Sneaky Superfood Chocolate Smoothie

NOTE: I was not paid for endorsing the superfood powders mentioned, neither company has any idea who I am. I have just used this type of product for years and find it invaluable. However, the links I include below to purchase the powders are affiliate links, so I get a portion of the sales if you do buy from those links. Thank you!

As I was rushing out the door to my yoga teacher training retreat for 5 days, I wanted to share this recipe with you all and with my husband, who needs the recipe somewhere safe to use for the kids when I’m away! I have been making this smoothie for the past month or so as a sneaky way to get my kids to start the day with superfoods like kale, spinach, spirulina, chia, and wheatgrass. Let’s face it, they would reject a green smoothie first thing in the morning. So this is a sneaky superfood chocolate smoothie. You can add nut butter as indicated below to make it a peanut butter chocolate flavor, or leave it out and have more pure chocolate.

My secret ingredient is a chocolate superfood powder. You have to get one that does not taste terrible. And you would think that would be easy, but it’s not. I have tried dozens of kinds and my favorites are Amazing Grass and Garden of Life Raw chocolate superfood powders. Both have a protein shake version, but that’s not what I am using here. Neither superfood powder has any sugar in them and both can be found locally at your Sprouts or Whole Foods or Natural Grocer or online at Thrive Market (Amazing Grass, Garden of Life), Vitacost (Amazing Grass, Garden of Life), or Amazon (Amazing Grass, Garden of Life). If you need discount codes for Thrive or Vitacost, please contact me via my Facebook Page and I can send them to you!

The most unusual thing that I do with this smoothie is add oatmeal. I started doing this when my daughter began refusing pretty much anything I offered for breakfast. If you are grain-free or doing this in addition to other things eaten at breakfast and it is too filling, you can leave out the oatmeal. But it is very important that you blend the oatmeal and chia seeds into a fine powder in the blender first, before adding other ingredients. If you blend everything together, the smoothie with be thick and lumpy. I’ve forgotten that step before and my kids wouldn’t eat it. See photos below.

Sneaky Superfood Chocolate Smoothie (kid approved) | Living Consciously Blog

Sneaky Superfood Chocolate Smoothie

Step 1

1/2 cup oats (buy gluten-free oats here)

1 tsp. chia seeds (buy here)

STOP HERE AND BLEND INTO A POWDER.
It will look something like this:

Superfood Smoothie Oatmeal Chia Seeds | Living Consciously Blog

Step 2

1 cup frozen bananas (if using room temperature bananas, definitely add the optional ice, below)

2 scoops chocolate superfood powder (see above paragraph for where to buy)

3/4 cup chocolate hazelnut milk (buy here or at Whole Foods)

1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk

1 tbsp peanut butter, nut butter, or PB2 – optional (buy PB2 here)

1/2 cup ice – optional, will make your smoothie thicker

 

Put the rest of the ingredients from Step 2 into your blender and blend everything on high until smooth and thinned out enough to pour and drink easily. In my Vitamix this takes almost a minute on high.

If you let it sit too long, the chia seeds will absorb the moisture and the smoothie will become a “thickie”! Serve to your children or yourself immediately!

 

You might also like:

How to Juice with a Vitamix
My Green Smoothie Guidelines
Saving Money on Organic & GMO-Free Groceries

Fluffy Low Gluten Bread in a Bread Machine

We’ve had great success reducing my son’s food intolerances through naturopathy, but he is still a little sensitive to both wheat and dairy. For some reason, his body CAN process white flour much more easily than whole wheat, although I’ll always go with the gluten-free version of things, if I can. Recently, I read this article about why non-organic flour might cause more inflammation than conventionally produced wheat flour. I am not sure if those two are linked in his case, but they could be.

I make all our own bread, for the most part. I rarely buy bread. For my husband and I and my daughter, I typically make a variation of my fluffy wheat bread. But for my son, I alter the recipe a little and make low gluten bread in my bread machine to address his gluten intolerance, which is different than an allergy. At first, I was frustrated by how flat and dense the bread typically came out. Then, after a conversation with my mom about the chemistry of gluten free cooking, I revised it a little to include vanilla extract. Perfect! Now I get fluffy bread nearly every time!

The trick with this bread is actually allowing the yeast to grow a little in the machine before baking. This is a big “no-no” with bread machines, typically, but in this recipe it works! I promise!

Important for cooler temperatures/climates: I made this recipe for the first time since it got cooler here in Texas (in the 60’s, woo hoo!) and the yeast did not work as it did during the summer. I ruined an entire loaf. The yeast should be frothy and bubbly after 10 minutes.
TIP: Warming the bread machine’s inner container in the oven for a few minutes before putting the warm water and yeast inside has helped a lot in the cooler months (or when the temperature inside the house is below 72 degrees).

Fluffy Low Gluten Bread in a bread machine | Living Consciously Blog

Low Gluten Bread

First:

1 cup of water, warmed (not hot)
2 tbsp. honey
2 tsp. yeast (regular, not fast-rising)

Second:

1 tsp. gluten free vanilla extract (affiliate link)
1/4 cup oil (safflower, non-GMO canola – affiliate links)
1 cup pre-mixed gluten free flour (affiliate link)
2 cups organic white flour
1/2 tbsp. salt

1. Add all items listed in the “First” list to the bread machine canister. Let sit for 10 minutes or longer. Yeast should bubble up like this:

Low Gluten Bread Yeast

2. Add vanilla and then oil (shown in picture, above).

3. Add the flours and then the salt.

4. I set my machine for the White Bread setting. It should come out nice and fluffy, like this!

Fresh Fluffy Low Gluten Bread in the Machine

NOTE: This post contains affiliate links, meaning that I get a portion of the sales if you buy using the links to Vitacost. I always label my affiliate links and relationships. I appreciate your support of my blog – thank you!

 


How to Search Pinterest for Food Allergy Safe Recipes

How To Search Pinterest for Allergy Safe Recipes | Conscientious Confusion

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, I’m sure you’ve heard of Pinterest. In fact, if my blog analytics are correct, you probably got here from Pinterest. Pinterest is a great source of recipes. I love being able to see pictures of what the finished product will look like, even if my own finished product looks more like a Pinterest Fail.

Although the search function has improved greatly from the early days, Pinterest is still a tricky place to navigate when it comes to cooking for a family member with food allergies.

On Pinterest, your search results come from the description of the Pin entered by the original Pin-er. Unfortunately, the Pin-er might have described the Pin with a phrase like, “Yummy! Want to try!” instead of something like “gluten free banana bread”. So unless you searched for the word “yummy”, you wouldn’t get that recipe in your results.

In the allergy world, we think of our own dietary restrictions with very specific terms. I’m “dairy-free” or “gluten free”. The technical name for the way I eat is lacto-ovo-pescatarian.

But how many Pins will I find when I search “lacto-ovo-pescatarian”? Not many! Because most Pin-ers don’t evaluate the ingredients in a recipe and put the technical words in the description.

What DO Pin-ers use to describe the things they Pin? Buzz words. The name of trendy diets. Here’s a list of phrases you can search and the dietary restrictions those searches should give you:

If you are dairy free or lactose intolerant: vegan, Paleo, macrobiotic

If you are egg free: vegan, macrobiotic, raw

If you are gluten free: South Beach, Paleo, Dukan

If you are soy free: vegetarian, raw

If you are avoiding meat: asian, vegetarian, vegan, macrobiotic, raw

What other dietary restrictions do you have and how can I help you find recipes? Leave your comments and suggestions! (don’t forget the easy mobile comment feature)

Homemade green shower cleaner

*recipe updated 02/2013*

A while back, I reviewed store-bought green bathroom cleaners, and then later revealed my ongoing battle with our old, old, old bathroom grout. It gets mildew really easily because it is no longer sealed in any way. Old, old, old.

At the time, I was using one of the Tilex-type shower sprays to keep the old, old, old grout in our shower from getting all moldy after showers. After a while I became a little suspicious about what exactly was in that spray, so I started attempting to make my own.

Per the “vinegar is amazing book“, vinegar is a good mold killer. For a while I was using just vinegar and water. I began adding a few tablespoons of Wave Jet natural/biodegradeable dishwashing aid (it’s like Jet Dry, only the natural version – that’s an affiliate link) to keep it from streaking. I found this solution to still allow some mold to grow, especially on the cloth shower curtain liner I had substituted for our previous plastic liner. Also, Christian was always complaining about how the shower smelled like pickles.

Then, just the other day I started reading some green cleaning web sites talking about tea tree oil and how it has natural bleaching powers. I actually like the way tea tree oil smells – is that weird? So I went to a local natural food store and got a bottle of tea tree oil and added that to the mix.*

Here is what I’ve been using so far and I believe it is actually the most effective so far:

Jenny’s Homemade Green Shower Spray

24 oz spray bottle
1-2 tablespoons Wave Jet Rinse Aid (buy here, affiliate link)
10 drops tea tree oil
white vinegar – just a few tablespoons
11 oz hydrogen peroxide*
water – fill the bottle the rest of the way

Shake it up before spraying on the shower each time. I spray shower walls and tub directly after using the shower, and the solution is also safe for white cloth shower liners. Do not inhale or let it come in contact with skin (see notes, below).

It smells like tea tree oil more than vinegar now that I’ve adjusted the recipe. I like the way it smells!

 

* As of late 2009, I added food grade hydrogen peroxide to the mix to help bleach out previous mildew stains. It also seems to help prevent mildew on the cloth shower curtain liner. However, mixing hydrogen peroxide and vinegar creates a solution that should NOT be inhaled or sprayed on skin, so don’t get too close and make sure to dilute with plenty of water as instructed!