Category Archives: Smoothies

3 new recipes

Today did not start out so great. Titan woke me up at 2am to go out and I had a hard time falling back asleep. Then, he didn’t want to sleep this morning once my honey left, which meant I couldn’t sleep either. It was rainy and really dreary out and I was worried the rain wouldn’t end!

Alas, it did and this is what it looks like outside now:

Even though it started out a little rough, I have gotten a lot accomplished so far!

The main thing I have done is work on my recipe page. I actually went back through about 45 posts and have updated recipes (I still have a lot to go!). I have also been adding categories to each post which I didn’t do as I was posting them…word to the wise….don’t be like me!

I have also worked out, done my video for next Tuesday’s Tuesday Trainer, and baked two new recipes!! I’ve also gone for a run and walked the dog around the yard. I still have to make a dish for the Apple Butter Festival tomorrow and make dinner for tonight, plus clean up around the house and get a few other things done. I doubt I’ll get to it all today, but here’s hoping!

I am excited to have three new recipes to share today! A smoothie and then two pumpkin baked goods 🙂

Mango-Peach-Squash Green Smoothie (Makes about 6 cups)

I rarely make the same smoothie twice, but the addition of butternut squash puree was something I had to share because I’ve been doing it lately! I made a big batch so I could have it all weekend long. 

  • 2 cups yogurt
  • 1 banana
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1 cup kale
  • 1 mango (I cut up and froze a few last week)
  • 1 peach (again, cut up and frozen)
  • 1 cup butternut squash puree

Blend all ingredients until smooth.

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Like I mentioned yesterday, I planned to make a new cookie recipe today. It turned out great, but it wasn’t exactly what I was expecting. Here’s why: I’ve never used pumpkin puree before. (I know…oh the horror, right? Nah, I couldn’t care less!)

Anyway. I am making cookies for the RA class I teach on Monday and I wanted to do something different. For one thing, they wanted chocolate chip and sugar cookies, so I obliged and bought Pilsbury all purpose flour and regular white sugar for them. But I wanted to have something I could eat. I saw the can of pumpkin as soon as I walked in the store and got this idea in my head to make a pumpkin cookie. With pecans. Thus, my Pecan Pumpkin Cookie was born.

By the way, for this recipe you have to pronounce it pee-can, not peh-cahn.

Pecan Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies (Makes 3 dozen)

  • 1/2 stick butter, softened
  • 1 flax egg (1 tbsp ground up flax seed + 2 1/2 tbsp warm water)
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin
  • 2 tsp cinnamon spice blend/pumpkin pie spice blend
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 cup GF flour
  • 1 1/2 cup oatmeal
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans

1. First make your flax egg and set aside.

2. With a hand mixer, beat the butter until fluffy.

3. Add the flax egg, maple syrup, vanilla and pumpkin. Mix well.

4. Combine dry ingredients in a small bowl.

5. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients a little at a time. Mix well before adding the next batch.

6. Fold in the chopped pecans.

7. Spoon mixture onto baking sheet and bake at 350 for about 10 minutes.

It is best to undercook these a little as my first batch was a little dry. I thought the pee-can flavor would come out more, but it really didn’t. I might roast them first if I make these cookies again. The pumpkin flavor is definitely there, which is something I’ll have to get used to. I really haven’t eaten a lot of pumpkin foods in my day.

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I had a few bananas lying around the kitchen, so I decided I needed another banana muffin. I had already opened the can of pumpkin, so I figured why not?

Pumpkin Banana Muffins (Makes 12 muffins)
  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin
  • 1 flax egg
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp melted butter
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cup GF flour
  • 1 cup oats
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans

1. First make your flax egg and set aside.

2. Next, mash up the bananas with the pumpkin in a large bowl.

3. Then add in the flax egg, maple syrup, and melted butter.

3. Combine the dry ingredients in a small bowl.

4. Mix together the wet and dry ingredients until just combined.

5. Fold in the chopped pecans gently.

6. Divide evenly into 12 muffin cups.

7. Bake at 350 until the tops are slightly brown.

I think I like the muffins better than the cookies because of the banana. It adds a different type of sweetness and an extra punch of flavor.

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Off to clean the floor and finally shower! And then make dinner 🙂

What is your favorite pumpkin recipe? Or are you like me and have never really used it?


Workout Wednesday- Circuit work at the gym

What a night! It has been raining like crazy since I got home, accompanied by tons of thunder and lightning. We lost internet for a little bit and then the power keeps flickering on and off. Hopefully it will stay on long enough for me to catch up on some work!

Great news: I got my battery fixed for my camera!!! I ended up buying a new charger and one of my batteries now works in the camera. Which is really great because my honey and I are headed to a lake house this weekend and I want to take good pictures while we’re there.

On another note, I made a new green smoothie combo that I just had to share!

Tropical green smoothie makes two servings, so I stuck one in the fridge for breakfast

1 cup plain yogurt

1 banana

1 large kiwi

1/2 mango

1 tbsp maple syrup

1 cup kale

1 cup spinach

5 ice cubes

1 tbsp flax seed

Begin by cutting and peeling the mango (frozen would work too). Cut the ends off of the kiwi and rinse well under water. Leave the skin on and cut into chunks. Add yogurt, banana, kiwi, and diced mango to blender, followed by the maple syrup. Add the kale and spinach, then blend. Add ice and let blend some more. Add in the flax seed and let blend for a little longer. Serve in your favorite glass!

Moving along to the heart of this post- circuits. I’ve posted about them before, but I’m going to share about a different circuit I recently tried.

As I’ve mentioned before, I work at a university. This has afforded me some incredible opportunities over the past three years. My favorite opportunity thus far was last semester.

There are students in an upper-level kinesiology class who have to do fitness testing and personal training as part of their class. Lucky for me, they ask faculty and staff members to be the guinea pigs! In years past, I hadn’t been able to work it into my schedule to sign up for the program, so I was really glad I was able to do it this time around.

I got paired with a student I had worked with during her freshmen year (my first year there as well), so it was fun to work with her again. She and I bonded and agreed to keep in touch and try to work out together again, since she is finishing up her senior year this fall. I learned a lot from her and seriously ramped up my workouts because of her. She would ‘train’ me on Mondays and then give me workouts to do during the week. Some weeks I followed to a T and some I just did my own thing, but made sure I got in a similar workout. Throughout the process, I lost 4 lbs and gained a ton of muscle- especially in my calves and triceps. I was the fittest I’ve ever been! Over the summer, I kept up with my workouts enough to stay strong, but I put back on those few pounds I lost. (I blame it all on our damn dog who has sucked my morning time dry!!!)

Anyways, now that school has started again, I contacted her to see when we could workout because I desperately need to get back into things. We finally got to work out together on Tuesday and we did a workout that we did last semester: a circuit at the gym.

Now, this isn’t just any old circuit. It’s a kick ass workout made easy. A racquetball court is set up with 14 different stations, and a grad student has a stop watch. Each station has a picture of the move and the equipment necessary for it. You can start at any open station and do the circuit as many times as you want. We ended up doing it twice through which was just tough enough to have us sweating pretty good and feeling a little sore. You do each move for one minute and the grad student lets you know when there are 30 seconds left, 10 seconds left and then when to switch. It’s great because you don’t have to worry about watching the time (which I think makes it go faster!).

Below is a list of the different exercises at the circuit yesterday (in no particular order). At some stations, there were two different weight options, so you could choose how hard to go. Also, you can skip a station if you’re uncomfortable doing the move or if you’d rather do a different move, you can. It’s pretty open and flexible, but it offers up the opportunity to get a great workout in without having to fight for the equipment in the gym.

Circuit

  1. Skull crushers with body bar
  2. Forward lunges with weights
  3. Step ups
  4. Jumping jacks
  5. Crunches
  6. Reverse flyes
  7. Weighted punches
  8. Mountain climbers
  9. Rope ladder
  10. Biceps curls
  11. Calf raises with body bar
  12. Deadlifts
  13. Push ups on a Bosu
  14. Front kicks

As you can see, the circuit was a total-body workout with simple moves. It was awesome! Even though I got home later than usual (closer to 7), I had so much energy, I was able to shower, play with the dog, make dinner, do dishes and post recipes last night. All before heading to bed around 9:45pm. I think I need to workout after work more often!

Have you ever worked out with a personal trainer?

Pickin’ fruit

I am a fruit-pickin machine this summer!

It all started with blueberry picking way back in June. Then I did A LOT of blackberry picking throughout the summer. I also did a little peach picking at my aunt-in-law’s a few weeks back, but they were pretty tiny.

But today beats them all! As I mentioned yesterday, I made an apple cobbler with apples from our own tree. There were so many of them that were up too high for us to reach, so today we hauled out the big guns!

Yep! My honey loaded me in the bucket and raised me up to reach the apples! I was a bit scared at first, but it was such a cool experience knowing I was picking fruit from our own yard (seeing as how my garden has been pitiful this year, this was a big boost to the ego :)).

Going up!

This little guy held on all throughout the crazy wind yesterday!

The view from above 🙂 I will never get tired of this view!

Since my arms weren’t long enough, I had to use a stick to get the apples down. I felt like I was playing with a pinata!

My honey and Titan watched from below. They also thought it was funny to just leave me up there while they wrestled!

The back of our house. One day I plan to post about our house from start to finish (all 2 1/2 years of it!). The short version is this: we added the rock part onto the 18th century log cabin. I promise I’ll elaborate in the future 🙂 To see the front of the house, check out my About Me page.

The bounty of my efforts!

Haha! Just kidding! I got way more than that! Since I had to knock down most of them, my honey picked them up and put them in a bowl.

Flying high! Getting ready to go back down!

About them there peaches….

Last week, the people we get our raw milk from told me about a local orchard that only charges $15 a bushel for peaches! $15! That’s practically stealing them! Because I have been loving peaches for the past month or so (and spending $5 per 1/4 peck, which is like 7 or 8 peaches), I told my honey we needed to go find this orchard because I needed more peaches! So we loaded up our pup in the car and set out.

What a beautiful place! It is called High Places Orchard and it is right off of 522 outside of Front Royal (if anyone is in the area, I highly recommend going!). They also had about 10 different varieties of apples! We picked up some golden delicious, gala and one we’re not sure of! The best thing was you could mix and match any of the apples and it was still just $14 for a bushel!

Since it is just my honey and I, we opted for 1/2 a bushel of peaches and 1/2 a bushel of apples (yes, I realize that is still a crazy amount for two people, but we plan to share with family!). Plus, I picked up some local honey for pretty cheap. Grand total: $17.75!

Titan loved the adventure! He passed out on the way home and I’m hoping he’ll fall asleep again here soon so my honey and I can enjoy something peachy 🙂

Please share your favorite peach and apple recipes!!! Cobblers are already in the works, as are lots and lots of smoothies! 

Now THIS is my new favorite smoothie!

I didn’t think I could do it after my peanut butter banana smoothie, but I DID!

I was running low on fruit and wouldn’t have a chance to get to the farmer’s market this week to pick up some peaches for my other favorite smoothie (a girl can have more than one favorite, right?!), a peach banana smoothie. As they say, “necessity is the mother of invention.” Since I absolutely needed a smoothie, I had to get creative.

I had recently seen that Kath used cantaloupe in a smoothie, and I was inspired. Luckily, cantaloupe was on sale at the store I stopped at! I also decided that I should get some oranges and see how that would taste in a smoothie. Neither of these fruits are on the dirty dozen list, so I didn’t mind not buying organic, plus they are cheap! Two bucks for a cantaloupe that will make about 7 smoothies? Don’t mind if I do!

Thus, a new favorite smoothie was born 🙂

Orangey Banana Smoothie

The cantaloupe makes this extra creamy and adds a fun flavor. I could really ‘feel’ the orange in this smoothie, so I would probably blend it for a little longer next time, but the citrus flavor boost really shined! 

1/2 cup plain yogurt

1 banana

1 cup frozen cantaloupe (add ice cubes if it isn’t frozen)

1/2 a small orange

1 cup spinach

Place all ingredients in blender in the order they are listed above. Puree to desired consistency!

 

I am currently cooking up a storm in the kitchen again! I am having some special company over tonight! At work, I supervise a grad student who supervises 8 undergrad students. They are all coming out for a Mexican fiesta and I couldn’t be more excited!

Inspired by Ashley‘s Taco Night Done Right, I am trying out a few new recipes that I hope to share soon. I’m trying out her black bean and potato filling, along with a modified version of her spiced veggies. I also whipped up my own version of Mexican rice, and then I will be ending the meal with an American classic- apple cobbler with homemade vanilla ice cream! I’m following my recipe for Blueberry Cobbler and using apples from our own apple tree!!

I’m saying a little prayer for the folks being hit by Hurricane Irene right now! It has been cloudy and windy and raining on and off here all morning. We’re far enough inland so that will be the worst of it for us. I hope everyone stays safe this weekend!

 

My new favorite smoothie!

After my 3 mile run the other night, I wasn’t sure what to eat. I had vegetable soup waiting for me (I promise to post the recipe soon!), but I just wasn’t feeling it. As I snacked on chips and homemade salsa (heavy on the apple cider vinegar this time!), I was reading Tina’s blog and was immediately inspired by the smoothie she made. And by immediately, I mean I stopped reading mid-post and got up to make myself a similar one!

There were two reasons I decided to make this smoothie: 1) I had no fruit or spinach for my green smoothies, but I had PB and bananas, so it was destined to be, and 2) it was exactly what I wanted (even though I had never had it before!)

Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie

I had heard (and read about) other people making PB and banana smoothies, but I always turned my nose up at them. I thought that couldn’t possibly be a good combo because I’m not a fan of putting PB on bananas in general. Boy was I wrong!  With the ice and the cream, it comes out almost like a milkshake! I have now made this smoothie four times and plan to keep on making it! 

Makes about 16 oz

1/4 cup plain yogurt

1/2 cup raw cream

1 banana

1/4 cup peanut butter

1 tbsp cocoa powder (optional)

ice

Place all ingredients, except ice, in a blender and blend until smooth. Add in the ice a few cubes at a time until it reaches desired consistency. Pour into a glass, smile really big and enjoy 🙂

The surprising thing about this smoothie was how filling it was! I ended up just drinking this for dinner because it filled me up so much. I made it for breakfast the other morning and it kept me full until 10:30am! The only downside to this smoothie is the nutritional info. The spinach really kicks up the nutritional value of my green smoothies and I feel like I’m drinking a really healthy salad. However, the PB banana one is more like a filling dessert.

Have you ever made a PB banana smoothie? Do you like the PB and banana combo?

Workout Wednesday?

I realize that today isn’t Wednesday, but I didn’t workout yesterday, so let’s pretend it’s Wednesday. Actually, let’s not. Because if it is Wednesday, then I need to go back to work, and I’m really excited to not be at work today. Okay, so it’s really Thursday, and we’re not going to pretend it’s Wednesday, but I’m going to do my Wednesday post on Thursday. Okay? Thanks 🙂

SUPER EXCITING NEWS!!!

I get to see this little one (and the big guy too!) today!!! My niece Ally is almost 3 months old and I have yet to meet her! My brother and his wife live all the way out in Minnesota, but they are in town this weekend for our family reunion (more to come on that tomorrow!). I’m so stinkin’ excited to meet her 🙂

So, I took the day off today and again tomorrow to see them and then prep for the family reunion, which means I got to do an extra long workout today! I took a rest day yesterday, so I hit it pretty hard today. I like to do circuits and mix it in with some running, so I did just that today. Inspired by this workout from Girl in the Pink, I added a little extra to the workout.

Here’s what I did today:

Warm up

Total body circuit- times 3

  • Run 1/2 mile (a 1/4 mile from my house and back)
  • Kettlebell swings- 20
  • Burpees- 20
  • Jumping Jacks- 75

30-20-10 workout 

  • Jump squats
  • Calf raises
  • Biceps curls
  • Triceps dips
  • Bicycle crunches

I did the total body circuit once, then did 30 reps of the other moves. Then, repeated the circuit and then 20 reps of the moves, followed by another circuit and then just 10 reps of the moves.

I will be the first to admit that I did not fuel up properly for this workout. I went with yogurt and half a banana….it’s worked before, but I think I need something more like peanut butter  to get me through a tough workout. I stopped after one whole time through and ate a cookie I made last night (recipe to come, I promise!), and drank some water. It really helped me push through the rest of the workout. It’s already in the mid 80’s with lots of humidity, so I was completely drenched by the end of this! I did some Yoga stretches as my cool down afterwards, then went in for breakfast. I’m pretty sure I made the best smoothie ever 🙂

Sweet green smoothie

  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1 kiwi
  • 1 peach
  • 2 slices of crenshaw melon
  • lots of spinach
  • splash of vanilla
  • handful of ice

Blend to desired consistency

I’m off to clean up the house a little and then head over to my parents’ house to meet my niece!!! Lots of pictures to come 🙂

Does your family live close? Do you see them a lot if they do?

Two recipe Tuesday

It is Tuesday, right? My summers are much slower than during the school year, so I tend to forget what day it is!

So I decided it should be Two recipe Tuesday here, which means I have two different recipes for you today! The first is a typical breakfast for me and the second is a new creation that came out of necessity, rather than creativity.

Raw green yumminess!

Okay, so I typically go back and forth between oatmeal and smoothies for breakfast during the week, depending on the time I have and if I’ve worked out in the morning. I have always made pretty boring smoothies with very typical ingredients; however, I have found a few new super healthy ingredients to add to them. I tend to just wing it with most ingredients, so I’m sorry for not very specific measurements!

  • raw milk yogurt
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1 raw egg
  • 1 banana
  • handful of frozen strawberries
  • splash of vanilla
  • raw milk
  • 2 tbsp  ground flax seed

1. Add the ingredients to a blender in the following order: yogurt, spinach, egg (if using. Yes, I said a raw egg! It’s very good for you, but please make sure it came from a good home. This was from my aunt-in-law’s chickens and I hand picked the eggs last weekend).

2. Add a splash of vanilla. Blend for at least a minute and thin out with milk to desired consistency.

3. Add ground flax seed after everything is blended together and let blend for another minute or so. Enjoy in your favorite glass!

Or as in my honey’s case, take a swig, shake your head violently and proclaim “it’s too sour!” He’s such a sissy sometimes! He reminded me though that you could sweeten it up a bit if you’d like by adding a little maple syrup, honey, or agave nectar. I felt like a mom when I said “take two more sips and I’ll be happy!” He made me happy 🙂 He also commented that he never thought a time would come when I would like something and he wouldn’t. Head on over here to see what I was eating before I met him.

Cream of roasted veggies soup

We had friends over on Saturday night and I had lots of veggies in the fridge. I figured I’d roast some perfectly to “tender with a little crisp” for a nice healthy addition to our meal. What I ended up doing was roasting veggies to practically mush!! I accidentally set the oven at 425 and left them in there for 20 minutes…don’t be like me!! They were okay enough to eat on Saturday, but I knew the leftovers would not live through the night in the fridge and be okay on Sunday.

Therefore, I knew the only thing to do: make soup…in early June when it has been over 80 degrees out lately! It turned out fabulous and I highly recommend adding other veggies you like to the mix. I ate it plain and loved it, but I know it would be good with crackers or a hunk of bread (none for me though 😦 ). I had leftover pasta, so I actually used it as a sauce on it today for my lunch, which was also fabulous!

  • 1 butternut squash
  • 2 medium heads of broccoli
  • 3 large carrots
  • 1 large zucchini
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • chicken stock
  • cream
  • 2 tbsp butter

1. Cut up veggies to your liking.

2. Transfer to a bowl and drizzle with a good amount of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste and mix well.

3. Pour onto a pan and roast at 375 for 25 minutes, stirring once halfway through.

4. Let the veggies cool a little, then transfer to a blender or a food processor.

5. Add some chicken broth and puree until smooth, adding more chicken stock if need be.

6. Transfer to a saucepan on the stove and turn on the burner to medium-high.

7. Add cream and butter. Let warm through and taste, adding more salt and pepper or cream if need be.

Serve in a pretty bowl and enjoy!