Roz Ka Khana

A blog about everyday food. Mostly Indian. All vegetarian.

Archive for the category “Smoothies”

The 30 Day Green Smoothie Challenge begins October 1!

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I mentioned earlier that green smoothies have been quite life changing for me. I’ve noticed some remarkable changes in my health even since I started to juice and blend every day. The Vitamix blender and the Hurom juicer are a countertop staple in my kitchen despite limited counter space. I have realized that having them at eye level keeps it top of mind – I now use them both every single day, sometimes more than once a day.

I’ve had several sources of inspiration as I mentioned earlier – the movie and site of Joe Cross’s reboot, Pushita’s The Rawsome Life, Kimberly Snyder’s Beauty Detox and more recently Simple Green Smoothies. The last one has been a go-to for all things smoothies, especially the green kind. I tried their first 30 day challenge a few months ago and am now hooked. I start my morning with a daily glass of warm water with lemon, and then it’s usually a green smoothie for breakfast. I may or may not have additional toast or oatmeal – it depends on how full I feel after the smoothie and they are usually quite filling. Of course I’m hungry in about two hours for a mid morning snack so while I’m eating more frequently it’s actually helped with my energy levels.

This ritual has helped in more ways than one:

  • My energy levels have increased significantly – I don’t feel the need for caffeine any more in the morning – I have cut out morning tea or coffee except for an occasional afternoon cup of green tea or herbal tea
  • My skin has noticeably improved – what used to be very acne prone is now relatively smooth and on weeks I eat right it actually does have a sheen, not due to oil but a brightness to it:)
  • My eyesight has improved –  this took me a few validations from 2 different eye exams – but in my opinion the juicing of carrots has actually helped. My prescription has dropped a full 0.5 points.
  • Has helped with more than  my daily intake of fruits and veggies.
  • Has helped with toning and losing a few pounds – small but noticeable.
  • Has helped with immune support – my sinus issues have cleared up.

And so when Simple Green Smoothies announced they would start their next 30 day challenge – I was of course all set. Only this time I wanted to share my progress so hopefully we can do this together:)

If you are interested in joining and supporting me on this challenge please follow me on my Tumbl-og, FB and on Instagram to get daily updates, weekly shopping lists and recipes. Of course go ahead and sign up with Simple Green Smoothies too, the creators of this challenge.

Feel free to share your experiences and any green smoothie recipes that have worked for you as well.

Getting Started with the Challenge: (adapted from Simple Green Smoothies)

The goal is to help you drink at least one green smoothie a day for the next 30 days…and you can keep it flexible as long as you can make it happen.
 #1: Drink at least one green smoothie per day (1 green smoothie = 16 ounces). The recipes make 2 servings— so you can share with a friend,  save the other half for a snack or half the recipe.
#2: Keep eating regular meals. If you’re trying to shed some pounds, you can substitute a green smoothie for a meal. In general maintain a healthy diet – no heavy fats, fried stuff, avoid sugary stuff, hydrogenated fats etc. if you want to see a difference in your weight and in your overall health.
#3: Read the weekly shopping list and daily recipes on either of those sources mentioned above.
#4: Be adventurous! Buy those mustard or collard greens at the farmer’s market! Throw in some coconut oil! Sprinkle the top with chia seeds! You can be flexible with your smoothies.
#5: Buy fresh veggies and organic as much as you can. Be sure to wash the greens and fruits well especially if they are non organic to wash off the pesticides.
#6: The green smoothie general recipe is greens (1-2) + fruits (1-2) + herbs (1-2) + liquid base (coconut water or almond milk or water) + superfood (optional – chia, flax, spirulina etc)
#5: Blend your heart out! Any blender will do as long as you are consistent and use it a lot.

Happy smoothi-eing. You will notice that one green smoothie a day will transform your life as well, and hopefully help you drop a few pounds if you need to.

Here is the shopping list for the 1st week that I will share here and in all the other places of course. The things you will need other than the list are a good blender (I find the best ones to be Vitamix or the Blendtec if you are looking for suggestions but have found any blender to do the basic trick).

Note that this list makes about 4-5 cups or 2 servings of smoothies a day for 2 people so feel free to halve if you want to make less. Also note that you may use any greens (if you don’t have kale available for example use any local greens and any liquid base.

Shopping list for week 1:

FRUITS:
  • 6 bananas
  • 6 oranges
  • 1 pineapple, fresh or frozen
  • 2 apples
  • 4 pears
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 package mixed berries
  •    (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries)
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 small bag grapes 
VEGGIES: 
  • 1 small bag spinach, fresh (10-16 ounces)
  • 1 small bunch kale, fresh
  • 1 bunch basil, fresh

OTHER (LIQUID BASE):

  • Almond milk, unsweetened
  • Ginger root
  •  Coconut water
OPTIONAL (yet recommended!):
  • Chia, flax seeds
  • Elderberry extract
  • Probiotics
  • Spirulina powder

You may substitute the fruits as you like but try to keep it within the same family of stone fruits, melons, berries etc. For instance you can substitute oranges with grapefruit or clementines. Pears with green apples or maybe even guavas etc.

Also those are frozen berries in the picture – you may use fresh or frozen.

Stay open minded, flexible and watch that transformation happen!

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Mango Coco Loco Smoothie

20130506-170115.jpgThis is a quick post and a quick way to use up all those juicy Alphonso mangoes filling up in my kitchen (and our tummies) this season. There are a gazillion mango dessert recipes out there that I’m dying to try, but what better way to use up some overripe mangoes than in a hearty and nutritious smoothie. Made with the goodness of coconut water and avocados and oranges , this one has a chock full of electrolytes, healthy fats, Vitamin C and is a filling smoothie and great breakfast by itself.

Of course if you’re like me, don’t bother chopping the mangoes – just squeeze the heck out of them with your fingers into the blender – then enjoy savoring the sweet goodness of the seed with bits of the pulp and juice trickling down your fingers:). That is by far my favorite way to enjoy a mango.

Ingredients: (makes 6 cups)

  • Aphonso mangoes (or you can use any sweet ripe mango) – peeled and chopped into chunks – 2
  • Avocado – 2
  • Oranges – peeled and cut into big chunks – 2
  • Coconut water from one tender coconut – 1 to 1 1/2 cups
  • Coconut meat – 1/4 – 12/ cup (optional)
  • Whey protein powder (optional) – 1 tbsp
  • Ice cubes – 1 cup
  • Water as needed
  • Vanilla paste or pod or essence – 1/2 tsp

Method:

Add all the ingredients in the order listed into a Vitamix or other high powered blender and blend first at a low speed then on high for 1-2 minutes. Add the water as needed to reach the desired consistency.

Juicing my way into the New Year

Yeah I know it’s probably too late to be saying “in the new year”. It’s almost the end of the first month into the the new year and I have been slacking. No, I didn’t make any great resolutions, I don’t really believe in making any, as they would’ve lasted all of 1 month anyway, if that.

The year started off quiet after a fun-filled family filled reunion at the end of the year. For the first time in many years, we actually spent a quiet evening on New Year’s eve. I think we deserved it and maybe even owed it to ourselves:)

It has been quite an eventful 2012 – a big move to Asia, change of schools, change of homes, change of jobs – our entire world had suddenly turned almost a full circle, as we moved closer to India, where we started! With all that, it didn’t really feel out of place to take a breather and brace ourselves for whatever is  coming in 2013.

So as we look ahead, 27 days already into the new year, I keep my fingers crossed that we make the best of this adventure, taking life one day at a time – discovering and evolving  in our journey. If anything, this move has taught me that – we have no idea what or when the next adventure is – so let’s take it slow and live in the present:)

I know one discovery I have made after moving here – it must be the change of pace – I have become more conscious of eating healthy, more veggies, more fruits, more grains, and more juices – not to forget, eating small meals every 2-3 hours.

Juicing and smoothie-ing (if that was a word) is slowly becoming a way of life. I was first inspired by the film, Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead and resolved to buy a juicer when I moved to Singapore. I bought a Philips centrifugal juicer which worked great until I discovered this world of centrifugal vs masticating vs slow juicers. Thanks to my dear friend Pushita, who is a health and wellness counselor (check out her page on Facebook for health tips and recipes), I was introduced to the technicalities of juicing. What types of juices heal, provide energy, and give the body the alkalinity it needs to stay healthy. And so researching juicers became a new found passion. I became a “juicer geek” from a handheld geek:). Um there are many apps and FB pages for juicing as well, in case you were wondering.

My new year’s gift to myself and the family was the investment (it literally is one, given the price) of the Hurom Slow Juicer. I’ll let you read the differences between the centrifugal and slow juicers here. But in a nutshell, the slow juicer produces more juice, less pulp and doesn’t lead to oxidation of the juice. So the juice stays fresher longer – as long as you store in glass bottles in the refrigerator. And they taste as fresh as can be:)

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I am now hooked – a juice or a smoothie is a staple in our home  and I make it a point to either make vegetable juices or introduce some veggie in the fruit juices. You don’t really want to do 100% fruit juices everyday with the high amount of sugar it has. Adding in celery, spinach or kale seems to work wonders and doesn’t really interfere with the taste much.

So here’s the first of possibly a series in juices and smoothies – pomegranate, celery juice on day 1 of buying the juicer.

-Seeds of 2 pomegranates, 2 sticks celery on Day 1

-Orange, carrot , celery, tomato, ginger and lemon on Day 2.

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– Carrot, passion fruit, celery on Day 3.

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Pretty soon I was on a roll. But there was a small catch. I was beginning to collect a lot of pulp. Now this was different from the Philips juicer pulp of course, the Hurom juicer extracts all or most of the juice so you get very dry pulp. But I didn’t have the heart to throw away the carrot or the apple pulp. Here are some tips to use the fruit pulp after juicing-

  1. Use as compost for your plants
  2. Make sure you save the pulp separately in plastic containers or Ziploc bags and keep them in the freezer.
  3. Use the celery, carrot, spinach, kale pulp for making vegetable stock. Boil the pulp in twice or three times the amount of water, add a pinch of salt and pepper and let it boil till the pulp begins to float on top. Strain and use the liquid in soups, gravies, sauces etc.  You can also freeze the stock in ice trays and use for later.
  4. Use the fruit pulp for cakes, muffins
  5. Add some of the pulp to smoothies.

With the carrot and green apple that I had left over, I made a carrot, apple cake. The best part- it was eggless and vegan. I used flax seed meal as the egg substitute added some dry fruits and the 2 cups of pulp and it was the moistest cake I had ever had. Recipe adapted from the Joy of Vegan Baking by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau.

Carrot Apple Vegan Cake:

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Ingredients for one 9 inch cake:

3 tbsp ground flaxseed

1/2 cup water

2/3 cup olive oil

1 cup carrot pulp

3/4 to 1 cup apple pulp

1 cup chopped walnuts

1/4 cup raisins

1 1/3 cups all purpose flour (you may also substitute this with 1/2 cup wheat flour)

1 cup demerara sugar

1 1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground cloves

1/2 tsp grate nutmeg

1/2 tsp allspice ground

1/2 tsp salt

You may use cream cheese frosting for this cake but I didn’t have any cream cheese and didn’t want to add any more sugar so opted not to.

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 350F or 180C.

2. Grease a 9×9 inch square cake pan.

3. Whip together the ground flaxseed and water until its frothy and creamy, for about 2 minutes.

4. Take this mixture in a stand mixer or hand blender or food processor with the paddle attachment, add the olive oil and beat at low speed till combined.

5. Add the carrot, pulp, apple pulp, walnuts and raisins and stit to combine.

6. In a separate bowl, mix all the dry ingredients together.

7. Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture and stor again to combine.

8. Transfer the contents to the greased pan and spread evenly.

9. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, for about 30-35 minutes. Let cool for about 15 minutes. Invert the cake, let cool and then cut into squares.

Persimmon Orange Creamsicle Smoothie with Homemade “Kind” Bars

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The best part about living in Singapore is the abundance of fresh fruits and veggies, and some exotic ones too, readily available and mostly imported from the rest of the neighboring world . Persimmons are native to Asia specifically Japan and China, and seem to be “in season” here as the local wholesale fruits and veggie market had the non-astringent Fuyu persimmons on sale this past week.  So of course I grabbed them, without a clue of what I was going to do with them:)

I’d had persimmons in the US mostly in salads and didn’t think they had a distinct flavor except for a slight tanginess to them. Which is probably what makes these versatile enough to add in salads, juices and smoothies, so they add to the texture but don’t necessarily mask any flavors. A quick look at my Pinterest board collections gave me this interesting smoothie recipe (probably the first time I’m really trying something from Pinterest – I usually just hoard my boards). I added all orange fruits and veggies to this – carrot, orange and persimmon with a dash of the usual smoothie ingredients and the result was this creamy, quite flavorful smoothie with enough Vit C to keep colds at bay this Singapore rainy season:)

I have also been trying extra hard to stay healthy with Nikhil’s snacks – and I cannot say this enough times – but Whole Foods and Sprouts and yeah, maybe Trader Joes (now that you are in Dallas too) – you seriously need to think about opening shop in SE Asia, yes Singapore specifically. With the number of American expats living here, you will give the local Marketplace and Supernature a run for their money. While fresh fruits and veggies are in abundance and relatively easy on the wallet, organic dry goods (grains, cereals) are frightfully expensive at local grocery stores. And so, I’ve been trying to make some things from scratch that previously I would buy from those huge bins of goodness  at WF and Sprouts.  I suppose that’s all for good reason if you really think about it.

This recipe was one I chanced upon from this interesting blog called Iowa Girl Eats and I adapted the recipe for the most part and changed some ingredients and measures a bit to call it the homemade “Kind” bar recipe. Kind bars have always been my most favorite bars not just for their taste but for what they stand for. (Do the Kind thing for your body, your taste buds and the World). This is a recipe for Almond-Cashew-Cranberry-Apricot bars all held together with a touch of coconut and honey. All I could say is YUM!

Persimmon Orange Creamsicle Smoothie 

Ingredients: (for 3 6 oz. cups)

2 Persimmons – peeled and quartered

1/2 carrot

1 orange, peeled

1 1/2 tbsp non fat dry milk powder or almond milk

1 tsp vanilla essence

1/2 cup water or skim milk (or almond milk)

2 cups ice

1 – 1 1/2 tsp honey or agave syrup

Put all the ingredients in the order listed in a high speed blender ( I use Vitamix) and run the blender from slow to high speed for about 2-3 minutes. Enjoy cold.

Almond-Cashew-Cranberry-Apricot Bars Recipe

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Ingredients:

3/4 cup Almonds and Cashews mixed

1/4 cup dried cranberries

1/4 cup chopped dried apricots

1/2 cup of rolled oats

2 tbsp coconut oil

4 tbsp honey or agave syrup or a mix of the two

Method:

1. Add the oats, 1/2 cup each of the almonds and cashews to a blender or food processor and pulse till you get a coarse powder.

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2. Now take the remaining nuts and very coarsely chop them. Add this to the above mixture

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3. Chop the dried cranberries and apricots as well and add to the above .

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4. Take a mixture of the coconut oil and honey/agave in a small saucepan and heat it on a low flame. Keep stirring till the mixture starts to foam and get cooked.

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5. Now pour the oil/honey over the oat-fruit and nut mixture. Mix well till the dry ingredients get well coated with the wet ingredients.

6. Line a 8×8 inch baking tray or a loaf pan (depending on how thick you want your bars) with a cling wrap or parchment paper sheet. Make sure the sheet hangs over the ends of the pan. Spread the mixture onto the bottom of the pan.

7. Wrap the sheet over the poured mixture and press the mixture with the bottom of a steel or glass container so it gets evenly flat.

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8. Place the pan in the fridge for a few hours till the mixture hardens.

9. Cut into bars while its still in the pan, cover with parchment paper and store in airtight containers.

Notes – You can modify the coconut oil and honey quantities as needed for taste and consistency. I initially used  a bit more than needed and the bars got quite sticky when I left them out of the fridge. I have modified the amount used in the ingredients above which resulted in just the right consistency for me but if you like your bars chewy, feel free to modify the measures slightly.

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