Breakfast Smoothies

I’ve been on a hiatus but I’m back! While I love the Specific Carb Diet and everything it stands for, I have to admit that I haven’t been following it religiously these past 6 months. The reason is that I’m pregnant (yay!) and as most pregnant women can vouch, the thought of most meat dishes still repulse me. In fact, being pregnant has made me crave all those starchy carbs that the SCD is not about, hence, my lack of posts on here lately. But, I am not sweating it. If I can’t give in to my indulgences while pregnant, then why can I? After all, I am eating for two now, right? ūüôā

I do have a few yummy smoothie recipes for you all, though. The first one is SCD legal, while the second one is not, since chocolate is not legal on the SCD. Let’s jump right into it!

Smoothie #1 (SCD Legal)

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • A handful of frozen mixed berries
  • A handful of frozen pineapple chunks
  • A handful of fresh spinach
  • 1 banana
  • A splash of 100% orange juice
  • A drizzle of honey

Preparation:

Blend all ingredients together, pour into a glass, and enjoy!

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Smoothie #2 (Non-SCD Legal)

Now this second smoothie is the non-SCD legal one, as I’ve pointed out above. I was at Trader Joe’s the other day and decided to get their chocolate almond milk.

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Its consistency is smooth and the drink itself tastes no different than regular chocolate milk; you can’t even detect any trace of almonds in its taste. I initially wanted to add bananas to this smoothie but since we just ran out, I had to get a little creative.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup chocolate almond milk
  • 4 frozen strawberries
  • 1 tablespoon all-natural peanut butter
  • A handful of frozen mixed berries
  • A few ice cubes

Preparation:

Blend the first four ingredients together, adding the ice cubes at the end. Pour into a glass and enjoy!

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What I liked most about this smoothie is that it doesn’t even taste like it’s supposed to be good for you — instead, it tastes chocolatey, peanut buttery, and downright delicious! An added bonus is that it really¬†is healthy for you, though it’s not SCD legal.

Now that I’m nearing the end of my pregnancy, I can actually stomach a lot of things I wasn’t able to in the beginning, so I hope to post more SCD recipes in the near future. I want to thank each of you for being faithful subscribers; I really do appreciate all of you stopping by, leaving me comments, and checking my page out, though I know my updates have not been frequent.

I wish you all a very Happy New Year! Cheers to a great 2014!

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Strawberry Mango Almond Milk Popsicle

One thing I love about summer is popsicles! I remember those summers as a kid when I would relish eating the Popsicle brand ice pops. The thing I love most about popsicles is how easy they are to make and how versatile they are. You just get whatever ingredients you want, add some liquid, and freeze them. It doesn’t get much simpler than that, right?¬†

I realized last night that I don’t have any popsicle molds, so while I was at Target, I picked some up. How cute are these?!

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After getting home, I decided to make almond milk popsicles and let me tell you, they came out terrific! It was so good I’m considering going for round 2.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk¬†
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 10 strawberries
  • 1 small mango

Preparation:

Now, here’s the easy part! Blend everything together and pour into popsicle molds. After pouring them in, I also cut up a strawberry and threw small chunks inside the molds to make the popsicles look pretty. The hardest part was letting them freeze overnight!

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Such a cool, refreshing, and yummy summer treat!

Enjoy!

Homemade Plum Jam, Sweetened with Honey

One huge benefit of having fruit trees (besides the yummy fruit it yields) is getting to make jam! This season, our plum tree has been producing more fruit than we can keep up with, even with giving bucketfuls away to family.

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Yesterday, I realized the plums I picked last week were still in the fridge and had gotten quite ripe, so, I thought to myself, why not make some jam? I had never made jam before but didn’t think it would be terribly difficult. Thanks to Google, I was able to find this recipe that is SCD legal since it uses honey, instead of sugar, to sweeten the jam. I didn’t have pectin, which I found out is a naturally-occurring thickening agent used in jams but luckily, my jam set perfectly without it. I also didn’t have cardamom on hand nor did I add water, since my plums were already very ripe and mushy after I chopped them.

Also, in case you’re wondering why my plum jam looks more like apricot jam, it’s because our plum tree at home grows three different types of plums — green, orange, and purple, and I used the orange variety. I just thought I’d mention that, since a friend of mine asked me about that today and I can now see why she was puzzled about it.

Without further ado, let’s get started!

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups plums, pitted and chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups honey
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp orange juice

Preparation:

Get your freshly washed plums and pit them. I do this by cutting around the corners and taking the pits out.

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Afterward, you can either chop the plums by hand or do what I did and put them in the food processor. I found that the latter was much more efficient.

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Now, get a large, deep pot. If I could do it all over again, I would have not used the small pot I had because it made the jam-making process so annoying. The jam kept splattering on my face and arms, burning me. Also, by the time I was done making the jam, the entire stovetop, microwave, counter space, and ground was sticky with jam. I also had to wear a robe and two oven mitts (the oven mitts met their demise last night, as they were completely covered with jam by the time I was done!) to prevent further burning. I bet if anyone were watching me, it would have been a hilarious sight! So, again, I repeat: get the deepest pot you have and set it aside!

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After you have your pot, measure out your honey, set your stove on a little less than medium low heat, and pour the honey inside.

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Give it a minute or two for the honey to warm up.

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Next, stir in your plums.

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Keep stirring, so that the honey doesn’t burn, until everything comes to a boil (this takes a bit of time.) Afterward, add in your lemon juice and orange juice. Now, here’s the fun part: keep stirring until the mixture thickens and turns into jam. You’ll notice that white foam will appear on top throughout the process; don’t worry, that’s normal, just keep keep stirring and mixing the jam.

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I read that if you want to use a candy thermometer to better gauge when your jam is ready, that the thermometer should read 220 degrees, since that’s the ideal setting point. However, my jam ended up setting at about 180-200 degrees. You’ll know it’s ready once the mixture thickens. For me, it took about an hour and a half, on low to almost medium low heat, for my jam to harden.

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When it hardens, you should be able to scoop it up like this and not have it be watery.

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Alas, time for pictures of the finished product. Ladies and gentleman, I give you homemade jam!

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After making this jam, I was then compelled to go to Target and buy some cute Mason jars!

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The jam itself is absolutely delicious! I LOVE plums, so having plum jam is like icing on the cake for me.

Although it can be a little time consuming, homemade jam is not hard to make and is totally worth the time it takes to make. It¬†feels so much better eating something that has only 4 simple ingredients, as opposed to a whole laundry list of ingredients that are made up of chemicals and can’t be pronounced.

Enjoy!

Apple and Berry Crumble

I’ve been slacking, somewhat, lately, when it comes to experimenting with new dishes. In the past few weeks, the latest I’ve tried have been this apple and berry crumble, as well as cauliflower fried rice (which is¬†amazing!) The apple and berry crumble is perfect for those moments when your sweet tooth gets the best of you but you still want to eat something clean.

Ingredients:

  • 2 apples, peeled and cut into chunks
  • A handful of mixed frozen berries (I use Costco’s Kirkland brand of Nature’s Three Berries, which has raspberries, blueberries, and marionberries)
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 c. almond flour
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • Honey to drizzle on top

Preparation:

Spray a 8 x 8 dish with cooking spray and add your apples and berries. Mix the egg white, almond flour, coconut oil, and lemon juice. Separate your “crumble” into chunks and crumble on top of your fruit. Sprinkle the cinnamon. Drizzle honey on top. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.

Apple and Berry Crumble

This dessert is so heavenly! I was a little worried tomorrow’s leftovers would turn soggy from the almond flour crumble but it held up nicely.

Enjoy!

Wajito

You’re probably wondering what the heck the title of this post means. Well, it’s the name of a summer drink and it was actually “invented” over the weekend at a friend’s house. The weather was hot and we wanted something to cool down with. My friends decided to make watermelon slushies. That’s when I suggested we throw some fresh mint in there, too. So, I give you not a mojito but a virgin wajito!

Ingredients:

  • 3 c. watermelon
  • 1 c. ice
  • A few sprigs of fresh mint

Preparation:

Throw everything together in your blender, blend, and enjoy! Garnish with some fresh mint on top.

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Simple enough and very refreshing!

Enjoy!

Frozen Grapes: Nature’s Popsicle

Who ever knew something so simple could taste so incredibly good?! I recently heard about frozen grapes from a friend but questioned how good they could really taste. I don’t really care for grapes as they are, so, I didn’t think freezing them would yield such an incredible treat. Boy, was I wrong. Once frozen, these babies taste like a mix between a sorbet and a Popsicle!¬† They are hard on the outside but still soft on the inside.¬†The best part of all is that it’s obviously quite effortless to freeze them.

We just bought another 4 pounds of grapes this week and I’m ready to pop them in the freezer.

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Just pick each grape off the vine, rinse with water, pat dry, and put the grapes in¬†Ziploc bags. I like separating them out and putting about a cup in each bag; that way, they can last throughout the week. It’s also wise to buy them seedless, so that you don’t have to crunch down on the seeds. Also, if you prefer a more tart taste (like I do), I recommend buying green grapes, since they’re naturally more sour than the red ones.

To have them harden nicely, stick your grapes in the freezer overnight; trust me, it’s worth the wait! The next morning, you can grab a bag from the freezer and enjoy them as an afternoon treat when your blood sugar feels like it’s getting low. You know, around that time when you start craving sweets and would easily grab a piece of chocolate if you didn’t have anything healthier around. They’re also great as a mid-evening snack after you eat dinner. I don’t know about you but I always crave something sweet after dinner!

Here’s how they should look when you take them out of the freezer:

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Mmm, mmm! Not only do these taste great but you will seriously feel like you’re eating dessert!

Enjoy!

Tropical and Tangy Breakfast Smoothie

So, this morning I was in the mood for a smoothie but didn’t want to make one with a yogurt base. Don’t get me wrong, yogurt-based smoothies are incredibly healthy with tons of good bacteria and protein, but sometimes when I add yogurt, it feels like that’s all I taste. The smoothie I just made tasted tropical and tangy. It would also be great to throw in some¬†Popsicle molds to freeze and eat. For this smoothie, you’ll need the following:

  • 1 cup 100% orange juice (I used Simply Orange)
  • 4 strawberries
  • 1/2 cup frozen mixed berries (I used Nature’s Three Berries from Costco that has raspberries, blueberries, and marionberries)
  • A handful of ice cubes

Blend all the ingredients together, adding the ice cubes at the end to make the smoothie frothy. Pour in a glass and enjoy this refreshing drink!

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