Carrot, Beet, and Greens Juice

When I first purchased the juicer, I had many conversations with my friend J about what kinds of juices to try (she’s been juicing for a while now). I was getting a bit bored of making the same juice every day, so she suggested a beet and carrot juice.

I immediately declined to try it. I don’t like carrot juice.

I am so glad that J encouraged me to give it another try with a few other yummy ingredients! I could barely taste the carrot juice and still got all the fantastic benefits of drinking carrot juice! The apple give it some nice sweetness. And I loved the suggestion to finish it off with some fresh ginger!

YUM! I think this is my new favourite juice!

Carrot, Beet, and Greens Juice

Ingredients

  • 2 carrots – approximate cost $0.30
  • 2 beets – approximate cost $0.30
  • 2 handfuls spinach – approximate cost $0.50
  • 1 handful (about 5 leaves) romaine lettuce – approximate cost $0.40
  • 1 Macintosh apple – approximate cost $0.30
  • 1 knob ginger – approximate cost $0.05

Method

  1. Add the ingredients to the juicer one at a time, starting with the softest ingredients and moving to the most dense:
    1. Spinach
    2. Romaine lettuce
    3. Macintosh apple
    4. Carrots
    5. Beets
    6. Ginger
  2. Serve and enjoy!

Makes 1 serving (approximate cost: $1.85 per serving).

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Sweet Green Juice

I made a kitchen purchase. And sold a few other items. And oh I’m so happy with the decision!

I said goodbye to a few items that I found I hadn’t been using. Goodbye pasta maker, ravioli maker, bread maker and waffle maker! It’s been good, but you were taking up a lot of space in my kitchen. Thank you Kijiji for helping me re-home these functioning but unused items (and helping to get a bit of cash towards the purchase of my new item).

Hello and welcome juicer!

I’ve gone a bit overboard with the juicing. I’m buying more fresh vegetables than ever before (which is great, except that they’re quite expensive in the winter months). I’ve had a fresh juice every morning and a few evenings since I made the purchase. A friend recommended that I go to the discount grocery store that is a bit further than the usual store at which I shop. That has helped very much in keeping the cost down.

So, I’m sorry in advance if I’m overloading you with juice recipes over the next month or more. But they’re so healthy and delicious! And already I’ve noticed that I’m getting more adventuresome in what I will try.

Today, I’m sharing a sweet-tasting green juice. The pear, apple, and grapes make it sweet and helps you ease in to drinking greens. If you have been wanting to try green juices, this is a great way to start out!

Sweet Green Juice

Ingredients

  • 1 small handful of parsley – approximate cost $0.30
  • 1 russet pear – approximate cost $0.30
  • 2 large handfuls of spinach – approximate cost $0.50
  • 1 Macintosh apple – approximate cost $0.30
  • 30 red grapes – approximate cost $0.60

I can’t guarantee that anything in my home is cat-hair free. I do my best, but she’s just so curious about everything!

Method

  1. Add the ingredients to the juicer one at a time, starting with the softest ingredients and moving to the most dense:
    1. Parsley
    2. Spinach
    3. Grapes
    4. Pear
    5. Apple
  2. Serve and enjoy!

Makes 1 serving (approximate cost: $2.00 per serving).

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Mango and Banana Chai Tea Smoothie

This morning, I could decide whether I wanted a smoothie or a tea with my breakfast. I was up early, so a tea would be great. However, it’s fairly warm, so I wasn’t anxious to have a hot drink. Instead, I decided to make a combination of the two, a smoothie that uses tea as a base. This smoothie takes a bit of planning, because you need to steep the tea and then chill it before blending. If you decide you can’t wait for the tea to cool, it melts the ice cubes and the smoothie is thin, but cold and refreshing.

Do you add cold tea to your smoothies? What flavours of tea do you add?

Mango and Banana Chai Tea Smoothie

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups Chai Tea (steeped and chilled) – approximate cost $0.10
  • 1 banana, sliced in half – approximate cost $0.60
  • 1/2 cup frozen mango pieces – approximate cost $0.75
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk – approximate cost $0.50
  • 12 ice cubes

Method

  1. Blend the tea, ice, coconut milk and fruit.
  2. Serve in two tall glasses.

Makes 2 servings (approximate cost: $0.98 per serving).

 

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Watermelon, Cucumber and Mint Smoothie

I’ve had a smoothie almost every day this summer. They’re really a great breakfast. Filling and nutritious, yet easy to prepare (and to take on the road if you’re in a hurry). I try to keep things interesting by combining different ingredients. I usually start with a liquid, such as water, chilled tea, almond milk, coconut milk, or rice milk. Add whatever fruit I have on hand. Greens of some sort, such as spinach, kale, or cucumbers, Sweeteners such as maple syrup or honey if the flavours are tart. Maybe a spoon of cacao, maca powder, or chia seeds to make it extra healthy.

What is maca powder, you ask? Maca is “a highly nutrient-dense whole food, as it is packed with vitamins, plant sterols, many essential minerals, amino acids and healthy fats. This is a particularly powerful and balanced food for athletes and those who are looking to combat stress or increase stamina” (Navita Naturals). I learned about Maca at the Raw Food Workshop last year. Chef Shaidle told us of the many benefits of eating maca. The first few times I included it in a smoothie, I hated the taste. So I put less in, hoping that the other flavours would overpower it. Though, I’ve found that I’ve come to enjoy it (still in moderate amounts).

Maca powder gives smoothies a strong flavour. If you dislike or don’t have maca powder, you can easily leave it out. If it’s your first time using maca powder, use about half of what this recipe calls for.

If you eat maca, how do you add maca powder to your food? I’d like to know how I can use this other than in smoothies!

Watermelon, Cucumber and Mint Smoothie

Ingredients

  • 2 cups watermelon, cut into 1 inch pieces – approximate cost $1.50
  • 1/2 English cucumber, cut into 1 inch pieces – approximate cost $0.75
  • 1 heaping teaspoon maca powder – approximate cost $0.70
  • 1 tablespoon honey – approximate cost $0.50
  • Handful of mint leave, reserve 4 pieces for garnish – approximate cost $0.75
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 6 ice cubes

Method

  1. Place the watermelon, cucumber, maca, honey, mint leaves, and water in a blender.
  2. Blend until ingredients are well-combined
  3. Add ice cubes.
  4. Blend until ice cubes are crushed and mixed well into smoothie.
  5. Pour into two serving glasses.
  6. Gently rub the mint leave to release flavour.
  7. Garnish with reserved mint leaves.
  8. Serve and enjoy!

Makes 2 servings (approximate cost: $2.10 per serving).

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Sweet (Iced) Tea

I had my first sweet tea in Tennessee when I was 17. It was fantastic and I wished very much that it was available at home. But it isn’t, so I tried to make my own (it didn’t work out so well at the time). The next time I travelled, my flight had a stop-over in Chicago. And I was ecstatic to find that the McDonald’s in the airport served sweet tea (I think it also had unsweetened iced tea, something for everyone’s tastes). It wasn’t as fantastic as I had remembered and I was quite disappointed. A few years later, in Florida, I decided I would give sweet tea a try yet again. I bought a whole gallon (which my friend graciously let me keep in her fridge). It was gone by the end of my visit.

Remember when I went to Virginia back in May? Well, one thing I forgot to mention about this trip was my obsession with sweet tea. I couldn’t get enough of it! I had sweet tea at least once per day. At one point, I even made a special trip out one evening, just for a cup (the biggest cup available) of sweet tea.

It’s just better than the sweet iced tea that we have here in Ontario. What makes it so much better? It seems that sweet tea is freshly brewed everywhere. Even McDonald’s! (In fact, McDonald’s is one of my favourite places to get a sweet tea because I know it will consistently be delicious).  The tea is always slightly warm and is served over a glass full of ice. It’s an interesting combination of warm and cold in each sip (unless you savour the sweet tea, then it’s mostly cold by the time you finish it). I usually don’t get to this point.

I’m just a bit better at cooking now than when I was 17 (obviously, I’m exaggerating, I’m much more informed now that I cook daily). So, I decided to make another attempt at making sweet tea at home. It’s delicious and almost as tasty as the sweet tea that I get when vacationing in the US. Bryan wasn’t much of a fan – he drinks his iced tea unsweetened. I enjoy iced tea either way!

Yesterday, Sharyn from thekalechronicles (a blog I follow regularly) posted about how to properly brew tea and iced tea. It’s a very interesting and informative step-by-step instruction for brewing tea. My tea is not brewed properly, so my next batch of sweet tea will be made following Sharyn’s directions. There are a lot of tea shops in town, so I’m hoping to find a suitable/similar loose leaf tea.

Sweet Tea

Ingredients

  • 6 1/2 cups water
  • 2 bag of Lipton Cold Brew Tea (“pitcher”-sized tea bags, or 4 regular Lipton black tea bags) – approximate cost $0.75
  • 1/3 cup cane sugar – approximate cost $0.75
  • 3 teaspoons lemon juice (optional) – approximate cost $0.15

Method

  1. In a large pot, bring the water to a boil.
  2. Add the sugar.
  3. Stir until the sugar dissolves completely.
  4. Add the tea bags and turn off the heat.
  5. Allow the tea to steep for 7-10 minutes.
  6. Remove the tea bags (so the tea doesn’t get bitter).
  7. Stir in the lemon juice.
  8. Let the tea cool until it is warm.
  9. Fill a tall glass with ice.
  10. Pour some of the sweet tea over the ice.
  11. Serve and enjoy immediately!

Serving Suggestions

  • Serve the tea warm and with a generous amount of ice.
  • Add a slice of lemon as garnish.
  • If you chill the tea, slightly heat a single portion of sweet tea (in the microwave or on the stove top) and serve over ice.

Makes 6 servings (approximate cost: $0.28 per serving).

Mangia Mondays is a weekly blog hop/link part hosted by Delightfully Dowling & Shine Your LightCheck out the other posts for Mangia Monday!

Also linking to Makin’ You Crave Monday (hosted by Mrs. Happy Homemaker) and Made by you Monday (hosted by Skip to my Lou)!

Improv Challenge: Cherries and Almonds

I’m so excited to be participating in another Improv Challenge hosted by Kristen from Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker!

I actually had thought I missed the Improv Challenge . Somehow I had convinced myself that the posts needed to be up on June 15th. A big thank you to Liz from That Skinny Chick Can Bake who pointed out that I had misread the date and still had a week to write the post!

This month’s ingredients are cherries and almonds. I don’t recall ever pairing these ingredients. However, I’ve been assured over the last month that I would love it. And I do!

My cherry and almond recipe is inspired by the heat wave going on right now. It was 32 degrees Celsius today (89.6 degrees Fahrenheit). I didn’t want to turn the oven on to bake (we don’t have A/C). So I made an icy drink instead. I enjoy it very much! Bryan’s not a fan of the texture of the ground almonds. I’ll make this with an almond extract next time.

Icy Drink with Cherries and Almonds

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup raw almonds – approximate cost $1.00
  • 1/2 cup frozen cherries – approximate cost $1.00
  • 2 sprigs of mint leaves – approximate cost $0.06
  • 1 cup water
  • 10 ice cubes

Method

  1. Soak almonds in a glass of water for at least 2 hours.
  2. Drain almonds.
  3. Blend almond in blender until finely ground.
  4. Add cherries and continue to blend.
  5. Add water and ice cubes.
  6. Blend until smooth (you may need to add a bit more water).
  7. Serve in two tall glasses and garnish with sprigs of mint leaves.

Makes 2 servings (approximate cost: $1.03 per serving).



Homemade Ginger Ale

A few week’s ago at a classmate’s birthday party, I was served homemade ginger ale. Normally I would turn down ginger ale. It reminds me of days that I was sick and had to stay home from school. (I loved going to school every day, keeping busy, staying home in bed was boring!) But when I was told the ginger ale was homemade, I had to give it a try! It was delicious! What made it different from canned ginger ale? It was much less sweet, there was much more ginger flavour, and there was less carbonation. I asked my classmate to send me the link to the recipe so I could try it our myself. Not only did I get the link, but also some suggestions for preparing it. Thank you!

This is my first attempt at making homemade ginger ale and it won’t be my last. It was very good, but there’s room for improvement. For starters, don’t skimp on the ginger. If you get through peeling the ginger and find you’re half a cup short of the desired amount in the recipe, don’t move forward anyway. Make a quick trip to the grocery store for more ginger, you’ll be glad you  did!

Homemade Ginger Ale

Adapted from the recipe at Simply So Good with suggestions from my classmate

Ingredients

  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups fresh ginger, peeled and chopped – approximate cost $1.00
  • 3/4 cup organic cane sugar – approximate cost $1.00
  • 1 liter Club Soda – approximate cost $2.00
  • 4 limes, juiced – approximate cost $1.50
Optional:
  • Mint leaves for garnish

Method

  • Prepare the ginger syrup
    • Bring the water to a simmer in a medium-sized pot.
    • Add the cane sugar and stir until dissolved.
    • Add the ginger and cook for 5 minutes.
    • Remove from heat.
    • Cover the pot with a lid and let stand for 1 hour.
    • Refrigerate until cooled (keeps for a few days if you aren’t making the ginger ale right away).
  • Put it together in a large juice pitcher!
    • Combine the ginger syrup, Club Soda, and lime juice.
    • Stir well.
    • Add ice cubes.
    • Stir again.
    • Serve (with optional mint leaves for garnish).
  • Or, serve it by the glass.
    • Combine 1/4 cup lime juice, 1/2 cup ginger syrup, and3/4 cup Club Soda.
    • Stir well.
    • Add ice cubes.
    • Stir again.
    • Serve (with optional mint leaves for garnish).

Makes 4 servings (approximate cost: $1.38 per serving).

Day 12: Favourite drink

Usually I prepare a tea at home before heading to school. Mondays are usually an exception. Today even more so because it was the first day since Springing Ahead for Daylight Savings Time that I’ve had to be somewhere. My favourite drink is the tea I have first thing in the morning. Today was Earl Grey (with a bit of milk, if I were at home I would have used almond milk). My morning tea tends to alternate between Earl Grey or Moroccan Mint. Yum! In the evening, I switch to herbal teas (such as Egyptian Licorice Mint or Chamomile).

What is your favourite tea?

Day 2: Something sweet

2009 Cabernet Franc Icewine from Niagara College. I picked this up when I went on the Niagara Icewine Festival tour with my family.

While I was attempting to take a picture of the icewine, my very sweet cat was getting in the way. She wanted to be involved in the action. And for me to pay attention to her. Here’s a picture of my sweet cat Loki as well.

Day 1: Breakfast

I’m sick. (What a way to start the month…) Today’s breakfast photo is of a very healthy smoothie, full of vitamin C, that will hopefully contribute to a speedy recovery.  I need to be better by Sunday, when I will be participating in the Power of Movement, Canada’s largest yoga fundraiser that donates to arthritis and autoimmune research. I’m part of the Fearless Heart Yoga team, check out our team’s page for more details.

I realize that sharing the recipe for my breakfast is not part of the challenge, but this smoothie is fantastic, so I must share!

Get-Well Smoothie

Ingredients

  • 1 cup pineapple juice – approximate cost $0.75
  • 1 cup baby spinach – approximate cost $0.40
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds – approximate cost $0.25
  • 1 1/2 cups coconut water – approximate cost $0.75
  • 1 orange, peeled and sliced – approximate cost $1.00
  • 1/2 cup banana slices (or 1 ripe banana) – approximate cost $0.50
  • 1 granny smith apple, cored and sliced  – approximate cost $1.00

Method

  1. Place pineapple juice and chia seeds in the blender. Allow the seeds to soak in the juice for about 10 minutes.
  2. Add remaining ingredients (baby spinach, coconut water, orange, banana slices, and granny smith apple) to the blender.
  3. Blend until smooth.
  4. Pour into two tall glasses and enjoy!

Makes about 2 servings (approximate cost: $2.33 per serving).

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