snack

Blueberry Basil Smoothie

I've been on a simplistic approach to meals these days. Lots of smoothies and simple vegetable bowls (I will share a few more of these recipes soon). It works quite well with my busy schedule and being on my feet all day. I like the lightness of these meals so I can continue energized throughout the day. 

Being able to digest our food is so important, but it's hard to do so when we're rushed and adrenaline is going. When we don't digest our food properly, our bodies respond with bloatedness, gassiness, heartburn, and feeling overall uncomfortable. 

Feeling like this after every meal is not ideal for anyone. I personally went years feeling like crap after every time I ate thinking it was normal. When we're bloated and gassy, our bodies are stressed and expanding tons of energy to try to get back to a relaxed state. Proper digestion itself takes up a lot of energy, that's why when we eat large meals, we feel tired afterwards and it can be hard to think. Not super ideal for midday when there's still lots of energy to expand on other things. Eating wisely is key! 

There are things that could help digestion such as sitting down for a meal in a quiet place away from all electronic devices, breathing deeply before and during meals, eating lighter meals, drinking your meals (blended foods are predigested for us!), avoiding fluids with your solid meals (unless drinking your meal, of course), avoid foods that cause you bloatedness and indigestion (usually processed foods, refined sugars, processed and inorganic dairy, gluten (for some), and fast food), and chewing your food! We undermine chewing and it's key for proper digestion. 

Below is one of the quick smoothies I've been making for myself while the delicious berry season continues. Try it yourself. Feel free to add raw seeds, nuts, or your favorite organic plant-based protein powder for extra protein. 

What do you do to stay nourished in the midst of your busy schedule?

Ingredients

2 cups frozen wild blueberries

1/2 cup fresh blackberries (or berries of choice)

1 cup raw coconut water

andful fresh basil leaves (about 1 cup, or more to taste)

1 Tablespoon sunflower seed butter (Homemade recipe here)

1 teaspoon raw honey

Juice of 1/2 lemon

Pinch of sea salt

Procedure

  1. Blend all ingredients together until smooth. Top with extra blueberries or berries of choice. 

 

Spiced Sweet Potato Wedges + Avocado Superfood Dip

Spiced sweet potatoes featured image

There's something about sweet potatoes. Don't you love them? I do! Sweet potatoes are the healthy alternative to regular potatoes because they actually pack a punch of essential vitamins and minerals. They are anti-inflammatory and help balance blood sugar. The words 'yams' and 'sweet potatoes' are often interchangeable. They are actually two different vegetables, but are both great options.

Staying clear of all whites is always best (white breads, flours, sugars, etc.), but there is an exception... Japanese sweet potatoes. They are white-light yellow inside and have a purple skin. These are actually the most nutrient dense of all sweet potatoes. So enjoy your sweet potatoes/yams, especially the Japanese ones!

Spiced Sweet Potato Wedges

Ingredients

2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into wedges (I used yam & Japanese sweet potato)

2 Tablespoons melted coconut oil

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon turmeric

Pinch of cayenne

Sea salt and black pepper, to taste

Procedure

  1. Preheat oven to 425 F.
  2. Place sweet potato wedges in an oven safe dish.
  3. Combine coconut oil and spices in a small bowl and drizzle over potatoes. Mix to coat well.
  4. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until tender. Turn broiler on towards the end if you want them crispy.
  5. Serve with avocado superfood dip (recipe below).
Spiced sweet potatoes

Avocado Superfood Dip

Ingredients

1 ripe avocado

2 Tablespoons raw tahini

1 teaspoon spirulina (I use HealthForce brand)

1 teaspoon raw honey

Juice of 1/2 lemon

1/2 cup water, or to desired consistency

Procedure

  1. Place all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth. Garnish with fresh herbs and enjoy.

What's your favorite way to eat sweet potatoes? Share your creations and recipes below or on social media with #apurifiedlife

Caramel Apple Smoothie

CaramelAppleSmoothie featured image

Ah, I love thriving off whole foods! Don't you? The best thing about eating unrefined whole foods is creating your favorite flavors without harming your health, and instead, providing a nutrient-rich and tasty experience. It's a win-win if you ask me. I hope you enjoy this guilt-free sweetness! I encourage you to play with the ingredients to adjust flavor to your liking.

Ingredients

1 large apple, cored and chopped

2 cups nut milk of choice

2 Medjool dates, pitted

1 Tablespoon homemade sunflower seed butter (Or almond butter)

1 Tablespoon chia seeds

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 teaspoon Levity (Red Asparagus Root from Longevity Power), optional but has a caramel-like taste

Pinch of sea salt

CaramelAppleSmoothie

Procedure

  1. Place all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth.

Serves 1

 

X,

Giovanna

Superfood Hot Chocolate

superfoodhotchocolate featured image

Every year I come home to visit for the holidays with a new favorite drink or food that I'm eager to share with my family. This year, I've been on a hot chocolate kick for about a month now, and it's been a healing and delicious journey. This has been the morning drink of choice at my house for the past few days, and I encourage you to give it a try if you're looking for a cozy nourishing start to your day. Especially around the stressful holiday season, starting with a warm pre-digested drink like this will sooth the digestive system instead of causing more stress first thing in the morning. You'll feel lighter and more energized.

Ingredients

2 cups herbal tea -Any herbal tea of choice works.I use a loose leaf mixture of dandelion root, holy basil, gynostemma, and chaga mushroom. (I order my herbs online from Mountain Rose Herbs)

2 Tablespoons hemp seeds

1 Tablespoon raw cacao powder

1 Tablespoon coconut oil

1 teaspoon raw honey

1 teaspoon raw maca powder - Boosts energy, balances mood, influences stamina, and aids sexual function

1/4-1/2 teaspoon ashwagandha powder - An adaptogenic herb that helps the body deal with stress, strengthens the immune system, and boosts energy. 

1/4 teaspoon he shou wu - Strengthens the immune system, supports adrenals, calms the nervous system, and maintains youthful condition and color of hair. 

1/4 teaspoon vanilla

1-2 drops of vanilla stevia (Omica Organics)

Pinch of sea salt

Pinch of cayenne pepper

superfoodhotchocolate
superfoodhotchocolate

Procedure

  1. Place hot tea and remaining ingredients in a blender and blend until creamy and frothy.

Note: This drink is not by all means limited to these ingredients only. My hot chocolate is never the same. I like to switch off using different superfoods depending on how I feel that day. Play around with what calls you. Other ingredients I often use: mucuna, shilajit, lucuma, stevia, dates instead of honey, tahini, cinnamon, medicinal mushroom powders (reishi, cordyceps, turkey tail, shiitake, etc.), and Everlasting Vitality & Youth.

Let me know what ingredients you try and how your specialty superfood hot chocolate turns out.

Enjoy & Happy Holidays!

x, Giovanna

Double Layer Chocolate Slice

Chocolate Slice featured image

Another day, another guilt-free chocolate creation. I was about to make some chocolate for an afternoon boost, and couldn't decide between a simple chocolate bar or raw brownies. Then I thought, I want both in one bite. So this happened. And it was heaven. Cacao has many health benefits. It is truly a superfood, but of course, when it's in its pure unrefined state and not when consumed in excess or with loads of refined sugar and dairy.

Pure unrefined (raw) cacao properties:

  • Rich in magnesium - essential nutrients for vitality
  • High in antioxidants - cancer and heart disease prevention
  • High in iron - provides oxygen to cells
  • High in chromium - balances blood sugar
  • Theobromine - lowers blood pressure, boosts energy
  • Dopamine - Neurotransmitter that boosts pleasure
  • Serotonin - Neurotransmitter that balances mood and fights stress
  • Tryptophan - an amino acid that is the most commonly deficient

So there you have it. Raw chocolate is simply good for you in right amounts. I'm going to be celebrating the weekend with this creation. I hope you do too.

Chocolate slice

Ingredients

Bottom layer:

20 medjool dates, pitted

1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

1/2 cup raw cacao powder

1 Tablespoon lemon juice

Pinch of celtic sea salt

Top layer:

1/2 cup melted coconut oil

1/2 cup raw cacao paste (or caca powder)

2 Tablespoons coconut nectar or raw honey

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Pinch of sea salt

Procedure

Bottom layer:

  1. Place all ingredients in a food processor and process until well combined and mixture holds together when pressed with fingers.
  2. Line a small dish with parchment paper and press mixture down to form layer. Make sure to use a dish where you will cover all the surface, I used a 5 x 7 dish.
  3. Place in the refrigerator while you prepare the top layer.

Top layer:

  1. Mix melted coconut oil and cacao paste (melt ahead) or cacao powder.
  2. Place in a bowl and whisk in remaining ingredients.
  3. Pour over bottom layer and place back in the refrigerator until set, about 20-30 minutes.
  4. Cut into slices to serve. Store in the refrigerator.

Makes 12 slices

 

Summer Mango Salad

summersalad8

Oh, the lovely colors and flavors of summer. I created this refreshing salad for Oh My Dirfter. I whipped it together, and Micaela worked her magic with the camera.

Ingredients

– 1 large mango, diced
– 1/4 red onion or 1/2 cup radishes, sliced or diced
– 1/2 avocado, diced
– 1 cucumber or zucchini, cut in half and sliced
– Small handful of chopped fresh mint
– Juice of 1 lime
– Juice of 1/2 – 1 lemon
– Pinch of chili flakes
– Pinch of sea salt

Procedure

Place all ingredients in a medium-large bowl and mix to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed. Serve on a bed of greens or as is along with a side of seed crackers.

To learn how to make your own Seed Crackers, click here.

Mojito Power Protein Smoothie

Mojito smoothie featured image

Summer in San Francisco is not really summer, but I still like to enjoy the amazing flavors and make summer treats like this smoothie and plum & coconut popsicles. This mojito power protein smoothie is perfect for an afternoon boost or a well-balanced breakfast. It's packed with healthy fats, two of the best plant-based protein sources (spirulina, hemp seeds), and fresh greens that offer a wide spectrum of vitamins and minerals.

Two of the best plant-based protein sources:

Spirulina - Blue-green algea that grows in fresh water lakes all over the world  and is truly a superfood. It is made up of about 60-70% plant protein, which makes it the world's highest source of protein. Spirulina supports blood sugar regulation, immunity, kidney function, skin issues, cholesterol levels, depression, and provides lasting energy.

Hemp seeds - A complete protein, containing all essential amino acids. They have a perfect balance of protein, essential fats, enzymes, and vitamins. Hemp seeds are excellent for controlling blood sugar, reducing inflammation, improving circulation, muscle recovery, immune support, and providing sustained energy.

Ingredients

1 frozen banana

1/4 avocado

2 heaping teaspoons spirulina powder

1 large handful mint leaves

1/2 cucumber

2 cups spinach

2 cups coconut water (or filtered water)

3 Tablespoons hemp seeds (or chia seeds)

Juice of 1 lemon

Pinch of sea salt

Mojito smoothie

Procedure

  1. Blend all ingredients together until smooth. Pour into fancy glasses and enjoy.

Serves 2 or 1 for a nice big meal (I drink the whole thing for breakfast)

Mojito smoothie 2

 

Plum & Coconut-Maca Popsicles

Plum & coconut popsicles featured image

There is lots of plum and coconut going on in my house these days. It's stone fruit season here in California and plums are just too good to pass up at the farmers market every week. This is a very simple recipe and perfect for an afternoon craving on a hot day. You can substitute any stone fruit for plums. Peaches would also taste amazing.

Besides the great taste and vitamin benefits of plums, an added health benefit to this recipe is the maca powder. Maca is an adaptogenic root full of super powers. Adaptogenic means that it works to balance any system that is unstable/unbalanced in the body (nervous system, endocrine system, cardiovascular system, musculature). It also provides energy, enhances stamina and libido, increases endurance and strength, boosts mood, and balances hormones (aids with PMS). It has a nutty and delicious flavor. Make sure to purchase a raw and organic maca powder to get the full benefits and added chemicals.

Ingredients

Plum Layer:

3 fresh plums

1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean powder (or vanilla extract to taste)

Pinch of sea salt

Coconut-Maca Layer:

1 cup full-fat coconut milk (homemade or Native Forest Classic Coconut Milk - BPA free and organic)

1-2 Tablespoons coconut nectar, raw honey, or pure maple syrup (to taste)

1 Tablespoon raw maca powder

Pinch of sea salt

Plum & coconut popsicles

Procedure:

  1. Make plum layer: blend all ingredients until smooth. Pour into popsicle molds and place in freezer for 10-15 minutes for it to begin setting before you pour the next layer.
  2. Make coconut-maca layer: Blend all ingredients until smooth. Once plum layer has nearly set, pour coconut mixture over it to fill molds. Place in freezer for another 15 minutes.
  3. Insert popsicle sticks and return to freezer until fully frozen. To take out popsicles, run molds under cold water for about 10 seconds. Enjoy!

Makes 6 popsicles

For another delicious plum recipe, check out my previous treat: coconut-lavender pie with plum sauce.

Tell me, what's your favorite stone fruit?

Creamy Fig and Cacao Smoothie

Fig cacao smoothie featured image

Figs are in season here in California! Naturally, I created a creamy and decadent chocolate smoothie with fresh figs. The great nutrition components of fresh figs:

  • Fiber - supports bowel health, regulates blood sugar, lowers cholesterol, helps maintain a healthy weight
  • Vitamin B6 - brain health, detoxes the liver, aids in the metabolization of carbohydrates
  • Copper - builds strong bones and tissue, energy production, balances cholesterol levels,
  • Potassium - helps control blood pressure
  • Manganese - supports skin health, controls blood sugar, protects free-radical damage, aids in bone production

I don't have much else to say about this recipe other than encourage you to run to your farmers market to buy some fresh organic figs.

fig cacao smoothie

Ingredients

7-8 fresh figs

1 1/2 cups creamy coconut milk

1 cup water

2 heaping Tablespoons raw cacao powder

3 Tablespoon raw hemp seeds

2 teaspoons maca powder (optional)

1 teaspoon ashwagandha (optional)

1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom

Pinch of celtic sea salt

Pinch of stevia

Splash of lemon juice

Procedure

  1. Place all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Enjoy in the sun.

Serves 2