Category Archives: banana

How to Do the Morning Smoothie When You Have No Time

I have to regularly break my addiction to coffee. Not caffeine, coffee. And this is only partially because of lack of willpower 😉

I work for the most recognized corporate coffee shop in the U.S. I’m not gonna say which it is directly in case it somehow gets me in trouble. We get coffee for free. For our entire shift. … And I have to be there, 5 days a week, at 4:45 A.M. Talk about your recipe for addiction disaster!! I have tried to quit cold turkey drinking anything except tea from work many times since declaring my raw veganness. Oh, and did I mention sometimes free food is available too? And none of it is vegan. Because of this constant free source of non vegan eatables and drinkables I have hit many many bumps (and taken a few detours) on my road to my diet goals. I wasn’t even fully vegetarian until 2-3 months after this blog got started. I had a rough time giving up chicken from Chipotle.

So basically the point of this is:

1. Rarely does anyone go vegetarian/vegan overnight. I was gung-ho about going cold turkey, even while I was still eating meat! I was in love with the ideal but I didn’t know how to transition. I read all the books, all the blogs, knew the necessary kitchen equipment, wanted to try all kinds of new recipes… but I didn’t know what to eat to stay full; I didn’t know how to make meals out of legitimate raw vegan food. For me, this was a learning-by-doing process. Changing my diet so radically was a learning experience and took time. It still is. Raw uncooked foods are only 30-40% of my daily diet, at best. But, I am 100% vegan now and I am proud of myself for reaching that goal. Slowly, day by day, I am making myself aware of what I eat and how I can change the vegan snacks and meals to raw vegan snacks and meals. If you are reading this and you haven’t reached your diet goals yet, realize that you will make it there, no matter how long it takes. You are already amazing for wanting to reach those goals.

Now, onto the point of the title! When I drank green smoothies every day for breakfast I had so much more energy, I was much more likely to eat vegan and raw for the rest of the day, my skin was clearer, etc, etc. The last few weeks I’ve had black and white americanos every day. Granted, they’ve been decaf, but the coffee dehydrates me and the sugar has been SO bad for my skin. It’s comforting in the morning to have hot, sweet coffee but I have to break this bad habit and start making green smoothies again… which is what I did this morning bright and early at 4:15 A.M.

Ingredients! =)

If I can make smoothies at 4:15 A.M., 15 minutes before I have to leave for work, then anyone can do it.

How to Make A Smoothie In the Morning When You Have No Time

1. Find yourself a fabulous to go-cup. I bought mine at Wal-Mart for like 5 bucks. It’s around 30 ounces, BPA free, spill-proof, insulated, with a built in straw and a loop to hang off of a backpack. It was everything I was looking for in a cup.

You want your to-go cup to give you as much convenience as possible. This  means spill proof, a suckable straw, and double insulated so there’s no condensation. If you prefer, something to enable attaching to a backpack or bicycle. If you are health conscious, you will want BPA-free plastic, or stainless steel. Glass is probably the healthiest material to drink a smoothie out of but because of breakability, will not work for your to-go cup.

2. Set up EVERYTHING, down to the last detail, the night before.

  • Put everything together in a giant baggy, prechopped and peeled as needed, in the fridge or freezer. If your blender can’t handle frozen items, pre-chill your cup by putting it in the freezer overnight. This is what I did, since I have a $250 Cuisinart and not a Vitamix.
  • Put your blender where you blend in the morning. Plug it in. Have the lid handy. Put every non-chilled ingredient right next to the blender, pre-measured if so desired. Personally, I don’t really measure ingredients so I just set the bags out.

3. If you don’t have a Vitamix or a Blendtec, only you know your blenders capabilities. If you can throw everything in with some liquid and put it on a low setting and leave it while you get dressed and brush your teeth, then awesome! Do that to save yourself from time. If you know your blender will need some coaxing set aside 3 extra minutes and follow your blender’s manual as to order of ingredients to blend. Some blenders recommend that you blend liquid and non-frozen things first, and then add in the frozen stuff.

Some other tips: If you are making a breakfast smoothie, for god sake’s make a breakfast smoothie. Make it dense and thick and caloric and DELICIOUS!!! Good ingredients to make it more caloric and thick are frozen bananas, hemp milk/seeds, nut milk/seeds, dates, and apples.

Yum!

This morning, mine had hemp milk, a banana (I should have put 2), some frozen strawberries, cacao powder, maca powder, and TONS of greens. It was chocolatey and delicious!

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Filed under banana, cacao, chocolate, goals, green, green smoothie, strawberries, tips, Uncategorized

Good Eats!

Today has been an amazing day off so far! I woke up to fresh OJ that my boyfriend made for me… SO delicious! It’s what I most look forward to on my days off… if I had to choose between a dehydrator or a juicer I would def go with the juicer. As much as I love comfort foods, I love the way juices make me feel, even if I am drinking non-raw juices from Naked or Bolthouse Farms. I forgot to take a picture of the OJ because I had just woke up, but it’s thick and it has FROTH on top! I love froth! I work at a certain corporate coffee shop that taught me to make and LoVe excellent milk foam (now I would say “Bleh!” on the milk), so froth/foam on top of my orange juice makes it ten times better.

After the OJ, we watched an episode of Dexter (I’m obsessed) and then went to my boyfriend’s place (I don’t have a stove) to make vegan buckwheat pancakes with bananas and his grandma’s homemade blueberry jam. If you are just starting out into veganism, and have somehow stumbled across my blog, flaxseed powder/ground flaxseed are a super health egg replacement for your recipes.

My boyfriend slicing the nanners.

Sadly, did not capture a picture with the blueberry jam =(

 

I devoured all mine 😉

For dinner tonight, I’m thinking teriyaki salad and pumpkin ice cream for dessert 😉 More on that later!

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Filed under banana, blueberry, flaxseed, juice, pancakes

Some Helpful Tips for Starting Out Raw

So I have been on my raw journey for a little over 6 months now. It’s been a crazy roller coaster ride. First, I had no idea how to start out. All I saw in raw books were recipes that catered to SAD mindset meaning complex recipes, dehydrated recipes, recipes requiring a vitamix or food processor or even simple recipes with expensive ingredients. Being that I had no money, no dehydrator, no blender, no food processor, I was lost and Larabar was my light.

It didn’t help that half my family are meatavores and my mom (love her for this but it made things difficult at the time) is always trying to buy me treats and food I will enjoy. The fridge was constantly stuffed with my favorite SAD foods.

Being that I have had my fair share of ups, downs, and learning experiences, I thought I’d post sort of a mini-guide for beginners. Not necessarily a how-to, but more of an FAQ for the questions I had when I first started out.

First, and foremost. Start out with super easy meals, even if you think they’ll bore you. I hated salad when I started out and then I discovered I could put apples in my salad for an even better substitute for the crunchiness of iceberg lettuce (which has no nutritional value). Find recipes with less than 7 ingredients, ingredients you can easily find at your local grocery store. If you feel like you can’t find any (which you can), look at more complicated recipes for inspiration and take out some of the ingredients. Examples I can think of off the top of my head include zucchini pasta with a simple marinara sauce, slaws, muesli, and marinated veggies.

Bananas are your best friend. When in doubt, eat a banana. They’re good for any meal, any snack, any time of day. They’re filling and sweet and delicious. Sure, there are other fruits besides bananas. And I recommend these too. Peaches, nectarines, honeydew, pineapple, strawberries, and grapes are some of my favorites. But bananas are the most caloric and therefore, the most filling.

Let go of your preconceived notions of food, and what constitutes a meal. This is both the hardest and most practical advice I can give you. When I first started, all I saw in my books were the dehyrated meals, the ones that were the most complicated and resembled my favorite SAD foods. I didn’t think three bananas was a breakfast, or that a smoothie could be really filling. I tried raw oatmeal, and found I hated the taste of raw oats. I ate Larabars, random crap, or nothing, and struggled with the first, and most important, meal of the day. I craved bread and pasta and tried in vain to find recipes to imitate these, but I didn’t have a spiralizer or dehydrator. Normal raw foodists don’t eat dehydrated bread, SAD imitations, raw desserts, etc. They eat fruit, greens, vegetables, and small amounts of nuts, seeds, avocado, seaweed. Let go of the notion that whole fruit, salads, and vegetables are boring. They can be as delicious and creative as you want them to be.

As you continue, allow yourself to buy a few expensive specialty items every once in a while. Eventually, you will have a pantry full of these items and you can make any recipe you want, but you’ll find you don’t actually make them very often.

Buy a variety of things at the grocery store. You’ll want to experiment when you are first starting, and buying a little bit of everything will allow you to do that. There’s merit in planning meals and buying accordingly, but if you do that too strictly when you first start out and a recipe fails, you get bored, or you don’t like something, you are set back more than if you dabble. Buy lots of salad ingredients, one package of nuts to make trail mix/nut milk, lots of fruit (bananas!, bananas!, bananas!), and maybe one or two specialty items to start you out on a couple of recipes.

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Filed under banana, menu, salad, tips

Discoveries and Failures

Hah, what an overly epic title. Only because it’s been so long since I’ve posted and I’ve documented quite a few of both discoveries and failures. Work and school has been taking up all of my time. Oh, and I’m trying to have a social life this year. =p

So the first real recipe I attempted in Gainesville were chocolate donut holes made with flax, cacao, and agave. I got the recipe somewhere online.

Cacao + Flax + Agave = xP

They came out okay, but I thought the texture was so unlike a real donut. They were very thick and packed, not light and fluffy. The taste was very flax-ey, not the best taste in the world. My boyfriend suggested making them with whole flax seeds instead, so I soaked the flax seeds. I didn’t let them dry long enough and they didn’t blend in the processor. So I changed direction and made flax sweet bread to put almond butter and bananas into for breakfast. Result (it was pretty good):

with cinnamon sprinkled on top =)

[Sadly, I later found out with another recipe that my cheap dehydrator that I got at Goodwill is flying to temperatures between 140 degrees and 180 degrees! Definitely cutting down on the dehydrated recipes. =( ]

Continuing on my donut hole journey, I attempted the coconut donut holes dusted with sifted cacao from Sarma Mengailis’s book. I didn’t put the whole recipe in there, just half of all the ingredients so my food processor decided to push it all up on the sides and stop blending it. So, brilliant me, I added a little water to get it to blend again and added too much water…..

almost like cake icing...

And it became paste instead of donut holes. Which I ate off a spoon and it was still freakin delicious.

And I miss pasta so much. I don’t have a spiralizer so I attempted zucchini pasta with a knife and a vegetable peeler.

delicious, but not quite as filling as SAD pasta

I can’t remember exactly, but I think the dressing was some combo of olive oil, lemon juice, and garlic sun-dried tomato pesto stuff.

I had smoothies every morning for breakfast for a while. I like the banana avocado combo. I also like banana apple and spinach. It’s the best applesauce I’ve ever tasted. And anything with cacao!! I’m sorry, but the raw foodists who renounce everything except pure fruits and vegetables (and only certain kinds!) … I can’t do that. I need to have some food connection to everyone else around me. If I couldn’t share food with my friends, a little part of me would die inside. Plus I love chocolate! If i didn’t have cacoa powder, I would snarf down Reese’s every time I saw it in the grocery store.

And speaking of chocolate…

8)

This has been my latest obsession. Sliced bananas and strawberries in a cashew milk/cacao/honey/agave mixture. SO GOODDD!!! I also just bought chia seeds and I make the same thing, but in a chia oatmeal version. Delicious!!

In other news, I’m going to my first Gator football game tomorrow! So excited! I will post pictures as soon as I can. Until then!

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Filed under banana, cacao, chocolate, coconut, flaxseed, strawberries

End of the Summer

I am two weeks away from going back to school and 4 weeks away from a hectic lifestyle in which I work 30-35 hours a week and go to school full-time. Whilst dabbling in raw food this summer I have discovered a few things.

  • I don’t really like raw grains so I am going to cut them out.
  • I like strawberries! I never knew.
  • Simple is better. No complex stuff for me. I don’t have the time or the money.

I thought that switching over to raw, I would crave pasta. Turns out my cravings for sandwiches were a lot stronger, as well as my cravings for parfait/cereal… or something with a soft texture filled with something with a crunchy texture. Haha, dunno what it is about texture, but it’s almost more important to me than taste.

A couple months ago, I made flax seed oatmeal! I left the flaxseeds to soak for about 6 hours. I don’t remember, but I don’t think they were supposed to soak that long, haha. But they were soft and gooey and they were covered in some sort of slime (sounds appetizing, I know). I had no time, so I threw bananas and blueberries marinated in Bragg’s apple cider. I mashed the bananas in it and had a oatmeal-like substance. It was quite good and VERY filling.

Flaxseed, Banana, Blueberries, Yum!

I’m thinking I’m going to create menus each week with similar ingredients so that I don’t waste food and I don’t spend needless money. I am on a tight budget this year. So I guess if this blog ever gets discovered, it could be a headway for students trying to live raw. I’ll post my mistakes and things I find that work for me and my lifestyle.

Right now I am working on creating a steady, rotating grocery list. I found that snack-wise, I love pre-made granola bars. Granola bars are a student’s best friend. But I don’t know if any of the health food stores in Gainesville will sell a plethora of them. Guess I’ll just have to find out.

I also love to eat/want to eat more of: avocados, mandarin oranges, strawberries, apple slices dipped in raw almond butter, Larabars, and marinated-veggie-recipes.

It’s a work in progress!

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Filed under banana, blueberry, flaxseed, goals