Pumpkin Chai Smoothie

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We all end up with that little bit of leftover pumpkin that you either find a way to eat or grows mold in the back of the refrigerator. There’s not really enough to make anything with and freezing it seems silly since half of it will get stuck in the bag. Here is one of my solutions Pumpkin and Chai Smoothie.
 photo DSCF2003.jpgThis is one of my favorite fall smoothies. It contains two things I love to combine chai and pumpkin they work together so well. This is an easy way to sneak an extra veg into your life. You know any food with that much color has to be good for you. Pumpkin has beta carotene, potassium, folate, magnesium, calcium and more. It is a powerhouse of nutrients.

Pumpkin and Chai Smoothie
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1 cup chai tea, already brewed
1/2 cup almond milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1 to 2 tablespoons maple syrup (optional)

Brew your chai and let cool. Toss it all into your blender and blend until smooth or you can use an immersion blender, like I did. Yes its that easy. Sometimes I turn this into a protein shake with a scoop of vanilla protein powder. Want it thicker add some ice. Want it warm use warm chai.


Dandelion Smoothie

Dandelion leaves are a very healthful food most people don’t think about cultivating them in their garden, they think about eradicating them.  I started letting dandelions grow in my garden a few years ago and the have flourished.  I do pull off the flowers to keep the population down, but other than that I don’t have to do anything to them other than pick them.

The colour reminds me of the ’70’s.
Dandelion green will provide you with vitamin K, A, and C and provide a good dose of calcium and other nutrients.  Treat them like any other green for cooking: blanch and saute them, young leafs can be tossed in salads, or smoothies.  My garden provides me with plenty of dandelion greens and I know they have not been sprayed with pesticide, so keep that in mind when picking them.

Dandelion Smoothie
2 cups Dandelion greens
3 apricots, pitted and chopped
1 clementine, peeled
1 cup almond milk
1 – 2 tablespoons honey

Toss in your blender and blitz for two minutes.

How to Make Almond Milk

Almond Milk
 Frankly, I was never that impressed with almond milk.  It didn’t taste all that almondy to me, so I never really understood what all the fuss was about.  That is until I made it at home.  What a huge difference, it tastes like almonds.  Plus there is the added bonus of almond fluff, it keeps finding its way into my oatmeal.
My set up

Homemade almond milk will not be as smooth as commercial.

Almond milk is not hard to make, its a little noisy, but not hard. I can’t remember where I got the recipe from, it was from a website. It is really simple.I do remember the site saying not to use a food process. So pull out your blender and get milking!

Almond Milk

1 cup almonds
4 cups water plus more for soaking
fine mesh sieve

1. Put almonds in a bowl cover with water and soak for 6 hours to overnight (I do overnight it works better for me.)

2. Drain water from almonds and put almonds in blender.

3. Add 4 cups water and blend for 2 minutes.

4. Pour through sieve into a bowl, squish the liquid out of the solids.

5.  Put in a glass jar and refrigerate.  

Save the almond fluff it is tasty I like it in oatmeal and smoothies, if you need an absolutely smooth smoothie don’t try it in a smoothie.  Almond milk will last about 5 days in the refrigerator.