Anyone watching my Facebook profile has seen me enjoying these lately…my family enjoye them too, so here are a few recipes:
Hemp Vanilla Shake with Power Greens*
- 2-4 T. Hemp seeds (experiment with your taste preferences)
- Approximately 3 cups of water (if you like really thick shakes/smoothies, you can do less)
- 3 to 6 figs, depending on sweetness preference and size of figs (for the kids I do very sweet). If dried, soak in the water a bit first and chop (remove stems) for easier blending
- 3 Romaine leaves, stems removed and torn in pieces
- 1 tsp or more of vanilla extract
- Dash or more of cinnamon
- 2 cups frozen grapes (I used a mix of red and green; can use all of one kind or mix it up)
Blend all except grapes first, then add frozen grapes and blend until it’s the texture you want it to be for your shake. If you don’t want to freeze the grapes first, then use less water and add ice at the end so it is still cold and icy as I think it tastes much better really cold. You can also use less or no greens if that is your preference, or you are new to including greens in your smoothies. Another mild green may be substituted for the romaine (I recommend spinach, chard or romaine, but if you want to throw in just a bit of kale, you can).
*This makes a large amount, so cut down amounts for a smaller serving and/or single serving. You should be able to find Hemp seeds at a health food store. I used Nutiva packaged Hemp seeds (http://nutiva.com/products/7_hempseeds.php) that I bought at La Crosse’s People’s Food Co-op. My figs were from the co-op as well, but I have seen them at other local grocery stores too.
You can make this using already made almond mylk/milk or by using fresh raw almonds in your smoothie.
- 2 cups almond milk (or water plus ½ cup or so of soaked nuts)
- 4 figs (or to taste), soaked a bit ahead of time if they were dried figs, and chopped to ease blending.
- 1-2 tsp vanilla
- Large dash cinnamon or to taste
- 2 cups frozen or fresh grapes
- Ice, optional
- Spinach or other greens, optional (with this sweet shake though even Megan doesn’t complain about a little spinach in it!) If you put greens in blend them before adding the grapes and any ice, so that they blend very well. (For those of you nervous about your blender’s ability to blend greens, you could strain a bit and then add fruits, etc. in this recipe and many other ones).
Blend everything but the grapes and/or ice first, add grapes and blend well, and then if adding ice, add it and pulse until the ice is the consistency you want it to be. Enjoy!
How I make my Almond Mylk:
- Soak raw almonds for 12 hours or more and rinse well (I order these here: http://www.almonds-from-california.com/ )
- Put them in my blendtec blender (think even a regular blender will work) with 3-4 cups of water depending on my mood
- Add just a bit of vanilla and optionally some sweetener (stevia, dates, figs, agava nectar are all options I’ve used)
- Blend, blend, blend (I use the “whole juice” button and then blend a bit longer on speed 2).
- Strain! I use a “paint straining bag” that I bought at Ace Hardware, but you can buy nice Nut Mylk bags, or use any fine strainer (cheesecloth and nylons are reported to work well too … I have even used a metal mesh strainer but it doesn’t catch as much pulp as a bag does).
- Set aside pulp to use in a recipe if you have a dehydrator; otherwise discard.
- Use the Mylk as you would any milk. J It will keep a few days in the fridge and is full of fresh nutty goodness!
- The same process can be used with many other nuts and seeds, and unlike almonds, many of those seeds are available in high quality in stores. Each nut or seed has its own unique flavor as well as nutritional benefits.
It all started with this one:
http://tinyurl.com/c9qvof – that is a link to a great “Holiday Smoothie” recipe shared by Tracy on the Green Smoothie blog. As you can see from there, you do not any nuts or seeds to get that great sweet vanilla flavor. I think the nuts or seeds just add another dimension to it. If you search the web, I’m sure you’ll find many other varieties of raw/living food vanilla shakes and smoothies that are nutrient dense – now that is indulgence without guilt!
Let me know what your favorite version of a vanilla smoothie is!
An watch for me posting about how I like this shake with coconut instead … with and without figs and grapes likely. J