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creativecalligraphy

Cherry Carrot Orange Kale Smoothie

Here’s a smoothie that is full of fruits and nutrient dense veggies.  It tastes like oranges and is a pretty purply color.  We have become really comfortable with earth tones and pond tones in our house.  As a result, I don't have to hide the veggies and greens in our green smoothies!  The sneaky chef mentality is excellent if you need to employ those tactics, but I would much rather have kids who know what is in their food and love what is in their food.  Teaching the basics of good nutrition is something that we can do for our children every time we make healthy choices in the kitchen!  My 5 year old happily shares this and many smoothies with me... here we attempted the advanced double straw sharing move: [caption id="attachment_360" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="how to share a smoothie"]how to share a smoothie[/caption]   Cherry Carrot Orange Kale Smoothie (makes about 3 cups which is 1 generous portion or enough for 2 to share) 1 cup frozen cherries 2 oranges, peeled (I only peeled one because we like the bitterness that a little orange skin adds) 3 carrots 2 handfuls of organic kale 2 Tbsp golden flaxseed Put everything in the Vitamix or other high powered blender and whiz until smooth.  Add one cup of water, almond milk or orange juice if you need to thin it out or if you need to stretch for more servings.  If you put the cherries in the bottom of the blender you will see a beautiful red orange mixture form before the kale works down and turns everything purply brown.  It’s a very earthy color... beautiful! 
cherry carrot orange kale smoothie
cherry carrot orange kale smoothie
If you need to sweeten the mix, try adding a date and blending again.  Pour and enjoy!

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creativecalligraphy

Citrus Salad with Beet, Blackberries and Avocado (Raw Gluten Free Vegan)

Dinner tonight was inspired by a recipe that Annmarie Gianni prepared on the Renegade Health Show earlier this month.  I modified it to suit the ingredients I had on hand (some luscious blackberries and a ton of mixed greens) and also to meet my Father in Law’s dietary restriction; he can’t have grapefruit.  So unlike the Renegade recipe which features grapefruit, I went with citrus that my Father in Law can have… the amazing orange!  I tried the dressing per the Renegade recipe and while it has a super fresh zing that I loved... but I know that my kids prefer a creamy dressing.  So, I played around a bit and incorporated some avocado and a date to cut the tang of the lime juice vinagrette from the original.  I am SO pleased with the results and all 5 of us sharing dinner tonight enjoyed this salad.  I had a dinner portion and the guys had side salads with their meal. Let me know if you try this one.  The raw beets might surprise you with their sweetness.  So, so good.  Also, I can easily see the dressing as a dip for raw veggies of almost any variety.  It's a little tart and a little sweet, but the creamy factor is what makes it special. [caption id="attachment_320" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Citrus Salad with Blackberries, Beet and Avocado"]Citrus Salad with Blackberries, Beet and Avocado[/caption]   Citrus Salad with Beet, Blackberries and Avocado (makes 2 dinner salad portions or 4-6 side salads) Salad 1 ½ ripe avocados (you need 2 total for this recipe; the other half is used in the dressing) 3 organic oranges (you need 5 total for this recipe) 1 organic grapefruit (optional) 4 raw beets 1 pint organic blackberries 4 cups spinach 4 cups romaine 2 cups arugula
 6 fresh mint leaves 
 Dressing 2 organic oranges, peeled 1 medool date, pit removed 2 organic limes, juiced dash of sea salt a few grinds of pepper ½ avocado, pit removed 2 Tbsp olive oil or coconut oil (optional) 
 To prepare the salad: Wash all of the greens and spin them dry in your salad spinner or lay them on a clean kitchen cloth for a few minutes to dry. Fold the mint leaves in half lengthwise and use your knife to make thin strips (julienne).  Alternatively, you can minced the leaves or tear them into very small pieces.  Just be sure not to leave big pieces of leaf because it can be a strong flavor! Zest your citrus fruits with a zester and reserve the peelings.  Next, remove the citrus peels and cut the fruit into bite size pieces.  How you do it is up to you.  I usually quarter the fruit and then slice each quarter into 4 pieces.  If you’re peeling the fruit by hand you can just add the segments… whatever works! Give the raw beets a quick wash under cool water to remove any sand or dirt.  Slice off the greens and then peel the beets.  This is a messy task that will stain your fingers (and anything else) reddish purple for a while.  Consider this your red badge of courage.  You’re trying a new salad and it is making you commit!  Once the beets are peeled you have a few options.  You can grate them using a hand grater (uber messy!) You can cut them into small pieces with your chef’s knife (also uber messy). Or you can employ your food processor and either grate, slice or chop finely depending on the nifty blade attachments that you have.  I chopped the beets into a fairly tiny shred using my food processor and we all loved them.  Do what works for you. Let’s deal with the avocados.  Slice each one in half lengthwise and twist to get the pit to release from one side.  To get the pit out you can either scoop it out gently with a spoon or, if you’re confident with your knife, you can tap the knife blade into the pit (it will stick in there) and twist the handle until the pit pops out.  You really need to be confident to do the knife tap, so please don’t try it if you’re nervous.  I don’t want you to get hurt!  I’m going to go with the notion that you’re able to get the pit out and all.  Time to score the avocado flesh in lines lengthwise and then again width wise so you end up with a grid pattern on each piece of avocado.  Take a soup spoon now and work it in between the skin and the flesh as you scoop out as much avocado as possible.  As you do this, the cute little pieces will pop right out!  Fun. [caption id="attachment_321" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Avocado Citrus Dressing"]Avocado Citrus Dressing[/caption] To prepare the dressing: Put everything into you blender and whiz until smooth.  It took me about 30 seconds of blending in the Vitamix to achieve a smooth and creamy texture. To assemble: Toss the mixed greens into a large bowl or lay them out on a platter.  Sprinkle with the minced or julienned mint.  Spoon some dressing over the greens.  Use the amount that makes you comfortable.  For my dinner portion, I used 1 Tbsp of dressing.  Next, top with shredded beets, orange pieces, grapefruit pieces and berries.  Serve!

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creativecalligraphy

Sunshine Smoothie

When life hands you red papaya when you were expecting green you can either get mad or make a smoothie.  I intended to buy a green papaya the other day.  I was really looking forward to making Som Tum and I went to start that yesterday and found that the green papaya I’ve been dreaming of eating was a red one.  Sucky red papaya.  I am not a big fan.  To me, red papaya tastes like a weird overripe melon.  There’s a musky factor that turns me off and I can’t eat it on it’s own.  Being vegan and someone who hates to waste, I couldn’t toss the slightly offensive red flesh so I got rid of the seeds and skin and set the flesh in a bowl in the fridge so I could think about it.  Enter the ever faithful smoothie!  We love smoothies and make them pretty much daily.  Can I tell you how many combinations of fruits and veggies I've blitzed to smooth perfection in the Vitamix.... well, enough to know a few tricks!  One of my favorite smoothie all stars is the amazing pineapple.  Pineapple masks a ton of flavors and I knew that it would need to be the superstar here with my challenging red papaya.  My rule of thumb is about 1 piece of fruit and 2 veg per serving.  That’s what I did here and I loved it!  Kids each downed 2 servings with breakfast as well, so I can tell you honestly that this is a good combo!  The taste is remarkably mellow and the pineapple and banana stand out.  It's nice that you can get in the fiber and nutrients from the papaya, carrot and orange as well.  Flaxseed is a must add to smoothies because of the omega 3 benefit.  You won't taste it, but you will be the better for it.  Flaxseed also works to firm up a loose smoothie, so if you need to stretch servings it is a good thing to add.  My caution to you is not to add more than a few tablespoons per blender full or you will make a bitter concotion.  So, the long and short of it is that you're in for a colorful, flavorful smoothie that is smooth and creamy texture without needing dairy or ice.  It works and it's good for you! Sunshine Smoothie (makes about 6 cups)Sunshine Smoothie ½ red papaya 2 cups pineapple 2 bananas 2 oranges, peeled 4 carrots 2 Tbsp golden flaxseed Put everything in the Vitamix or other high powered blender and whiz until smooth.  Add a bit of water if you need to thin it out or if you need to stretch for more servings.  Pour and enjoy! everything in the blender

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