We still have blueberries in abundance and I’m making blueberry everything. Today I wanted something fast and cooling, so I made up a smoothie. I tried a new ingredient today with great success – fennel. I had a bronze fennel blow over in a recent storm, so had gone out and brought in the huge stem. I cut off all the leaf portions, which were substantial, a stored it in the fridge for use over the next several days.
I “accidentally” pulled the fennel bag out thinking it was something else and decided to give it a try. I was surprised by the combination of flavors and how well they blend, but also, by how strong the fennel leaf is.
Please remember my proportions are always guesstimates. Here’s my new combination:
Blueberry Fennel Smoothie
- 1.5 cups almond milk
- 1 frozen banana
- 1 large chard leaf
- 10 medium lettuce leaves
- 3 or 4 bronze fennel leaves (or regular fennel)
- 2 cups blueberries (or more if you like)
Place all ingredients in Vitamix (or blender) and puree. Drink immediately!
Hope you enjoy this unusual taste combination.
What’s your favorite smoothie?
When I became a vegetarian there weren’t a lot of good vegetarian cookbooks, plus most of them were for ovo-lacto vegetarians and I don’t eat eggs. For years I pined away, wishing I could make good muffins, cakes, pancakes, and the like. I tried all the egg replacers and found them to really be lacking. I did manage some decent treat using things like applesauce and yogurt, but sometimes I didn’t want their distinct flavors in what I was preparing.
Finally I began to play around with it myself and found that it is incredibly easy to make everything from cookies to pancakes from one basic recipe. How you make it into each different treat is through how much water you add to the dough, as well as what extras you put in. For instance you will put a lot less water into a cookie dough, than a pancake batter. You’ll add more sugar to cookies, too. In muffins you might want to add dried fruit, nuts, etc. Cookies may have peanut butter or things like that added to it, which all affect the level of water needed.
One of the nice things I found is that, even when I messed up I turned out something edible. Oh, maybe the muffins were a little gooey on the inside or the cookies didn’t flatten out the way I wanted, but they were all edible.
So, here’s my very basic recipe:
Basic Flour Mix
1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 cup white whole wheat flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
Enough water to make batter/dough the consistency you need.
That being said here are a few variations I do for different recipes.
- If I want my cookies to flatten out some I add about ¼ cup sunflower or safflower oil.
- If using peanut butter you’ll need a bit more water.
- When making a sweet treat I use Sucanat, a whole sugar. Not too sweet add ½ cup, really sweet add 1 cup.
- To know how much of a spice to put in, for cookies or muffins, just refer to a recipe in a book and use their recommendation. Just remember spices you use less of, herbs you can use more of. Don’t be tempted to add a bunch more of the spices as it can be very overpowering. If you really want it to be especially cinnamony, then add about ¼ to ½ tsp more.
For cake I have a wonderful recipe that you can mix up right in the 9×13 pan.
Now you can enjoy your treats and have them healthy, too.
Using fall fruits can make excellent smoothies. Below is a recipe I prepared recently.
- 1 pear, peeled and quartered
- 1 banana, peeled and broken into several pieces
- 4 chard leaves with stems, washed and cut into large pieces
- 1 cup soy milk
- ½ cup vanilla yogurt
- ½ tsp Chinese five spice
Put all ingredients in a high speed blender or Vitamix and puree until smooth.
You can substitute almond or rice milk; ½ cup plain yogurt, 1 tsp vanilla extract, whole sugar to taste; leave out the Chinese five spice, add cinnamon and/or ginger; frozen banana for fresh.
By continuing to drink smoothies into the fall months, you’ll continue to get great nutrition by including leafy greens and fresh fruit in your diet.
This works great as a breakfast drink, or have it ready for the kids when they get home from school.
- Plain yogurt or sour cream
Wash and place strawberries in a bowl. Put yogurt in a bowl. Put Sucanat, or other whole sugar in another bowl.
To eat pick up a strawberry, dip in yogurt then in sweetener. Munch to your hearts content!
Yogurt with Strawberries and Blueberries
- Plain yogurt
- Cinnamon or Chinese 5 Spice (opt)
- Vanilla extract (opt)
You can make this up a bowl at a time or mix all the ingredients in a larger bowl and serve it.
Wash, trim any bad spots and trim tops off strawberries. Wash and remove any stems from blueberries. Place both in a bowl. Add enough yogurt to coat them well. Stir in sweetener to your liking. Then sprinkle a scant ¼ tsp of either of the spices, for single serving, or 1 tsp for a large bowl. Again, just ¼ tsp of vanilla extract for a single serving, 1 tsp for a large bowl. Enjoy the slight tanginess of the yogurt with the sweetness of the fruit, mingled with the exotic flavor of the spices and extract.