Pineapple Mango Creamsicles and Mixed Berry Ice Pops

It is definitely summer around here and while I’m loving the sunshine, I’m not a huge fan of the heat. What better way to beat the heat than with an icy totally guilt-free treat?! (Really didn’t intend for all the rhyming there!)

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Store-bought popsicles may be fruit-flavoured, but they are usually just frozen sugar-water, without any actual fruit in sight. These home-made popsicles taste even better than store-bought, are almost completely all fruit, and therefore completely guilt-free! They are also super quick and easy to make. If you know how to turn on a blender, than you can make these in about five minutes. The hardest part is waiting for them to freeze!

Pineapple Mango Creamsicles
1 cup pineapple chunks
1 cup mango chunks
1 cup canned coconut milk
1 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk (or more coconut milk, for an even creamier creamsicle)
1/2 tsp orange extract
Optional – sweetener to taste

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Mixed Berry Ice Pops
1 cup blueberries
1 cup other berries (raspberries, blackberries, cranberries, strawberries…) – You can choose one kind, or a mixture.
2 cups water or non-dairy milk
Optional – sweetener to taste

For both kinds, just throw everything in a blender and blend until smooth. Divide into whatever ice pop molds you have and place them in a freezer to freeze. Wait impatiently. Enjoy!

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Notes:
– For both recipes, you can use either fresh or frozen fruit, or a combination of both. 

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I’ve shared this post with Raw Food Thursday (7/18/13), Allergy-Free Wednesday, Gluten Free Wednesdays (7/17/13), Healthy Vegan Friday #52, Gluten Free Friday #49, and Wellness Weekend (July 18-22).

Questions
Ice cream or popsicles?

What is your favourite popsicle flavour? Or the craziest flavour you’ve tried?
Feel free to share or link to the recipe!

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Frozen Greens Cubes

Love green smoothies or interested in trying them? You need to try these Frozen Greens Cubes!

I recently came across these Frozen Kale Cubes and knew that I had to make something similar. I love putting greens in my smoothies! It’s an easy way to get your greens, and especially when using flavoured protein powders (I like Vega One and Vega Energizing Smoothie) you really can’t taste it at all. However, I find that without the use of a high-powered blender, a lot of the time the greens just don’t get pureed enough. These Frozen Greens Cubes solve that problem beautifully. The spinach and kale are already pureed, so I end up with a much smoother smoothie. I’ve been enjoying my green smoothies a lot more since I made these cubes, and I will be continuing to make them.

Once you make a batch your smoothies will also be faster and easier to make. No more washing green stuff before every smoothie! And you’ll have greens for your smoothies, even when your fridge is looking scarily devoid of green!

Frozen Greens Cubes (Yields 3 1/2 cups Puree)
1 large bunch kale, washed and thick stems removed
1 142g/5oz pack organic baby spinach
1-1 1/2 cups water

Just fill your blender about three-quarters full with the spinach and/or kale and add 1 cup of water. Puree until there is room to add more greens to the blender. If you don’t have a really high-powered blender you will need to stop a few times to push the contents of the blender back down towards the blade. Keep doing this until all the greens are blended smooth. The greens will release liquid and become easier to blend the more they are blended. Add the remaining 1/2 cup water if needed (this will probably depend on your blender).

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Now marvel at the gorgeous green. Pour the greens puree into ice-cube trays and place in the freezer. As you can see, my little ice-cube trays were full so I also filled some silicone muffin liners. Once frozen, you can pop out the cubes and store in a sealed bag in the freezer.

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Add these cubes to all your smoothies! I’ve also added them to a soup and a pasta sauce, both with great results. And, obviously these are pretty customizable so feel free to try your favourite combination of greens. I haven’t tried it yet but I think it could be interesting to use coconut water instead of water.

Enjoy!
As always, I’d love to hear about it if you give these a try!

I’ve shared this post with Wellness Weekends (May2-6), Gluten Free Fridays #38, and Healthy Vegan Fridays #41.

Need any smoothie ideas to add your Frozen Greens Cubes to? Check these out.
Smoothies!
Smoothies of 2013: Part One
Or check out the Smoothies/Drinks category on My Recipe Page.

Chipotle Lime Cashew Cream & Kale Pesto

In case you are wondering, I did not make these or eat these together. Though it probably wouldn’t be a terrible combination. I have a pretty long list of recipes I want to post so I just thought I would put the two sauce/spreads together.

I quickly threw together this creamy cashew spread to put on some wraps with a black bean and brown rice mixture I’d taken out of the freezer (actually leftover filling from my homemade frozen burritos). It has a bright tang from the lime juice and a mild chipotle flavour, because my bean and rice mixture was already quite spicy. Feel free to up the chipotle if it suits you.

Ingredients

Chipotle Lime Cashew Cream
1/2 cup raw cashews
3 tbsp lime juice
1 tsp agave
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp chipotle chili powder
pinch of sea salt
3 tbsp water (or more if you would like it more sauce-like)

Add all ingredients to a food processor (I used my mini one) or blender and process until smooth. Add more water if desired and process. If not using at once, transfer to a sealed container and refrigerate. This will firm up a bit when cold, but you can bring it back to room temperature before serving. Enjoy!

This spread went really well with my Mexican-spiced bean and rice mixture, and would go well with anything of similar flavour. Try it as a creamy salad dressing for a taco salad, as a spread on burgers (I really like these Southwest Quinoa Veggie Burgers, especially with sweet potato instead of potato), sandwiches, and wraps, in a (vegan) quesadilla, or maybe stirred into some black bean soup.

I made this kale pesto a couple of weeks ago when I had a bunch of kale lurking in my fridge and no time (or need) to make any meals with it. It only takes a few minutes to make the pesto, and it can be frozen if you don’t need it right away (I freeze it in ice-cube trays then pop out into a plastic bag). I’ve found having pesto on hand in the freezer is very helpful when I’m in need of a quick meal. It can quickly liven up any pizza, pasta, or tofu scramble, and gives a great flavour boost to wraps and sandwiches as well.

Kale Pesto
1 bunch of kale
1/2 cup packed basil leaves
2 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
3/4 cup walnuts
3 tbsp nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp sea salt
Juice and zest of one lemon
1/3 cup olive oil

Thoroughly wash kale and remove the leaves from the stem. Discard thick stems. Place everything, except for the kale, in a food processor. You will not be able to fit all of the kale in at first, but add about 1/3 of it (amount will depend on your food processor). Pulse a few times until your processor no longer looks full. Scrape pesto down sides of the bowl, and add more kale. Keep doing this until you’ve added the whole bunch of kale. You will be finished when there are no large pieces or walnut, basil, or kale left.

Sorry I didn’t take any photos while making this, but it should be very quick and simple, and you’ll end up with a  gorgeous green spread/sauce.

Enjoy!

Here, I used the Kale Pesto on pasta with some crumbled Chile Lime Tofu Nuggets (recipe coming soon):