Learning to eat …

April 16, 2009

Vanilla Shake/Smoothie Recipes (green smoothies/shakes)

Filed under: Recipe — Tags: , , — tamiofbrooksgroth @ 1:25 pm

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.

Almond Mylkshake

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

January 23, 2009

I Finally Tried a Blended Salad (Green Smoothie, Green Savory, Savory Smoothies)

blended salad in blendtec blenderSure I love green smoothies, but a blended salad? C’mon salads are not made to be blended right?

Recently I discovered Savory smoothies, and have been enjoying a wide variety of them thanks to the wonderful recipes available to me from the various Raw Diva programs. I have also been enjoying blended soups for a few months now, and have recently started adding a handful of greens to many of the blended soup recipes to make them more nutritional. It certainly occurred to me that this makes the soup a blended green smoothie — just a smoothie with savory ingredients and taste rather than the sweet taste associated with most green smoothies.

I’ve actually been craving savory more than sweet lately.

I’ve also been more open to experimenting lately. So when I still had a LOT of wonderful salad left over this past Sunday, and after having a lot of it for lunch, I wasn’t interested in eating more of it as a salad. So I decided to see if it would make a good soup. I also realized that by literally blending this salad, I was certainly going to have to admit to eating a blended salad!

dcp_6063So, I blended it up. It contained approximately: a cup of mixed spring greens, 1/2 a red pepper, 1/2 a cucumber, 1 stalk of celery, 1/2 cup of tomato, 12/2 cup of mushrooms, 1/2 cup of broccoli, 1/2 cup of green onions, 1/2 cup of sunflower seeds, juice of one lime, a bit of olive oil, and just enough water to blend. I added a bit of salt and ate a bowl full as a warm soup — yum! It would probably have been good as a cold savory smoothie too. It was quite green, and not red like many veggie juices.blended green soup

After eating my bowl of the blended salad, I decided to dehydrated the rest of it so I could use it later.  Much to my surprise today I wanted to eat the dehydrated blended salad just as it was rather than saving it to rehydrate for another blended soup sometime while traveling! It was tangy and very yummy! What a happy surprise. 🙂

P.S. I originally wrote this early in December — so just over a month ago. I no longer find it surprising that I like blended salads! Now a year ago I was just discovering green smoothies and couldn’t even bring myself to use the blended salad term! So, my eating habits and subsequently my palette have certainly changed. I really did find this soup totally yummy. Of course my 11-year-old, very honest, and much too used to processed food daughter totally disagreed with me — so that is your warning! You may want to use some herbs or spices that you really like in your blended salads at first to bring out those strong flavors that you are accostomed to.

For more great recipes, don’t forget to stop by the Green Smoothie blog!

November 30, 2008

Pâté or simple spread, it’s still yummy… (walnut, flax, sunflower, onion, celery, and peppers)

Filed under: Recipe, Supper — Tags: , , — tamiofbrooksgroth @ 9:09 pm

I decided I was in the mood for something a bit different for supper Sunday night. Shawn was making a curried rice dish, but I didn’t plan ahead enough to make any raw food curry recipes (soon, though). So, I looked through one of my cookbooks and became seduced by the pâté and mock tuna pate recipes. Of course I didn’t have all of the ingredients to any one recipe, but that has never stopped me before.

I ended up making a nutty onion spread/pâté that was really yummy. I used:

  • 2 cups walnuts (about)
  • 3 T. flax seeds
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1 small onion
  • 2 small stalks of celery, including leaves
  • 1 small hottish red pepper
  • 2 slices dehydrated green pepper
  • 3/4 cup water

I combined it gradually and blended and blended in my Blendtec. This recipe would work well in a food processor I think.

I spread it on large lettuce leaves and rolled them like a burrito and ate it, yum! I also ate it spread on celery sticks, and with flax crackers.

So a hearty helping of this spread along with a nice mixed green salad made a great supper tonight. And there is plenty left for lunch!

October 5, 2008

Kale and nuts and pears, oh my

Filed under: Recipe, Supper, Today I ... — Tags: , , , — tamiofbrooksgroth @ 9:13 pm

OK, so the sing-song title is a bit much, but this unique salad was really yummy and a nice change of pace. I was inspired by a recipe our CSA shared in their newsletter, so I created a pear and kale salad of my own.

  • 1 bunch kale
  • enough lemon juice and olive oil to coat the kale
  • sprinkle of course salt and pepper
  • one pear sliced thin
  • chopped walnuts, 1/4 to 1/2 cup

Coat the kale with lemon juice and olive oil and let it set for about 10 minutes, or while cutting the pear and nuts. Mix all ingredients together. Best if flavors have a bit of time to mix together so make it early if possible. I do like it fresh and not refrigerated though so I just make it before making soup or any other parts of the meal.


Supper tonight was this wonderful salad, some additional green salad, and some “cheese” soup (cauliflower with sunflower seeds, brazil nuts, flax seeds, onion, parsley, and a few otehr greens along with some nutritional yeast). I was hungry … but I ate too much. I was more than full afterwards … I need to learn to make and eat less soup when I try to do soup and salad. Lunch was a yummy tomato/pepper soup (a red pepper, a few sun dried tomatos, onion, flax seeds, and carrots). Breakfast though was a gluten free blueberry muffin mostly because it was there along with some tea. So, I’m glad I ended the day well. I had two green smoothies yesterday though. 😉

September 21, 2008

Soup, soup, and more soup!

Filed under: Lunch, Recipe, Supper — Tags: , , , , , , — tamiofbrooksgroth @ 10:46 pm


Originally uploaded by Tami of BrooksGroth

Lots of pics of the many soups (and ingredients) on my flicker site … eventually I’ll try to organize them with more labels, but if you have any questions about any of them, please ask.

I was addicted to tomato soup the last few weeks! it started with a simple beet, carrot, tomato and beet (w/ ground pepper) recipe and gradually turned into a variety of my own creations based on mood and ingredients in my kitchen. 🙂

When I want a sweeter soup, I use some dates and less spices. If I want it more salty, I add some celery. If I want a more complex flavor (and color!) I’m sure to add beets. And to make it thick without avocado or nuts, I use flax seeds. I get wonderfully rich thick soups without using anything but the flax and veggies. I’ve also added some spinach when I think I need more greens, and it still tastes like yummy fresh (RAW!) tomato soup.

And it’s so fun to watch how the colors change as I blend the soups. Sometimes I think it will be one color, and then more blending turns it more orange ,or red, or green. I’ve had lots of tomato soup that is not even close to being red. 🙂 But it’s always yummy.

Oh, and it’s hot too … as in steaming hot, but not too hot to eat. I always use hot water and at least two blending cycles (usually “whole juice” and then “soup” on the blendtec).

Here’s one basic recipe:
–2 tomatoes
–1 large or 2 small carrots
–1 beet
–2 or 3 T. flax seeds
–Ground black pepper to taste

Then, eat it as a thick yummy soup without texture or add chopped veggies for texture. In this photo, I cut up an avocado and poured the soup on top of it.

If this is all I eat for supper, then I eat the entire recipe. If I share with my husband or kids, then I have a salad or something else too. But one recipe of this is very filling and certainly helps gets those veggies in.

Enjoy —

August 22, 2008

Breakfast: Green Smoothie of figs, grapes and beet greens

Filed under: Breakfast, Recipe — Tags: , — tamiofbrooksgroth @ 1:09 pm

This morning I finally tried figs, and made a smoothie inspired by the Fig-tastic recipe found here: http://www.squidoo.com/greensmoothies (you have to scroll a ways down). I didn’t have red grapes so I used green and I don’t have the super food she refers to (I do take a high quality probiotic supplement). I stopped throughout the process to taste test, but this is what I ended up with:

7 figs
large handful green grapes
4 beet green leaves
2 inches of celery and a couple of the little leaves
1 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp powdered (gluten free) vanilla
1 cup water
2 cups ice

If I had to do it again I would cut down on either the ice or water, but it was still great. This made about 24 oz so not quite the quart I usually drink, and not quite as green as far as the number of leaves. Maybe next time I make it I’ll add more greens. If you try this, or the recipe I started with, let me know as I would be interested in how you like it. It does have a distinctive taste that is indeed “earthy” but also very, very good. I will be making it again. It was a great introduction to figs.

August 19, 2008

Wake Up and Smell the … Green Smoothie!!!!

Filed under: Breakfast, Recipe, Today I ... — Tags: — tamiofbrooksgroth @ 11:33 am
I’ve been thinking about this post for weeks now, but this morning I could no longer put it off.
I used to LOVE coffee. Did you hear my emphasis? Yes, I LOVED, LOVED, LOVED coffee. And it still seems a bit strange to put that in the past tense as really I didn’t see myself as someone that drank coffee merely because I needed the caffeine or was in the habit or well for any reason except that I truly loved it. I was rather a coffee snob as well. Until the recent upgrade in our office break room to something wonderfully beyond the large thermal carafe for everyone to “enjoy,” I rarely even was tempted to indulge at work, and instead would detour through one of the local coffee stops prior to work or during a break (or bring and drink tea, but my love for tea is another post). During the past couple of years my once-a-week indulgence was an almond mocha made with soy milk, heavy on the chocolate to cover the soy flavor, and de-caf or at least half-caf because I really didn’t need want the caffeine. And one of my regular detours could make this specialty so good I thought it was a little bit of heaven.
My oldest daughter could order her own Mocha at ten, and I just smiled and thought of how I didn’t know what a Mocha really was until I was nearly thirty. (The coffee snob thing used to be only coffee and not all the sweetly steamed additions.) Now I wish I could somehow infuse her with the true energy I feel from my regular green smoothies — double-grande please, no detour required!
I’ve had a slow grieving process with moving my love of coffee into the past tense. Since committing to starting my day with a green smoothie I have tried to continue less frequent coffee indulgences. I told myself I was making the detour as a fun treat, and that indulging in the small size occasionally was simply part of moderation and balance. Moderation or not it actually became self-inflicted disappointment. That Mocha? The taste seemed burnt, sour, and not even the chocolate part lifted my taste buds. And there was no energy infusion of any type — natural or otherwise. I tried switching to Chai tea, and when the same disappointment followed I tried to believe it was just that that particular barista couldn’t make a good one. After telling myself that a half a dozen times, I decided maybe it was me and not them. Sometimes I still enjoy the smell of rich coffee, but I quite literally no longer crave it at all.
I’m still trying on this new identity of the non-coffee drinker. I still feel bad when someone offers me dark rich coffee, and I have to decline.
And on mornings like this one there is still a reflex deep within my psyche that immediately says, “maybe today I’ll have a cup of coffee.” Then I get up, try to keep my eyes open during ten minutes of light therapy (Go Light, light box), drink some water and bounce on my rebounder for at least a few minutes, and get in the shower. Then as if by body memory I pull out some greens and look around to see what fruit I have to work with (I’m not a morning person so I seriously may not remember what was clearly there the night before), and start blending. I see, smell, and sometimes can’t help but taste the ingredients. And I smile.
And I don’t even realize that all thoughts of coffee have disappeared…
It wasn’t easy dragging my butt out of bed this morning and to make it even more challenging my daughter felt the same way. I had had thoughts of experimenting with some type of “chai” flavored green smoothie this morning, but I neglected to prepare the night before, so I opted for nourishing and simply satisfying instead. I’ve been craving salt lately and more than that I swear I literally crave minerals. Either way I decided to experiment with throwing some celery into a smoothie that was otherwise supposed to be sweet. My family would have turned up their noses and wondered why I ruined a perfectly good smoothie, but I thought it turned out perfectly wonderful. Since I also made it icy cold I thought there was no way I could finish the entire quart on my way to work. I was wrong.
My Sweet and Salty Simple Smoothie:
  • 1/2 stalk celery
  • 2 bananas
  • 1 cup water (or slightly less if you like it thick)
  • 6 leaves of beet greens
  • 1 cup frozen mango (or more or less to taste)
  • 1 cup ice
I blended the celery, bananas, water, greens and half the mango first. After that was super smooth I added the ice and the rest of the mango and blended again. In reality it was 2 whirls through the “smoothie” cycle on my Blendtec, and a few pulses. It actually made slightly more than a quart so I had to eat a bit with a spoon to empty the blender.
I tried to tempt my 3-year-old with a few spoonfuls before heading off to daycare with her. Unfortunately she wasn’t in the mood, and even my telling her I had made it like ice-cream this time didn’t succeed. (For the record, she used to slurp them down as fast as I could make them months ago, but in addition to being super picky, she tends to go in streaks with what she’ll eat.)

August 18, 2008

Lunch: Creamy Corn Chowder

Filed under: Lunch, Recipe — Tags: , , , — tamiofbrooksgroth @ 3:33 pm
I was going to do salad for lunch or maybe salad and a smoothie, but then I got home and simply felt like soup and we had this wonderful fresh sweet corn from our CSA yet in the fridge (already cut off the cob because I was going to make dehydrated corn crackers). I had made a Creamy corn soup sometime last week when we first got the soup, but I wasn’t sure where that recipe was so I glanced few a few other soup recipes in the cookbook at the top of the pile and came up with the following:
  • 2 cups of fresh raw corn
  • 2 cups of Almond milk
  • 2 cloves of ginger
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 1/2 an Avocado
  • Sea Salt to taste
Then I blended it through my Soup cycle on the blender, tasted it, and yum. I used a bit more corn on top, the rest of the avocado in chunks also on top, and a bit of pepper. Yum!
It should be titled Corn Chowder for Two or something with all of those 2s in there … but I ate it all myself. I should have had salad or more veggies though or simply not so much soup because I was “move away from the table” full for over an hour. This is certainly a richer meal than I generally eat (all the almonds and lack of greens!). It was pure comfort food though and satisfied my cravings.
It was also the first time I made almond milk from scratch because I didn’t have any Almond or Hemp milk which I had been purchasing previously so I was going to think of a way to make it without the milk, but then I decided I would just quickly use the almonds that I had had soaking for 12 hours (water changed at least 3 times) to make some almond milk quickly since I had been meaning to try that. I have about a cup of the milk left to do something else with, and I was able to realize just how easy it is. I do need to get a nut milk bag or other extra fine strainer if I want to use it as a drink, but it was pretty smooth just straining through the mesh strainer I already have (not much was actually left in the strainer though which I was disappointed in because I was hoping to have some pulp to use for something).
I certainly shouldn’t be hungry until supper time!

Quick Monday Breakfast: Pear, Banana, Cherry Green Smoothie

Filed under: Breakfast, Recipe — Tags: , — tamiofbrooksgroth @ 9:49 am

I slept through my alarm (a light box coming on rather than a sound), so I was even slightly more in a hurry than usual this morning. Thank goodness smoothies are faster than than the drive thru! Neither junk food or skipping meals is an option for me at the moment, so I’m even more grateful for my green smoothies which have totally removed any morning coffee cravings!

So this morning it was a smoothie made from:

  • Two pears
  • One banana
  • 5 Chard leaves (dark blackish kind)
  • 1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup ice
  • 3 handfuls of frozen cherries
  • a bit of stevia since the cherries can be sour

I also munched on a few almonds fresh from the dehydrator (soaked yesterday and then put in the dehydrator to make sure the ones I want for snacks are totally dry), and taste-tested a couple of the “potato chips” I had in the dehydrator as well.

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