Guidelines to Smoothie Making

Smoothie making isn’t as easy as it sounds and some people may struggle with never making the perfect smoothie; I know I used to. I’d thrown in a bunch of ingredients, but never end up with that sweet and fruity flavour I was aiming for. The truth it, it can be complicated, especially when you’re adding varieties of ingredients. Here I have made a short list of guidelines to assist you in your smoothie making.

*side note* I ALWAYS use frozen bananas in my smoothies. It gives a better texture, makes the smoothie colder, and it even makes it taste better! I highly recommend freezing bananas for smoothies. Click here to see banana prep.

1. Amounts and Ratios
Some people believe that in order to make a smoothie you just throw a bunch of fruit into a blender, add some water or milk, and hope for the best. However this is not the case. You need to measure your ingredients properly, and have a perfect ratio of flavours for your end result. For instance; if you’re making a strawberry banana smoothie, I wouldn’t advise putting 3 bananas, and 2 strawberries. You have to even it out so that the flavours are prevalent throughout the smoothie. I would suggest the more banana you put in, the more strawberries. Ex. 3 bananas, 6-8 strawberries. Or if you’re making a green smoothie, 3 bananas, 1 handful of spinach or kale, and half a cup or more of water.

1 01d62. Consistency
The same idea goes for adding liquids. If you are aiming for a thicker smoothie, add less liquid. Most people prefer their smoothies liquidy and more drinkable, so I’d advise adding more water/almond milk to ensure that consistency. But be careful not to add TOO much liquid, for you still want to have that smoothie texture.

IMG_95093. Ingredients
Smoothies all depend on the ingredients you put into them. You have to think and carefully choose what ingredients you want to add to your smoothie. Think about flavours that go well together like banana and strawberry, or chocolate and peanut butter. Don’t go crazy and just pour everything you have in your fridge into one smoothie because you want to fit as much as you can in there. Even a simple smoothie that only has 2-3 ingredients can still be a good one. Chances are the more you add to it and the more complex you make it, the less great it will taste. I know this from experience by trying to make a green smoothie with 7 ingredients. Now i just stick with 3 and I’m golden.

IMG_81664. Mixing flavours
That brings me to my last point: mixing flavours. I know it sounds obvious, but some people still do it. You have to know which flavours go together and which one’s don’t. Everyone makes smoothies differently, but personally, I wouldn’t add preferably strong fruity flavours like orange and pineapple, to a chocolate smoothie. If you are making a chocolate smoothies, keep it simple with just banana, almond milk, cacao powder, peanut butter, and water. When I make chocolate date smoothies, I add a few dates and 1-2 strawberries just for that extra flavour. The same idea applies to fruity smoothies. Don’t add super sweet or dessert flavours like chocolate and peanut butter to a strawberry pineapple smoothie because the flavours will clash.

IMG_8554Hopefully if you stick to these four simple guidelines, you will be able to perfect the art of smoothie making and end up with a sweet and tasty drink!

Shoutout to my dad who made a smoothie with 1 banana, 8 strawberries, greek yogurt, cacao powder and pineapple. According to my mother, It was too thick and didn’t taste good. But kudos for trying paps ❤  This one’s for you.

PS. since that incident he has been practicing and learning how to create better smoothies.

Advertisements

Spinach, Tofu and Quinoa

I must say this is one of the best vegan meals I’ve made yet! It had the perfect combination of salty and sweet, and a perfect ratio of vegetables to grains to legumes. If you are looking for a great dinner to make this Easter, I highly recommend this collection of super foods.

IMG_0352Looks delicious doesn’t it? I had such a busy hectic forty minutes in the kitchen! I made this last week when my mother and brother were having pizza and egg salad. So I was in there busily trying to create a plant based meal for myself. (Which my dad would later ask for my food over the family’s. Plant based: 1, Regular food: 0)

So there I was standing over the stove busily stirring my quinoa, poking at my broccoli, tossing my tofu, and flipping my sweet potato fries. Yep, it was just as hectic as it sounds. But I remained calm and collected and simply turned on the oven fan to get all the heat out. Not to mention my mother was also boiling eggs on the stove as well.

IMG_0343What you’ll need: 1 large sweet potato, broccoli, asparagus, quinoa, tofu, chickpeas, walnuts, cucumber, kale and spinach.

1. Sweet Potato Fries. Begin by preheating your oven to 375 degrees. You will begin with your sweet potato fries, where you can find my full recipe here. Cook until they are golden and crispy. *Note, I left the skin on for these ones and they tasted great!)

IMG_06642. Quinoa. Turn one of your burners to high. In a pot, pour in 2 cups of water, and 1 cup of quinoa. (Make sure you always use the ratio of 1 cup of water to half a cup of Quinoa). Once it starts cooking, turn it down to medium and continuously stir it until it’s nice and fluffy. When it’s finished, stir in 1 tsp. of coconut oil.

IMG_06603. Tofu. Turn another burner to medium, grease it with coconut oil, and fry your tofu. Cook until it has a light brown colour to it. (Remember to press your tofu before hand to get the water out).

2014-04-09 005 2014-04-09 0124. Broccoli and Asparagus. Turn one more burner to high and get ready to boil your broccoli and asparagus. Once it’s finished, squeeze lemon on top and a dash of salt.

IMG_03535. Presentation. Wash you spinach and kale and put it onto your plate. Once everything is done cooking, you can begin adding everything on top. I first added quinoa to the center, put my broccoli and asparagus to the side, sprinkled some chickpeas, walnuts, and cucumber around the edges, put my sweet potato fries to the other side, and finished with my fried tofu on top.

IMG_0349

What I’ve Learned About Living Healthy

What do you think of when you hear the term “eating clean” or “eating healthy?” Do you think of salads, and kale shakes? Do you think of eating an apple for lunch, and saying no to dessert? Well if you believe any of those things, you have fallen under the category of people who put a stereotype on health. I’m going to tell you what I have learned from this lifestyle, and hopefully it can help you as well.

1. Joy. The first thing you need to know about living a healthy life style is: it makes you happy. No one should ever be unmotivated to eat clean or hate their eating habits. I hate to say it, but if you don’t look forward to your meals, than you are doing this all wrong. This kind of life style doesn’t have any end goals because essentially we eat better to prolong our lives and be happy. I don’t like the word ‘diets’ because they imply a temporary fix that usually has an end goal in mind. You shouldn’t think of it as a diet, but more of a lifestyle. If you are not happy with how you live today then you need to revise your lifestyle. But once you make the switch to a healthier and happier one, you will realize all that you have been missing was right there in front of you!

image2. Easy. Eating healthy is not hard at all. People complain all the time saying “eating clean is so hard”. No, it really isn’t. You just have to change your motivation and will power and it’s all up hill from there. Think positive and believe that you can make a change. Don’t slack and give up by eating junk food because it’s “easier”. Your body will appreciate it when you fuel it with healthy foods.

If it’s the actual food itself you are worried about being hard, don’t fret, that part is easy as well! Every grocery store has fresh fruits and vegetables for you, and even beans, legumes, lentils, grains, nuts seeds, etc! You just gotta look for them. You can also look for the whole foods or organic section, more and more stores are starting to incorporate them now.

3. Exciting. Eating healthy is so fun and exciting. I’ve heard people say salads and vegetables are boring. Well, hello! There are tons of healthy foods in the world besides salads and vegetables, just take a look around my blog! Expand your horizon; try new things. You’ll love it, I promise.

2014-02-10 006 2014-02-10 0014. Worth it. Once you set goals for yourself and know what you want in life, you can start to work towards them and accomplish so much. Being healthy and happy is way better than sitting on the couch eating potato chips. PLUS if you say no to a hamburger and replace that with rice, sweet potato, lentils and broccoli, it will be so much better for your body, and you’ll realize it’s worth the sacrifice. You may regret that greasy burger, but you will never regret vegetables and a workout.

meSome people believe they are living a healthy lifestyle, but they actually are not. I’ve seen people trying to lose weight and putting themselves on strict meal plans. They drink “nasty” kale sakes, workout every day of the week, eat an apple for lunch, and say no to anything sweet. This breaks my heart because this is NOT living healthy and they are putting themselves through such a hard time in the process. Below I have listed these common habits and how to correct them.

1. Restricting. You should never have to restrict yourself. If you are eating all the right healthy foods, you can eat in abundance. Eating tons of vegetables, fruits, legumes, beans, nuts, grains, etc will NOT make you fat. So why not indulge? Never should someone restrict themselves to “one” fruit, or “one” vegetable.

2. Gross. Healthy foods are not supposed to be “gross”. If you are on a juice or smoothie cleanse, or even just eating vegetables at dinner, they should never be gross. It all depends on how you prepare your foods and what you put in them. Healthy protein shakes and smoothies shouldn’t taste bad because YOU are in charge of what goes in them. I make a delicious green smoothie with just bananas, kale, spinach, peanut butter, water and almond milk. It’s green, it’s healthy, and it’s to die for. I just can’t get enough of it. Don’t think that just because you’re making a protein shake that it has to contain every single vegetable there is in the world, because then you just end up with a brown colour and a nasty taste. Just think simplicity.

IMG_95093. Over exercising. One should never over exercise or push themselves to make it to the gym 5 days a week. Take it slow and take it easy. There are no rules saying you have to go to the gym a certain amount of days to workout. Exercise when you feel like it. The best amount of time to work out is 3-4 times a week for 30-40 minutes. This gives your body a short but great workout, and it’s enough to lose weight and or build muscle. And you don’t even have to go to the gym! I do all of my workouts at home. You can create workout schedules from the comfort of your own living room. It’s that easy. And you’ll feel great about it.

step ups4. Saying no to anything sweet. NO! Don’t ever do this. I’ve say this many times before, but if you eat clean and exercise, and live an overall healthy lifestyle, than it is 100% okay to treat yourself. You shouldn’t have to say no to a chocolate cookie when all of your friends are having one. You shouldn’t have to say no to a piece of cake at your mother’s birthday dinner. A treat will not make you fat and it will not make you lose all of the progress that you have made. Smile. Eat. Be happy. Treat yourself.

On another note, I know it’s hard to believe, but there ARE indeed healthy desserts; I’d know because I make em all the time! Flourless, refined sugar free, vegan, paleo, etc. I’m not saying you have to strictly eat healthy desserts, because unhealthy desserts are 100% okay, and 100% delicious. But I am just letting you know that there are options and variety, and you can eat desserts that are guilt free.

IMG_8532Now that you have read my opinions on living a healthy lifestyle, I hope you are able to think about it and allow it to help you become an overall healthy and happier person. I know you think it can be hard, and I know that you may want to give up, but if you ever feel like that, just read this over again. I promise you it will help. Remember, this will all be worth it. There are never any downsides to living a healthy lifestyle. 🙂