Apple-Spinach Juice

I’ve come across plenty of green juice recipes that involve all kinds of ingredients. This one keeps it super-simple and tastes absolutely delicious! You can play with the ratio of spinach to apple to make your juice tarter (more apple) or milder (more spinach.)

Packed with vitamins A and C, calcium and iron, this fresh juice is a great natural source of energy, as your bod can absorb the vitamins and minerals almost immediately. I suggest drinking some first thing in the morning or right after a workout.

Ingredients (1 large glass)
2 medium granny smith apples
1 10-oz bag fresh spinach

Wash and dry produce and core apples. Give everything a whirl in your juicer and enjoy right away.

Two-Minute Berry Banana Smoothie

If I was a lady who embroiders, I would make a plaque to hang in my kitchen that says “Smoothies are made from angel’s kisses and god’s love.”There are plenty of imposters out there masquerading as your best smoothie friend; if you read between the lines at any smoothie joint, you’ll realize that the primary ingredient in these jokers is sugar, and synthetic ingredients often make a guest appearance. Making your own smoothie at home is so simple, and you can control exactly what goes into the mix. This is one of my favourite combos. It’s great with fresh berries, but I like to use frozen because they’re so easy to keep around and they make my smoothie nice and cold.

This is my go-to breakfast or post-workout snack when I’m in a hurry. I’m always running late no matter how much time I leave myself, so having this smoothie ready to go is a big help. I like to fill the blender with the ingredients and leave it in the fridge-you can even do this the night before-that way, all I need to do is give it a whirl, and I have something sustaining to sip on while I get ready!

Protein powders have become a popular smoothie addition since I was a kid, but I’m wary of them; the ingredient list is too long and complicated for my comfort level. Besides, unless you’re training to be Miss Muscles USA, you don’t need to eat 100 grams of protein a day; 50-60 is just fine for most people (check with your doctor to confirm your personal nutritional needs.) One of these giant smoothies, which packs two servings of fruit, also contains about 20 grams of protein from the yogurt and milk-natural sources that I feel confident feeding my body!

One final note: when choosing yogurt, always check the sugar content. An unassuming, single serving container can pack as many as 30 GRAMS! I always use fat-free plain or Greek yogurt, which contain the lowest amount of sugar; if these are too bitter for you, try adding a squeeze of honey!

Ingredients (one giant smoothie):
1 banana
3/4 cup fresh or frozen berries*
1 cup fat-free plain yogurt
1/2 cup skim milk

*If you’re using fresh berries, you may want to start off this recipe by crushing some ice cubes in the blender to make your smoothie nice and cold!

Combine all ingredients and blend. Voila!

Tummy Taming Ginger Soda

When we were little, my brother and I were only allowed to drink soda to settle our stomachs when we were sick. Godless child that I was, my first prayer, circa age 4, went like this (direct quote, overheard by my mother): “Dear God, please let me throw up thirteen times in the night so I can drink Coke.”

Nowadays, having recovered from my childhood deprivation of soda (and white bread, fruit roll-ups, processed peanut butter and cereal with more than 8 grams of sugar) I’ve returned to my roots and only drink soda to settle an upset tummy. Though my mom claims that carbonation helps soothe a stomachache, it’s my opinion that sodas that do not contain real ginger are pretty useless in the tummy-settling department. This afternoon, feeling a little yucky and not up for a natural soda hunt, I decided to experiment with what I already had in my kitchen.

I always keep a little fresh ginger around; it’s great for Asian-inspired dishes (like Vegetable Fried Bulgar,) Creamsicle juice, and baking projects, among other things. To make this soda, I simply grated a one-inch piece of ginger (use a little less if you want a weaker flavor) into a glass and added a 500ml-bottle of sparkling mineral water. The orange slice I used as a garnish got me thinkin’, so I added the juice of one half of the orange for a nice vitamin C boost! You don’t have to consume all the ginger for it to have a soothing effect; the infusion will help on its own.

As a warm alternative to this fresh, cooling drink, try simmering a one-inch piece of ginger in 1 cup water for about five minutes, then drink as a tea.

Creamsicle Juice

If you buy a juicer and use it once to make a glass of this juice, it would totally be worth the investment (you’d also be crazy, but hey, I’m not here to judge.) When Santa delighted me with my new favourite appliance last Christmas, I totally went overboard, spending a fortune on produce and juicing everything I could get my hands on like a madwoman. Alas, the honeymoon couldn’t last; I’ve scaled down my fresh juice addiction to accommodate my budget by treating myself on the weekends.

Juicing extracts the fibery pulp from produce. Fiber is the part of fruits and vegetables that fills you up; because you’re not consuming the fiber, it’s easy to put away 4 or 5 servings of fruits or vegetables by drinking one glass of juice (you still have to eat whole fruits and veggies, though, or your heart and digestive tract will be very sad.) Your body can process the high concentration of nutrients in fresh juice very quickly because of the absence of fiber, so it’s kind of like freebasing vitamins-a perfect thing to do first thing in the morning; it’ll wake you right up and your body will be ready to start the day!

Orange fruits & veggies are high in vitamin C, so this is a great tonic to make if you feel a cold coming on. Ginger is a great tummy-settler and makes this juice taste amazing. If you’re very sensitive to sugar, this recipe might not be for you, as both carrots and oranges are pretty high in sugar. Low-sugar veggies like spinach help counteract the high content in other produce, so sugar-sensitive people might want to consider my other favourite juice concoction: 3 cored granny smith apples and 1/2 a 6-oz. bag of fresh spinach leaves. MMMM!

Ingredients (serves 2):
3 valencia oranges, peeled & halved
6-8 carrots, peeled, ends cut off
1-1/2″ piece fresh ginger, peeled

…juice it up, y’all!

Banana Almond Smoothies

Good morning! 

This smoothie is a great way to start the day. It’s full of potassium (good for your heart & other muscles,) vitamin B6, and healthy fats-the kind that keep your heart healthy and your skin beautiful! For an extra boost of sustainable energy, enjoy it with a slice of whole grain toast topped with 1 tsp. of butter or olive oil, or 1/2 cup of oatmeal with fresh berries. 
I love the flavour that almond milk brings to this smoothie, but feel free to use your favourite milk instead. Though most almond milks you buy have been enriched, they still lack calcium. Be wary of the sugar content in non-dairy milks, especially flavoured ones; they can pack ALOT of unnecessary sugar!
p.s. My smoothie was nice and sweet, thanks to my very ripe banana; if yours isn’t so ripe and you’re craving more sweetness, add a little squeeze of honey or agave!
1 cup low-fat, reduced-sugar vanilla almond milk (like Pacific Organic)
1 Tbsp raw, unsalted almond butter (i like creamy!)
1 medium banana
Combine ingredients in your blender and give it a whirl! 
Tip: For great texture and a nice cold drink, try freezing sliced banana for your all smoothie needs.
nutrition facts
calories: 270;  calories from fat: 103;  total fat: 11g;  saturated fat 1 g;  polyunsaturated fat: 1.5 g;  monounsaturated 5.5 g;  Cholesterol 0mg;  Sodium 140 mg;  Carbs 41 g;  Dietary fiber 4.5 g (18% RDV); Sugars 24 g;  Protein 5 g
Vitamin A 12% RDV; Vitamin C 17%;  Calcium 11%;  Iron 8%;  Vitamin D 25%;  Riboflavin 30%