Tag Archives: vegan

Tuesday Tip–Freezing Bananas

Bananas are awesome.  I know–that’s such a creative intro to a blog post.

But really, they are.

Versatile is the word I think of.

Egg replacers. Ice Cream.  Cream for smoothies.  Dried snack.  Chocolate covered goodness.

Many of my smoothie recipes call for frozen bananas, and while it might sound simple, sometimes the simple things confuse us.

I remember in the beginning of my journey….I’d read certain things, and really just want someone to SHOW me and TELL me exactly what to do because I was afraid I’d screw something up.  I probably did anyways! 😉

When you are freezing bananas, make sure they get RIPE first.  With brown spots.  Just like this:

peeled bananas

Say hello to my sweet Cocker Spaniel Allie!!  She can’t help herself either…

When the bananas are browning, they are at their sweetest.  I promise it makes a difference in the taste of smoothies/ice creams.

To freeze bananas, all you need to do is PEEL the banana, BREAK in half, and PLACE in a freezer bag. Put in your freezer, and in a couple of hours, they will be frozen.

frozen-bananas

Frozen bananas give smoothies a creamy-like texture, which makes me feel like I’m eating a frosty from Wendy’s!

Here are 2 of my favorite chocolate banana recipes (also check out the smoothie page):

1. Chocolate Milkshake

Chocolate Milkshake 2

2. Peanut Butter-Chocolate Milkshake

 

To make Nana Nice Cream (my term for Banana Ice Cream):

Nana Nice Cream

1. Cut the bananas in 1-2 inch chunks.

2. Freeze in freezer bag.

3. Pull out desired amount of frozen bananas (a couple of bananas total should work) and let sit on the counter until not rock solid.  Don’t let them get too soft, just a few minutes.

4. Put in a food processor and blend until creamy.  If it breaks up like ice, you know they were too firm.  If they are soupy, you know they were too soft.

5.  Optional add-ins:  cocoa/cacao powder, vanilla, fruit, granola.

6. Enjoy!

 

I hope you work with Frozen Bananas this week!  Post some pictures to the FB wall this week!!

 


Black Bean Sweet Potato Burgers

I’m not naming names, ’cause I’m not like that.  But there’s this certain restaurant in town (one of the only ones to get a real handmade veggie patty) that has a big ole’ quinoa-based veggie burger.

The fries and sweet tea rock, but let me tell ya, the burger?  Eh.

Great flavor, but it’s missing one BIG thing.  Something to hold it all together.

Get yourself together veggie patty.

Take a bite and it comes squeezing out of the sides, and you’re left eating a big bite of tomato, onion, and gluten free bun.

Now, I’m not saying mine are perfect. But I have figured out the key to mine.  And that’s to keep the burgers on the smaller side, so all sides can get crispy.

The great thing about these burgers is that they really are easy to make.  You can actually taste the burger before you cook it (to adjust flavors) because there’s nothing harmful in them.

I don’t usually eat these with a bun, but you can!  Suggested toppings?  Avocado, caramelized or grilled onions, tomato, lettuce, sprouts, hickory BBQ sauce, honey mustard (vegenaise, Dijon mustard, raw honey).  Pick your fav and roll with it!

I also love to make the burger the topping of a salad.  It brings a little substance, especially if you’re extra hungry.

Before making this recipe, keep in mind you’ll need time to cook a sweet potato and millet (I LOVE millet!!), AND you’ll need 20 minutes to let them harden in the fridge.

My secret?  Cook the sweet potato and millet the night before as you’re cleaning up the kitchen and let it cool in the fridge all night.  Perfect solution.  You can also pre-make the patties and bake them when you’re ready.

Ok, on to the recipe.  I hope you enjoy!

Black Bean Sweet Potato Burgers
 
Ingredients
To cook millet (or quinoa)
  • ¾ cup millet
  • 1.5 cups vegetable broth
To assemble the burgers:
  • 1 large sweet potato, baked
  • 1 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • ¼ cup diced onion
  • 1 T ground flaxseed
  • 1 t cumin
  • 1 t garlic powder
  • 1 t smoked paprika
  • ½ t sea salt
  • ¼ t ground black pepper
  • ½ cup organic cornmeal
Instructions
  1. It would be best to cook the sweet potato and millet the night before and let sit in the fridge all night....
  2. To cook millet, put ingredients in a medium pan and bring to a boil.
  3. Cover and reduce heat to low.
  4. Simmer for 15 or so minutes until all liquid is absorbed.
  5. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  6. Put the black beans in a large bowl.
  7. Smash with a potato smasher or fork, leaving some whole beans.
  8. Peel the baked sweet potato, and place in the large bowl.
  9. Mix together.
  10. Add one cup of cooked millet. Depending on the size of your sweet potato, you may need more at the end if the mixture is too sticky. If not, store the rest in the refrigerator for another use.
  11. Add onion and spices. Mix well.
  12. Sprinkle cornmeal on top of mixture and mix well with hands.
  13. The mixture will be sticky, but not too sticky. If you need more millet or cornmeal, now is the time to add it.
  14. Using your hands, make 10 medium sized patties or 5 large patties and place on baking sheet.
  15. Place in the refrigerator to harden for 20 minutes.
  16. Bake for 20 minutes. Flip burgers. Bake for another 15 until hardened.
  17. Enjoy!

 


Tuesday Tip-Drinking Lemon/Cayenne Pepper Water

The tip this week is something I’ve done for years, but I can’t remember where I originally read the information.  It’s just something I do, part of my routine.

Drinking warm lemon-cayenne pepper water in the morning

Photo

I know it might come as a shock to some of you, but I’ve never had a cup of coffee! I’ve admitted that before and found that I actually wasn’t alone…

I tell you this so you know that I don’t have that struggle of waking up and NEEDING that cup of coffee before I talk to anyone or enter the world.  For those of you, this tip might be super, super difficult to implement.

I’m not better than you, I just wake up and NEED chocolate and french fries and sweet tea and gummy worms and the list could go on.  Don’t judge. 😉

So at first, this routine was out of the ordinary for me.  And I didn’t wake up craving this, but I knew that it does great things for my body, so I was DOWN!  Now, I LOVE the taste and don’t need any sweetener to help out (I started with a spoonful of raw honey in it)

Benefits?

Lemons: High in Vitamin C, antioxidants, and electrolytes–energy BOOST!

Cayenne Pepper:  stimulates circulatory system and aids in digestion

I’m going to share two articles with you about the benefits of drinking lemon/cayenne pepper water–because y’all know I’m all about sharing LOVE but also not recreating (time is precious, y’all) when other amazing bloggers are already doing it.

Like these same bloggers, I also use a straw, use juice from half of a lemon, use organic, good quality cayenne, and drink a regular glass of water right after before eating breakfast.

I don’t have an electric kettle or a tea pot for that matter, so I use the microwave (GASP) or the stove.  I do desire to have that cute electric kettle that you’ll see in Food Babe’s picture, but these things come with time.  I’m ok taking it small steps at a time!

You can read these articles here:

  1. Food Babe: Habits for New Year and Beyond
  2. Body Unburdened: The Health Benefits of Warm Lemon Water and Cayenne Pepper

The main reason I have adopted this routine is to help with detoxifying the liver and the rest of the body.  I eat about 90% organic and use vinegar, essential oils, and baking soda for cleaning, and use all natural products on my body including hair care, deodorant, lotions, etc. BUT that doesn’t mean that everything is perfect.  There are problems with organic foods too.  And that doesn’t mean that I don’t get toxins and bad stuff from the environment and world we live in.  I’m in a constant state of trying to make myself better, and keeping my organs working properly and healthy is a part of that!

Take some time today to read through those articles (research more if you are interested) and see if this is something you’d like to implement into your daily routine!


What I Ate Wednesday 2-25-15

I’m very excited to bring this series back! When you have to take pictures of everything you eat and post them on social media, it sure does keep you accountable!

I’m kind of an obsessive person and when it comes to food, I get on a kick and stick with the same thing for a while.  These days, I’m loving avocado toast for breakfast!  The recipe is on the website, and it’s super easy…plus it’s filling, cheap, and good for you!

avocado toast

I ate two pieces in the car on the way to take Sawyer to school.

I took a snack to bible study, and ate this big bowl of fresh pineapple and mango around 10 or 10:30 in the morning!

Fruit snack

One thing that has changed for me since adopting a whole foods, clean living lifestyle is my desire to sit down with a meal and enjoy it.   No longer are the days of rushing around eating fast food in the car for every meal.  I eat snacks in between meals so that I am not starving until I have the time to sit down and eat.  I usually eat lunch around 1:30 because by that time my two babies are down for naps.  I enjoy a TV show on Netflix and savor my food.   Then it’s right back up to the realities of life 🙂

For lunch, I had a plate of  leftovers:  2 small sweet potatoes made into french fries using my favorite recipe, a side of roasted broccoli & chickpeas, and a side dish I’m working on for next Thanksgiving (I know?!) that has millet (an awesome gluten free grain), roasted Brussels sprouts, dried cranberries, walnuts, and lemon.

lunch

You may or may not know our family’s story, but we’ve got a pretty complicated eating situation.  So if you can imagine, going to the grocery store is pretty stressful.  I have 5 (3 of which are medical) meal plans going through my head. Who has what ingredients? What does everybody need?  It takes a ton of preparation to make it happen so that I don’t just cry myself through the aisles (or when it’s time to slide that credit card!)

I can usually only handle planning for about 3-4 days at a time.  If you’re eating fresh foods, that is a good time period for you too!  If you can swing it, go to the grocery store twice a week and always keep fresh foods in your house!

I told you all of this to say, YES!!!! I hire a babysitter just so I can go to the grocery store.  Well worth it to me!!!!!!

So to celebrate my FREEDOM, I enjoyed some gummy worms in my van, with my heated seat, without listening to Frozen, or screaming at children.  REWARD!!.

gummy worms

No nasty corn syrups or dyes here.  Everything is actually natural. Yes, it has sugar. Evil, evil sugar.  But hey, in my opinion, it’s better than a breakdown, right?!

I kept dinner simple.  You might even recognize this photo, because YES, I’ve eaten this salad 4 times this week.  No need to take a new photo!  My favorite salad EVER:  butter lettuce greens, dates, avocado, almonds, sprouts, raspberries, homemade sprouted grain (not gluten free) croutons, carrots, and Lemon Tahini Dressing.  Oh. My. Gawd. It’s my heaven here on earth 🙂

Salad for dinner

Try some of these recipes this week and let me know what you think!!


How to Peel Garlic Easily

I don’t know about you, but I LOVE the smell and taste and pretty much everything about fresh garlic.

I know there are many products out there that make using garlic easy, but to me, there’s something about peeling it and using it fresh that makes my recipes pop.

I will admit, though, that it really gets on my nerves and sometimes it feels like a waste of time.  You may know this trick–but for those that don’t, this saves me TONS of time prepping!

If you are peeling 3 or more garlic cloves, I think this is the easiest way to do it–

Step 1:

Put your garlic cloves in the center of a kitchen towel.

1

Step 2:

Wrap the towel up and hold in the center.

2

Step 3:

Here’s the fun part!  Beat (yes, beat!) the towel on the counter for about 5-10 seconds.  Don’t be afraid to be strong here.  This is totally therapeutic for me 🙂

Then, unwrap the towel, and VOILA!  Your garlic is peeled!!

3

 

If I am using 2 or less garlic cloves, I just use this simple trick:

Using the side of a knife, press down on the garlic clove until the peel loosens and comes off easily!

4

I hope this helps your cooking/prep time in the kitchen, AND helps become therapy like it does for me 🙂

 

Have a blessed Tuesday!