Chocolate Smoothie with a Twist

Happy New Year and welcome to 2017! I know, I know…I am 12 days late on that greeting, but at least I’m here now writing a new post!

Last weekend we experienced winter. And it is now over and spring is here, at least for a few days. We had ice, snow, and sub-freezing temperatures for 3 days last week. Today, we are pushing 72 degrees! Tomorrow should be the same as today; Saturday will drop down into the 50s, but then we should have about a week or so with temps in the mid-60s every day! I just love life in the south!

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I sort of fell off the proper eating path over the holidays when the hubby and others who shall be nameless brought delicious tasting, but oh-so-bad-for-you foods into the house! I am working hard at getting the sugars out of my system and eating right once again.

Although I was brought up in the south, there are some southern foods that I just never got a taste for. Black-eyed peas and collard greens make a traditional New Year’s Day meal, but not in my house! Okra is another southern staple that I just never enjoyed. However, now that I am trying to eat the Trim Healthy Mama way, I have discovered the health benefits of this southern veggie. If you are like me and need a little convincing that okra really is good for you, then read this article. You will be impressed!

The new THM cookbook has a few recipes in it using okra. I have made the brownies with it and was very impressed. Last week I discovered the chocolate smoothie! If you have the cookbook, you will find the recipe on page 415. Today I added a few drops of peppermint essential oil. Oh, my word! Ya’ll, this is amazing! If you didn’t know that there is a cup of okra in the smoothie, you would never guess it! I like it so much better with the peppermint than without!

Since I did change up the recipe some, I will share it with you here.

  • 1 c. water
  • 1 c. frozen, diced okra (I actually thawed mine some.)
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2-1/2 tbsp. Pyure sweetener
  • 1 tsp. coconut oil, melted
  • 3-4 drops peppermint essential oil
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 10 ice cubes
  • 1 scoop chocolate protein powder

Put everything in the blender except the ice and protein powder. I added the peppermint oil to the coconut oil first, and then added it to the remaining ingredients. Blend well…very well! Add the ice and blend again. Add the protein powder last and blend one more time.

Give it a try! You won’t be disappointed!

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Overnight Oatmeal

I’m back!!! I am finally taking the time to share a new recipe with you! Sorry it’s been so long…no real excuses…just haven’t done it. Oh, well! Here I am!

First a few updates on the family…I miss this little dude terribly! I hate that he and his parents live so far away!! I can’t wait to see him and his mommy at Thanksgiving! Grammy will do a whole lot of spoiling!!

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I also miss this “baby!” He’s been on the other side of the world for over 3 months now, and could possibly be home THIS weekend!!! I can not wait!!! I know that a 3-month deployment is not considered very long, but in the eyes of a mama, it is terribly long!

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This little munchkin is growing up so fast! I love that she lives nearby and that I can see her almost everyday! She loves trying to say new words and is quite the little yack-back.

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We got the news on Saturday that my dear Aunt Margie passed away out in South Dakota. She had recently turned 88 years old. Although her hubby was not much of a traveler, he didn’t mind if Aunt Margie traveled, so she and my Aunt Kay would often drive across the country to come south and visit with my mom, their older sister. I am so thankful for those visits! My children have wonderful memories of visits with their great-aunt! Aunt Margie was the 8th of 10 children born to my grandparents. I can’t believe that only the youngest 2 are left! I miss all my aunts and uncles, and of course, my own mom who passed away 9 years ago next week. They were a special bunch and had great love not only for their own families, but also for all the nieces and nephews. This picture is of Aunt Margie, Uncle Jim and me at a family reunion back in 2008.

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Last week I had a most embarrassing moment when I locked not only my keys but also my phone and wallet inside my van at the gas station! Now, I’ve been driving since I was 15…got my “Cinderella License” at that time and could drive by myself from sunup to sundown. In all these years I have never locked my keys in my car…until last week. Thanks to some extended Citadel family members, I was able to get the situation taken care of…but that’s another story!

Now to the recipe! I love oatmeal on cold mornings, and we have finally gotten cooler mornings here in the south. It has taken several weeks longer than normal, but I’m happy that it is finally here!

This recipe is just amazing! And if you forget to make it the night before, you can easily cook it in the microwave in the morning. It makes a great E breakfast if you follow THM.

1/2 c. old fashioned oats

1-1/2 tbsp. cocoa powder

2 tbsp. peanut butter powder

1/8 tsp. salt

2 tbsp. sweetener (I like Pyure)

2/3 c. almond milk

1/3 c. plain Greek yogurt

Mix the dry ingredients in a medium-sized cereal bowl. Add the almond milk and yogurt and stir well. Feel free to add a little more almond milk if the mixture looks like it is too dry. Cover and put in the fridge overnight.

In the morning, stir the oatmeal and zap it in the microwave to warm it up. Add more almond milk if needed or top with low-carb spray whipped cream. Enjoy!

Coconut Fudge Brownies

Here we are at the end of June! We are half-way through 2016 already!! I can’t believe that we are heading towards another 4th of July. I am pretty excited about this coming weekend because, if all goes as planned, I will have ALL four of my kiddlets under my roof once again…for about 48 hours! Hey, I’ll take what I can get! I have no idea when we will all be together again because one of my blue stars will be leaving in early July for the other side of the world. This makes me sad! I’ve never been so far away from any of my kiddos as I will be for the next 3-4 months. And before he returns, one of my other blue stars will be leaving as well. While my momma heart will worry about them, I  understand fully that this is what they are called to do at this time. I will pray for their safety while they are gone and for their safe return.

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Now to the recipe. I took a recipe featured in the new THM cookbook and made some changes ( read “experimented”) and came up with this pretty amazing recipe. Keeping it in the fridge helps keep it fudgy until it is all eaten…which won’t be long, I can assure you! I have made these brownies several times and none of the guys in my family know that there is okra in them! And as a bonus…they are low-carb!

BROWNIES::

1/2 c. unsweetened cocoa powder

1/4 c. peanut butter powder

3/4 c. coconut oil

3/4 c. butter

1-1/2 c. sweetener (I use Pyure)

2 tsp. vanilla

1/4 – 1/2 tsp. salt

1 c. oat flour

1 c. unsweetened dried coconut

1-1/2 c. okra (I use frozen. Let it thaw slightly before using).

6 eggs

ICING:

2 oz. cream cheese

2 tbsp. butter, softened, but not melted

1/4-1/3 c. heavy cream

4 tbsp. sweetener

1/2 tsp. vanilla

For the brownies: melt the coconut oil and butter in a small saucepan. Add the cocoa powder and peanut butter powder. Stir well.  In a large mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Set aside.  In your blender, combine the okra, eggs and vanilla. Blend completely so there are no particles of okra seen. Pour the cocoa mixture and the okra mixture into the dry ingredients and stir well.

Pour the batter into a lightly oiled 9 x 13 pan. Bake at 350 degrees for about 25-30 minutes. Let cool.

Combine the icing ingredients in your blender or food processor. Give it a taste and add more sweetener if needed. Spread on cooled brownies. For a garnish, grate an 85% chocolate bar over the icing.  Refrigerate for several hours before serving.

Chocolate-Peanut Butter Banana Cake

The last few weeks have been crazy busy for me, but I loved every minute of them! We had my sister, brother-in-law, and their youngest son here for a week!! I love getting to spend time with my sister! Although the majority of the week was filled with church meetings and fellowship suppers, we did manage to snag some time to ourselves and do a little shopping before they had to leave at the end of the week.

I did quite a bit of grocery shopping before they got here and totally forgot that Barb would be bringing a cooler of things with her. Believe me, my fridge was packed once everything was put away! By the end of the week, it was rather empty! Still is, by the way! Just haven’t gotten to the store yet to restock!

We had 2 lone bananas left which were rapidly ripening, so I knew it was time to bake something using those ‘nanas!   There is a great recipe in the new THM cookbook for a banana cake. I took the basic recipe and added a twist…cocoa powder and peanut butter powder…for a fabulous flavor!  I used a 9×9 square baking pan and cut the cake into 9 pieces. By my calculations, it comes to only 31 carbs per piece, which makes it a great E snack. Topped with a bit of low-fat whipped topping, it makes a delicious snack…or breakfast…or lunch…

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2 ripe bananas

2 droppers of liquid Stevia

1 c. plain Greek yogurt

1 c. egg whites

1 tsp. vanilla

1/2 tsp. butter flavoring

2 c. oat flour

1/2 c. old-fashioned oats

1/4 tsp. salt

2 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 c. sweetener (I use Pyure)

2 heaping tbsp. cocoa powder

2 tbsp. peanut butter powder

Lightly coat a 9×9 pan with coconut spray oil.

Mash the bananas in a large bowl. Add the liquid Stevia, yogurt, egg whites, vanilla, and butter flavoring. Mix well.

Combine the remaining ingredients in a separate bowl. Add to the liquid ingredients and stir well. Pour batter into the prepared pan. Bake at 350 degrees for about 35 minutes. Let cool in the pan.

Serve warm with a dollop of whipped cream!

 

Measuring Spoons and Chocolate-Zucchini Cake

Have you ever had a favorite kitchen tool that finally became too fragile to use? It’s like saying good-bye to an old friend! My favorite measuring spoons once belonged to my sweet mom. I have no idea how old they are, but since they used to have a pretty copper coloring to them, I imagine that they are about 40 years old. Mom loved the copper color for her kitchen back in the 1970s.  I’ve been using them for years, but noticed a few months back that the tablespoon is getting rather fragile and bending easily. Rather than use them until they break, I decided to put the set away.  I came across the spoons a week or so ago and decided to put them into a shadow box. I’m going to enjoy them for a little while and then send them off to my girl to have in her kitchen!

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We were able to have some long-time friends over for dinner last weekend, and I wanted to keep our meal on the eating plan for the hubby.  And since we were having guests, I wanted a dessert.  Some smart mama shared this recipe on the Face Book THM page a few months ago.  It is wonderful!  My family never realized that it has zucchini in it!

4 tbsp melted butter

1/2 c. Truvia (I used Stevia)

3 eggs

1-1/2 c. shredded zucchini (I used 1 medium zucchini)

2 tsp. vanilla

1/3 c. coconut flour

1/3 c. almond flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. salt

2 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder

1/4 c. dark chocolate chips (85%)

Blend all ingredients in a blender until well-mixed. Pour batter into a greased 9×9 pan. Bake at 375* for about 30 minutes.  Cool for about 20 minutes and remove from pan to a wire rack. Cool completely.

(I have made this cake twice and both times I have forgotten to add the dark chocolate chips. Tastes great anyway!)

Frosting

1/2 c. whipping cream

2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder

4 tbsp. powdered truvia

1 tsp. vanilla

Combine all ingredients in a blender and mix until cream thickens. Spread over the top of  cooled cake.  Store frosted cake in the fridge.  Serves 8

Chocolate Covered Strawberries

If you read my last post about the pumpkin dip, you will remember that I am trying to keep my hubby on a low-carb eating plan. This is not always easy to do, but he’s a real trooper and has done well so far. There have been “cheat” meals, especially when we were out of town, but he’s been good to get right back on the plan. For the first week or so he had headaches which we attributed to carb withdrawal.  Once he got over that hurdle, he found it easier to stay with the plan.

Unfortunately, I am the one struggling with what to cook for dinner! You’d think it would be fairly easy since I am feeding just the two of us! However, sometimes it takes work for me to figure out if I need to serve him a satisfying meal, an energy meal, or a fuel pull meal!  You can check these out on the Trim Healthy Mama page!  It is all still a big learning curve for me.

Sometimes with this eating plan, we just need a good snack…a tide-me-over until time for dinner.  The other day I decided to make some chocolate covered strawberries.  Strawberries are on the plan, but regular chocolate is not.  Thankfully, the sisters who wrote the book created a recipe called Skinny Chocolate.  It is amazing!  Yesterday I melted some that I had in the refrigerator and dipped frozen strawberries into it.  Because the berries were already cold, the chocolate hardened quickly. They were a hit with the hubby!

1/4 c. cocoa powder

1/2 c. coconut oil

2-3 tsp of stevia sweetener

Strawberries

Put the cocoa powder into a small bowl. Add the coconut oil and sweetener. Stir all ingredients well until the sweetener melts well into the cocoa powder.*  If desired, stir in 1/2 c. unsweetened dried coconut.

Dip frozen strawberries into the chocolate. Set on wax paper or aluminum foil until set.

If you don’t want to use the chocolate right away or if you didn’t use all of it with your strawberries, pour the chocolate onto a plate covered with wax paper or foil and freeze until solid.  Break it apart to eat as mini chocolate bars or to blend into Greek yogurt!

*Definitely make sure that the sweetener is totally dissolved into the cocoa powder or the chocolate will taste bitter!

Chocolate-Peanut Butter Milk Shake

I created this recipe this afternoon after reading a recipe about making something similar to a Wendy’s Frosty.  The original recipe called for a banana, but since I didn’t have any, I used peanut butter.  Oh. My. Word.  The flavor was amazing!!  The hubby loved it and couldn’t believe that there is no ice cream in it!  It is a great treat for a hot summer day!

1-1/2 c. almond milk

about 25-30 ice cubes (I used the cubes from my ice maker which are smaller than cubes from a tray)

1 tsp. vanilla

3-4 tbsp. cocoa powder

5 tbsp. sugar

1/2 to 3/4 c. peanut butter

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until ice is crushed.  Makes 4 cups.