Anyone who grows mint has it in spades. Anyone who buys mint also probably has extra and wants to get their money’s worth. Everyone wins! In the fall, our herb garden goes bananas and I’m seeking all the ways to use the herbs at hand. I hadn’t made a smoothie with mint this whole season, not since last year’s mojito smoothie (which is also a delicious one). The mint flavor is also perfect to go with a green smoothie. Adding the chocolate flavor muddies the color, but it is ohh-so-worth it.
Chocolate Mint Smoothie
1 cup spinach/kale
1/2 cup greek vanilla yogurt
1/2 apple, frozen
1/2 banana, frozen
hand-full of fresh mint leaves
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1 tablespoon ground flax seeds
Add greens, vanilla, and milk. Blend throughly.
Then add in the apple, banana, mint, cocoa powder, ground flax seeds.
I loved this one! It tastes like dessert but starting the day with a fruit and a veggie is the best. The mint is nicely refreshing and the chocolate makes this taste like a total treat. If the color turns you off, pop it into a cup with a cover. This is totally a keeper!
Use your mint for these mojito shrimp and in this zucchini/ricotta/herb pasta and then for this smoothie!
This one is a keeper! I whipped it up for breakfast but it could definitely be your dessert, or add a splash of a fruity liquor and you’ve got yourself a very frosty beverage! The fruity flavors really stand out and feel summery, without being exactly tropical. I wanted to add some pineapple but pregnancy heartburn is no joke so I kept it simple. I loved it so much that now I want to add this to my popsicle molds! It is mid/late July and I haven’t made popsicles yet! Where’s the time going???
The little guy liked this one a lot and asked for seconds. It was a great way to better introduce fruits we don’t have all the time. Just after this smoothie, he ate some cherries with grandma remembering he had them before!
Cherry Mango Smoothie
1 cup mango (I used frozen)
1 cup cherries (I used frozen)
1/2 large banana or 1/2 pear
3/4 cup vanilla Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons ground flax seeds (optional)
1/2 cup milk/water/juice (I used some milk & some water)
Add the fruits, yogurt, and flaxseeds to the blender and blend.
Stream in liquid until your desired consistency.
I go thick but drinkable with my fav aluminum straws or if I’m bopping around in the morning it might melt a bit before I finish. In this summer’s heat, that doesn’t take long around here! I loved how fruity and bright this smoothie is! I was inspired by a Polar seltzer flavor- despite never drinking seltzer. I’m not so into bubbles…except for champagne! The fruit combo was great since they are both easy to have on hand from the freezer – which also means, no slicing & dicing!
I’m boarder-line out of smoothie ideas that I’m into right now so I figured I’d healthify some of my tried & true. Way back in 2013 I made a chocolate cherry one with some chocolate sauce, frozen cherries, apples, and yogurt. This time, I started with a green base and added frozen cherries, ground flaxseed, and unsweetened cocoa. It was so great! Also it is an easy one to sneak the greens into.
I use smoothies as a breakfast, pretty much a meal for ~14 oz and then have a half an English muffin or do a mid-morning snack of dry cereal or a hard boiled egg. I’m also currently 7 1/2 months pregnant and always hungry. I like smoothies to be frosty and thick so I use a frozen fruit, also I continually stir it with my fav metal straws but for a thinner/more drinkable one skip the yogurt and defrost the cherries.
Healthier Chocolate Cherry Smoothie
3/4 cup of yogurt
1 cup greens (mine were started as fresh spinach & baby kale mix which then went into the freezer before they went bad)
~1 cup liquid (I used milk or try water or a red juice)
1 1/2 cups frozen cherries
1-2 teaspoons cocoa powder
1-2 teaspoons ground flaxseed
Always, always, always blend the greens, liquid, and yogurt together first (unless you have a $800 blender). Blend for a minute or 2.
Add in the cherries, ground flaxseed, and cocoa powder.
Blend well for ~2 minutes on high.
Serve and enjoy!
I loved this smoothie! The little one did too. I’d totally recommend this one to anyone who is hesitant about the greens (or any smoothie with cherries or blueberries since the color will camouflage greens). The greens really just add a veggie to your day, and who doesn’t need another green veggie? I cannot sip most green juices but love it in smoothies!
The flaxseed also doesn’t have flavor or grit. The Registered Dietitians I used to work with said grind ‘em. Whole flax seeds will usually just pass right through you. I pop them into my coffee grinder so smoothies have some additional fiber, plant-based protein, fatty acids, etc.
The cocoa was great for chocolate flavor without any additional sugar. Frozen cherries are the best since they’re already pitted. They’re one of the better frozen fruits to eat thawed too.
I’m on a serious smoothie kick lately now that it has warmed up a bit. The dead of winter is never when I want to start the day with a frosty smoothie. Know what I mean? I like them to start with greens, but this one was a bit different. I wanted raspberry flavor without the annoying crunch of raspberry seeds. Ugg. They’re the worst. I used some jam and it was perfect! I got a kick of flavor and sweetness without the bulk or texture.
Peach Raspberry Smoothie
Ingredients: for 1-2 servings
1 cup frozen peaches
1 cup yogurt
2 teaspoons raspberry jam
1/2 cup water or juice or milk
Add peaches, yogurt, jam, and liquid to a blender.
Blend well and add another splash of liquid if needed.
I loved this! I used a little V8 Splash in a Berry Blend flavor. The jam definitely sweetened it so water or milk as the liquid would be good for balance. The raspberry flavor was definitely there without that gritty crunch. Yay! Jelly is a fun way to get another flavor & sweetness into a smoothie without the bulk of another ingredient! The possibilities are endless!
Add in some cauliflower, chia or ground flaxseed, or protein powder to up the nutritional content. This smoothie is mild and sweet so it was a nice variation in the rotation for green-based smoothies. Another favorite of mine I haven’t made in awhile is this Peanut Butter, Nutella, and Banana one. They both are very kid friendly will nicely space out green ones or berry flavors if you hit your max on those flavors!
There are more smoothies to come! Stay tuned!
Fancy coffees at home without any fancy tools! I found the secret to the perfect snickerdoodle latte! It took a few tries to get the sugary cinnamon flavor, but the trick is: brown sugar simple syrup and some frothy milk!
Don’t abandon thinking it is too much work. This couldn’t be easier. Simple syrup is sugar and water dissolved. Easy peasy and then pop leftover into the fridge to use the rest of the week. The milk gets warmed and shaken up in a jar for some froth….couldn’t be easier. Trust me, your Friday morning neeeeds this. I used coffee (partially decaf since I’m preggers) but go for espresso if you like!
Ingredients: (for 2)
~1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoons molasses
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup water
2 cups hot coffee (or 2 espresso shots)
1 cup of milk
In a pot, bring brown sugar, molasses, and water to a boil. Stir and remove from the heat.
Optional: rim mugs with cinnamon sugar
Brew the coffee (or espresso) and pour into the mugs with a teaspoon of the simple syrup. Stir well.
Pour the milk into a glass car (without the lid) and microwave for 10 seconds. Stir or swirl it around, and heat again for another 10 seconds. Then cover it and shake vigorously.
Slowly pour the milk into the mugs keeping the foam in the jar. A spoon helps push it to the side allowing the milk to still flow out.
Spoon the foam onto the top. Sprinkle cinnamon onto the top.
I tried this first (without the simple syrup) and it just didn’t have enough flavor. It just didn’t read cinnamon & sweet enough. Having the leftover syrup around is perfect to make these again, or even to spoon into my to-go cup for some sweet cinnamon cookie flavor.
Serve these at brunch, as an afternoon treat, or pour into a travel mug to start Friday just a bit sweeter.
Hints of warmer weather bring smoothies back into the breakfast rotations! I love a frozen element in them so I give them a reprieve for the winter. This one is delicate but has slightly tropical flavored from the pineapple and coconut almond milk. I wish it were delightfully yellow, but pineapple + yogurt + milk = mostly white. I added in some ground flax seeds so mind the brown flecks.
Pineapple Coconut Smoothie
Ingredients (for 1, as a meal)
~3/4 cup Greek yogurt in vanilla or coconut
1 cup frozen pineapple
2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
1 cup coconut almond milk
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
water, if needed
Add yogurt, pineapple, flaxseed, coconut almond milk, and almond extract to a blender.
Blend together thoroughly. Add a splash of water if needed for desired consistency.
I loved the subtlety in this smoothie. It was filling from the yogurt but that could be skipped and the pineapple could be increased if it weren’t functioning as breakfast – well, it was second breakfast at 8am before heading to work after a piece of banana bread with the fam at 6:30am.
My fav dietitians told me to grind the flax seeds or the nutritional benefit is really wasted. Good to know, right? I store it as seeds and pop through the coffee grinder before using. I used coconut almond milk because I really love the flavor and don’t love regular milk alone. I only get it a few times a year because it a) costs more; b) has less protein than regular milk; c) it also has more sugar then regular milk; d) it is delicious in coffee! It is a treat and it hits the spot as dessert sometimes.
I’d imagine a bit of mango would have colored this nicely too. I almost grated some fresh ginger in, but I was trying to keep it simple. The touch of almond extract is perfect here. I totally tasted it and thought it was a great pairing.
I can’t stop! Hot chocolate with all the flavorings and toppings are like the acceptable version of a sundae anytime of the day! This hot chocolate is caramel, chocolate, and pecans- just like the candy turtle!
I used some salted caramel hot chocolate mix (half that, half regular) but a generous spoonful of caramel sauce into the hot chocolate works great too! I stole my pecans out of trail mix but walnuts taste great if you have them instead.
Turtle Hot Chocolate, for 2
hot water & cocoa mix, quantities according to package (6-8oz per mug)
1-2 teaspoons salted caramel sauce
1/2 teaspoon almond extract (or spike it with almond liquor! I didn’t even think of that at the time!!)
1 teaspoon chocolate hazelnut spread
5-6 pecans, chopped
Prepare the hot chocolate according to the instructions. (I used half salted caramel hot chocolate & half regular.)
Mix hazelnut spread, almond extract, and caramel sauce into the hot chocolate. (I skipped the caramel sauce in the hot chocolate since my mix was flavored).
Top with whipped cream, a drizzle of caramel sauce, and pecans.
This is such a great treat. I wanted a real nutty flavor to come through and I tasted it. I’d totally make this as dessert, or some of those flavors would be good in coffee too! I have another junked up hot chocolate idea…stay tuned! In the meantime there are a few dinners in store.
New England’s frigid temps lately have been ohh so freezing and inspiring all the cozy. I feel accomplished that the little one knows after playing in the snow, the next activity is to: get cozy on the couch…blankets, books, and snuggles. While today might feel like spring here in New England, 50s! Woah! I know there’s some more chilly temps ahead. Thus, where my hot chocolate with raspberry & white chocolate comes in! None for the little one, but I know this’ll be dessert on the couch, some night in the near future again!
This recipe has a few specialty ingredients…which I know I don’t love when I see them in recipes- the white hot chocolate & the raspberry syrup. I’m including a few work-around below if an an alternative is helpful.
Hot Chocolate with Raspberry & White Chocolate
2-3 tablespoons hot chocolate mix (check product for ratios)
1 tablespoon white hot chocolate mix (I used this one, or my grocery store has individual serving packets, 2/$1)
8 oz water/milk
1/4 cup raspberries (I used frozen, plucked from a frozen mixed berry bag)
2 teaspoons raspberry syrup (sold near maple syrups)
Heat water to warm but not boiling & mix in hot chocolate and white hot chocolate. Stir well.
Gently press the raspberries with a spoon to break them down a bit and mix the raspberries & 1 teaspoon of syrup into the hot chocolate.
Spoon out any raspberry solids (if desired – I skimmed a few out)
Add whipped cream & 1 teaspoon of raspberry syrup.
white hot chocolate mix: I used this – partly because we had it. It is a delight in coffee (hot & iced), but peek at the grocery store, or amazon has millions. It feels like it lasts forever. Stir in a few white chocolate chips if that feels easier!
raspberry syrup: I used this – because we also have it for pancakes/waffles. Another idea would be to boil some raspberries with a splash of water & then strain.
LOVED the subtle white chocolate in there. Go full white hot chocolate if that’s your thing. I thought it might be too sweet for me, but it sure would be pretty!
Now that you have your hands wrapped around a cozy drink, is your couch getting as much cozy time as mine?
Cocktail or mocktail! Take your pick! I’ll be real and say I tested & photographed this out during the little one’s naptime so I went mocktail so I could be productive for the afternoon but later the champagne version was delicious!
Bubbly Pomegranate Cider
2 oz Pomegranate juice
4 oz apple cider
1 oz limoncello or citrus vodka (optional)
7 oz ginger ale (mini can) or champagne
Add pomegranate juice to a cocktail shaker with cider and ice. For a cocktail version, add limoncello or citrus vodka.
Shake and pour over ice into 2 glasses.
Top with ginger ale or champagne.
This is a great one to make to order, or to make a big pitcher for guests! I’d totally include this on a mimosa(-ish) bar for brunch! I liked the bubbles to cut the sweetness of the cider & juice. It is an easy one to make to your taste.
I can see kiddos liking the mocktail version while others have the champs in there.
Fall to a T! Apple, caramel, cider, yogurt, and ginger all come together for a breakfast treat, or dessert! This one is a bit sweeter than I usually make for breakfast, but it was so fall, and so delicious.
Caramel Apple Smoothie
Ingredients: (1- 16oz serving breakfast, or 2- 8oz snack or dessert servings)
1 apple, chopped & frozen (optional: peal it for a perfectly smooth smoothie)
1 cup vanilla greek yogurt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
1 cup apple cider
1-2 tablespoons salted caramel sauce
1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
1 cup ice
Add apple, yogurt, cinnamon, and ginger to a blender.
Add cider, caramel sauce, flaxseed, and ice.
Blend well and serve with a drizzle of caramel. Enjoy!
I loved this! The cider and the caramel made it super sweet but the frozen cool-factor made this so perfect for this surprisingly warm fall. This would make a great dessert too.