15 Smoothies in 15 Days, Day 12: Banana Pumpkin Bread Smoothie

As I mentioned, I had a pretty major checkup yesterday. Glucose/iron screening for gestational diabetes and anemia (for which I was supposed to fast for 2 hours, but ended up fasting for closer to 4.5 because apparently I can’t read), TDAP vaccine (so I was pretty much pricked with needles for an hour… and I hate needles), and a kind of intense ultrasound to see if my placenta moved up to where it was supposed to be (it was low; it is no longer low… yay!). Like I told Tim yesterday, it’s not that this stuff made me nervous or anything; it’s just that I had to be emotionally, physically, and mentally present through it all. Plus, I didn’t eat much, which really threw me off.

I’m really hoping everything turns out well with the blood test, and I’m so happy my placenta is behaving the way it should. But, I’m pretty exhausted today. And I’m running out of creativity. And it’s cloudy. And school starts in two days.

Top all that off with the fact that we haven’t been grocery shopping in well over a week. I sent Tim a list this morning of stuff we need, and that list was long. LONG long. This also means we are pretty much out of whatever I need to make cool and creative smoothies.

I really want to try a blueberry cucumber lemon smoothie, but we have no cucumbers. So, that will have to wait until tomorrow, because, hopefully, someone gets to the store today.

So, I woke up and opened the fridge and pantry to see what we had. Leftover pumpkin from my pumpkin peanut butter smoothie (YUM), some bananas, some coconut milk, and spices in the cabinet. Seriously, that’s about it.

Considering my pumpkin smoothie and my banana bread smoothie were so delicious, I figured, why not combine the two and take the sweetness down a notch to make a hybrid, banana pumpkin bread recipe.

I have to say, I was not disappointed. This one pretty much tasted like the banana bread one, but with a hint of pumpkin (and some more nutrients!).

If I were to do this again, I might try adding a green apple, just to get the trifecta of fall flavors and add some brightness to an otherwise thick and creamy smoothie. Maybe I’ll add that to my list of smoothies to try in the next few days as this project comes to a close.

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Banana Pumpkin Bread Smoothie
Makes two 16-oz smoothies

Ingredients:
-2 cups coconut milk
-2 ripe bananas
-1/2-3/4 cup chopped walnuts (however much you want)
-1/2 cup canned pumpkin
-2 tablespoons coconut oil
-1 tablespoon brown sugar
-1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
-1/2 teaspoon ginger
-1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
-ice cubes

Directions:
Blend until everything is pureed, including walnuts. Enjoy!

15 Smoothies in 15 Days, Day 10: Paleo Banana Bread Smoothie

I’m really into the dessert smoothies lately, probably because all I really want is ice cream, but I’m trying to eat things that aren’t, like, totally terrible for you. With my blood glucose test (screening for gestational diabetes) tomorrow, I’m trying to load up on good stuff and hope for the best. For that test, you have to fast for 3 hours prior to it, then drink some nasty, sugary stuff and get your blood drawn an hour later. I’m really not looking forward to it. But, if I fail, I have to go back for another, similar test that takes 3 hours, so I REALLY don’t want to do that. I’ve heard that if you don’t eat a ton of dessert-y foods the day before, it can help reduce your chances of a false positive (which is, incidentally, really common).

So, I’m trying not to have dessert-y foods today. Of course, what does that mean I am dying to have? You guessed it: dessert.

I turned to none other than Pinterest to get me through this day, and found this banana bread smoothie which looked promising because it’s dairy free. But then I saw that it required tofu and gagged a little bit. I really, really hate tofu. This is probably a remnant of my vegetarian days, but I think it’s truly disgusting. Unless it’s fried, and then it loses all healthy properties.

So, I modified the recipe. I not only modified it for preferences, but also for what I had in my pantry. We were out of honey AND maple syrup, so I went with brown sugar. (Yes, I just said I was avoiding sugar. One tablespoon in a smoothie before a yoga class is not going to do me in tomorrow. I hope.) This would definitely be healthier and a tad less sweet (which would maybe be a good thing) if I had gone with maple syrup, so I’d recommend that. You could also add a dash of vanilla if you like that sort of thing. I also went with only a little almond butter because that was all we had left (Clearly, we need to go grocery shopping.) and then supplemented walnuts, but had I thought about it, I might have gone with walnuts from the beginning because what is banana bread without walnuts?

Let me just say: This. Smoothie. Was. Amazing. Maybe even better than my previous favorite, the Peanut Butter Perfection Smoothie. It is sweet. It is creamy. It is delicious. It tastes exactly like banana bread. It is packed with calcium, potassium, and protein (plus some good fats with the coconut oil), which will get me through my yoga class that starts in 45 minutes. I am totally sold.

It doesn’t hurt that this smoothie kind of tastes like ice cream, either. Because I really want some ice cream.

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Paleo Banana Bread Smoothie
Makes two 16-oz smoothies

Ingredients:
-2 cups coconut milk
-2 ripe bananas
-1/2 cup chopped walnuts
-2 tablespoons almond butter
-2 tablespoons coconut oil
-2 tablespoons brown sugar (You can substitute honey or maple syrup, or cut this down by half. It was almost too sweet.)
-1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
-1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
-1/2 teaspoon ginger
-Ice cubes

Directions:
Add all ingredients. Blend and enjoy!

15 Smoothies in 15 Days, Day 8: Pumpkin Peanut Butter Perfection Smoothie

Pumpkin is my favorite thing of all time. All. Time. Pumpkin pie is my absolute favorite food ever. This is probably a huge reason why I love fall, because I know that pumpkins are on their way. It’s also a huge reason why I’m excited for a fall baby, because, hopefully, she will also love fall and we will have many fall birthdays to enjoy pumpkins and changing leaves and cooler temperatures together.

It makes sense, then, that I horde cans of pureed pumpkin. There was one year I remember that there was a shortage of pumpkins in the Midwest and it was almost impossible to get cans of pumpkin for Thanksgiving. I will not let that happen again.

(Incidentally, this year, I am also going to horde pumpkin beer, but that’s because I don’t want to miss the brief pumpkin beer season and won’t be able to drink any until the baby is born.)

So, because of our intense nesting this summer which included cleaning out our pantry, we found four cans of pumpkin plus a jar of pumpkin butter. Hello, early fall!

I got the idea to combine pumpkin and peanut butter from Pinterest (How’s that for some alliteration?), but was wary of it at first. Peanut butter and I have had a love-hate relationship this pregnancy. A smear of peanut butter on toast was one of the only things I could eat in early pregnancy. Now, just the smell of it usually reminds me of how sick I was and I tend to avoid it. Plus, peanut butter isn’t Paleo. But, I use the all-natural kind from Trader Joe’s, so I feel like there are probably worse things I could be eating.

So, despite my reservations about peanut butter, I realized this morning that I needed a smoothie that didn’t involve berries, just for something different. I figured, what do I have to lose? Pumpkin, spices, and coconut milk? Yum.

Holy cow, am I glad I made this smoothie. It is my absolute favorite so far. Its creamy goodness has subtle hints of pumpkin pie and just a touch of peanut butter. It is amazing. Seriously, you won’t regret making this one, even if you are Paleo.

This recipe is a combination of several I read this morning, but the end result is entirely my own.

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Pumpkin Peanut Butter Perfection Smoothie
Makes two 16-oz smoothies

Ingredients:
-2 cups coconut milk
-2 bananas
-1/2 cup pumpkin puree
-4 tablespoons peanut butter
-2 tablespoons coconut oil
-1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
-1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
-1/2 teaspoon ginger
-Ice cubes

Directions:
Blend and enjoy!

15 Smoothies in 15 Days, Day 7: Banana Berry Citrus Smoothie

I don’t know why, but I’m really digging the pink smoothies! They are just so pretty and bright and they really make me happy. Plus, I could eat strawberries all day, every day. Seriously. Give me 24/7 strawberries and I’ll be happy. I would almost not be surprised if this baby girl came out with red hair just because of all of the strawberries I’ve consumed.

This Banana Berry Citrus Smoothie is like a taste of summer, which is perfect for a warm, sunny, August day like today. In fact, I’m enjoying it whilst sitting on my patio in the sunshine, making it even more perfect. It’s really a simple variation on yesterday’s smoothies, but tastes oh so different.

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Banana Berry Citrus Smoothie
Makes 1-2 servings

Ingredients:
-1 1/2 cups orange juice (I prefer the full-calorie stuff with calcium and vitamin D, but whatever floats your boat)
-1 banana
-2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
-1 tablespoon coconut oil
-1 cup frozen strawberries
-1/2 cup frozen raspberries

Directions:
Blend and enjoy!

15 Smoothies in 15 Days, Days 5 & 6: Berry Coconut Dreamcicle Smoothie

Ok. I’ll admit it. I’m a cheater. I ate a smoothie yesterday, but didn’t post it, and then I made the same one today but used different berries.

But hear me out. This smoothie is so creamy and delicious and packed with nutrients, how could I NOT make it a few times? Plus, it’s pretty, and after my road tar experience the other day, I needed a few that were easy on the eyes as well as for sure delicious. This one hit the mark.

Yesterday, I made this smoothie with strawberries:

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Today, I made it with raspberries:

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I’m not going to lie to you. Tomorrow, I might make it with blueberries. And the day after, I might just make it with the leftovers of all three.

Protip: If you use frozen berries and a frozen banana (just slice it up before you freeze it), you don’t need ice cubes.

Berry Coconut Dreamcicle Smoothie

Ingredients:
-1 cup coconut milk
-1 tablespoon coconut oil
-2 tablespoons almond butter
-1 banana
-1 cup frozen berries of your choice

Directions:
Blend and enjoy!

15 Smoothies in 15 Days, Day 4: Green Blueberry Smoothie

I’ll start this one with a protip: Don’t mix apple cider vinegar and coconut milk.

I mean, I’m pretty sure it’s fine, but alternative milks can curdle when mixed with apple cider vinegar. Even then, I’m pretty sure it’s fine to drink, but I got about 1/4 of the way through drinking this smoothie, panicked and tossed it because I’m paranoid and pregnant and hormonal.

But, what I did drink was pretty good (which probably means the milk wasn’t curdled at all, because doesn’t curdled milk taste awful?), and super healthy, too. I would try to make another one, but it’s grocery shopping day and I used the last banana and avocado for this bad boy.

Anyway, I’ll leave the ACV out of the recipe because… just don’t. Also note that this smoothie looks a good deal like tar, especially if you don’t gulp it down all the way and let it sit for a while. This could be fixed by using 1/2 an avocado instead of a full one, and less spinach. You know, if you don’t like eating things that taste OK but look like you could pave a road with it.

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Green Blueberry Smoothie
Makes 1-2 servings

Ingredients:
-1 cup coconut milk
-1 avocado
-1 banana
-3/4 cup frozen blueberries (fresh works, too, but then you should add some ice cubes)
-2 tablespoons almond butter
-1 tablespoon coconut oil
-generous handful or two of spinach (I used two handfuls, so if you’re looking for less green, use less spinach)

Directions:
Blend and enjoy!

15 Smoothies in 15 Days, Day 3: Apple Pie Smoothie

Yesterday, I mentioned my recent love of chocolate. Today, I’m going to admit that the love of chocolate really extends to the love of all things sweet and dessert-y. Apple pie? Definitely one of those things. But, when you don’t want the carbs and the added sugar, what are you supposed to do when the craving for this all-American goodness strikes?

Make a smoothie, of course!

The added bonus to this smoothie is that if you want to add apple cider vinegar to it, there’s no better way to mask the taste of it than to add it to a smoothie that already has apples in it. You’ll barely even know it’s there!

A few tips on this smoothie, though. The one I made was pretty good, and I’ll include that recipe, but I used a green apple because that’s all I had on hand and I have difficulty getting my pregnant self to the store, a red apple or other super sweet variety of apple would have made this taste much more like apple pie. However, if you do only have a green apple on hand, some honey would have been nice to add a little bit of sweetness. Also, the banana I had was still a little green, so a really ripe, sweet one would have tasted much better, too.

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Apple Pie Smoothie
Adapted from FitSugar

Ingredients:
-1 cup coconut milk
-1 ripe banana
-1 sweet apple (cut chunks for the blender, but leave the skin on; that’s where all the nutrients and fiber are!)
-2 tablespoons almond butter
-2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
-1 tablespoon coconut oil
-1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
-1-2 teaspoons honey (optional)
-ice cubes

Directions:
Add everything to your blender. Blend, and enjoy!

15 Smoothies in 15 Days, Day 2: Chocolate Banana Smoothie

I’ve never been a huge chocolate person. I’ve enjoyed a square or two of dark chocolate or a melt-in-your-mouth truffle on occasion, but I never craved it. Chocolate ice cream or fudge on a sundae? Skip it and give me the plain, old vanilla. A handful of chocolate candies? No thanks.

Enter pregnancy and, suddenly, I. Love. Chocolate. Dark chocolate, milk chocolate, chocolate shakes, mint chocolate chip ice cream (I seriously cannot get enough of that stuff), oatmeal chocolate chip cookies… You name it, I’ll eat it. Just now, even talking about chocolate, I had to walk over to the cabinet and get some.

I’m not sure what’s up with that. I don’t even CRAVE it, like I absolutely have to have it RIGHT NOW, but if given the opportunity, I won’t pass it up.

So, when I came across this recipe, I figured, why not give it a try? Coconut milk, coconut oil, chocolate, and a banana? Doesn’t sound like you can lose.

Frankly, it was just OK. It definitely satisfied my chocolate craving, but it could have been a little thicker and sweeter. If I made it again, I might add an avocado for some added health benefits plus a little extra creaminess. I did, however, feel full and satisfied after drinking it, which is tough to do these days.

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Chocolate Banana Smoothie
Makes one smoothie
Adapted from Skinny Ms

Ingredients:
-1 cup coconut milk
-1 banana
-2 tablespoons cocoa powder
-a good shake of the cinnamon shaker (to taste)
-2 tablespoons almond butter
-1 tablespoon coconut oil
-1 avocado (optional)
-ice cubes

Directions:
Add everything to the blender, blend until it’s liquified, and enjoy!

15 Smoothies in 15 Days, Day 1: Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

It’s been a while since I’ve been on here. Five and a half months, to be exact. And I’ll tell you why… I’m pregnant! This is our first, and it’s a girl and I have about three months left before we get to meet her.

Normally, pregnancy wouldn’t be a reason to stop a food blog, but morning sickness hit me, and hit me hard. After about six months of Paleo and clean eating, all I could stomach were strawberry milkshakes from Steak & Shake (they HAD to be from Steak & Shake – don’t ask me why) and pizza. Sometimes, I could eat fruit, but that was pretty much it. I wouldn’t call these craving so much as these were literally the only foods I could eat. For months. That whole thing about morning sickness stopping after your first trimester? It’s a bag of lies. Mine continued well through my fourth month.

This is all not to mention that, for a truly healthy pregnancy, you really need some bread and cheese if you aren’t intolerant to them. Actually, many pregnant women find themselves more tolerant to these things during their pregnancies than they usually are otherwise because they need the nutrients. If you don’t eat any carbs, your body ends up using all the protein and fat you are intaking for you instead of for your growing fetus, and that’s definitely not good, considering growing fetuses need a lot of protein and fat.

Also, did you know that getting into a cooking routine is kind of like getting into a workout routine? You get used to doing it, so you’re fine, but when you stop for a while, it can be tough to get back on the wagon. Needless to say, since I hadn’t cooked for over four months, I just… didn’t pick it back up.

Now, though, I’m in the home stretch. My third trimester starts on Sunday, and this little baby girl is growing well by all professional accounts. Since I want to try a natural, drug-free childbirth, I want to make sure I am healthy, she is healthy, and there are as few complications as possible. Furthermore, the third trimester, your immune system is pretty much shot, and I have to go back to school (i.e. come in contact with lots of new germs) in a few weeks. In short, I want to get my body in the best shape possible so I can avoid any illness or complications here in the home stretch.

So what am I doing to accomplish that goal? Eating well, of course. Whole foods – especially those that are known to increase immunity and breast milk production, because I plan to breastfeed – are now becoming a staple in my diet. I’m especially focused on herbal pregnancy teas, coconut oil, and apple cider vinegar. (Side note: NEVER take these without consulting your healthcare professional, pregnant or not! I AM NOT A DOCTOR and the internet is full of lies. This is just what I’ve chosen to do based on my research and with the help of my awesome team of doctors.) I don’t make my own pregnancy teas, but coconut oil and ACV are known to give you awesome nutrients, make your digestive system function more regularly (no small feat in the last months of your pregnancy), boost immunity, and – in the case of coconut oil – helps produce breast milk and good fats for your fetus, who is packing on the pounds as we speak.

I cook with these things, but I don’t incorporate enough of them into my diet to make a substantial difference (they say one teaspoon of ACV three times a day and two tablespoons of coconut oil per day – but spread it out!). So how am I to reconcile my desire to increase my intake of these foods with my need for more fruits and vegetables and my cravings for ice cream?

Smoothies, of course!

I love smoothies. I make them all the time, but I often find myself in a smoothie rut, eating the same one day in and day out. When I want to add things, I just add them, and the taste isn’t all that great. So, I’m on a quest for new smoothie recipes. Since I start school in a little less than 15 days, I’m starting a new project: 15 Smoothies in 15 Days! Who’s excited. I know I am!

First up, pumpkin pie. Why doesn’t love pumpkin pie? I absolutely adore pumpkin pie; it’s my favorite food. Ever. And, since we’re totally nesting and cleaning out everything, I found four cans of pumpkin puree in my pantry from last fall. So, here’s a little early taste of fall with all of the great nutrients pumpkin has to offer.

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Pumpkin Pie Smoothie
Makes one smoothie
Adapted from Free Coconut Recipes

Ingredients:
-1 banana
-1/2 cup coconut milk
-1/4 cup pumpkin puree
-1 teaspoon cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice, whatever you have on hand
-1 teaspoon honey
-1 tablespoon coconut oil
-1.5 teaspoons apple cider vinegar

Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. Optional: Garnish with cinnamon.