I don’t know about you, but I love butternut squash.
Love it. Since I’ve started going gluten-free I’ve had to look for substitutions and replacements for the wheat products I can no longer have.
So some nights I’ll fix myself some butternut squash when everyone else is having noodles or stuffing or whatnot.
I don’t typically eat a whole squash, so I’ll save the remainder, along with the cooking water so that I can make a puree. I usually throw it in the fridge so I can make it up in the morning. 😝
Sometimes I’ll use that to make some gluten-free muffins…made a triple batch of butternut squash and apple muffins last time.
But here I decided to make some smoothies.
Last year, I posted a recipe for a Pumpkin Spice Smoothie. I used a pie pumpkin to make that recipe. However, later that season I tried making it with butternut squash and I actually preferred it to the pumpkin.
Overall, the taste and color I like much better than the pumpkin smoothie. It tastes much more like “pumpkin” than the actual pumpkin! Haha. I think of pumpkin pie Blizzard’s and actual pumpkin pie when I drink this. It would be good with dairy or non-dairy whipped cream too!
This recipe cost me $1.57 to make a 16oz smoothie. That’s about 70¢ more than the pumpkin smoothie. Mainly because the price of almond milk at my Aldi store has increased, but also because the pumpkin was a bit cheaper.
I love strawberries 🍓🍓🍓Don’t you? (Strawberry allergy sufferers, you have my sympathy.)
No fresh strawberries this time, but maybe there will be more on that in the future. This time I used frozen, which I bought on sale, too. Yay!
Strawberry season in the midwest will be here soon & I can hardly wait.
This is a good strawberry recipe to whet your appetite. The concept of “rubbing x food through a seive” is one I learned from reading old school cookbooks. I’m thinking it was what people used before blenders.
But anyways. Here’s some photos, with the recipe to follow. My daughter and I fully enjoyed it both times (yes today and last night, it was that good 😋).
Easy Strawberry-Coconut-Chia Milkshake
Prep/hands on time: 10 minutes
Makes one 16oz serving.
5-6 frozen strawberries, diced
*a drizzle of raw honey
**10oz/300ml vanilla almond milk
1 can unsweetened coconut milk
1/2 Tablespoon chia seeds
*using an alternative liquid sweeter, such as maple syrup would make this recipe vegan.
**any kind of non-dairy milk will work here. If you can have cow’s milk, that works too.
Pour the diced strawberries into a pint mason jar, or any desired container with a tight-fitting lid.
Add the honey and stir well.
Add the almond milk, attach the lid and shake it up.
Place a fine mesh strainer over a bowl and pour the strawbwrry mixture into the bowl. Rub the strawberries through the strainer with a metal spoon (until you have extracted as much strawberries as you can).
Set the strained strawberries aside.
Pour the strawberry mixture into a glass and add the chia seeds. Stir.
Top with a dollop or two of the coconut “cream” and the leftover strained strawberries.
This recipe was fairly cheap, although I used a bit too much coconut cream in my recipe. Using much less of it would bring the price down from $3.06 to about $2.06. Still, at 19¢ an oz it’s not a bad price.
Got any favorite drinks to keep you cool this summer?
Note: I realize that pictures of the topping when contrasted with the directions may be a bit misleading. In the photos, I did not “scoop on a dollop”. Instead, I whipped the cream. However, it was very liquid-y and I thought I could firm it up by freezing it, which didn’t exactly work out according to plan. But it did make the cream nice and smooth. So my recommendation is to save yourself some effort and just add a scoop on top. I sandwiched the leftover strawberries between layers of the coconut cream, in case you are wondering where it went 😉 Hope that makes sense!
Finally. I have finally concocted a cheaper version of the Raspberry Passion Mama Chia beverage my daughter and I love so much.
It was much easier than I expected it would be. I’m not sure why I kept putting it off.
I began by looking at the ingredients list.
Already I had decided to use pomegranate juice. Odd that that isn’t one of the ingredients listed. Pomegranate juice to me tastes like a combination of juices…like a raspberry/grape/cranberry combo maybe?…so I was confident that this would work.
First I prepped the chia seeds. I took about 1 ¼ cups of dry seeds and poured them into a mason jar along with about 30 or so ounces of water.
I actually miscalculated the amount of water I would need initially. I filled my glass bottle (see pictures below) 3/4 full with chia seeds, then added water.
That is not the way to do it.
Chia seeds absorb a lot of water. Like 3 times as much as the actual seeds.
So after that sat in the fridge for awhile I was ready to throw it all together.
One teaspoon of honey was just right, once I figured out how to stir it up (stir with a metal skewer then shake vigorously).
A bit of lime juice added to the pomegranate juice added another element to the flavor that made it pitch-perfect, and just like the Mama Chia beverage I remembered.
Rachel’s Copycat Mama Chia Recipe
Makes about 10oz (1 serving).
2/3 cup soaked chia seeds*
1/4 cup pomegranate juice
1 teaspoon raw honey
1/4 teaspoon lime juice
Combine ingredients in liquid measuring cup.
Pour into desired container.
*To make about 25oz/3c. of soaked chia seeds, I put about 1 ¼ cups dry chia seeds into a quart (32oz) mason jar. I filled the jar with water, shook up the jar and let it sit in the fridge about 24 hours.
For 10oz of this Mama Chia brand drink from Aldi, it was $2.29. My version was only $1.28 for the same amount.
Granted, my recipe doesn’t have the same exact ingredients. But the taste is very similar and still delicious.
The foraging adventures continue! I wanted to harvest some dandelion roots this fall with the intention of making roasted dandelion root tea.
It sounded interesting. And every single source said the health benefits of the plant were numerous.
According to learningherbs, dandelion roots are good for liver health. And because the liver affects many other parts of the body, dandelion roothelps with a lot of different things. (The recipe I used can be found through the above links as well.)
As livestrong mentions, dandelion root has a lot of potassium and “It also contains high levels of iron, boron, calcium, silicon [and] vitamin C.”
Super-healthy? Sign me up. I can get it for free from my own yard? I’m on it.
And so I grabbed my shovel and I wandered about outside looking for some good-sized dandelion roots. The kids were mostly good enough not to wander too far from sight 🙂
And then I took a sip. I immediately made a face. It was very bitter. As I expected. Somewhat like coffee but not as…warm? Flavorful?
I had to add things to it to make it drinkable. First, a bit of vanilla, cinnamon and honey.
It was still too bitter. More honey and a lot of unsweetened vanilla almond milk were added. And then I ended up adding a spoonful of coconut palm sugar before I was happy with the taste.
I’m trying my best to avoid refined sugar. It’s been hit-and-miss so far. But this time…victory 🎉
Oh my it was so bitter. But tasted rather good in the end.
I couldn’t help but think about bitterness as an emotion, as opposed to a taste.
I remember my son when he tasted cocoa powder for the first time. It smelled like the chocolate he loved but left a bad taste in his mouth.
“Grace given when it feels least deserved is the only antidote for bitter rot.”
from Uninvited, chapter 7, by Lysa TerKeurst.
But tempered with sweetness and mixed into the cookies he loved, the bitterness was transformed. It was the same for the tea. Bitterness transformed was a pleasant thing instead of a thing almost poisonous to swallow.
As I battle bitterness threatening to overwhelm me, this lesson hit quite close to home. I’m grateful for the lesson so gently revealed.
And I enjoyed my cup of tea 🙂
Any coffee drinkers out there? Have you ever tried roasted dandelion root tea? If so, what was your impression?
Ah fall. Fall means pumpkins. And we Americans (most of us anyways) love our pumpkin spice. Is that just an American thing? I don’t know. Hmm.
(Ok international readers. Is pumpkin spice a thing in your country? Let me know in the comments, I would love to know!)
On a whim the other day I decided to cook up a pie pumpkin. I’m not really sure why they are called pie pumpkins. It’s not like they are used expressly for pumpkin pie. Honestly I buy one almost every year…not knowing if it will be for decor or for eating.
My kids decided that the pumpkin was purchased so that they could roll/push it off of the kitchen table. No. That was actually not the purpose, my dear sweet children whom I love with all my heart but also who drive me completely loopy.
So to take the loopiness down a notch I cooked it up in the oven. I thought I could make some pumpkin bread with the puree.
And yep I made 4 full sized loaves. That used up about 4 cups. And I still had about a cup left over.
So I made up a new drink which was totally easy and delicious. My daughter (age 1 1/2) literally goes crazy for it. My son (age 4) asks every time if it is chocolate milk and wants nothing to do with it when I tell him that no, it isn’t.
The flavors here are so simple and yet so delicious. Pumpkin tastes a bit like cooked squash, so on its own it isn’t all that tasty. But with honey, spices and almond milk? Yum 🙂
Easy, Dreamy Pumpkin Spice Smooothie
12oz unsweetened vanilla almond milk
4oz chilled pureed pumpkin (you can make your own puree, see below)
1 small spoonful honey
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
a pinch or two of nutmeg
Measure about 1/2 cup pumpkin puree into a large glass. (I use a pint mason jar.)
Add honey, cinnamon and nutmeg and stir well to combine.
Add vanilla almond milk and stir.
To make the pumpkin puree
Preheat the oven to 395°.
Take a pie pumpkin and carefully cut it in half with a large knife.
Place cut sides down in a large baking pan. (You can also bake them one half at a time if you don’t have a big enough pan.)
Add a few inches of water to the pan and cover with tinfoil.
Bake for 1 hour.
Remove from oven, test for doneness and cool.
Scoop out seeds and stringy stuff, set aside. Save the liquid from the pan.
Scoop out the pumpkin and put it in the blender. Add a cup or so of the saved liquid (eyeball it) and puree.
Chill the puree.
This is super cheap. 89¢ for 16oz. Isn’t that crazy? I will definitely be making this again!
I started to blog about french toast today. And while french toast is all very well and good, I wasn’t into it. At the moment I was sipping a cup of chocolate mint and nettle tea. Bing bing! Yes. Yes I will blog about that.
I love tea. Even in the summer. I usually drink it warm or iced in the warmer months though.
A favorite lately is combining a 50/50 ratio of dried chocolate mint and nettle.
My nettle I purchased in a 1 lb package through iherb. There was a ton. Like 3+ quart jars. I bought it 2 years ago and there’s still lots.
Nettle is awesome because of the nutrients it has. Lots of calcium, magnesium and iron.
It’s really good for joint health, fatigue, seasonal allergies and menstrual cramps among other things (the list is long).
The leaves are safe to use once dried. It will not sting your insides 🙂
Mint is also good for many things, although most people are familiar with its ability to soothe the stomach and nix bad breath. I’ve been reading Rosalee de la Forêt’s book Alchemy of Herbs: Transform Everyday Ingredients into Foods and Remedies That Heal and learned that peppermint not only soothes and refreshes but it gives you energy too. So its no suprise that it makes a nice pairing with nettle.
Is saying “cuppa tea” just a British thing? I really like the phrase 🙂
How about you? What is your favorite tea (or beverage in general)? I would love to know! I’m always looking for new teas and beverages to try.
Welcome to my site! My blog is a great way to share ideas about what I’m doing, Blogging has given me an outlet to forget everything in the past that gives me anxiety. The biggest passion in my life is my relationship with Jehovah.