I’ve heard about Vega for years but never really felt the need to include a supplement in my life. I’m old school, I believe in getting your nutrition from plants, legumes and grains. For the past year I have felt tired, listless, I’ve had unexplained skin issues, digestive issues and an assortment of other things that make me question if I’m at my optimum health right now. I would never, EVER think of eating meat as a solution and frankly consider those that give up veganism at the first sign of a decrease in health to be weak and foolish. Veganism is hands down the healthiest diet out there for you, the planet and the animals. Like everybody else, omni and vegan alike, you must ensure proper nutrition, which is a challenge sometimes in this world of convenient foods. The more we get away from a pure diet, the worse we will feel. I’ve been researching a way to get all my vitamins and minerals without popping a pill everyday and remembered all the great things I have heard about Vega. If you’re not familiar with Vega you can go to iherb.com, the best site I found describing the product and summarizing the health benefits: Chocolate Vega on iherb.com. You can buy Vega online or locally from Food Fight, Portland’s all-vegan grocery store. They sell the sample size, the 17.5oz container or the 37.8oz container (best value, of course). They even have it for a competitive price!
I’ve never been struck by pumpkin fever like everybody else during the fall. I suppose having crappy pumpkin pie as a kid (read: not vegan, all processed) turned me off to all things pumpkin. This year I rediscovered the magic of pumpkin through many different preparations and was intrigued by the concept of making a pumpkin smoothie for breakfast. I drink smoothies 3-4 times a week as my first meal of the day and the nutritional value of pumpkins made this an easy choice to mix up my repertoire. It might seem weird to add salt to a smoothie but it’s key in bringing out the rest of the flavors, trust me.
I’ve always loved sorbet. What’s not to love about frozen fruit sweetened with a bit of sugar? It’s delicious, it’s refreshing and it’s relatively guiltless. I honestly didn’t think you could improve on this magical combination until So Delicious entered the scene. What could they possibly add, besides booze, to make sorbet better? Coconut water. Oh, coconut water how I love thee! What a brilliant concept!
The coconut water sorbets quickly entered my life and I started finding ways to incorporate them into my daily life. I drink smoothies for breakfast 3-4 times a week so it seemed like the perfect place to start. The first time I sampled this recipe I was walking through the farmers’ market moaning my way through breakfast. Wait, did that sound dirty? Either way, here’s the super simple recipe!
Mango Pineapple Smoothie
1 cup fresh or frozen mango
1 cup fresh or frozen pineapple
3/4 cup So Delicious mango sorbet
2 cups papaya juice
1 tbsp flax seeds ( optional)
Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Drink, moan.
Makes 2 16oz Smoothies.
Back when I was a teenager I used to work in the mall near an Orange Julius. I was completely obsessed with their drinks, particularly the Strawberry Julius. It was always the highlight of my day yet one of the many things I gave up when I turned vegan, as they use milk powder in their blend.
This morning I was out of bananas but really wanted a smoothie. I decided to make a milkshake instead with fresh strawberries and some Temptations Strawberry Ice Cream from Chicago Soy Dairy I had in the freezer. I was weary when I took my first sip yet was more than pleasantly surprised to find that not only was it fantastic but it tasted just like the strawberry Julius drinks from my youth! I was downright giddy the rest of the day. Enjoy!
7 fresh strawberries, tops cut off
1 to 1 1/2 cups of rice milk
1/2 pint of strawberry ice cream
Blend all ingredients together, adjusting the rice milk to your thickness preference. Serve immediately.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Smoothies in the morning are my favorite part of waking up. I rarely eat the heavy ‘traditional’ breakfast foods as I find they are difficult to digest and do not give me the energy I need to start my day. Smoothies, on the other hand, are great for the digestive system, supply the fruit I need in my daily dose and leave me perfectly satisfied until lunchtime. I try to drink them with fresh fruit as often as possible but I do keep frozen fruit in my freezer for convenience and for the days I’m in a rush. On the frozen fruit days I let all the ingredients sit in the blender for 10-20 minutes so the frozen fruit can defrost in the juice. I never add ice or milk as I find it takes away from the yummy fruity goodness already in the blender. I always add ground flax seeds, which I grind in my coffee spice grinder, to incorporate essential omegas into my diet.
Strawberry Mango Smoothie
1 mango, peeled and sliced
12 strawberries, green part cut off
2 bananas, peeled and sliced
2 cups of orange juice, fresh if possible
1 tbsp ground flax meal (optional)
1 tbsp soy protein powder (optional)
Add all ingredients to blender and blend until smooth. Adjust orange juice according to thickness desired.
Makes 2 16oz drinks