Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Dark Cherry Spinach Smoothie

I'm the smoothie queen in my house. It's probably safe to say the same among my friends and family too. Last year I convinced the hubby to buy a Vitamix and well there's been no complaints. Every day he has a smoothie waiting for him in the fridge at lunch.

As of late I've been loving Candice Kumai's new cookbook, Clean Green Drinks: 100+ Cleansing Recipes to Renew & Restore Your Body and Mind. It's really inspired me to think out of the box when it comes to my morning smoothie. Last weekend while I was stocking up on smoothie fixings at Costco I picked up a bag of organics dark tart cherries. I figured they would add a nice little something to smoothies. Plus, I had never tried them before. Well Monday night it was all I could think about. Here's what I came up with.


Dark Cherry Spinach Smoothie
Serves 2

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk
2 1/2 cups packs baby spinach
1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp honey (optional)
1 tbsp flax seed
1/2 to 1 cup frozen cherries
1 frozen banana 

1/2 to 1 cup ice

Directions
Place everything in the blender in the order listed above. Blend until desired consistency. If you like your smoothies thicker then only use 1 cup of almond milk.

Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Whole Foods Market Fresh Squeezed Juice

{Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post brought to you by Northern California's Whole Foods Market

Every morning I start my day off with a workout and a fresh squeezed juice or smoothie for breakfast. I love fueling my body with a ton of nutrients first thing.

Did you know 95% of the vitamins and enzymes our bodies need are found in the juice of raw fruits and vegetables? We would need to eat 2 lbs of carrots, 10-12 apples, or 8 lbs of spinach to get the same amount of nutrients in one 16 oz juice.

Juicers can be expensive and juicing can take a bit of time and be messy.  Hence why I love Whole Foods Market and their made-in-house fresh pressed juice. It's perfect for days you're on the go. 

These tasty juices ($6.49/16 oz. bottle) get an extra boost from Amazing Grass Organic Green SuperFoods including organic wheat grass, barley grass and alfalfa. Current flavors include:
  • Eye Opener: orange, carrot, apple, Amazing Grass
  • Kale Yeah: pineapple, celery, kale, Amazing Grass
  • Triple Threat: carrot, celery, beet, Amazing Grass

Juicing is a trend still going strong and for good reason and juicing on the regular is sure to increase your overall health. 
Five reasons I love juicing:
  1. You'll consume more fruits and vegetableWhen you juice you're likely to meet your daily recommended consumption of fruits and vegetables.
  2. EnergyJuicing gives you a instant rush of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to help power you through your day.
  3. You'll sleep betterFresh juice in the evening is better than sleeping pills.
  4. Boosts brain power Fresh fruits and vegetables can kick your brain into gear more effectively than energy drinks.
  5. Helps you stay AlkalineKeeping your body in an alkaline state is the best way to stay healthy. This will help with your digestion, metabolism and ward of other diseases . 

Whole Foods Market was kind enough to let yours truly test the Eye Opener and Triple Treat.

Eye Opener

Of the two juices the Eye Opener was my favorite, but then I love carrot juice.  As mentioned each juice is packed with amazing grass, but I couldn’t taste it. The orange, carrot, apple was the perfect blend. I enjoyed all 16 oz. for breakfast and it carried me until lunch.

Triple Treat

It’s an acquired taste. I’m a fan of carrot, celery and beet however there was just a little too much beet for me. However, I more I drank the better it tasted.



Happy juicing!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

How to Grow Alfalfa Sprouts

{Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post brought to you by Northern California's Whole Foods Market

Ever wonder if you could grow your own sprouts? I have and with a quick search on pinterest you'll find a handful of "how to" pins. I've probably even pinned one along the way. 

It's actually easier than I thought! All you need is a sprouting jar lid, wide mouth mason jar, High Mowing sprouting seeds, some water, and a few days. Northern California's Whole Foods Market recently started carrying High Mowing Organic Sprouted Seeds ($5.49/ 4 oz. bag) and I was lucky enough to test their Alfalfa and Ancient Eastern Blend seeds. 

About High Mowing Organic Sprouted Seeds:


Organic seeds for snacking or planting. If planted, sprouted seeds require little maintenance and water so they are great for small urban apartments or busy families. With the "safe seed pledge," High Mowing commits to supporting agricultural progress that leads to healthier soils, agriculturally diverse ecosystems and healthy people and communities.

How to Grow Alfalfa Seeds:
  1. In a wide mouth mason jar soak two tablespoons of Alfalfa seeds in two cups of waters. Let it sit for 8-12 hours.
  2. Drain and rinse a few times. Place jar in a bowl, tilted at an angle so any excess water drains out (Note: Sprouts should be moist, not sitting in water). Cover with a hand towel. Repeat every 8-12 hours for four days.
  3. After a day or two you will begin to see sprouts! On day five the sprouts are ready for greening. Next place the jar in indirect light. They will turn green over the course of a day.
  4. Now they are ready to enjoy. Store in an airtight container. The sprouts will last up to one week in the refrigerator. 
Seeds soaking; Seeds starting to sprout; Ready to eat!

Now the big question. How did I enjoy my sprouts? On everything! I actually don't eat bread so my meals were a bit creative. 

On the left I paired my sprouts with sweet potatoes, avocado, hummus and an egg over medium. On the right was an amazing salad topped with grilled chicken, avocado, hummus, sunflower seeds and SPROUTS! Apparently I was on a avo + hummus kick last week. The sprouts added just the right touch to each dish. How would you enjoy your sprouts?

 
I recommend watching this video from High Mowing Organic Sprouted Seeds before you get started.



Don't stop at Alfalfa sprouts! High Mowing Organic Sprouted Seeds and Northern California's Whole Foods Market offers a wide variety of seeds such as Broccoli Blend, Fenugreek, Red Clover, Spicy Salad Mix, Sandwich Booster Mix, Ancient Eastern Blend, Crunchy Bean Mix and Mung Beans  

Happy growing!