A sweet veggie addition to smoothies

butternut2I stumbled upon a perfect raw veggie to add to my breakfast smoothies, the butternut squash.

This winter squash has a tough, thick skin, and a mild sweet taste.  I was in the peeling and chopping mode last night, so I decided to peel a butternut squash that I had bought a couple of weeks ago that had been taking up much-needed space on my counter top.  I thought I would use it, most likely, in a purée, later in the week.  After peeling it, I diced it, and put half of it in the fridge and half in the freezer to be used later.

This morning, when I was putting my smoothie together, I noticed I didn’t have any leafy greens or other veggies that hadn’t already been turned into my salad mix or jarred with garlic, onions, or spices to be incorporated into other dishes later in the week.  But, I DID have the chunks of butternut squash available.  What the heck, throw them in, and try it.

Here it is:

1 cup frozen mango chunks
1 cup butternut squash chunks (frozen or fresh)
1/2 cup fresh blueberries
1 banana, broken or sliced into chunks
1/4 cup raw cashews
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk (or other non-diary type)

Put all ingredients into a blender, and then serve yourself about a 20 oz smoothie to get you off to a great start for the day!

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Sweet Tofu Salad Dressing

The salad dressings in the Eat To Live program are important for a couple of big reasons.

One of the adages of Eat To Live is “Salad Is the Main Course!”  If the dressings are not bursting with flavors that satisfy the senses, then the salad — the main course! — can be rather dull and discouraging for newcomers.  The “no oils/no salt added” basic rule can feel very confining to a newcomer, so in my view, the more flavorful the dressings are, the more success a person is likely to have on Eat To Live.

Also, the dressings are an excellent way to create your own “favorite” with experimentation and combining flavors that appeal to you most!  The creative process is what makes this exciting for me, along with the actual personal contact I have with every element that goes into it.

This dressing is one I created this evening, and it is wonderfully light and pleasant to the taste buds.  See what you think about it.

Sweet Tofu Salad DressingSweet Tofu Salad Dressing

1 pkg (approx 16 oz) of silken tofu
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1/2 cup tahini paste
1/4 cup fruit vinegar (I used Trader Joe’s Orange Muscat Champagne Vinegar this time.)
1 cup fresh blueberries
4 medium shallots
4 garlic cloves
2 tbsp ground chia seeds
1/4 cup Italian parsley
1 tbsp red pepper sauce (I used Louisiana Hot Sauce, though it has a tiny bit of salt in it.)
2 tsp black pepper

Chop, dice, or slice all ingredients and combine them in a blender.  Blend on puree setting, if you have it.  If not, blend until the dressing has the thickness you like.
Makes about 40 oz.

Banana Avocado Breakfast Smoothie

In order to get out the door and to work on time, I put all these items in an airtight container the night before so that I can simply put it all in a blender for my breakfast the next morning.  I can even drink it on the way to work, so it’s a time-saver.  And, it’s very healthful and delicious.  Here is the basic smoothie, and I change it up with new things occasionally.

1.5 cups unsweetened coconut milk
1 banana, sliced
1 avocado, skin and seed removed
1 cup fresh blueberries (frozen okay during off-season)
1/4 cup flax or chia seeds, freshly ground (I use a dedicated coffee grinder)
4 sprigs of fresh mint, chopped with long stems removed
1 large handful of fresh greens (spinach and baby kale are ideal!)
Ice cubes as desired

Place all items in blender, and blend to desired consistency.  I use the puree setting on my blender, and it’s very smooth and delicious.  It makes about 16 oz.

Substitutes: Any berries, walnuts instead of listed seeds, nut milks (low or no sodium important)