Category Archives: breakfast

Adopt A Gluten-Free Blogger: Queen of Quinoa

Adopt A Gluten-Free Blogger is being hosted this month by Kate of Eat, Recycle, Repeat! The sign-up deadline isn’t until October 28th, so you have a few days left – get on it! You won’t be sorry.

You won’t be sorry if you make these Gluten-Free Banana Bread Muffins from Queen of Quinoa either. Just think of hearty, lightly sweet, soft and moist muffins that never crumble (yet are still tender). The perfect breakfast or afternoon snack.

Wait, you don’t know who Queen of Quinoa is?

Well, let me tell you. The Queen of Quinoa is none other than Alyssa. Alyssa cooks healthy, wholesome, gluten-free foods, and loves quinoa. She manages to make craveable recipes that any food-loving indiviudal would adore. For example, she recently posted a recipe for Gluten-Free Mini Pumpkin Donuts. Or how about Gluten-Free and Vegan Beer Mac N’ Cheese? Or even more craveable – Butternut Squash and Goat Cheese Lasagna. I cannot imagine feeling the least bit deprived eating with Alyssa, let me tell you that!

As I mentioned before, I opted to whip up some of her Gluten-Free Banana Bread Muffins. I loved that her recipe only made 6 muffins. It often seems that in spite of my best intentions, there are too many muffins left over after a weekend breakfast. The boys in the house rarely indulge in baked goods, leaving these muffins to the ladies, and I know we can’t possibly finish a dozen muffins before they go bad. That being said, I wish we had more of these muffins in particular. They were so perfect. I swapped out the nuts in Alyssa’s recipe for chocolate chips, as my stepdaughter Brittany isn’t a fan of nuts. They went over well not only with Brittany and me, but also with my husband! I sent one in his lunch yesterday and today, and he loves them. I will definitely make these again for us, with the nuts.

Once again, I’ve fallen head over heels for another gluten-free blogger. I love this event. Don’t forget – you can still sign up over at Eat, Recycle, Repeat, and check back there as well for the round-up!

How To Make Sunflower Seed Butter

Are there members of your family that must be peanut-free? Many people and families are peanut-free due to allergies, health concerns, or even because the kids have a peanut-free or nut-free school. For many, this means no peanut butter cookies, no PB&J, no peanut butter and apples. I don’t know about you, but those types of foods were an integral part of my childhood, and I’m a bit of a peanut butter fiend. I’d hate to deprive anyone else of that salty-sweet, creamy, stick-to-the-roof-of-your-mouth goodness.

So what’s a peanut-free person to do? There are soynut butters out there, but many people also avoid soy. You can buy commercial sunflower seed butter, and I have done so before (it’s pretty darn delicious), but it does contain sugar. Also, it’s not always easily found if your grocery options are somewhat limited, unless you order online. So why not make it yourself?

I promise, it’s easy!

In fact, I find making all sorts of seed and nut butters pretty easy, and I make a lot of different ones myself. The food processor does all the hard work, and besides, I can then control the sweetness and salt levels – a great thing, in my opinion. It’s also generally less expensive than buying a jar of the already-made stuff.

The same is true of this sunflower seed butter. The organic, raw sunflower seeds I used for my sunbutter cost me less than $3/lb. A jar at the store, which is usually around a pound, typically costs around $6. Once you start making this yourself, I’m sure you’ll agree it’s worth a few little steps. Besides, you’ll be on your way to sunflower seed butter cookies, using sunflower seed butter in a yummy peanut-free dip for satay, or even in a peanut-free “PB&J” vegan ice cream. Or just on a spoon, straight from the jar. Your choice. I won’t judge.

First, you start with 3 cups of raw sunflower seeds (don’t buy the already roasted ones, as a lot of the moisture is already gone from them and your “butter” will be mealy or grainy – trust me, I’ve made that mistake). Toss them into a skillet (I prefer my cast-iron skillet, but any skillet will do) and toast over medium heat, moving them around often so they don’t burn. You’ll do this for 5-10 minutes, or until the sunflower seeds show some toasting. Don’t over-toast – if they look similar to this, you’re good. (Over-toasting will also cause that mealy texture in your final product)

Then throw your sunflower seeds, plus about 1/2 – 3/4 teaspoon of salt, into the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade.

(See all those scratches on my food processor? That’s a sign of true love – love between a girl and her food processor. We’ve been through a lot together.)

Put the lid on your food processor and turn it on. At this point, you will be processing until it becomes sunflower seed butter. Of course, saying that sounds easy, but truth is, many people worry that they’ve done something wrong at some point in this process, because it just seems to take SO long. You’ll be processing for almost 10 minutes.

In case you want to peek at it throughout the process to be sure it’s all going well, in the first minute or so, your sunflower seeds will turn into a fine meal.

Keep going.

A few more minutes will pass, and you’ll see the “meal” climb up the sides of the processor. Eventually, the oils will release from the seeds, and your “meal” will start to clump to one side of the processor.

Keep going. Just leave that clump there. Eventually, enough oils will release that it will spread itself back out. Don’t add any oil at this point, or it will never become smooth.

Soon, you’ll hear the food processor become quieter, and everything will spread out and start to look like a real sunflower seed butter. Like this.

Now, if you desire, you can add sweetener and oils. I personally only add about a tablespoon of oil (usually olive or coconut – olive makes it more spreadable at cooler temperatures, as coconut oil is solid at room temperature, but I love the flavor of coconut oil), but it’s up to you how spreadable you want your butter. You can also add a tablespoon or two of sugar, honey, agave nectar, maple syrup, or whatever sweetener you choose. Or you can choose to omit sweeteners entirely. Up to you.

Then continue to process for another minute or so, until everything is completely smooth. Then scrape your sunflower seed butter into your desired container (I prefer glass jars – I have a ton of them) and store in the refrigerator.

That’s it! See, that wasn’t so hard, was it? Hooray for a quick, inexpensive, healthy alternative to peanut butter!

Print Recipe

Sunflower Seed Butter (gluten-free, vegan)

3 c raw sunflower seeds

1/2-3/4 t kosher salt

1 T oil of choice (olive oil or coconut oil are my favorites)

1-2 T sweetener of choice (sugar, honey, agave nectar, maple syrup are all good here)

Toast the sunflower seeds in a large skillet over medium heat for 5-10 minutes, stirring frequently, until lightly toasted. Place sunflower seeds and salt into the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Process into a smooth, spreadable butter – this takes about 10 minutes. Add oil and sweeteners as desired and process again until smooth.

Makes about 2 cups.

This post is linked to 5-Ingredient Mondays over at The Daily Dietribe.

Make-Ahead Slow Cooker Apple Cranberry Oatmeal

I’m sharing a recipe for make-ahead slow cooker apple cranberry oatmeal over at The Balanced Platter today! If you need a quick-and-easy solution to breakfast, head on over there to check it out!

Chia Pecan Peach Parfait

Check out that title – say that five times fast! Love me some alliterations.

Almost as much as I love the prettiness and simplicity of a yogurt parfait. (Okay, kinda corny segue, I admit.) There’s just something about taking just a few minutes to layer fruit, yogurt, and nuts and making it look like dessert that makes a morning feel special. But this dessert-for-breakfast isn’t like sneaking a slice of pie the day after Thanksgiving for your morning meal (although pie does go really well with coffee…). It’s actually healthy for you, offering a good dose of fiber, healthy fats, and probiotics.

A bonus? It’s easily made in advance and can be made totally portable. Just take a glass jar or container and prepare it in there instead. It’ll keep just fine overnight. In fact, I recently made little parfaits like these in small jars to take on a road trip. I made them the night before, and they were a lovely little breakfast treat for us on our ride. Of course, they’re not just for breakfast – you could totally pack one in a lunchbox as dessert or afternoon treat.

While I love the combination of chia seeds, pecans, and peaches, this parfait is endlessly adaptable. Cherries and almonds? Apples and walnuts? Bananas and chocolate chips? (What, chocolate chips can be part of a healthy diet, right?) They all sound good to me. Use whatever is in season or whatever you like. But whatever you do, take a moment to treat yourself to “healthy dessert” for breakfast!

Print Recipe

Chia Pecan Peach Parfait (gluten-free, vegan)

1 6-oz container plain non-dairy yogurt (I like So Delicious or Amande)

1 peach, cut into large dice

1/2 T chia seeds

About 10-12 pecan halves (1/2 oz)

In a parfait fish (or glass jar), spoon a third of the yogurt in the bottom. Top with a third of the diced peaches. Sprinkle a few chia seeds and pecans over. Repeat this process twice more. Refrigerate if not served immediately.

Serves 1.

This post is linked to 5-Ingredient Mondays over at The Daily Dietribe.

Sprouted Buckwheat Granola with Cinnamon and Raisins

I’ve never been a big cereal fan. I grew up eating it – everything from corn flakes to Cheerios to raisin bran – but if given a choice, I’d rather have something else. (A frittata, pancakes, muffins, smoothies, or maybe all of those things!) However, I make an exception when it comes to granola. In my mind, granola is not the same thing as cereal.

Especially when granola doesn’t mean oats. I like oats (the gluten-free ones, of course), but I really can’t tolerate them much. So I substitute. Who said granola had to mean “made with oats” anyway? I hereby declare the definition of granola to mean “any combination of dried fruit and crunchy yummy healthy stuff, commonly served for breakfast or as a snack.” Sound good? Okay. Let’s move on.

This granola is packed with nutrition, as it is nearly raw and made with sprouted buckwheat. Sprouting increases the digestability of grains, nuts and seeds, and if you’re like me, you could use all the digestive help you can get. Besides, sprouting buckwheat is super-easy, and once dehydrated into granola, it’s light and crisp and delicious. What’s not to love?

Yes, I said sprouting buckwheat is super-easy. Because it is. I am a newbie when it comes to sprouting anything. In fact, the idea kind of scared me – I was worried I’d kill my sprouts or otherwise screw it up. Needless to say, my fears were unwarranted, as buckwheat is one of the easiest things to sprout, and it’s a relatively quick process.

To sprout buckwheat: Start with some raw buckwheat groats. I buy mine in bulk from Amazon, as I use the groats quite frequently to make granola like this as well as grinding them into flour. (Raw buckwheat, ground into flour, is much milder in taste than the traditional store-bought buckwheat flour, which has a strong flavor that is disliked by some.)

Place those groats in a colander with holes small enough to not allow the groats to fall through. Rinse the buckwheat, and then place in a bowl or container and cover with at least 2-3 inches of water. Soak for 8 hours or overnight.

Drain the groats into a colander and rinse thoroughly. Place colander over a large bowl (or something to catch the water as it drips off). Cover with a cotton towel and allow to sit at room temperature for 4-6 hours. Rinse again and allow to sit for 4-6 more hours. Do this every 4-6 hours for about 24 hours, or until you see little tails sprouting out of your buckwheat.

(By the way, I successfully sprouted my buckwheat even though I didn’t rinse every 4-6 hours, which is what is recommended. I would rinse it right before I left for work, and again as soon as I got home – and that was more like 10 hours. It still worked like a charm. So if you can’t be home in time to rinse, don’t stress. In my experience, you can push the envelope a bit.)

Buckwheat sprouts – see the little tails? (forgive the quality, this is an iPhone photo!) 

Once your buckwheat is sprouted, then you can use it in your granola recipe. This recipe is more of a guideline. I can see endless variations just by substituting the dried fruits, using other fruit purees in place of applesauce, or even adding nuts in place of the sunflower seeds. The sky is the limit on this one. I loved the basic, familiar flavors of cinnamon and raisin, and both ingredients supply ample sweetness, making it easier to keep the amount of added sweetener down. The end result is crisp, crunchy granola that’s tasty as a snack, but in my opinion, even better in your favorite non-dairy milk.

Sprouted Buckwheat Granola with Cinnamon and Raisins (gluten-free, dairy-free, optionally vegan, nut-free, soy-free)

2 c raw buckwheat groats, sprouted according to the directions above

1 c raw sunflower seeds

1/2 c applesauce

1/2 c chia seeds

3/4 c raisins

1/2 c dried apricots or dates, chopped

1 T cinnamon

scant 1/2 t kosher salt

1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped

1/4 c honey (or agave nectar for vegan)

In a large bowl, gently toss all of the ingredients together until well-mixed. Spread granola out onto two Teflex-lined dehydrator trays. Dehydrate at 110 degrees for about 10 hours or until granola is crisp. Store in air-tight containers.

(No dehydrator? While I haven’t tried it, I imagine this granola would do well at the lowest temperature in your oven. Just spread out on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake on the lowest setting (mine goes down to 170). I imagine it will dry out more quickly, so you might check it in 4-5 hours and see how crisp it is.)

Print Recipe

This post is linked to Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays over at Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free.

Juices and Smoothies on a Busy Schedule – The Balanced Platter

I am sharing how to incorporate fresh juices and smoothies into your daily routine, even on a busy schedule, over at The Balanced Platter today! Head on over and check it out!

Chocolate Banana Avocado “Milkshake” – and a Silk Giveaway!


It’s late summer in Texas. This is the time of year when I’m SO over the heat. I shouldn’t complain – it’s not like we’re experiencing 40+ days of 100-degree temps around here like we did last year. We’ve had SOME rain. But still, the heat drags on a bit longer than I’d like.

This means I still try to avoid turning on the oven, so there isn’t much baking going on. However, there are times when a sweet treat is necessary – like when you’re entertaining a crowd of little ones, and they’re ready for a good snack. If that sweet treat can be good for you and satisfy the fiercest of cravings, then I consider that a win.

This decadent dairy-free chocolate “milkshake” is just that. Creamy, cool, and full of chocolatey goodness, no one would guess this baby is packed with healthy fats, fiber, protein, potassium, and tons of vitamins, without any inflammation-causing dairy or sugar. Fool your taste buds and fool the kids.

How did I do this without ice cream or milk? Easy!

Enter Silk. I knew of Silk’s products before I was dairy-free, but as far as I knew, they only made soy milk. However, in the past few years, they have greatly expanded their selection. Now, you can buy almond milk, coconut milk, and even organic soy milk. I’m a big fan of the unsweetened varieties – I’d much rather add my own healthier, natural sweeteners whenever possible. It’s wonderful that Silk provides that selection. I also love that their non-dairy milks still provide a full mouthfeel – they’re not watery like some can be. This is essential when you want a creamy “milkshake”. (Silk-shake? You could totally go so far as to call it that!)

To bump up the creaminess even more, I added frozen banana and avocado. Frozen bananas are a common ingredient in our home – we always end up with overripe bananas, so I peel them and break into chunks and freeze. This way, there are always bananas available for smoothies and treats like this. As for the avocado, don’t freak out. The end result isn’t green (as you can see), and the flavor of avocado isn’t present. It simply provides some excellent healthy fat and an excellent texture. For even more nutrition and a thicker shake, chia seeds are key. They provide omega-3′s, fiber, and protein.

But enough about the nutritional aspects – it’s time for a chocolate indulgence! Gather the kids after an afternoon of swimming or sports, and celebrate “chocolate milkshake time!”

Creamy Chocolate “Milkshake” (gluten-free, vegan, refined sugar-free)

Makes 2 servings

1/2 ripe avocado

1 banana, frozen

3 Medjool dates, pitted

1 T ground chia seeds

2 T cocoa powder

1/4 t cinnamon

1/2 t vanilla extract

1 1/2 c unsweetened Silk non-dairy milk (such as organic soy milk, almond milk, or coconut milk)

2-3 ice cubes

1-2 T cacao nibs (optional – probably preferred by adults more than children)

In a high-powered blender, blend all ingredients until smooth and creamy. Pour into glasses, top with cacao nibs, and serve with a straw or a spoon.

For more fun “Silkology” blended and mixed dairy-free treats, check out Silk’s Facebook page and “Like” them!

Silk inspired me to think outside of the bowl with their new Silkology-inspired drink recipes. Tell me something new you want to try this summer when entertaining to win a Silkology prize package.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Silk. The opinions and text are all mine. Official Sweepstakes Rules.

Rhubarb-Walnut Muffins

Fresh Rhubarb

Rhubarb isn’t a really common food around Texas. Apparently, if you mention rhubarb around these parts, the response you are likely to get is “What’s that?”, or “You’re not from around here, are you?”. I also got “Isn’t that green?” as a response from more than one person. (Well, yes, sometimes it’s kinda green, with some red…) While I didn’t grow up eating this vegetable-parading-around-as-fruit, I do have a very fond memory of my great aunt, who lives in Washington, making us a rhubarb crisp when we visited one summer. Actually, I have quite a few fond memories of that summer. You see, my great aunt and uncle live in this little house on the southern portion of the bay, a ways from Tacoma and Olympia. Their house is a drive from any major city, and you’d get lost if you didn’t know where you were going trying to find the place. But as you pull up, the tall, evergreen trees are everywhere. The front of the house is across the street from what feels like endless amounts of forest. It’s quiet, except for the sounds of birds. As you walk around the side of the house, there are trees and huckleberry bushes. The back of the house is on stilts, and below is a rocky beach. As a young girl, this was paradise. I remember spending all day outdoors while we were there, playing. I’d go down to the beach and watch gulls and peer at distant neighbors, digging for clams in the sandy spots. I’d catch as many hermit crabs as any one girl could carry. I even helped a hurt baby chipmunk (I say helped, I might have simply frightened him more by picking him up, showing my Mom, and eventually releasing him back into the woods). I remember going out on their deck, and how relaxing and beautiful the entire place was. But I also remember meandering into the kitchen, hungry from playing, to find my grandmother, great aunt and Mom working and talking. And that rhubarb crisp! It was slightly tart, sweet, and so delicious. Unbelievably so.

And then I proceeded to not eat rhubarb again, that I can recall, for 20 years or so. But still the wonder of this vegetable, and that memory, holds its grip on my attention.

Being a food blogger is a funny thing. Over time, you read a lot of other food blogs. A LOT. I’ve been blogging for nearly four years, and I’ve learned so much about seasons and all types of foods from all areas of the world and even in my own country in that time. For instance, in spring, people in the Northeast part of the U.S. rave about ramps and fiddleheads, two things I’ve always been curious about, but have never even seen in person before. Of course, I imagine there are quite a few of those bloggers that have never seen purple hull peas, okra, or nopales (cactus), things that are pretty common around here. It’s part of what I love about food – there are still some delightful things that can only be found in certain regions. I hope it stays that way – it makes food special.

However, that doesn’t mean I don’t want to try to experience foods outside my region. Like rhubarb. I’ve only recently seen it in grocery stores in the past few years, but that’s only in frozen bags. However, this summer, all of a sudden, I’ve seen it everywhere – at higher-end groceries and even the normal Kroger down the street from me. Big, juicy red stalks of rhubarb. So I set aside my “I usually try to eat local” mindset, and viewed it as a sign. I’d have to try my hand at making something with rhubarb.

And so I did. First on the list? A rhubarb crisp, of course. It wasn’t anything special, and not much different than this peach-pear crisp – only I substituted chopped walnuts for the almonds, and threw some quinoa flakes in there. But it was tasty. Not as good as the memory of my first (Isn’t that the funny thing about food memories?), but good nonetheless. The real challenge (and success), though, was muffins.

These muffins were based on a gluten-full recipe. If any of you have tried to convert a regular recipe to a gluten-free version, you know it’s not always just about substituting one flour for another. Besides, I have to throw dairy-free in there as well, so I have to exercise a lot of freedom in my adaptations. This means that my recipes don’t always turn out the first, second, or even third times. However, this one was perfect right out of the gate. Fluffy, moist, lightly sweet muffins, studded with sweet-tart rhubarb and chopped walnuts. They make the perfect hearty breakfast or afternoon snack, and they showcase this lovely vegetable in a way that makes my heart smile. My coworkers have been enjoying them all week long (many of which were the same people wondering what rhubarb was). They also freeze well, so feel free to bake some up and then store some away for future breakfasts. This recipe makes 2 dozen muffins, so there will be plenty of extras. Feel free to halve the recipe as well.

While I’m not likely to start buying rhubarb often, it’s lovely to find it once a season, bake up these muffins, and relive those childhood memories.

Rhubarb-Walnut Muffins (gluten-free, dairy-free)

1 1/4 c brown rice flour

1 1/4 c sorghum flour

3/4 c potato starch

2 T ground flaxseed meal

1 T psyllium husk

2 t baking powder

1 t baking soda

1 t cinnamon

1 t kosher salt

2 eggs at room temperature

1 c non-dairy milk (I used coconut milk beverage, but almond milk or hemp milk could also be used)

1 T apple cider vinegar

3/4 c coconut oil, melted and cooled

2 t vanilla extract

1 1/4 c coconut palm sugar

1/4 c agave nectar or honey

1 c chopped walnuts

2 c diced rhubarb, frozen or fresh

About 4 T coarse turbinado sugar, for sprinkling

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line 2 muffin tins with cupcake papers. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the brown rice flour, sorghum flour, potato starch, flaxseed, psyllium, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.

In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs. Add the non-dairy milk, apple cider vinegar, coconut oil, vanilla, coconut sugar, and agave nectar.

Add the wet ingredients into the dry and stir well to combine. Add the walnuts and rhubarb and stir again thoroughly.

Spoon 1/4 cup of batter into each cupcake paper. Sprinkle the tops with turbinado sugar. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Makes 2 dozen muffins.

This post is linked to Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays over at Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free.

Adopt A Gluten-Free Blogger: Hope For Healing

This month, Adopt A Gluten-Free Blogger, the fun little blog event created by Book of Yum, is being hosted over at Enjoying Gluten-Free Life. I’m glad to be participating again this month – I always love adopting a gluten-free blogger and learning more about them through their recipes!

I adopted Stephanie of Hope For Healing this time around. I’ve followed her blog for a few years now, as she always manages to post some delicious gluten-free, healthy dessert and baking recipes. Like this strawberry custard pie she just put up the other day? Oh, my, gonna have to add that to the “must try” list! It looks so cool and creamy.

Anyway, Stephanie and I share similar experiences when it comes to how we eat today and why. She doesn’t have celiac disease, however, she experienced a lot of the same ailments I did before going gluten-free: fatigue, brain fog, stomachaches, etc. She since has turned to a gluten-free, healthier diet to find a place of healing and health. Since then, she became a Holistic Health Counselor, and helps others with digestive ailments find health again through food. Stephanie shares her story on her blog.

I love the way she approaches cooking and baking. Sometimes, it stems from a need to use leftovers (well, in my mind, cooked quinoa is leftovers), like with this Quinoa Protein Bread. I’m all about using leftovers! But overall, I love that she uses whole gluten-free grains, unrefined sweeteners, and yummy nuts, seeds, and coconut. All things I love to play with in the kitchen! I had to narrow down the list though – there were so many of her recipes I was dying to try.

First on the final list: I chose to make her Blueberry Cornbread (shown above). A sweeter cornbread, mixed with other whole grain gluten-free flours, plus blueberries? Yum. And it was. It’s a perfect, subtly sweet breakfast “cake” that was delicious with coffee. Our youngest, Brittany, really enjoyed it as well.

Another recipe that made it to the final list was her Cashew Summer Granola. I love, love LOVE making granolas. I also had quite a few cashews around. So I threw this together, subbing regular raisins for golden, but otherwise keeping the recipe in tact. It was delicious – I especially love the maple syrup. Perfect for on-the-go snacking.

I also realized, when going through her Recipe Index, that I’ve made her Stevia-sweetened Lemonade before. Last year, I attempted to grow a stevia plant, and so I used some of the leaves for this purpose. It’s a lovely, lighter (read: less sticky) beverage, perfect for hot summers.

There are so many more delicious treats I would love to make. Stephanie’s definitely a genius in the baking department, and I’d love to spend an afternoon snacking on one of the many treats I’m sure she’d be baking up!

 

Whole Food Spicy Green “Juice”

Did you happen to overindulge this weekend? I did, just a bit – too much barbecue, and one too many helpings of dessert. I don’t regret it one bit, but now my body is craving lighter, fresher fare. This morning, as I woke up, I knew what I needed was some raw greens.

I am no stranger to green smoothies. I have them several times a week, at least, as part of my breakfast. You often don’t see them here, as I’m usually throwing random fruits and vegetables in the blender at 5:00 AM so that I can take it with me to the office. Not a lot of time to photograph during my morning routine. Furthermore, there are rarely “recipes” I follow when making my smoothies – it’s a “little of this,  a handful of that” and a bit of blending, and breakfast is ready. But since today is a day off, I figured it would be a great opportunity to share with you one of my favorite refreshing smoothies.

It’s almost not a smoothie. A juice, really - only the pulp is not removed. (I don’t have a juicer; if I did, I’d certainly use this combination to make a great juice as well!) I figure I’m getting my fiber in this way, so it’s a win-win, right? But rather than the creaminess that often accompanies smoothies, this one is lighter and thinner, so it’s more of a “whole-food” juice.

It’s my blog, I can call it what I want, right?

Anyway. Again, it’s not truly a recipe, more of a guideline. I didn’t measure. If you don’t have something, just omit it or substitute something else. I opted to not make it sweet – if you want it sweeter, feel free to throw some apple in there. Or stevia. Whatever floats your boat. My version is spicy, refreshing, and invigorating. I like it that way – it’s an excellent way to jump-start my morning.

Whole Food Spicy Green “Juice”

2 big handfuls of spinach

about 1/4 cup parsley

1 stalk celery, cut into chunks

1 small cucumber, peeled

1 inch piece of ginger, peeled

juice of 1 lemon

6 ice cubes plus enough water to blend

Place all ingredients into a high-powered blender. Blend until everything is smooth and frothy.

Drink immediately, as this “juice” will separate.

Note: If you don’t have a high-powered blender, you can use a regular blender, but it may take quite a bit longer to get everything smooth and all of the small bits might not be blended completely. However, you can definitely make smoothies in a regular blender – I did for a long time before dear hubby gave me the VitaMix!

This post is linked to Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays over at Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free, Friday Foodie Fix over at The W.H.O.L.E. Gang, and Wellness Weekends at Diet, Dessert and Dogs.

Looking for more gluten-free smoothie ideas? Check out this conversation over at Udi’s Gluten-Free Living Community!