Ruby Red Smoothie

My habit of skipping breakfast has been years in the making. Even when I was younger I'd rush off to school having eaten nothing, only to be starving before the first bell rang. This habit didn't change much as I got older, although I did wise up and start carrying granola bars in my backpack after one of my classmates commented on the fact that the jolt cola I was chugging down like my life depended on it was doing nothing to quiet my grumbling stomach. By college my classes had fewer than 15 people in them, so the whole room knew I'd rolled out of bed just in time to drive to class.

Now that I have a child of my own my eating habits have changed for the better. I've been trying to lead by example (and so far it's working.) If he sees me eating a healthy breakfast, then he's more inclined to eat breakfast as well. And if breakfast happens to include something brightly colored with a fun straw, it doesn't really matter than I've hidden beets and spinach in it, it looks like fun therefore it gets consumed quickly.

If you're not entirely sold on the idea of beets, try adding a little bit more each time you make your smoothie. After a few days you won't even notice that you've been slipping something healthy into your drink. I'll admit, it took me a little while to adjust to their earthy taste, I've never been a fan of beets, but I've been drinking these several times a week for months now and have really come to enjoy them. Hopefully you will too, but if not feel free to leave me a comment below. I love to hear feedback, both good and bad.

Ruby Red Smoothie

Ruby Red Smoothie
makes 1 serving

Ingredients

1 handful fresh spinach
4 - 6 beet slices, frozen (see notes)
4 - 6 whole strawberries, frozen
1 over ripe banana

Directions

  • Combine all of the ingredients and blend until smooth. Serve immediately.

Notes

I've been buying bags of frozen beets from Whole Foods, they run about $2 for 10 ounces of non-gmo beets. I find that I'm more likely to add them to my smoothie if I don't have to worry about slicing them up myself. 

Blueberry Cardamom Smoothie

Last week when I mentioned I was on a bit of a blueberry kick, I wasn't kidding. I've been eating them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for the past two weeks. Most of my meals have consisted of that awesome blueberry chicken salad I shared with you last week (it's seriously addictive) but I've also been making a lot of smoothies too. 

I tend to save most of my smoothie making for warmer weather. The last thing you would think I would want for breakfast in the middle of winter is something cold, but sometimes a girl just wants what she wants, even if it isn't in season and even if it is 20°F outside. Fortunately I have a freezer full of frozen berries with which to feed my craving. Sometimes it pays to be prepared, which is one of the best skills I learned when I was a Girl Scout.

My blueberry cravings started two weeks ago when I stumbled across a new flavor of yogurt at the grocery store. I'd never seen blueberry and cardamom paired together before, so of course it caught my eye and once I had tried it there was no going back. I knew it had to be made into a smoothie.

So I made one. Then I made another and another... this is how addiction starts, I know, you don't have to tell me. Instead why don't you try the smoothie, then tell your friends, family, and even your boss about how mindblowingly awesome it was (well, unless you don't like your boss, then in that case you have my permission to drink it in front of them and refuse to share the recipe.) The sooner you go out and make this smoothie the sooner we can all be addicted to it together. It is seriously that good.

Blueberry Cardamom Smoothie

Blueberry Cardamom Smoothie
makes 1 serving

Ingredients

½ cup unsweetened almond milk (see notes)
1 cup blueberries, frozen
1 banana, medium sized
¼ teaspoon cardamom, ground

Directions

  • In a blender combine almond milk, blueberries, banana, and cardamom. Blend until smooth. Serve immediately.

Notes

You don't have to stick with almond milk for this recipe so feel free to substitute. 

Watermelon Coconut Water Smoothie + Cocozia 100% Organic Coconut Water Review

Sometimes I feel like the only food blogger who hasn't jumped on the coconut water bandwagon. I've seen it everywhere the past few years, but up until recently I haven't had a chance to try it. Despite its recent popularity many of the grocery stores in my area still don't stock it, which is one of the downsides of living in a small town. Last month when Cocozia contacted me and offered to send me a case of their 100% Organic Coconut Water I decided to take them up on the offer to see what all the fuss was about.

There were a number of things I liked about the product right off the bat. Cocozia is 100% Organic natural coconut water, it doesn't contain preservatives, and doesn't come from a concentrate. The packaging is perfect for someone who is always on-the-go (like a certain food blogger we all know and love) and comes complete with a pretty nifty collapsable straw that doesn't bend when you try to puncture the carton. All drink boxes should come with this type of straw, it has some serious puncture power!

As for the flavor, I will say that I wasn't impressed. It turns out that Cocozia coconut water has a bit of an odd salty flavor to it. After drinking four of the tetra boxes from Cocozia as well as four competing brands of coconut water I've come to several conclusions:

  1. I don't really enjoy coconut water, even if it is healthy.
  2. Cocozia has a much less pleasing flavor than several of the competing brands I tried.

I've heard that coconut water is an acquired taste and I've also heard that you either love it or hate it. I find that I'm rather indifferent to it, it's just so bland and uninteresting. I decided that since I don't care for it plain, but do like the health benefits associated with coconut water, I would take my remaining drink boxes into the kitchen to experiment with. Today's recipe was the clear winner in my experimentation because the salty flavor of the coconut water pairs surprisingly well with the sweetness of the watermelon. I've added a bit of peppermint and lime zest to give the smoothie a more robust flavor. This combination makes for an incredibly refreshing summertime smoothie.

Where to purchase

WatermelonCoconutSmoothie.jpg

Watermelon Coconut Water Smoothie
makes 1 serving

Ingredients

6 ounces coconut water, frozen (I used Cocozia)
1 cup watermelon chunks
1 Tablespoon lime zest
1 mint leaf

Substitutions:

If you don't have coconut water on hand you can use regular ice cubes to make this recipe.

Directions

  • Fill an ice cube tray with coconut water and freeze for several hours. You'll need about 6 ice cubes for this recipe.
  • Using a grater, zest lime. In a blender combine lime zest, watermelon, mint leaf, and frozen coconut water. Blend until smooth. Serve immediately.

Notes

In case anyone was wondering I also tried VitaCoco, ZICO, Taste Nirvana Real Coconut Water, and 100% Naked Coconut Water. These were the only four brands I was able to find locally for a taste comparison. Of the brands that I sampled for this review I preferred the naturally sweet flavor of Taste Nirvana Real Coconut Water, which of course was the most expensive of the brands I sampled. My mother always did say that I have expensive tastes.

Where to Purchase

Amazon - Cocozia 100% Organic Coconut Water

Disclosure:

In an effort to be open with my readers I want to let you know that EPICUREX has provided me with a case of Cocozia 100% Organic Coconut Water for review. I purchased packages of VitaCoco, ZICO, Taste Nirvana Real Coconut Water, and 100% Naked Coconut Water on my own for comparison purposes. As always, all opinions are my own. 

This post contains my Amazon affiliate links. I try to keep advertising unobtrusive and to a minimum in order to provide you with the best experience possible. Purchases made through these links provide me with a small income and ensure I can continue providing you with quality content.

Tropical Smoothie

You would think that with the abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables available right now I would have no problem sticking to a healthy diet, but no, it's BBQ season which means a steady diet of steaks, brats, hamburgers and calorie laden side dishes. Every time the weekend rolls around I can feel my arteries clogging, so during the week I've been opting for a healthier breakfast and a lighter lunch. These tropical smoothies are quick and easy to prepare which makes them perfect for anyone who isn't a morning person. They do take a little bit of advance prep work the night before since you'll need to slice the bananas and pineapple ahead of time, then freeze them overnight, but it's well worth the extra effort to have everything ready in to go in the morning (especially if you don't function well before you've had a gallon of coffee, not that I would know a thing about that!)

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Tropical Smoothie
makes 2 - 3 servings

Ingredients

8 ounces pineapple, sliced and frozen
1 banana, sliced and frozen
2 ounces orange juice
6 ounces coconut milk (I used So Delicious Dairy Free Coconut Milk)

optional

unsweetened shredded coconut

Directions

  • Slice banana and pineapple into 1 inch pieces, then freeze overnight. In a blender combine all of the ingredients and blend until smooth.
  • Top with shredded coconut (optional) and serve immediately.