Smoothie Criminal

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People seem to think it’s a crime to make a good green smoothie without added sugar or dairy. Today, I shall dispel those rumors.

First of all, fruit is sweet (especially if you buy it in season) and it don’t need no sherbets, ice creams or artificial ingredients to be fabulous. Just make sure you have a good ratio of fruit to other ingredients, or choose an all natural sweetener like stevia.

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Second of all, just because you don’t eat dairy doesn’t mean that you need to replace it with soy, almond, flax, coconut or whatever milk or yogurt alternative you happen to have in your fridge. Fresh green smoothies don’t need it! Just add water to loosen things up and get the ingredients to blend better.

Can I get an Amen from all the raw-foodies out there?

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Your smoothie won’t taste watery, I promise. Plus, you’ll get extra hydration, save calories, and find another use for your $10 a gallon animal substitute. It’s a win, win, win.

The real trick is finding the right combination of fruit to really get you going in the morning (or afternoon, or midnight snack, or fourthmeal). This is mine, and it’s so simple it should be illegal (am I even allowed to use the term fourthmeal?).

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Three basic components are all you need for a totally raw, fresh, green smoothie: some kind of leaf, a fresh fruit and a frozen fruit. Above I have baby spinach (the easiest flavor to mask), some fresh mango and a frozen banana.

(Pro tip: never use ice cubes to make your smoothie cold, they’re impossible to blend in most moderately priced blenders. Use small frozen fruit like raspberries or blueberries instead!)

You may choose to add a green powder, but why use additives when you’ve got a rich, sweet blend of whole foods (again, illegal?).

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This is just one of the many kinds of delicious smoothies and shakes that are out there for vegans to enjoy. It’s so easy being green.

Bon appetit.

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Dairy-free, Soy-free, and Sugar-free Pumpkin Spice Latte

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Remember those yoga pants girls I was talking about earlier? This is for them. I took a cult favorite seasonal drink and somehow managed to make it even more yuppie by keeping it dairy, soy and sugar free. How, you ask? Let me introduce you to a friend of mine, her name is Stevia. She’s super sweet, and let me tell ya, all natural.

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There’s nothing artificial about this bag of goods, and she cuts the calorie count of my pumpkin spice latte to under half of what the commercial version comes in at.  A 16 oz pumpkin spice latte from that cafe made with soy milk will run you about 300 calories, 4 grams of fat, and 48 grams of sugar. Mine comes in at 123 calories, 2.5 grams of fat and 0 sugar! Need more convincing? This took me about two minutes to make. The longest part was waiting for the water to boil for my french press!

You know there’s a yoga pant-clad yuppie girl in there somewhere waiting to get out and talk about how she can’t get enough of her PSL’s. It’s ok, feed her.  At least with this she’ll probably thank you for not making her fat.

Ingredients

1 C. strongly brewed coffee (I used 1 very heaping Tbsp. for each cup of water)

1 C. 90 calorie almond milk (you can use a lower-cal version, it just won’t be as rich)

2 Tbsp. pumpkin puree

3 Tbsp. stevia

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1/2 tsp. ground cloves

1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg

1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

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Method

Brew the coffee in whatever method you like, I used a french press.

Mix the stevia and vanilla into the almond milk and microwave for 2 mins.

If you have a milk frother, use it now. Although almond milk does not froth quite as well as cow’s milk, it does get a bit fluffier. If you don’t have one no worries, I didn’t use one either.

(Pro tip: If you’re in the vicinity of an IKEA, pick up one of these. It will change your life.)

Stir in the spices and pumpkin puree (which will dissolve beautifully).

Pour 1 C. of coffee into a mug and top with 1 C. of the almond milk mixture.

Stir and enjoy!

Serving suggestion: with some warm and gooey oatmeal for breakfast; outside if possible.

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Bon appetit.