Red, White and Blue Layered Smoothie

I’ve got a fun and festive recipe for you today, courtesy of my friends over at Wild Blueberries – a Red White and Blue Layered Smoothie! I love any holiday that gives me an excuse to make fun food, and the Fourth of July is no different. Come to my house for a July 4th celebration and you’ll probably be eating nothing but red, white, and blue food. Rather than relying on food coloring to make everything festive, I prefer to stick to the colors mother nature gave us!

This Red White and Blue Layered Smoothie is perfect for celebrating July 4th. Made with all natural colors, it's refreshing, delicious, and so festive!

If you’ve ever tried to create blue food naturally, you probably know you don’t have many options. But Wild Blueberries are as close as you get to a bright blue color, no food coloring required! This beautiful hue is due to anthocyanins, the phytochemicals that give Wild Blueberries their deep purple-blue color and are responsible for many of their antioxidant benefits.

Wild Blueberries are the perfect addition to this fun layered smoothie, not only because of their color, but also because they’re duper delicious! You know I love a good Wild Blueberry smoothie (or chia fresca), and this one is triple the fun. The blue layer is a yummy blueberry-banana-peanut butter smoothie, the white layer is a super creamy layer with bananas and coconut whipped topping, and the red layer is light and fruity with raspberries and cherries. All together you’ve got a gorgeous festive smoothie that you can feel good about serving your guests!

This smoothie is super refreshing, which makes it perfect for serving on July 4th or any other hot summer day. The key to getting beautiful layers is freezing the glasses for a few minutes between layers. That lets each layer firm up a bit before another layer gets poured on top. No need to freeze overnight or anything, just for a few minutes while you wash out the blender and prepare the next layer! The layers look super impressive, but are actually really easy to make – you know I’m all about simple recipes!

If you love Wild Blueberry smoothies as much as I do, I’ve got great news for you! My friends over at Wild Blueberries have put together an awesome giveaway that starts on July 5th:

This summer, stay cool and go WILD with Wild Blueberries. From July 5th – 26th, the folks over at Wild Blueberries is hosting its Wild Blue Summer Sweepstakes and giving away six NutriBullet PROs – the official blender of Wild Blueberries. These high powered blenders are perfect for making delicious smoothies that help us all keep cool all summer long!
 
To enter simply visit this link  from July 5th – July 26th and enter your email address. As a “Thank You,” the folks over at Wild Blueberries have created a Wild Blue Summer Recipe eBook for entering. This recipe book features eight recipes (including a few of my own!) to help you stay cool and healthy this summer! Visit the Wild Blue Summer Contest page to learn more and enter!
 
Click here on July 5th —>  http://www.wildblueberries.com/Wild-Blue-Summer/
 
Red, White and Blue Layered Smoothie

Yield: 1 serving

Ingredients

    Bottom Layer:
  • ¼ cup Greek yogurt, plain
  • 1/3 cup frozen Wild Blueberries
  • ½ banana, frozen
  • 1 tsp peanut butter powder
  • ½ tsp honey or few drops liquid stevia
  • Middle Layer:
  • 1/4 cup Greek yogurt, plain
  • ¼ cup Coconut whipped topping
  • ½ banana, frozen
  • 1 tsp honey or few drops liquid stevia
  • Top Layer:
  • ¼ cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1/3 cup frozen raspberries (or fresh)
  • ¼ cup frozen cherries

Instructions

  1. Combine ingredients for first layer in a blender. Blend well and pour into a tall glass.
  2. Place glass upright in the freezer. Wait about 10 minutes.
  3. Clean out blender and prepare second layer. Remove glass from the freezer and pour in second layer. Return glass to freezer.
  4. Clean out blender and prepare third layer. Remove glass from freezer and pour in final layer. Top with more Wild Blueberries.
http://foodconfidence.com/2017/07/04/red-white-and-blue-layered-smoothie/

Pumpkin Pistachio Energy Balls

No bake Pumpkin Pistachio Energy Bites are a tasty bite of pumpkin pie flavor. The perfect healthy snack for anytime!

I haven’t tested a new energy ball recipe in a while. These Pumpkin Pistachio Energy Balls reflect what I’ve been up to these days and what’s on my mind food-wise.

It’s full-on pumpkin season, so there’s that. I also visited the Wonderful Pistachio company last month and I’ve been itching to make something delicious with pistachios.

Normally you would think of using walnuts or pecans with pumpkin, so I was excited to see how pistachios would taste. Let me tell you, these little guys are delicious. They literally taste like little bites of pumpkin pie. They’re super moist with just the right amount of pumpkin and spice. This batch only made 9 balls and they are going pretty quickly over here!

Moist and delicious no bake Pumpkin Pistachio Energy balls are a tasty bite of pumpkin pie in every bite! The perfect healthy snack for anytime!

I’d like to think these little bites are healthy, too. I never use added sugar in my energy balls, just Medjool dates for the base. They’re super simple to make, you can whip these up in less than 15 minutes. I think it took me longer to clean my food processor than it did to make these pumpkin bites. I used pistachios inside the dough and coated on top. Pistachios are full of  good fats and fiber. In fact, 90% of the fat in pistachios is the healthy kind. 

pumpkin-pistachio-energy-balls

Pumpkin itself is healthy, too. It’s full of the antioxidant beta carotene, as well as fiber and minerals. Am I selling you yet that these sinfully delicious snacks are healthy? I hope so!

I store my no bake energy balls in the freezer (I like them to be super cold), but you can also keep them in the fridge. I think these Pumpkin Pistachio Energy Balls would be lovely as a morning or afternoon snack with a warm mug of tea. They’re also Nourish-friendly, which is an added bonus!

Here’s how I made them:

Pumpkin Pistachio Energy Balls

Yield: 9 balls

Pumpkin Pistachio Energy Balls

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup raw pistachio pieces
  • 1/4 cup raw cashew pieces
  • 10 Medjool dates
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • pinch sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Place 1/4 cup pistachios in the food processor and ground until resembles coarse sand. Remove from bowl and set aside. Then add cashews and remaining 1/4 cup pistachios into the food processor and process until well ground. Add dates and remaining ingredients. Process until well combined and smooth. Taste for flavor and adjust as needed. Roll into balls (warning, dough will be sticky) and place each ball into the bowl of pistachios, coating fully. Store in freezer or fridge. Makes 9 good size balls.
http://foodconfidence.com/2016/10/06/no-bake-pumpkin-pistachio-energy-balls/

Moist and delicious no bake Pumpkin Pistachio Energy balls are a tasty bite of pumpkin pie in every bite! The perfect healthy snack for anytime!

 

Back to School: Low Sugar Breakfast, Lunch, and Snack Ideas

I was on my local WUSA channel 9 news at noon recently talking about low sugar food options for the kiddos.  Being on live TV is always a bit intimidating…but it’s kinda fun, too.  I’ll admit I was a little starstruck chatting it up with KC Hayward, since I grew up watching her on the news!

The idea for the segment was to replace the traditional high sugar breakfast, lunch and snack options with lower sugar swaps.  We started the segment with switching from cereal in the morning to a low sugar, high fiber option, like KIND Healthy Grains Granola.  I’ll admit, I’m not a big cereal person and I’m usually not a granola person at all. So when KIND sent me a few samples to try I was not optimistic. However, I was pleasantly surprised with their granola…they really try to health it up! They use 5 gluten-free whole grains and keep it pretty low sugar. I love the idea of having your kids start their day with a bowl of quinoa, oats, millet, amaranth and buckwheat.

In addition to the KIND granola, I also recommended eggs, yogurt with fruit, or a smoothie (I love Yasso, too) for breakfast! Not to mention you can also try some great smoothies and Top Juicer Recipes from a great resource compiled by zestycook

For lunch, I suggested switching from a “Snackables” type lunch to a mom-made lunch and swapping the fruit snacks (which are basically gummy bears) with real fruit. Also, send lower sugar options for drinks by swapping out juice boxes for milk (or coconut milk) boxes.  For after-school snacks I suggested “real food” instead of sugary snacks or convenience foods — offer hummus with veggies, fruit with peanut butter or nuts, fruit and yogurt smoothie, a peanut butter sandwich, or a sliced apple with cheese.

I know your kids WANT the sweet stuff, but there’s a time and place for that. I tell my daughter if she’s hungry, she has to eat real food and not sugary snacks that won’t fill her up.  Over time, it makes sense to them.  She’s only five and she already knows the difference.

What low-sugar foods do you offer your kids when they’re hungry?

 

Disclaimer: I worked with KIND as part of the TV segment on WUSA. I was not compensated for this post.