With the cold weather continuing and the holiday season being over, I have been trying to eat healthier and have also been getting tired of winter. This smoothie was my temporarily getaway from winter this morning. As someone that was born in the Spring, once the holidays are over, I look forward to Spring and wish for the rest of winter to be gone. Since fresh berries are very expensive in the winter and aren’t very fresh, I used frozen berries and milk in this smoothie. Frozen berries are often cheaper this time a year, I get mine from Trader Joe’s. I also used vanilla protein powder to give it the “cream” effect and to make me full longer. Just be sure to check the protein powder you buy for gluten, some brands are not gluten free. I used Designer Whey vanilla, which is gluten free and is sweetened with Stevia. This is perfect for a light breakfast or shared with someone as a snack or healthy dessert. Here is the recipe:
Berries and Cream Protein Smoothie – Makes 1 large smoothie or 2 smaller smoothies
2 cups of frozen mixed berries (my frozen blend had strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries)
1 1/2 cups of milk (any kind of milk will work)
1 scoop of vanilla protein powder
Place frozen mixed berries and milk in the blender and puree until everything is blended together and all chunks of fruit are completely smooth. Feel free to add additional milk if you want your smoothie to be thinner.
Add vanilla protein and blend until protein powder is completely blended with the smoothie mixture.
I have noticed that many people have a preference for salty or sweet when it comes to snacks. I am more of a sweets person and often like to have something sweet for my evening snack/dessert after dinner. However, eating cookies, cake, candy, and other sweet treats are not something I want to be eating everyday for health reasons. On an average night I usually do healthier desserts like these baked apples. Baked apples are perfect for a healthier dessert that is delicious and takes care of that sweet craving. I have been making these for several years now in the fall and winter months when apples are in season and are cheaper to buy than most other fruits. These are great on their own or served with vanilla ice cream, vanilla yogurt (regular or Greek works), or whipped cream.
Sugar N Spice Baked Apples – Serves 2
1 Tablespoon of dark brown sugar, packed
1/4 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice
1 Tablespoon of softened butter or margarine
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Wash and dry apples. Cut the apples in half and remove the core.
Place apples on a small, non-stick cookie sheet with the cut, flat side facing up.
Mix brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice, and cinnamon together in a small bowl to make your sugar and spice mix.
Spread the top of each apple with butter.
Coat each apple half with the sugar and spice mix.
Bake apples for 25-30 minutes or until apples are fork tender and soft.
Serve on its own or with Vanilla ice cream, vanilla yogurt, or whipped cream and enjoy.
I made the pumpkin spice syrup this morning from Baker Girl this past weekend. I made mine sugar free with Splenda and substituted the nutmeg, ginger, and cloves with 1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice. Came out fantastic and tastes as good, if not better than Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice. I actually liked it better. Easy and cheap to make, definitely worth a try! Definitely makes a cup of coffee with milk a bit more special and is great for a homemade pumpkin latte or pumpkin chai tea latte. To see the original post, visit http://buddingbaketress.blogspot.com/2011/09/pumpkin-spice-syrup-for-homemade.html. Here is the my slightly modified version of the recipe I made from Bakergirl:
Pumpkin Spice Syrup for Homemade Pumpkin Spice Lattes (makes about 2 cups of syrup)
1/3 cup pumpkin puree (fresh or canned)
1 cup sugar (I used Splenda)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cups water
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally to keep syrup from burning.
Let mixture cook together until it becomes syrup-y and begins to coat the spoon (for about 10-15 minutes), then remove from heat.
Refrigerate in a heat-proof container. The syrup will thicken a bit in the refrigerator, but will become syrup-y again when heated.
I have been enjoying the fresh peaches that late summer brings. While I love some of the fall produce like winter squashes and apples, summer fruits like peaches are delicious and special. Here is an easy sorbet you can make in a minute or two without an ice cream maker that is slightly sophisticated and refreshing. This is perfect to serve at a party or on a summer evening for a delicious, cool treat.
Sparkling Peach Sorbet – Makes 1 bigger serving or 2 smaller servings
2 large sliced and peeled peaches, frozen or 3 cups of frozen peach slices
1/4 cup or 2 oz of your favorite sparkling white wine or sparkling apple cider. (I used verdi spumante)
1/2 to 1 tsp of Sugar if peaches aren’t completely ripe. (optional)
1. Freeze sliced peaches for at least 3-4 hours if using non-frozen ones.
2. Add peaches and sparking wine to food processor.
3. Blend ingredients together into everything is fully blended.
4. Taste and add sugar if needed, then blend sugar with peaches and sparkling wine.
5. Serve in bowl and enjoy!
Sorry for the less than perfect picture, this sorbet was not easy to get to look pretty. This is a nice alternative to water ice or a packaged sorbet or sherbet that can be whipped together in just a few minutes.