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Category: Drinks (page 2 of 6)

Chocolate Peppermint Smoothie

Nutritious drink meets delightfully decadent treat in this chocolate peppermint smoothie.  Almond milk, banana, dates, unsweetened dark cocoa, peppermint extract, and maple syrup provide vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, while a handful of crushed peppermint candy adds color and fun.  All of these ingredients combined together make a festive drink that is so tasty, you might forget it is so healthy!

The holidays always make me crave the chocolate-peppermint combination, and this smoothie is one of my favorite ways to enjoy it! Plus, it fills the body with lots of good energy, which we all definitely need at this time of year.  Treat yourself or treat someone you love to this delicious drink! And with the crushed peppermint candy around the edges of the glass, it looks pretty too.

chocolate peppermint smoothiesI am not a huge fan of eating dates, but when they are pureed in a smoothie (or baked in something), they make a really good sweetener, full of minerals natural goodness, and with such a mild flavor that they just kind of blend in, especially with the more powerful flavors of the peppermint extract and dark chocolate.  The banana gives this smoothie a bit of richness, while the maple syrup and vanilla extract fill out the flavor.

chocolate peppermint smoothieI hope that you all are having a happy holiday season! It has been a bit hectic for me lately, but I am hoping the next couple of days will be less about rushing and more about savoring time with family and celebrating this special time.  (Hopefully the man who was tailgating me on the road today will be able to slow down soon too!!) I plan to make my husband and kids a chocolate peppermint smoothie tomorrow morning, and for a change, nobody has to get up early!

chocolate peppermint smoothieOur daily lives are not always peaceful, and the events going on in the world are not always peaceful either.  But in spite of all that, there is a special stillness about this time of year.  I don’t know if it is the muted light or the alignment of the stars or what, but if I stand outside and stay still, I can feel a quiet peace.  My husband and  I were outside with our dog yesterday around sunset, and with the fading light, black tree branches, and white snow all around, I felt a sense of quiet peace.  It has always been that way at this time of year.  There is a hush to the air.  I hope you all have a great weekend! A very festive Fiesta Friday is happening today at Angie’s, and I am sharing this recipe there.chocolate peppermint smoothiechocolate peppermint smoothie

Chocolate Peppermint Smoothie

  • Servings: 2
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  • 2 cups of unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 dates, pitted and chopped
  • 1 banana, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon of peppermint extract
  • 2 tablespoons of dark chocolate unsweetened cocoa
  • 1-2 tablespoons of maple syrup (to taste)
  •    2 ice cubes
  • 2 candy canes (or a handful of crushed peppermint candy)
  • a bit of honey for the rim of the glasses


Place all the ingredients in a blender, except the candy canes and honey.  Pour the smoothie into two glasses.  With your finger, line the rims of the glasses with honey.  Sprinkle the crushed candy canes over the rims of the glasses, so it sticks to the honey. Some candy will fall into the glasses, but that is fine! Enjoy!


Revitalizing Berry Smoothie

Treat your body to a smoothie full of vibrant flavors and important nutrients.  Frozen blueberries, tart cherries, and cranberries give this smoothie lots of flavor and antioxidants, not to mention a naturally beautiful color.  Ground flax seeds and hemp seeds add Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, protein, and lignans, among other nutrients, which is probably why these little seeds are sometimes called “super seeds.”  Just add a splash of cranberry juice and a handful of ice, blend it all up, and you have a bright, tasty beverage full of anti-inflammatory properties.

berry smoothie with purple 6There is a lot of talk these days about chronic inflammation and how it contributes to a lot of health problems, including arthritis, heart disease, auto-immune disorders, and depression.  And apparently, in our modern society, many are at risk of developing chronic inflammation with our processed foods, high sugar intake, and fast-paced lifestyle.

berry smoothie with glassI am definitely not an expert on inflammation in the body, but what I read makes a lot of sense.  According to Paul DiCorleto, PhD, in an article for the Cleveland Clinic, inflammation is the body’s natural way of fighting an illness or injury.  When the illness or injury is healed, the inflammation response is supposed to shut off.  However, sometimes the body’s inflammation response does not stop, due to chronic anxiety, diet, or other factors. “Over time, you can end up with too much of a good thing. With chronic inflammation, your body is on high alert all the time,” says Dr. DiCorleto.  This can cause lots of problems within the body.

DiCorleto and other experts recommend making lifestyle choices that will help reduce the risk of developing chronic inflammation. These include regular exercise and eating and drinking lots of plant-based foods, which contain anti-inflammatory properties.  Berries, flax seeds, and hemp seeds are all considered anti-inflammatory foods.

berry smoothie on towelSometimes when I am very stressed out and not taking good care of myself, I can feel like my body is out of balance. That is when I reach for things like this smoothie, and I feel like I am putting good things back into my body, soothing it and energizing it at the same time.  It’s all about striving for that balance.

We may not be able to hold ourselves in balance for long periods of time, but we can continually try to keep bringing ourselves back into balance.  It’s in that process that we feel alive.  According to poet and philosopher Rumi, “Your hand opens and closes, opens and closes. If it were always a fist or always stretched open, you would be paralysed. Your deepest presence is in every small contracting and expanding, the two as beautifully balanced and coordinated as birds’ wings.”

I hope you all have a great weekend! One of the things I am  looking forward to is Angie’s Fiesta Friday, co-hosted this week by Steffi @ Ginger & Bread and Andrea @ Cooking With a Wallflower.berry smoothie on towel 2berries and seeds berry smoothie on towel 3

Mixed Berry Revitalizing Smoothie

  • Servings: 2
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  • 1/4 cup of frozen cranberries
  • 1/2 cup of frozen tart cherries (preferably tart Montmorency cherries)
  • 1/2 cup of frozen blueberries
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons (depending on your taste) of ground flax seeds (you can buy them already ground, or you can buy them whole and grind them in a coffee grinder)
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons (depending on your taste) of hemp seeds
  • 2 cups of cranberry juice
  • a handful of ice


Place all the ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth.  Pour into glasses and enjoy!

Soothing Smoothie

Soothe your soul and calm your nerves with this smoothie.  Medjool dates, banana, almond milk, vanilla, and a handful of chocolate chips give it a luxurious taste and lots of important vitamins and minerals.  Normally I would crave a warm drink in the middle of winter, but for some reason, this smoothie hits the spot right now.  Maybe my body is craving the minerals that dates and bananas contain.  And almond milk is so smooth and creamy.  In any case, it tastes decadent and comforting, though it is really quite healthy.

soothing smoothie 5Maybe it’s partly because of the New Year, and maybe it’s partly because my husband will have knee surgery soon, but I have been searching for new ways to eat well.  (We already eat really well, but there’s always room for improvement!)  He and I want to find  foods full of nutrition to help his body heal faster after his surgery.  He recently got a new book called “Thrive Energy Cookbook” by Brendan Brazier.  This book looks really interesting, and has all plant-based recipes.  I am not wanting to go completely vegan or gluten-free at all.  However, I am always interested in expanding my knowledge of food and how what we eat affects how we feel, and I would love to incorporate more plant-based foods into my diet.

soothing smoothie 7Using dates in a smoothie is something new for me, and I really, really like it.  This smoothie recipe is very loosely adapted from a recipe I found in the “Thrive” cookbook.  I say very loosely, because I changed it quite a bit, except for the idea of using dates in a smoothie, for which I am very grateful.  It tastes sweet and flavorful without using much sugar (just from the little bit of chocolate chips, and the almond milk is unsweetened), because the dates are naturally sweet.  If you are wanting to cut back on dairy, or just like the taste of almond milk, this is a great option.  Or to make this a vegan smoothie, just substitute vegan chocolate chips for traditional chocolate chips.

Smoothies are so easy to throw together, and this one tastes delicious–kind of like an ice cream shake, yet it is full of lots of nutrition to make us feel good, and the creamy, smooth texture is calming.  It feels like a tonic for my sometimes-frazzled nerves.  This recipe is for just one serving.  If you are making smoothies for more than one person, just double or triple the recipe accordingly.  I hope you all have a great weekend! Fiesta Friday is happening right now, and I am taking this recipe there! As always, coordinated by Angie, and co-hosted this week by Sonal @ Simply Vegetarian 777 and Petra @ Food Eat Love.soothing smoothie with spoons 2soothing smoothie with banana

Soothing Smoothie

  • Servings: 1
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  • 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 banana, sliced
  • 2 medjool dates, pitted
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons of chocolate chips
  • 4-5 ice cubes


Place all the ingredients in a blender.  Blend until smooth.  Some flecks of date and chocolate will remain, but that’s ok.  Pour into a glass. Enjoy!

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