Great Green Smoothies

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It has taken me a while to try the veggie smoothie. Maybe it’s the green color or the fear of new things or maybe it was the kale, but I was a little skeptical that a veggie smoothie would taste good.  I held off making them for months, all the while checking Pinterest for green smoothie recipes. Now I wonder why on earth I didn’t give it a go sooner.

These smoothies are not sweet like their fruity cousins, but they have a fresh, clean flavor that is wonderful and energizing. We are experimenting with different flavors to find a balance that is sweet enough for Ellie, but not all fruit. I’ll post our successful recipes here, so check back! One reason I like the blended smoothie over a juiced variety, is that I still have all the fiber in the vegetables and their skins–it really does keep me full a long time.

The texture of these smoothies is very thick, and they are best enjoyed through a straw unless you like a nice, green mustache. We found these great, compostable straws at Whole Foods!

Great Green Smoothies (makes one smoothie)

  • 2 organic apples, washed, cored and cut into 6-8 pieces each
  • 2 stalks organic celery, washed and trimmed
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 organic cucumber, washed (not peeled)
  • 1 large handful organic baby spinach, washed
  • 1 tablespoon organic maca root powder
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  1. Put all ingredients in a high-powered blender.
  2. Blend on high until all the ingredients are pureed.
  3. Serve chilled or over ice.
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Maple Pecan Muffins

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I enjoy making muffins each week for family breakfasts and snacks, and this is my first batch of fall-flavored muffins for the year. These muffins are nutty, tender and just a bit sweet. The flavors are more subtle than mixes with maple flavoring–I like that, but you can also add 1/2 teaspoon of maple flavoring if you want to oomph up the maple. One of the things I like most about making my own muffins is that I know exactly what is in them (and what isn’t). Yes to whole wheat flour, organic sugar, locally harvested nuts and real butter. No to transfats, oils, food coloring and synthetic flavoring chemicals.

As with any baking involving nuts, I definitely recommend toasting the pecans before adding them to the mix–toasting definitely adds a depth to the pecan flavor that you won’t have otherwise. We are trying to watch our sugar intake, so these don’t have a fancy streusel topping or icing, but you could certainly add that if you like! We just topped them with pecan halves and a little sprinkle of organic, brown sugar. Simple, cozy and yummy!

Maple Pecan Muffins (makes 12 muffins)

  • 1 1/2 cups pecan halves
  • 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick unsalted, organic butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup organic brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (or maple)
  • 2 farm eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 12 pecan halves
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Put the pecan halves in a shallow baking pan and toast them for 4-5 minutes. Remove and let cool. Chop the pecans into fairly small chunks. Set aside.
  2. Line a muffin tin with bleach-free liners or oil with a small amount of coconut oil. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir well.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, combine butter, sugar, syrup, extract, eggs, vanilla and yogurt. Mix well.
  5. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined.
    Fold in the chopped pecans.

  6. Fill the muffin tins 3/4 full and top each muffin with a pecan half and a sprinkle of brown sugar.
  7. Bake for 20-22 minutes.
  8. Cool individual muffins on a cooling rack.
  9. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week or wrap and freeze for up to three months.

Skinny McMuffin

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Some days, I want more than Ezekiel bread for breakfast. And some mornings are game days, and I want to fuel up my player with something healthy and satisfying, but not too heavy. These breakfast sandwiches are based on a popular fast food offering, but healthified. They have less fat, less cholesterol, less sodium and more protein than the drive-thru version. I could have these for breakfast, lunch or dinner. They are so good. And they are quick. From start to finish, about 5 minutes. For mine, I also add a few pieces of roasted asparagus and some arugula pesto. Ahhhhh, breakfast!

Skinny McMuffin (one sandwich)

Per sandwich: 390 calories and 24.8 grams of protein

  • 1 whole grain English muffin
  • 1 farm egg
  • 1 slice prosciutto
  • 1 slice cheese
  • 1 teaspoon organic mayonnaise
  • Kosher salt and pepper, to taste
  1. In a toaster, toast the English muffin lightly.
  2. Heat a non-stick pan to medium heat.
  3. When muffin is lightly toasted, put on a plate and top one half with the slice of prosciutto. Top the other half with the mayonnaise.
  4. Crack the egg in the pan and cook for about 2 minutes. Flip egg over and top with the cheese, so cheese will melt while egg cooks.
  5. Cook egg 1-2 minutes more and add cooked egg and cheese on top of prosciutto.
  6. Top with remaining muffin half and serve!

Fruit and Oatmeal Breakfast Bars

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We love breakfast. My morning is just not right until I’ve had a good supply of coffee and either oatmeal or Ezekiel bread toasted with homemade jam. I do not understand people who can pop out of bed and move through their day without eating anything. I am one crabby person without breakfast! Since we are up and out of the house by 7, we are also fond of the mid-morning snack. Typically, I make Tom muffins to take to work, but this week I explored new territory with breakfast bars made with oats and dried fruit. We started with a recipe from Clean Eating magazine and changed it up a bit. The original recipe is a bit bland (to us), but good, so we gave it a bit of oomph. Cause a little oomph is what we need at about 10:00 every morning! These bars are easy to make, unbelievably filling, high in fiber and low in fat. You can use any dried fruit combination you like. I like the tartness of the cherries and cranberries, but apple and blueberries would be good, too! If you’re looking for a more decadent breakfast, you could add cocoa nibs or dark chocolate chips. Because dried fruits are very concentrated, this is one area where I really go out and buy organic. Any toxins on the original fruit will be concentrated down along with the fruit pulp and that is not a good thing.

Fruit and Oatmeal Breakfast Bars (makes 16 bars 2″ x 2″)

  • 4 cups organic rolled oats
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 whole farm egg and 3 egg whites
  • 1 cup unsweetened, organic applesauce (we substituted our homemade peach butter!)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3 tbsp. raw honey
  • 3 tbsp. maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup chopped organic dried apricots
  • 1/4 cup organic dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup organic dried tart cherries
  • 1/4 cup raw slivered almonds
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Lightly grease a 8″ x 11″ baking pan and set aside.
  3. Combine the oats, flour, cinnamon and salt in a large mixing bowl.
  4. In a smaller bowl, whisk the eggs and egg whites. Add the applesauce, vanilla, honey and syrup and whisk again.
  5. Add the liquid to the oat mixture and mix well.
  6. Add the dried fruit and mix again. Pour the oat mixture into the pan and press into place. Top with slivered almonds (I pressed them into the bars a bit) and bake 30 minutes.
  7. Let cool in the pan and cut into 16 pieces. These will keep in an airtight container for 3-5 days.
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