Tag Archives: #vegan

Matcha Avocado Smoothie

Matcha is popular for making hot tea, but there are other ways to enjoy this nutritious ground green tea powder.  Try it in a creamy vegan matcha avocado smoothie with no added-sugar. 

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This delicious drink supplies one and a half servings of fruits and vegetables, nine grams of fiber, calcium, heart-healthy fat, and much more.

Why matcha is good for you

Matcha and other green tea contains antioxidants that may fight cancer.  And, drinking green tea is linked to lower blood pressure and lower levels of LDL, or bad, cholesterol in the blood.

However, there’s not much research on matcha itself. Even though matcha is a type of green tea, experts aren’t sure that it has the same effects on health. Even so, matcha is good for you. 

Matcha contains caffeine

Matcha has caffeine, but relatively low levels. As a result, this matcha avocado smoothie provides a gentle energy lift, rather than a jolt. 

I like to use McCormick Gourmet Organic Matcha Green Tea with Ginger Seasonings*.  When you use it in the smoothie, it supplies about four milligrams of caffeine. That’s the same as 12 ounces of decaffeinated coffee.

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When you make the smoothie with regular matcha, the caffeine content is about 50 milligrams, far less than coffee. For instance, 16 ounces of Starbucks coffee has 330 milligrams caffeine.

The bottom line on matcha 

Matcha is not a magic bullet for preventing chronic conditions, but it may help as part of a balanced diet. And, it’s delicious and fun to use! 

No need to overdo it with matcha. It’s potent, so a little goes a long way. 

Enjoy!

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Matcha Avocado Smoothie

Makes 1 serving.

1/2 cup chopped kale or spinach

1/2 medium frozen ripe banana, sliced

1/2 pitted ripe avocado, sliced

1/2 cup unsweetened fortified soy beverage (or 1% low-fat milk)

1/2 teaspoon McCormick Gourmet Organic Matcha Green Tea with Ginger Seasoning, or regular matcha

Place all the ingredients in a blender or food processor.  Blend on high speed for 1 to 2 minutes or until smooth. Pour into a glass and drink immediately.

Per serving:
281 calories; 16 grams fat (3 grams saturated fat); 6 milligrams cholesterol; 76 milligrams sodium; 32 grams carbohydrate; 9 grams fiber; 8 grams protein

*McCormick and Organic Living Superfoods are not clients.

Creamy Chocolate Peanut Butter “Ice Cream”

Eating a more plant-based diet doesn’t mean you have to give up dessert.  Indulge in this Creamy Chocolate Peanut Butter “Ice Cream.” It’s satisfying, heart-healthy, vegan, and it’s even gluten-free!

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Ripe bananas are the silent partner in this frozen delight, and they make it unnecessary to add sugary sweeteners.  Keep chunks of frozen banana in the freezer to use on a moment’s notice, or freeze chopped bananas for at least two hours before making this, or other recipes, such as smoothies.

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I use unsweetened cocoa powder in my “ice cream” because it’s the part of chocolate with the most health benefits, and none of the sugar.  You can also add cocoa powder to savory dishes, such as chili, to amp up flavor and nutrition.

Natural peanut butter is typically free of added sugar, and, along with chopped peanuts, contributes heart-healthy fat, an intense peanut flavor, and creaminess. Learn how to make homemade peanut butter from Sally Kuzemchak over at Real Mom Nutrition. (Hint: It’s easy!)

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Creamy Chocolate Peanut Butter “Ice Cream”

Makes 2 servings

2 medium ripe bananas, cut into chunks and frozen*

2 tablespoons natural peanut butter (with no added sugar)

2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2 tablespoons chopped peanuts

Place bananas in a large food processor. Add the peanut butter, cocoa powder, and vanilla.  Blend until smooth, about 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to serving bowls and garnish with peanuts. Serve immediately.

*Freeze for at least 2 hours.

Per serving:
252 calories; 12 grams fat (2 grams saturated fat); 0 cholesterol; 132 milligrams sodium; 29 grams carbohydrate; 5 grams fiber; 7 grams protein

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Peanut Butter Cereal Bars

I love energy bars, but most store-bought varieties are expensive and they don’t always taste great. I thought I could do better, so I came up with these no-bake Peanut Butter Cereal Bars.

No-bake Peanut Butter Cereal Bars

How to Create a Lower-Cost Energy Bar

To keep this recipe cost-effective, I used store brand ingredients whenever possible. Here are some tips:

• I chose peanut butter because it’s the least expensive of nut butter. Chunky peanut butter provides extra crunch in this recipe. If you don’t have chunky peanut butter, use creamy and add 1/3 cup chopped peanuts.

• Honey is often less expensive than pure maple syrup, but it’s not vegan. Maple syrup works just as well as a sweetener and to hold the other ingredients together.

• Store-brand raisins supply sweetness without added sugar, and they are likely to be the least expensive dried fruit. (Learn how to cut back on sugar here.)

• If you substitute a higher-fiber whole grain ready-to-eat cereal for what I use in the recipe, the cost may go up, and it could increase the calorie count.

• Use certified gluten-free oats for a gluten-free bar.

Using parchment paper makes clean up a snap!

No-Bake Peanut Butter Cereal Bars

These delicious bars supply 10 grams of protein, 5 grams of fiber, use 5 ingredients and take 5 minutes to put together! 
Prep Time5 mins
Total Time49 mins
Course: Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: peanut butter cereal bars
Servings: 12
Calories: 302kcal
Author: ewardrd

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups crunchy peanut butter Use no added sugar peanut butter, if desired.
  • 1/2 cup California raisins
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup or honey
  • 2 cups quick oats, uncooked
  • 2 cups plain Cheerios, or store-brand equivalent

Instructions

  • Coat a 8″ x 8″ baking pan with cooking spray or line with parchment paper.
    Combine all the ingredients in a medium mixing bowl.
    Press the bar mixture evenly into the pan. Refrigerate for at least one hour.
    Cut into 12 squares. Keep refrigerated.

Nutrition Information: Per serving: 302 calories; 17 grams fat (3 grams saturated fat); 0 cholesterol; 191 milligrams sodium; 31 grams carbohydrate; 5 grams fiber; 10 grams protein.

    Need a chocolate fix? Toss 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips into the bar mixture. Using mini chips better distributes the chocolate flavor, so you use less and it costs less!

    Serving suggestion: Pair with eight ounces of dairy milk or a carton of Greek yogurt and a banana. You’ll get a serving each of fruit, dairy, and whole grains, as well as at least 20 grams of protein, the minimum amount of protein you should have at every meal.

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