Before I begin with my little treats I want to freak out a little! I very kindly received a free copy of the wonderful e-book, 40 Days of Green Smoothies by Becky over at Glue and Glitter! Glee!! I signed up over at An Unrefined Vegan a while back but I’m so amazed to have been chosen for this very timely gift 😀 As you may have seen, I recently discovered smoothies and have been addicted ever since – most days I have two smoothies a day, but now always at breakfast, no matter what! It’s such a wonderfully refreshing and joyous way to start the day – a green glass stuffed with spinach, frozen cucumber, fruit and milk or water – what’s not to love? I’ve been struggling to think up new and create smoothies that don’t involve a lot of fruit, which is something I’ve commented on at several blogs where bloggers are having the same issues. As a former borderline diabetic I have to be very careful about the amount of sugar I take in, natural or not, not to mention be more conscious generally of what it is I eat. Smoothies, if done mindfully, are utter decadent bliss – really, who doesn’t love the feeling of sitting back, sipping out a ridiculously big glass with a straw and be able to call that breakfast, miles away from any beach or tropical resort?
I’m going out food shopping today just to stock up on ingredients for smoothies, especially in advance of our 10km walk on Wednesday. This morning I made Becky’s mango and avocado smoothie, and can I just pause for a moment to delight in that combination? When I got to the bottom of my glass I was very, very sad (but equally full!). Either way, 40 days of smoothies with endless combinations and ideas? I’m going to be in my element! I need to be more vigilant however, and not end my smoothie-run before it even properly commences – I accidentally blended a spoon yesterday after our 6km walk – I was so hungry and trying to multi-task taking photos that I forgot it was in my smoothie. Yikes! Luckily my blender survived but I’ve had so many accidents already (including forgetting to put on the blender bit at the bottom so all the liquid gushed through!) that I may need more adult supervision than what I can provide myself. :p At least with a pimping recipe book that part of the process is taken care of – Becky gives “shopping lists” for each week with changing ingredients to keep the smoothies unique and fresh, moving from the basics of bananas to the wacky and wonderful world of ginger juice and beyond! I find smoothies are also rather calming – the process of making one and then sitting back to sip at it whilst looking out over the garden or perving over food journals makes for some pretty great time alone, because the world can sometimes get a bit insane and the best place to escape to should be within oneself.
Yesterday, for example, was rather raucous – I went to go visit my aunt for a girly gabble session and then later Man-thing and I went over to my family for dinner (mexican food, nom nom!). To have something to nibble on at my aunt’s I made some delightful grain-free cookies, inspired by the chocolate, fig, and black bean cookies from over at Golubka. Those beautiful pictures have been haunting me for a while so I decided to try out the recipe with some minor modifications, and yum! When I listed the ingredients to my aunt (hey, she asked) her face sort of twitched as if she’d bitten into a lemon but she ate two and seemed rather surprised that they didn’t sprout wings, and Man-thing also declared they were tasty, which is enough for me in terms of objectivity (earlier this week I threw out some freezer treats because yikes, some recipes just do not work!). Because my ingredient list differs on some dramatic points I’m going to list it below:
Makes 21 cookies
- 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds, milled to a fine flour
- 1/2 cup dried figs, soaked with 1/3 of that reserved and chopped into little bits
- 1 can cannelini beans, rinsed and drained
- 1/3 cup grated beetroot
- 2 TBSP cacao
- 100g applesauce
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 1 flax egg
- 1/2 cup steamed large zucchini with seeds removed
- 1/8 cup chickpea flour
- 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips
- Preheat to 180C – prepare either a baking tray or, as I did for half of mine, your mini muffin pans.
- Blend all ingredients, except the chopped figs, chocolate chips and pumpkin seeds until a smooth consistency (though I still had beetroot splashes in my mix.
- Add in pumpkin seeds and pulse til combined.
- Pour mixture into a bowl and add the chocolate chips, stirring to combine.
- Spoon the mixture into cookie shapes or halfway fill your mini muffin cups.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes, depending on how squishy you want yours to be. I wanted mine to melt in my mouth so I baked it for 15 minutes.
Drizzle your cookies with a combination of coconut oil and cacao (I used 3 TBSP of each) and sprinkle with goji berries or other goodies.
Glee! Anyway, I’m rather excited for our walk on Wednesday – it’s a night-time lantern race, which should be fun. Once we have that under the belt we can change up our exercise routine a bit and try bicycling again, which I am really terrible at thanks to a general lack of hand-eye-leg co-ordination. Brisk walking is great for that feeling of well-being, but it’s not so intense on muscle development, or at least not as we do it now. With my afternoons becoming less time-restricted I’m thinking of re-incorporating some yoga into my life, which I used to be obsessed with at some point, but I suspect I might then get an audience, which would be rather disconcerting. When I used to do it back in the day Gatsby would take such opportunities to curl himself around my legs or hands when I was bent with my head against my knees or with body parts in the air, which needless to say earned him some time alone outside behind a closed door. Now with Man-thing ever so curious at the slightest thing I’m sure he too would want to make a nuisance of himself, so I’ll have to find a way to distract him elsewhere. :p There really is nothing better than being upside down breathing deeply and transcending the routine gait of one’s body.