fruit they are similar to, but they are great. They are really, really sweet and smooth and beautifully orange. They actually kind of taste like they look.

Persimmons being sliced-9873

These persimmon pomegranate smoothies are as good for you as they are beautiful:

Persimmons are great for some coughs and sore throats. They can also relieve diarrhea, quench thirst, and lessen the effects of a hangover. The tops/stems of persimmons are a Chinese herb (Shi Di). This herb is used to stop hiccoughs and can be mixed with other herbs to stop vomiting.

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.

Bananas (I like to use frozen ones that I keep in the freezer all year round) make this smoothie particularly creamy and give it a great ice-cream-like 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.

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 smoothie should be fine for anyone.

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.

Bee pollen is considered one of the most nutritious substances you can put in your body. It is higher in protein than anything animal-based and it contains an amazing amount of amino acids. It’s good for your energy, your skin, your breathing and your allergies. Add a spoonful to whatever you can.

Persimmon Smoothie (top)-9961

Persimmon Pomegranate Goji Berry Smoothies
Author: 
Recipe type: Smoothie
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2 servings
 
The bright orange taste and flavor of this smoothie is from persimmons, pomegranate seeds, goji berries, clementines, and bananas. It will brighten your day and keep you healthy!
Ingredients
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 2 large Hachiya persimmons
  • 2 Clementines
  • 2 Tbs goji berries
  • 2 Tbs pomegranate seeds
  • 1 Tbs bee pollen
  • 2 tsp maca root powder (here's a good one)
  • ⅔ cup coconut water (I like this kind)
  • 6 ice cubes
Instructions
  1. Put all ingredients in blender (my Vitamix made quick work of this) and blend until perfectly smooth. Enjoy!