Greener Pastures Green Smoothie

Author: Emilie Spruill

Since I’m expecting our first baby, London Sophia, this summer, I have been trying to respect my very qualified certified RN Midwife’s strict nutritional guidelines! Her main instructions are get enough protein (90-110 g daily) and avoid all sugar with the exception of very few servings of fruits, and this includes dried fruits, honey as well as refined sugars, of course. So if you are particularly interested in a low-glycemic Green Smoothie, note that I am not a nutritionist, but this one did not spike my Blood Glucose levels throughout the recent week of finger-pricking and glucose detecting that I endured! **The only time my blood sugar reading did elevate slightly was when I added banana, so I have since replaced banana with avocado–the consistency is similarly creamy without the extra sugar!

Greener Pastures Smoothie by Emilie Spruill

Greener Pastures Smoothie by Emilie Spruill

Ok next let me share the benefits of this green goodness, and then I’ll share the super-simple recipe. I literally make this for my sweet husband and me every morning, and even when I’m half-awake, the results are fabulous! All nutritional info below is courtesy of the Green Smoothies smart-phone app (www.rawfamily.com) Use all organic ingredients whenever possible.

Ingredient List (this recipe typically makes 40 ounces or so):
1 Small-Medium Avocado ~ Avocadoes are full of oleic acid, a monounsaturated fat that may help to lower cholesterol. Also a great source of blood-pressure regulating Potassium, Avocadoes are rich in Fiber, B Vitamins (energizing), Vitamin E, C, K, folate, riboflavin, Niacin and Magnesium.

1 Small-Medium Granny Smith Apple ~ (Including Peel and Seeds; remove the stem): Besides soluble fiber, apples also contain iron, potassium, folate, calcium, phosphorus, Vitamin A and Vitamin C. Note that most of the Vitamin C is in the skin so do NOT peel the apple!

1 Small Pear ~ Pears contain more Fiber (see a pattern?!), B2, C, E, Copper and Potassium. Pears are actually higher in Pectin (a water-soluble fiber) than apples. This makes them both effective at lowering cholesterol and toning intestines. Pears are safe for most allergy-sufferers.

1/2 Cucumber ~ Cucumbers are rich in Vitamin C and Caffeic Acid, both useful in soothing skin irritations and swelling. The hard skin of a cucumber is rich in Fiber and contains Silica, Magnesium and Potassium.

2 handfuls of Baby Spinach ~ Spinach is an antioxidant powerhouse, including Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Magnesium, Manganese, Folate, Betaine, Iron, Vitamin B2, Calcium, Potassium, Vitamin B6, Folic Acid, Copper, Protein, Phosphorus, Zinc, Niacin, Selenium and Omega 3s… WOW! Spinach is known for stabilizing blood sugar in diabetics and anti-oxidants are known to defend against cancer-causing and wrinkle-causing free radical damage. Vitamin K helps to promote healthy blood clotting.

1 inch of Ginger Root ~ Peeled: Ginger is packed full of Vitamins C & E, more essential minerals and is believed to have a similar effect on thinning the blood as aspirin. Ginger reduces inflammation in the body, lowers cholesterol, reduces fevers, migraines, dizziness and nausea. Ginger is great for arthritis-sufferers and those with intestinal problems.

2-3 Drops Liquid Stevia: This ultra-sweet sugar-alternative is great and Midwife-approved in my case! I prefer the drops to the powder but don’t overdo it–it’s very concentrated! I found this at our local HEB/Central Market but you can also order a 2-pack here athttp://www.amazon.com/SweetLeaf-SteviaClear-Liquid-4-Ounce-Bottles/dp/B001E5E3JY

2 Cups Purified Water: Tweak this amount to achieve desired quantity and texture. I use about 2 cups everyday, but it’s not an exact science! (Replacing this with Coconut or Almond Milk would make a creamier smoothie, FYI).

Instructions:
Place in a high-powered blender and BLEND WELL! I like to blend in my Kitchen Ninja Pro for at least 1-2 minutes on Blend, and often I will add in a couple of ice cubes so that our smoothies are a bit colder!

If upon tasting, this smoothie is TOO green for you, you can try adding additional fruit, such as a Banana, Mango, Peach or Berries. I think that you will be pleasantly surprised though, because if you close your eyes, you would think that this was a fruit smoothie from your favorite chain smoothie establishment, only it has none of the hidden sugars, additives or powders! Before long, your body starts to naturally crave less refined sugars and more greens when you regularly indulge in this green goodness!

Nutrimetics is unavailable in the US at this time ~

As most of my loyal clients are aware, I have had a favorite skincare line–Nutrimetics– that I have exclusively recommended since 1999. Even with my professional license, I was so proud to offer those products because they were safe, effective and provided an excellent value. Unfortunately, those products are no longer available for purchase at this time. As a skincare professional, I know the challenges that my clients face when searching for the right skincare line, because most of the skincare on the market contains harmful and inefficient ingredients and they simply don’t deliver results. I am diligently working to select a new skincare line that I can proudly offer and recommend. As always, whichever line I choose will meet my extremely high standards for safety and performance–they must be safe, they must deliver results and they must offer an excellent value! My goal was to confirm my new product line after careful and prayerful consideration in March of 2013. Well, by divine intervention and after intense research, I am ecstatic to offer a new homecare line that I know my clients will adore. This line is safe, healthy, chic, affordable and effective and you can read all about my selection HERE!

Skincare does not need to be overwhelming, frustrating or outrageously expensive–schedule your free homecare skinsultation today! Personalized gift collections and gift certificates are available by request. Perfect for holidays, birthdays, Mother’s Day, showers, brides, graduations and other special occasions!

Thank you for your trust and your patience! Quality Homecare products are of the utmost importance to me!

Baked Mahi Mahi with Veggie Skewers & Zesty Sauce

I must admit…this has quickly become one of my personal favorite meals. I’ve been a vegetarian since 1996, at the ripe old age of 16, although my mom will tell you that I was a born vegetarian. Technically, now though, I am pescetarian because I do eat a limited variety of fish, including Mahi Mahi, Tilapia and Seared Ahi Tuna–although that one is on hold until my baby girl is born this summer! In the meantime, I probably have either Mahi Mahi or Tilapia once every week to two weeks and I love the idea of getting lean protein and skin, heart and brain-boosting fatty acids!

Since our grill bit the dust last year, I have been relying on baking or searing our mahi mahi, although if you prefer, this recipe would work well on the grill. There are some concerns that grilling food to the point of charring it can lead to consumption of carcinogens, so I actually prefer baking. The great news is that even without the grill, the result is perfection–moist, plump and satisfying! The zesty sauce is absolutely delicious–interesting and mild, although you can kick up the heat by adding jalapeno or your choice of hot pepper!

As far as sides, you can’t go wrong with Baked Veggie Skewers and your favorite Quinoa Dish. I will share my simple, quickie side dish idea below! The result is husband-approved, and by the way, you can easily turn this recipe into lettuce wraps or healthy fish tacos by chopping up the mahi and serving alongside Bibb lettuce or tortilla shells! Oh, the possibilities are endless!

Baked Mahi Mahi with Zesty Sauce!

Baked Mahi Mahi with Zesty Sauce!

For the main dish:
~Preheat the oven to 350 (375 can work if you want to shave a few minutes off of the cooking time).
~Line a 9×13 baking dish with parchment paper for ultra-fast cleanup!
~Lightly brush mahi mahi (since you’re baking, ask your fish specialist to remove the skin at the store–trust me!)
with Extra Virgin Olive Oil or your choice of oil… Quickly sprinkle sea salt & black pepper to taste.
~Optionally, you can squeeze the juice of a lime or lemon if you have one on hand–but it will taste great without!
~Bake for 15 minutes at 375 or up to 20 minutes at 350 (My husband is very particular about cooking fish all the way through so this allows the fish to have NO pink but will still taste moist and delicious–use your judgement!)
~I like to broil for 1-2 minutes at the end just to ensure that indeed the fish is completely cooked!

For the Veggielicious Skewers:
~Simply chop (or if possible pre-chop on grocery shopping day to save time) your favorite veggies: choose from red bell pepper, baby mushrooms, vidalia onion, green bell pepper, zucchini or more.
~Load up wooden skewers and place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
~Brush lightly with EVOO, quick dusting of sea salt and black pepper, and bake alongside the Mahi Mahi! I like to prepare these before the fish, so they get a couple of extra baking minutes while I’m preparing the Mahi Mahi.

For a very simple variation of Steamed Quinoa Side Dish:
~Boil 2 cups of water or veggie stock.
~Add 1 cup quinoa, a little minced garlic (I love the jars of minced garlic–so easy), Sea Salt and Pepper (just a touch)
~Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, covered with a lid for 15-20 minutes until the water is absorbed.
~For a lovely twist, add sauteed diced squash and celery, or even diced cherry tomatoes.

For the Zesty Sauce:
~In a food processor (I LOVE my handy Kitchen Ninja!), combine the following:
~3 TBSP Grainy Mustard
~2 TBSP Red Wine Vinegar
~1/2 tsp minced garlic
~1/2 small red onion
~The fresh juice of 1/2 lime
~About a cup of Fresh Cilantro
~After the above ingredients are mixed, add about 1/4 cup EVOO (I use my judgement so that the sauce has a slightly liquid texture but still thick enough that I can spread it atop the Mahi Mahi as the perfect compliment to complete the meal!

I prepare the sauce while the fish and veggie skewers are baking, and the quinoa is boiling… it literally only takes a few minutes with the Kitchen Ninja. Simply spread the sauce atop the Mahi Mahi and plate your sides, and you instantly have a healthy meal that is sure to impress! For kids, you can easily add the Bibb Lettuce or Soft Tortillas for Fish Taco night!

Enjoy and please graciously share if you love this recipe!

Baked Tuna Croquettes Over Spinach

Today I wanted to treat my husband to a simple but delicious meal, so I chose to prepare one of his favorites–tuna croquettes. Only problem is that they are not my favorite dish! I decided I would need to come up with a twist–to make them a bit more flavorful, a bit more healthy and a bit more appealing! This recipe definitely hit the spot–we both loved it and it was super satisfying! The result was baked tuna croquettes with a dill cucumber sauce, served over sauteed spinach with baked sweet potato rounds on the side.

Delightful!

Delightful!

For the tuna croquettes:
Preheat oven to 350
Lightly oil a 9 x 13 baking dish to prevent sticking

Mix the following together in a medium glass bowl:
~15 oz canned tuna (we used 3 x 5 oz cans), strained
~6 TBSP panko or Gluten-Free breadcrumbs
~1 TBSP relish (use dill or sweet–I chose sweet)
~1/4 cup diced green bell pepper
~1/4 cup diced green onions
~1/4 cup diced celery
~1 tsp dill weed
~dash of tumeric
~dash of mustard powder
~dash of paprika
~dash sea salt to taste
~dash cracked black pepper to taste
~2 eggs whisked
***I typically don’t cook with eggs but I’ve had trouble binding patties in the past with just egg whites so until I find a solution, I will go with 2 cage-free, organic brown eggs! Stay tuned for a tweak!

Combine all ingredients evenly. Form patties and place in baking dish (I made 5 burger-sized patties)
Bake for 20 minutes, using a spatula to gently flip after 12-15 minutes

Dill Sauce:
~1/2 diced cucumber
~1/2 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
~1/2 tsp dill weed

Combine all ingredients in a food processor. (I used my trusty Kitchen Ninja!)

Saute spinach in a skillet with a little minced garlic until the spinach is wilted. Note: you must use a pretty good bit of raw spinach as it wilts down significantly!

Serve the croquettes over the spinach, and lightly drizzle in Cucumber Dill Sauce! OK well that was the plan, but we did both end up adding more dill sauce because it was so delicious and complimented the tuna perfectly! With the nonfat Greek yogurt, you can’t go wrong!

For skin-friendly recipes, be sure to choose Organic Yogurt and Eggs. I often recommend avoiding dairy altogether for anyone suffering from acne or extremely oily skin. I hope that you enjoy this recipe as much as my hubby and I did and I appreciate your feedback! Buon Appetite!

The “Conquer the Day Cacao Smoothie”

At least once a week, the most handsome man I know, my dear husband, makes a very sweet request…and it’s usually on Sunday evenings in anticipation of everyone’s favorite time–Monday morning! He loves to occasionally request that our daily GREEN smoothie be replaced (or upgraded, if you will) to a Cacao Smoothie! Think: Chocolate milkshake goes super-green, but hold the dairy, sugar and calories!

Manic Monday Remedy!

Manic Monday Remedy!

This recipe is unique because it’s made from real foods–super foods, and it can be prepared in less than 5 minutes! I have a few variations but today’s was especially lovely! I warn you–this is not for everyday consumption. Cacao is amazing because it makes you feel like you can fly–without the toxic chemicals and sugar found in the commercial energy drinks that are so popular today. That being said–use it in moderation–Monday mornings are perfect! Without further delay, I give you your-new-favorite-breakfast-smoothie!

Superwoman!

Superwoman!

I use my high-powered but oh so affordable and versatile Kitchen Ninja Pro, but if you’re suave enough to own a VitaMix…great! Either works!

Author: Emilie Spruill
Makes about 40 oz or so (easily enough for 2 or 3 servings!)
Use all organic produce if possible

Start with 2 cups of unsweetened almond milk
Add a handful of ice cubes
Toss in 5 strawberries, 5 blackberries and a half mango
(Alternatively, skip the fruits above and use 2 cups of blueberries)
1 banana
3 TBSP Raw Cacao Powder (an ancient Superfood!)
2 big handfuls of Baby Organic spinach (don’t be shy–you won’t even know they are there!)
1 ripe avocado (just trust me!)
2-3 drops of liquid Stevia (caution–extremely concentrated!)

Blend all ingredients thoroughly… I suggest about 1 minute for a smooth, creamy consistency!

I can’t wait to hear how much your kids and honey love this smoothie. It was instantly a favorite in our home! Bursting with life-enhancing anti-oxidants, your skin, your mind and your body will thank you just as much as your palate!

Click HERE for the brand of raw Cacao that we always have on hand!

Navitas Raw Cacao Powder

Navitas Raw Cacao Powder