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Green Tea Smoothies – Delicious, Healthy, and Help You Lose Weight
Celebrate summer with these yummy green tea smoothies! They're packed with seasonal fruit and all the nutrients your body needs, helping you eat smart and achieve your health goals. Researchers at Purdue University found that you stay fuller longer when you drink thick beverages like smoothies; replacing meals with smoothies ups your chance of losing weight and keeping it off for more than a year. Even if weight loss isn't one of your goals, drinking smoothies can help you sneak in more raw fruits and veggies into your diet. My dad, who's a total health nut, will throw everything from kale to tomatoes to raw beets into his VitaMix – but shockingly, you'd never know it! Using a little peanut butter, cinnamon, sweetened yogurt, or ripe strawberries can really mask the taste of less traditional ingredients. Why Green Tea? Green tea contains catechin polyphenols, which Swiss researchers have found significantly increase your body's metabolism of fat – meaning you burn more, faster. In addition, green tea contains less caffeine than coffee, which, coupled with the nutrients provided by other ingredients, will give you long lasting, non-jittery energy, unlike the buzz-crash-repeat vicious cycle of coffee. Give one (or all!) of these green tea smoothies a try – you won't be disappointed! Green Tea Goddess Smoothie 3 cups frozen green grapes 2 cups baby spinach, packed 1 1/2 cups strong brewed green tea, cooled 1 medium ripe avocado 2 teaspoons honey (or agave syrup) Avocados are packed with oleic acid, a healthy fat that's great for your heart. Plus, they've got more potassium than bananas, making them excellent supporters of healthy blood pressure levels. Source: Eating Well Blueberry Green Tea Smoothie 3/4 cups green tea 2 cups frozen blueberries 12 oz. nonfat vanilla yogurt 20 whole almonds, unsalted and dry-roasted 2 tbsp. ground flax seeds Almonds are high in magnesium, iron, calcium, and protein, as well as healthy fats that may help you lose weight, and certainly support a healthy heart and low cholesterol! Source: Food Antioxidant-Rich Berry Matcha Smoothie 1/4 cup frozen blueberries, raspberries, or blackberries (or a mix of all three!) 1/2 cup yogurt 1/2 cup ice 1 tsp. matcha powder Add some mango, kiwi, ginger, or a few fresh mint leaves to make this even yummier! Source: MatchaSource Mango Green Tea Smoothie 1/2 cup green tea 1/2 cup fat-free Greek yogurt 1 cup mango chunks, fresh or frozen 3-5 ice cubes Mango is one of my favorite fruits, and protein-packed Greek yogurt will keep you full and focused for hours! Source: Joy Bauer Cinnamon Honey Green Tea Smoothie 1/2 cup green tea, chilled 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk 1 tsp. cinnamon 1 tbsp. honey 1/2 banana Like green tea, cinnamon has great metabolism-boosting properties. At only 139 calories, this low-cal concoction is better as a snack than a meal replacement. Source: Popsugar A Few Tips: Use frozen fruit. It's cheaper, easier to store, won't go bad, AND might even have more antioxidants than the fresh fruit you find in the supermarket, since it's picked and frozen at peak ripeness. To brew strong green tea, use two tea bags – but don't oversteep. Oversteeping can give your tea a bitter flavor that other ingredients might not succeed in masking.
Meatless Monday Recipe: Quick & Easy Pad Thai Spring Rolls
Making pad thai at home is deceptively easy, but making spring rolls is ridiculously fun! Combine both, and you have the pad thai tofu spring rolls below - a quick and creative meal you'll definitely find yourself making more than once. You should be able to find spring roll paper, tamarind, and chili garlic sauce in the ethnic food aisle of your local supermarket and most Asian grocers. 10-Ingredient Pad Thai Spring Rolls (Adapted From Minimalist Baker) MAKES 8 ROLLS INGREDIENTS: For The Spring Rolls - 14 ounces extra firm tofu 8 ounces white or brown rice noodles 8 - 10 white or brown rice spring roll papers 2 cups thinly sliced carrots 1 large handful fresh cilantro For The Sauce - 3 tablespoons tamarind concentrate 3 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce + more for tofu 3 - 4 tablespoons coconut sugar, agave, or maple syrup 1/2 lime, juiced 1 - 2 teaspoons chili garlic sauce + more for tofu For Serving (Optional) - Peanut sauce (Check out my Vegan DIY: Thai Peanut Sauce recipe card.) Sriracha Directions: 1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Wrap tofu in a clean towel. Set something heavy on top - such as a cast iron pan - to press out liquid for 15 minutes. Then cut into 1/2-inch wide rectangular strips. 2) Arrange tofu on the baking sheet, giving each piece some space so it can firm up. Bake for 28 - 30 minutes to dry and firm the tofu. For softer tofu, bake for 20 minutes. For firmer, bake for 30 - 35 minutes. Set aside. In the meantime, prep carrots, cilantro, and cook rice noodles according to package instructions, then drain and set aside. 3) To make the sauce, add tamarind, tamari, coconut sugar, lime and chili garlic sauce to a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Once it begins bubbling, lower heat to low and cook for 3 - 4 minutes, stirring frequently.Taste and adjust seasonings as needed, adding more tamari or soy sauce for saltiness, chili garlic for heat, coconut sugar, agave, or maple syrup for sweetness, or lime for acidity. Remove from heat and set aside. 4) Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add baked tofu and 1 teaspoon each chili garlic sauce and tamari or soy sauce, plus 1 tablespoon of the Pad Thai sauce. Sauté, stirring frequently, for 1 - 2 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside. 5) Add cooked noodles to the still-hot pan over medium heat and add remaining Pad Thai sauce. Use tongs to disperse sauce and toss noodles. Cook for 1 - 2 minutes, then remove from heat and set aside. 6) Assemble a station for preparing the spring rolls with a shallow bowl or plate (for dunking the rice paper), bring a kettle or pot of water to a boil (to cook the rice paper with), and a clean work surface (such as a large cutting board). Gather all ingredients and add hot water to the shallow bowl or pan. Let it cool for 1-2 minutes, then add 1 rice paper at a time and cook/soften for 45 seconds to 1 minute. Lift and let excess water drip off, then transfer to your clean work surface. 7) Top with pad thai noodles, tofu, carrots and cilantro, then roll over once, tuck in sides, and continue rolling all the way up. Place seam-side down on a serving plate or baking sheet and cover with a damp, room temperature towel to keep fresh. Continue until all spring rolls are prepared - about 8. 8) Serve as is with a bit more chili garlic sauce or sriracha! Another great addition is the aforementioned peanut sauce posted above. Best when fresh, though leftovers keep covered in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.
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