Avocado & Mint Shamrock Milkshake

St. Patrick’s Day is upon us, my friends.

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Sooo, if you’re like, 1/16th Irish, can you skip work or school for the day? Does that sound totally legitimate to anyone else?

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 Because it’s officially finals week (AGAIN) and by Tuesday I’m expecting a 0% chance of a shower, sweat pants throughout the day, and absolutely no signs of giving AF.

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 What to do, what to do.  Smoothie it up, my friends.  Whip up a frosty green shake that will make you feel like the Irish Incredible Hulk.  Healthy fats, fiber, and a hefty dose of vitamin K, vitamin C, and potassium…what’s not to drool over? This smoothie is sweet, creamy, and the fresh mint adds a refreshing and energizing green zing.

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 Avocado & Mint Shamrock Milkshake

Makes one shake, ~390 calories

  • 1 cup non-dairy milk (I used cashew milk)
  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 3/4 cup fresh mint
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1/2 cup frozen kale/spinach/collard greens
  • 2-3 dates
  • 1 T chia seeds
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  1. To get the dates the right consistency, soak them in hot water for 10 minutes.  Or the lazy way to go about things (big fan over here) is to immerse them in water and microwave those suckers for 30 seconds.  Remove pits.
  2. Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
  3. Top with chia seeds if desired.  Can’t have too much chia, is what I always say. Actually I never really say that.  But I’ll say it here. Now. K BAI.

 

Cinnamon Baked Apples with Sea Salt Caramel Date Sauce

So…recipe for a cruise ship vacation:

1) Remove contents of stomach and small intestine

2) Place in high-speed blender and press “pulverize”

3) Repeat steps 1 & 2 until barf bags become a necessity

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Seriously doe.  I got my snack on (the man behind the gelato bar was givin me free scoops by Day 3), got my drank on (wine tasting for the win), and as per usual, got my fitness on. Who designs a cruise ship with the gym on the very top level in the front of the boat, so when you’re trying to run on the treadmill you literally feel like you drank an entire liter of vodka and then decided to hop on a roller coaster?

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Regardless, this trip was a total blast.  Short but so, so sweet.  Most importantly, I got to monkey around with mom & sees.

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Usually I go on vacation with every intent to return with inspiration for new recipes. This one came in the most surprising form…don’t laugh.

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The cruise ship BUFFET.  During breakfast, I bypassed the bacon and went for one of the mushy baked globules that looked like a dilapidated road apple and then couldn’t…stop…thinking about it.

Some people day dream of love and romance…I mostly think about tacos and ice cream sandwiches.

Your standard classic well-known and equally loved baked apples are smothered in butter and brown sugar, but these babies are made au naturale…just apples stuffed with raisins and cinnamon but then covered in a creamy sauce made with lots of fiber and healthy fats via dates and cashews. No sugar, no dairy, no problem 😉

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Making these was a cinch; just core the apples, bake them, and whip up the sauce while they’re getting some lovin in the oven.

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Here they are, ready to get baked. Ha.

….ha.

🙂

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This “caramel” sauce is one of the most yummy things I have made to date. Shieeeeet do I say that about every recipe? I really mean it this time. I couldn’t stop eating it.

And I ain’t mad.

Cinnamon Baked Apples with Sea Salt Caramel Date Sauce

For the apples:

  • 4 apples
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 T cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup boiling water

For the sauce:

  • 1.5 cups almond milk
  • 1 cup soaked cashews
  • 1 cup dates
  • 3 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp lemon juice
  1. To get the cashews the proper consistency, you want to soak them overnight in water or for at least 3 hours prior.  This ensures that when blended, all your creamy sauce fantasies will be fulfilled.
  2. Start off by coring the apples. To do this, I whipped out a small (and supah sharp) knife and cut around the core on the top of the apple. I grabbed a small spoon and scooped out the middle where the core and seeds chill out. Ah yes, and pre heat the oven to 375.
  3. Sprinkle the inside middle of each apple with cinnamon generously and then stuff halfway down with raisins. You don’t need to use the whole cup of raisins; save some for garnish.
  4. Place the stuffed apples in a baking dish and pour the 3/4 cup of boiling water in the bottom of the pan. Different apples will bake at different speeds, so check on them after 30 minutes. I just used whatever I had in my fridge and ended up with two different types of apples. One was done after 30 minutes, the other ones took almost 50! So, check after 30 so you don’t bake one to golden perfection and then burn the crap out of a different one. The apples are done when the skin gets wrinkly and when stabbed with a fork, the consistency is soft but not overly mushy.
  5. While the apples are baking, make the sauce! To soften the dates, place in hot water for 10 minutes or place in water and microwave for one minute.  Then remove all pits.
  6. Place all sauce ingredients in a blender and gooooooooo for it.  Taste the sauce…add more salt of desired.
  7. Remove the apples from the oven when done and scoop sauce into each one to fill them up all zee way. Sprinkle with raisins and enjoy warm.

Chunky Cinnamon Applesauce

You have to peel the apples. You have to slice the apples. You have to cook down the apples.

And it’s kind of a pain the a….

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But hear me out.

Because like most things in life,

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The extra effort is worth it.

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I walk into the grocery store now and laugh at the sad little jars of mushy Mott’s.

HA.

One bowl will have you scoffing at the applesauce in the market and wishing you could eat this stuff every single day of your life.

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And, good news.

With this recipe….

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You can.

Homemade Cinnamon Applesauce

Makes 5-6 servings, depending on how greedy you get…about 145 calories per 1/2 cup serving

  • 3 lbs of fresh apples
  • 7-8 Medjool dates
  • 1 T honey/maple syrup/agave nectar
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup apple cider
  1. First you have to peel all those apples. I know, I know…but it’s so worth it.
  2. Slice the apples up into smallish chunks. Smallish is a word in my kitchen.
  3. Place Medjool dates in a cup of hot water for 5 minutes (or place in a dish of water and microwave for 30 seconds…the point is to soften them).  When soft to the touch, take out the pits and place into food processor.  Pulsate until dates form a soft paste.
  4. Transfer date paste, apples, and all other remaining ingredients into a large pot over medium heat.
  5. Cook for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add more cinnamon if you want more spice…
  6. Place half of the mixture into a food processor, or mash by hand to achieve desired level of “chunkiness” or “smoothness.”  I pureed half of mine and left the other half chunky…but the choice is yours.
  7. If you spoon some of this applesauce while it’s warm over vanilla ice cream, you may never feel the need to make another new friend in your life. Just sayin’.

Frozen All-Natural Tequila Sunrise

You know what beats happy hour out at a restaurant?

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Happy hour in my kitchen.

Because it’s cheaper and I don’t have to wear pants.

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I set out to make an all-natural tequila sunrise with a huge box of oranges I inherited from work the other day.  I thought to myself, “Great, I’ll juice these, add some strawberries and tequila and YAY.”  And then I could not locate the most essential piece to my juicer.  How weird typical. I figured all was lost but then I thought, well, what the hell…so I threw some peeled oranges, strawberries, a couple slices of fresh ginger (which was of a questionable age as it has been buried in my veggie drawer for quite some time now…), and tequila into my little Magic Bullet blender.

And…

OH MY LAWDY. This is one of the most delicious and refreshing cocktails I have ever had.

 Can you tell I had fun making these?

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I definitely drank a whole one while photographing this recipe. It was Saturday. So sue me.

Actually, booooooze me…

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Make this drink for your guests on a warm day, it’s like a slushy but naturally sweetened and with the added benefit of fresh ginger (which is a digestive aid) and alcohol (which is a new- friend-making/dating aid).  Who knew.  Plus the oranges and strawberries give you a double dose of immunity-boosting Vitamin C.

This cocktail is da bidness; the ginger adds an invigorating kick and balances out the sweetness of the oranges with the sharpness of the tequila.  All I could say was, “Ole” as I fainted into tequila sunrise oblivion.  Hope this brightens up your Monday!

Frozen All-Natural Tequila Sunrise

makes one drink

  • 1 shot tequila (preferably not out of a plastic bottle…but hey we’ve all been there)
  • 2 fresh ripe oranges
  • 3/4 cup fresh strawberries
  • 2 slices fresh ginger
  • 5-6 ice cubes
  1. First, mince up the ginger as finely as possible.  Don’t worry about the peel, it’s all goin’ in the blender anyway.
  2. Peel the oranges.
  3. Take out a high powered blender…add the tequila first!  Then throw in the oranges, strawberries (I left the little green tops on), ginger, and ice cubes.
  4. Give dat blender a whirl.
  5. Pour. Sit. Sip. Repeat. Yumzzzzz. Add cocktail umbrellas if the mood strikes.