Thursday, January 3, 2013

Green Juice / Smoothie Combo

I've been wondering for a while now how green juice might work as the base for a smoothie . . . but since my tinkerings in the kitchen have been more of the traditional-holiday-not-so-healthy variety lately, I haven't gotten around to it. Nothing like New Year's resolve to get it done!

The Sprouts have been much less enthusiastic about green juice these days (probably related to the aforementioned "traditional-holiday-not-so-healthy" treats of the past month . . . or two). So I was hoping that I could hide it in a smoothie to ease the transition back to healthy eating - and it worked!

Telling them that I put green juice in the smoothie is a step I would recommend skipping. However, they said they couldn't taste it at all and drank them down.

Blueberry-Pineapple Green Juice Smoothie

1 cup green juice *
2 bananas
1 cup fresh pineapple
1 cup blueberries
2 tablespoon hemp seeds
6 ice cubes

Blend all ingredients in high-speed blender, and enjoy!!!

* Note: I think any basic green juice would work, but I'd stay clear of those with anything too savory like garlic or certain herbs. Mine had collards, romaine, celery, broccoli stems, cucumber & apple.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Great Sale on Gymnastics Gear!

The Sprouts started gymnastics classes last month, which has led me to two realizations. First, I gymnastics is a bit hard to watch as a parent; there's just something about watching my kid flip head first into a foam pit that goes against this mother's nature. And second, gymnastics outfits are expensive!!!

Since Christmas shopping is on my mind, I was thrilled to see this great deal on gymnastics gear, offering a ton of leotards, shorts, t-shirts, yoga pants, gear bags and even jewelry for up to half off the regular prices.

Definitely check it out if you're shopping for a little gymnast this holiday season. Happy shopping!!!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Great deals on Asics shoes for kids!

With one regrettable exception, I've always worn ASICS for long-distance running. They're pricey but totally worth it! I've had the Sprouts running in ASICS quite a bit as well, but their kids' shoes are sometimes harder to find.

If you have a tiny runner or triathlete in your family, definitely check out this great deal that has ASICS for kids at up to 40% off! My favorite is the Adjustable GEL-1170 PS, since it's Velcro top closure makes it quick to get on in the transition area.

They also have a large selection of men's and women's activewear from ASICS, along with a smaller selection of ASICS shoes for adults.

The sale is only on for three days, so if you're in the market, buy now!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Easy Cashew Cheese

I've been promising to post my simplified cashew cheese recipe for months, and the reason I haven't done it sooner is completely lame - I can never get a nice picture of it! It never looks as impressive in a baking dish as it did as a log, and half the time, my family eats it before I can snap a shot.

So today I'm sharing the recipe anyway, complete with a terrible picture of what it looked like after the Sprouts devoured it for lunch yesterday!

This is still based on the Pepper-Crusted Cashew Cheese recipe from Vegetarian Times that I revamped into my own version a while ago to cut down the amount of oil used. More recently, I got tired of messing with cheesecloth and decided it didn't need to be that beautiful (or time-consuming) if it was going to disappear instantly anyway.

My new version is easy and quick - combine ingredients, blend and bake! You can still take the shortcut of simmering the cashews if you forget to soak them in advance.

Super Simple Cashew Cheese

1 cup raw cashews
6 tablespoons water
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt

1. Soak cashews for a few hours (or overnight) to soften them. If you forget, place cashews in a small saucepan, cover with water and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat, and let sit for 10 minutes.
2. Drain the cashews, then put them in a food processor or blender with the remaining ingredients. Blend for 5 minutes or until smooth and creamy (a high-speed blender will do the job in less time, so you can stop as soon as it's looking super-creamy!)

3. Pour mixture into a small Pyrex baking dish, and bake at 200 degrees for an hour. 
4. Chill and serve. You can top it with some ground herb/spices if you like. We usually have it plain, but it's also nice with a little rosemary-garlic blend on top!

Sprout Ratings
Big Sprout - 5 sprouts
Little Sprout - 5 sprouts
Mama Sprout - 5 sprouts
Daddy Sprout - 5 sprouts

Friday, September 28, 2012

Earth Origins Outlet in Lake Mary


This one is for the local folks . . . earlier this week, I stumbled upon a new health food store in Lake Mary. Earth Origins Outlet, located at the corner of Lake Mary Boulevard and Longwood Lake Mary Road - is a mid-size market that carries organic produce, groceries and supplements. 

I'd never heard of this chain before, but the name was enough the tempt me inside where I found a really nice assortment of organic goods. The produce is all organic, and it's nice to have a place on this side of town that carries Daiya cheese, kombucha and other products I usually have to drive quite a distance to buy. They also have a very extensive bulk section, lots of staples and snacks and a nice selection of supplements. 

I found the prices to be - as with most stores - great on some things and high on others. I picked up organic plum tomatoes for $1.99/pound, Leapin' Lemurs cereal for $2.50 and a large bag of Lundberg brown rice for $2.50, along with "almond butter stock" (raw almond pieces) for $5.99/pound. On the flip side, the Almond Breeze, hemp seeds and Earth Balance were higher than other local places.

Some of the produce looked a little past its prime, but I'll definitely be back to see if that improves. The produce prices seemed quite good, and the selection was nice so hopefully once they have more traffic and turnover, the quality will get fresher. 

The store has been open for several weeks but will be celebrating its grand opening tomorrow. If you are in the Lake Mary area, it is definitely worth checking out!!!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Perfect Banana Milkshakes

My kids have been super-patient with my recent superfood binge. In the past few weeks, they've had raw kale, hemp, chia and other healthy fixings prepared just about every possible way. Not saying that they loved it all, but they have at least been open to trying everything.

So as a little "thank you" - and in celebration of finishing up a big school project today - I made a special treat of banana milkshakes. They thought it was a fabulous treat, and I love that it's still pretty healthy!

Perfect banana milkshakes

(serves 3 - my poor hubby walked in the door right as I finished making them!)

2 cups almond milk
3 bananas
4 fresh dates (pitted)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 cups ice

Combine all ingredients in high-speed blender, and process until smooth. (Sometimes, I like to blend the milk and dates first and let it process for quite a while so all the tiny date bits get pureed without the ice heating up.)

Sunday, April 29, 2012

No Sugar Banana Bread

I've been working on cutting out sugar this year, so my baking tools have been collecting dust. Until Friday, that is, when I saw some sad, over-ripe bananas sitting on the kitchen counter, asking to be made into banana bread. I'm not sure why they weren't asking to be frozen for smoothies, but they just weren't.

I'd been wanting to experiment a little with dates, so I figured that this was the perfect time. This recipe is adapted from the Post Punk Kitchen, and the whole family agreed that it turned out great!

No Sugar Banana Bread

1/2 cup almond milk
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup pitted dates
1/2 cup Earth Balance
3 very ripe bananas (mashed)
1 teaspoon vanilla


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Mix the vinegar into the almond milk, and set aside.

3. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice and salt.

4. Combine almond milk mixture and dates in a blender, and process until smooth.

5. Cream the Earth Balance until smooth, then add the milk/date mixture, bananas and vanilla. Mix until well combined.

6. Add the dry ingredients into the wet, and mix well.

7. Bake at 350 degrees for 60 minutes.