Full Belly Sisters: December 2013

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Cranberry Clementine Grape Post-Holiday Cleansing #Smoothie #vitamix



It's the day after Christmas and it's time to get back to reality. After two days of real food—admittedly rich, calorie, carb-loaded, calorie-dense real food—my body is craving something cleaner. No time to get on that like RIGHT NOW. 

So, I just made a quick breakfast smoothie chock full of fruits. This refreshing drink not only helps to clean out my system, it also helped me clean out my fridge a bit: whole cranberries leftover from the holiday meal; clementines that Santa put in our stockings; and grapes from the cheese platters I served on Christmas Eve.



Ingredients
yields about two cups

  • 1 cup red grapes
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries (frozen would work, too)
  • 2 clementines, peeled
  • about a cup of ice


Blend until smooth. Then drink up!

I had a small handful of nuts alongside my smoothie, a little fat and protein to counterbalance the sugars of the smoothie. It was a good way to start the day. Now, to avoid digging into the leftover stuffing and gravy in my fridge... 

Hope you all enjoyed the holiday!

P.S. Just noticed this was my fourth cranberry post in a row. I tell you, I am hooked on these little nutrition bombs!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Cranberry Cherry Smoothie #Vitamix #asmoothieaday


I always find this time of year pretty stressful. Spending money, buying gifts, a full social calendar (for my kindergartener, anyway), entertaining and cooking for lots of guests. And, of course, there are the random winter storms, slippery black ice, school snow days, shoveling driveways. It's just...a lot. 

It's also a really inopportune time to get sick. But, with all the stress and poor eating, it's actually pretty easy to catch a cold. So, I try to have a smoothie every morning—even if the rest of my day is spent snacking while shopping or having holiday cookies for dinner (don't hate!), at least I'm starting my day off with a nutritious breakfast.

Here's one I've been enjoying lately. Featuring nutritious cherries and cranberries, this drink is loaded with antioxidants, omega-3s and 6s, beta carotene, fiber, and some protein. It's also a meal that's fast and easy, which is really helpful on these busy days.


Ingredients
yields 16 ounces
  • I cup frozen cherries
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 3/4 cup hemp milk (or whatever milk you like)
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt
  • handful of ice

I find the sweetness of the cherries balances well with the tartness of the cranberries and yogurt—but you can certainly add honey or agave or other sweetener, to taste.

Yes, I stuck my smoothie into a snow bank for these pix!

Drink up, stay healthy, and have fun this holiday season!


Saturday, December 7, 2013

Roasted Cranberries, Ricotta & Honey Crostini


I've been on a cranberry kick lately. And, really, it makes sense: the antioxidant-rich berries are at the height of their season right now. They are festive, scarlet-red, and full of flavor. Oh, and cranberries are nutritional powerhouses, too. They're a wonderful source of Vitamin C, which helps our bodies heal and resist infections (perfect for wintertime!); fiber for improved gastrointestinal health; and even anti-bacterial compounds that protect against urinary tract infections and fight tooth decay. 

Anyway, in my zeal to eat cranberries as much as possible, I saw this Roasted Cranberry Sauce over at Life Currents and had to make it. I changed it just slightly: I used the zest and juice of an orange instead of a lime, and I used freshly-ground pepper and sea salt instead of the rosemary. It turned out divine. Easy yet elegant, tart with just a hint of sweetness and savoriness. Plus, it is just ridiculously pretty!




It would be a lovely side dish next to some roast turkey. But Thanksgiving was over and I had to find another vehicle for this delightful sauce. So, I made a breakfast crostini for myself:

Ingredients

  • slice of peasant bread
  • roasted cranberry sauce
  • ricotta (try my easy, creamy homemade ricotta! or goat cheese would be work wonderfully, too)
  • honey
  • fresh-ground pepper
  • sea salt

I simply toasted the bread, spread ricotta over the top, spooned the cranberry sauce over that, then drizzled with honey across it all. Then I finished it with a tiny pinch of salt and a generous amount of fresh-cracked black pepper.




I'm not including specific amounts because, well, I didn't measure anything as I made it. But I think it's pretty self-explanatory. And the cranberry sauce recipe makes plenty, so you could certainly make this into a gorgeous platter of crostini: just take a baguette, cut into thin slices and toast. Then top each slice as I did for my breakfast version. Simple to make but with a definite wow factor for a holiday party!


Check it out! This recipe was featured in a Huffington Post piece about eating healthy for the holidays. Woo-hoo!



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