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GREEN MONKEY SMOOTHIE

I used to pay $10 for this drink at a health food store, but now I make it myself. My home version costs a lot less, and is even healthier. Usually, I make it with avocado so it’s essentially sugar free, but if I’m feeling like a rascally little monkey, I’ll use a banana instead.

Ingredients for one nice smoothie:

  • 2 fistfuls chopped kale
  • 1 big stalk celery
  • ½ cucumber
  • 1 banana OR ½ avocado
  • ½ C almond milk
  • Water as needed

Tools:

  • Blender

Steps:

  • Combine all ingredients and blend until smooth, adding water by the tablespoon if necessary to make your desired consistency.

Inspiration:

  • When you think about smoothies, avocados may not come to mind. But they add a delectable creaminess, and are an amazing source of protein, lecithin (a brain food), and good fat.

FRUIT BAKE

Almost everyone craves sweets sometimes. In my case, my sweet tooth is very important to me! But I’ve learned I don’t need to depend on processed sugar to satisfy my cravings: I can look to natural delights like this easy, gluten-free, dairy-free fruit bake.

Whenever possible, I try to enjoy my treats with a friend—it always makes them sweeter (the treats and the friend!).

Ingredients for one pan:

  • 1 C buckwheat flour (or any gluten-free flour blend)
  • 1 C non-dairy milk (make this delicious almond milk yourself!)
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ C maple syrup or raw honey
  • 3 C chopped fruit (I like to use raspberries, blueberries, and nectarines)
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • Sunflower or untoasted sesame oil

Tools:

  • 2-quart shallow baking pan
  • Big bowl

Steps:

  • Heat your oven to 425°F
  • Grease the pan with the oil
  • Combine the flour, milk, baking powder, salt, maple syrup, and eggs in a bowl and beat them into a smooth, bubbly batter
  • Spread the fruit in the bottom of the pan and pour the batter over them
  • Bake for about 30 minutes, or until edges are golden and start to pull away from the pan
  • Enjoy a warm piece with hot tea and good company
Kasha Porridge.jpeg

NIGHT & DAY ALMOND MILK

Why do I call this almond milk “night and day”? Because that’s the difference between it and the store-bought stuff!

This sweet, fresh, creamy, all natural, preservative-free elixir tastes so much better than the grocery store variety that once you try it, you’ll never go back. Plus, making it is simple, easy, and straight-up fun.

Ingredients for one 16-oz bottle:

  • ⅔ C raw organic almonds, soaked overnight and rinsed
  • 2 C water
  • 1 date OR 1 T honey or maple syrup
  • ¼ tsp vanilla extract
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 1 tsp coconut oil to preserve freshness (optional)

Tools:

  • Blender
  • Nut milk bag (double up for smoother texture)
  • Big bowl
  • Funnel
  • Glass container for bottling

Steps:

  • Combine all ingredients in the blender and blend on high for one minute.
  • Pour the mixture through the bag into the bowl, then transfer to the glass container using the funnel.
  • You’ve got milk! It will taste great now, and even better once chilled.
  • Milk will keep well in the fridge for 3-4 days, or a few days longer with coconut oil added.

Inspiration:

  • Experiment by adding other extracts and spices like cinnamon and cardamom (¼ tsp each).
  • Pair your almond milk with cereal or oatmeal, use it in smoothies, or enjoy it by the glass.

FRUIT CHUNKS

This one couldn’t be simpler, but it bears repeating: when you must have something sweet, try fruit.

Cutting fruit into biteable chunks makes it easy to snack on, and it’s so tasty, you won’t believe the vitamins, fiber, and hydration you’re getting in every piece. The recipe below will yield a bowl big enough to share—or to keep you going for hours between meals.

Ingredients for one big bowl:

  • 1 kiwi
  • 1 apple
  • 1 mango
  • ½ orange for juicing
  • 2 tsp raw honey

Tools:

  • Big bowl

Steps:

  • Cut the fruit up into bite-size chunks
  • Squeeze the juice from the orange into a small bowl and mix in the honey
  • Combine all the fruit into your big bowl and drizzle the honey-OJ mixture on top. Toss to coat, and get your snack on!

Inspiration:

  • If you don’t have plans for the other half of your orange, you can pop out the segments and add them to the mix.
  • Like many of my favorite recipes, this one is fun and easy to experiment with. Try different fruit medleys and different sweeteners (pineapple juice? a drizzle of maple syrup?) to open up whole new worlds of flavor.
  • Digestion-wise, fruit is best eaten alone (as a snack by itself) or at end of a meal, ideally preceded by a green salad.
Kasha Porridge.jpeg

KINDER THAN KIND BARS

I love the ease of a healthy snack in bar form. I stash them in my yoga bag, my glove compartment, and my carry-on whenever I travel. That little burst of protein, fat, and natural sugars can be just the pick-me-up I need between meals.

One downside of bars: some store-bought kinds contain additives like soy lecithin, glucose syrup, and the mysterious “natural flavors” that you can do without. What to do? My friends, we can just make these delicious chewy snacks at home, using ingredients we know and trust! No baking, even—just mix, set, and cut.

Ingredients for one sheet:

  • ½ C seeds (I like pumpkin, sesame, chia, sunflower, and flax)
  • 1 C nuts (I like hazelnuts, walnuts, almonds, pistachios, cashews, and pecans)
  • ½ C chopped dried fruit (I like raisins, apricots, dates, and goji berries)
  • ½ C honey
  • ½ C almond butter
  • Sea salt
  • Sunflower oil

Tools:

  • Big bowl
  • Small pot
  • Baking sheet
  • Wax paper

Steps:

  • Combine the nuts, seeds, and fruit together in the bowl and sprinkle with sea salt to taste
  • Melt the honey and almond butter together in the pot over very low heat
  • Pour the liquid over the nuts and seeds and mix everything together
  • Line the baking sheet with wax paper and oil it lightly
  • Spread the mixture out on the sheet and refrigerate it for at least an hour
  • Cut into whatever size bars you like, stash in convenient places, and snack at will!

Inspiration:

  • I like both whole and ground flax seeds, but they provide different benefits. Using whole seeds will give you a pleasant crunch and some insoluble fiber, but using ground seeds unlocks flax’s omega-3s and other nutrients.
  • You can use less nuts if you roughly chop them in a food processor or pulse them in a blender.
  • Avoid using dried cranberries—they almost always include added sugar!