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Pineapple Mango Smoothie

This pineapple mango smoothie is bright and refreshing… but the best thing about it is that it will help your digestion!

pineapple mango smoothie

I make smoothies all the time. I mean, every day. My Vitamix gets more use than any kitchen tool I’ve ever owned. I just love the idea that I can pick out whatever food and herbs and supplements I need at a particular moment, toss them all in the blender, and have a healing cocktail of sorts that will boost my energy, fix my digestion, decrease my inflammation, or lift my mood in a matter of seconds.

To me, it’s like magic. Smoothies are the epitome of food is medicine.

When I was in school getting my Masters Degree in Oriental Medicine, we learned all about the value and the amazing healing powers of Chinese herbs. And, I  cook with Chinese herbs all the time. One of my favorite things to do is to introduce my clients to these amazing plant-based medicines.

While it was my culinary school training that started my obsession with more traditional food herbs, like basil, it was my Chinese herbal medicine training that taught me the healing abilities and properties of these more traditional herbs. This pineapple mango smoothie includes a large amount of basil. And basil, is one of the most healing food herbs around. Not only is it great for your immune system, but it’s also a spiritual herb and will lift your mood.

Healing. Delicious. Simple. Those are the 3 words that describe the perfect smoothie.

But… yes, there’s always a but… sometimes I get stuck in a smoothie rut. I fall into the trap of using the same ingredients way too often. I find that green, brown, and red are the colors of most of my smoothie creations.

Okay, if I’m being totally honest — if I’m just making one for myself, oftentimes it’s really ugly. Really healing, but really ugly. I’ve been told sometimes that they are the color of baby poop. Wow, that’s pretty unappetizing… but honesty’s worth a lot, isn’t it?

So, I’ve made a pact with myself (do you ever do that?) that I will make new smoothies, with new combinations of ingredients.

Another thing I’m trying to do is to use fewer ingredients in these recipes. Yes, I do love my powders, potions, and supplements, but sometimes less is more.

This pineapple mango smoothie is one of my newest blended recipes. And look… it’s YELLOW. This one makes me happy just to look at it. But, when you taste it, you will really smile.

The combination of the pineapple with the mango is like a tropical explosion in your mouth. The banana gives it just the right amount of creaminess, and then… for the piece de resistance… a big handful of fresh bright green fragrant basil leaves. The aroma itself is incredible!

Okay, have I talked you into making this pineapple mango smoothie yet?

I hope so. And, if you want another great awesome, colorful smoothie creation, try my Pink Pitaya Mango Smoothie Bowl recipe.

pineapple mango smoothie

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. I’ve got a smoothie with your name on it…  So CLICK HERE to be taken directly into my calendar to sign up for your free phone consultation.

pineapple mango smoothie

Each ingredient in this pineapple mango smoothie really packs a healing nutritional punch:

Pineapple is great for your digestion and it can help stop diarrhea. It’s especially good in the summer because it fights against heatstroke. And, if you haven’t tried drinking pure pineapple juice when you have a cough… you’ve really been missing out because pineapple juice is the best cough suppressant around!

Mangos are great for digestion and they help if you have one of those annoying dry coughs that just won’t go away. This delicious fruit will also help strengthen your bones and is good for your heart.

I love to add bananas to smoothie bowls; they offer 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.

Basil has anti-viral and anti-bacterial capabilities. It also is good for settling your stomach, and it’s good at lessening the symptoms of the common cold and its accompanying cough. Basil is a spiritual herb — the scent actually calms you; you can boil some in a pot and let the aroma fill the air, you can just leave some around the house, you can toss a bunch in your bath water (I love to do this), or you can use an essential oil with basil to get some great calming effects.

Extra-virgin olive oil is amazing. It is good for just about everything. It is great for your heart and has even been shown to reduce the risk of heart attacks when added into a healthy diet. It’s also good for your brain, and can reduce some of the inflammation in your body. I recommend buying extra-virgin olive oil because it is less processed than some other olive oils. Also, with olive oils, sometimes you get what you pay for, so if you are able to taste the oils before you buy, that’s a great thing to do.

pineapple mango smoothie

If you make this Pineapple Mango 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.

Pineapple Mango Smoothie
Author: 
Recipe type: smoothie, fruit, breakfast, snack
Cuisine: paleo, whole30, vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1
 
This pineapple mango smoothie is like sunshine in a glass. It only has a few ingredients, and it will help your digestions... and it is delicious!
Ingredients
  • ½ of a fresh pineapple, cut into chunks (discard the outer rind)
  • 1 mango, pit and peel discarded
  • ½ of a banana (if you have a frozen one, even better)
  • 2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • large handful of fresh basil leaves
  • ice (optional)
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients into a blender (I used my Vitamix, so it was pretty quick).
  2. Whiz it up until smooth.
  3. Pour into your favorite glass.
  4. Enjoy!

pineapple mango smoothie

Beet Sweet Potato Soup

This Beet Sweet Potato Soup is so creamy and it will boost your energy and keep you healthy!

beet sweet potato soup

Last week I went to my favorite event of the year: The Longevity Conference. It was soooooo amazing! My head is still spinning from all of the awesome new things I learned and of course I came home with big bags filled with new superfoods, herbs, and ingredients to test out for you. I’m bursting at the seams with new info for you… yay!

Each year I feel so lucky to be able to meet so many awesome people at Longevity, and this year was no exception. One of my favorite parts of the weekend was being able to meet Solla Eiriksdottir, a vegetarian chef who I just love. She is so much fun, so creative, and so practical in the kitchen. Beet Sweet Potato Soup is a recipe in her Raw cookbook, so I just had to make a big pot.

First, I have to tell you that beets are one of my favorite ingredients. When I was younger, I used to hate them — I thought they tasted like dirt. Years later, when I became immersed in Chinese medicine and I learned the value of beets, I began playing around with them to make them taste good to me. It’s funny, because my daughter used to say that beets tasted like grass (I guess the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree…) and now, she’s a lover too.

Okay, so what’s so great about beets? What am I rambling on about? Well, in Chinese medicine, we know that many illnesses and conditions in the body are caused because the body is not making good quality blood. Beets help the body make high quality blood. Beets are great for energy. They increase athletic performance. They are good for your heart. They help ward of cancer. Need I say more? And, as an added benefit, they just make everything look beautiful — I mean, just look at the color of this beet sweet potato soup!

Now I use beets whenever I can. For this soup, there’s no beet preparation involved except peeling them and cutting them into chunks. Easy peasy. Sometimes I roast them. Sometimes I ferment them. Sometimes I slice them really thin. And, don’t even get me started on beet powder…

Here’s a really simple recipe for the most awesome roasted beets ever: Pomegranate Glazed Beets

beet sweet potato soupbeet sweet potato soup

Here are the healing powers of some of the ingredients in this beet sweet potato soup recipe:

Beets are SO good for you. I try to find ways to fit them into my meals as much as possible. Really… many times a week. Beets nourish blood and tonify the heart. Athletes are starting to drink beet juice as a form of endurance therapy. They are anti-carcinogenic, good for anemia, and relieve constipation. I also think it’s a great idea to eat them raw sometimes because their amazing goodness is even more pumped up this way.

Sweet potatoes are good for your digestive system. They can be good for both constipation and diarrhea. These orange gems also help rid your body of excess water, are good for breast health, help people with diabetes and actually can help ease night blindness. In olden times, it was common in China to rub mashed sweet potatoes on poison insect bites to remove the toxins. I haven’t tried this, but if you see me looking a tad orange, this will be why…

Onions are great for your immune system; they are a natural antihistamine. Recently, I recommended that a patient with bronchitis put sliced raw onions in her socks when she went to sleep… she woke up so much better; they actually can rid the body of bacteria. (I know I’ve told you this before, but it really is awesome!) Onion is a superhero in the food world!

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.

When you add olive oil to foods, it actually helps deliver the nutritional benefits of your food to your body in a better way. All of the benefits of the food’s color pigments get transported where they need to go. I drizzle a good quality extra-virgin olive oil on top of everything.

beet sweet potato soup

Beet Sweet Potato Soup
Author: 
Recipe type: soup
Cuisine: vegan, vegetarian, paleo, whole30
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
This is the creamiest, most delicious soup! It's an energy booster that's great for your heart and your digestion.
Ingredients
  • 2 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling on the individual bowls of soup
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 6 small beets, peeled and cut into chunks
  • sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 Tbs cumin
  • ¼ tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste
  • 5 cups vegetable broth
  • ½ cup unsweetened, plain non-dairy yogurt (I used cashew yogurt)
  • ¼ cup sprouted pumpkin seeds
  • Optional raw Chinese herbs: Shan Yao, Huang Qi
Instructions
  1. Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium heat.
  2. Add onions and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Cook, stirring often, until onions are softened, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add beets, sweet potatoes, turmeric, cumin, smoked paprika, and red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring for 2 minutes.
  5. Pour in the vegetable broth.
  6. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 45-mins or until the beets are softened.
  7. Transfer the soup, in batches, to a blender and blend until completely smooth and silky.
  8. Ladle into bowls and garnish with a big dollop of yogurt, a sprinkling of pumpkin seeds, and a drizzle of olive oil.
  9. Enjoy!

beet sweet potato soup

Healthy Homemade Ketchup

I’m a condiment freak — I like to dip everything. So, this healthy homemade ketchup is a must in my house!

It’s true. We are a condiments-all-the-time household. We can find a reason to dip everything in something. A few years ago it started to bother me that so much of our fridge was filled with jars and bottles that had ingredients that I would normally never use when I cooked . So, I started making my own. OMG — we are so much better off. This ketchup is especially delicious, and it doesn’t have all of the sugar that commercial ketchup has. And yes, I too used to be a Heinz lover… but now we really do all love this healthy homemade ketchup. Try it… you’ll love it too.

One day, when Steve was slathering his food with ketchup, as was his usual M.O., I had that light-bulb-over-head moment and I began creating homemade healthy condiments. Now, let me tell you, he used to really piss me off. I mean, how do you not even taste your food before you drown it in ketchup? I once heard a story about a hiring partner in a huge corporate firm who would take his interview candidates out to lunch and observe them. If they salted their food before tasting it, they wouldn’t be hired because he thought there was not enough thought and consideration in this gesture. Same goes for ketchup.

The creation of this recipe required a lot of trial and error. We ate a lot of ketchup that wasn’t… ummmm… wasn’t… worthy of the name ketchup. I tried all kinds of ingredients to get the right balance of sweet and tangy. For us, this recipe is the perfect balance. It’s the right consistency, and it tastes awesome.

You’ll notice that this recipe contains prunes. I know that sounds weird, but they really give this ketchup just the right taste. So, you’ll need to use a high-speed blender if you want your ketchup to be really smooth.

Another thing I used to buy but now I like to make homemade is Vegan Cashew Cream Cheese.

healthy homemade ketchuphealthy homemade ketchup

Hear are some of the great healing ingredients in this healthy homemade ketchup recipe:

In Chinese medicine, we use prunes to reduce stomach acidity and to help smooth the digestion. The claim to fame of the prune is that it helps fight against constipation. This is true, and when you clear your intestines, you are also taking a great step toward preventing colon cancer. These dried plums also are great for your vision and they have enough potassium to make them an official heart-healthy food.

In Chinese medicine, we use tomatoes to aid in digestion and to help detoxify the body. They are also good to combat excess cholesterol, lessen inflammation and curb asthma. Tomatoes can also quench thirst, and they can help fight some kidney infections.

Raw apple cider vinegar is one of the most amazing ingredients available today. My husband and I really do take a big spoon of it every day along with our other supplements. It helps you maintain a healthy alkaline level in your body, detoxifies the liver, and is good for your heart. This vinegar helps intestinal function, much the way probiotics do. It also acts as an antacid and can help break down mucous in the body.

healthy homemade ketchup

Healthy Homemade Ketchup
Author: 
Recipe type: condiment
Cuisine: paleo, vegan, vegetarian
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: ½ cup
 
Look at all of the jars in bottles in your fridge. They contain so much sugar! If you are a ketchup lover, you've got to make this recipe for healthy homemade ketchup and store it in your fridge.
Ingredients
  • 6 pitted prunes
  • 7 oz tomato paste
  • 2 Tbs raw apple cider vinegar
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ¾ tsp garlic powder
  • ¾ tsp dried minced onion flakes
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • black pepper, to taste
  • water, as needed
Instructions
  1. Put all of the ingredients, and 5 Tbs water into a high-speed blender.
  2. Whiz it up. Add more water if necessary to get this ketchup to the desired consistency.
  3. Store in an air-tight jar in the fridge.
  4. Enjoy on everything!

healthy homemade ketchup

Orange Peel Chicken

Chicken and oranges pair so well together and orange peels are great for your digestion… enter: orange peel chicken!

orange peel chicken

This past weekend I was at my son’s college graduation. I’m such a proud mom and I just love that kid so much that of course now in the days past the graduation all I’m doing is thinking about him. He likes to cook, so I love to come up with recipes that I think he would like and that are easy to prepare. This one fits the bill — but when he makes it I’m sure a lot of hot peppers will go into the sauce.

I love chicken dishes with fruit. A great friend of mine once made me his version of Caribbean chicken with lots or oranges and lemons and cherries. This was many years ago, and I still think about that dish today.  So, these things had me thinking…

I know, I really should get a life. All I do is think about food…

My favorite lemonade is made with whole lemons (here’s that recipe) — peel and everything. And I absolutely love grating lime zest on everything! So, when I was making orange chicken the other day, I figured why not use the whole orange. Yup, this orange peel chicken uses the entire orange — peel and everything.

All I did was put all of my orange sauce ingredients into my Vitamix, whiz it up and cook the chicken in it. Not only is this recipe delicious, but I underestimated the amount of sauce my ingredients would make and I had enough sauce to freeze half of it for another time… which is definitely a really good thing! There’s nothing better than a freezer stocked with awesome sauces…

orange peel chickenorange peel chicken

Nutritionally speaking, this chicken is awesome:

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.

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).

Chicken is something I push people to buy organic if possible. Organic chicken is a great, healthy protein to give you energy, lessen the pain of some types of arthritis, and boost your system when you are particularly weak — like after surgery or childbirth. People who have some conditions that we consider “excess heat” conditions should limit the amount of chicken they eat. So, if you have an illness that gives you a bright red tongue or severe dryness in your body, check with your doctor first. For example, if you have a lot of burning stomach acid, you should avoid chicken for awhile…

Garlic is amazing in its antiviral and antibacterial capabilities. Garlic is actually a Chinese herb (Da Suan). It’s used to kill toxins and parasites and also to reduce swelling in the body. It’s what I call a great “A” herb: anesthetic, antibacterial, anti fungal, antioxidant, antiviral, etc….

orange peel chicken

Orange Peel Chicken
Author: 
Recipe type: chicken, poultry, main dish
Cuisine: Asian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Toss some whole oranges into your blender (peel and all), add a few more ingredients, cook the chicken in this delicious mixture, and you will have a delicious and healthy dinner.
Ingredients
  • 8 boneless chicken thighs (about 2-1/4 lb)
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • 2 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 large oranges (organic if possible), washed, unpeeled, cut into quarters
  • 1 Tbs sliced fresh ginger
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • ¾ cup coconut sugar
  • ½ cup plum sauce or hoisin sauce or korean bbq sauce (use whatever healthy version is available)
  • 1 -1/2 tsp sriracha
  • ¾ cup chicken broth
  • 1 tsp raw apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ tsp five spice powder
Instructions
  1. Preheat your broiler.
  2. Heat oil in a large sautee pan over medium-high heat.
  3. Season the chicken generously with salt and pepper.
  4. Brown the chicken on both sides in the oil, about 5 minutes on each side.
  5. Place all of the remaining ingredients into a blender and whiz it up until it's really smooth. (I used my Vitamix so this didn't take too long.)
  6. When the chicken is browned, pour enough of your blended orange sauce into the pan so that the chicken is mostly covered. Stir to coat the chicken.
  7. Cover the pan and cook until the chicken is cooked through, about 15 minutes.
  8. Transfer the chicken, shaking off excess sauce, to a baking sheet.
  9. (I saved my extra sauce and put it in the freezer for another time!)
  10. Place the sheet under the broiler until the sauced chicken starts to char a bit (about 3 minutes).
  11. Enjoy!

orange peel chicken