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:

IMG_9362

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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Berry Pie, ‘Nuff Said. (gf, vegan, and processed sugar free)

IMG_9353Pie, my friends. Sweet, sweet pie. As the berry season cometh, so cometh delicious pie. I wanna be straight with you folks though, and this may sound like blasphemy to the pie purists of the world, but I don’t historically love traditional pie crust. So I made a different crust. Also, let’s be honest because we’re friends, regular crust from scratch is a huge pain in the ass and gluten-free and vegan crust is even more of one. Thankfully, the crust in this recipe is easy as, well, pie. 🙂IMG_9348Berry season (i.e. summer) in the northwest is the best. The berries are giant, sweet, and abundant. I literally spent 20 minutes just picking blackberries one block from my office yesterday and came home with 3 pints of juicy blackberries. One of my favorite memories is picking blackberries with my little brother and my folks at the beach. To this day, just taking a couple of minutes to slow down and pick a few blackberries brings the biggest smile to my face (pause for reverie about berries). Okay, resuming pie talk.IMG_9332So, crust. What you need:

2 cups of gluten-free oats

1.5 cups of almonds

2 heaping Tbsp coconut oil

1/4 -1/3 cup maple syrup

First, preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Will the preheating is happening, grind your oats and almonds. I did it in my Vitamix. If you don’t have a power blender (or a magic bullet is awesome here!) just buy oat flour and almond meal.IMG_9333Here’s my oat and almond flour all ground up and mixed. Don’t grind your almonds too long or you’ll have almond butter, which is delicious, but not our goal here. 🙂

Add your coconut oil and maple syrup. Mix well and press into a pie tin.IMG_9338Bake for about 15 minutes.

While your crust is baking, prepare the filling (this part is shockingly unchallenging). What you need:

1 pint strawberries, rinsed and sliced

1 pint blueberries, rinsed

1 tablespoon lemon juice.

Mix them berries! After your 15 minutes of crust baking, fill that thar pie crust!IMG_9351Bake for another 45 minutes-ish until the crust is golden brown and berries are cooked, but not mushy. The outside of the strawberries ends up almost roasted and was so tasty that it led to a future recipe about roasted strawberry ice cream. Prepare yourselves.IMG_9354Now eat a slice of pie! Or the whole pie! (brief pause for pie reverie).IMG_9361Yum. 🙂