Triple Chocolate Superfood Smoothie

Why eat cacao?

Cocao powder and nibs are extremely nutritional and powerful ingredients and superfood staples in my kitchen. They are high in magnesium, antioxidants, iron, omega fatty acids, flavanols, and fiber. They are one of the most antioxidant rich foods on the planet! Cocao nibs are made from pure cocao beans that come straight out of the tropical cocao fruit. The Cocao bean was culinary gold to Mesoamericans for many years and known as the "Food of Gods" for its superior nutritional profile and amazing flavor. Cocao powder is a great alternative to "cocoa" baking powder, because it is raw and  less processed than "cocao." Its rich in minerals and antioxidants and great to add to smoothies, baking and desserts.

I have so many in my cabinet, and just want to collect them all! Yes, it can be expensive to buy many of these superfood ingredients, but its well worth it and I find that they last me a a good amount of time. Buying online and using coupon and promo codes or when you see super foods on sale at the grocery store, don't hesitate to buy. Once you begin to start using these ingredients you'll realize there unlimited possibilities for including them in many of your recipes. You might even search new recipes to make that included superfood ingredients.

How do you cook with superfoods?

I always love experimenting with superfoods, and you can always use them in smoothies, oatmeal, when baking, cereals, oat and nut bars, homemade breads, and much more.

How does cocao taste?

Cocao nibs have a bitter flavor but add a nice chocolate chip crunch to your recipes, and you can also blend them in your smoothies so that aren't as crunchy. You can also buy sweetened cocao nibs if you prefer a bit of sweetness. They are natures chocolate chips, and when soaked in your smoothies or ice cream they become a little less crunchy and soak up some of the liquid.

This recipe is filled with chocolaty goodness and many of my favorite staple ingredients!

Yields 1 serving

Ingredients: 

Toppings:

  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut
  • 1 tsp cocao nibs

1. Blend all smoothie ingredients together well, and top off with shredded coconut and cocao nibs. Enjoy!

Malawi Mango Nice-Cream


When I think of mango, I think of tropical hot weather! And man is it that time of year again, so I was inspired to make a refreshing mango banana nice-cream recipe with a superfood twist. Why do I call it nice-cream? Because the base is made from frozen bananas, which means NO dairy, NO refined sugar, and NO processed ingredients. Only pure, and very NICE ingredients allowed. You’re tummy will thank me later. I promise!

You can cool off with this bowl for breakfast, as a snack, or something to indulge in at night. It’s made with frozen bananas, which gives it a smooth and creamy texture, a ripe mango, which adds so much flavor and mango deliciousness, and Bai’s Malawi Mango drink which adds an extra mango punch. 

I made ice cubes out of the Bai Malawi Mango, to keep the mixture cold and creamy.

I also added Maca powder to the nice-cream.  This superfood has many healing properties.

Maca is rich in vitamin B vitamins, C, and E. It provides plenty of calcium, zinc, iron, magnesium, and phosphorous and amino acids. Within days of using Maca you’ll notice your energy levels may increase. It is also known for increasing stamina. Giving another reason why Maca is great to have in the morning. I even may go as saying that Maca could be your new coffee replacer, or at least some mornings.

Maca is widely used to promote sexual function of both men and women. It serves as a boost to your libido and increases endurance. At the same time it balances your hormones and increases fertility. Don’t worry folks, this recipe only calls for a tiny bit, but add more on if you’d like! Forewarning, the flavor of Maca is quite strong.

Ladies, this information is for you! Maca relieves menstrual issues and menopause. It alleviates cramps, body pain, hot flashes, anxiety, mood swings, and depression. However, if you are pregnant or lactating you should avoid taking Maca.

I added even more superfoods by topping off this mango banana nice-cream bowl with Mulberries and Goji Berries. Both are filled with antioxidants, and are a great source of fiber.

This recipe is simple to put together, and extremely nourishing! If you’re craving ice cream, or popsicles this summer, cool off with this nice-cream recipe instead. This recipe is not only healthier, but I may even dare to say, that it tastes even better than those store bought ice creams! 



Makes 1 smoothie bowl

Ingredients:

  •  2 large ripe bananas (sliced and frozen overnight)
  • ½ ripe mango
  • 2 ice cubes of Bai Malawi Mango
  • ¼ tspn. Maca powder
  • 2 Tbsp. unsweetened almond milk (I like to use my homemade recipe)

 

Toppings:

  • 1 Tbsp. coconut chips
  • 1 Tbsp. mulberries
  •  ½ Tbsp. goji berries
  •  ½ ripe mango (bite-sized pieces)

Instructions:

1. Blend together the frozen banana, mango, Malawi Mango ice cubes, Maca Powder, and unsweetened almond milk, in a high-speed blender or food processor until smooth and creamy. You may need to add a Tbsp. more of almond milk if you’re having a hard time blending the mixture.

2. Serve in a bowl and sprinkle toppings over the nice-cream mixture. Enjoy!


Sources:

http://www.vegkitchen.com/nutrition/7-top-health-benefits-of-maca/#YZHTDEJKjjKm1WTd.99

Detoxifying Green Smoothie Bowl

This recipe is part of Dig Inn's Wellness Series. Dig Inn is a farm-to-counter restaurant serving up real, good food here in NYC with a focus on seasonal, vegetable-friendly cooking.


Spring has sprung! Well at least that’s what it says on my calendar, but it just snowed here in upstate New York! This is the perfect season to cleanse, and reboot.  After a long, lingering winter, I think we all can agree that stepping out of our hibernation mode is necessary.

I’ve begun my training for the sprint marathon I’m participating in this summer, and on days when the sun is shining I even go running in central park! This is the perfect time to begin a new workout regimen, start eating healthier, or even do a juice cleanse. 

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, the Spring and Fall seasons are the best times to deeply detoxify and cleanse the body of harmful impurities that have collected in our organs and tissues over the past months and years. Energies which manifest as seasonal changes in our external environment are also reflected in the body, and spring is the transitional period of time when internal energies rise and expand, providing movement and growth to carry us away from the conservation of the energies from the cold winter months prior.

This green smoothie bowl is deliciously detoxifying. Spinach has been proven to decrease sugar cravings throughout the day. Spinach also contains a powerful antioxidant, glutathione, which is one of the primary antioxidants your liver relies on to detoxify your body. Avocado is a great detox food as well. Avocados are rich in fatty acids and these healthy fats are essential during a detox diet, because it promotes the release of bile from the gallbladder, allowing for the elimination of toxins from the body and fat-soluble vitamins.

I love to eat this for breakfast when it gets warmer out because it’s cooling and refreshing. This smoothie bowl is creamy, naturally sweet, filled with vitamins, antioxidants, and fiber. Have fun with your toppings and add as much color and superfoods as you’d like!


Serves 1 person

Ingredients:

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 date
  •  1 small handful of spinach
  • ¼ of an avocado
  •  3-4 Tbsp. almond milk

Toppings:

  • Sliced banana
  • Raspberries
  • Blueberries
  • Mulberries
  • Coconut chips

Instructions:

1.    Slice up a ripe banana and freeze it overnight.

2. Blend together in a high speed blender or food processor the frozen banana, spinach, date, avocado and almond milk. You want the consistency to be thick and creamy, so you may need to add a little bit more almond milk.

3. Serve in bowl and place all of your toppings on top! Enjoy!


Superfood Pumpkin Pancakes

What's one thing you crave in the mornings? This morning I found myself craving pancakes. I have so many pumpkin ingredients on hand, I figured why not make some pumpkin pancakes?! This thought didn't let me down. Bob's Red Mill gluten-free pancake mix is seriously the best, it always makes my pancakes fluffy and stay moist, which is a huge accomplishment for a gluten-free product. Mixed together with the pumpkin puree, spices, and nut and coconut milk, created pancake perfection.

I'm also super excited to announce that I will be co-hosting a yoga, meditation, and exploration retreat called Anzan on Lake Atitlan, Guatemala in April 2015. It will be a luxurious experience, where days will begin with freshly made organic juices, yoga and meditation overlooking the lake. The days will be filled with hikes, workshops, spa treatments and more. It will take place in a one-of-a-kind modern home right on the lake. Large open windows, a home that is one with nature, and quiet and peaceful. At night the sky will mesmerize you, the stars sparkle in the reflection of the lake. You will be able to enjoy this view while eating  fresh organic meals made daily that support your vitality and nutrition.

I've visited Lake Atitlan twice so far and every time I go, I can't wait to return. The lake is a spectacular and spiritual place, that will recenter and reconnect you to your roots and the roots of the Earth. Once you visit you will understand the tranquility and peacefulness I describe. I'll be posting more information soon and the link to Anzan's retreat website can be found on my website soon!

Until then, I'll be daydreaming about the lake and eating my fluffy pumpkin pancakes!

Yields 5-6 fluffy pancakes 

Ingredients:

Toppings:

  • Goji berries
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Cocao nibs
  • Organic peanut butter
  • Organic maple syrup
  • Sliced banana

1. Mix together all of pancake ingredients in a large bowl.

2. Heat up about 1 TBSP of coconut oil in a skillet on low-medium heat. Pour about 1/4 cup of batter onto skillet and cook on low until pancake is golden brown on both sides.

3. Repeat step #2 until the batter is used.

4. Top off your pancake tower with the superfood toppings and drizzle maple syrup on top! Enjoy!

Creamy Green Smoothie Bowl

10553437_10154509816360085_8375023883971139654_n Sometimes I go through periods of making the same thing for breakfast, and then need to switch it up! This morning after my run, I was craving something refreshing and cooling. I never have tried using avocados in my smoothies before and had a perfectly ripe one, so it was meant to be!

I loved this recipe. The sweetness from the banana overpowers the spinach, and the avocado adds a silky creaminess to the smoothie. The coconut oil adds a tropical flavor and more healthy fats to the smoothie bowl.

Ingredients:

Yields 1 serving

  • 2 small frozen bananas
  • A handful of spinach
  • 1/4 ripe avocado
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 TBSP coconut oil

Toppings:

  • 1 small banana
  • 2 TBSP shredded coconut
  • 1 tsp bee pollen

1. Blend all the smoothie ingredients together well.

2. Pour into bowl and add on the toppings. Enjoy!