Hi. I’ll spare you the long apology for why I haven’t blogged since (I’m afraid to check how long it’s been.) In brief, I’ve been stranded in a desolate place called college, where there is little to no opportunity for ventures into the unexplored world of baked, cooked, or blended nutriment. If you regret not seeing any fun recipes on this site for the past millennium or so, imagine how I must have felt having to eat the distinctively uncreative food available in my isolated confinement.
Overall, I actually had a pretty good first year of college, aside from estrangement from my blender. But that’s boring and I won’t get into it right now. Are you ready for an ice cold summer refreshment smooth as the most decadent of ice creams yet packed with hearty grains and splashed with the splendid kiss of tart berries? Here is your (5-ingredients only!) recipe.
Simple Chocolate Berry Oat Shake
- 8 fresh strawberries
- 1 Weight Watchers brand (or similar) chocolate fudge ice cream bar
- 1/2 cup cold water
- 1 tbs fruit preserves (I used Whole Foods 365 brand Fruits of the Forest flavor spread)
- 1 individual packet dry instant oatmeal (I used Quaker lower sugar maple and brown sugar)
Wash strawberries, remove stems and leaves, and chop each into three or four large pieces (to ease blending.) If desired, reserve one strawberry for decoration.
Combine strawberries, ice cream bar, water and fruit preserves in blender. Blend until smooth.
Open oatmeal packet and pour dry oatmeal into blender. Blend for 8-16 seconds (longer blending leads to smoother texture, but I like some grainy chunks in my shakes.)
Pour smoothie into glass and serve cold.
When my mom was a baby, she had a cute, wiggly pink nose like a bunny’s (according to what I’ve been told – I wasn’t there!) As a result, she was nicknamed Bunny. As she got older and developed other interests, she subsequently garnered more and more nicknames, each reflecting her current animal interest at the time. But the name Bunny endured throughout all those time periods, and even today her family members call her Bunny in alternation with her real name.
It’s no surprise that my mom was somewhat bunny-like in her youth, since her mom is practically famous for her carrot cake recipe. Besides her chocolate swirl cake, it is one of her most-requested cakes for birthdays and occasions. If I was a bunny, I’d sure be glad to have a mom that was so good at making carrot cake!
This carrot cake smoothie would be the perfect treat for a carrot-chomping bunny who wanted a sweet, refreshing libation during the heat of summer. It’s a bit of a sugar rush – probably not good for hyperactive animals who would be bouncing off the walls anyway! I might suggest replacing the vanilla almond milk with plain almond milk and maybe a touch of vanilla or agave, and letting the fresh/frozen banana, tangy pineapple, and sweet navel orange sweeten the smoothie without the help of too much added sugar.
But aside from that, this smoothie was really splendid: a rich, sweet body made of blended fruit and creamy almond milk that reminds me of cake frosting (only more interesting) is emblazoned with delightful chunks of carrot cake and embellished with a topping of coconut, cranberries, and an orange slice just for style. Slurp it up it as a “guilty” breakfast treat or sip your sinfully scrumptious dessert in the alfalfa garden, watching the bunnies hopping around in the summer evening and pitying them because all they get are boring plain carrots.
Hop to it! Make this recipe now – you deserve a treat.
Fruity Carrot Cake Smoothie
- 1 banana, fresh or frozen
- 1 single-serving carton Silk brand vanilla almond milk
- 1/2 cup pineapple chunks, fresh or frozen
- 1 medium-large navel orange (reserve a segment for topping if desired)
- 2 Weight Watchers brand Carrot Crème Cakes
- ice cubes (use more if you used fresh fruit, and less if you used frozen fruit)
- 1 tbs sweetened flaked coconut
- 1 tbs dried cranberries
- 1 segment of orange, if desired
Place banana, almond milk, pineapple, orange (except segment reserved for topping) and ice cubes in blender. Blend until smooth.
Break one of the Carrot Crème cakes into several pieces and drop them into smoothie. Blend for about ten seconds.
Break the second cake into pieces and blend only for a second or two to distribute the big cake-y chunks throughout the smoothie.
Pour smoothie into desired serving glass. For topping: cut a slit in the center of one orange segment, and use the slit to arrange it at the edge of the glass. Sprinkle coconut and cranberry on surface of smoothie.
Pop a straw in this scrumptious sweet drink, and slurp it all up!
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Do you ever feel like time just slips away when you’re not looking? I know I do. All school year, I’ve been planning for all the things I was going to do during the summer, when I would have a surplus of time: work on my writing skills, watch a French film or two, take up a new athletic activity of some kind, and of course lots of baking and cooking were all included in my long list of personal ambitions. But lately I find I don’t have as much free time as I thought. I’m taking a history class this summer so I won’t have to take it during the school year, and once I get through the class and my homework, I often only have enough time for simple activities, like taking a short walk, playing with my cat, or watching films of nature and animals on Youtube with my brother the junior herpetologist. Yet I find that, even though I haven’t done much very ambitious yet this summer, I can find peace and relaxation in the days when I just fill the little free time I have with these simple activities. The time runs like a serene waterfall…I just wish it wouldn’t run so fast!
I predict I will be spending much of my vacation time doing these boring, yet in a way worthwhile activities. However, hopefully every so often I will get the chance to do something more ambitious. I’m hoping to bake something today, and later on I am going shopping for a book (since I already finished all my summer reading requirements!) So far today I have also made an easy shake, perfect for lazy summer days when all you want to do is relax with a yummy smoothie and a book/cat/nature video.
This is a cake batter shake that is healthy enough to eat for breakfast. The “cake batter” is made with all whole wheat flour, and sweetened only by a dash of vanilla and some high protein white chocolate peanut butter. The banana is as always a great breakfast food, providing potassium, iron, and the good type of natural sugars that don’t cause a horrible crash later on in the day. The fresh strawberries are a good source of vitamin C and help increase good cholesterol, among numerous other benefits. And the yogurt is a good source of calcium, very important to support the bones. Honestly, I could go on all day about the health benefits of different foods, but I know you’re anxious to get to the smoothie and get a start on today’s ambitions, so let’s get on with it!
The “cake batter” I used for this smoothie really ended up with more of a cookie dough consistency, but still tasted like cake when blended into the other ingredients. Of course the flavor combination of lime and strawberry is a perfect, summery blend. With the addition of cake batter, it tastes just like a perfect summer day: light, yet also rich and flavorful. It would have been extra great with some coconut flakes on top, but I was feeling lazy so I skipped that. But feel free to do it if you’re in the ambitious mood!
Key Lime Cake and Strawberry Shake
- 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
- 2 tsp Peanut Butter and Co. brand White Chocolate Wonderful peanut butter
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbls warm water
- 1 banana
- 1 Yoplait Whips Key Lime Pie yogurt
- 1/2 cup Silk brand Original almond milk
- 4 strawberries
- 1-2 ice cubes
Directions: First, make the cake batter: combine the whole wheat flour, white chocolate peanut butter, and vanilla. Add the water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the cake batter has the consistency of a glob of cookie dough.
Place all ingredients in blender. (If you like, reserve a little bit of the cookie dough/cake batter and one strawberry for topping. However, I found that the cake batter stuff didn’t taste as good on its own as it did blended into the smoothie, so it’s probably best to just blend all the cake batter with the smoothie.) Blend for a minute or until all ingredients are combined. Pour into a glass and serve cold.
This is sure to be the perfect refreshment, whether you are spending your day achieving your dreams…or just daydreaming! After all, sometimes doing nothing is what free time is for.
But not all your free time… and I am definitely going to be doing something at some point, don’t you worry! You can expect at least a few new recipes on this blog this summer! In the meantime, why don’t you go make your key lime cake batter shake while I watch this new blue-tongued skink video? 🙂
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To find out more about the health benefits of bananas and strawberries: http://www.lifescript.com/food/articles/0/14_banana_health_benefits_you_might_not_know_about.aspx, http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/nutritional-benefits-of-the-strawberry