Red, White, and Blue 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.



Summer is here! This recipe is all about celebrating seasonal berries and fruit, vacation time, sun, and refreshing food. Could you ask for a better combination?

The patriotic colors are in honor of July 4th weekend, and it’s the prefect recipe to make for dessert at your weekend barbeque, that’s also kid-friendly.

The creamy vanilla banana nice-cream will tease your taste buds into thinking you’re indulging in a sinful bowl of ice cream, but really its just fruit!

The strawberry sauce that swirls perfectly into the banana nice-cream, adds a tartness and strawberry sauce flavor. Almost sinful, but you don’t have to feel bad about eating any of these ingredients, because they are all pure all-natural ingredients.

Take advantage of these seasonal berries, and eat them up with this vanilla banana nice-cream bowl.

Simple, tasty, cooling, creamy, and patriotic. Talk about the perfect July 4th dessert recipe!



Makes 1 Serving

Ingredients:

Vanilla Banana Nice-Cream

  • 3 ripe sliced frozen bananas
  • 3 tbsp. unsweetened almond milk
  •  1 tsp. vanilla extract

Rawberry Sauce

  • 1/3 cup fresh strawberries
  •  ¼ cup frozen raspberries
  • 1 ½ Tbsp. maple syrup
  • ½ tspn. Vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp. chia seeds soaked in 2 Tbsp. of water

Toppings:

  • Fresh blueberries
  • Coconut chips
  • Frozen raspberries


Instructions:

1. Blend together all rawberry sauce ingredients together until the mixture reaches a smooth consistency.

2. In a food processor, blend together the vanilla banana nice-cream ingredients until the mixture is thick and creamy. You might need to add more almond milk to the recipe if the bananas aren’t blending. Add a tbsp. more of the almond milk at a time if necessary.

3. Pour the nice-cream mixture into a bowl, swirl in the rawberry sauce. Then top off the bowl with frozen raspberries, fresh blueberries, and coconut chips. Enjoy this deliciousness!





Nut Milk Recipe

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You may be thinking to yourself, why didn't I think of this sooner? Thats what I thought when I made my first batch of nut milk. Its super easy and simple to make, and you really don't need that many ingredients. So why do we keep buying store-brand nut milks?! Because its right there when you shop for your groceries? Okay I get it. Its "easier." But let me break it down for you. How much are you spending on nut milk? My boyfriend and I were going through 1-2 half gallons of nut milk a week, and in New York City it costs $5 per half gallon. Equalling $5-$10 of nut milk a week. A half gallon equals 8 cups.

Heres an example of what is costs to make almond milk. 1 pound of raw almonds from trader Joe's cost me $6.99. 1 pound of almonds yields 4 cups. With 1 cup of raw almonds I can make 4 cups of almond milk, so with 4 cups of almonds I can make 16 cups of almond milk! Thats twice the amount of almond milk that I would get for a half a gallon of store brand almond milk that used to cost me $5. Lets compareStore brand almond milk filled with harmful chemicals and additives cost me $5 for 8 cups. My homemade, pure, all-natural almond milk costs me $3.50 for 8 cups. WIN! Yes, different nuts vary in price, but I'm sure you will make almond milk the most, because it's super versatile. However, I tried experimented with making pistachio milk! I know right?! Sounds amazing, and it was! Super creamy, with a hint of pistachio flavor, and it came out a beautiful creamy pastel green. Many almond milks contain a harmful ingredient that you should look out for called carrageenan. Carrageenan, which has no nutritional value, has been used as a thickener and emulsifier to improve the texture of ice cream, yogurt, cottage cheese, soy milk and other processed foods.  

Research has shown that exposure to carrageenan causes inflammation and that when we consume processed foods containing it, we ingest enough to cause inflammation in our bodies. All forms of carrageenan are capable of causing inflammation. Chronic inflammation is a root cause of many serious diseases including heart disease, Alzheimer's, and Parkinson's diseases, and cancer. When laboratory mice were exposed to low concentrations of carrageenan for 18 days, they developed a "profound" glucose intolerance and impaired insulin action, both of which can lead to diabetes.

This is extremely scary to learn, when carrageenan is being added to so many processed products on the market and it being consumed unknowingly. We think almond milk, a great milk alternative, yes. But companies still find a way to sneak in harmful ingredients into our products and body's. Would you consume something that could potentially cancer or diabetes? I didn't think so. If you do have to buy store brand almond milk, I recommend buying Silk's Unsweetened Original Almond Milk, because this does not contain carrageenan. But if you have the time, make it yourself! It tastes so much better, is better for you, and cheaper! Really can't go wrong!

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Yields 4 cups

Ingredients: 

  • 1 cup nuts (almonds, pistachios, walnuts,  or hazelnuts)
  • 4 cups boiling water
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup or 1 large date  (optional)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
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1. Soak 1 cup of nuts for at least 12 hours in water.

2. Drain water that the nuts were soaked in.

3. Boil 4 cups of water.

4. Add the soaked nuts and 4 cups of boiling water to blender with salt, and sweetener (maple syrup or date), and vanilla extract if you like.

5. Blend until nuts have been liquified.

6. Strain mixture in a bowl with a fine strainer or cheese cloth to separate milk from the nut meat.

7. Store nut milk in mason jar, and use within 3-4 days.  

Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding Nice-Cream Sundae

1622246_10154462444155085_7125828081516435754_n In the summer I take advantage of as much seasonal produce as I can. Since strawberries and cherries are in season I figured why not create a nice-cream sundae jar of amazingness?!

Theres many ways you can take advantage of buying seasonal produce. Farmers markets are becoming more popular then ever, which is a great thing! However, those that can't make it to the farmers market on time may want to opt for something called a CSA. This is when you purchase a share in a farmers crop for a certain period of time. This allows you to receive a box of fresh fruits, vegetables, and sometimes even eggs. You have a set pickup point close to your home where you pick up your bounty and it should last you while! Here's more information about CSA's available in New York City. It not only provides you with extremely fresh local food but also switches up what you would normally buy every week, so you are forced to be more creative! Which I love!

There are also other organizations in New York City that deliver organic produce straight to your door. This organization called Go Organic NYC emphasizes on organic produce. If it's available and in season locally then thats where it comes from but if you order tropical fruit like bananas and pineapple they are still organic but haven't been grown locally of course.

Not only will buying locally support local farmers and your community but it will also allow you to eat a more plant-based diet. Buying organic is important as well, because the more we learn about how harmful pesticides are the more we realize we shouldn't be consuming them whatsoever. And lets face it, fresh fruits and vegetables that haven't been sprayed with pesticides just taste better! We shouldn't withhold flavor from ourselves!

Whenever I roam through farmers markets upstate I get inspired by all the colorful imperfectly shaped produce and the fresh jams, baked goods, and breads that all the vendors bring! Food should feed your creative juices as well as your body. Food is nourishment, but when we make that nourishment tasty and delicious, that's what keeps us coming back for more.

I see a trend in organic local food spreading, and the more we develop new tasty recipes and show people how delicious real food is, the more people won't be able to deny that fact, that fruits and vegetables taste good! I don't blame people who have eaten bad quality or poorly prepared vegetables and think that they all taste that way. But when they discover that cauliflower can be roasted, or made into a pizza crust and see how delicious it tastes, thats success!

Buy fresh bounty, spread the bounty, and get creative with your dishes! Maybe incorporate a different cuisine once a week, like Indian night, or Thai night, and from there discover different spices and flavors that you may not normally cook with.

Hope you enjoy this sundae recipe! Its creamy, naturally sweet, chocolatey and won't have you craving ice cream anytime soon!

Yields 1 Serving

Ingredients:

Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding:

  • 2 TBSP chia seeds
  • ½ cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 to 2 TBSP maple syrup
  • 1 TBSP cocao powder

Banana Date Nice-Cream Layer:

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 2 dates (chopped)
  • 2 TBSP unsweetened almond milk

Black cherry Banana Nice-Cream Layer:

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 4 frozen cherries
  • 2 TBSP unsweetened almond milk

Layers in between:

  • 3 fresh or frozen cherries
  • 4 freshly sliced strawberries

Assembly:

1. Mix all chia seed pudding ingredients together well. Make chia seed pudding night before or allow mixture to sit for at least 3 hours.

2. Place chia seed pudding in bottom of jar and a layer of sliced frozen or fresh cherries on top.

3. Blend banana date nice-cream ingredients together and place on top of cherry layer.

4. Add in freshly sliced strawberries.

5. Blend black cherry banana nice-cream ingredients together. Add on top.

6. Top sundae off with dates, shredded coconut, and almonds. Enjoy this delicious masterpiece!

 

Spicy Kale Salad With Creamy Avocado Dressing

photo 2 copy Where do you get inspiration for your recipes? A lot of the time I get my inspiration from seeing whats in seasons at the local farmers market. What looks the most fresh and ripe, and I also think about what food combinations will go well together. In the summer time I like to eat lighter and make refreshing smoothies, juices, and salads. Especially when its hot outside.

I bought a bunch of beautiful locally grown kale for $2 and it lasted me about 6 meals! With the right food portioning and mixtures, your options for kale recipes are unlimited. I'll use a leaf in the morning in a smoothie blended with almond milk, banana, and berries. For lunch or dinner I'll massage the kale with olive oil and mix in seeds and other veggies. Its a good idea to use ingredients you already have in your kitchen so they don't go bad and are wasted.

I'm an advocate of eating a nutrient rich plant-based diet no matter what diet you follow. Ever since I've become vegan, I've made sure to eat plenty of iron rich foods as well as foods rich in calcium. You have to be mindful when beginning any new way of eating. You have to be prepared and know what foods will provide you with certain nutrients, because you shouldn't feel tired and weary, you should feel rejuvenated and great! Thats the whole point of eating, to nourish your body, and give it the fuel it needs to run and heal properly.

My dream one day is to be able to have a big backyard and live off the land as much as aI can. Grow a garden and create beautiful dishes from produce I grew! I think the more we realize how harmful man-made and genetically engineered food is, the more we go back to our roots. Our bodies have always been used to breaking down whole foods, so when we introduce highly processed food with chemical additives in them, our body doesn't know what to do and prepares for the worst. It doesn't know how to break down those foods, so they clog you're digestive system and get turned into fat. Your body also puts on weight so that in case you get sick from these foods it has fat to feed off from. When man used to hunt and wasn't able to find food it would eat the stored energy (fat) that was stored in your body. Our body's ecology will not change this way of working. So the thing we need to change most is what we put in our mouths.

We now look at food as something to treat our taste buds and cravings, and no longer see it as nourishment and medicine. Yes, food should taste good, but it also shouldn't become an addiction. Sugar is 7 times more addicting than cocaine! That just blows my mind! And we allow our children to grown up with this poison, and feed it to them all day long and see it as rewards or just meals. When children receive a good grade on a test, what else do they receive with it? A lollipop, cupcake, a party filled with snacks like processed cakes and chips. What happened to enforcing good eating habits and rewarding kids with un-harmful food? This is where addiction begins. Society plays a big role in our children's future, which is very much dependent on sugar. I hope that  diabetes and obesity epidemic will make parents and children want to learn about nutrition and ways to eat healthier . Health coaches are great sources for this kind of information. I would love to help you learn how to reduce your sugar cravings and get rid of them completely!

This recipe includes many of my favorite ingredients! Sweet potato, kale, quinoa, black beans, pumpkin seeds, and the most delicious Serrano peppers and cucumbers found at the farmers market. Its packed with so many yummy flavors, each bite will have you wanting more!

 

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Spicy Kale Salad With Creamy Avocado Dressing

Yields 2 servings

Ingredients:

Salad:

  • 5 Leaves of kale (de-stemmed)
  • 1 medium sweet potato
  • 2 cloves of garlic (minced)
  • ½ cucumber (thinly sliced)
  • 1 pepper (diced)
  • ¼ cup pumpkin seeds
  • ½ cup cooked quinoa
  • ½ cup black beans
  • 2 cups Serrano peppers
  • 4 TBSP olive oil (for sweet potato)
  • 2 TBSP olive oil (for Serrano peppers)
  • ½ ripe avocado (for garnish)

Dressing:

  • 1/2 ripe avocado
  • 6 TBSP olive oil
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ½ lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste 

1. Preheat oven to 400’F. Cut sweet potato into small cubes and coat with 4 TBSP of olive oil and minced garlic. Cook for about 30 minutes, until cooked through and caramelized.

2. Sautee Serrano peppers in olive oil and salt and pepper on medium-low heat in griddle pan until charred on all sides, about 20 minutes.

3. Cook ½ cup of quinoa and ½ black beans together with 1 cup of water on low heat for about 15-20 minutes until cooked.

4. To make salad dressing, mash avocado, and stir in the rest of the ingredients and mix well.

5. Roughly tear kale leaves into bit sized pieces. Massage kale with ½ of salad dressing mixture for about 3 minutes.

6. Mix in quinoa and black beans, cucumber, pepper, Serrano peppers, roasted sweet potato, and pumpkin seeds. Finish dish with sliced avocado and pour the rest of the salad dressing on top. Add salt and pepper to taste.