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Ready to dress up your summer salad? In less than five minutes this creamy spinach pesto salad dressing goes from the blender to your bowl!

Creamy Spinach Pesto Salad Dressing

Ready to dress up your summer salad? In less than five minutes this creamy spinach pesto salad dressing goes from the blender to your bowl!

Ready to dress up your summer salad? In less than five minutes this creamy spinach pesto salad dressing goes from the blender to your bowl!

I don’t know about about you but when June rolls around I am so ready to get my salad on! I actually love eating salads year round. But something about the warm, summer weather makes me crave salad.

And when it comes to dressing I am not a traditional girl. Ranch? No thanks. Italian? Blech. I used to always eat honey mustard (I even have over four versions of it on the blog!!), but when I had to give up mustard for two years I lost that taste too.

Ready to dress up your summer salad? In less than five minutes this creamy spinach pesto salad dressing goes from the blender to your bowl!

My New Favorite

These days my salad dressing usually contains desiccated liver, fermented kale or aquatic greens…or all three if I’m really feeling the need to boost nutrients.

But there is one thing I always love on my salads – pesto! I usually make a really mild and simple version of pesto with peas (super kid friendly!!!).

Ready to dress up your summer salad? In less than five minutes this creamy spinach pesto salad dressing goes from the blender to your bowl!

Recently I had the opportunity to try some Taylor Farms organic salad mixes. I went right for the baby spinach and popped it in the blender with olive oil, Stonyfield whole milk yogurt and seasoning. Amazing!

I served it with dinner on a bed of Taylor Farms mixed spring greens. The family loved it! My six-year old still isn’t a fan of lettuce salads. So he had cucumber, avocado and parmesan cheese topped with the creamy spinach pesto.  He sure was happy with his salad – and even asked for it again the next day!

Ready to dress up your summer salad? In less than five minutes this creamy spinach pesto salad dressing goes from the blender to your bowl!

Kid-Friendly Greens

Creamy spinach pesto is a great way to get your kids to eat their greens. It does not taste like eating spinach (my son will vouch for that!). Plus it is combined with healthy fats like whole milk yogurt and extra virgin olive oil to help utilize the vitamins and minerals in the spinach.

Ready to dress up your summer salad? In less than five minutes this creamy spinach pesto salad dressing goes from the blender to your bowl!

Even if your kids aren’t big salad eaters yet this creamy spinach pesto works well for dipping veggies or even chicken nuggets. We also like to eat it on noodles (pesto pasta!).

Ready to dress up your summer salad? In less than five minutes this creamy spinach pesto salad dressing goes from the blender to your bowl!

Sometimes I’m sneaky and add a little desiccated liver. My kids don’t mind the taste since I add it to everything. It really boosts the Vitamin A content!

If you’re like me and craving a good summer salad this dressing is for you! Grab a big bowl, some Taylor Farms organic salad mix, your favorite salad toppers and a big helping of creamy spinach pesto! Summer has officially begun.

What is your favorite salad dressing? Do you make your own dressing creations?

Ready to dress up your summer salad? In less than five minutes this creamy spinach pesto salad dressing goes from the blender to your bowl!

Creamy Spinach Pesto Salad Dressing
Serves 6
A creamy green dressing the whole family will love!
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Ingredients
  1. 2 cups tightly packed spinach
  2. 1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
  3. 2 Tbsp. plain, whole milk yogurt
  4. 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  5. 1/4 - 1/2 tsp. unrefined sea salt
  6. 1/8 tsp. garlic powder
  7. 1/8 tsp. onion powder
  8. optional: 1/8 tsp. desiccated liver, 1/8 tsp. fermented kale powder, 1 Tbsp. pumpkin seeds, 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Instructions
  1. Run warm water over the peas to thaw or let sit on the counter to thaw.
  2. In a blender combine the spinach, peas, yogurt, oil, salt, garlic, onion and optional ingredients if desired.
  3. Blend on high until smooth, scraping sides as necessary.
  4. Adjust seasoning to taste.
  5. Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator up to one week.
Notes
  1. This dressing works well on salads, as a veggie dip, on pasta or for chicken nuggets.
  2. This recipe makes one cup of dressing and is easily doubled or tripled to serve at a picnic.
Just Take A Bite http://justtakeabite.com/
I am working with Stonyfield Yogurt and Taylor Farms for this post. I have been compensated for my time but all opinions expressed are my own.

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

Simple Smoothie Series: The Health Nut

Simple Smoothie Series: The Health Nut || Homemade Dutch Apple PieThe final smoothie in this series is packed with nutrients and has no added sugar.  So I call it the health nut.

Dates and fruit add a touch of sweetness while flax seeds, avocado, egg yolks and vegetables provide critical fats, vitamins, minerals and omega-3’s.

The health nut is a very mild smoothie.  There are no strong flavors that overpower.  It is perfect for kids.

I used yogurt for probiotics, but this smoothie works just as well without any dairy products.  You can use coconut milk or water to get the correct consistency.  Then add a powdered probiotic.Simple Smoothie Series: The Health Nut | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

This smoothie does require a little bit of forethought.  You should soak the dates in warm water for a bit before using them.  The dates plus the soaking liquid will help sweeten the smoothie better that way.  I just put the dates and water in the blender the night before and add the rest of the ingredients in the morning.

You can adjust the amount of dates and fruit to your liking to make the smoothie sweeter if desired.

This smoothie is great as part of your breakfast or lunch or even for a mid-day snack.  Pour some in a travel mug with a straw and sip on it throughout the day when you need a little pick-me-up.

A smoothie is a great way to add nutrients to your diet with little effort.  This health nut smoothie is a delicious way to do it.Simple Smoothie Series: The Health Nut | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

 

Simple Smoothie Series: The Health Nut
Serves 1
A simple, nutritious smoothie with no added sweeteners.
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Ingredients
  1. 3-4 dates, pitted, soaked in 4 Tbsp. warm water
  2. 1 small or 1/2 medium apple
  3. 10 -15 grapes (red or green)
  4. 1 medium stalk celery
  5. 1/2 medium carrot, peeled, cut in chunks
  6. 1/4 cup whole milk yogurt, kefir, coconut milk yogurt, milk or coconut milk
  7. 1 egg yolk
  8. 1/4 avocado
  9. 1 Tbsp. flax seeds
  10. 1/4 tsp. sea salt
Instructions
  1. Soak dates in warm water over night or at least 3 hours.
  2. Combine the soaked dates (with liquid) and the remaining ingredients in a high powered blender.
  3. Blend until smooth.
  4. Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator or freezer.
Notes
  1. You can soak the dates in the blender.
  2. The egg yolk, flax seeds and avocado are all optional, depending on your tolerance.
  3. You can substitute cucumber for the celery.
  4. You can substitute cooked squash or pumpkin for the carrot.
  5. You can add 2 Tbsp. soaked nuts if you tolerate nuts.
Just Take A Bite http://justtakeabite.com/


In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog.

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

Simple Smoothie Series: Kiwi Strawberry

Simple Smoothie Series: Kiwi Strawberry || Homemade Dutch Apple PieIt’s that time of year – time to get back on track with nourishing foods.

So this month I’m doing a simple smoothie series.  Smoothies are a great way to pack in nutrition, and they can be tailored to meet any dietary restrictions.  Plus kids love them!

The other great thing about smoothies is that they can be prepared in advance and are great for on the go breakfasts or lunches.  They can even be frozen to make a breakfast popsicle your kids will love.

If you have a little one just starting solids you can spoon feed a thick smoothie.  It’s an easy way to give them things like probiotics and cod liver oil.  Be sure to leave out the honey if giving it to a child under one year of age.

A smoothie can be a meal on its own.  I personally need to have a salty/starchy component to my meal or else I will feel cold.  So if I drink a smoothie (which has lots of fat and protein) I like to pair it with a muffin or slice of bread or bowl of rice with salt.  That gives a good fat/protein/carbohydrate balance and a good sugar/salt/saturated fat/starch balance – both of which are ideal for good health.  It is especially important for adrenal health.

My first simple smoothie is kiwi strawberry.  It’s perfect for the winter months.  Kiwi is readily available in the store.  Then add some strawberries from your summer freezer stash.  It’s a delicious combination that is rich in vitamin C.

An added bonus of using strawberries is that they are the best source of ellagic acid.  According to Nourishing Traditions, “strawberries contain a compound called ellagic acid, which is an antioxidant that helps detoxify carcinogens.”Simple Smoothie Series: Kiwi Strawberry || Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

The yogurt or kefir in the smoothie provides probiotics and enzymes to help digest lactose.  The egg yolks provide so many nutrients – fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K plus calcium, iron, phosphorus, zinc, thiamin, folate, vitamin B6 and vitamin B12.

I add a pinch of sea salt to smoothies for trace minerals.  You can also add gelatin (use the non-gel form) and coconut oil.

Probiotic powder and liquid fermented cod liver oil can also be added in small amounts.  You can also add avocado for thickness and dates for sweetness.

The end result is a refreshing kiwi strawberry drink.  But when you look a bit deeper you see it is a nutrition powerhouse and a great way to start your day.

I sometimes make a large batch of smoothie on Sunday and pour it into individual cups.  Then I can use them as needed throughout the week.  If you are going to make the smoothies in advance leave out the coconut oil and gelatin.  They will change texture as they sit in the refrigerator.

This recipe makes enough for two adults (average size smoothies) or three to four children.

A few words of caution.  Do not add raw greens to your smoothies.  Most of them contain oxalates in their raw forms.  If you want to add greens be sure to cook them first.

Also, I don’t advise drinking smoothies every day.  It’s a good addition a couple times a week.  Change it up with other breakfasts throughout the week.

A strawberry kiwi smoothie is the perfect breakfast treat for the whole family.  Stay tuned for more delicious flavors.Simple Smoothie Series: Kiwi Strawberry || Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

Simple Smoothie Series: Kiwi Strawberry
Serves 2
A power packed smoothie to start the day.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup total yogurt, kefir, sour cream, milk, coconut milk and/or coconut milk yogurt
  2. 2 egg yolks
  3. 1 cup strawberries (fresh or frozen)
  4. 1 kiwi, peeled and cut up
  5. 1/4 tsp. sea salt
  6. 2-4 Tbsp. honey and/or maple syrup (to taste)
  7. 2 tsp. gelatin (optional)
  8. 1 Tbsp. melted coconut oil (optional)
  9. 1/2 small avocado (optional)
  10. 2 dates (optional - leave out some or all of the honey if adding dates)
Instructions
  1. In a blender combine the yogurt/milk, egg yolks, strawberries, kiwi, salt and sweetener. Blend until smooth.
  2. Adjust sweetness to taste.
  3. Add gelatin and blend.
  4. While the blender is running slowly pour in the melted coconut oil.
  5. Pour into glasses and serve immediately or store in the refrigerator.
Notes
  1. If making the smoothie for a child under one year of age leave out the honey. It is not safe for a small child. They should not need extra sweetener besides the fruit. Or you can add a bit of banana for extra sweetness.
  2. If making the smoothies in advance leave out the gelatin and coconut oil.
  3. If you do not tolerate eggs you can make the smoothie without egg yolks. The taste will not change.
  4. You can substitute a different kind of berry if you do not tolerate strawberries.
Just Take A Bite http://justtakeabite.com/


In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog.

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

Simple Strawberry Slush (egg free, dairy free, nut free, gluten free)

This simple strawberry slush is a fun, fruity, allergen-friendly drink for kids and adults.  It contains no eggs, dairy, nuts, grains, soy or coconut.Simple Strawberry SlushDo you want to treat your kids to a really fun drink?  Try a simple strawberry slush!  It is a perfect way to cool down in the summer and consume fresh, nutritious produce.

I grew up drinking Slushies® all the time.  We would bike to the local drug store all summer to get them.  Of course they were made of food coloring, high fructose corn syrup and artificial flavor.

This simple strawberry slush is a much-improved version.  It only uses a few simple ingredients.  It is also very allergen-friendly.

My kids LOVE these.  I’ll be honest – my husband and I do too!

As always, the best part for me is that it only takes about 60 seconds to make a simple strawberry slush.  Plus I can add collagen for a nutrition boost.

Strawberries work very well in this drink – even frozen!  But if you don’t have any or want a different flavor you can try blueberries, raspberries or even cherries.   You really can’t go wrong.

This summer the whole family can cool down with a nourishing simple strawberry slush.

Simple Strawberry Slush 2

Simple Strawberry Slush
Serves 2
A fun, refreshing and healthy summer drink that is free of allergens.
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Ingredients
  1. 6 ice cubes
  2. 3/4 cups strawberries (fresh or frozen) (or other fruit)
  3. 1 - 2 Tbsp. sweetener (honey, syrup, sucanat) (depending on the sweetness of the fruit)
  4. 1/4 tsp. sea salt (optional)
  5. 1/2 tsp. collagen (optional)
Instructions
  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a high powered blender.
  2. Blend until desired consistency.
  3. Serve immediately.
Notes
  1. This makes enough for two children or one adult.
  2. You can blend it completely smooth (for small children) or leave a bit of slushiness from the ice.
  3. Blueberries, raspberries and cherries can be combined with or substituted for the strawberries.
Just Take A Bite http://justtakeabite.com/
 
In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog.

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

Apple Raisin Cake

Yesterday Rebecca and I made a simple “cake” for our baking project.  The recipe is from my Vitamix cookbook.  In the book it is called a bread.  But it is baked in an 8″ pan and is a lot more like cake to me.  The end product is very good.  It’s quite moist from all of the dried fruit.  Not too sweet (I do think you could decrease the honey a bit and be just fine, though).  And I like the simplicity of being able to mix it all in the blender.  That being said…it was not so simple when I actually made it.  I followed the directions…and could not get the batter to mix at all.  I was constantly scraping, trying to stir things, etc.  I ended up adding extra water and starting and stopping at least 10 times.  It turned into quite a mess 😛  If I make this again I think I’ll add more liquid right from the start.  And possibly have an extra blending step before I add the dried fruit.  I did not have lemon, so I just skipped that.  And I skipped the orange peel.

Apple Raisin Cake

1 cup whole wheat flour (preferably freshly ground…3/4 cups wheat berries ground in the dry blender)
1/4 cup uncooked rolled oats
1 medium apple, quartered, seeded
1 thin slice lemon, peeled, seeded
2 Tbsp. water (I probably used about 1/3 cup)
1 thin slice orange with peel
1/2 cup honey (I’ll probably use 1/3 cup next time)
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. allspice
1 cup raisins, dates or other dried fruit (I used a combo of raisins, dates and dried cranberries)

Heat oven to 350.  Grease an 8″ baking pan.

Place flour adn oats into blender.  Blend on  high 1 minute.

Add the rest of the ingredients in the order listed.  Blend for 30 seconds, or until mixture is smooth and batter-like. (Next time I will do this in two steps…all of the ingredients except the dried fruit, blend, then add fruit and blend again).  Pour into baking pan.

Bake for 25-30 minutes.

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

Frozen Cappuccino

I have started reading through my Vitamix cookbook.  One of the first recipes I came across was frozen cappuccino.  I had all the ingredients.  And it sounded like a fun treat for Justin (he likes coffee…I don’t).  So I made one for lunch yesterday.  Quick, easy and tasty!  I think even I could drink one 🙂  Although I’d add less coffee for myself I think.  This is not something I’ll be making all the time, but it’s a fun treat once in a while.  And a good starting point for experimenting with iced coffee drinks.

Frozen Cappuccino

1 cup milk
1 Tbsp. white chocolate chips
2 tsp. instant coffee
1 tsp. vanilla extract
sugar to taste (optional) (I added some honey)
1/2 cup ice cubes

Place all the ingredients into the Vitamix in the order listed.  Turn on, increase variable to 10 and then to high speed.  Blend for 30 seconds.

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.