beverage

Mango-Orange Julius

Orange Julius

Summer is officially here. Beach days, camping, barbecues, swimming. There are countless activities that make this time of year so great. 

One of the most wonderful gifts this season has to offer is an abundance of incredible produce. Squash, tomatoes, artichokes, nectarines, cherries- the list goes on and on! This is probably one of our favorite seasons for produce, as we love the rich, sweet, earthy flavors that come with so many of the Summer crops. Living in the Bay Area, we are gifted with tons of local fruits and vegetables, some of which we grow in our own gardens. We are lucky enough to have family that have figured out the fine art of growing food (we are far from experts ourselves, but have managed to have a few tasty results). Visiting our Grandma’s house is the equivalent of attending a small farmer’s market. We also are close by local grocery stores that provide “discount produce”- the stuff that is perfectly good,  but ready to be eaten IMMEDIATELY. This is something that we often utilize, as money is always tight (remember how we mentioned living in the BAY AREA?!) and food waste is high all over the country. We like to see what is available and decide what to make based on those items. 

On a recent visit to our Grandma’s we ended up with about 3 trash bags worth of oranges from the 30 year old tree in her backyard. Man, are those things delicious. The plan was to take them all, juice the majority of them to have fresh juice on hand, and lots in the freezer, with a few oranges left to eat. SPOILER ALERT: they never made it to the freezer. 

Mango’s have been abundant on the discount shelf lately, as they all seem to go ripe at the same time, causing the store to try and move these tropical treats quickly. We have been in mango heaven. The accessibility we have had to these fruits the last few weeks, as well as the heat and desire for cold, refreshing things, has prompted us to make a rendition of a dairy laden treat that we loved as kids- the Orange Julius. We added frozen mango to the fresh oranges (if you don’t have the time, will power or abundance of mango to freeze your own, mango from the freezer section of your local store will work beautifully) with a few other simple ingredients to create a super delicious, refreshing frozen drink that is perfect for those hot days when you can’t even muster up the energy to eat. It is quick to prepare and is sure to please all ages. No mango? No problem! Just add some frozen oranges in place of the mango for a more classic take on the Orange Julius. Now go relax; it is Summer, afterall!


 

Mango-Orange Julius {recipe}

Servings 2

 

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 large orange, peeled
  • 1 cup frozen mango
  • 1/4 c non-dairy vanilla creamer
  • 1/4 c non-dairy milk
     

METHOD

  1. Place all ingredients into a high speed blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Pour into 2 glasses and serve with orange or mango segments. 
  3. Enjoy!
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Green Smoothie + Storage Method

green smoothie

As we all know, the holidays are a time of joy, gratitude and indulgence. We have family gatherings filled with hearty meals and rich desserts. We have a few too many seasonal beverages and eat a plate or two of cookies. It is part of what makes winter so appealing- lots of layers and stick-to-your bones food! We love these things too, but our bodies do not always appreciate the carb overload and sugar highs. We are taking this opportunity to share one of our most important recipes- a basic GREEN SMOOTHIE!

Many of you have already heard of, or even tried, a green smoothie. If you have, then you already know why they are so great! If you haven’t, the green (sometimes purpleish-brown, depending on the combination of fruit) elixir can be a bit off putting. Do not be afraid! It tastes better than it looks, although we enjoy the vibrant color. If you REALLY can’t get past the Kermit color, try putting it in a solid receptacle, like a ceramic bottle or jar, so you don’t have to see what you are consuming.

Everyone knows that loading up on raw greens and fruit is essential to your health. Chowing down a giant raw kale salad everyday is not necessarily in the cards, but blending your leafy greens with a few other ingredients is an efficient, practical and delicious solution to your dilemma! You can easily pack a days worth of greens into a quart jar, which can serve as a satisfying breakfast, a meal replacement or snack throughout the day. Drinking raw fruits and vegetables will help your body digest food and absorb nutrients better, and can easily replace your morning cup of coffee. It is amazing how quickly you will feel your body go from tired and sluggish to recharged and energized! We recommend drinking 1 quart of green smoothie at least 4-5 times per week, if not every day. We realize this seems like a rather daunting task, but we have figured out a trick that helps us stay on track: the freezer!

We make our delicious green drinks in large batches. We buy the nearly 3 lb bag of organic power greens (kale, spinach and chard) from Costco and make smoothies until we have used it all. This produces between 8-10 quart sized smoothies. We put them in canning mason jars with plastic lids and pop them in the freezer to preserve freshness and nutrients (except the ones we will be drinking the next day..those go in the fridge). We found it is best to let them thaw 24 hours in the fridge before drinking, so after you take your smoothie from the fridge in the morning, be sure to replace it with another one from the freezer.

We know everyone (ourselves included) have the best intentions, but real life does not always work out the way we want it to. Of course, a fresh smoothie is best, but it was just not realistic for us to make them daily with our busy schedules. Yes, you lose a small amount of nutrients by freezing, but it is worth it to get those greens in on a daily basis. Once you get your method down, it takes about an hour to make enough smoothies for 2 weeks. Not too bad, right?

So we urge you, if you haven't tried a green smoothie before, you should do so immediately! There is no better way to get in your fruits and vegetables in one meal and consuming them raw is even better. We discovered green smoothies after reading a wonderful book called, Green for Life by Victoria Boutenko. Then later discovered Robyn Openshaw, AKA Green Smoothie Girl. If you want to know more about why these jars of green goo are essential to your health check out their sites. Cheers to green smoothies!
 

Green Smoothie {recipe}

Servings 2 | Serving size 1 quart

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 c water
  • 10 c packed greens (spinach, kale, chard)
  • 1 tsp flax seed oil
  • 1 lemon, peeled
  • 1 orange, peeled
  • 1 banana
  • 1 1/2 c frozen mango chunks
  • 1 cup assorted frozen fruit (pineapple, papaya & strawberries)
  • 2 TB raw wheat germ
  • optional: To add sweetness you can try adding stevia (about 15 drops liquid) or blend in dates.

 

METHOD

  1. Place water, spinach and flax oil into blender. Blend until smooth.
  2. Add fruit, wheat germ and continue to blend until smooth.
  3. Add stevia until you reach your desired sweetness.

 

This makes 8 cups of smoothie, I used the Vitamix which has a 64oz container. If your blender is not large enough cut the recipe in half.

NOTE: This recipe is simply a template for you to create your own endless varieties of green smoothies. Don't be afraid to change up the fruits and greens. Everyone will find their favorite!

NOTE: A turbo blender (Vitamix or BlendTec) is recommended to achieve a smooth, velvety consistency. If not using a turbo blender, your smoothie may come out a bit chunky. This can be challenging for people who have texture issues (like Jessica), but the health benefits will remain! Once the habit sticks, it may be easier to justify a $500 blender. It is an investment in your health, and will change your smoothie drinking life FOREVER!

 

FROZEN FRUIT TIPS

Citrus: Our grandmother has an orange and lemon tree so we constantly have citrus fruits available to us. When we get big bags of oranges and lemons, we take the time and peel them all and freeze them in gallon sized bags. This way, when we make our smoothies, we just grab what we need and throw it in.

Bananas: Try buying a few bunches of bananas at a time. Let them ripen until the skins begin to brown. Peel the bananas (very important) and toss them into freezer bags so you always have sweet, frozen bananas on hand! They are also great to blend up for a raw banana ice cream.

Grapes: Don't forget that frozen grapes are a delicious snack on their own, but when the price is right, wash and freeze on cookie sheet for an hour, then place in freezer bags to store. Frozen grapes are perfect in smoothies.

 

 

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True Blood Punch

boo_juice

October is in full swing, and it is time to plan for one of our favorite holidays. No, it is not quite time for Thanksgiving..but Halloween is almost here, so it’s time to get the party started! We love getting all dressed up and enjoying a night full of creepy tunes, pumpkins and friends. We have created a wonderful bloody drink to serve at your next spooktacular soiree! This punch is not too potent, so it’s great to drink all night long. If desired, you can add a shot of your favorite vodka to your glass to give it an extra kick. This fun and festive concoction is loaded with antioxidant goodness from cherries and pomegranates. The superfood powers of chia seeds add an extra dose of Omega 3’s, protein and a boost of energy to keep you partying all night long! The Gut Goo really gives this bloody beverage the right flavor and texture to liven up your party.

If you are throwing this party for kids, you can replace the champagne with a bottle of club soda or more cider (although cider will sweeten the punch considerably). Kids will have such a great time slurping down the slimy chias, they won’t even know they are good for them. Get ready to do the Monster Mash with this screaming good True Blood Punch!

 

 

True Blood Punch {recipe}

1 punch bowl | Serves a crowd

 

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 Bottle Brut Champagne
  • 1 Bottle Sparkling White Grape Juice
  • 1 c Cherry Juice
  • ½ Pomegranate Juice
  • 2 c Pineapple Juice
  • BOO GOO:
    • 2 c Frozen Pitted Cherries
    • 1 c Pomegranate Juice
    • 2 TB Chia Seeds

 

METHOD

  1. Combine all ingredients for Boo Goo in blender except chia seeds, Puree until smooth.

  2. Add in chia seeds and pulse to combine. Let sit in fridge for about an hour for chia seeds to expand.

  3. Right before ready to serve, pour chilled champagne, and all juices in a large punch bowl.

  4. Stir to combine and add in Boo Goo for extra texture. Gives the punch a slimy gooy feel, thanks to the chia seeds.

 

NOTE: Freeze fruit juice in ice cube trays to keep punch cold, without watering it down!

 

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RAW Chocolate Almond Shake

almond_shake

It has been unseasonally hot around here. Although fall is officially in full swing, we are getting summer temps that we were just not ready for. It is important to adapt, which means holding off on wearing our favorite boots, substituting sweaters for tank tops and indulging in our favorite heat beating dessert, milkshakes! Everybody loves them, and we are no different!! We are not of the mind that we should ever go without, so we came up with this amazing shake using ALMONDS!!

This milkshake has become a staple in our household. It is thick, creamy and the perfect substitute for those heavy dairy based shakes. This shake is less than half the calories of one from your local fast food joint, and will give you a healthy dose of protein and fiber; and although it’s as if it can’t get any better, it is completely RAW! What’s not to love??

Not only will your sweet tooth be satisfied, but you will go to bed feeling full (because sometimes that summer salad just isn’t enough). Give this new shake a try, and soon you will be experimenting with different flavors just like us!

But beware, you will be craving these even during the chilliest of nights!

 

RAW Chocolate Almond Shake {recipe}

Makes 4 cups | Serves 2

 

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 cup raw unsalted almonds
  • 1 1/2 cup cold water
  • 12 pitted dates
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp himalayan crystal salt
  • 2 cups ice
  • 2 TB raw cacoa powder
  • 1 TB raw cacoa nibs

METHOD

  1. Place all ingredients except ice and nibs in a high power blender, and blend on high until smooth, then gradually add ice until desired consistency is achieved.

  2. Once smooth, add in nibs and blend briefly to incorporate them throughout

OPTIONAL: Add mint extract for mint chocolate shake, one of our favorite flavors.


 

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Watermelon Granita

It is summer again, and you know what that means!  Fresh, delicious fruits..nectarines, peaches and of course, watermelon!

Angela had forgotten about a watermelon she had picked up about a week ago, even though it was sitting in her fridge staring at her every time she opened those doors. Well, good thing she waited!  The overly ripe melon was perfect for a sweet and refreshing granita! Blended together with a little agave and lime juice, this makes the ultimate summertime dessert.  

 

Watermelon Granita {recipe}

Servings 6 | Serving size 1 cup

 

INGREDIENTS

  • 8 cups diced seedless watermelon 
  • 2 TB fresh lime juice 
  • 1TB raw agave 

 

METHOD

  1. Blend all ingredients until smooth. Pour into 9x13" dish and place in freezer. 
  2. Stir and break up with fork every 20-30 minutes for about 3 hours. 
  3. This will create an icy texture, like a slushy.

 

NOTE: If it freezes all the way through without being mixed, use a fork to scrape the top and create fluffy granita shavings.

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