Chocolate Blackberry Smoothie

Following a hard run in hot weather, I rarely feel like turning on a stove but still want something high in protein and properly filling as a recovery meal. Since I nearly always have frozen produce at my disposal, smoothies have become a go-to for the summer months.

Blackberry Chocolate Smoothie {{Baking Bytes}}

After deciding to incorporate protein powder into some of my smoothies, I debated a good recipe for using the chocolate version. Blackberry seemed the obvious answer, especially since we’re often gifted Oregon-grown boysenberries from M’s parents (something I am never sad about.) Blackberry and chocolate is a delicious combination in any form and this smoothie definitely feels quite decadent despite its healthy ingredients.

Blackberry Chocolate Smoothie {{Baking Bytes}}

Frozen blackberries and, optionally, a small piece of banana for sweetness form the base of this smoothie. Chocolate protein powder is boosted by cacao powder to make the chocolate aspect more prominent. Cacao is a vaguely “healthier” option that cocoa powder, but you can definitely sub unsweetened cocoa if you’d like. Standard fiber and fat boost from chia and hemp seeds if that’s something you’re looking for, but for a lighter smoothie feel free to leave them out. A generous helping of spinach to get in those veggies rounds out the deliciousness without affecting the flavor. Blended up with almond milk (or your “milk” of choice) and a decadent but super healthy smoothie is ready to go.

Blackberry Chocolate Smoothie {{Baking Bytes}}

 

For the days when your mouth wants dessert and your body says “but maybe a vegetable”, keep your freezer stocked with blackberries and spinach and whip up this great snack or meal replacement. Tailor the mix-ins to your caloric needs and nutrient preferences and you’re good to go for all those hot summer days ahead.

Chocolate Blackberry Smoothie

Makes 16-20z

Ingredients1

3/4 cup frozen blackberries
2″ frozen banana (optional)
1/2 – 1 scoop chocolate protein powder
1-2 Tbsp (each) chia and hemp seeds
1-2 Tbsp cacao powder
3/4 cup almond milk
1 cup frozen, crushed spinach

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender (add the spinach last) and process until smooth.
  2. Taste and add extra cacao or mix-ins if desired.
  3. Thin with additional almond milk as necessary.
  4. Serve immediately.

Notes

I listed these in the order I personally add them because I find it easiest to just fill the remainder of my single-serving blender container.

I Adds a nice sweetness but doesn’t change the flavor; I’ve made it with and without the banana and it’s good both ways.

Blueberry Almond Cardamom Smoothie

Smoothies are one of my favorite things about summer. There’s nothing like a cold smoothie at the end of a hard and hot workout for a no-brainer recovery meal. I’ve previously shared my other go-to peanut butter and banana concoction, but this is another excellent option for those that aren’t fans of banana or are in the mood for a less sweet experience.

Blueberry Cardamom Smoothie {{Baking Bytes}}

Plenty of blueberry flavor with hints of almond and cardamom make this reminiscent of one of my favorite pies, while the other mix-ins add protein and healthy fats to keep me full. Spinach is the best secret ingredient and if your blender allows, feel free to add more. As written, this recipe nearly exactly fills my single-serving blender (a bit overfills  it with the higher ends of everything) but if you’re using a standard size you can easily double the spinach content without affecting the delicious flavor.

Blueberry Cardamom Smoothie {{Baking Bytes}}

Like all smoothies, this one is super easy to tailor to your caloric needs: use the low end of the protein powder, chia, and hemp (or skip them entirely) for a lighter snack or a healthy dessert, and the full amounts for a proper meal replacement. I like my smoothies and milkshakes quite thick, but you can add extra almond milk to thin yours out if necessary.

Perfect for the next time you want pie but need protein, this is a great go-to to add to your summer smoothie repertoire.

Blueberry Almond Cardamom Smoothie

Makes 16-20 oz

Ingredients

3/4 cup frozen blueberries
2-inch piece frozen banana (optional, adds a touch of sweetness)
1/2 – 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
1-2 Tbsp chia seeds
1-2 Tbsp hemp hearts
1/4 – 1/2 tsp ground cardamom, to taste
1/4 tsp almond extract
1 cup spinach, frozen and crushed1
3/4 – 1 cup almond milk, to taste

Directions

  1. Add all ingredients to a blender (I find it easiest to add the spinach and almond milk last) and process until smooth.
  2. Taste and add extra spice or thin almond milk as preferred.
  3. Enjoy immediately.

Notes

Easiest way to do this is just to pop a whole bag of fresh spinach in the freezer. Once frozen you can crush it with your hands or a rolling pin, which makes it much easier to pour into the blender cup.

Cold Brewed Coffee: “Latte”

[Welcome to this month’s Cold Brewed Coffee Series! If you missed the first post on making your own cold brew concentrate, you can find it here.]

Happy last week of July! Can hardly believe the month went by so quickly. I hope you have enjoyed both series the last few weeks and in August we’ll be back to our regularly scheduled programming.

For the last week I’m sharing my favorite treat beverage. Technically, it’s a café au lait but it feels closer to a latte to me since the cold brew is so concentrated. I don’t drink my cold brew this way as often, but it’s a delicious way to start the morning as well as a lovely pick-me-up in the afternoon.

IMG_6056_FotorAs with everything, I like to add a dash (heap) of cinnamon, and a little vanilla is a great addition too. For a sweeter experience, use your favorite coffee syrup, maple syrup, or homemade simple syrup. I don’t often do sweet lattes these days but I have a white ginger simple syrup I’m definitely looking forward to trying out soon.

Cold Brew: "Latte" {{Baking Bytes}}Thanks for following along and I would love to hear about your cold brew adventures. And be sure to come back Friday for the pièce de résistance of National Ice Cream Month!

Cold Brewed Coffee: “Latte”

Makes ~10 oz

Ingredients

2-3 oz cold brew concentrate1
7-8 oz milk of choice (I like to use almond)

optional
1/4 tsp vanilla
cinnamon, to taste
sweetener, to taste

Directions

  1. Heat milk to simmering using method of choice: microwave, stove, milk frother, etc.
  2. Pour cold brew concentrate into a mug, and optional add any garnishes (vanilla, cinnamon, simple syrup).
  3. Carefully stream in the heated milk.
  4. Enjoy!

Notes

My preference is 2 oz cold brew and 8 oz almond milk, but you may prefer slightly different ratios depending on the strength of your concentrate and the type of milk you use.

Cold Brewed Coffee: Vanilla Iced

[Welcome to this month’s Cold Brewed Coffee Series! If you missed the first post on making your own cold brew concentrate, you can find it here.]

Cold Brew: Iced {{Baking Bytes}}

Although I typically enjoy my cold brew as a hot beverage, sometimes an iced coffee just feels right: usually after long, hot runs or on particularly toasty afternoons. On those occasions having my own cold brew concentrate ready to go is not only more delicious and convenient, but also much cheaper than going to a coffee shop.

IMG_5809_Fotor

It is excellent plain, of course, but since I’m usually in the mood for a treat anyway I like to doctor mine with a little vanilla and creamer. Vanilla is always a welcome addition to coffee beverages, and the creamer makes it an extra delicious summer treat. Half and half is my mixer of choice (or cream, for extra decadence), but you can substitute your own favorite. A dash of cinnamon (or heap, in my case) adds a little spice. Although I rarely sweeten mine, a bit of simple syrup, maple syrup, or regular ole sugar is definitely an option if you like your coffee sweet. Use an infused simple syrup for additional flavor options.

Cold Brew: Iced {{Baking Bytes}}

The next time you’re in the mood for an iced coffee, give this one a try. You may have to play with the proportions a bit to find your perfect ratios, but I promise the practice will be worth it.

Cold Brewed Coffee: Vanilla Iced

Makes 12-16 oz

Ingredients

6-12 oz cold brew concentrate
1/2 tsp vanilla
dash of cinnamon (optional, but encouraged)
sweetener, to taste (optional; simple syrup blends the easiest)

~1 cup ice
cold water

1-2 Tbsp half and half or cream

Directions

  1. In the bottom of a glass, add cold brew concentrate and vanilla. Stir in sweetener and/or cinnamon, if desired.
  2. Carefully add ice cubes (should be around 2/3 full), then top with cold water.
  3.  Stir in creamer of choice, and enjoy!

Notes

As with the hot version, this will depend on how strong you like your coffee and how strong you brewed your concentrate. For mine, I do about 2 parts coffee to 1 part water, but you may not need to dilute yours at all or you may need closer to 50:50 so play around with it till you find what works!

Cold Brewed Coffee: Served Hot

[Welcome to this month’s Cold Brewed Coffee Series! If you missed the first post on making your own cold brew concentrate, you can find it here.]

I feel a bit silly even posting this as a recipe because it’s so easy and so short, but as something I make almost every day I definitely want to share it with all of you. For me, I love starting the day with a hot beverage and even in the heat of summer I nearly always have a hot cup of coffee first thing in the morning.

Because of this, the main reason it took me so long to board the cold brew train is because I am much less inclined to drink cold coffee, especially first thing in the morning. Realistically it’s all about the ritual; I could likely start with a plain cup of hot water and be almost as happy. Almost.

One benefit to drinking my own cold brew is that it’s one of the few times I prefer coffee black. I managed to wean myself off of sweetened coffee quite awhile ago, but ditching the splash of cream has proven more challenging. I still like it in most drip coffee (especially at restaurants), but at home I enjoy this cold brewed coffee in it’s unadorned state.

So since coffee is delicious and cold brewed coffee is even better, here’s how I make my concentrate into a piping hot beverage each morning. Hope you enjoy it!

PS – I also use this for my bulletproof coffee2 on running days, simply add a bulletproof pod, blend it up, and you’re all set! Optionally add a scoop of protein powder for a nice boost for those tough morning workouts.

Cold Brewed Coffee: Served Hot

Makes 10-12 oz

Ingredients

2-3 oz cold brew concentrate
7-10 oz boiling water1

Directions

  1. Pour cold brew concentrate into a mug, then stream in boiling water.
  2. Optionally supplement with your preferred garnishes (sugar, cream, etc).
  3. Enjoy!

Notes

I nearly always do 2 oz concentrate to 8 oz boiling water, mostly because my favorite mugs are 10 oz, but this will depend on how long you let yours brew and how strong you like your coffee.

For the bulletproof version I like a little stronger coffee so I typically do the following: 1 pod, 3 oz coffee,  and 9 oz boiling water. Blend for 5-10 seconds or until frothy. Sometimes I add 1/2 -1 scoop of protein powder as well if I’m heading out for a longer or tougher workout. (Be careful though, some powders froth more excessively than others and might overwhelm a personal-sized blender cup.)