I hate to call it the end of summer since we still have a good few weeks left, although I will admit we ARE well past the midway point and into the latter part of the season. But let’s not dwell on the negative, shall we?
Summer, of course, is picnic season, so I figured a little end-of-summer picnic was in order. (I’ll probably try to sneak in at least one more picnic before the end of the season, but let’s be real: It probably won’t be as cute as this one, so enjoy!)
Welcome to the second installment of Smoothies with Style! I’m really having fun developing recipes AND color combinations with this new series. I’ve also started a #smoothieswithstyle hashtag on Instagram so you can share your beauteous smoothie creations too. (Who knows, maaaaybe just maybe I’ll feature yours! But you gotta tag them so I can see ’em!)
I’ll let you in on a little secret: Daisy petals are completely edible–sorry Doris Day. Don’t tell me you don’t think that’s crazy ’cause I know you do. (I did when I first found out!) Daisy petals are closely related to artichokes and are high in Vitamin C. They also help relieve headaches! I plucked a few daisies from a patch near my house and put ’em in a smoothie.
PLEASE EAT THE DAISIES SMOOTHIE
(makes one 16 oz serving)
3/4 cup frozen raspberries
1/2 cup frozen cherries
1 large frozen banana
Petals of 2-3 daisies (not too many because they are bitter!)
1/4-1/2 cup parsley (depending on how strong ya like it)
1/2 cup water
1. Place all ingredients in high speed blender. Blend until smooth.
2. Drink it all down!
**Optional: Get fancy and add a daisy for garnish. These would make such a cute addition to a brunch party if you put them in small juice glasses and garnished each one with a daisy.
We’re a few weeks into summer which means that summer fruit is at its peak season. Which means that I am doing happy dances through the produce isles of the grocery store because I don’t know about you but summer fruit is my absolute favorite.
Summer fruit is so jam-packed with so many health benefits that I’ve put together a little guide to these juicy little gems.
APRICOTS / PLUMS / PLUOTS
Apricots look like mini peaches due to their small size and fuzzy skin. They contain a high percentage of vitamins A, B3, C, K, E and potassium. Apricots originated on the Russian-Chinese border and later made their way into the Persian Empire & the Mediterranean. Spanish explorers introduced the fruit to the New World when they planted apricots in the gardens of Spanish missions in California. Turkey is the world’s largest producer of apricots.
Plums are a small stone fruit related peaches and cherries. They tend to have a sweet and tart taste. Plums are rich in dietary in sorbitol and isatin which helps regulate smooth functioning of the digestive system. Plums are also full of minerals potassium, fluoride and iron. Plums are native in China, America and Europe.
Floyd Zaiger of Zaiger Genetics first bred and trademarked the pluot in 1989. Pluots are a hybrid of plums and apricots, featuring a 70% / 30% ratio of plum to apricot. Because a pluot is mostly plum, it looks & tastes more like a plum than an apricot. Pluots contain high amounts of vitamins A and C which support eyesight, cell growth and immune system health.
Is there anything more quintessential to the summertime than a big ol’ juicy watermelon? Watermelons contain nearly 92% water making it a refreshing choice when the summer heat sets in. I love to blend watermelon up with fresh herbs like basil or mint to make watermelon water. Watermelons contain high levels of vitamins A, B6 and C, lycopene and antioxidants. Watermelons are also rich in an amino acid called L-citrulline, which the body converts to L-arginine, an essential amino acid that helps relax blood vessels and improve circulation. Fun fact: Did you know there’s a yellow flesh watermelon called Yellow Crimson? (Though I have yet to see it in real life.)
CLICK THROUGH FOR THE REST OF THE GUIDE & VIDEO AT THE END.
Cherry Chocolate Chia Pudding. Cherry Chocolate Chia Pudding. Cherry Chocolate Chia Pudding. Say that three times fast.
But in all seriousness, how decadent is this dessert?
One of my favorite things to do is debunk the myth that healthy food can’t be self-indulgent and sweet. Take my dad for example. He’s juuuuust now getting more into healthy & sustainable eating. I gave him this pudding to try and I’m pretty sure his exact words were, “Micaela, this is really rich. What are you trying to do, kill me?” Mission accomplished. (Not that I wanted to kill my dad. I just wanted to prove healthy food can be extremely rich and satisfying… I know you know what I mean.)
I made this for my family about 3 nights in a row when I was in the midst of photographing the recipe for the blog. A few canker sores forced us to take a wee break from chocolate and cherries but now we are back and ready to make this recipe again! Gotta take advantage of cherries while they’re in season!
CHOCOLATE CHERRY CHIA PUDDING
– 1 can full fat coconut milk
– 1 cup frozen cherries
– 1/4 cup chia seeds
– 1/2 cup raw cacao powder
– 2-3 Tablespoons maple syrup
– Pinch of sea salt
Coconuts are rich in fiber, vitamins C, E, B1, B3, B5 and B6 and minerals including iron, selenium, sodium, calcium, magnesium and phosphorous. Cherries contain powerful antioxidants and anthocyanins which aids in cancer prevention. Cherries also contain melatonin which helps regulate sleep and wake cycles. Chia seeds are high in protein, fibre and amino acids, antioxidants and minerals. They are also high in Omega 3 fatty acids, which are known to reduce high cholesterol & inflammation and promote brain function. Raw cacao powder is full of flavonoids, which act as natural antioxidants. They are also rich in magnesium and helps regulate blood pressure & reduce cholesterol.
Ready to see this recipe in action? One of my goals is to branch out into the realm of video more with this blog. I’ve made a few videos here and there, but I’d really like to make more. It adds a bit of extra oomph and extra oomph is always welcome when it makes something more exciting, don’t you agree? I hope you enjoy the video and please subscribe on YouTube to stay up-to-date with new videos I make!
Recipe Giovanna Garcia (A Purified Life) Words, photography & video Micaela Hoo (Drifter & the Gypsy)
Haaaappy Friday! I’m extra happy today to introduce a new series on the blog. If you follow me on Instagram you know I’m a bit of a health nut. It’s partly by choice and partly dictated by the truckload of food sensitivities my body carries (which I’ll write about in a future blog post). I’ve been having so much fun with Drifter & the Gypsy’s food column lately that I’m starting a new series called Smoothies with Style, which combines my passion for healthy eating with fashion.
One of my favorite things to do in the summertime is to make smoothies. (I’m also known to make smoothies during the cold winter months, but I think it’s much more fun in the summer.) I love throwing together fruit & vegetables into my blender and seeing what bright and vibrant concoctions I can make. It really is an art. Case in point here.
For this column, I will create one smoothie recipe and an outfit to match with it. Being a huge fan of color and color combinations, I love matching together two photos that aren’t from the same genre but match in aesthetic & style. The series will be a combination of matching smoothies with both new outfits as well as already existing outfit pictures. It will include the smoothie recipe (of course) as well as a little fashion history on the outfit. This All-American parfait (I know I know, I cheated a little. It’s a parfait, not a smoothie–but close enough!) matched too well with my American Sweetheart outfit shoot that I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to match these two together. I used all images I didn’t include in the first post to keep it fresh for you guys. But I WILL be creating entirely new outfits inspired by the smoothies too, so stay tuned.
Here’s your first Smoothies with Style: American Sweetheart Parfait…
This smoothie is quite a deceptive little guy. Its color is far from green, yet it’s jam-packed with so much green goodness. Spinach and kale are often the default greens for smoothies these days, but this smoothie features Swiss chard and cilantro for a fun and healthy twist. (Seriously, just check out the health benefits of these two rockstars at the end of the post.)
I feel like in life there are two kinds of people: Cilantro lovers and cilantro haters. I happen to be a cilantro lover. If you happen to be of the latter persuasion, try swapping out cilantro for another herb you like, such as mint or parsley. Or keep it simple and don’t use any herbs at all!
CILANTRO GREEN SMOOTHIE
– 1 cup mixed frozen berries
– 1 cup cilantro
– 2 Swiss chard leaves
– 1 ½ cups coconut milk
– ½ Granny Smith apple
– 2 tablespoons almond butter
– Splash of lemon juice
– Sea salt
Place all ingredients and blender and blend until smooth.
Berries High in antioxidants, low in sugar/balance blood sugar, boost brain function, anti-aging Cilantro Anti-inflammatory, high in antioxidants, aids detox, balances blood sugar Swiss chard Excellent source of vitamin K, vitamin A, vitamin C, magnesium, copper, manganese, potassium, vitamin E and iron. Coconut Milk Hydrating, good source of healthy fats, anti-inflammatory, supports skin health Apples High in fiber, good source of antioxidants, supports cardiovascular health
I must admit that when it comes to breakfast, I often default to a handful of go-tos. These go-tos involve one of two things: oatmeal or a smoothie. There’s nothing wrong with these go-tos (they are my favorite breakfasts!), but sometimes I want to try something new. I usually achieve this by changing up the toppings in my oatmeal or the fruit and veggies in my smoothies. But still, sometimes I want something entirely different. It’s not that I lack creativity, it’s that I lack the time. These berry breakfast bars can be made ahead of time and refrigerated up to three days.
And don’t get caught up in the fact that these are ‘breakfast’ bars. They can totally be eaten as a snack or for dessert as well!
BERRY BREAKFAST BARS
Makes 6-8 bars
– 2 cups medjool dates, pitted
– ½ cup gluten-free oats
– ½ cup raw sunflower seeds or nut/seed of choice
– 1 teaspoon cinnamon
– Juice of ½ lemon
– Pinch of sea salt
– 1 cup mixed fresh berries, chopped
1. Place all ingredients in food processor fresh berries. Process until ingredients are well combined and mixture sticks together when pressed with fingers.
2. Transfer to a parchment lined dish such as a pyrex or cake tin. Press mixture down into pan to flatten out. Here you can decide what thickness of bars you want. Place in freezer for about 20 minutes.
3. While bottom layer is setting, place mixed berries in food processor and pulse a few times to chop them up. You may leave a few out for decoration. Spread over date mixture and slice into bars.
The thing I love about these bars is that the toppings are so open-ended. Blueberries and raspberries instead of strawberries and blackberries? Sure! Peaches and plums or apples and kiwis? Why not? Don’t worry about staying within the berry family at all! Experiment!
Dates High in fiber, calcium, iron, and potassium. Regulates digestive system, provides energy, healthy sweetener, boost the nervous system. Gluten-free Oats stabilize blood sugar, improves cholesterol levels, contains antioxidants Sunflower Seeds Anti-inflammatory (high in Vitamin E), nerve calming, vegetarian protein, supports detox, good source of healthy fats. Berries High in antioxidants, low in sugar/balance blood sugar, boost brain function, anti-aging.