Tag Archives: breakfast

For The Love of Smoothies

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m in my senior year of college. I’m taking 18 credit hours and I also work part time. I’m really, really busy, to put it lightly. I don’t like to complain though, because I know there are plenty of people who have even more on their plate than I do. My brother who’s also a senior (no we’re not twins…it’s a long story) recently battled strep and mono for approximately a month, and he’s a pre-med student. My best friend once took 21 credit hours in one semester while working, and my mom has two kids, two dogs, four elderly parents, and a house to take care of. But let’s be honest, when you do homework every single night and you’re still barely keeping up, it gets discouraging. I’m muddling through though, because all this hard work now is going to allow me to pursue my passion (more on that at a later date). So how do I manage to keep up with everything, other than organization and self-discipline? Having a ton of energy is my secret.

Thankfully, all of my classes start at 11 a.m., so I don’t have to get up early. But when you’re not getting to bed until 1 a.m. or later because you didn’t even finish all your homework until midnight, even getting up at 9 a.m. is difficult. Of course, if you’re going to need plenty of energy to get through the day, breakfast is essential. But forget getting up in enough time to shower, get ready for school, make, and eat breakfast before I have to leave. I’ve tried meal-replacement bars and shakes because they’re fast and portable, but they usually don’t taste that great and I’m hungry again in an hour. Enter smoothies. They’re delicious, healthy, portable, and filling. Best of all, they give me tons of energy. I don’t find myself in a mid-day slump anymore and even though I’m tired when my alarm goes off, once I get up and moving, I’m good to go. I talked about smoothies briefly in my post about how I started making the transition to healthier eating. But I wanted to write a post specifically about smoothies. And I didn’t share any actual recipes in my other post.  So here are my three favorite smoothie recipes. Don’t judge them until you try them, they’re all healthy and they’re all delicious. I promise!

“Fuel your Day” Smoothies

Notes
– Frozen fruit makes smoothies cold and creamy but it isn’t very sweet. Letting bananas get a little over ripe before freezing them will make your smoothies much sweeter without added calories
– All of these measurements are approximations because I’m usually in a hurry in the morning and I never measure anything. They almost always taste pretty much the same despite not measuring the ingredients
– It should be self explanatory, but the only step in all of these recipes is to dump everything in a blender and blend well

Chocolate Covered Strawberries

8 frozen strawberries

1 cup milk

1 large handful spinach (you can’t taste it at all, so go crazy!)

1 scoop chocolate protein powder

1 small spoonful Nutella

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup

1 frozen banana

1 cup milk

1 large handful spinach

1 scoop chocolate protein powder

1 spoonful peanut butter

Thin Mint Green Monster *

1 large handful spinach

1 cup milk

1 scoop chocolate protein powder

Dash of peppermint extract (go easy, this stuff is STRONG)

*This recipe is courtesy of Julie @ PB Fingers. Without any frozen fruit, it’s going to be much thinner than the others. Xanthan gum can help, but use it sparingly because it’s a tricky ingredient. If you use too much, it will take on a really weird texture that isn’t very appetizing

Question of the night: Do you like making smoothies at home? What’s your favorite recipe?

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Filed under Healthy Living, Recipes by Vanessa

Superfood Smoothie

Vanessa has mentioned how amazing smoothies are and I feel it needs repeating!

When made properly, smoothies can be very healthy meal replacements. OR they can be calorie bombs.

It all comes down to ingredients. And some machinery (a very good blender or food processor)

Today’s smoothie was strawberries and bananas. This is a very basic, beginner smoothie. Military Man had an interest in trying a strawberry banana smoothie, but I knew he’d be expecting it to taste more like a milkshake. My goal is to make healthy food that TASTES like it should be bad for you. And this recipe totally succeeded.

Strawberry Banana Superfood Smoothie

-1/2 to 1 cup mix of sliced strawberries and bananas

-1/3 cup of milk

-1 scoop protein powder of your choice, I used vanilla flavored

-1 TBS of vanilla extract (you shouldn’t be surprised at this point)

-1 TBS Cacao Nibs (this is what makes it a “superfood” smoothie)

-3-4 ice cubes IF YOU DIDN’T USE FROZEN FRUIT

RECIPE NOTES:

-You can use any type of liquid in smoothies (fruit juice, soymilk, almond milk, regular milk, water) it just depends on your taste preferences

-I usually add spinach to my smoothies for an extra veggie boost, blended up, you can’t taste it at all!

1. Throw all ingredients into a blender or food processor and pulse until well pulverized.

2. Pour into a glass and ENJOY!

What’s up with Cacao Nibs? What makes them so “super?” No, Marvel Comics doesn’t endorse them (but they totally should!) nor will consuming them give you the power to walk through walls.

But they will help you achieve a healthier body. And, in the end, if you have a healthy, well nourished body then you might as well be a superhero!

According to the bag: “The bean of the cacao plant is the nutritional and flavorful source for all chocolate and cocoa products. Cacao contains a naturally rich supply of antioxidants and it is an excellent source of dietary fiber. It is also known to be one of the highest dietary sources of magnesium and possesses many other essential minerals in significant quantities.”

They smell like chocolate, but they are bitter tasting. Which is why I recommend blending them into smoothies or grinding them down to a powder and incorporating them into brownies or other chocolate baked goods.

Bon Appetit!

-Brittany

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Filed under Creative Concoctions, Healthy Living, Recipes by Brittany

Getting Creative With Bagels

One of the best things about being proficient in the kitchen is trying combinations that sound bizarre but are absolutely delicious. Case in point: My mom makes a fabulous dish that consists of risotto topped with scallops and a vanilla bean, cognac, and bacon sauce. It doesn’t necessarily sound like it would taste good, does it? But my God it’s delicious!

Now, I’m not yet talented enough to recreate that recipe, but I do have some favorite concoctions I can share with you. I get a lot of ideas from other blogs I follow, especially Julie at Peanut Butter Fingers. “Bagelwiches” are something she blogs about a lot. They’re bagelthins (which are usually only 90-110 calories each!) with various ingredients sandwiched between them.  One of the first variations I tried was a whole wheat bagel thin with melted provolone cheese and raspberry jelly

I LOVE these for breakfast, lunch or a snack. And when I finally found cinnamon raison bagel thins at the grocery store, I stopped using the whole wheat ones for this particular combo. The cinnamon raison adds an extra something to this already delicious treat.

After trying the above bagelwich, I created one that was all my own. And I might actually like this one even better. Apple slices, melted provolone cheese, and cinnamon create a party in your mouth.

Now, if you’re craving something a little more savory, I have one last tried and true combination for you. it requires a little more work, but its really good.

You’ll Need:

Cream cheese

Spinach

Garlic powder

1 bagel thin (I recommend an “everything” bagel thin)

1. In a food processor or blender, combine spinach, garlic, and cream cheese and blend well. I didn’t measure this at all, just eyeballed it and added more until I had enough. But go easy on the garlic, you can always add more later.

2. Spread the spinach mixture on the bagel thin (toasted if desired) and enjoy!

Helpful Hint: I’m sure these are easiest to make in a toaster oven. But it can still be done even if, like me, you don’t have a toaster oven. Just toast the bagel thin to desired texture and place a slice of cheese on one half of the bagel as soon as it comes out of the toaster. press both halves of the bagel together until cheese is melted. then gently peel both halves apart and add jelly, apple slices, or whatever it is you’re adding. So get in the kitchen and have some fun!

-Vanessa

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Fantastic French Toast

Ever since I was a little kid I haven’t been able to eat sweet things for breakfast. Basically, no sweet foods on an empty stomach, or it makes me ill.
This means no cinnamon rolls, no french toast, no pancakes, no waffles; anything slathered in syrup is a no go.

Unless it’s dinner time!

Luckily for me, Military Man’s favorite type of food is breakfast, and we like to be crazy and have breakfast foods for all 3 meals!
Today that meant a decadent French toast.

Ingredients:

-2 slices bread of your choice
-1/3 cup whole milk
-2 egg whites, 1 whole egg
-1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste (vanilla extract will also work, 1:1 ratio)
-1 tsp cinnamon
-2 pats of butter
-1 tsp powdered sugar (optional)

Notes: If you use a thicker bread I’d recommend doubling the recipe to ensure it is properly soaked

***If you want to make a healthier version substitute skim milk for whole, use all egg whites, and don’t add the butter.***

First crack 2 eggs, separating the yolks. (You can toss them…or give them to your doggy!) And then add one whole egg.

Whisk briskly and add 1/3 cup whole milk. Whisk again.

Next, it is encouraged to startle your dog (or other kitchen friend) with the camera. He is hoping for more yolks!

Add cinnamon!

This is vanilla bean paste. This is what will take your French toast to the next level. If you’re crazy (like me) you’ll add more than the 1/2 tsp….you’ll add 2 heaping teaspoons! And you’ll thank me later. Whisk again!!

At this point Military Man said, “Oh, I see what you mean by health code violations.” What you call “violations” we call “quality control.” Either way, Boo approves of the consistency and that’s what counts.

Whisk the batter again (whisking is the key to keep all the ingredients combined because they have a tendency to settle) drop bread into the batter and make sure both side are covered then drop into a pre-heated pan (medium/high heat) Cook each side until golden brown! Just before removing from pan, drop in one pat of butter and let the bread soak it up. Paula Deen would approve!

Add syrup and powdered sugar…and one hungry puppy.

MMMMMMM! Military man approved! (Military Man took all of the photos for this post apart from the last one…such a supportive boyfriend!)

You can find the vanilla bean paste at any specialty food store…or TJ Maxx.

What is your favorite breakfast food? Do you like breakfast any time of day or are you a “strictly breakfast for breakfast” person?

Have a great weekend!

-Brittany

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Filed under Recipes by Brittany