Thursday, April 30, 2015

Kale Green Smoothie

When I think of a green smoothie and I think about all the disgusting things that are green in color. I just think that this recipe for a Kale Green Smoothie is not going to work at all.  When I was little, I used to read Dr. Seuss "Green Eggs and Ham," and generally, when I think of food products that are green, I assume if a food is green, it must be rotten.  I think it's a hard sell to try and get children to eat their veggies.  Some children are under the opinion that anything that is green equates to nastiness.  A Kale Green Smoothie must be invented by some looney health nut mom that wants to save the world.  Well, if Sam-I-Am could get someone to like green eggs and ham, if you try it, I might be able to get you to like this Kale Green Smoothie.  It's green and delicious.  Try it, and you will like it.

Kale Green Smoothie

Kale Green Smoothie

2 cups of Kale
1 6 oz. container of favorite Vanilla Yogurt (We used Lactose Free Yoplait Vanilla Yogurt.)
1/2 cup C&H Pure Cane Sugar
1 1/2 cups Organic Whole Milk
2 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
12 large Cubes of Ice

This is a personal preference, sorry I did not take a picture of it, but what I do with the kale is I snap off the  stems and keep the ruffled leafy green.  The stems have a hard texture, and are a little bit chewy.  I don't want my smoothie to be chewy so I am removing the stems of the kale.  You really don't have to cut the kale. A knife is not necessary, just bend the stem of the kale and it will break off.  In the picture there are two stems.  I broke those off before I put them into the blender.

Here are the ingredients that I used.

The stems of the kale are snapped off, and then I placed the kale into the blender.  As you can see the leafs are very green.  This will be what turns the smoothie green and gives the smoothie it's beautiful bright green color.  If you try to taste raw kale, it might taste bitter.  Some people will think I'm totally crazy for making a smoothie with this and would never, ever prepare any sort of green smoothie at home.  Don't worry about the flavor right now.  I promise when we are finished, it will taste plenty good.

After I placed the kale into the blender, I spooned out the yogurt.  A small container will work.  If you want your smoothie to be creamier, more yogurt is fine.

 I pour a half cup of sugar into the mix.

After I pour the sugar, I add 1 1/2 cups of organic whole milk.

If it's starting to look like a salad with ranch dressing, you're doing it right.  It's looking a little chunky though.  Some people might be grossed out right now.  We know it's good so we won't stop until it's finished.

 I added two teaspoons of pure vanilla extract.

I added 12 ice cubes.  If you have an ice cube maker, just use your eyes and try to think how much ice you would like to use.  The ice is going to melt and become water so keep that in mind when you add ice.  I would think, maybe about 2 cups of crushed ice.

I blended it and this Kale Green Smoothie is thick and creamy... and green.

Wait for it... Wait for it... "Mommy, this looks yucky... Do I have to eat that? It looks like explosive diarrhea," is what my daughter would say.  According to npr kids will chose foods, particularly fast foods, not for their nutrition, but for the handy-dandy toy in the meal box.  MindBodyGreen articles say that children choose foods with a smiley face on them.  My daughter does not think that is true.  A smiley face is not going to make something taste better, look better or have more toys in it. 

How did I serve this Kale Green Smoothie? Excellent question. I put the Kale Green Smoothie into a Disney Princess Cinderella BPA free kids cup.  My daughter said it "bubbles like explosive diarrhea."  Come to think of it, the Kale Green Smoothie did bubble, but she drank it anyway.  She asked for seconds too. 

I poured my Kale Green Smoothie into a glass cup.  It looks very green to me.  I don't mind.  I like my greens so this is just the way I like it.  These drinks are wonderfully healthy.  Kale has been called the "World's Healthiest Food."  Kale is loaded with fiber and antioxidants.  It helps with digestion and lowers cholesterol.  Kale contains Isothiocyanates (ITCs) has been known to lower the risks for several different types of cancer.  Surely, kale is a super food.  When you taste this, it is absolutely delicious.  This Kale Green Smoothie tastes like candy and it's healthy too.

This recipe is definitely kid approved.  My daughter loved the Cinderella cup.  She wasn't sure at first if she should drink it, but I dared her to do it, and she took a sip.  I got a thumbs up from the princess.  She drank all of her Kale Green Smoothie, and asked for more.  I had to pinch myself just to see if I was awake or dreaming.  I was awake and my daughter is eating her vegetables...Yay!  I will give this a Cinderella princess ending.  

They drank their Kale Green Smoothies, and lived happily ever after. 
~ The End ~

Thank you for reading.  Try making this Kale Green Smoothie sometime.  Subscribe to my blog for more free recipes, and keep reading.


Friday, April 24, 2015

Shirley Temple Style Blackberry Mint Julep

Blackberries went on sale.  What would summer be without a Blackberry Mint Julep?  I decided to try this recipe to make it kid friendly, a non-alcoholic version of the Kentucky Derby special.  Ready to race? You bet.  I felt like a Southern belle making this recipe.  I hope you enjoy it.

Shirley Temple Style Blackberry Mint Julep

Shirley Temple Style Blackberry Mint Julep

1 pint of fresh Blackberries
1/4 cup of C&H Pure Cane Sugar
3-4 strands of fresh Mint
1 cup crushed Ice
(Alcohol Version NOT for children: add 1-2 shots of Bourbon)
1 can of lemon-lime soda (We used Twist-Ups)

These blackberries were so fresh and full of juice.  The mint is so fresh and fragrant.  The colors are vibrant.  I just have to take a moment to appreciate them both.  In a minute they will be transformed into a glorious and refreshing summer time drink.

Look at how plump those blackberries are.  Are they beautiful?  I have a confession, I ate a few of them just to taste them, just to make sure they would be perfect. 

I carefully placed the blackberries into a mixing bowl.

I added 1/4 cup of sugar.

Remember all of those beautiful blackberries I showed you in the beginning?  Now I'm going to mash them.  I am going to use the berries to make a deliciously sweet blackberry syrup for the Shirley Temple Style Blackberry Mint Julep.

At first it wasn't such a mess, but as you can clearly see, these blackberries are extra juicy.  Sometimes when I mashed them they squirted juice back at me.  Blackberry juice stains so you might want to roll up your sleeves or put on an apron to protect your clothing.  The blackberry juices turned my fingers pink.

Remember in the beginning where all I had were cubed ice cubes?  Not everyone at home has an ice cube dispenser.  This isn't a restaurant, but it doesn't matter.  Ice can still be crushed in a blender.  My objective was to pulse and crush the ice.

I dropped the ice into the blender. 

A few quick pulses on the blender and I have crushed ice.

My strainer did not catch the blackberry seeds so I carefully spooned out the juice trying not to get any blackberry seeds in.  As you can see, those blackberry seeds are very tiny and sleek.  I am certain, no matter how hard I tried to keep these darn things from getting into my blackberry syrup, seed removal has got to be the most difficult part to making a blackberry mint julep.

Blackberry Syrup

I placed some mint into the bottom of the cup for color and flavor.  This is more of a preferential idea.  Not surprisingly, my daughter did not like seeing anything "Ew. Green," in her drink.  Use your judgement.  I did not mind it.  I'm advising, unless the person favors mint,  leave the mint as a garnish only.

I topped the blackberry syrup and mint with crushed ice.

I added the lemon-lime soda.

Now it's time to garnish with fresh blackberries.

Let's add some mint for garnish.

I made a second Shirley Temple Style Blackberry Mint Julep in a martini glass. (Note: this might make an excellent Blackberry Martini, with a little Gin).

Overall, this recipe for children was a complete fail.  My daughter did not like it, but I think it was due to her pickiness and dislike for anything green (mint).  She did not like the mint.  I was a little stunned because to most people, the mint is their favorite part.  I was scratching my head.  The mint ruined it.  I thought she would look at this and love it, but she didn't care that much for it.  She liked the blackberries and wanted more blackberries.  I should have saved myself the trouble, done nothing, and just handed her a cup of blackberries.

My advice for this recipe is, get a big bottle of Bourbon, make it alcoholic and make it for yourself.  The kids won't appreciate it anyway.  It's the right time to get selfish and have a drink.  I don't drink anymore, but if I did, this would be ideal.  I'm trying to behave myself, and stay away from alcohol.  In my opinion, the Shirley Temple Style Blackberry Mint Julep was delicious.  I would make it for friends and family.  Alcohol free would be great for kids, non-drinkers, and pregnant women.  I like this version.  Definitely it is worth trying.

Keep reading for more recipes.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Blueberry Smoothie

There's nothing like a Blueberry Smoothie to give a person an energy boost.  Sometimes it feels like everyday weighs so heavily and troubles that come never go away, like there is a permanent rain cloud that follows.  Some days are hard.  Everyone has a down day sometime.  Everyday hardships depletes a person's energy, leads to fatigue, and lack of concentration.  Over worrying can lead to anxiety and depression so it's important to take care of you.  One way to boost energy levels is through diet.  It's important to give yourself the time to recharge.  Just that little daily boost of nutrients can change everything about your day.

Blueberry Smoothie

2 cups Frozen Blueberries
1 1/2 cups Organic Whole Milk
1 cup Yoplait Lactose Free Yogurt
1 cup C&H Pure Cane Sugar
2 tsp Vanilla
10 cubes of Ice

The Ingredients



I added the blueberries and yogurt to the blender.

Now I add the milk.

I add some vanilla.

I add the sugar.

I added ice.

 Ninja blenders are so much fun.  I placed the top onto the blender.

On top of the lid is the motor part of the blender.

I twist it on just a little bit tighter and the blender part locks in.

In a few minutes, I have blended all the ingredients down. 

I poured the blueberry shake into a martini glass. This shake was so thick that I used a spoon to help pour it out into the glass.

 I added whipped cream and garnished with mint.

Definitely this is kid approved.  My daughter absolutely loves it when I make this for her.  Whenever she is having a bad day, there's always a little ray of light that shines down.  There's always a hug and a smile -- and a blueberry smoothie, that makes everything better.  I love making blueberry smoothies.  It's the perfect way to re-energize.  It tastes wonderful, and looks fancy.  Whether it's early in the morning energy boost or a rejuvenating upper for your evening, I think everyone deserves a blueberry smoothie.

Well, thank you for reading.  I hope you follow along.