Spring Detox Smoothie

Spring Detox Smoothie

I have made a lot of green smoothies in my time. Seriously. A lot. I’m talking a green smoothie every day for the past seven years. That’s a lot of smoothies.

It all started back in 2007 when I was working at a raw foods cafe. I probably made over 10,000 green smoothies during that time. And that’s not even including green smoothies for me.

I used to rely on my Green Smoothie 2.0 recipe. This was my go-to standard smoothie for years.

Then came some fun green smoothie variations. Including my Kale and Pear Smoothie with Herbs and my Energizing Green Smoothie, which uses green tea for an energizing antioxidant boost. Yum!

Somewhere in there I became a holistic health coach and started encouraging others to make green smoothies of their own. (Are you a green smoothie newbie? I made a Green Smoothie 101 Video Tutorial just for you!) 

I also spent the past three and a half years years working at a nonprofit organization doing food education with low-income children and families. The best part? I got to share my Kale Smoothie for Kids with hundreds of kids all around the city of Seattle. I’m really gonna miss that job.

Then came my Kale Smoothie for Ladies. This one combines kale with potassium-rich bananas, hormone-balancing maca powder, and cacao powder (because… who doesn’t love chocolate?!) for a delicious, creamy treat.

Recently I even developed a low-sugar smoothie, perfect for those needing to cut back on fructose. The result? A creamy Fruit-Free Green Smoothie that uses avocado and cucumber as the base.

This week I found myself reflecting on the different smoothies I’ve made throughout my life. Just like the weather, I usually switch up my smoothie 3 – 4 times a year to coincide with the seasons and meet the needs of what I’m craving.

Since we’re now into spring I thought it was time to create a new smoothie using all the fresh greens available. This smoothie is a slightly spicy blend of arugula, kale, pea shoots, and micro greens, combined with avocado, cucumber, lemon, and a little coconut water for sweetness. It’s low in sugar, high in fiber, and the perfect way to add more greens into your diet this season. Hello spring detox smoothie!

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Dandelion Tea & Giveaway

Dandelion Tea & Giveaway

Gosh I love spring time. For me, spring is all about growth, change, and making space for new things. I love how spring encourages us to make better choices and clean – whether that means our homes, our kitchen cupboards, or our bodies.

One of my favorite parts of springtime is the abundance of fresh, leafy greens. And dandelions. Did you know that dandelions are edible? It’s true! You can actually eat dandelion greens and they’re really delicious when sauteed with a little fat as this helps reduce their bitterness. You can check out my dandelion greens recipe here.

Since spring is upon us and everyone is in detox mode, I wanted to share one of my favorite tea brands with you and introduce you to two of their new teas! I’m a big tea drinker and I’ve been a fan of Traditional Medicinals tea for a long time. My favorites are their Nighty Night tea (it’s perfect before bed), Echinacea Plus tea (great during cold season), and Ginger Aid tea (helps with digestion and abdominal cramps). My kitchen cabinet is stocked full of Traditional Medicinals tea so you can imagine how excited I was when they reached out to me and offered to let me try their new blends!

For nearly 40 years Traditional Medicinals has been encouraging people to embrace plants as a way to maintain wellness.  Dandelion has become increasingly popular for its ability to support the body’s natural detoxification process, which is why Traditional Medicinals recently released two new dandelion teas:

  • EveryDay Detox Dandelion – Inspired by a classic European herbal formula; a blend of dandelion, licorice, fennel, and peppermint help stimulate the liver while providing support to the kidneys.
  • Dandelion Leaf and Root – From roots to shoots, this enjoyably mild and sweet tea supports kidney function and healthy digestion.

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Chicken Cilantro Soup

Chicken Cilantro Soup

How come the days when I really, really, really need yoga also happen to be the days when I really, really, really don’t want to go to yoga?

These are usually the days when I’m exhausted, irritable, and would prefer to do anything instead of sitting in a hot room doing deep breathing. However, I’ve learned over time that I always feel better afterwards and that hour class actually goes by pretty fast. Well, that is if I can stop wining in my head the entire time.

This morning was one of those days. My alarm went off at a quarter to six and all I could think about was hitting the snooze button. Instead, I dragged myself up out of the bed, trekked through the rainy Seattle streets and made it to my 6:30 am yoga class on time… only to discover that I was the only. person. there. Apparently one of the benefits of 6:30 am yoga is that sometimes that yoga “class” is actually a private session. (I guess that’s a good thing?)

The only thing better than that after-yoga-all-day zen feeling has to be coming home to a bowl of this hearty and comforting soup for dinner. This soup is one of my favorites and I love it this time of year because it’s filling enough to be a meal, while also feeling light enough to be a soup for early spring.

And if you’re vegetarian or plant-based? Don’t let “chicken” in the title fool you! This soup is fabulous when made with veggie stock and chickpeas instead of meat!

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Quick Pickled Beets

Quick Pickled Beets

You know what’s funny about this time of year? The days are still dark, short, and cold, but I can sense spring in the air.  And for some reason, spring always makes me crave salads. So even though it’s a little early, let’s talk about salads, shall we?

If you love salads as much as I do, you should try my Roasted Fennel and Spring Vegetable Salad and I would definitely encourage you to top your salad with my Green Goddess Salad Dressing (it’s vegan!).

You know what else I love on my salads? Beets. I usually roast them, but I’ve been craving something tangy so I decided to create some quick pickled beets by marinating them overnight in apple cider vinegar with a little garlic and onions. Yum. Whether you’re a beet-lover or a beet-hater, this is the perfect way to top your salads this season!

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How to Prepare Leeks

HOW TO PREPARE LEEKS

Leeks are one of those foods that people often avoid in the produce section. What is that thing called? Is it a giant green onion? How do you prepare it? 

So today we’re going to take some of the mystery out of it. That strange long, greenish veggie is called a leek and it’s nothing to fear.

Leeks are part of the allium family (along with onions and garlic) and taste similar to scallions or green onions, but with a bit more flavor. Once you know how to prepare leeks, they are pretty easy to use and work great in stir-fries, soups, stocks or braised on their own.

Here’s how to get started when working with leeks…

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Grilled Rainbow Carrots with Basil Vinaigrette

Grilled Rainbow Carrots

When I’m not throwing myself into cookbooks or food blogs, one of my secret hobbies is reading fashion blogs. I’m completely fascinated by women who know how to mix colors, fabrics, and textures. Women who know exactly how to tie a scarf to perfectly complement an outfit and who can layer clothing and not end up looking like they’re preparing for a snow storm (at least, that’s always my problem). Creating outfits it a lot like art and when it comes to dressing myself, even though I’m well into adulthood I’m somehow still getting the hang of it.

In the past few months I’ve been spending so much time researching closet staples and how to create a basic wardrobe that I even considered starting my own clothing blog. (side note: I decided it would have to be called “In Sonnet’s Closet.” hehe)  Then I came to my senses and realized that even though I’m fascinated by clothing, readers would probably be bored of seeing how many ways I can wear a grey Old Navy tee-shirt with jeans. :)

The cool thing that I’ve learned about fashion though is that it’s all about remixing pieces and using them in new and unexpected ways. And, surprisingly in this sense, it’s a lot like cooking.

When I create a recipe, I usually start with seasonal produce. Seasonal produce is always my focal piece. From there I decide what flavors and textures I want to create in the dish and what cooking method would work best. And a gal can never forget accessories in the kitchen (aka herbs and spices).

In this recipe, I like to think of carrots as a basic grey tee. Sure, it could be bland and boring, but with the right accessories it doesn’t have to be.  So this Labor Day weekend, spice things up a bit. Grab some carrots, throw them on the grill, and top them off with a simple basil vinaigrette. Maybe I can’t help you with your wardrobe, but I can always suggest something new in the kitchen.

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How to Make Sauerkraut

How to Make Sauerkraut

 

Do you remember the dad in My Big Fat Greek Wedding and his obsession with Windex?  …Have a zit? Put some Windex on it. Unwanted mole? Put some Windex on it.  Any weird physical ailment? Put some Windex on it. 

Today I realized that I am that guy. But instead of being obsessed with Windex, I’m obsessed with fermented foods.

Have a stomachache? Eat some sauerkraut. Indigestion after meal? Eat some sauerkraut. Fatigue? Eat some sauerkraut.  If you’re not into fermented foods yet, I think you will be soon.

Fermented foods are a really important part of our diet and have been used in many cultures as a way to preserve foods and make them more digestible.  Why are fermented foods important?  Here’s the deal.  We all have microflora (bacteria) in our intestine which is absolutely necessary to keep us healthy.

In the body, there is “good” bacteria and “bad” bacteria and it’s important to keep the “good” bacteria thriving. Fermented foods contain populations of the “good” bacteria that help to keep the microflora balanced.  This is necessary because antibiotics are so prevalent in our world (especially in modern agriculture production) and they kill the bacteria in your body, regardless of whether it is “good” or “bad.”

One of my favorite tutorials I’ve created on this blog is a step-by-step post on how to make kimchi at home. I love this stuff. It’s so spicy and tangy and it goes great in fried rice and spicy kimchi soup!  However, a lot of folks don’t like spicy foods so sauerkraut is a fabulous alternative. Since it’s summer and cabbage is in season, I thought I’d share a step-by-step tutorial to show you how to make sauerkraut!

It’s soo easy (I promise!) and once you get the hang of it you’ll be making it all the time. And, your tastebuds (and your digestion) will thank you! So, let’s get to it!

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Digestive Aid Juice

  Digestive Aid Juice

Before we dive into talking about this beautiful digestive aid juice, let’s talk about digestion for a moment. Shall we?

Why is digestion so important? Without going into a complicated biology lesson (which I probably would not be prepared to teach), let’s simply think of what our digestive system does for us: it breaks food down into smaller pieces so that our body can use this nourishment to build new cells and give us energy. It’s amazing what our bodies do for us on a daily basis!

Since our digestion is essential for maintaining a healthy and happy body, anything that we can do to help aid our digestive system will increase our overall health. For example, this might include eating more fermented foods like saurkraut or kimchi, drinking kombucha, or taking probiotics to help maintain healthy bacteria in our guts.

It’s definitely important to think about the types of foods we are eating, but it’s also important to think about how we are eating those foods. Are you rushing through meals? Shoveling food down your mouth? Eating on-the-go? All of this contributes to digestive stress.

I know life is busy and I struggle with this too, but as much as possible, try to slow down at meals, chew your food properly, and allow your body a chance to fully digest your meal before running off to a new task. Your digestion and your body will thank you.

And now let’s talk juice.

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