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Beverages & Smoothies

Vegan Hot Chocolate

Vegan Hot Chocolatefrom Jenn Taylor
Hot cocoa was a staple in my home growing up. When I began my wellness journey, I wanted to find a healthier non-dairy alternative to my holiday favorite. This is a special treat that I love to make for friends, and kids love it!

Ingredients
1 cup raw cashews, soaked
1 large Medjool date, pitted and soaked
3 cups water
2 Tablespoons maple syrup, or to taste
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Dash of sea salt
1 ounce dark chocolate (I often use dairy-free chocolate chips)

Method
Soak cashews and date in a bowl of water for one hour or overnight. After soaking, rinse well. Place cashews and date into a blender with the water, sweetener, cocoa powder, vanilla, and salt. Blend on high speed until very smooth. Transfer to a medium-sized pot and add the chocolate. Heat until the chocolate is melted and it is just boiling. Stir continuously. Remove from heat. Serve and enjoy with shaved chocolate on top. This will thicken in the refrigerator if you don't drink it all right away. You can dilute it a bit with water or almond milk.


Almond Milk

Why buy plant milk in a box laden with sodium when you can make your own for just pennies a glass?

Ingredients
1 cup raw almonds (or your favorite nut or seed)

Method
Soak the almonds overnight in filtered water. Be sure to cover completely as they expand when they absorb water. In the morning, drain completely and rinse well several times. Place the almonds in a blender with 3 cups of filtered water. Blend on high speed until the almonds are fully incorporated into the liquid. Pour mixture into a paint straining bag (that is new and has not been used for painting!). You can get these at any hardware store for about 99 cents. Strain the milk from the pulp over a bowl until you can't squeeze any more liquid out of the pulp. You can reserve the pulp for another use such as making cookies or crackers. Refrigerate any unused milk. Lasts about 2-3 days.

If you like your nut milk thicker an richer, more like cream, just add less water. For thinner almond milk, add more water.

Cheap and Easy Method
Place 1 TB raw almond butter in a blender with 3 cups filtered water and blend until smooth.


Creamy Dreamy Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

Ingredients
1 whole banana (frozen)
1/4 cup canned pure pumpkin
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/4 cup plant-based milk
A dash of ground ginger
1 teaspoon pure maple syrup

Method
Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth, adding more non-dairy milk as necessary to achieve proper consistency. Add more pumpkin or spice to taste. Garnish with a dash of cinnamon and nutmeg.

Note: 1 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice = 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp cloves or allspice, 1/8 tsp nutmeg


Green Monkey Smoothie

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups of water
1 tablespoon of ground flax seed
1 banana (peel it and freeze it first if possible, it is the secret ingredient)
1/2 to 1 cup of frozen berries of your choice
1 to 2 big handfuls of baby spinach

Method
Blend and enjoy!

* As you progress you can add more green to your smoothie, but this is a great way to get started. And don't worry about protein if you have this for breakfast because in addition to vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytochemicals and fiber, greens are loaded with protein!


Blue Dino Smoothie

Ingredients
1 to 1/2 cups of water - start with 1 cup and add more if necessary
1 tablespoon ground flax seed
2 big handfuls of baby spinach
2 or 3 leaves of kale (but only if you have had green smoothies before and want to kick it up a notch or if you are feeling like really going for it)
1/2 of a frozen banana
1 cup of frozen blueberries

Method
Blend and enjoy. Remember if you don't have a super duper high powered blender like the vitamix, add the liquid, flax and greens first and blend. Then slowly add the frozen fruit. You may have to start and stop the blender a few times and stir it and add more water.


Berry Blast Smoothie

Ingredients
1 to 1 1/2 cups of water
1/2 of a frozen banana
1 tablespoon ground flax seed
2 big handfuls of baby spinach
1 cup of frozen strawberries
*Optional: 2 or 3 leaves of kale

Method
Blend and enjoy. Remember if you are new to green smoothies you can just have the spinach for awhile before adding kale which has a stronger taste. But if you really want to go for it, kale is one of the most nutrient dense foods you can eat.


Peaches and Green Smoothie

Ingredients
1 cup of frozen peaches or 2 medium ripe peaches
1 frozen banana
2 handfuls of baby spinach
1 small handful of kale or Swiss chard
1 tablespoon ground flax
1 to 1/2 cups of water

Method
Blend and enjoy.


Tropical Breeze Smoothie

Ingredients
1 to 1 1/2 cups of water or coconut water
1 cup of frozen mango
2 handfuls of baby spinach
1 handful of Swiss chard or kale
1 tablespoon ground flax seed
1/2 cup of fresh or frozen pineapple

Method
Blend and enjoy. You can use water or coconut water in this recipe. (Note: not coconut milk, but coconut water. This smoothie should be more than sweet enough, but if you would like to add chunk or two of frozen banana, you can add it to sweeten things.)


Chocolate Cherry Smoothie

Ingredients
1 to 1 1/2 cups of water or unsweetened chocolate almond milk
1 frozen banana
1/2 cup of frozen dark cherries
1/2 cup of frozen blueberries
3 large handfuls of baby spinach
1 tablespoon ground flax seed
2 tablespoons unsweetened good quality cocoa powder or cacao powder

Method
Blend and enjoy.


It's Easy Being Green Smoothie

Ingredients
2-3 fresh oranges and 1 cup of water or 16 ounces of fresh squeezed orange juice
1 bunch of kale (approximaely 12 ounces)
2 frozen, ripe bananas
2 cups frozen mango
Fresh mint leaves to taste (optional)

Method
In a blender, blend oranges with kale until smooth. Add frozen fruit and blend until completely blended and thick.

Chef's Note
For a Creamsicle effect, use half unsweetened almond milk and half orange juice. You can also use spinach instead of kale.

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