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.

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Organic Burst Review

Many of you have probably heard of Organic Burst. They are a company based in the UK that sells organic super foods and powders. I see their products around Instagram all the time, so I thought it was time to check them out. Ekaterina was kind enough to send me 5 bottles of their organic powders!

IMG_0558These powders have amazing scientifically proven benefits for the skin, fighting sugar cravings, detox, anti-ageing, hormonal balance, exercise performance and more. Their products are loved by the celebrity health, beauty and fitness experts and have been featured in the leading media such as Vogue, Elle, The Times, Sunday Times Style, Daily Mail, The Telegraph, The Sun, Grazia and more.

Their products are 100% pure and organic superfoods that are super high in many nutrients, so they are natural alternatives to multivitamins supplements. Each of their chosen superfoods has an amazing history- spirulina was cultivated by the Aztec, maca was taken by the Inca, and the Pharaohs of Egypt took wheatgrass for rejuvenation.

They source from small ethical organic producers all over the world and manufacture in the UK to the highest quality standards. Organic Burst superfoods are a higher quality grade than many conventional superfood brands – with very high levels of potency and purity, UK pharmaceutical grade standard, free from heavy metals, toxins, pesticides, herbicides, fillers or additives and each batch tested in an independent laboratory in the UK.

IMG_0556I’ve heard so much about acai berries and acai powders, but believe it or not, I have never tried it. So as soon as the package came in, the first thing I made was an acai berry bowl.

2014-04-10 001 2014-04-10 008In my blender I added 2 frozen bananas, a handful of raspberries, and broke open 4 capsules of acai (4 is the recommended serving per day) and blended it all together. This beautiful creation was the outcome. It tasted delicious and was packed with super foods and anti-oxidants.

Acai is an Amazonian berry that does wonders for the skin and body. It has one of the highest antioxidant levels of all fruit and vegetables ever tested by science – up to 8 times that of blueberries and 10 to 30 times that of red wine. Its powerful antioxidants, polyphenols and Vitamin E, help slow down the effects of ageing by protecting our cells from degeneration.

IMG_0554Another super food I’ve heard many things about is Maca. It has been used in Peru for endurance, energy and hormonal balance for over 2000 years. Maca root is known as the Peruvian Ginseng due to the variety and density of its minerals: calcium, potassium, iron, phosphorus, magnesium, silica and zinc.

I made chocolate Maca oatmeal. I cooked my oats, added 1 tsp of brown sugar, 1 tsp of cacao powder, and 1 tsp of Maca powder. I also added chia seeds, peanut butter and some fruit! Oh, and I drizzled it with some of my homemade vegan chocolate sauce.

2014-04-19 001 2014-04-19 0012014-04-19 001 2014-04-19 002Next I decided to take the Maca powder and pair it with another powerful super food: Wheatgrass.

Organic Burst Wheatgrass is a 100% pure, organic, green wonder-food from a multi-award winning UK brand. Humans have been consuming wheatgrass for over 5000 years, dating back to the Pharaohs of Egypt. It’s well known for its detoxifying and cleansing properties. It contains chlorophyll, essential fatty acids, antioxidants, enzymes and energy-metabolising minerals. Their wheatgrass is organically grown and carefully dried, preserving all its nutrients.

I made these smoothies for my dad and I. I know what you’re probably thinking – they look like grass. But I promise you, they were DELICIOUS! And if you are a health freak like me, or even someone who appreciates nutrition, you will believe me. (Because green smoothies are the bomb) They are simply 4 frozen bananas, lots of spinach, 1-2 tsp. of peanut butter, 1 tsp. of Maca powder, 1 tsp. of Wheatgrass powder, and water!

IMG_0158The fourth powder I tried was Spirulina. Spirulina is a blue-green microscopic plant that has existed on our planet for 3.6 billion years and served as a source of nourishment to many civilizations. It has a full spectrum of nutrients that nourish the body and mind: beta-carotene, iron, calcium, magnesium, Vitamin B complex, chlorophyll, complete protein, GLA and more.

Organic Burst Spirulina is grown organically in clean, freshwater ponds, free of toxins, chemicals or pesticides. Thanks to these strict conditions, their spirulina powder is a completely pure, easily digested, and has a pleasant taste.

I created a beautiful coloured smoothie that included: 3 frozen bananas, blueberries, almond milk, and 1 tsp of Spirulina.

spirulina The last powder I tried was Baobab. Baobab fruit powder is a powerful new superfood and Africa’s best-kept secret until now. It’s known as the “Tree of Life” and has been cherished by locals across the African continent for centuries. It has a unique nutritional profile, with more Vitamin C than oranges, more iron than red meat and a rich content of alkalising minerals: calcium, potassium and magnesium.

I made a green smoothie that was 2 frozen bananas, 1 tsp. of peanut butter, a handful of spinach, 1 tsp. of Baobab, 1 tsp. of Wheatgrass, and 1 cup of water!

2014-04-18 002 2014-04-18 006This smoothie was so good and refreshing that my parents even asked for some so I had to make more. You know Organic Burst is good when the whole family wants some.

2014-04-18 002 2014-04-18 007Organic Burst is a wonderful company that has some amazing products. I will for sure being using these in every smoothie I make. You can also add them to oatmeal, pancakes, cookies, brownies, quinoa; virtually anything. They are all powders, except for the Acai which is capsules, but you can open them and use the powder inside. They are fun, healthy, and make a great super food.

For more information about Organic Burst or to purchase some of their products online, visit their website: http://organicburst.com/

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Vegan French Toast

Okay, so my E-book Journey to a Good Life has been out for quite a while now. It includes a 10 page description of my personal workout from home, 25 healthy recipes, foods to buy, meal plans, vegan and vegetarian meal ideas, and behind the scene photos. I haven’t released any of the recipes that are in my E-book onto my blog because well, that would defeat the purpose of having it. One of the recipes in my E-book is vegan french toast. It’s healthy, gluten free, and ever so delicious. I think that it’s time for me to share this one.

IMG_9746Ladies and gentlemen… here is the recipe for my vegan french toast, exclusive right from my E-book.

What you’ll need: Almond milk, 2 ripe bananas, cinnamon, whole grain brain or bread of choice, fruit, pure maple syrup, and a blender.
Prep time: 10 minutes.

1. Preheat the stove or skillet to 350 degrees.

2. Break up and put 2 ripe bananas into a blender or magic bullet.

3. Add in 1/2 cups of vanilla almond milk.

4. Add 2 tsp. of vanilla extract

5. Add 1 tsp. of cinnamon

6. Blend everything together so there’s no chunks, and pour it into a bowl. You may or may not need more almond milk, depending on how much base you want to use. If you want more base, add more almond milk.

7. Grease the pan with coconut oil.

8. Dip whole grain bread (or bread of your choice) into the mix, and put it on the skillet or pan.

9. Cook until it’s brown and no longer soggy, and flip.

10. This should be enough to make 6 pieces of french toast.

Top with fresh fruit such as strawberries, banana, kiwi, pineapple and blueberries, and add pure maple syrup for best results.

Hope you guys enjoy it! For more recipes in my E-book, click here.

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Plant Based Diet Challenge

Over the weekend I asked my parents to watch the documentary “Forks over Knives” with me. It’s a movie that explains the importance of a plant based diet, and how it not only helps your body, but also cures and reverses many sicknesses and diseases. In a world where heart disease and obesity are the number one killers, it is up to us to find natural, homeopathic remedies to heal our bodies.

After watching the film, I asked my parents if they would be willing to try to go vegan for 3 days and only eat whole plant foods. My mother said she’d try, but wouldn’t switch completely. My father though, surprised me the most by saying he would be willing to try to go fully vegan for 3 days. He also smokes daily so he has been trying to cut back on that, so now he is trying to only have 1 cigarette at 7pm.

To help them with this challenge, I said I would prepare their meals for them, and teach them how to make certain things.

Day 1
I made us bowls of oatmeal with fruit, nuts, hemp hearts, chia seeds, sunflower seeds, and chocolate brownie nut butter from Sweet Spreads.

2014-04-05 001 2014-04-05 003For lunch I made us green smoothie bowls that included: frozen bananas, pineapple, spinach, peanut butter, and water. Topped with pineapple, muesli, banana, hemp hearts, chia seeds, and a strawberry.

2014-04-05 004 2014-04-05 001For dinner we made a group effort and together we made a cous cous strifry with tons of vegetables, along with baked potatoes.

2014-04-05 002 2014-04-05 0142014-04-05 002 2014-04-05 011Day 2

I was busy in the kitchen making two kinds of pancakes for breakfast: sweet potato and spinach.

IMG_9678For lunch I whipped up a delicious smoothie in the blender: frozen banana, strawberries, dates, cacao powder, peanut butter and water.

2014-04-06 003 2014-04-06 017For Sunday night dinner, I prepared a delicious meal: kale and quinoa salad, sweet potato fries, broccoli and spinach. My brother was cooking lamb for himself and my grandpa, but my mother, father and I all stuck to our delicious plate of whole foods.

2014-04-06 007 2014-04-06 006Day 3

For breakfast I made vegan french toast (the recipe is in my E-book) and my parents loved it!

2014-04-07 005 2014-04-07 002For lunch I made green juices and smoothies. The smoothies included frozen banana, spinach, peanut butter and water. The juice was kale, spinach, romaine lettuce, Macintosh apple, strawberries, frozen banana, and water.

2014-04-07 003 2014-04-07 002Since I made so much food for Sunday night’s dinner, Monday nights dinner was just left overs!

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That pretty much sums up the three day plant based diet challenge. It was a pretty fun experience for both my parents and I. I was busy in the kitchen making lots of foods, and they were gaining a new experience by trying all of these things. My dad even said that after today, he’s not going to go completely vegan, but he’d like to stick with mainly plant based foods, but still be able to have his regular food, but with smaller portions.

On Sunday night when we were eating dinner, my brother and grandpa only had meat on their plate – no greens! It was terrible.. I cringed a little bit. We tried to get them to eat some but they refused. My dad now says that rather than having his plate 80% meat and 20% veggies, he wants to have it the other way around.

I’m glad I was able to share this with them and introduce them, even if just a little bit, to a whole and healthy lifestyle. If you haven’t watched the documentary Forks over Knives, I highly recommend it.

Ps. All new foods you see in this post will be on my blog with a recipe within the week!

Here are some extra photos from the past 3 days.

 

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All this for only $19! Except for the bananas – I got them separately. Included in that is kale, spinach, broccoli, asparagus, sweet potato, oranges, apple, kiwi, and strawberries.

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What I Ate Wednesday

What I ate Wednesday’s! Or should I rather say, ‘What I eat‘  Wednesday’s, as this is more of what I eat on a regular basis rather than just today.

WIAWbuttonI’ve never done one of these before, but I’ve seen others do them and they look fun, so I thought, why not. Haha, okay, first up is breakfast. As usual, I had oatmeal topped with fruit and nut butter. This is probably my favourite breakfast (next to pancakes) because it is so simple, and ever so delightful. It doesn’t take too long to make, and it’s easy to throw everything together. Don’t get me wrong, I love making and eating pancakes, but sometimes I don’t have the time or tools (because I am away at school) and so oatmeal is the best choice for me.

IMG_8817Next up would be lunch. For lunches I usually make a  strawberry banana smoothie bowl, chocolate banana ice cream, or a green smoothie. This right here is a spinach and kale smoothie with banana and almond milk. Delicious.

IMG_9430I usually have a snack in between lunch and dinner around 2:30-3:30. It usually consists of apples, oranges,muesli, nuts, and/or tea. Recently I went to Whole Foods and purchased Lara Bars for the first time because I’ve heard many good things about them, so I’ve included a photo of them on here for my snack. 2014-03-24 002 2014-03-24 001Finally the dinner photo. Now, my dinners all depend on where I am. I could either be at University (where I usually am), therefore I usually have a big salad with veggies and/or tofu, or sometimes even stir-fry, potatoes, and rice. However when I’m at home, I always make much better foods myself. Since I was home this weekend, I have included a photo of what I had for dinner one night, which consisted of home made sweet potato fries, brown rice, broccoli, and Sourdough Bread which was dipped in Balsamic Vinegar. I know that the picture doesn’t look like much and doesn’t do my dinner justice at all, but I just snapped this quickly because my family was sitting down to eat, and after I sat down, I of course loaded up way more, especially of the rice and sour dough bread. (It was my family’s first time trying the bread with the balsamic vinegar, and it was delicious!)

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Night #1

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Night #2 (With spinach and kale salads)

And no my eating doesn’t stop after dinner. I do tend to get hungry for a little snack later on in the evening. Sometimes I have an apple with almonds, cashews and a tea, or sometimes (most times) I have dates with peanut butter which is my favourite.

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Tropical Paradise

Imagine the tropics. Imagine that feeling when you’re sitting on the beach, with the sun on your skin, watching the waves wash in, and sipping on a refreshing fruity drink. What is the drink you’re thinking of? Why, it’s a Tropical Paradise of course. If you’re thinking this smoothie tastes as good as its name sounds, you are 100% correct. This smoothie is light, refreshing, healthy and delicious.
IMG_8655 All my other smoothies are thick and sweet, and yes they’re delicious and I enjoy them, but I thought I’d change it up a little bit, especially cause you guys probably want to see more variety.

IMG_8668I don’t know about you, but personally I adore sweet smoothies; like my Chunky Monkey Chocolate Vegan Shake, or my Peanut Butter Paradox. Everybody has their certain kind of smoothies they like, and when I gave this one to my mother to try, she said it was my best smoothie yet! I think that’s because she prefers the fruity, tropical taste, rather than chocolate/sweet flavour.

IMG_8657Okay, so you’re probably yearning for the recipe by now, and it’s really quite simple, so here it is.

1. Two ripe frozen bananas

2. One mango, cut up

3. 1 cup of cut up pineapple

4. 6 strawberries

5. ½ cups of water

Blend it all together for a few seconds, and pour it into a glass, and you are all done! Mine wasn’t super cold right away, so I stuck it in the freezer for 5 minutes and it was perfectly cool and refreshing.

Enjoy guys!

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