thirsty thursday: coconut mango spritzers
we’re juuussstttttttt about in the swing of a 3-day weekend [and the official kick off of summer… yay!], and because i’m sure many of you will be hosting parties, making homemade brunches or enjoying breakfasts in bed, a morning cocktail seemed most fitting for this week’s thirsty thursday post. and these coconut mango spritzers will be the perfect addition to your holiday weekend mornings [or any weekend morning, as far as i’m concerned]! best of all? you only need 3 ingredients… it truly could not be easier!
for each of the coconut mango spritzers you will need:
- 1 part champagne [i did use prosecco because it was what i had on hand… still good!]
- 1 part peach + mango coconut water [i used vita coco]
- 1 part mango la croix
- unsweetened coconut flakes [optional]
you’ll want to create this drink in traditional champagne flutes, so that it will be super easy to measure out. first, fill each flute about 1/3 of the way with champagne, add the la croix until the glass is 2/3 full, and then top with the coconut water. that’s it!
the la croix gives this baby a little extra fizz [it is a spritzer after all] and the vita coco adds a little additional flavor… if you’re feelin’ it, you can even sprinkle a few unsweetened coconut flakes on the top as a fun garnish.
cheers… and happy memorial day!
p.s. these tips for staying balanced during holiday weekends help me make it through all of the celebrating year after year… they’re tried and true, and if you put them into practice, you won’t be sorry!
thirtsy thursday: spicy cucumber margaritas
yes, i’m well aware that it’s not quite thursday yet, but since tomorrow is cinco de mayo, i wanted to make sure this post was up a day early, just in time for all of your balanced celebrations!
one thing you should know about me is that i effing love margaritas. for whatever reason, they have always been my favorite cocktail… maybe it’s because i associate them with the summertime, and sitting on the beach, soaking up the sun… but anyways, it was inevitable that i’d be experimenting with making my own, and what better a day to share the recipe with you than cinco de drinko?! [and there will be more where this came from, i can promise you that!]
this spicy cucumber margarita is pretty much the perfect balanced cocktail. the tequila will get you feelin’ a little loose while the cucumber will help keep you hydrated [and gives the drink a really light and crisp flavor] and finally, the jalapeño will not only add a little kick, but help boost your metabolism, too.
for 2 spicy cucumber margaritas you will need:
- 1 cucumber, thinly sliced
- 1 small jalapeño, seeds removed + thinly sliced [more or less to taste]
- juice squeezed from 4 limes
- 1/2 cup tequila blanco
- 2 tsp. raw honey [more or less to taste]
- coarse kosher salt, sweet chili powder + cane sugar for rim
- a few cucumber + jalapeño slices set aside for garnish
- place the cucumber and jalapeño slices, lime juice, tequila and honey in a blender. blend until smooth.
- on a small plate, combine a little salt, chili powder and cane sugar [about a tsp. of each should be good]. wet the rim with a leftover piece of lime, and then dip into salt, chili powder, sugar mixture.
- place several ice cubes in each serving glass along with one cucumber and one jalapeño slice.
- pour blended mixture over the ice, garnish glass with cucumber and jalapeño, top off with a fun paper straw [or a paper umbrella] and enjoy!
happy cinco de mayo! [and as always, no drinking + driving!]
thirsty thursday: mint + honey spiked moonshine tea
finally the day has come for the first installment of the thirsty thursday series! guys, i’m seriously so excited about this. why, you ask?
well, first and foremost, i’ve been noodling on the idea of incorporating more cocktail recipes into the mix [see what i did there?] here at bananas + bellinis for a while now… after all, there is an alcoholic beverage mentioned in both the blog name and tagline, so it just seemed appropriate.
second, i think this is going to be a great way for me to begin building out my niche a little better. while health, wellness, and creating a balanced lifestyle have always been my passions and the focus of this blog, i think zeroing in on a few more specialized topics will really help me set myself apart from the other healthy lifestyle bloggers out there.
and finally… just because who the hell doesn’t enjoy a cocktail from time to time? even better if the cocktail contains natural ingredients instead of all that artificial sh*t… amiright?!
now, i knowwwww that iced tea is technically a summer drink, but i snagged a sample of a sweet iced tea at expo west a few weeks ago and had to experiment with it [and it’s basically always summer in l.a., duh]. what did i come up with? this mint + honey spiked moonshine tea. read on.
ingredients for 2 servings:
- 2 shots of vodka [1 oz. each]
- 16 oz. moonshine mint + honey sweet tea
- 2 tsp. raw honey
- 1 lemon, sliced
- a few sprigs of fresh mint [plus extra for garnish]
- ice cubes
- place several ice cubes, about 4 fresh mint leaves, one lemon slice that’s been cut into quarters, and 1 teaspoon of raw honey in each of your serving glasses [these look especially cute served in mason jars].
- in a cocktail shaker combine the vodka and sweet tea with ice; shake, shake, shake it up! [my mason jar shaker is from sharper image, similar to this one.]
- pour the cocktail mixture into your serving glasses and stir, topping off with a squeeze of lemon juice [to taste].
- garnish with a lemon slice, a sprig of mint and a paper straw.*
[and remember to never drink + drive!]
*best enjoyed outside in the sun, preferably in a hammock, while reading a book and listening to mellow acoustic jams.
happy halloween + healthy candy recipe round-up!
halloween is, and always has been, one of my favorite holidays. i love everything about it … figuring out my costume[s], dressing up, candy, parties, punch served out of a pumpkin, candy … you know the drill!
unfortunately, all of the popular halloween candy that goes around at this time of the year is just terrible for you. and even though i’m all about balance, treating yourself, and having fun, sometimes it just seriously isn’t worth it.
luckily, there’s lots of people out there like myself who have come up with their own homemade healthy candy recipes, so you can still indulge and enjoy yourself on halloween, without filling up on harmful chemicals and food additives.
here is a round up of some mouthwatering healthy candy recipes to help you take this halloween to the next level, without harming your body in the process!
what are you dressing up as tonight?!
pumpkin pie overnight oats
i’m addicted to overnight oats. literally, i’ve had them for breakfast nearly every single day for the past month. they’re quick, beyond easy to make and effing delicious.
it’s fall, so i’m obviously embracing the fact that fall makes me want to do sh*t that is basic as eff, and with that comes baking and cooking with pumpkin … because, let’s face it, pumpkin is freakin’ good. and it’s healthy … so we’re killing two birds with one stone here.
make these pumpkin pie overnight oats the night before you want to eat them [i make three separate servings all at once so i’m good to go for a few days] and grab them from the fridge on your way out the door.
for one serving you will need:
- 1/3 c. pure pumpkin purée [NOT pumpkin pie filling]
- 1/3 c. rolled oats [uncooked]
- 1/2 c. unsweetened coconut milk [or other unsweetened nut/seed milk of your choice]
- 1 tsp. chia seeds
- a few sprinkles of cinnamon and nutmeg [to taste]
- a dash of ground ginger [to taste; optional]
- in a blender, combine the pumpkin purée, coconut milk, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger until it’s all evenly combined.
- in a mason jar [or other airtight container of your choice] combine the oats and chia seeds, and then add the pumpkin/milk blend.
- stir until the oats are evenly distributed with the pumpkin and milk, tightly place a lid on the jar, give it a few good shakes and refrigerate overnight.
fall recipe round-up!
as much as i hate to admit it, summer’s officially over and fall is here. even though summer is my favorite season and nothing is better than beach weather, one of the reasons i’m usually okay with the transition from summer to fall is all of the baking and cooking this season inspires. i did a bunch of fall recipes last year and i can’t wait to get back in the kitchen over the next few weeks to work on more fall-inspired recipes to share with you guys!
in the meantime, here are my favorite [and most popular] fall recipes from 2014 along with a couple that aren’t my own, but just look so effing good that i felt obligated to include them.
what are your favorite fall recipes? share in the comments below!
i attended a talk last week here in LA hosted by robin shirley, founder of the take back your health conference. she mostly discussed the healing powers of superfoods, and even though I’m no stranger to the idea of incorporating superfoods in my diet, i came away from the event inspired to start experimenting with them more. a great place to start? smoothies!
all summer, i’ve been having some serious cravings for ice cream … i mean … who doesn’t love ice cream? in particular, i’ve been daydreaming about creamsicles for the past few weeks … and i can’t be the only one who gets serious childhood nostalgia for these things … right? unfortunately, as i’m sure you can imagine, the original creamsicle popsicles are full of ingredients that are just terrible for you. enter: superfoods.
i went ahead and turned the creamsicle into a smoothie that’s actually good for you and tastes prettttyyyyyyyy damn close to the original we all know and love. my superfood of choice for this recipe was bee pollen, which is high in amino acids and protein, and has been shown to boost the immune system and regulate digestion … you can read more about the benefits of it in more detail here.
for one superfood creamsicle you will need:
- 1 c. fresh squeezed orange juice [cold]
- 3/4 c. unsweetened coconut milk [cold]
- 1 large banana
- 2 tbsp. all-natural vanilla protein powder [I like vega ONE, and this is where the greenish color comes from]
- 2 tsp. bee pollen
- place all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth and creamy.
- pour into a glass and enjoy…straw, hammock and sunshine are optional.
sesame sweet potato fries
i don’t know about you, but sweet potatoes are one of my obsessions, only behind avocado toast, brussels sprouts and pizza. seriously. serve them to me in any form and I’ll be a happy camper. with that being said, sweet potatoes fries are without a doubt my favorite variety and are typically a great replacement for regular french fries [as long as they aren’t fried in vegetable oil, covered in brown sugar or served with a side of honey].
i found white sweet potatoes at the grocery store the other day [has anyone else ever seen these?!] and decided to do a little experimenting … what I ended up with were these [baked!] sesame sweet potato fries.
you will need:
- 3 large sweet potatoes [white sweet potatoes work, too!], peeled
- 1/4 c. toasted sesame oil
- 2 tbsp. gomasio [i like this black + tan version from eden organics]
- pepper to taste
- preheat oven to 425°F and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
- after you have peeled your sweet potatoes, chop them up into long chunks, the thickness can be up to you [you’ll want them to look similar to fries].
- place the chunks in a large bowl and toss with sesame oil and gomasio [if you find you need a little more than what the recipe calls for, you can add it here].
- spread the fries on the baking sheet, evenly distributing them the best you can.
- bake at 425°F for 30 minutes, flipping them halfway through.
- remove from the oven and let cool. season with pepper [and a little extra salt if you would like] to taste.
- serve with a side of sriracha or ketchup and enjoy!
my favorite green juice
as you might already know, my motto/tagline/mantra here at bananas + bellinis is “because it’s okay to chase that shot with green juice”. and I wholeheartedely believe this.
it’s all about finding the balance that works for you. balance is never going to look the same for two people because everyone’s bodies react differently to different types of food, exercise and lifestyle habits.
my tagline was born for a simple reason: i love being healthy and taking care of myself. many healthy foods are also delicious, i’m a yoga junkie and i’m really into natural, holistic wellness and beauty sh*t. but, it’s so important to remember that being healthy and eating a “perfect” diet 100% of the time isn’t exactly reasonable [or very fun] and for me, eating pizza every once in a while, celebrating a special occasion with some cupcakes and going out and drinking [sometimes a little more than i should] with my friends are things i’m just not willing to give up. it works for me, and that’s really all that matters.
so, today, in honor of my personal mantra, i’m sharing my favorite green jucie recipe. it’s packed with leafy greens, but still as delicious as a fruit juice. i always recommend using organic fruits and veggies for any juice or smoothie recipe, and this one is no different!
for one glass you will need:
- 2 handfuls of kale
- 1 handful of spinach
- 1 green apple
- 1 large cucumber
- 1 lemon
- 1″ of fresh ginger
first, you will need to prep the fruits and veggies:
- cucumber: leave the skin on, but chop into large chunks.
- apple: leave the skin on, but slice so that seeds and core are removed. [i don’t have an apple corer, but if you do – use it!]
- lemon: peel, slice and remove seeds.
- kale, spinach + ginger: no prep necessary!
next, run all ingredients through the juicer according to the appropriate settings [these should be listed in your juicer’s instruction manual and can vary from juicer to juicer].
don’t own a juicer? make it a smoothie! using all of the same ingredients, throw them into a blender with 3/4 c. of your favorite nut or seed milk, blend and enjoy!
photo courtesy of steph brescia photography
roasted peppers with herbed goat cheese
well, hello there! long time no see. sorry that i have been m.i.a. for the past few days. as you probably already know, i am in the process of relocating to l.a., and i spent last weekend celebrating with my friends, packing up my apartment and saying goodbye to new york. tuesday, my parents and i packed up the minivan and drove back to my hometown, where i will be relaxing and regrouping for the next three weeks… then i’m west coast bound!
being that today officially kicks off everyone’s favorite weekend of summer, the 4th of july, i figured a bbq approved, crowd pleasing recipe is something you could use, whether you find yourself as a host[ess] or a guest this weekend!
these roasted peppers with goat cheese are one of my go-to recipes. they are so easy to make and i haven’t found anyone who doesn’t seem to like these babies.
for 8-12 pepper wedges you will need:
- 2 large bell peppers
- 4 oz. soft goat cheese seasoned with herbs de provence [you can find this in most grocery stores]
- 2 tsp. all-natural, organic honey
- turn your oven’s broiler on high and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
- remove stems and slice the peppers into wedges about 1″ thick and remove seeds.
- place the peppers on the cookie sheet with the inside facing up and broil in the over for 10-15 minutes, until the edges start to blacken and the peppers are somewhat soft [see below].
- remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes.
- drizzle with honey [less is more here] and then spread a generous amount of goat cheese on each slice.
- serve warm or cover and refrigerate to serve later!
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