Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Cherry Smoothie

There are ways to make delicious food and successfully hide the fact it contains vegetables. I like to use spinach because the taste is mild enough to hide easily. The color, on the other hand, is strong and needs another strong color to counter it. My two favorite color hiders are blueberries and dark sweet cherries.

For this recipe, a Vita-Mix is your best bet. If you don't have one, you might try soaking the cashews (or seeds) overnight to make them easier to blend.

Equipment needed: Vita-Mix with the liquid container

In the Vita-Mix:
1 pkg frozen dark sweet cherries (10 oz)
1/2 pkg frozen spinach (5 oz)
3 pitted dates
1/2 pkg cashews (6 oz)
[For a Nut-Free version, substitute 3 oz sunflower seeds and 3 oz pumpkin seeds for the cashews]

Add enough water to cover everything. For a thinner smoothie, add more water. If you like them thick, add less.

Blend on high until smooth.

Basically, this is a cashew milk smoothie base - cashews, dates, water. We're just skipping the part where we make it into milk.

I accidentally bought roasted and unsalted cashews recently. I usually get raw. The roasted cashews add an interesting depth of flavor to this smoothie. I'm a fan of strong flavors and like odd combinations, so I suggest you use raw, unsalted cashews.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

No-Bake Chocolate Banana Pudding

For this recipe, I went without the usual Vita-Mix/Food Processor component though they can definitely be used to get a smoother consistency.

Equipment Needed:
1 Large Bowl, 1/3 Measuring Cup, 1/4 Tsp, Large Fork or Potato Masher, Whisk, Knife, and Cutting Board

Mash together in the large bowl:

1 avocado
2 very ripe bananas
1 single serving applesauce (4 oz)

It helps to start with the fork or potato masher and then move to the whisk to try and get it smoother. Doing this by hand will probably mean having small chunks of avocado. They will turn color before this is ready to eat.

Gently whisk in:

1/3 cup chia seeds
1/4 tsp salt
4 tsps baking chocolate powder
1/2 pkg sweetened dark chocolate chips (~5 oz)

The 1/4 tsp can be used for both the salt and the powdered chocolate. It means 16 dips into the powdered chocolate though, so feel free to add a 1 tsp measure to the list of equipment needed.

Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

The start of this recipe came from a no-bake chia pudding recipe found online. If I can find it again, I will add the link.

The chocolate powder is helpful in changing the color of this recipe to something that actually looks edible. :-)

Another option is to go with a strong colored fruit instead of the powdered chocolate and chocolate chips - like blueberry.