Greens, Bananas and Coconut Smoothie

Tasty greens, frozen bananas, and coconut water = healthy shake! Bonus, a nice, wide tumbler from www.potterybarn.com makes it easy to get down to the bottom of the deliciousness!

Big news – we are pregnant! Which means I have unusual cravings for rice, banana bread, cereal, and yogurt (to name a few) and I have aversions to things I used to love; namely salads. Pregnancy is an important time to eat healthy and make sure you’re getting extra vitamins and minerals from greens and fruits. However, whether pregnant or not, most of us do not get enough of them. Because who looks at a leaf of kale and goes “OMG I HAVE TO GET THAT IN MY FACE RIGHT NOW IT LOOKS SO GOOD”? No, we save that for cake. Obviously.

So I looked into an easier way to get all my greens down and looked into shakes. Most pre-made shakes or shake recipes are chock-full of fruit, additives, or sugary juices and aren’t worth the small amount of green intake that you get. They can also take FOR.EV.AH to make in the morning. No thanks! This recipe is green-focused, but is sweetened by a bit of banana. The secrets to this recipe are (1) freezing the ingredients beforehand so you don’t have to deal with large chunks of ice that never get blended (2) coconut water for a low-sugar, but fresh-tasting flavor. So let’s get to smoothie-ing and getting some greens in you!

Bonus – I included ingredient amounts for both a single smoothie AND for making a large batch of smoothies. I’ve found that making a large batch ahead of time and freezing individual baggies saves me a ton of time in the morning.

Ingredients (bulk smoothie)
4 – 5 ripe bananas
4 cucumbers
Bag of baby spinach
Bag of baby kale
Small pot of wheatgrass
2 lemons
Frozen mango (optional, if you like it a bit sweeter)
2 33.8-oz coconut waters

Instructions
Break bananas into either halves or thirds, depending on how sweet you like your smoothies. Freeze ripe bananas at least overnight. The longer you freeze them, the sweeter they get. Cut cucumbers into 1/4” rounds. Wash spinach, kale and wheatgrass thoroughly. Squeeze juice of lemons. Based on the measuring of ingredients below, fill quart-sized freezer baggies and freeze. To finish off the smoothie, add the 1/4c – 1/3c coconut water and blend.

Ingredients (individual smoothie)
1/3 to 1/2 of medium, frozen banana
4 1/4” rounds cucumber
Large handful of baby spinach (washed thoroughly)
Small handful of kale (washed thoroughly)
Large pinch of wheatgrass – about 25 blades (washed thoroughly)
1/2 tsp lemon
3 cubes frozen mango (optional, if you like it a bit sweeter)
1/4 to 1/3c coconut water

Blend ingredients together. I use my Vitamix from Williams Sonoma for the most consistent, easy to blend smoothies. Worth. Every. Penny. Note: If you freeze all ingredients beforehand, the consistency is more smoothie-like. If you don’t, it’s more juice-like. Enjoy!!

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Frozen baggies of individual servings make mornings fast and easy!

Random tips for you:

To keep spinach and kale fresh, place a piece of paper towel in the bag before putting it back in the fridge. It keeps the extra moisture off and helps it stay longer.

Throw your lemon rinds down your garbage disposal instead of your compost. The lemon rinds help deodorize and make your kitchen smell fresh.

Change your sponge and or dish rag often! Smell it – it’s way dirtier than you think it is.

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Australia Eats

So I’m on a 23 day honeymoon right now. And I’m eating like I was starved for the 23 days before this trip. Byeeeee eating Paleo healthy!

Being foodies, my husband and I love to experience new restaurants, from the very cheap to the fine dining. To find the best, we (ahem, I) search TripAdviser, Google reviews, and local websites to find the city’s favorites.

Here were our most loved restaurants in Sydney and the Whitsunday Islands.

Sydney!

Sydney is a mecca of shopping, food, history, beaches, walking, and of course, the famous Sydney Opera House. It reminds me a little of New York with it’s tourist haven, bustling streets and a little bit of San Diego sunny, surfing, beach vibe. It’s truly the best of both worlds. We toured here for six days and stuffed ourselves every day on food, wine, coffee, and selfies.

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Ume Burger http://www.umeburger.com @umeburger

I don’t normally eat burgers, but this one was absolutely worth it. Fresh buns, perfectly cooked meats, delicious sauces, and unusual combinations like Pork Katsu Burger with Tonkastu sauce. What’s Tonkatsu? No idea. But it’s deeeeelicious. While ketchup is available on request, you’re not going to want it. These burgers are saucy, perfectly crispy, mouth-watering, and diet-ruining worthy.

Eat: The Katsu Burger with added spicy cod roe mayo.

Bring: Your adventurous tastebuds. Not ketchup.

Bangaroo House www.barangaroohouse.com.au @#bangaroohouse

Fish Wings? Yes. These are a thing in Australia, made of the thick side fins of a barramundi. The fish wings at Bangaroo House were salty, crispy, hot, and deeeeeelicious. The House seasons the wings with course sea salt, and we ate every little flake!

Eat: The Fish Wings paired with a crisp, New Zeland Sauvignon Blanc. Make sure you get what we called the “dark meat” right under the fin.

Bring: extra salt. Just kidding. Bring water!

Sydney Fish Market http://www.sydneyfishmarket.com.au/home @sydneyfishmarket

The Sydney Fish Market is exactly what it sounds like and more. Fresh, local fish is brought in daily and, for a little extra, they cook it for you right there! Rock Lobster is the favorite here, which I bought for about $55 USD plus about $12 USD to steam in ginger and scallion sauce. The market also has fresh oysters, a wine bar, fried everything, crabs, shrimp, gelato, and a full grocery market. The market reminded me of Pike Place in Seattle plus fresh food and plenty of benches to enjoy the fresh fishy flavors.

Eat: The Rock Lobster! And sing the song. Obviously.

Bring: A bottle or two of local white wine, or buy a bottle at the wine bar along with a $2 cup (yes, $2).

Danjee Korean BBQ Resraurant www.danjee.com.au

Ok. People. Seriously. If you’re into Korean BBQ, this is the place to be. And if you haven’t tried it yet, get on that train now. Danjee has unique meats that I haven’t seen elsewhere- even in Korea. The local favorite features an outdoor setting where you can cook the meat yourself or inside where they cook it for you. Trust me, cook the meat yourself to that crispy, medium-rare perfection. Our favorite was what we call the “beef roll”, which is rib meat wrapped around a tasty, large rib bone. And, of course they had all the delicious condiments like picked radishes, fermented kimchi, sesame paste, and soy cabbage to wrap in shiso leaves with your perfectly cooked meat.

Eat: The beef rollie thing. They’ll know what you mean.

Bring: Additional napkins and wear clothes that you’re ok if they smell like barbecued meat for a few days. Cause they will.

Whitsunday Islands!

The Whitsundays are where Australia stores its Great Barrier Reef, exclusive resorts, sailing adventures, and Trip Advisor’s 17th most beautiful beach: Whitehaven Beach. We stayed in the quaint little beach town of Airlie, which is central to all activities, backpacking hostels and full of wild Cockatoos (who will gladly eat all your crackers). Food and wine were abundant and we were pleasantly surprised by the fresh ingredients, local watering holes, and the fine dining.

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Fish D’Vine www.FishDVine.com.au

This was, by far, the BEST crab I’ve even eaten. And living in San Francisco, I’ve eaten a lot. The restaurant serves fresh, locally sourced crabs and has Australia’s best rum bar. They boast “The Whitsundays on a Plate” and they are right. Their signature dish is a “mud crab”, which I loosely translate to a crab cooked to perfection in a delicious, soupy sauce and comes with a side of rice. What’s also incredible about this place is that they make their own delicious curry, which is no easy feat. We left happy, full, and a little tipsy thanks to Sauvignon Blanc and fresh mojitos.

Eat: The Thai Chili Mud Crab

Bring: A converter from kilos to pounds. They sell their crab by weight and no one in America understands the metric system.

Bohemian Raw Cafe www.bohemianraw.com.au @bohemianraw

Ok, I know this is a photo of their cups and not the actual coffee, but (a) you can imagine how delicious this coffee is but (b) you wouldn’t believe how perfectly charming this cafe is. The cafe is situated in the Abell Point Marina where our JetSki and Sailing adventures were. Side note: Whitsunday JetSki Tours and Providence Sailing were superb. One being adventurous and the other relaxing. I bet you can guess which one is which. Back to the cafe: their delicious coffee is served in an outdoor setting overlooking the islands and ocean. The breeze, fancy cups, and amazing coffee kept us coming back each day.

Eat: I mean, coffee. Duh.

Bring: A pillow. You could really stay all day with a nice nap outside.

Treehouse www.airlietreehouse.com @airliebeachtreehouse

Ok, again I don’t have a picture of the actual food. But this setting was so much our favorite that we ate here twice. Which says a lot, given this little town has a ton to offer by way of beachside cafes. $16 USD pork belly burgers and a beer kept our mouths watering and visiting this lagoon-side, open-aired restaurant.

Eat: Pork belly burgers, fried squid (aka calamari in American speak) and a crisp beer.

Bring: A book. You’re going to want to stay here a while.

Fat Frog Beach Cafe @fatfrogbeachcafe

If my husband looks frightened in this photo it’s because he is. He ordered the Fat Frog plate, which is about every delicious meat they serve on the menu. No, he didn’t finish, but yes, it was delicious. Meanwhile, I had a sensible breakfast of poached eggs with labneh and rocket greens (which is similar to our arugula). The cafe is situated on, of course, a beach in Cannonvale, which is a beautiful walk along the boardwalk or an inexpensive taxi ride.

Eat: I mean, everything. But I do recommend the delicious poached eggs with labneh for a unique twist on your normal brekkie.

Bring: An empty stomach if you want that Fat Frog plate!

 

Well, that’s it for our Australia adventures. We are now off to beautiful New Zeland where I’ll be having, yes, even more Savignon Blanc and bringing you suggestions on local, delicious places to eat in NZ!