Monday, March 17, 2014

healthy-ish shamrock shake

I love a shamrock shake. Every year I get myself at least one. A few weeks ago, I was craving a milkshake (I have a milkshake problem) and headed out for one. I started towards Jack in the Box (like I said, I have a problem) but then I realized it was shamrock shake season and beelined towards McDonalds.

As I drove home and sipped my favorite seasonal shake, I was so disappointed! It was soupy, so sweet it burned the back of my throat, and they forgot the cherry. Major let down, but maybe I have outgrown these shakes? Probably not. I just think the McDonald's by my house is the worst. I will try again in the future but for now, I made my own version. The McDs version is good but so bad. They are full of chemicals, the opposite of natural in all ways, and not at all good for you.

Despite my disappointment, I love the shamrock shake idea. They are minty and green and so cute for St. Patrick's Day. I looked around on Pinterest for a healthier option and almost all the recipes I found have spinach in them. I get that spinach is an all natural way to make the shake green but personally, I don't want spinach in my milkshake. I am fine with it in a smoothie, but a milkshake should be just a little bit indulgent, don't you think?

I whipped up this version that is healthy-ish. Much healthier than any McD's shake and not full of crazy chemicals and green dye. I used two scoops of vanilla ice cream, a handful of fresh chopped mint leaves, a frozen banana, and unsweetened coconut milk. I topped the shake off with a raspberry, a tiny bit of real (not cool whip) whipped cream, and dark chocolate shavings.

This version is really good. It isn't super green, but it's delicious and has a great minty flavor. If you add more ice cream, it would probably be even better....

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

chia seed pudding - three ways

The past few months I have seen chia seed pudding on just about every blog. I was kind of skeptical because, why mess with pudding? And maybe the texture would be gross? But I am making a huge effort to health up my diet (my eating has been out of order since Christmas....actually since Thanksgiving) and decided to try a healthier option to quell my sweet tooth.

I whipped up a basic batch last week and guess what? It's really good! And healthy. And you can add whatever you want as a topping. It makes for a fun breakfast.

After my first attempt, I decided to try it again with a few variations. I tried cinnamon (perfect for breakfast), double chocolate (a perfect dessert when you are trying to not always eat ice cream), and banana (a perfect sweet snack).

Making chia seed pudding is easy. You just mix a few things together and let it sit in the fridge for a few hours to set. You can use any non-dairy milk you like. My favorite is unsweetened coconut milk but unsweetened almond milk would be really good too.

chia seed pudding - three ways

-cinnamon (1/4 cup chia seeds, 1 cup Silk Unsweetened Coconut milk, 1 teaspoon cinnamon)

-double chocolate (1/4 cup chia seeds, 1 1/4 cup Silk Unsweetened Coconut milk, 1 tablespoon cocoa powder, 2 tablespoons honey, chopped dark chocolate - about 1/4 cup)
-banana (1/4 cup chia seeds, 1 cup Silk Unsweetened Coconut milk, 1 tablespoon honey, 1 mashed banana)

Put the ingredients of each in three separate bowls, mix together, cover, and refrigerate for at least four hours before eating. These puddings will last for about a week. The banana version will last just a few days because the banana starts to brown.

I have been eating the "cinnamon" version every morning topped with berries. It is kind of like plain yogurt so you can top it with whatever you might put on plain yogurt.  Also, the chocolate is amazing with a few raspberries on top.

If you're interested in trying this simple recipe, grab some non-dairy milk such as Silk. I have always been pretty grossed out by cow milk but the Silk products taste really good and they're a great way to add more plants to your diet.

Stop by Silk, register, and get a coupon for your next purchase.

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

Monday, March 10, 2014

sunday dessert : cookies and cream souffles

I pretty much love cookies and cream anything. These cookies are my absolute favorite so last Sunday I transformed them into super easy, light, and delicious souffles. They were the perfect extra special dessert for a Sunday night spent watching the Oscars.

You can use any "sandwich" cookies in this recipe. My favorite are the Trader Joe's JoJos (their version of Oreos). I think they are so much better than Oreos.  If you haven't tried them, buy some! They're so good. And addicting. 

cookies and cream souffles (makes four)
-5 tablespoons flour
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-1/2 teaspoon baking powder
-2 tablespoons brown sugar
-2 eggs, separated
-3 tablespoons milk
-about 1 teaspoon butter and a little white sugar (for coating the ramekins)
-3 or 4 sandwich cookies, crushed (Oreos or my favorite, Trader Joe's JoJo's)
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Prepare two ramekins by coating with a tiny bit of butter {about 1/4 teaspoon per dish} and dusting with a tiny bit of white sugar.

2. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, and brown sugar.  

3. Mix the milk into the dry ingredients and separate the eggs.  Add the yolks to the dry ingredients/milk and put the egg whites in a different bowl.

4. Use an electric mixer to beat the egg whites until soft peaks form.  This should take about 45 seconds to a minute.

5. Gently fold the egg whites into the rest of the ingredients.  Be sure to mix until all is combined but don't over mix. You don't want to lose the volume from the egg whites. Finally, gently fold in about half of the crushed cookies.

6. Pour the batter into the four dishes and top each one with a little of the remaining crushed cookies.

7. Bake for about 20 or 23 minutes...just until the top is golden and puffed up.

Enjoy!  These are SO good.  I know I will be making them again and again.

Designed by Jackie Ayr