Good morning! Did you have a nice weekend and have you recovered from our lost hour of sleep yet? I don’t understand the rationale behind the whole daylight saving thing and I find it very disruptive to have to adjust to it twice a year, not that I’m bitter or anything.
Superfood Smoothie Stash:
After my friends Jasmin and Mariann stopped by for a visit last December and I made them my Energizing Green Smoothie, Jasmin thought it might be interesting if I did a little feature where I showed my superfood smoothie stash. It all starts with my favorite room in my house, the kitchen pantry:
Yeah, I know, it’s beautiful.
Two of my favorite additions to green smoothies are Ceylon cinnamon and amla powder:
Most everything I learned about superfoods I learned from Nutritionfacts.org, although I would encourage you to do your own research. In this video, I learned that you must use Ceylon cinnamon (the typical one you find in the grocery store can be harmful) and I learned all about amla powder in this one. I buy my organic, fair-trade Ceylon cinnamon from Frontier Coop and I buy organic amla powder from Mountain Rose Herbs (I do not have an affiliation or get compensation from either company). [Editor's note: I became an affiliate with Mountain Rose as of March 20, 2013 where I receive a small commission if you use this link].
I usually rotate my superfoods and I’ll use 2-4 of any of these ingredients in each smoothie. Some other favorites are these maqui berries, goji berries, maca powder and acai powder:
I just bought the acai powder last week and I haven’t even tried it yet, but I was motivated to do so after watching this video from Dr. Greger. I’ve been using the macqui berries, goji berries, and maca powder for awhile now, but I’m not sure where I first heard about them, probably on the blogosphere.
You may have noticed, but I tend to buy the Navitas Naturals brand a lot. I like that the products are organic and the prices are competitive. As part of this post, the kind folks at Navitas sent me some samples to try:
And, guess what? They are offering to send one lucky reader a similar prize pack. Yay! I’ll write the rules for entering the giveaway at the end of this post. So far, I’ve tried the hemp powder, the chia powder and the wheatgrass powder with great results.
I didn’t take a picture, but I always use ground chia seeds, ground flax meal and hemp seeds in my smoothies as well.
The last important superfood in my smoothie stash are dried hibiscus flowers:
These are another recent addition after watching this video. I purchase the organic, fair-trade version of these from Frontier Coop and I just steep about a tablespoon of the flowers in hot water for a few minutes before adding both the flowers and the water into my smoothie. Be careful about not using too much of these, they have a really strong astringent flavor.
Of course, we know that the real superfoods are the green leafy vegetables that are added to green smoothies, but I hope you liked this peek into my other stash.
Sweet Potato Cookies:
Today marks the beginning of the third week of our Spring 2013 Healthy Vegan Challenge! After two full weeks of not eating any sugar, sweeteners or dried fruit, my tastebuds are definitely more sensitive to the natural sweetness of fruits and vegetables. That being said, a girl sometimes wants a cookie. I had a lone cooked sweet potato in my fridge that really needed to be used up, so I used it as the base for this recipe.
I just removed the skin and placed the sweet potato in a big bowl, along with some dried coconut, rolled oats, chia seeds, cinnamon, applesauce and vanilla extract:
I dehydrated my cookies, but they could also be baked in an oven at 350 degrees for maybe 15 minutes or so.
Here’s how they turned out:
They would be sweeter with raisins or currants, but I’m not eating any dried fruit during the Challenge so I left them out. They are awesome!!!
Here’s the recipe:
- 1 medium sweet potato, baked
- 1 tablespoon ground chia seeds
- ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ cup gluten-free rolled oats
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ cup unsweetened dried shredded coconut
- Remove the skin from the sweet potato and place the flesh in a medium bowl. Use a fork to mash.
- Add coconut, oats, chia seeds, applesauce, cinnamon and vanilla to the bowl and use a spatula to mix together.
- Using your hands, form 12 cookies and place on a dehydrator tray. Dehydrate at 135° F for 2 hours and then drop the temperature to 120° F for an additional 6-8 hours of drying. Alternatively, bake in a 350° F degree oven on parchment paper for 15 minutes or so. Cookies should be firm to the touch and baked through.
The sweetness is subtle in this cookie, but I really loved them because of that reason. These would be a perfect treat for kids or anyone who has to be very careful about not consuming too much sugar.
Nativas Naturals Giveaway:
Now back to the giveaway! Navitas is offering to do a giveaway of a sampler pack to one lucky reader.
To be entered, just leave a comment on this post (in the comments section) telling me what your favorite green smoothie ingredients are. I will randomly select a winner on Friday, March 15. This giveaway is open to U.S. residents who are 18 years and older. [Editor's note: this giveaway is now closed].
Have a great start to your week and I’ll see you back here on Wednesday. Also, just a reminder, you can find over 75 of my favorite whole food recipes on my app for iPhones and iPads, Vegan Delish (find out more about it here). Yesterday I finally got around to adding my recipe for Spinach & Black Bean Brownies with Vanilla “Cream” Frosting to the Desserts category. You’re welcome!