Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘smoothies’

Making your own yogurt is super easy!

I mean – boil milk, whisk in cultures, cover and wait – easy.

Yes, even you can do it.

Here’s what you need –

1 quart whole milk
1 Tablespoon plain yogurt (yes, just your favorite store bought yogurt)

In a pan heat the milk slowly to just before a boil. You can get technical with this and use a thermometer, but  it really isn’t necessary. You just have to heat it until the top is shiny and tiny bubbles just start to form around the outside. But if you are worried you won’t do it right, or just like to use your fancy little thermometer than heat it to 180-185 degrees. You shouldn’t get a skin, but if you do just take it off.

Now for the hard part. Take it off the heat and wait for it to cool. You have to wait until the milk is warm enough to activate the cultures but not kill them. About 140 degrees. You can put it in another bowl to help the process along. Or even put it in a water bath.

When the milk is cool whisk in the yogurt. Now, don’t get all over zealous with the yogurt. Adding extra will not make it more yogurty (there I go again) or speed the process any. It will have adverse effects. Trust me. One tablespoon per quart of milk. But you don’t have to be super precise either. I told you, this is easy.

Next, spoon it into jars. I like to use a mixture of mason jars in various sizes. Leaving a space at the top to add fruit and such. We’ll talk more about that in a bit.

Now, place the jars in a pan and wrap with a towel.

Put this pan in a warm safe place like the oven. I’m not showing you this part. It’s scary and embarrassing in there. Must. Clean. Oven.

Be sure to NOT turn the oven on. NOT. 

Now you wait. Again. It takes about 12-15 hours for the process to complete. Give or take. Again, it isn’t precise. Just be sure to leave them alone. The more you disturb them the less likely they are to do as they are told.

Once they have set to a solid consistency they are finished. Ready to eat! Or flavor. Keep in mind, this is plain, unaltered yogurt. It will be tart. You can sweeten it with some honey or agave.

You can strain the yogurt in cheese cloth to make it thicker. Essentially, the difference between Greek yogurt and regular yogurt is the straining process. Greek yogurt is strained to make it creamier. Here in the U.S. you are buying “Greek Style” yogurt not actual Greek yogurt – meaning strained and thicker. True Greek yogurt uses sheep’s or goat’s milk. If you like yogurt thicker you can strain the end product through a piece of cheese cloth or even let the milk stay at that just before boiling point a little longer to evaporate the milk some.

You can make your next batch using some of this one and never have to buy yogurt again!

Now let’s talk about flavor!

You can add anything you like. Fruits, nuts and grains.

Here are some of my favorites – 

  • Pomegranate
  • Banana and walnut
  • Apple and cinnamon with honey and pecans
  • Frozen mixed berries
  • Orange
  • Cherries and macadamia nuts
  • Granola and dried cranberries
  • Chocolate chunk granola

Mmmm. I could keep going.

You can also use it for dips and marinades – 

  • Mixed with lots of fresh or dried herbs like chives, parsley, tarragon and garlic for veggie dip
  • Mixed with lime, ginger, cilantro and gram marsala for chicken
  • Mixed with coarse brown mustard, garlic, pepper and parsley for pork

The options are endless, as they usually are when in the kitchen. And yogurt is filled with healthy probiotics that are essential for healthy digestion and optimum immune response. They are killed off when heated, but used as a marinade yogurt helps keep meat moist and adds tremendous flavor.

Now let’s break it down….

I made 64 ounces of yogurt for $1.50

The cheapest I have found Chobani is $1.00 for 6 ounces. That equals $10.00 for 60 ounces!

4 ounces less – $8.50 more

Are you ready to try making your own yogurt?

Live Well!
~S 

This post shared at Your Green Resource

Read Full Post »

Ok, ok. They aren’t exactly secrets, but it sounded good.

Here are some of my thoughts on making good smoothies –

  • Soak seeds and nuts in water for a few hours or overnight to get a smooth consistency
  • Nut butters can add a boost of protein, healthy fats and cut some of that sweet flavor from protein powders
  • Freeze fruits in single servings or on a pan before putting in a bigger container. This saves on spoiled fruits and keeps them from clumping together in the freezer
  • Frozen fruits actually make a better smoothie!
  • Bananas! They even out the flavor and help keep everything from separating
  • When adding vegetables to your smoothies for the first time consider milder options like spinach over kale. I love kale but it is a bit stronger. Ease into it, especially if you prefer things sweet
  • By layering your ingredients you can achieve a better consistency. Start with ice (if you are using any), then fruit, protein powder and leafy greens, next juice and finally dairy (if using any). Blend in between each – if there is time that is
  • Start by blending on high until things are moving well, then switch to liquefy to make it really smooth
  • When you think you have blended enough, blend for another minute. This helps avoid those gross-I-can’t-drink-this chunky disasters after you have left home
  • Taste test! Often times you need a spoon to mix things around a bit and get those pesky chunks off the side. Use it to taste your recipe rather than just trusting it and heading out… only to find you must choke it down because it tastes like mud
  • Opt for nut milks like almond milk or coconut milk to cut fat and calories
  • Smoothies always taste better through a straw. I don’t know why, they just do! Invest in a good plastic cup with a cap and straw

Blend and blend some more

smoothies, freeze bananas

Freeze extra fruit

Smoothies are an excellent healthy on-the-go breakfast or snack!

 

 

 

Happy blending!

Do you have any smoothie secrets to share?

Live Well!
~S

Read Full Post »

Whoa! I’m on a roll this week.

This is my new favorite smoothie creation. So good. I was getting board of the usual, as I often do. And I had some sunflower seeds that had been in the pantry for quite some time that needed using. This is what I came up with.

Coconut Nut Smoothie

1/3 banana (I freeze the rest)
3 large chunks pineapple
1 handful organic unsweetened coconut
1 handful unsalted sunflower seeds
2 hands full spinach
1 c coconut milk
1 scoop vanilla protein powder

Combine and blend!

It’s nutty with a hint of coconut and not too sweet. The nuts can leave small bits if not processed well. I don’t mind it, but you could soak the nuts in water for a few hours or overnight to eliminate that. Use the water for cooking pasta or watering plants. My dogs love it.

Live Well!
~S

 

 

 

 

Read Full Post »

green power smoothie, smoothies, live better, whole living, natural living,

Power Up

There are a million smoothie recipes. Add a little more of this, a little less of that, and you have a new flavor, a new recipe. This is my favorite smoothie recipe of all time. Keep in mind, I don’t prefer sweet so you may want to adjust things to your liking. But give it a go and then alter it to suit you.

Green Power Smoothie

1/2c kale
1/2c spinach (As you know, I don’t measure much. Just a small handful will do.)
1/2 avocado
1 small banana (or half a regular size banana – it helps keep the ingredients from separating)
3/4 – 1c coconut water (I like pineapple flavored with this. If I am using plain I will often add a few chunks of pineapple)
1/2t Spirulina (a blue-green algae with a rich nutrient range and ability to sustain life )
1 scoop vanilla protein powder

Mix it all in the blender until smooth. Keep the coconut water handy. You may want to thin it out a bit. Especially when using a cup with a straw.

I throw this in reusable straw cups for an on the go breakfast. It’s perfect – fruit, vegetables, healthy fat, protein, even some fiber (4g in the kale, avocado 2.8g and 3.5g in the spinach). Pair this with some Ezekiel, sprouted or whole grain bread and nut butter and you have a healthy, filling meal.

Mix it up!

Some people can eat (or drink) the same thing everyday. Require it even, for the structure. I am not one of them. I need to alter things, even slightly, from time to time. Here are some of the ways I mix up this one…..

  • Coconut Milk – I love it! I use this instead of the coconut water or mix them half and half.
  • Shredded Coconut – It gives it more of a coconut flavor and a bit thicker texture. Use about 2T.
  • Flavored Coconut Water – There are some great, naturally flavored versions out there. I really like blueberry pomegranate.
  • Juice – I’m not talking all those juice box variety, but real juice from real fruits and vegetables. You can buy a juicer (expensive but lovely) or buy them in the produce section. They add great depth of flavor and you only need a bit so a small bottle will last.
  • Greens – You can use any greens you have on hand. Even romaine or arugula.
  • Lime juice – As I have said, I don’t really care for sweet, so to cut the sweetness(from the protein powder) (and the banana flavor) I sometimes add the juice of half a lime. Especially when I am not using the avocado (which is rare because I like it. A lot. But sometimes I have eaten them all. Or the mister has.)
  • Honey – If you like things on the sweeter side you can add a bit of honey to sweeten it up. Be sure it’s local honey for the most benefit!

I’m not going to go on and on about all the different things you can add. Because I could. But that would just be boring. And monotonous. And you already know you can add frozen berries and other vegetables and yogurt too.

Give this one a try and let me know what you think!

What’s your favorite smoothie recipe?

Live Well!
~S

Read Full Post »