*****Our winner is: AJ Lemmons! Congrats, AJ!*****Thanks to Ball® Canning, we have an awesome giveaway starting today, August 14, 2014, and ending at midnight on Sunday, August 17, 2014. On Monday morning, August 18, 2014, one lucky winner will be selected to win a six-pack of Ball® Canning’s Heritage Green Quart-sized Jars, as well as a cute jar hangy-wall-thing made by yours truly (featuring four pint-sized Heritage Jars), and a copy of the book Mason Jar Crafts. Time to get your crafting on (or canning, or organizing, or whatever you do with your Heritage Green Jars!)!
I wanted to post this recipe, not so much to be jumping on the green smoothie bandwagon and pretending I re-invented the wheel, but more because I have a tendency to fall off said bandwagon, and then forget how I make it when I climb back on. So really, I’m just posting this for my own reference.
But also…I have thoughts. Sometimes. I know, I know–applause isn’t necessary. Thank you, though.
I always roll my eyes at these sorts of diet fads. People get crazy. Like: OMG…juice?! Smoothies? THIS IS GENIUS. Like we haven’t been squeezing fresh juice and making healthy smoothies for decades already. My mom used to squeeze my brothers and I fresh orange juice EVERY. SINGLE. MORNING. To the point where it was torture for us to drink it–but she insisted it was the best, healthiest way to drink orange juice. And, as much as I hate to say it (don’t make me say it!!!)…she was right.
In my adult years, I have tried to eat as much fresh produce as I possibly could. I’ve always been mindful of it, at least. Why the heck should I drink it? Especially when, all sorts of said fresh produce is blended together or juiced and, let’s be real here, it looks so gross. So gross. Why. Why would I do that? But when I really assessed my diet, as much as I thought I was doing well, I realized I was still falling short. And I suddenly realized that packing a smoothie full of all this great stuff was a very quick and easy way to pound it down.
And yes, I chose to make smoothies, not juice, because…at the end of the day, the choice was about waste. Juicing creates a whole lot of waste product, and I just couldn’t come to terms with that. When you put produce in a blender and make a smoothie, you’re using almost every last bit. And all those bits and pieces have good stuff in them that would otherwise go down the drain, in the trash, or in the compost. Might as well put them in your face.
So I tried it. I floundered for awhile and produced some really vile stuff. But finally, I arrived at the following formula, and I am pretty pleased with it. The steadfast carnivore Texan even likes drinking it. Whowuddathunk.
I am a big fan of the Vega products (and I’m not sponsored or have anything to do with them–I just want to share). These vegan, gluten-free, sugar-free protein smoothie mixes can be used alone, or thrown into your own smoothie blend. They ain’t cheap, but they are a fantastic source of all-natural, Non-GMO, plant-derived protein. And they taste great. I think I really became a fan of green smoothies when I found these products.
For two approx. quart-sized servings:
–3 cups water (for a slushier version, replace some of this with ice)
–1 scoop Vega mix or other protein smoothie mix of your choice
–juice of 1 lemon
–2 cups frozen power greens (kale, spinach, collards, whatever floats your boat)
–1 frozen banana
–1 cup frozen mango bits
–1 medium fresh apple
–1 large fresh carrot
Put everything in a high-powered blender and blend until smooth. If you don’t have a schmancy big-name blender (which I didn’t for a long time), put these ingredients in one at a time and blend them slowly. This makes two servings that are approximately 220 calories each (if you use the Vega mix–you’re on your own if you go rogue).
Side note: I buy mostly everything in bulk, fresh (or pull it straight from the garden), cut it up into manageable pieces and then freeze it so that it’s ready to go into the blender when I need it. You could do everything fresh and add ice to the equation, of course. I like to make a week’s worth of smoothies at a time, seal them in mason jars, and then take them out a day ahead of time and put them in the refrigerator to thaw. Works pretty well for us.
Cheers to green smoothiedom! (It would probably cancel out all the good stuff if I added Vodka, right? Just checking.)
Okay, this is a rambler; lots of photos to scroll through. I apologize in advance, but I can’t not share some images from our recent trip to St-Martin/St.Maarten. It has been a looooong time since the Texan and I have gone on a grown-up vacation (the last being our honeymoon in Belize, seven years ago–OY!), and this one was definitely worth the wait. Gotta give a loud shout-out to our friends, Laura and Dan (of oliveandlove.com fame) for letting us tag along!
For those of you who don’t know, this pretty little Caribbean island has the interesting distinction of being one of the smallest sea islands divided between two separate countries. So a little over half the island is French (Saint-Martin) and just under half is Dutch (Sint Maarten). Makes for a charmingly diverse vacation spot. With lots of views like these:
I mean…the views everywhere were ridiculous.
Another of my very favorite things about the Caribbean is the architecture. I obsess over it. And took 900 photos of it (of which I shall spare you the lion’s share).
The Dutch capital of Philipsburg was so full of charm:
The French capital of Marigot was full of adorable buildings, too:
We love us some beach bars, and St.Martin/St.Maarten did not disappoint:
Speaking of awesome beach bars…this one kind of takes the cake:
The bar posts the flight times, of course, because it’s a big attraction on the island…I highly recommend experiencing a 747 coming in (pictured above). I also highly recommend a pina colada before, during, and after.
Though we mainly spent our time at the beach, our adventuring did take us briefly inland to visit La Ferme Des Papillons (the Butterfly Farm, read all about that here) and then on to spend a day at lovely Loterie Farm.
Some other highlights from the trip:
Can we go back yet? I’m ready to go back now.
Okay, so these arrived in my CSA box this week. And I got real excited because I thought they were jalapeños and I wanted to make salsa. But then it turned out they weren’t jalapeños. But I made salsa anyway.
(Backstory: shishitos are more bell-peppery than jalapeño-ey, though they do sometimes have a bit of mild kick to them).
–1 lb. (approx) of shishito peppers, stems removed
–1 good-sized tomato, cut into tiny pieces
–half a small onion, chopped into tiny pieces
–1 medium red bell pepper
–4 cloves of garlic (less or more depending on how garlicky you like things)
–juice of one lime
–2 tablespoons of tomato paste
–1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
–1 tablespoon of liquid aminos (or soy sauce, or worcestershire sauce, whichever you prefer)
–1 tablespoon of habanero hot sauce, if you like it hot (I used Marie Sharp’s, which is my most favoritest hot sauce from Belize)
So. Throw the shishitos (seeds and all), the red bell pepper, and the garlic into a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Then throw that and everything else into a small saucepan over high heat. Bring it all to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about ten to twelve minutes. Let cool and eat up! Yummy as salsa, and as a spread for sandwiches. Sooo yummmmmy.
Side note: people keep telling me to roast or pan-sear these babies (and just eat them straight like that). So that would be a great twist on this salsa–grill the peppers up first THEN throw them in the salsa for a nice, smokey vibe. Yeah. I like it.
Of all the marvelous adventures we had on our trip to St. Maarten/St. Martin, I of course, must start by posting photos from La Ferme des Papillons. The butterfly nerd wants what the butterfly nerd wants. If you are lucky enough to visit that beautiful little island, you simply must plan to make a stop at the farm. We arrived early in the morning, just after a rain storm, and it was magical.
And…speaking of which:
And in case you were wondering…the island, itself, was teaming with indigenous butterflies–everywhere you looked things were just alive with them:
I don’t mean to overshadow the gloriousness of the rest of the island with my trip to the butterfly farm–I just get overly excited about butterfly farms and pavilions and gardens (ya don’t say!!!). Stay tuned for a subsequent post with non-butterfly highlights from the trip that look a little something like this:
St. Maarten/St. Martin is pretty easy on the eyeballs, let me tell ya.