Cherry, Cacao, and Basil (and greens!) Smoothie Goodness

IMG_9372Cherry Basil? Yes, Cherries+Basil+Cacao=delicious and I too was surprised that combination worked, but it certainly did. This smoothie is light, refreshing, and kind of complex (in a good way). That said, it’s still dang tasty if you omit the basil and just go with tried and true cherries and chocolate.

What you need:

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about 1 cup of cherries, pitted

2 cups vanilla almond milk (or other non-dairy milk, unsweetened)

2 cups of spinach

1 banana, preferably frozen and chopped

2-3 basil leaves (or no basil leaves if you don’t sway that way)

1 Tbsp chia seeds (totally optional)

1 scoop vanilla protein powder – I use Sunwarrior Vegan protein powder (again, totally optional, but nice)

1 Tbsp cacao nibs (I use Theo)

3-4 ice cubes

IMG_9366Sweet, sweet cherries – I prefer bings, but you could use any cherry. My guess would be that the darker varieties would probably be better, but why not give glorious Rainiers a try in this smoothie? A note on cherry pitting: DO NOT WEAR WHITE CLOTHING, or brand new clothing, or anything that you care deeply about in the event of cherry spatter. No matter how accomplished you are at pitting cherries, it can and will happen. I even watched a video on smooth ways to pit the cherries, and despite my efforts, my friends, it was not smooth.

What to do: Put everything in a blender and blend the heck out of it!

IMG_9374Now drink the lusciousness knowing that you got your fruits, your greens, your chocolate, and some protein. HOORAY!

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Ice Cream Cake = Birthday Happiness (Vegan, Raw, Gluten-free!)

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Yesterday was my birthday, and while I may now be 32, some things haven’t changed since I started eating solid food. For example, my undying devotion to ice cream cake. It may be one of the most perfect foods. Somehow, even though I don’t really like cake, when you add ice cream and freeze the whole deal, it’s amazing! This year ice cream cake from the DQ wasn’t going to cut it though. My days of dairy and gluten and buckets of sugar are now days of yore. I took it as a challenge and came up with this insanely, stupidly delicious “cake.”

So, what  do these ingredients have in common? Well, they make a wicked tasty cake. Duh.

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Let’s go layer by layer, shall we? Layer one is a mixture of oats, almonds, dates, and maple syrup, all ground down to a granola bar consistency. Layer two (this one is the real surprise winner) is chocolate avocado mousse. What?! Avocado mousse?! YES. Totally amazing and weird. And finally, layer 3 (this is where I get lazy) is my favorite vegan ice cream from Molly Moon’s here in Seattle, vegan coconut chunk. Oh, I should also mention that between each layer is a very thin layer of coconut shreds. Mmmmmmmm….

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So, to make this baby, let’s also go layer by layer by layer.

Layer 1:

1 cup oats (gluten-free)

1 cup almonds

5 soaked dates, pitted (soaked at least 3 hours)

2-3 Tablespoons of maple syrup

Layer 2:

1 avocado, very ripe

4 Tbsp raw cacao powder

5 soaked dates, pitted (as above)

2 Tbsp maple syrup

Layer 3: 

Your favorite vegan ice cream, softened to an easily spreadable texture

To make, find either a cake pan or I just used a parchment-lined pyrex dish. Start by combining all ingredients for layer one in a food processor or magic bullet until you can easily mold the mixture into a ball and have it stick together. Press it into the bottom of the parchment-lined dish. Place in freezer and freeze for 1-2 hours, until hard.

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Sprinkle layer 1 with shredded coconut. Now, in a food processor or magic bullet, combine all ingredients for layer 2. Evenly spread across layer 1, sprinkle with coconut shreds, and freeze for 1-2 hours.

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For layer 3, taken softened ice cream and spread over layer 2 (make sure layer 2 is fully frozen!). Freeze for another 1-3 hours and serve! Keeps well in freezer, but I won’t lie, it nearly didn’t make it past day 2 in our house.  Enjoy! 🙂

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