Chocolate Peanut Butter and Banana Smoothie

Chocolate, peanut butter and banana are one of those flavour combinations that can be enjoyed any time of year. And booooooy do I ever!

I love it when a smoothie can feel like a dessert, and this recipe totally hits all the right spots. It’s jam packed with chocolate, peanut butter, avocado and banana making my world complete one sip at a time.

Enjoy your weekend everyone!! I’ll be kicking back with one of these!

Chocolate Peanut Butter and Banana Smoothie
Recipe lightly adapted from Baked Bree
Makes 1 smoothie

Ingredients:
1 cup Chocolate Almond milk
1 tbsp smooth peanut butter
1/4 of an avocado
1 tsp coconut oil
1 frozen banana
2-4 ice cubes, for desired thickness

Directions:
Blend all ingredients together until smooth and garnish with a banana chunk.

Homemade Vanilla Almond Milk

After dealing with weird digestive issues and stomach problems for the majority of my life, I decided last summer to start experimenting with food and figure out what the problem was. Sure, it took me 23 years, but it’s better late than never!

I started with eliminating dairy from my diet for a month, and lucky for me that’s all I needed to do to fix my problems! No more pain! And I figured it out on the first try. From then on I started trying various kinds of “milks”, and found almond milk was by far my favorite – vanilla almond milk to be specific.

This recipe is ridiculously easy, and waaaay cheaper than buying almond milk from the store. I have a smoothie every morning for breakfast so almond milk goes mega-fast in this house. Hope you like the recipe!

To make this, first soak the raw almonds in water for at least 6 hours, and then drain them.

Pour the almonds into a blender and add the cold filtered water.

Blend well. When you see a froth on the top, stop blending.

Add the vanilla and honey. Blend again for another 20-30 seconds.

Take the cheesecloth, and fold to ensure it is at least 4 layers thick. Put the cheesecloth on the top of the pitcher and secure it with a big elastic band. Use your fist to push some of the cheesecloth down into the pitcher so that it is not tight on top. Pour the almond mix through the cheesecloth into the pitcher.

It’s like a science project!

Use a big spoon to help push the milk through the mass of almond and into the pitcher. You can scoop out the thick paste when it builds up.

Enjoy! It’s best when it’s cold. Mmm.

Homemade Vanilla Almond Milk
Recipe taken from Tasty Kitchen

Ingredients:
1 cup raw almonds, unsalted
4 cups cold, filtered water
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp Honey

Directions:
1. Soak the raw almonds covered in water for at least 6 hours, and then drain them.
2. Pour the almonds into a blender and add the cold filtered water.
3. Blend well. When you see a froth on the top, stop blending.
4. Add the vanilla and honey.
5. Blend again for another 20-30 seconds.
6. Take the cheesecloth, and fold to ensure it is at least 4 layers thick.
7. Put the cheesecloth on the top of the pitcher and secure it with a big elastic band. Use your fist to push some of the cheesecloth down into the pitcher so that it is not tight on top.
8. Pour the almond mix through the cheesecloth into the pitcher.
9. Use a big spoon to help push the milk through the mass of almond and into the pitcher.

And voila, you have Almond Milk!

Note: For a sugar-free option, eliminate the honey and add Stevia instead to taste.

Banana Yogurt Breakfast Smoothie

Another smoothie? YES! And if you’re new here, hi! Hope you like smoothies.

This is the last blended awesomeness I have for you this week. I had so much fun doing this! Actually, I got so into it that I ended up making waaay more than 5 smoothies. So, I’ll have a bunch to share with you at a later date, which is exciting.

This smoothie is truly full of goodness. Greek yogurt, banana, honey, and almond milk blended together to help you beat the heat. And boooooy do I need this!

All you have to do is throw all of your ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth(ie). he he

Drink up!

And don’t forget to enter my giveaway that ends this Sunday! Yes, I said Saturday before, BUT I’m going camping this weekend and will be without internet for a few days. Silly me.

Banana Yogurt Breakfast Smoothie
Recipe taken from Tracey’s Culinary Adventures
Makes 2 cups

Ingredients:
1/2 cup milk (I used vanilla almond milk)
1/2 cup crushed ice
1 tablespoon honey
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 frozen sliced ripe large banana
1 cup plain Greek yogurt (I used nonfat)

Directions:
Combine milk, ice, honey, nutmeg and the banana in a blender. Press the top on tightly then process for 2 minutes or until smooth. Add the yogurt and process just until blended and serve!

Pina Colada Smoothie

Something super exciting is happening this weekend – I’m going camping on a lake with my boy! Another item that will be checked off of my summer bucket list. Awesome! As I mentioned before, I’ve already gone strawberry picking and made my own strawberry jam, so this will be the second thing to check off!

I am kind of cheating though…you see, camping is something my boy and I try to do as much as we can anyway. It’s so nice to get away from the city and spend time together. Plus, we just bought a new fancy tent and seriously need to check it out.

I made this smoothie this morning and absolutely love it! I have issues with frozen pineapple, an usually hate it, but totally loooove it in this smoothie! The avocado makes it totally delicious. You must try! All you need to do is throw all of your ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. Voila!

OH! And don’t forget to enter my giveaway for a $50 Amazon gift card! Contest ends on Sunday. Good luck!

Pina Colada Smoothie
Serves 1
Recipe taken from Baked Bree

Ingredients:
1 cup vanilla almond milk (or any other milk)
1/4 cup diced mango, frozen
1/4 cup pineapple, frozen
1/4 of an avocado
1/2 frozen banana
2 Tablespoons flaked coconut

Directions:
Throw all of the ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. Pour into a glass and enjoy!

Strawberry Banana Smoothie

When it’s June I’m not only excited about the awesome appearance of summertime weather, but also the arrival of strawberry season. It rocks my socks.

This past Sunday the boy and I woke up early and went strawberry picking at one of the local farms. The picking was simply awesome. We picked 4 L of berries in about 20 minutes without having to go down the patch very far at all. So fun!

Also, strawberry picking and making homemade jam is on my summer bucket list! Soooo there’s one thing checked off!!

To make these, simply throw all of the ingredients into your blender and blend until it’s all combined.

Pour into glass and serve!

Strawberry Banana Smoothie
Makes 2 servings
Recipe taken from Simply Scratch

Ingredients:
1 frozen banana
1 cup strawberries, hulled and halved
3/4 cup vanilla yogurt (I used vanilla greek yogurt)
1/4 cup whole milk
1/2 tablespoon honey
pinch of cinnamon

Directions:
Throw all of the ingredients into the blender and blend until all combined.

Pour into glass and serve!

BUT WAIT! Don’t forget to enter my giveaway for a $50 Amazon gift card! Contest ends this Saturday.

Banana Chocolate Smoothie

When there is chocolate in my smoothie I know I’m having a great day. You could tell me that I smell bad or that my shoes look like 1990’s high tops, but I won’t care – because hunny, I’ve had a wicked awesome smoothie today for 5 times cheaper than your shotty Starbucks frappuccino (yes, I had to google that spelling).

I’m really enjoying this whole smoothie-week thing. I’m making fun and fabulous smoothies every morning and have been feeling amazing at work! They have totally been carrying me through my day.

This smoothie in particular is filled with chocolate, banana and greek yogurt. Try it out! No disappointments possible! All you have to do is throw all ingredients together in a blender and give them a whirl! Easy, peasy.

OH! And don’t forget to enter my giveaway for a $50 Amazon gift card! Contest ends on Saturday. Good luck!

Banana Chocolate Smoothie
Yield: 2 servings
Recipe taken from Annie’s Eats

Ingredients:
3 frozen bananas, peeled
2 tbsp. chocolate syrup
¾ cup plain greek yogurt
1 tsp. espresso powder (optional)
1 tbsp. flax seed (optional)
½ cup milk, plus more as needed

Directions:
Throw all ingredients together in a blender and give them a whirl! Easy, peasy.

Banana Bread Green Monster Smoothie for Smoothie Week {and an Amazon Giveaway}!

Giveaway Closed

I hate to point out the obvious, but summer totally came early. It’s completely acceptable to wear a bathing suit under your dress and it’s totally acceptable to avoid your black kitty on these crazy hot days. My evil feline has become even more of a cuddle bug when the weather is hot out…yeah, she has a sense of humour.

So naturally, I’ve been making a lot of smoothies and thought I’d share a bunch of wicked awesome blended (and healthy) treats with you this week. This is big for me. Since I started this blog I have never (ever ever) posted for five days straight – but baby, I’m all yours from today until Friday! And I’m giving away a gift card. Awesome.

To make this smoothie combine the ingredients in your blender, with the light stuff on bottom (spinach, oats, cinnamon, walnuts). Then add your frozen banana and pour the milk over the top.

Blend until everything is nice and smooth.

Enjoy!

Banana Bread Green Monster Smoothie
Serves one (or two small servings)
Recipe lightly adapted from Full Measure of Happiness
7 Weight Watchers Points plus per recipe

Ingredients:
1 ripe banana, frozen
1 cup milk (I used vanilla almond milk)
2 handfuls fresh spinach leaves
1/8 C walnuts
1/4 C oats
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Directions:
Combine the ingredients in your blender, with the light stuff on bottom (spinach, oats, cinnamon, walnuts). Then add your banana (and ice, if your banana isn’t frozen), and pour the milk over the top.

Blend until everything is nice and smooth.

Amazon Giveaway Details:
Now that we’ve made this delicious treat, I thought I would ask YOU! Yes, you, to tell me your favorite smoothie recipe! That’s all you have to do to be entered to win a $50 Amazon gift card!

For three EXTRA entries:

Just let me know you did the following (and if you follow me on Facebook and Pinterest already, let me know!)

1. Twitter Follow Warm Vanilla Sugar and then tweet the following:
“I entered to win a $50 Amazon Gift Card from @katrinadingle! Check it! http://bit.ly/NF2Nvb #smoothietime”

2. Like Warm Vanilla Sugar on Facebook

3. Follow Warm Vanilla Sugar on Pinterest

NOTES:
-Contest ends Saturday, June 23, 2012 and winner will be chosen randomly.
-Open to everyone world wide!

Strawberry Basil Mojitos and a Summer Bucket List!

Since summer is fast approaching, I thought I would kick it off with some booze. Strawberry and basil muddled together to make a fun drink for an afternoon or evening sip session. HELLO!

I listen to the Joy the Baker Podcast, and this week the ladies have assigned some fun homework. They want listeners to blog about what’s on their summer bucket list! Awesome! To contribute I have come up with five things that I want to do this summer:

1. Go strawberry picking and make jam with hand-picked strawberries. –> Done!
2. Make homemade dill pickles.
3. Go camping on a lake with my boy. –> Done!
4. Go to a drive-in movie theatre.
5. Cross two items off of my 30 things to do before 30 list (maybe learn to french braid my hair)!

I hope I can get these things done! And I can think of ways to make it happen with a drink….

To begin, make your strawberry syrup.

Then use the back of a spoon or a muddler to bruise the basil in the bottom of the glass.

Add the strawberry syrup and ice.

Add rum.

Top off the drink with sparkling water. Give it a taste here. If it’s not sweet enough you can either add more strawberry syrup or simply add some extra sugar to the drink. I did! Garnish with strawberry slices and basil leaves and serve immediately.

Enjoy! And happy weekend. What’s on your summer bucket list?

Strawberry-Basil Mojitos
Recipe adapted from Pink Parsley
Makes enough for 2 drinks

Strawberry Syrup:
2 cup sliced strawberries
4 tbsp sugar
2 tsp lemon juice
Pinch of salt
4 tbsp cold water

Combine all the ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and puree until smooth. Strain the syrup through a strainer to remove the seeds (or not if you like them). Chill until ready to use.

For each Mojito:
2-3 fresh basil leaves
5 tbs strawberry syrup
Ice
1 1/2 oz. light rum
Sparkling water (enough to fill up whatever glass you’re using)
*optional: extra sugar to taste
Strawberry slices and basil leaves for garnish

Use the back of a spoon or a muddler to bruise the basil in the bottom of the glass. Add the strawberry syrup, ice, and rum, and top off the drink with sparkling water. Give it a taste here. If it’s not sweet enough you can either add more strawberry syrup or simply add some extra sugar to the drink. I sure did!

Garnish with strawberry slices and basil leaves and serve immediately.

Peanut Butter, Banana, and Oat Breakfast Milkshake

Who gets excited for breakfast?! Lordy, before bed every night and sometimes a week in advance I plan my breakfast out, and become extremely excited for morning to come. My typical breakfast rotation includes: steel cut oatmeal, granola and greek yogurt, soft boiled eggs and smoothies.

Smoothies are definitely my breakfast favorite, even though I rarely blog about them. I think it’s because I wake up when it’s still dark outside…I’m an early morning wild child (I don’t know what that means). This smoothie is filled with so much goodness. Honey + Oats + Ground Flax + Banana Goodness. Yes, please!

To begin, grind flax and oats together with a mortar and pestle (or with a spice or coffee grinder).

In a blender combine your choice of milk (I used 1% for this), banana, peanut butter, ground flax and oats.

Add in your delicious honey. Blend until no banana chunks remain, and the mixture is thoroughly incorporated.

Enjoy! This is so easy and delicious. I wish I had more…

Peanut Butter, Banana, and Oat Breakfast Milkshake
Recipe lightly adapted from Joy the Baker
Makes 1 large or 2 small portions

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups milk (soy, almond, or regular milk)
1 banana (frozen is ideal)
1/4 cup peanut butter
1 heaping teaspoon honey
1 tablespoon flax seeds, ground into meal
2 teaspoon old fashioned oats, ground fine

Directions
Grind flax and oats together with a mortar and pestle (or with a spice or coffee grinder).

In a blender combine your choice of milk (I used 1% for this), banana, peanut butter, honey, and ground flax and oats. Blend until no banana chunks remain, and the mixture is thoroughly incorporated.

Pour into a glass and enjoy immediately.

Pumpkin Spice Latte

I’m busy. Next Monday and Thursday are my final exams and I’m swamped with final assignments and studying. Dinners have been a cinch though. Since my boy knows I’m swamped with school, he’s been taking over the kitchen for dinner and whipping up some really awesome eats! Tonight we’re having this quick pasta. Awesome.

Since I’m so busy I really like the times when I can just mellow out and take a breather. I made this latte this morning so that I had something to look forward to last night, and also so that my day started out happy. It’s cheaper than a coffee shop, it’s better than a coffee shop, and it plain and simply makes me happy. Have a great week everyone! xoxo

Pumpkin Spice Latte
From The Pastry Affair who adapted it from The Kitchn
Enough for two large mugs

Ingredients:
2 cups milk
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
2 tablespoons canned pumpkin
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups strongly brewed coffee, hot
Whipped cream (optional, I didn’t use any)

Directions:
In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, warm milk, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, pumpkin, and brown sugar until steaming (do not boil!). Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract. Pour milk mixture into a large blender and blend milk until frothy. Note: Be very careful when blending hot liquids as they expand and blend really quick.

Pour milk mixture evenly between 2 large mugs. Pour 1 cup hot coffee in each mug and top with whipped cream and a sprinkling of cinnamon.

Serve hot!