vegan chocolate mint milkshake.

I have a treat for us today! As you may know, I’m not a sweets person. Give me chips over cake any day of the week. There are exceptions. Growing up, before I learned of my dairy allergy, I LOVED milkshakes. I have fond memories of my younger brother and I making milkshakes in my mom’s house with her blender that was from 1972. Vanilla low-fat ice cream (hey, it was the 90s), skim milk, chocolate syrup… YUM. I’ve always been a super thick milkshake girl.

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The other day, I caught the milkshake craving. Since regular milk and ice cream haven’t graced my lips in over a decade, but I suddenly remembered that I had a vegan “ice cream” hanging out in my freezer from about a month ago when my friend brought it over. Any vegan and/or non-dairy frozen “ice cream” dessert will work for this, but the brand I used is here. I find that it has the best consistency; soy or coconut-based is fine. I used a 2:1 ratio of the frozen treat and cashew milk, a splash of vanilla extract, and a few springs of fresh mint, and gave it a whirl. The fresh mint is essential, as it provides such freshness. Don’t like mint? Try almond extract and a scoop of almond butter, or even peanut butter!

Even though non-dairy ice cream can be icy/not as lusciously creamy as traditional ice cream, adding in the nut milk yields an incredibly thick, creamy shake. Good news? One 8 ounce glass is under 200 calories! Now THAT is a dessert I can totally get behind.

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vegan chocolate mint shake.
a ‘PTL’ original. 

ingredients
1 pint of coconut or soy-based chocolate ice “cream”/frozen dessert
1 cup unsweetened cashew milk (or non-dairy milk of your choice)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3-5 fresh mint leaves, plus 4 for garnish

directions
Add all ingredients except for reserved mint leaves to a high speed blender. Blend, starting on medium speed, increasing to high. Blend for 1 minute, adding up to 1/4 cup additional cashew milk if needed/desired.

Divide between four glasses. Garnish each with a mint leaf. Serve immediately.

 

 

kale + pineapple green smoothie (my favorite!).

I’ve been over indulging myself recently. On a recent trip to Boston, I lived on lobster, wine, lobster, bourbon, and lobster. And octopus. Which was AMAZING. I didn’t want to leave. Then when I got home, it was a dreary and rainy day, so I made one of my most favorite comfort foods, homemade marinara sauce and ate that with copious amounts of warm crusty bread. Delicious. Who needs pasta? Not this girl — I am content to dip my bread in red gravy that has simmered all afternoon.

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Despite all of that delicious and wonderful indulgence, I knew I needed to get back on track. My favorite way to do so also happens to be my go-to breakfast every day: my favorite green smoothie. Full of super healthy ingredients? Check. Vegan and gluten free? Check. Filling? Check! Now, I understand green smoothies aren’t for everyone, but I love the bright, intense green color of the finished smoothie. It’s vibrant and I feel great just looking at it! Luckily for me (and you!) it tastes as good as it looks!

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Now, I love love love fresh ginger, so I usually add in about an inch long piece. It does make the finished smoothie have a bit of a spicy bite to it, so scale back according to your preferences. Fresh ginger is so good for you, and has wonderful anti-inflammatory properties. Combine that with the intensely hydrating cucumber, kale that is chock full of vitamin K, and pineapple is an incredible source of vitamin C and manganese, and this is as healthy as it is delicious!

green kale + pineapple smoothie. 

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ingredients
2 cups curly kale
1 frozen banana, sliced
3/4- 1 cup frozen pineapple
1/4 English cucumber, sliced
1/2-1 inch piece ginger
3-5 mint leaves (optional)
1/2 -1 cup water (I err on the side of 1/2 cup, as I like my smoothies thick)
1 tablespoon flax seeds

directions
Combine all ingredients into a high speed blender. Blend on low for 20-30 seconds, and then on high for 1-2 minutes, or until smooth and well combined. Serve immediately, or refrigerate for up to 24 hours.

Makes one generous serving, or two regular sized servings.

**Please use all organic ingredients**

 

 

pineapple cucumber agua fresca.

It’s the last day of July, and the hot and steamy weather seems to be here to stay. Since (week)daytime drinking is most likely frowned upon where you live and work, how about a delicious and refreshing aqua fresca to cool you off?

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Aqua fresca is Spanish for “fresh water”, meaning any water that is flavored with fruit, herbs and a simple syrup or other sweetener. This take on it should be incredibly tart due to the pineapple and lemon, but it is tamed by the cooling vegetal taste of the cucumber, resulting in an incredibly mellow and soothing drink that will cool you off on days that are chokingly hot.

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Make sure to refrigerate this after straining, as the flavors are ideal served ice cold. It’s wonderful as is, but I think it’s even better topped with sparkling water. To make this adult-friendly, try adding some light rum or tequila, garnished with some fresh pineapple. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. 🙂

pineapple cucumber agua fresca.
from Family Table cookbook. 

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ingredients
2.5 tablespoons coconut palm sugar
2 cups fresh pineapple (frozen, thawed will also work)
1 seedless cucumber, peeled and cut into large chunks
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups cold water, plus 2.5 tablespoons

directions
To make the simple syrup: combine the sugar and 5 tablespoons of water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Remove from heat and cool.

Working in batches, puree the pineapple and cucumbers with 4 cups of cold water, the simple syrup, lemon juice, and salt in a blender or food processor until smooth.

Strain through a fine mesh strainer into a pitcher or bowl and refrigerate.

This pairs nicely with rum or tequila. For a kid-friendly/non-alcoholic option, serve as is, or top with sparkling water.

Makes 3 cups. Keeps for 3-4 days in refrigerator.

**Please use organic ingredients wherever possible**

tropical papaya cabbage smoothie.

I am a smoothie NUT. I drink one practically every morning for breakfast, and am always amazed at their capability to keep me full and satiated for hours until lunchtime. They’ve also evolved in the few years that I’ve been drinking them. Like many, I would start with a full banana, yogurt, fruit and a teeny handful of baby spinach to “make it healthy”. Dependent upon the type of yogurt being used, um, hello sugar bomb! I’ve gradually gotten to the point where my smoothies are a mixture of vegetables, fruits, water, and a handful of chia or flax seeds, depending on what I have hanging around in the cabinets. Amazingly, this combo is still super filling and packed full of yummy flavors and vitamins! Last week I cut up and froze a papaya, and had forgotten about it until yesterday. I fully intended to mix it with some other fruits, celery and kale, but imagine my surprise when I opened the crisper and there was no kale (or spinach or any type of green!) to be found. Grocery list fail. I didn’t want an all fruit smoothie, so I instead decided to use up some red cabbage leftover from the week prior.

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Cabbage is super inexpensive and lasts a ridiculously long time, so it’s a great thing to have on hand. If the other leaves look not so fresh, simply peel them off and use the rest of the cabbage. It lends a pretty pink/purple color and is pretty neutral in flavor. Combined with a half of a banana, some pineapple, ginger and celery, and you’ve got a tropical smoothie that will keep you full until lunchtime.

Hopefully you can enjoy this on a beach somewhere, and not in the car on the way to work like me!

tropical papaya cabbage smoothie.

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ingredients
1/2 cup fresh or frozen papaya
1/2 cup frozen pineapple
1/2 inch knob of fresh ginger (I leave the skin on, but you can remove for a less spicy flavor)
1/2 cup red cabbage
1 stalk celery
1/2 frozen banana
1 tsp. flax seeds
1 1/4 cup filtered water

directions

Slice frozen banana and add to blender with fruit, cabbage, celery, ginger and flax seeds. Top with filtered water and blend on high in a high speed blender for 1-2 minutes until all combined and smooth. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to drink (up to 24 hours). Serves 1.

**Please use all organic ingredients wherever possible. 

skinny strawberry milkshake.

Confession time. I do not have a sweet tooth. Cakes, cookies, candies, chocolates are all good and tasty, but I can usually pass them up without hesitation. Instead, I have a major “salt tooth” (is that a thing?). Well, if it is, I definitely have it.

I am human, however, and do crave sweets from time to time. Normally some ripe fruit is more than enough to satisfy, but this week I had a rare craving for a creamy, icy treat. I rarely if ever have ice cream in my house, and I wanted to be able to indulge in a treat without feeling guilty or eating something chuck full of unhealthy artificial ingredients. Enter this ultra easy, skinny strawberry milkshake!

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Isn’t it so pretty? Take a frozen banana, fresh, ripe strawberries and some milk (I used unsweetened, plain coconut milk), top with ice, and give your blender a whirl. Ta da! In less than five minutes, you have a clean, healthy milkshake that is gluten free, lactose free, vegan and totally, totally delicious.

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A frozen banana is essential for this treat. It helps with that thick, creamy texture that is necessary for a milkshake. I would discourage using a room temperature banana and compensating with more ice because the result will be too icy and will dilute the fruit flavors. If you want to make it sweeter, use vanilla flavored non-dairy milk, or add in a drop of pure vanilla extract (or agave!).

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I hope you enjoy this skinny, healthy version of a milkshake the next time your sweet tooth needs attention! Try to enjoy it poolside. Oh, and if you wanted to throw a splash (or two) of rum or vodka in there, I won’t judge. 🙂

skinny strawberry milkshake.
slightly adapted from sally’s baking addiction.

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ingredients

1 small banana, frozen (ripe is best)
10-12 fresh, ripe strawberries
1/2 cup plain, unsweetened coconut milk
2/3 cup ice
2 mint leaves (optional) (can also use to garnish)

directions

Add ingredients to blender in order. Blend on high until thick and smooth. Pour into serving glass, garnish with a berry or some fresh mint and enjoy!

Makes 2 small milkshakes or 1 generously sized milkshake.