Monday, September 26, 2016

Rum Raisin Smoothie!

Yes, another smoothie!  I'm aware my photos of late are monotonous with one glass after another, but you'll thank me for this one, I think.
My doctor tracks my nutrient levels very carefully every few months and a recent blood test revealed low iron for the first time in recent memory. I'm not crazy about the nausea that ensues from iron supplements, but half a tablet doesn't bother me, so I've added that to my arsenal of meds.  My doctor also provided a list of foods that may improve the iron situation with bioavailability that surpasses what I can get from a pill.  It turns out that raisins are an excellent source!  So I began to experiment . . .

I really think of this smoothie as a special treat since it is pretty sweet.  It tastes like rum raisin ice cream to me, but there is no rum.  There's a scant bit of alcohol from the vanilla extract but you could leave that out of the mix if you prefer and I bet it'd still be luscious.  Here you go:

Rum Raisin Smoothie!

1 1/2 cups almond milk
1/2 a frozen banana
1 Tbsp. almond butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract
a generous shake of nutmeg, with more on top, if you like
a shake of cinnamon
a small handful of organic raisins
a couple of ice cubes

If you don't have a high-powered blender, soak the raisins in the milk for 15 minutes or so first.  Otherwise, no pre-soak needed. Blend all ingredients until most of the raisins are minced finely.  Enjoy -- this makes about 2 cups.

It's definitely worth it to splurge on the organic raisins, which are superior in nutritional value, and they are juicier and more flavorful too. I'm a huge fan of nutmeg, so I use a lot of it.  You can obviously tweak this recipe to suit your preference.  If you'd like it a little sweeter, you could use a whole banana and/or more raisins.  I've just learned there's a whole subset of folks who don't enjoy autumnal spices, so if you are one of those, this smoothie probably won't appeal at all.  For all the rest of you -- you're gonna love it!

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Now This

It was good to find these big 48 oz jugs of kombucha at Whole Foods the other day.  I love the way this fermented tea picks up my energy level late in the afternoon, but because of the slight sugar content, I limit the frequency of this otherwise healthy treat.  Another good reason to limit the frequency is the price tag for the smaller bottles -- around $4-$5 each.  48 oz for around $9 is better.  This'll last me a while.  I'm not drinking out of the bottle, so bacteria won't be competing with the good probiotic bugs in this brew.  The first glass did taste a little different than I'm used to, but I think it's because the "mother" had settled to the bottom.  I'll try gently turning or swirling this bottle before my next serving.

I'll never forget the first time I ever tried one of these bottled kombuchas -- it was the green variety.  Seeing the sediment on the bottom, I shook it vigorously before opening it.  Fellow kombucha drinkers will know the result already -- dark green probiotic potion all over myself and the room.  When it comes to this fermented concoction, "swirled, not shaken" is the way to go.