Unrefined Living

maintaining a healthy balance of the mind, body, and plate


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Chocolate Cherry Smoothie

 

 

IMG_1005I am loving smoothies lately.  I used be a juicer, and I still am.  But recently my needs have changed and I crave thicker denser beverages.  Not to say this won’t change again soon, but for now I am addicted to chocolate smoothies.  Who wouldn’t be?  It’s chocolate for crying out loud!  And I love that I have the liberty of adding whatever the heck I want.  I always make sure to add veggies and protein so I can justify replacing a meal or snack with something chocolatey.  It’s a win win!!!

 

What you will need:

  • 6 frozen cherries
  • 2 frozen bananas
  • Handful spinach or kale
  • 1 C water/coconut water/milk
  • 1/4 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 Tbsp. coconut sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. cacao powder
  • 1 scoop protein powder (optional)
  • 4-5 ice cubes (optional)

Add everything to high speed blender and blend until smooth. Enjoy!

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Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

This summer is our first summer having a garden.  I am definitely not the one who maintains it, I tend to inadvertently kill all living things that aren’t people (i.e. plants and bugs).  Anyway, our zucchinis are insanely huge.  If I didn’t know better, I would think they are fed steroids.  But I can assure you that’s not the case, they are totally organic!!!

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So what to do with a bunch of overgrown greens?  Make healthy desserts…duh!  I am addicted to zucchini bread, zucchini pasta, zucchini muffins, zucchini tots, zucchini fritters (tonight’s experiment)…..pretty much zucchini everything!  I follow a recipe for zucchini bread that I love, and will post soon.  However, this go ’round I tried something different.  I thought muffins would be easier to transport and maybe, just maybe, I will stop at one muffin as opposed to eating half-a-loaf!  I must say, these muffins are pretty darn good, and pretty darn simple.

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What you will need:

  • 1 1/2 cups shredded zucchini (remove excess water)*
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup nut butter (I mixed sunflower seed, almond, and peanut butters)
  • 1/3 cup sweetener such as [raw] honey, maple, agave, coconut sugar (I used honey)
  • 1/4 cup cacao powder
  • 2 tbsp coconut flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup walnuts (or any other nut, or omit)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • dash of salt

Preheat oven 375 degrees. In a large bowl mix ingredients, adding the chocolate chips and walnuts last.  Line muffin pan with cupcake liners (or spray pan, but I don’t enjoy fighting to get my muffins out!)  Fill 2/3 of each liner with mixture.  I overfilled mine and got 11 muffins.  Bake for 18-25 minutes using toothpick to test when they are ready.  It really depends on your oven, I tend to under bake because I like mine moist 🙂  Cool for a few minutes and either enjoy plain, or top with homemade chocolate sauce.

I don’t usually do this, but this time I removed the excess water from the zucchini by wrapping in a clean towel and ringing it out well.*

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Quinoa, Kale, & Sweet Potatoes

Whether you are new to quinoa or just looking for something different and [maybe*] meat-free, this is a tasty choice.  It’s actually my favorite way to eat quinoa, especially during the cooler weather.  Although I made it this week in 95 degree summer heat, still just as yummy!

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So why eat quinoa?  It’s an excellent source of protein, especially if you are a non-meat-eater.  Quinoa is also high in fiber and magnesium.  It contains iron, essential amino acids, and anti-inflammatory phytonutrients.  Additionally, quinoa takes on any flavor you desire.  I’ve used it to replace pasta, rice, oatmeal, even used it to bake with. I also tricked my niece and nephew by adding it to their  mac ‘n cheese, shhh!  It’s so light and satisfying.  Quinoa’s unique texture and nutritional benefits make it a great choice for any meal.  See quinoa for breakfast.

What you will need:

  • 1 cup quinoa (any color)
  • 1 large sweet potato/yam/sweet purple potato -cut into 2 inch pieces
  • 1 bunch of kale (any type) ribs removed
  • 1 cup walnuts (chopped or halved)
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • red wine vinegar
  • sea salt
  • cayenne pepper
  • * Optional for meat eaters: 1 strip of crispy bacon

Sweet Potato:

Toss sweet potato pieces with a tablespoon of olive oil and pinch of sea salt.  Roast in oven at 400 degrees for 10 minutes on each side.  (I use a cast iron skillet and heat it on the stove for a few minutes before roasting in oven).

Walnuts:

Toast in 400 degree oven for 5 minutes.  Watch carefully because they burn easily.  Check after 5 minutes and if need be toast for another 2 minutes.  Again, be careful, they really do burn in seconds!!  Transfer to a bowl, drizzle and toss with olive oil, sea salt, and cayenne.

Kale:

Slice into strips and sauté over medium heat with olive oil until wilted.

For dressing mix 1 tbsp of red wine vinegar with 2-3 tbsp olive oil and shake/mix well.  Combine everything in a large bowl and toss with dressing.  For extra crunch add the crumbled bacon on top.  Enjoy 🙂

 

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Summer Fresh Green Juice

By now you probably have heard how great juicing can be for your body.  Well I have been juicing for over two years now and I feel amazing when I am consistent.  Not so amazing when I fall out of my routine.  Sometimes it’s hard to stick to something for an extended period of time.  Routines are easy to follow once you get into a mindset.  However, the minute you stray from your routine, it’s that much harder to find your way back.  I did indeed stray from my traditional morning juices and when I decided to get back to it, I learned that my tastes have drastically changed.  So I had to make some adjustments to my previous recipe.  At the moment I am hooked on this blend and it’s just in time for summer.

 

photo_2-9What you will need:

  • 2-4 leaves of organic Kale (the amount depends on the type and size you buy)
  • 4-5 mint leaves (optional)
  • 1 inch ginger root, peeled if non organic
  • 1/2 lime, rind removed
  • 1 small lemon (or 1/2 large), rind removed
  • 1 large cucumber, peeled if non organic
  • 1 organic apple, any kind
  • 1 pear, any kind

 

Add veggies (in order listed above) to juicer.  Pour into fancy jar and drink up.  Cheers!

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