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Mango Mash Green Smoothie

Mango Mash Green Smoothie

I am a lover of green smoothies and always looking for ways to use different greens. Cause ya know, we should all be rotating our greens on a weekly basis. So when I had some leftover chard in the house from making mac n cheese, I used the remaining greens for a smoothie the next morning. Quick, easy and ever so yummy!

Chard is a relatively “non-green” tasting green anyways, but paired with the sweetness of mangoes, banana, and a date…the taste disappears. The chia, hemp, and flax seeds add a bit of “power” to the smoothie that can easily classify this as a meal replacement if you choose to keep the whole thing to yourself. Hey, who am I to judge? My son came up with the “mango mash” name and, well, I went with it. Cause that’s what you do when an 8 year old gives you green smoothie name ideas.

Mango Mash Green Smoothie

Mango Mash Green Smoothie
Author: 
Recipe type: Smoothies
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 24 oz
 
Ingredients
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 T chia seeds
  • 1 T hemp seeds
  • 1 T flax seeds (use whole flax if using a high power blender)
  • 2 leaves of chard, stems removed
  • 1 cup frozen mango chunks
  • ½ cucumber (peeled if not organic)
  • 1 ripe banana
  • ½ chunk of ginger (leave peel on if using a high powered blender
  • 1 round slice of lemon (leave pith on)
  • 1 pitted date
Instructions
  1. Add all the ingredients to the blender in the order they are listed.
  2. Blend for 1 minute
  3. Enjoy!

Until next time, keep it real.

Summer Recipe Roundup

Real_Food_Life_Peach_Salsa

I love summer. If for nothing else but for the assortment of fresh produce at my disposal. From strawberries to cherries to tomatoes to herbs to zucchini and peaches. Oh, how I love summer peaches.

The past 3 years we have been taking our kids to the local orchard to pick our own peaches. It’s become something we look forward to this time of year. We come home with a big basket of peaches and lay them all out waiting for them to ripen up over the next few days. And oh do they ever. Biting into a peach and having the juice run down your arm = pure deliciousness.

See the problem becomes, though, once peaches ripen you need to eat them. FAST. Wait too long and they start to go bad. I’ve learned over the years after I’ve made a few peach cobblers or sliced a few up on our granola whatever is left gets peeled, sliced and frozen. There’s nothing like pulling out peaches in the middle of winter.

This year, I got a hankering for a peach salsa. Salsas are so easy to throw together and who doesn’t love a great fresh salsa? Take it to a party, serve it over top of fish or hoard it all for yourself. Either way, I won’t judge.

Real_Food_Life_Peach_Salsa_2 (2)

 

Summer Recipe Roundup
Author: 
Recipe type: Appetizer
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 3 cups
 
Quick and easy recipe to use up those summer peaches!
Ingredients
  • 2 tomatoes, seeded and chopped (I used Roma)
  • ¼ red onion, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, seeds removed and finely chopped (use ½ jalapeno for less heat)
  • 3 peaches, peeled or not, chopped
  • Cilantro to taste, left whole or coarsely chopped. (I love cilantro, so I use ¼ cup or so)
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Salt and pepper to taste (approx 1 tsp salt and ½ tsp pepper)
Instructions
  1. Chop all ingredients and throw them into a medium size bowl.
  2. Add juice of one lime, salt and pepper and cilantro and mix until combined.
  3. For best taste, let the flavors marinate for 1 hour or more before serving.
  4. If you can't wait, eat immediately.

Summer Recipes GALORE!

Because there are so many wonderful summer recipes out there, and so little time, I turned to my food blogging community to put together a list of some awesome summer treats for you to try. I love the variety of produce and ingredients that you can choose from to suit any occasion or taste. Take a look and give them all some love by checking out their recipes!

 

 

Watermelon Raspberry Aqua Fresca

Thanks to Becky @ A Calculated Whisk, this Watermelon Raspberry Agua Fresca is the perfect drink on a hot summer day!

Cucumber-Ginger-Smoothie

I have a ton of cucumbers growing in my garden, so this Cucumber Ginger Smoothie by Margaret @ Veggie Primer just might be in order. I love when healthy ingredients come together in a super simple smoothie!

 

 

Iced Carob Latte

Summer is the perfect time for iced coffee. This Iced Carob Latte by Natalie @ Feasting on Fruit is so much better than a Starbucks! Banana milk anyone? Yes please!

spinach dip

I am sucker for a Rich and Creamy Spinach Dip and Jessica @ Two Green Peas hits a home run with this one!

Summer-Veggie-Pasta-Salad-

Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine gives us a classic Summer Veggie Pasta Salad. The colors look amazing!

Zucchini Macadamia Pasta

Zucchini is growing crazy in my garden this year and I am always looking for new ways to use it up. Florian @ Contentedness Cooking has a yummy looking Zucchini Macadamia Crunched Pasta to the rescue!

pasta-rhubarb-salad

What do you do when you get rhubarb in your CSA basket besides making a dessert? Gunjan @ Kiipfit shows us a summer salad dressing is the perfect way to use that otherwise mysterious vegetable in her Arugula Pasta Rhubarb Chia Salad.

Edamame-vermicelli-and-lychee-salad

I am always looking for interesting summer salad ideas. Jennifer @ Delicious Everyday gives us this Asian inspired Edamame, Vermicelli & Lychee Salad.

Fennel Pomegranate Grapefruit

Fennel is not a veggie you normally would think to try, but if you haven’t yet, you really must. Especially when it’s paired with pomegranates and grapefruit in this Fennel, Pomegranate & Grapefruit Salad by Trisha and her husband Carlo @ Foodie Awareness. Sign up for their newsletter and get some other mouthwatering plant-based recipes!

mango-sorbet

You know what is so great about mangoes? They are delicious. Period. They are about to get even better in this Creamy Mango Sorbet by Alissa @ Connoisseurus Veg.

Balsamic-Strawberry-Basil-Dairy-Free-Ice-Cream

Who likes ice cream? Who likes dairy-free-real-food ice cream? I DO! Audrey @ Unconventional Baker is definitely unconventional pairing balsamic strawberries and basil in her Balsamic Strawberry & Basil Ice Cream.

Key Lime Pie

 

Lucie @ Win-Win Food knows how to do a  Key Lime Pie up right! Full of real food ingredients with no food coloring at all, it’s a perfect light summer dessert.

Vanilla cake

I am always looking for ways to use up pulp from juicing. This Raw Berry Red Velvet Short Cake by Amy @ Fragrant Vanilla Cake is just the way to do it.

passionfruit-cheesecake

Ever tried passion fruit? Well, you might want to after seeing this Drool Worthy Vegan Passion Fruit Cheesecake from Masha @ The Minimalist Vegan.

greens and beans medley

Stephanie @ Spice of Life Wellness put together an awesome looking Beans and Greens Medley. She focuses on eating for optimal fertility. This is a great recipe for summer because it’s light and chock full of healthy, fertility-friendly vitamins and minerals. Even if you are not trying to conceive, this is a super healthy dish.  It’s quick and easy to make, minimizing your time in the hot kitchen (also a must for summer, in my book!), and it’s yummy! Check out her Facebook page for more info!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup whole wheat Israeli (pearl) couscous or quinoa
  • ½ cup raw pumpkin seeds
  • 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 15 oz can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • ½ cup organic raisins
  • 2 bunches Swiss chard, stems trimmed
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • Pinch of sea salt

Directions:

Cook couscous or quinoa according to package directions. In a dry, large skillet, toast the pumpkin seeds over low heat, about 3-4 minutes, shaking the pan frequently, until they start to pop. Transfer toasted pumpkin seeds to a plate to cool. Over medium heat, heat olive oil in the same skillet you used for the pumpkin seeds.  Add garlic and cook for 1 minute.  Add the garbanzo beans, raisins, chard and pepper. Cook about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the chard is tender. Add salt to taste. Divide couscous or quinoa among individual plates and top with the chard and beans mixture and top with pumpkin seeds.

If you make any of these recipes, be sure to snap a photo and tag us @realfood_life or hashtag it #realfoodlife. I’d love to see what you make!

Until next time, keep it real.

*All recipes and photos were used with permission by each participant.

The Best Fruit Infused Water

 

Fruit Infused Water

We all know that we need to drink more water, especially in the summer when it’s hot and muggy. Sometimes I get really bored drinking plain ole water every day.  I’ve seen the flavored drinks at the grocery store, but those alternatives provide no benefit from the vitamins added and, in fact, can actually be harming your health due to all the chemicals and sugar. (see ingredients in NestlesVitamin Water and Propel)

The good news is (yes, there is always good news when looking for a real food option!) you can make your own fruit water at home. It’s the BEST summer drink and even kid approved! The combinations are limited only by your imagination, but here are a few of our favorites to get you started.

Real_Food_Life_Watermelon_Basil_Water

 

Watermelon Basil Infused Water
Author: 
Recipe type: Drinks
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12 oz
 
Ingredients
  • Watermelon chunks
  • Small handful of fresh basil
  • Filtered water
Instructions
  1. Add all ingredients to a glass mug or container with a lid. Let sit in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour. The longer it sits the stronger the flavor. Let it infuse overnight for maximum flavor.
Notes
Note: You can refill these waters a few times after drinking until it has no flavor left. I usually refill mine 2-3 times.

Real_food_Life_Orange_Mint-Water

 

Orange Mint Infused Water
Author: 
Recipe type: Drinks
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12 oz
 
Ingredients
  • 1 orange, sliced
  • Small handful of fresh mint leaves
  • Filtered water
Instructions
  1. Add all ingredients to a glass mug or container with a lid. Let sit in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour. The longer it sits the stronger the flavor. Let it infuse overnight for maximum flavor.

Real_Food_Life_Cucumber_Lemon_Water

 

Cucmber Lemon Infused Water
Author: 
Recipe type: Drinks
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12 oz
 
Ingredients
  • 1 lemon sliced in rounds
  • ¼-1/2 of a cucumber sliced in rounds
  • Filtered water
Instructions
  1. Add all ingredients to a glass mug or container with a lid. Let sit in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour. The longer it sits the stronger the flavor. Let it infuse overnight for maximum flavor.

Real_Food_Life_Strawberry_Blueberry_Water

 

Strawberry Blueberry Infused Water
Author: 
Recipe type: Drinks
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12 oz
 
Ingredients
  • 2-3 strawberries cut into rounds
  • Handful of blueberries
  • Filtered water
Instructions
  1. Add all ingredients to a glass mug or container with a lid. Let sit in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour. The longer it sits the stronger the flavor. Let it infuse overnight for maximum flavor.

We decided the orange mint is our favorite flavor thus far. What’s your favorite summertime drink?

If you make this recipe, be sure to snap a photo and tag us @realfood_life or hashtag it #realfoodlife. I’d love to see what you make!

Until next time, keep it real.

Try these cute glasses to drink out of!

Affiliate disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you decide to purchase an item through our link you will not incur any additional costs but Keepin’ it Real earns a small commission. We only recommend products we have used, would use or trust. Your support is greatly appreciated so we may continue to spread the news about real food.

Homemade Almond Milk {Dairy, Soy and Gluten Free}

Almond MilkAs I mentioned before, we don’t drink cow’s milk. So, we use alternative milks which can be just as good and creamy as cow’s milk. There are many substitutes on the market now and any mainstream grocery store will probably carry many choices of these on their shelves.

Almond milk, rice milk, soy milk, hemp milk, coconut milk are some of the most common you will find out there. But you can get really creative and make pistachio nut milk, cashew milk and walnut milk to name a few. The possibilities are endless.

I prefer almond milk as our daily go-to. If I am keepin’ it real, I often buy almond milk instead of making it myself (which isn’t ideal), because can I really make one more thing? When I am out of our store bought or I am hankering for the homemade version I whip some up in no time flat!

Side note: If you do continue to buy your almond milk at the store when you are in a pinch, please choose a brand that does not contain carrageenan. Trader Joe’s, Silk and Whole Foods are all brands that do not contain it but often contain other ingredients that are less than ideal.

Benefits of Almonds

Almonds are rich in vitamin E, calcium, magnesium and potassium. They are a significant source of protein and fiber, while being naturally low in sugar.

Adding raw almonds to your diet will yield many health benefits. Raw almonds are filled with healthy fats. While they do contain a small amount of saturated fat, most of the fat in almonds is monounsaturated fat, which is known for its ability to promote healthy cholesterol levels and cardiovascular health. Nutrients such as calcium, magnesium and phosphorus in almonds are essential for keeping your bones and teeth healthy and strong.

Real Food Recipe: Almond Milk
Author: 
Recipe type: Drink
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1 liter
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup almonds
  • 4 cups filtered water
  • Optional:
  • Dates-(1-3 depending on your preference of sweetness. I use one.)
  • Vanilla extract (a splash)
  • Cinnamon (a dash)
  • Cocoa powder (for chocolate almond milk)
Instructions
  1. In a bowl, soak almonds overnight in filtered water. Drain and rinse the water several times during the soaking process. After the almonds have soaked for at least 8 hours (up to 24 hours) drain and rinse one last time.
  2. Add the nuts to your blender. Pour in 4 cups filtered water. Add optional mixins (except the chocolate if using that).
  3. Blend on HIGH for 1 minute.
  4. Pour the blended almonds through a nut milk bag. While holding it over a large bowl, “milk” the bag and squeeze out all the milk until the pulp is dry and you can’t squeeze anymore. Put the pulp aside.
  5. If you are making chocolate milk, put the milk back into the blender and blend with 1-2 T of cocoa powder.
  6. Place finished milk in a glass container and store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Shake well before using.
Notes
Note: Save your almond pulp and throw it in smoothies. There are many recipes on the internet for almond pulp goodies. My favorite way to use it up is to make almond flour and use it in baking.

Time saver tip: Soak a full bag of almonds. Use what you need for a batch of milk and then lay out the rest of the almonds on a towel to dry. Store the rest of the soaked almonds in the freezer and just pull what you need for later use.

If you make this recipe, be sure to snap a photo and tag us @realfood_life or hashtag it #realfoodlife. I’d love to see what you make!

Until next time, keep it real.

Affiliate disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you decide to purchase an item through that link you will not incur any additional costs but Keepin’ it Real earns a small commission. We only recommend products that we have used, would use or trust. Your support is greatly appreciated so that we may continue to spread the news about real food.