Toasted Coconut Berry Brownies for the days you’re put through the wringer

And oh was today one of those days.

Terrible twos are fast approaching us in our household, and while I’d like to think that my sweet, precious baby boy mostly has good days…today was definitely not one of them.

Nonstop crying, whining, fussing, hitting, biting. Refusing to take his naps. Refusing food. Throwing stuff. Tantrums. You name it, he did it today. I love my sweet boy, I really do. But today…oh today. Let’s just say I can’t wait for preschool to start in exactly 30 days.

Baking these sweet- yet guilt free- brownies sure helped relax me. Baking is therapeutic to me. I don’t know why. Maybe its seeing the ideas in my head coming to fruition. Maybe its the concentration that it takes. Maybe its the sweet smells that fill up my chaotic home and make it pleasant for just a second before my senses become used to it. Maybe its the anticipation of taking that very first bite of the decadent dessert I created. Or maybe its knowing that the decadent dessert is so guilt free, that I get to have 2 (or 3!) of them. Whatever it is…here is how you do it:

Spray an 11 X 7 inch pan with EVOO & preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In the Ninja blender/food processor-

1 can of thoroughly drained and rinsed organic black beans
3/4 cup of dry oats (think plain oatmeal)
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup cocoa & hazelnut spread
1/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
4 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
2 tablespoons raw honey
2 tablespoons Truvia Baking Blend
2 tablespoons organic extra virgin coconut oil
1 tablespoon PB2 powder
1 tablespoon ground coffee
1 teaspoon organic vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon organic almond or hazelnut extract (I used almond)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt
1/8 cup Enjoy Life Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips
5 strawberries, chopped

For the topping:

1/4 cup Enjoy Life Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips (dairy-nut-soy-gluten free!)
1/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut shreds or chips

For the brownies, combine all ingredients EXCEPT the chocolate chips and strawberries, and puree until smooth (probably 3-4 minutes!). When smooth, fold the chocolate chips and strawberries into the batter and then pour into baking pan. Top it with the coconut shreds. Bake for 35 minutes.

When finished baking and cooled, prepare the rest of the topping. Melt the chocolate chips with the almond milk. Then drizzle this on top of the baked coconut brownies.

Give one of these healthy brownies to your terrible two year old, give him a kiss, and put him to bed.

Enjoy
xoxo

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It’s not Summer without grilled burgers and fresh strawberry cake!

Modified, healthy versions of course!

I still want to feel like I am taking part of all the Summer festivities without feeling all the guilt of the indulgence. My latest take on burgers and cake totally helped with this!

It’s been a while since I have had red meat and I am trying my hardest to stay away from it. Anything that normally calls for ground beef in a recipe, I have been substituting with ground turkey. These burgers were no exception.

In a large bowl I gently mixed by hand:

1 lb of lean ground turkey
1 avocado, diced into small pieces
about 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh italian flat leaf parsley
about 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon of dried oregano
1 teaspoon of dried rosemary
Kosher salt
Black pepper

I formed the mixture into 4 generous sized patties and pan grilled them over medium-high heat with extra virgin olive oil I had sprayed into the pan.

When they were done cooking on both sides, they had the most lovely smell and char on them… ((drool))

I paired them with a whole wheat honey burger buns purchased from Sprouts Farmers Market, fresh sliced organic tomatoes, and mixed baby greens. The entire burger was only 8 Weight Watchers points, and ohhhh so delicious. So moist!

But you can’t really enjoy your summer without some fresh strawberry cake. And here in California during the Summer when Strawberries are in season, not only are they big, juicy, and sweet, but also extremely cheap! The entire basket I used to make this cake was only .99 cents!

In the Ninja blender went:

1 can organic garbanzo beans, thoroughly drained and rinsed
1 1/4 cup dry oats
1/4 cup organic coconut flour
2 cups fresh organic strawberries
1 organic banana
1/8 cup organic blueberries
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons Truvia Baking Blend
1 teaspoon organic vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk

I pureed this for several minutes until it was completely smooth and poured the batter into a 11 X 7 inch brownie pan that I had sprayed with EVOO. I baked it for approx 20-22 minutes in a 390 degree oven.

While it baked and then cooled completely, I made the vanilla cream cheese protein frosting. This was my very first time making protein frosting. I have seen a lot of buzz about it online and in the fitness/bodybuilding community as to it being a great low-sugar alternative to regular frosting.

I mixed by hand in a bowl:

1/2 scoop of Pure Protein Whey Vanilla Creme powder
2 tablespoons of Chobani Vanilla natural greek yogurt
2 ounces of whipped organic cream cheese

I mixed it until it was smooth. It has the exact consistency as regular frosting! So creamy and spreadable!

I spread it on top of the cooled cake and cut into 24 slices and garnished with fresh strawberry slices. The cake is a very moist, dense cake. Much similar to a blondie or brownie consistency. Only 2 weight watchers points per piece!

Such a lovely desert without all the guilt!

Enjoy!

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Cheesecake Factory, please!

The Cheesecake Factory is probably my favorite place to dine out. There’s just something about it. The menu, the drinks, the ambiance… Everyone in their white uniforms and ties. The bathrooms are always so clean. Everything tastes consistent. They even have a skinny menu! What’s not to love?

Well my birthday is Sunday (yikkkkes 30!!) and my hubby-to-be asked me where I want to go, what I want to do, etc… Of course I said I want to go to “Cheesecake”. I can already see the perfect lighting they have during the evenings to set the mood…and my favorite Dirty Ketel 1 vodka martini with blue cheese stuffed olives (named the Well Mannered Dirty Martini, how cheeky) in my immediate future. And while it is my birthday and I do plan on splurging just a weeeee bit with my cocktail, I most definitely will NOT be having my favorite desert there, The Ultimate Red Velvet Cheesecake.

Backstory on The Ultimate Red, a girl I went to and knew in high school created it! Her name is Stefanie and apparently a few years ago when “Cheesecake” had a competition to create a new desert flavor for them, she won with her creation. The desert was aptly named “Stefanie’s Ultimate Red Velvet Cheesecake,” but later on, don’t know why, Stef’s name was dropped from it.

Ultimate has carefully alternating layered deliciousness of cheesecake and red velvet cake with a cream cheese frosting and white chocolate shavings. Heavenly isn’t even a word worthy enough to describe the taste. But at a whooping 1600++ calories PER SLICE, let’s just say it’s not figure friendly… One day I will eat this cheesecake again. Just probably not in this lifetime. A healthy copycat recipe is definitely needed!

Which brings us back to why I absolutely needed to make this alternative cheesecake this week. It’s my birthday and I want my darn cheesecake and to eat it to! Here it is!

starting with the crust, in the Ninja Blender went:

3/4 cup of dry oatmeal (think Quaker)

1 tablespoon of Spectrum Essentials Decadent Blend (a ground coconut, chia, flax, coco mix)

1 tablespoon of Truvia Baking Blend

2 tablespoons of slivered almonds

1/2 teaspoon organic almond extract

1 Newman’ s Own Organic peanut butter creme filled chocolate cookie Newman-O’s (like an organic peanut butter Oreo)

I pulsed this till it was ground very well, then I added 1 tablespoon of organic extra virgin coconut oil to moisten it, and pulsed it for just a few more seconds. I then pressed this mixture into the bottom of an 11 X 7 inch pan that I had sprayed with extra virgin olive oil. I baked it in a 356 degree F oven for about 5 minutes and then took it out to cool.

While the crust cooled, I then prepared the filling. The sweet, yummy, creamy filling.  

In the Ninja Blender went:

1- 8 oz package of Green Mountain Farms Greek cream cheese & Greek yogurt blend

About 13 ounces of Gilbani ricotta fresca low-fat cheese

1/4 cup of Abbotsford Farms cage-free liquid egg whites

1 cage free egg

1  tablespoon of coconut flour

1/4 cup Truvia Baking Blend

1 teaspoon organic vanilla extract 

I pureed this until it was completely smooth… Omg it looked so smooth and creamy. I wanted to drink it up!

Then I crushed 5 Newman-O’s and folded about 4 of them into the batter. I then poured the batter on top of the cooled crust, and topped the entire thing with the last remaining crushed Newman-O. 

Baked for about 40 minutes in a 365 degree F oven.

I let it sit out on the counter to cool completely, and then once it was cool, I placed it in the refrigerator for about an hour to chill and set.

OMG. OH..MER..GHERD…

I cut it into about 16 bars. Only 3 Weight Watchers PointsPlus per bar!

But it needed something else… but what?

Ahhhh! FRESH STRAWBERRIES! They added ZERO additional points! YAY!

I have to gobble this up now!

I will say this- the crust is a bit tricky. It’s a little crumbly. In the future, I may bake it for longer before adding the filling, maybe 10-20 minutes before … Or possibly add a bit more coconut oil when preparing it. Even so, it’s delicious without the modifications! Enjoy!

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When you want to eat a chocolate peanut butter cup & not feel guilty…

Just bake these Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Brownies!

So I was MAJORLY wanting to bake something different and I was craving these chocolate peanut butter cups I saw Linn Lowes (IG @fitnessdreams) make, but I am scared to venture into making healthy candy, so I thought “hey, lets make them into a brownie!”

Using Karina’s recipe (IG @karina_liberation) for the Healthy Nutella Cheesecake Brownies as a base to start, I added and took away a few things until I came up with just the perfect mix of ingredients.

Man these are sweet.. they are moist… they are fudgy…they are everything you want in a brownie. All the flavor and none of the guilt.. just try not to eat the entire pan!

In the Ninja blender went:

1 can of thoroughly drained and rinsed black beans
3/4 cup of dry oats (think plain Quaker)
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup hazelnut & cocoa spread (think Nutella…but they sell a healthier, organic one at Whole Foods that is very similar to that big name one)
2 tablespoons of Truvia Baking Blend
2 tablespoons of raw honey
2 tablespoons of organic extra virgin coconut oil (make sure its in its liquid form, not solidified)
1 tablespoon of ground coffee
1 teaspoon organic vanilla extract
1 teaspoon organic almond extract
4 tablespoons of unsweetened applesauce
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
pinch of sea salt
1/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk

I pureed this until it was completely smooth and brownie batter like

Then I lightly folded into the batter, an 1/8 of a cup of Enjoy Life Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips (they are dairy-nut-soy-gluten free). Do not puree it anymore, you want the whole chips to bake inside the brownies.

I then poured the batter it into an 11 X 7 brownie pan that I sprayed with a bit of extra virgin olive oil spray.

At this point I mixed 2 tablespoons of PB2 powder (they sell it everywhere, google it if you don’t know what it is– It’s awesome!) with about 2 1/2 tablespoons of water. PB2 normally calls for just 1 tablespoon of water to give it that normal peanut butter thick consistency, but I wanted a much thinner consistency so that i could drizzle it with a spoon on top of the brownie mix.

So now, drizzle that thin mixed PB2 on top of the brownie batter, and then sprinkle the top with an additional 1/8 cup of the chocolate chips

Bake at 350 for 35 minutes

I cut into 26 small squares and each square is only 2 Weight Watchers points! WOW!!!

YUM YUM YUM… GUILT FREE!!!!!!!!

I couldn’t have made these without Karina’s help, so please visit her at http://instagram.com/karina_liberation for more healthy, yummy recipies.

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Kittens and Cheesecake Brownies

It’s just been one of those weeks… It started out with a kitten, how did it end up like this? It was only a kitten, it was only a kitten. (Sorry for my horrible Killers impersonation)

My mom found a 2 week old abandoned kitten in her garage. Poor helpless little thing. She was literally leaving the next day to Yosemite and asked me frantically if I could care for it. I wanted to say no so badly. I haven’t had any peace and quiet in so long. My toddler and I are JUST getting into a fantastic routine and its awesome. But how could I say no to my mom who does everything for me and who I love so much… further how could I say no to a helpless kitten who would of course die without any care. Well I couldn’t.

Enter this cute little kitten into my household. She cries for her mommy all day, needs to be bottle fed, be manually stimulated to go potty, can’t really walk yet… The list goes on. I fell in love with her the moment I saw her. She was the cutest little thing. And my son. Oh my little son. He just about died when he saw her. All week it was “kitty, kitty, kitty”. Really, the cutest thing to see his eyes and face light up when the kitten came over. He was in love as well.

It’s was all fun and games till he tried to pick her up to kiss her and show her his toys. Or should I say, grab her by the neck, run with her, kiss her all over, and throw a toy at her head. It all happened so fast, yet I felt like I was seeing it in slow motion. He’s not even two. I can’t be mad at him. I for sure thought she was dead. I know he had good intentions. He was trying to play trains with her, and its my own damn fault for leaving the door to the laundry room open for that split second that allowed him to run in and get her.

Well she wasn’t and isn’t dead, thank God. But at that second I knew that we were lucky and the next time we wouldn’t be. I contacted the No Kill animal shelter and pleaded for help. They came the next day and got her. They assured me that she would get 24 round the clock care being bottle fed and stimulated. She would be socialized with other kittens and then when she was ready for shots and adoption, they would call me. Thank you so much to the Seal Beach Animal Shelter who will NEVER euthanize an animal! Lifesavers!

Gino and I are missing the kitten. The shelter picked her up when he was napping so when he woke up and ran straight to the laundry room to try and see her…the sadness set in when he saw she wasn’t there. I told him a lie. I know, I am a horrible mother. But I don’t want to mention the words shelter, no kill/euthanize, etc, to a toddler. I said “kitty went back to grandmas, we will see her when shes bigger”. He asked for her a couple times after that. And I started missing her little smell and giving her the little bottle she loved so much (probably my baby fever kicking in, but thats a whole different story!)

So I made these amazing brownies to help Gino and I feel better about Kitty being gone. They are incredible. The name, Nutella Cheesecake Brownies, speaks for itself. The recipe is another creation of the amazing Karina! I really tried my hardest not to deviate from the recipe, but I couldn’t find a few of the things on there so I substituted for the closest thing possible. They are amazing, and only 2-4 points per brownie (depending on the size you cut) !

In the Ninja blender went:

1 can of thoroughly drained and rinsed black beans
3/4 cup of dry oats
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup hazelnut & cocoa spread
2 tablespoons of Truvia Baking Blend
2 tablespoons of raw honey
2 tablespoons of organic extra virgin coconut oil
1 teaspoon organic vanilla extract
1 teaspoon organic almond extract
4 tablespoons of unsweetened applesauce
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
pinch of sea salt
1/4 unsweetened vanilla almond milk

I pureed this until it was completely smooth and brownie batter like

I then poured it into an 11 X 7 brownie pan that I sprayed a bit of extra virgin olive oil into. Then I made the cheesecake topping.. The yummy, creamy, sweet, cheesecake topping. In a bowl, I mixed:

1 8oz package of Organic Neufchatel Cheese (like a cream cheese but much, much lighter!)
1 teaspoon organic vanilla extract
8 teaspoons Truvia Baking Blend
1 1/2 teaspoons of coconut flour

I mixed this by hand until it was very, very smooth. You are at this point supposed to spoon and spread it over the brownie mix carefully. Mine was too thick to do this, so I microwaved it for about 15 seconds to thin it out. Then it was easier to spoon and spread evenly. After you spread it on top of the brownie mix, use a knife to create a marbling effect with the layers (I TOTALLY sucked at doing this FYI! LOL). And then bake it in a 350 degree F oven for about 35-40 minutes. Cut into 16 or 32 small squares. 16 squares= 4 points per square. 32 squares= 2 points per square.

Eat and make the kitten pain go away.

Please visit Karina’s blog for this recipe and other AMAZING, low cal, healthy, yummy recipes. Karina rocks and is a true hero, fighter, and amazing person!

http://liberation2karina.wordpress.com/2014/07/08/healthy-nutella-cheesecake-brownies/

xoxo

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Island Flavors Meets Mainland Savor

I have just been craving Latin food lately. I’ve got some Latin blood in me, so that’s no small wonder why… but honestly I think it’s due to the Latin restaurant I worked in for many years having closed its doors. Just a couple weeks ago, my dear place of employment that treated me like family and helped me support myself while I put myself through school, closed its doors permanently. It was such a sad day. June 29th, 2014, La Palapa Del Mar Restaurant and Banquet Room in Belmont Shores, CA, closed its doors after 15+ years. Politics in the City of Long Beach have everything to do with it, and while this place is not the appropriate forum to rant, I will say this- if you want to know more, Google “Belmont Shores Olympic Pool”, and click away to see whats happening and why my beloved restaurant is now closed..

Anyways, the schmorgesborg and free flowing selection of delicious Latin cusine that the resturant fed me on a daily basis (and part of the reason I became so over weight- double edge sword, bittersweet, catch 22, etc…) no longer being available to me anymore is the main reason why I have these intense cravings for something spicy and delicious. Along with Latin food, La Palapa had a great selection of other types of cuisine- one of my personal favorites being ahi poke. A Hawaiian delight poke is, if I wasn’t so scared of mercury poisoning, I would most likely eat this on a daily basis. For those who haven’t had the pleasure of eating this dish who’s flavors dance in your mouth and sing a melody at the same time, well it’s kinda like eating sushi. So if you like sushi, and you like tuna, you will LOVE poke. (Poke is pronounced po-kay)

I have a great recipe for ahi poke that is super healthy and delcioius, but today I wanted something different. I wanted a mix of my delcious poke and my beloved Latin. This is what I got:

-3 oz of fresh, raw ahi tuna, cut in 1/4-1/2 inch cubes
-10 sprays of Braggs Liquid Aminos
-1 squeeze of a lemon wedge
-1 whole scallion, chopped very small
-2 tablespoons of chopped fresh cilantro
-1 teaspoon of organic toasted sesame oil
-1 teaspoon of honey
-2 tablespoons of homemade guacamole *(simple mix of avocado and my homemade salsa- completely pureed in my Ninja blender together for a smooth, creamy consistency. Salsa is tomato, onion, jalapeno, garlic, cilantro, lemon juice, salt, and pepper)*
-sprinkle of salt
-sprinkle of pepper
-1/2 to 1 tablespoon of sriracha hot sauce, depending on the level of spice you like
-1/2 teaspoon of whole chia seeds

I mixed everything together, covered it, and chilled for approx. 10 minutes. I like eating my poke very cold. Only 5 Weight Watcher points for the entire dish.

The first bite made me a little sad. It was like being back at work, even if it was just for a moment.

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Healthy Comfort Food

Is that an oxymoron or what? I didn’t think it was even possible for yummy, warm, food that feels like you are getting a hug and kiss from your mom to be healthy at all. But thanks again to Karina (Instagram @karina_liberation), I was able to get the best of both worlds. Say Hello to Healthy Sheperds Pie.

Really simple to make… the hardest part was the prepping. I tweaked the recipe a bit (I can never manage to stick to a recipe, don’t ask me why), but it tastes amazing!

3 stalks of celery chopped
1 onion chopped
4 cloves of garlic chopped
2 roma tomatoes diced
1 summer squash chopped
10 baby carrots chopped
1 bag of baby kale
1 lb of extra lean ground turkey
1/2 bag of frozen peas
1/2 cup of salsa (homemade, very simple- tomato, jalapeno, onion, garlic, cilantro, juice of a lime, salt and peper)
Salt
Pepper
2 tablespoons of chopped thyme
1 medium yukon gold potato, peeled and chopped
2 small yams, peeled and chopped
2 cups of peeled chopped butternut squash
1/4 cup of grated parmesan cheese

I started by cooking the onion in a large pot until it was translucent in 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. Then I added the garlic, summer squash, celery, and carrots, salt and pepper. When they began to cook, I added the lean ground turkey, some salt and pepper to that. When that began to cook, I added in the tomato. When the turkey was nearly fully cooked, I added the baby kale, salsa, the thyme, and the frozen peas. I then turned off the heat and put a lid on it and set it aside.

I then boiled in water the potato, yam and butternut squash about 15 minutes, until they were all very soft. I strained the water, returned back to the pot and mashed them all together with a potato masher. It was the most vibrant orange color… soo pretty! I added a touch of salt and pepper.

I then layered in a large casserole pan, half of the mash mixture, all of the turkey and veggies, and then the remaining mash mixure on top of that. I finished it with the parmesan cheese on top.

I put it inside a preheated 400 degree F oven for about 15 minutes, then I cranked up the oven to 500 and put the casserole directly under the broiler to make the parmesan and mash nice and crispy and brown. Just a few minutes under the broiler so it doesnt burn!

I took it out, hardly waited for it to cool, cut it into 8 pieces, and let the warm, yummy mix of mash and veggies hug my tummy. Only 5 Weight Watchers points per serving.

For Karina’s original recipie, visit her instagram at http://instagram.com/karina_liberation

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Chocolate, sweet chocolate my dear

I have a horrible sweet tooth. In fact, I have a horrible everything tooth. Carbs, salt, sweet, anything really. I needed something sweet today to fight off the ugly monster that rears her head every so often. I saw an amazing recipe on Instagram by @Karina_Liberation. Chocolate Chip Banana Bread Blondies. Wow. My eyes got googly and my mouth drooled the moment I saw them on her page several weeks ago. I have a weakness for chocolate anything. Seriously its an issue. I hardly eat it because once I start, I can’t stop. I have wanted to make these blondie bars for a while now, but I never have time, the ingredients, the property equipment, yada, yada, yada.

Okay so my birthday is in a few weeks and my hunny surprised me today with the 1100 watt Ninja Blender I have wanted! Yay! We were on our weekly Target shopping trip to get some household things and he saw it and said, “Babe, get it okay?”. He’s so darn sweet. It was a lovely surprise and momentarily made me forget about the splitting migraine I had going from not having my morning coffee.

So during the shopping trip I picked up the rest of the ingredients needed to make the blondie bars. I hardly needed anything really, and there are so few ingredients in them and they taste so darn amazing, I am soooooo mad I waited this long to make them.

I didn’t follow Karina’s recipe to the “T”, added a few tweaks, but believe them, they taste just as AMAZING as I would imagine hers do. With the tweaks, these bars are soy free, dairy free, egg free, flour free, vegan, and low calorie. WOW just wow. 2 Weight Watchers Points Plus per bar. I baked them in a 11 X 7 inch baking pan and cut them into 21 bars.

In my brand new, amazingly fast, blender, chopper, pulverizer, food processor Ninja, I threw in:

1 can of thoroughly drained and rinsed chickpeas
2 ripe bananas
1 3/4 cups of rolled oats
2 tablespoons of peanut butter
2 tablespoons of natural honey
1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
6 teaspoons Truvia baking blend sweetener
1 pinch of salt
1 teaspoon of baking powder

I blended until it was all smooth then folded 1/8 a cup of Enjoy Life Semi-Sweet chocolate chips (dairy-gluten-soy-nut free) into the batter, and poured it into the oiled baking pan (lightly oiled with olive oil spray). I topped the bars with another 1/8 of a cup of chocolate chips and baked in a 390 degree Fahrenheit oven for 20 minutes!

Thats it!

So easy, so delicious. I have to go eat another one now!

For Karina’s original recipe, visit her Instagram page at http://instagram.com/karina_liberation

xoxoxo

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When the cravings hit…

They hit me hard. Today I was craving blueberries. Don’t ask me why. I don’t even like blueberries. Soft, smooshy, pop in your mouth texture… no thank you. Blueberry muffins- well that’s another story. Sweet, soft, warm, decadent, sugary, pillowy mountains of blueberry muffins. Maybe it’s because I bought my son one the other day. I could see the sweet little crystals of sugar that were baked on the top.. omg. I’m getting off topic.

So today on our approximately 3.5 mile walk, we stopped at Sprouts (grocery chain of health food stores- kinda like Whole Foods). Organic blueberries were on sale, but of course. They were just calling out to me… “Buy us Lauren, we are only 2 for $5, and we are sooooo good for you”. I didn’t know what I was even going to do with them, sure as heck wasn’t gonna eat them. So I strolled around Sprouts a little longer, letting my imagination run wild as to what else I could get to go with them. All I could find was raw coconut chips. Fine. They were only $2 and some change for the entire bag of chips. Coconut and blueberries? I don’t even know. At this point I wanted to keep looking but my sweet baby boy had fallen asleep in his stroller and I wanted to hurry and get home so he could finish his nap. I just bought them and scurried away.

By the time I got home, I’m tired, I’m sweaty, I’m thirsty, and I’m hot. I need water. I open my refrigerator and guzzle one. I’m still hot and thirsty, and getting kinda hungry. But I’m too hot to cook and my apartment is too hot to turn on the oven or stove. What can I make? Ah ha! A smoothie.. I pull out everything I can possibly think of that I can blend with these damn blueberries and coconut chips.

Herbalife Formula 1 powder (this one was a mix of cafe latte and cookies and cream, I mixed them myself)
Pure Protein Vanilla Cream powder
Frozen banana slices
Frozen strawberries
Spectrum Decadent Blend (ground chia-flax-coconut-cocoa mixture)
Bob’s Red Hill Whole Chia Seeds
Raw slivered almonds
Ice
The damn blueberries
Coconut chips
Water

I start loading it all in my blender (one scoop of the formula 1, one scoop of the pure protein, one tablespoon of the decadent blend, two tablespoons of slivered almonds, about one whole bananas worth of frozen sliced banana, 3 small frozen strawberries, 1/2 a container of blueberries, cold water, about 6 ice cubes). I was about to put the coconut chips and the whole chia seeds in, but I literally ran out of room (thankfully, you will see why later). I have been using this little blue Oster personal blender I got at Target for $20. It works okay, doesn’t pulverize the stuff like I like, leaves some stuff at the bottom, but gets it most pretty good. Its only 250 RPM… Okay for $20. I want a Nutribullet or Ninja though, they are 600 and 1200 RPM, I believe. I asked my hunny for one for my birthday in a few weeks. He said “yes”. Im excited!

Since the blender is blue, I couldn’t really see what the smoothie looked like as it was coming together. The moment I poured it out, my heart began to race and my mouth started to water. It was the most beautiful shade of bluish-purpley I have ever seen. I wanted to start drinking it right then and there but I still had the chia seeds out and the coconut chips. What should I do? Eh, to heck with it… just throw em on top!

So glad I did! They were a delight to get a mouthful every once in while as I gulped down my sweet, creamy, delightful smoothie. The chia seeds kinda “pop” when you chew them, and the coconut chips are a nice added crunch.

Ahhhh… delicious. Cravings are awesome sometimes.

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