So-Simple Berry Vanilla Smoothie

I don’t know about you, but there’s nothing that makes me happier about eating healthy than smoothies. They are refreshing, filling AND they satisfy my sweet tooth. But, smoothies can be extremely unhealthy, especially when loaded with preservatives, sorbet and sherbet or worse: ice cream. I’ve tried some of the low-calorie smoothies at places like Jamba Juice and Juice It Up but they taste like chalk, and leave me $4 poorer.

This has become my favorite smoothie of all time.

Ingredients:

1 cup frozen blueberries or mixed berries
1 banana
1 cup 1% milk (you can use fat-free… but I just can’t do it… might as well use water)
1 tbsp vanilla

Blend them all in a blender until smooth & enjoy. It’s that simple. I probably drink this every other day in the morning or after a workout. It has 3 Weight Watcher Points because of the milk and it fills me up while helping me get in my dairy and 2-3 servings of fruit.

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Mochaccino for a cloudy day

I love moody weather and am so thrilled that Fall is here (kinda). In California we are devoid of real seasons, so cooling weather, overcast skies and occasional drizzles are good enough for me. Especially here in California, I rely on the Starbucks advertising (pictures of pumpkin lattes and caramel milks), to put me in the mood. I know it’s fall when the pumpkins and weird inedible squash pop up in the stores. It’s the cue to begin making warm drinks, whipped cream, baked goods, squash, stew and gooey warm things.

Granted, I’ve gained about 5 pounds annually during fall and winter, so I’m carefully logging all the gooeyness, but in no way am I sacrificing my enjoyment.

This morning I felt like making a Mocha Latte, on account of the sleep-in weather. When Dhiren took his first sip and moaned “This is SO good” from the other room, I thought I’d share the recipe before heading out to work.

Recipe (approximated amounts- sorry!)

-milk (appx. 2 1/2 cups?)
-hot chocolate mixture. I used Ghiradelli’s since that’s what I had on hand, apprx. 4 tbsp
-espresso beans
-heavy whipping cream, apprx. 1 cup
-sugar, apprx. 1/2 cup total

1. You need a Bialetti espresso maker. You won’t regret buying one, and while it’s not authentic espresso, it’s still good enough. “Can I just use American drip coffee– I make it strong???” The answer is no. It’ll taste like junk. The Bialetti was a gift for my birthday and we’ve used it about seven times this month, saving us 7 trips to Starbucks. Best drink appliance ever.

2. Grind your espresso beans, and fill up the Bialetti.  Brew your espresso.

3. At the same time, fill a heavy-bottomed pot with milk and the chocolate powder and heat until scalding. It shouldn’t boil. If you stir it consistently as well, it won’t burn.

4. Make homemade whipping cream. I use a hand-held beater, which is small-apartment friendly, as opposed to a huge mixer. Pour in about 1/4 c. of sugar (or to your liking) when it is almost finished.

5. When everything is ready, fill-up the mug halfway with the chocolate milk. Then, pour in the espresso to fill-up the rest of the mug. I needed to add a couple teaspoons of sugar, because it wasn’t sweet enough for my liking. Top with whipped cream and sprinkle some cocoa power, et voilà! Sit on your coach, listen to something moody and stare out your window at the clouds.