My Favorite Matcha Frosty

I love my hot matcha lattes, so so much. Even in this steamy August weather. There is no day too hot for my latte. But there are those times when I want a little boost after practice, and a cool creamy treat seems like just the thing. This simple soft serve (aka smoothie you eat with a spoon) hits the spot without sending me on a coffee bender and subsequent crash. And it makes the dog days of summer just a little more bearable. All hail matcha and frozen bananas!

Notes:

I used a protein powder I happened to have around, but I don’t have a favorite. Protein powders are so personal. Just choose one you like, sub for straight hemp powder (which is gritty, but very simple with no artificial flavors or stevia) or even sub for a couple of tablespoons of nut butter.

If you prefer a creamy treat that’s not quite as frosty (Ayurveda types I’m looking at you) take out the ice and add avocado to taste. In fact, you can add avocado even if you do use ice, for a thicker texture.

If you prefer a sweeter treat, one juicy medjool date will do the trick, or a teaspoon or two of honey or maple syrup.

Happy blending!

matcha frosty 2

Favorite Matcha Frosty
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A sweet, creamy, frozen treat for a buzz without the crash.
Servings Prep Time
1 3minutes
Servings Prep Time
1 3minutes
Favorite Matcha Frosty
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A sweet, creamy, frozen treat for a buzz without the crash.
Servings Prep Time
1 3minutes
Servings Prep Time
1 3minutes
Ingredients
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Instructions
  1. Blend well, top with crunchy things as desired and serve!
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World’s Easiest Matcha Latte

matcha shotIf you’ve been anywhere near instagram lately, or have read the menus at your local coffee and tea shops, you may have noticed a craze for a bright green tea called Matcha. It is everywhere suddenly! Even my favorite little local coffee shop is offering a matcha latte. And, it’s a pretty healthy craze. Matcha is loaded with antioxidants, even more than ‘regular’ brewed green tea, due to the fact that you drink the whole ground leaf rather than just brewing the leaves and tossing them.

And it has a whole host of other benefits. This is pretty good roundup of matcha’s powers. And this is a great description of how it gives you calm focus. Love that!

I love matcha as a supplement to my daily routine, but every now and then I’ll go a little further and trade in my beloved coffee for a matcha only month. When I recently did that and started posting pictures of my yummy drinks, I got a lot of comments from people who want to love it, but just don’t.

Well, in all honesty, you don’t have to drink it! Coffee has antioxidants too…and hey, I drink coffee most of the time. If you can handle the super charged feeling of drinking coffee, and it’s your love, go for it. Brightly colored fruits and vegetables have antioxidants too. Red wine… No one superfood can ‘fix’ your health. But, if you really want to drink matcha and are unsure what to do with it, I have a few tips and a recipe that may make you a believer.

Tip #1:

If you’re new to matcha and it’s too grassy/bitter/pungent for you, try ceremonial grade. People will try to sell you on the culinary variety if you’re making a latte out of it, but I find culinary matchas rather bitter, and often muddy tasting (and kind of a muddy green color too, as opposed to bright green like fresh spring peas). I like the smoothness and sweet quality of the higher grade. There are many ceremonial matchas that are affordable. Just do some experimenting until you find what you like. Here’s a link to the best matcha guide of all time, you’re sure to find something here.

Tip #2:

Make a latte. Yes, it is more traditional to drink it straight up, but tradition isn’t everything. It will be just as good for you in a creamy treat-like latte that you actually want to drink. Though there is some evidence to suggest that pairing matcha with dairy products negates the antioxidant effect, so go for nut milks or coconut milk.

Tip #3:

Make it into dessert. Got a favorite vegan vanilla ice cream/smoothie/chia pudding/raw tart recipe? Add a little matcha and turn up the flavor and health benefits.

And finally, here is my favorite matcha latte recipe. To enjoy it hot, use hot water. To enjoy it cold, use cold water and pour it over ice. Like it creamier? Add more coconut oil or cashews. Like it stronger? Add more matcha. Like it sweeter? Add more honey. Or less if you go for that slightly bitter quality.You can’t ruin it. And it’s much faster than brewing coffee.

World's Easiest Matcha Latte
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Servings Prep Time
1 2minutes
Servings Prep Time
1 2minutes
World's Easiest Matcha Latte
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Servings Prep Time
1 2minutes
Servings Prep Time
1 2minutes
Ingredients
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Instructions
  1. Blend well, preferably in a high speed blender, until frothy and creamy.
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PB&J Chia Parfaits

chia parfaits 6Hi folks and happy moon day, otherwise known as a day ashtangis may sleep till (gasp!) 6 or 7!

On mornings like this, moon days and Saturdays, I sometimes find myself weirdly relaxed, or alternately at loose ends (like, what in the world am I still doing in my pajamas at 7 am?!) or crazy hungry. It’s like my belly knows we don’t have to power up for a practice first and demands feeding, pronto like.

On one of these mornings I found myself dreaming of peanut butter. Not almond butter or sunflower butter or calcium rich tahini, but peanut butter. And I wondered why you never see a peanut butter chia pudding. I mean, really, have you seen one? It’s always goji or strawberry or chocolate spirulina or some crazy thing. My go-to has always been simple vanilla with cardamom and/or cinnamon. But this week I wanted something slightly more decadent. And while I was at it, I thought, if PB, then why not PB and J?

Yes, I went there. And I’m so glad I did. I think It’s going to inspire a long list of chia parfaits. Actually, vanilla layered with the berry might be even better (how about vanilla layered with blueberry? Or cherry? OMG). I think Chocolate layered with the peanut butter would be awesome. And how about coffee? Like your morning brew and breakfast all in one go. Oh man, I’m getting hungry right now.

To be clear, I didn’t use real jam. I wanted these to be somewhat healthy. I merely made strawberry flavored milk to create my chia pudding, which, in combination with the peanut butter, give the PB & J effect. But you could use some jam as a topping or layer if you like.

And, just as a reminder, chia seeds are amazing health promoters. Their mucilaginous properties make them great for gut healing, while the high fiber content keeps you full. With protein, calcium and omega 3s, they’re teeny tiny little health powerhouses. And adding nuts and seeds, plus fruits and other super foods makes this a pudding fit for a super hero.

chia parfaits 7I made a big batch of these parfaits one Saturday morning and enjoyed them for a few days, with friends. So they’ll last. Make some on a day off then take them to go for those faster paced days. I know you might buy those chia pods or the like when you’re on the go. But chia pudding is simple to make. I know you can do it. And, those tiny little pods are not nearly enough to satisfy my breakfast hunger. Admit it, you eat two as well…

Anyway, I loved these for their beauty and their decadent flavor. One day I even ate mine drizzled with extra homemade nut milk. This is what my grandfather always did with his tapioca pudding and it’s perfectly indulgent.

You can, of course, eat just one flavor at a time. But I ask you, why????

chia parfaits 5

PB&J Chia Parfaits
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Sometimes you want the comfort of PB&J. This is the childhood flavor, all grown up.
Servings Prep Time
4 15Minutes
Passive Time
1Hour (or overnight)
Servings Prep Time
4 15Minutes
Passive Time
1Hour (or overnight)
PB&J Chia Parfaits
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Sometimes you want the comfort of PB&J. This is the childhood flavor, all grown up.
Servings Prep Time
4 15Minutes
Passive Time
1Hour (or overnight)
Servings Prep Time
4 15Minutes
Passive Time
1Hour (or overnight)
Ingredients
Peanut Butter Pudding
Strawberry Pudding
Servings:
Units:
Instructions
Make the Puddings
  1. Add nut milk, peanut butter, vanilla and dates to your blender jar and blend well.
  2. Pour the peanut butter 'milk' into a large jar, add chia seeds, cover and shake well (about 30 seconds).
  3. Let sit for a few minutes, then shake again.
  4. Store in the refrigerator for at least one hour or overnight to allow the chia seeds to expand and the pudding to thicken.
  5. Add nut milk, strawberries, dates and vanilla to blender jar and blend well.
  6. Pour the strawberry 'milk' into a large jar, add chia seeds, cover and shake well (about 30 seconds).
  7. Let sit for a few minutes, then shake again.
  8. Store in the refrigerator for at least one hour or overnight to allow the chia seeds to expand and the pudding to thicken.
To Assemble the Parfaits
  1. Spoon a layer of peanut butter pudding into each of four jars, glasses or goblets.
  2. Layer banana and strawberry slices on top of peanut butter pudding.
  3. Spoon a layer of strawberry pudding over strawberry and banana slices.
  4. Repeat until remaining pudding and fruit is used up. Top as desired with granola, buckwheat crispies (soaked, dehydrated buckwheat), nuts and seeds, cacao nibs or whatever strikes your fancy. Some extra peanut butter thinned with a little liquid coconut oil makes a fantastic drizzle.
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Cacao Chia Cherry Bread

date cacao bread 2I come to you with just a recipe today. No deep thoughts. Well, maybe only deep, dark chocolate ones.

Let me back up. When your teacher asks you to do something, you do it, right? Fortunately, I like what was asked of me recently. I was asked to make breakfast treats for the hungry yogis at AYNY, a pretty fun and rewarding task. I mostly try to make the treats healthy. Indulgently healthy perhaps, but still healthy. Drool-worthy, but still healthy. Rich and satisfying, but…you get the idea.

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How Not To Go On Vacation (plus some easy spring eating tips)

Tulum last night restaurant sceneSo I was cruising for the finish line. I’d worked. Taught classes. Pitched articles. Visited my in-laws and extended family for holidays and emergencies, checked on my upstate house. I had 5 days to work hard at the day job, teach more classes and get everything organized and packed and set up so nothing fell down around my ears while I was away with family in Mexico when…BAM, the flu. Or something very like it. Yeah. That kind of knee-capped me. READ MORE >

Why I Won’t Offer You Perfection in 6 Easy Steps-And a Healthy Shamrock Shake

Can we talk about this whole inspirational healthy living thing? I’m beginning to be annoyed. If I see one more post about how to be better, happier, healthier, wealthier, thinner and more spiritually evolved  with “6 easy things you can do today” I will spit.

I understand these posts, and why they’re titled this way. Hell, they get even me to click. But the items are never what I’d think. And if they are, then I’m almost always already doing them.

And I’m not perfectly healthy, wealthy, skinny, evolved and spiritual. Go figure.

Drink lemon water? Don’t eat on the run? Get up early? Schedule in my mat time? Get rid of processed/packaged food? Check, check, check, check and check.

And oh, green juice is the ANSWER. Green juice is the DEVIL. Meat is bad. Meat is good. Plant milks are better. Processed plant milks are the path to destruction with their added emulsifiers. Can you really get to the bottom of it in 6 easy steps?

I tell you what, health does not come in pre-packaged sound bytes. No my friend, health and wellness and spiritual connection are hard. They are not linear and straightforward paths and there is no one answer for everybody. Also, there is no one answer for you at all times in your life. There’s still a lot of mystery to how the human body works, no matter how much we may have learned. And no one has the one, easy perfect answer.

On the other hand, there are some things we know. Real food is better than chemicals. Eating while stressed out isn’t a great idea. Moving your body is important. People who feel loved are healthier.

Ok, there’s somewhere to start. Go hug your husband/wife/dog/child. Stop texting or working on your report while you eat. Take a walk in the lovely spring weather. Oh, and make this smoothie. It’s jam packed with real food. No creepy food coloring, processed sugar or conventional dairy. Also, I didn’t replace the dairy with icky GMO, pesticide rich, mucus producing soy milk, as so many of the vegan shakes do. It’s pretty simple, a spin on my cashew milk, nog and hot chocolate recipes (which you can get by subscribing to updates in the sidebar, or if you’re already subscribed, by contacting me here). And it’s healthy enough to have for breakfast.

This shake is one step closer to a whole foods lifestyle, in a goblet or jar or glass. And it’s delectable. That’s my big idea.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Go drink your greens (and I don’t mean Midori or Jaegermeister).

Love,

Me

shamrock shake

Clean Green Shamrock Shake
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A healthy spin on the Shamrock Shake with only whole foods. Healthy enough for breakfast!
Servings Prep Time
1 3minutes
Servings Prep Time
1 3minutes
Clean Green Shamrock Shake
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A healthy spin on the Shamrock Shake with only whole foods. Healthy enough for breakfast!
Servings Prep Time
1 3minutes
Servings Prep Time
1 3minutes
Ingredients
Servings:
Units:
Instructions
  1. Measure all ingredients except cacao nibs into jar of blender.
  2. Blend well until completely emulsified.
  3. Add more ice, avocado or water to desired consistency.
  4. Taste for flavor and add more peppermint extract if desired.
  5. Measure cacao nibs into blender and blend briefly on low, just to break up slightly.
  6. Serve and enjoy!
Recipe Notes

I like 1/4 teaspoon of peppermint extract for a mildly minty flavor, but you can add more if you're a big mint fan!

For extra sweet, you could add a little maple syrup or stevia.

For a little caffeinated morning kick add 1 teaspoon of matcha powder.

For extra decadence replace the raw cacao nibs with chopped super dark chocolate.

And, feel free to share, as dessert instead of a meal. But I bet you won't want to!

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Ayurveda be D*mned, I Want a Salad

kale and avocado saladI have an admission. I seem to be full of em. I’m a yoga devotee. A healthy living pusher. A passionate cook. And a Vatta type. Yes, I’m airy, light, windy, cold and dry. Especially now. And I have a tendency to get Vatta deranged. I know Ayurveda says I should eat lots of cooked, hearty, warming, oily foods this time of year in the frigid northeast (and so should you, probably). I do eat them. I’ve been eating sweet potatoes by the dozen and slathering everything I eat in grass fed butter and ghee and coconut oil. I’ve been doing oil baths and drinking warm beverages and the whole bit. But d*mn it all, this week I really want a salad! And here’s why… READ MORE >