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Berry Chocolatey Peanut Butter Shake

chocolate peanut butter

This is one rich and chocolatey shake, and I am happy to say my kids absolutely love it! This is an all powerful, nutrient dense, plant based protein shake that is nothing but delicious. It tastes like dessert and has zero chalky protein powders added. I make this with pure raw foods that anybody can find in their local grocery store.

The rich, dark chocolate flavor of this smoothie is due to none other than pure, cacao powder. I found a nice organic powder from Whole Foods, which is of great quality. Pure cacao powder is great for many reasons, namely being a rich antioxidant source, as well as iron, magnesium, fiber, and even protein. Who knew chocolate could be so beneficial! Lately, I have been limiting my intake of dessert and refined sugar, so this makes for a great substitute to fulfill my chocolate cravings. 

cacao

You can use your favorite milk, but I stick with the plant based source of almond milk. Throw in a couple of frozen bananas for the rich creamy texture, as well as the digestive and heart health benefits.

I use a dollop of fresh ground peanut butter, which you could make yourself if you have an awesome blender like my Vitamix. However, I get fresh peanut butter from the grocery store; many places have a grinder to make your own fresh peanut butter on the spot. My kids love doing this in the store! I love it because I know it is non-processed, fresh, and with no salt or sugar added. With the amount of peanut butter I add, we can actually hardly taste it, but it is there for the protein boost. If you actually love the flavor of peanut butter, you could double the amount added. 

The bananas along with three juicy Medjool dates make the bitter flavors of the cacao come out in the rich chocolatey flavor I am going for. If you want less sweet, use only one banana. Sometimes I make this with one banana only and add strawberries, to cut down on the calories.

goji berry smoothie

Goji Berries are rich in protein, vitamins A and C, and fiber.

Goji berries are a super food that I have been tossing into smoothies, cereal, and snack mixes alike. The kids love these too, and so will parents due to their super health benefits. Goji berries have long been used in Chinese medicine, and have the benefits of being high in antioxidants, high in fiber, vitamin A, and an excellent protein source. Some studies even show they can help destroy cancer cells.

Berry Chocolatey Peanut Butter Shake
A rich chocolatey shake made with clean, raw, energy boosting ingredients!
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Ingredients
  1. 1.5 cup almond milk
  2. 1-2 frozen bananas
  3. 3 dates (Medjool or similar texture)
  4. 1/2 c goji berries
  5. 1/4 c cacao powder
  6. 1/2 c fresh ground peanut butter
Instructions
  1. Add all ingredients to a blender, layering with liquid and soft ingredients first and frozen bananas on the very top.
  2. Blend for 1-2 minutes and enjoy!
Notes
  1. Replace one banana with frozen strawberries for a lighter smoothie, with less sugar content. The banana makes this very creamy and rich!
Sugar & Garlic http://www.sugarandgarlic.com/

Date Smoothie

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It’s no secret in the Muslim world that dates are a superfood with numerous health benefits. It is no wonder that Muslims ritually start their fast and break their fasts with a date, as was the tradition of the Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) many centuries ago.  

But you do not need to be Muslim to know about the countless benefits of eating dates. Any nutritionist could attest to the nutritional value of this superfood. Dates are the fruit of the date palm tree, which grows in warm, dry regions such as the Middle East and parts of California. Dates are high in fiber, which helps reduce cholesterol, improves digestion, satiates the appetite, and fight heart disease and obesity. They are also high in Vitamin B, A, and K. B vitamins are the most prominent vitamin store in dates which include B6 and B9 (folic acid), which helps improve metabolism and produce new red blood cells. Dates are also very high in minerals including potassium, copper, calcium, iron, phosphate, magnesium, and manganese. Although dates are such a sweet treat and thought to be high in sugars, they actually have a high nutritional ratio to the calories as well as a low glycemic index so they absorb into the body much more slowly giving steady releases of energy and several other sustained benefits. Thus, in moderation dates are an excellent sweetener to use in place of cane sugar or other sweet desires. 

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This brings me to this deliciously satisfying and filling energy smoothie! This drink is a concoction of my father’s, which he whipped up one Ramadan long ago. During Ramadan, Muslims are fasting from sunrise to sundown, and dates are in high demand! The benefits of a smoothie are obvious as you can puree a lot more nutrition and whole foods into a fine consistency which makes it easy to consume a lot more in the easy and convenient gulp of a milkshake. I use organic milk, usually whole because I believe in all the benefits of drinking wholesome vitamin D milk in its natural state. However you could use coconut milk, almond milk, or some ice and water if you have other dietary preferences. 4-6 pitted dates, a whole ripe banana, and a couple of frozen strawberries or ice cubes make this a nice refreshing shake that will keep your appetite satisfied and body well nourished for hours! If you have a powerful blender like the Vitamix or Blendtec you will have no issues throwing the dates in whole. No need to soften or puree them first. I enjoy this after a workout or before I run out of the house for the day running errands. You other moms out there know what a hassle it is to find time to sit down and eat when running around with kids and carseats/strollers all day! 

Enjoy!

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Date Smoothie
Serves 2
A refreshing and energy boosting milkshake that will keep you full and energized thorough your day!
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Ingredients
  1. 3 cups cold milk
  2. 4-6 medjool dates, pits removed
  3. 1 ripe banana
  4. 4 frozen strawberries (optional) OR 1/2 cup ice cubes
Instructions
  1. Remove the pit from the dates by slicing down the center, vertically along the length of the date.
  2. Combine all the ingredients into a blender and pulse to chop and distribute, then increase to the highest speed for 1 minute until smooth and frothy.
  3. Enjoy!
Adapted from My father 🙂
Adapted from My father 🙂
Sugar & Garlic http://www.sugarandgarlic.com/

Citrus-C

You know when you feel that itch in your throat? Or your nose starts to twitch and you just feel the cold coming on? Don’t let your weak, exhausted body fall victim to those yucky viruses! Whenever I feel run down and am about to get a cold, I consume as much vitamin C and natural nutrition as possible! Making smoothies in my blender with whole produce is one of the best ways to do this!

For this smoothie, I combine everything! Start with a big chunk of pineapple (with the core- it has all the enzymes that are good for you), 2 oranges, juice of 1/2 lemon, 1 pink grapefruit, 3 tbsp of honey, 1/2 c of cantaloupe, 1/2 c frozen mango, 1/2 c frozen strawberries, an apple, and 1/4 c of yogurt. The yogurt is for the protein and helps keep me full. I add only 1/4 c of water and the rest is the natural fruit juices and whole fiber. The blender I use is a Vitamix, which from all the appliances I have tried is really the only one that is powerful enough to break up these tough whole food combos into smooth, liquified drinks. 

Next time you are feeling run down and need a boost, try this! I just drink this all day, which is a great way to detoxify, stay full off of healthy good fiber, and lose some weight if that is what you need to do (as I do!)

 

Disclaimer: I am not a nutritionist, dietitian, or physician. Smoothies should not serve as meal replacement!
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