Smoothies & Appetizers


The whiskey production procedure consists of standard steps, followed by leading beverage manufacturers. But there are some features and nuances that will be interesting to learn. We will talk about this in our expert review, which will be useful both for gourmets concerning whiskey and those who have not had time to try whiskey.

Malt for whiskey tour is the foundation. The procedure for its preparation begins with barley (corn, rye, wheat and other crops) entering the plant, which is carefully sorted, cleaned and dried. The malting process involves the mandatory soaking of the malt, which should sprout for one or a half weeks.

How is whiskey made? Features of phased production technology

The classic whiskey production process consists of eight steps. First, preparation of malt (malting procedure), then drying of the malt (making of wort);  This is followed by the process of fermentation and distillation, followed by aging, blending. And the final stage is laboratory control and the final bottling of the drink.

The process of making malt

During this time, the water periodically changes; in the cereals, the fermentation process occurs. Next, is drying of the malt.

It is important! The main task at this stage is to suspend the grain malting process in time so that they do not take on all the starch necessary for the implementation of the following steps for the production of an alcoholic beverage.

Malt Drying Procedure

Ready malt is removed from the water and placed in special chambers for thorough drying. Each country, where whiskey manufacturing takes place has its tradition of drying malt; This greatly affects the final taste of the drink. For example, in Ireland, drying occurs naturally without fumes to preserve the authentic scent of whiskey. But in Japan, on the contrary, the malt is dried by smoke obtained from the combustion of peat rocks. The Scots have a similar tradition, thanks to which the drink has a characteristic “smoked” flavor.

Getting ready wort for whiskey – features of the procedure for its preparation

The process of preparing the wort is traditional: dried malt undergoes a thorough cleaning process, followed by special laboratory tests for damage to grains by insects and compliance with the required moisture level. Germinated and dried grains are crushed to the state of a loose powder of coarse grinding and combined in certain proportions with previously purified water. Then store the wort in a large wooden tub, where it is gradually heated, and the composition undergoes several important processes. First, at relatively low temperatures, flour and water combine to form a thick mass. Then the protein breaks down, and starch turns into sugar, which is ideal for yeast. When the wort gets heated to a temperature of about 76-78 degrees, the final sugary substances forms. Aging of The flour tales places in a vat for 8-10 hours.

Fermentation procedure

The next stage – the wort is poured into a tub of steel or wood and combined with alcoholic yeast. Fermentation lasts about three days at a temperature of slightly less than forty degrees.

Note! Some manufacturers take yeast to mix with must from their batch. Thus, a circular process takes place, which can last for tens or even hundreds of years.

At this stage, the yeast feeds on oxygen, against which the volume of the composition increases. When depletion of the oxygen reserves in the Braga occurs, the sugar gradually broke down, and the stage of natural fermentation begins. Wort is no longer fermenting due to yeast, but thanks to beneficial bacteria. A weak five is the formation week of percent mash, which in its taste resembles beer, but without the hoppy notes. And such a mash is ready for further distillation.

Distillation or distillation process

Depending on the characteristics of the distillery, the mash undergoes a double or triple distillation procedure. It is important that at this stage, the mash is in special tanks made of copper or high-quality stainless steel. Vats are reminiscent of laboratory vessels with an elongated neck. Thus, the metal will take on a characteristic aftertaste of sulfur; under the influence of oxidation, other chemical reactions will occur that are important for obtaining an additional taste “color” of whiskey. Also, copper and steel are heated relatively evenly, as a result of which the mash will not “burn” in any particular zone of the vessel.

In the first stage of distillation, the mash turns into a weak thirty-degree wine, and after the second stage of distillation, its strength increases to about 70 degrees. Next, the resulting distillate is diluted with pure water to obtain a composition with a strength of 50-60 degrees.

It is important! In the second distillation process to select the middle fraction, and the initial and “tail” (those that leave the distillation apparatus at the beginning and the end of the process) are merged.

Whiskey aging procedure

The classic aging procedure takes place in special oak barrels. By the way, purchasing of this container is common in Spain according to a tradition known since the 18th century. Even then, the practice of insisting whiskey in sherry barrels imported from Spain turned out to be very successful and profitable from an economic point of view.

At this stage, the final formation of the taste and aroma bouquet takes place. The liquid acquires a characteristic golden-caramel hue due to the “pulling” of certain pigments from the wood. Other, equally important chemical reactions also occur in barrels.

Note! Premium whiskey ages in fortified wine barrels and more budgetary – in oak bourbon containers or new clean wooden vessels. American whiskey is aged in a new container, and Scottish and Irish – in already used barrels for brewing port or sherry.

The estimated aging time of the drink is from three to five years. Some varieties are aged for ten or even thirty years.

Blending process

This procedure is not strict in the production of whiskey, but it significantly increases the preparation time of the drink – blending requires additional aging in oak barrels for several months so that the distillates form a single bouquet. For comparison, in the production of single malt whiskey, this process is excluded.

The essence of blending is to provide the buyer with a consistent and authentic taste of the original strong whiskey. This procedure also helps to diversify the line of whiskeys produced, only changing the proportions of the distillate blending.

Blending is a procedure for mixing distillate of different aging times. There is no standard procedure – each manufacturer has its format. For example, the volume of mixed varieties can be fifty, and they can vary both in aging time and in taste.

Bottling stage

At this stage, sometimes the drink is additionally diluted with water so that its strength meets factory requirements. After that, the whiskey is bottled and sent to retail outlets.

The composition and benefits of whiskey

The classic composition of whiskey is a grain component, purified water and sugar. As a grain base can use various components:

  • for Scotch whiskey – barley;
  • for the Irish, rye and barley;
  • for bourbon, rye, wheat, and corn, respectively.

Preferably, the water for the whiskey is spring. Whiskey is considered a drink of average calorie content – a little more than 230 kcal per hundred grams.

It is important! The unspoken rule for the production of whiskey – it should not contain artificial impurities, flavors or flavors, as this is a natural product.

The benefits of whiskey are undeniable:

  • improves the gastrointestinal tract;
  • cleanses blood vessels, promotes active blood circulation;
  • the ellagic acid in its composition neutralizes free radicals, thereby preventing the aging process of the body;
  • activates the work of mental activity;
  • low sugar reduces the risk of diabetes;
  • suitable for external use as a reliable antiseptic.


After the final exposure, the beverage still passes through the filtration stage through special membrane filters to give the liquid crystal clearness and to separate it from small fractions; This is all that goes behind the production of the magic that you get in a fine shot of whiskey

Smoothies & Appetizers

Benefits of Whey Protein Isolate

Protein powders or supplements are not something that is strange for people who are in a part of the world of fitness and bodybuilding. For lactose-intolerant people, whey protein isolate supplements can be added to your diet. The supplements of wheat protein isolates have a very high level of protein and are available in various flavours and with additional sweetening substances. Whey protein isolate can easily be digested and is often purchased as a powder supplement. Here are the 5 Benefits of whey protein isolates

1.  Immunity Booster

Whey protein can help to improve immunity–we can, therefore, conclude that it improves immunity for learning. Bodybuilding requires high-intensity exercises and if the amount of glutathione decreases it may increase nerve and gastric problems. Glutathione (GSH) is our body’s antioxidant system which regulates our glutamine levels in relation to the immune system aspects. It can be complemented by whey protein, which is also an important source other than the essential amino acids necessary for our immunity.

2.  Prevents Breakdown of Muscles

The key aspect of high intensity is the absence of protein synthesis in muscle to prevent muscle breakdown. It can also occur if you try to increase muscle size but it is not accompanied by the intakes of protein. The isolates of wheat protein are taken up in the bloodstream more rapidly, thereby helping the digestion of protein, which means avoiding muscle breakup. Negative protein balance may also cause similar side effects, which are known to allow whey protein supplements to withstand muscle dimensions and strength and encourage protein synthesis.

3.  Reduces Appetite

Building Muscles by starving to get in shape during workouts is not good, especially when the body quickly burns fat. The secretion of ghrelin that may add to the cravings of the snack makes hunger torments feel. Studies indicate the significant reduction in such a hunger pangs by taking whey protein supplements. Because of the lack of protein rather than sugar, it sounds like the craving and the energy becomes a sugar treat. Alternatively, eating whey protein shakes or bars will reduce appetite because the body already has sufficient protein. this should always be avoided.

4. Aids Fat Loss

You want to cut the former and retain the latter between fats and muscles. The fat, cholesterol, and carbon-saving whey protein will minimize caloric intake. You are able to preserve your muscles and burn fat efficiently with whey protein insulation consumption by using it as an alternative to a controlled calorific diet.

5. Increase Muscle Mass and Strength

It obviously is aimed at building body or spending extra time at the gym in the hope of gaining muscle strength. Whey protein can be taken to eliminate your diet’s fats and to alter them by using pure protein. Muscle mass is developed with lean tissue and whey protein production, which helps to heal muscle strains after the exercise. During practice, whey protein supplements were a proven method to increase the muscle size and thus vigour and endurance one hour before and after training sessions.

Smoothies & Appetizers

Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies

You know those times when your kids devour a specific food, and you get all excited so you go out and buy a whole bunch of said food, only to realize that your child was really only into that food on that particular day?  So I’ve been in the habit of buying about ten bananas every week because for a couple days Cameron just loved them.  Paige also eats the occasional banana, when there aren’t any other options.  But as of lately neither of my kids really dig bananas.  Thus, they’ve been turning brown in our fridge.  That’s what spawned the idea for a banana cookie (since my entire family is sick of me making quick breads!)I found a lovely recipe online but modified it to have less sugar and more whole grains.  If you are Gluten Free you could use brown rice flour instead of the white whole wheat.

Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies


  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 5-3 large ripe bananas
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 cups white whole wheat flour **
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. nutmeg
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ cup chocolate chips


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl beat the sugar and butter until combined well.
  3. In a small bowl mash the bananas until they are a puree, then add the baking soda. Mix and then allow to sit for about 5 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile in a medium bowl add the flour, salt, and spices.
  5. After the five minutes is up, mix the bananas and the sugar/butter mixture into the large bowl. Then slowly add all the dry ingredients into the large bowl.
  6. Mix well, then fold in the chocolate chips.
  7. On a greased baking sheet put out 20-25 small cookies. Bake for 10-13 minutes!


** If you follow a Gluten Free of low FODMAP diet, you can use brown rice flour.On Thanksgiving we were running behind and while our guests arrived at 2pm our food wasn’t ready until 3pm.  Being the terrible hosts that we are (ahh! need to work on that) we didn’t have any appetizers out.  Drinks were flowing, obviously, but nothing to nosh on.  I grabbed these cookies out of the freezer and they were the perfect way to tie everyone over until the bird was ready!  I hope you enjoy.

Smoothies & Appetizers

Just Make a Smoothie

Generally speaking my kids are very good about eating their fruits and vegetables, but sometimes they go through phases where they only eat fruit, and they steer clear of all veggies (Cameron has never loved vegetables the way Paige does, but even Paige has her weeks when she refuses them).  I use smoothies as a vehicle for vegetables (mainly spinach), as a way to get rid of foods that are going bad in the fridge (mainly bananas), and as a way to get more dairy/calcium/vitamin D into my non milk loving three year old.  The best part is, if they don’t eat the smoothies, I do (hint: make smoothies that you will enjoy in case your children refuse them!)

Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie

1 banana

3-4 Tbsp plain Greek yogurt

1 Tbsp cream peanut butter (“not crunchy” – says Paige)

Enough milk to cover the ingredients (we use unsweetened vanilla almond milk)

Optional: Chia seeds for more fiber, and/or 1/4th of an avocado

Ok, next; I have a favorite night time snack that consists of milk and blueberries, and cocoa powder blended up.  Sometimes I add a dollop of whipped cream on top or a scoop of vanilla Greek yogurt.  I turned this into a smoothie, Paige didn’t like it, Cameron loved it.

“I don’t like it”; Paige

If Cameron could talk he would have said; “Mom, this is the sh*t”

He ate it so fast I was afraid he would get brain freeze

Blueberry Chocolate Smoothie

3/4 cup frozen blueberries

2 tsp. unsweetened cocoa powder

Optional: 1/4 cup packed fresh spinach, chopped fine

Enough milk to cover berries **

(** If you’re feeding your young one, use full fat milk (cow or soy or coconut), otherwise I use unsweetened vanilla almond milk)

Last is my favorite; Spinach with banana and mango.  Paige didn’t like this one, but Cameron absolutely loved it (and was whiny when it was all gone).  Truthfully, Paige didn’t even try it since it was green.  Yes, that can be a problem when you add spinach.  I could have added blueberries to this, and used less spinach and it wouldn’t have been green, but I wanted it to be green!  One good thing did come out of this smoothie creation; Paige saw mango and asked to try it (she’s had it before but it’s probably been a couple years, we rarely buy it) and she loved it. So, toddler tries newish fruit and likes it, that’s a win.

Green Mango Smoothie

1/2 mango, fresh or frozen

1/2 banana

Handful of spinach, fresh, chopped

Enough milk to cover the top

** I used whole milk because I knew my 14 month old son would be consuming it. If I had made this for myself I would have used unsweetened vanilla almond milk. I bet this also would have been good with Paige’s favorite; Horizon Vanilla Milk (I hate that she loves this stuff, it’s loaded with sugar but oh well.  I’ve been cutting it with regular milk at times to wean her off!) &&

“I want more!”

He almost sucked the straw in too.

Summer time means smoothie time, so I’ll be making more smoothies for sure (and posting them on Instagram most likely).  Here are a couple others from my previous blog posts; Kiwi Basil Smoothie and Peanut Butter Green Monster Smoothie.   Also, have you ever added an avocado to your smoothie?!  It’s amazing. Give it a try.

Smoothies & Appetizers

Santa’s North Pole Peppermint Smoothie

Santa might pine for cookies when he enters your home to deliver gifts, but before his long journey he enjoys a nice peppermint smoothie for some protein, calcium, and fiber.  Didn’t you know? Yeah, this is what holds him over for his long journey on Christmas Eve.

Santa’s North Pole Peppermint Smoothie


  • 2 cups loosely packed frozen yogurt or vegan coconut ice cream
  • ¾ cup light coconut milk
  • 1 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1 frozen banana, sliced
  • 1 cup ice cubes
  • Peppermint candies to garnish
  • More coconut milk to thin the smoothie, as desired


  1. Blend all ingredients in a blender, adding soy or almond milk if needed. Top with the peppermint garnish.


** This is a low FODMAPs recipe. If you are lactose intolerant you should be able to handle the frozen yogurt, as it only has about 8-10 grams of lactose. If you can’t handle that much, use a hemp or coconut yogurt.

Nutrition Information

Serving size: 1 smoothie/shake Calories: 450 Fat: 21 g Saturated fat: 19 g Carbohydrates: 56 Sugar: 32 g Sodium: 97 mg Fiber: 5 g Protein: 7 g Cholesterol: 8 mg

Nutrition Highlights:  Good source of protein and iron, excellent source of fiber and vitamin C.

Although Santa needs the extra calories and fat so he can make it across the World in one night, you may prefer something a bit lighter. So, if you want this to be lower in calories and fat replace the higher fat light coconut milk with almond milk or soy milk.  It will still taste fantastic.

And if you do’t have handmade peppermint snow (you don’t?!) just use crushed up candy canes. Easy!

Have a very Merry Christmas!  I’ll be back on Thursday with a delicious slow cooker cod chowder.

Smoothies & Appetizers

Pumpkin Oat Chia… Smoothie?

I like to think that people test their recipes before publishing them, but sometimes I wonder if that’s true.  I was searching for a pumpkin smoothie the other day and came across one that sounded unique; with oats, pumpkin, and chia seeds.  Three ingredients I love, of course.  I made the smoothie and while it was absolutely divine, it certainly wasn’t what I would consider a smoothie.  Hence the title of this blog post.  The recipe was called a smoothie, but I’m calling it a pudding, because that’s definitely what it was.  I ate this with a spoon.  You could try to drink it, but good luck (I much prefer eating my food anyway, don’t you? Rather than drinking it.  Just sayin’)…

Pumpkin Oat Chia Smoothie/Pudding


  • 1 cup cooked steel cut oats, cooled (this is about ½ cup dry)
  • ½ cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 5 ounces (or ½ of a standard sized can) pure canned pumpkin **
  • 1 Tbsp. chia seeds
  • 7 drops Stevia (or any other favorite non-nutrative sweetener)
  • 1 tsp. pumpkin spice


  1. Add all ingredients to a blender or Magic Bullet.
  2. Serve cold, and enjoy with a spoon (or make into more of a smoothie by adding more almond milk and possibly some ice!)


** Pumpkin contains FODMAPs (specifically, polyols). If you would like to omit the pumpkin and use mashed banana or even sweet potato (~1 cup, mashed, of either) you could do that. I follow a low FODMAPs diet and could handle the small amount of pumpkin in this smoothie, so you may be able to as well (you could always just add less, if you’d like).

Nutrition Information

Serving size: 1 smoothie (half the recipe) Calories: 309 Fat: 9 g Saturated fat: 1.2 g Carbohydrates: 43.8 m Sugar: 5.7 g Sodium: 118 mg Fiber: 13 g Protein: 14.7 g

Nutrition Highlights: Excellent source of vitamin A (336% DV), calcium (47%), and iron (32%)If you’re looking for a breakfast or snack to hold you over for hours, literally, hours, this is it.  The chia and the oats swell up in your stomach and helps keep you feeling full, in a non-bloating way.  I still have no gotten sick of pumpkin. Have you?  I’m waiting for the time in January when all the canned (BPA-free lining, of course) pumpkin goes on sale.  I’ll be making pumpkin smoothies, pumpkin oats, pumpkin ice cream, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin stuffed shells, pumpkin parfaits, you name it, I’ll continue making it even as winter comes to an end and Spring start to approach. My goal is to turn into a pumpkin.

Well I hope you had a great weekend.  I made ten loaves of my “famous” pepperoni bread over the weekend (it’s so good, I get more and more people requesting a loaf each year!).  I will post the recipe tomorrow.  If you’re looking for a gift to give out to friends, or something to bring to a holiday party, this bread will do the trick!

If you’re like us, here in Ohio, you were trying to stay warm and cozy this weekend.  It’s been the colder than normal around here, with more snow fall than we’ve had in December since about 1980, so they say.  It’s insane.  I think it’s supposed to warm up a bit this week, but I’m not holding my breath.  Either way, I hope everyone enjoys their week.  Hopefully a nice long break is right around the corner for you!  “See you” tomorrow!.

Smoothies & Appetizers

Peanut Butter Green Monster Smoothie

I know what you’re thinking; “Peanut butter in my green monster smoothie? Gross”. Right? That’s what you’re thinking, I know it, I can read your mind.  Or perhaps you’ve already discovered that this combination is actually quite delicious. I mean really, peanut butter tastes good with everything, don’t you think?  Let’s face it, while the Paleo diet (“lifestyle”) might be popular, I just don’t understand how anyone could live without peanuts/peanut butter (that is, unless you’re allergic).  Mixing peanut butter and spinach is actually quite nice when it comes to smoothies because, while the spinach definitely makes this smoothie green, you really can’t taste it at all.  In fact, if the smoothie wasn’t green I bet you would never even know there was spinach in this delicious concoction.  But the peanut butter? That you can taste.

Peanut Butter Green Monster Smoothie


1 medium banana

1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk

2 Tbsp. powdered peanut butter (such as PB2)

1 scoop vanilla Whey protein powder

1 cup fresh spinach (loosely packed)

1-cup crushed ice

** NOTE: If you are following a low FODMAPs diet, this recipe is free of FODMAPs (just be sure to use a protein powder that does not contain inulin/chicory root).


  1.  Add all ingredients to a blender. Blend until smooth.  Enjoy!

I promise, this combination is a winner.  And while summer may be quickly fading away, I think smoothies can definitely be a fall and winter treat too (just like soup can be a summer treat, even though it’s hot).

Estimated Nutrition Facts for 1 serving (entire recipe)


Nutrition Highlights:  Excellent source of fiber, protein, vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium and iron

I think this is the perfect smoothie for a) breakfast or b) post workout.  All that protein is great for your first meal before starting a busy day, and/or for repairing muscles after a tough workout.


QUESTION:  Have you ever used spinach in a smoothie? What about kale? You could certainly use kale in this recipe instead of spinach, but first read my tip for using kale in smoothies.

Any fun plans for this Labor Day? I’m heading over to our local Labor Day Arts Festival.  I typically bring $50 and buy something for the house, if I find anything neat (fifty dollars barely gets me anything, but if I bring more I might spend it because there are always so many wonderful pieces of art at this event.)  It’s so fun!  I’m no artist, but for one day a year I really get into art.  It’s amazing.  Have a great day everyone.

Thanks for reading!

The Candid Rd

Smoothies & Appetizers

Mint Chocolate Chip Smoothie

As you know, we grew mint this year.  In fact, had I not asked everyone on Facebook and Twitter whether or not we should put our mint in a pot, and had everyone not warned us that it would grow like crazy, we’d probably have a backyard taken over by mint.  At this point in the summer our mint is no longer thriving (I think we got too much rain), but a few weeks ago, when it was, I made mint chocolate chip ice creamand this mint chocolate chip smoothie (after all, mint and chocolate is my second favorite flavor combination, other than peanut butter and chocolate.).

I put my smoothies in a martini glass because I’m cool like that.  Just accept it.  Yes, this is a virgin smoothie.

Mint Chocolate Chip Smoothie

Serves 1


2 Tbsp chia

1-cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk

1 Tbsp. chopped dark chocolate chips

1 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder

1/3 cup loosely packed fresh mint

1/4 cup chopped ice (optional, but I like my smoothies cold!)

4-6 drops liquid Stevia


  1.  Mix the chia and almond milk in a small bowl, and allow to form into a gel in the fridge.  This should take ~40 minutes.  Be sure to stir every 10-15 minutes.
  2.  Mix all the remaining ingredients in a blender or Magic Bullet, from the chocolate chips through the Stevia drops.
  3.  After blending the ingredients, add the chia gel and stir until well incorporated (you may also wish to add everything together in a blender and just pulse a couple times).  Garnish with a few extra chocolate chips and some mint if you wish.

**NOTE:  If you are following a low FODMAPS diet you will be happy to know that this is low FODMAPs!

This was just so refreshing out on my back porch one 90-degree day.  I sipped on this for about 30 minutes, and then came in to find chocolate all over my face. It was glorious.

Estimated Nutrition Facts for 1 smoothie

Nutrition Highlights: ~5 grams plant-based omega-3 (from the chia seeds), excellent source of fiber (whoa!), vitamin A, vitamin C, iron and calcium.

Question:  What’s your favorite sweet or savory combination of flavors?  I’ve told you my two favorites; chocolate and peanut butter, and chocolate and mint.  But then there is also ketchup and mustard (Nick thinks I’m crazy to combine the two condiments on things like hotdogs. But I think he’s crazy for not combining!).

Thanks for reading!

 The Candid Rd

Smoothies & Appetizers

Kiwi Basil Smoothies

I was at a wellness event the other day and was looking at the smoothies they were selling, for six-dollars each!  I could have made them all myself, for less than two-dollars (and they provided the recipes for each one of these smoothies….so of course I took a copy to-go).  Since we’ve been gardening I’ve been searching high and low for good smoothie recipes with fresh herbs.I’ve been “experiminting” (haha) lately with mint because our mint has already started growing out of control (get ready for some seriously minty posts!).  I’ve also been experimenting with basil, because even though ours hasn’t grown much yet, I want to be ready when it does.  Are you one of those people who buys a bunch of fresh herbs for one recipe, only to throw the remaining away because they don’t get used?  This happens to me a lot, especially with basil (hence the reason I’m growing my own).  Now, I know I could make pesto, and I often do, but what about a basil smoothie?  I realize that I can add just about any herb to a smoothie, but I recently found out basil is not only tasty, but absolutely delicious in smoothies! So, don’t waste your remaining basil…use it in your smoothies.

Kiwi Basil Smoothies

(Modified version of this recipe)

Serves 1or 2


2 kiwis

1/2 banana

Juice from 1 grapefruit **

1 packet sweetener (caloric or non-caloric, I used a brand of stevia)

1/4 cup fresh basil

1/2 cup crushed ice


Blend well in a Magic Bullet, Nutribullet, or blender of your choice.

** NOTE:  If you are following a low FODMAPs diet you don’t want to use grapefruit for your citrus.  You could try orange juice instead, or another citrus like lemon or lime.

Here are some more basil recipes to choose from, in case you’re not sold on the smoothie or pesto idea.  Basil is full of nutrition (ie: vitamin K, iron, calcium, and fiber). Don’t let it go to waste!

Estimated Nutrition facts for 1 smoothie (entire recipe)

Estimated Nutrition Facts for 1/2 of entire recipe (if you make 2 servings out of this recipe)

QUESTION: Do you have any good herb-infused smoothies to share? Did you know that Monday was National Herbs and Spices month?!  Yeah, that’s right!

Stay tuned for a mint chocolate chip protein smoothie I’m trying to invent.  I have the idea in my head, now I just need to produce something fabulous.  Have a wonderful Thursday everyone!

Smoothies & Appetizers

Basil and Lemon Iced Beverage (Motivational Monday)

It’s officially Spring (although we woke up to 3 inches of snow this morning). Have you started to think about what plant in your garden?  If you don’t have a garden, perhaps you are thinking about planting some tomatoes or a small herb garden (after all, you can grow herbs in your kitchen!).  One of my favorite herbs (one which sadly we’ve never grown before) is basil.  It may not be one of the 10 herbs that can aid in weight loss, but in my opinion it can definitely be a weight loss herb.  Maybe not because of any miraculous component that it contains, but instead because of all the delicious recipes (that are also light) that can be made with basil.Wondering what those recipes are?  You’ll just wait for this summer, I’ll be posting basil recipes all summer long. I can’t wait.  And I’m starting today, with this Basil and Lemon Ice Beverage.

No, this is not an extra dirty martini.  I just think drinks are more fun served in martini glasses.

Why am I posting this, you ask?  Well, for a few reasons.  First, I want you to get excited for my future basil recipes.  And second, I feel like spring and summer are the perfect time to start educating people about the importance of reducing added sugars, specifically in their beverages (after all, this study linked 180,000 global deaths on sugary drinks….WOWZA!). Many of us crave iced coffee beverages or colas when it gets hot outside, but instead of grabbing for something with sugar it’s a good idea to have a plan in mind to prevent you from drinking your sugar quota for the day, in one sitting (btw, the American Heart Association recommends no more than 24 grams of added sugar for women, and 36 grams for men, per day.  Read more here and here).  One of my favorite things to drink is a simple naturally flavored, 0 calorie seltzer water as a substitute to sweetened drinks or boring ice water.

We all know that added sugars are popping up in the most unlikely places in our food supply (we can’t say that desserts and sugary drinks are the only sources of our added sugar.  Heck, those “nutrition bars” that are so popular can sometimes have more than a day’s worth of added sugars!).  Many of the people I work with are addicted to added sugars that come from “healthier” drinks like tea.  Ok, they aren’t healthy, but many people think teas are healthy, and forget that they can often be loaded with sugar. In fact, many of the bottled teas on the shelf can have just as much sugar as sodas and pops.

39 grams of added sugar in this peach tea.  Ummmm, that’s more than a day’s worth of added sugar. You may as well drink a cola!  Trust me, this is not good for you (unless it’s an every once in a while treat, OR unless you manage to fit it into your diet, which I suppose can be done, as long as you aren’t getting any more added sugars throughout your day.  Yikes. My suggestion? Get the unsweetened bottled teas, or brew your own.)

If you need a refreshing (and light) drink, try making your own.I got this recipe from a customer at the grocery store where I work.  She said she had just received a Vita Mix for her birthday, and this recipe was in the cookbook that came with it. I don’t have a Vita Mix, but I thought I could try it with my Magic Bullet.  I’m sure it wasn’t the same, but it was certainly refreshing!

Basil and Lemon Iced Beverage
Makes one serving


1/2 cup chopped ice

2 cups water
Splash of lemon/lime or plain soda water (optional)

1 lemon (all the juice and 1 tsp. zest)

1/4 cup chopped basil

2 tsp. stevia (or other sugarless sweetener)


Blend in a Magic Bullet, blender or VitaMix.  Blend until the beverage is to your desired thinness (I liked mine with a little bit of the basil floating to the top….)
Optional: Add a splash of soda water for some extra fizz and pizzazz!

Nutrition Facts

1.5 grams sugar (from lemon, not added)

~20 calories

Some of the basil pieces floated to the top, but I sort of liked that texture in my drink.  This was so refreshing.

Ok, let’s get back to the garden talk.  Nick and I have been thinking about our garden and have decided on only planting four things this year.  Yeah, last year our garden got a little overgrown….

This year we’re keeping it simple;

Butternut Squash 
(to make soups, sauces, and to stuff with delicious foods)

(to make zuchini noodles, zucchini boats, and to grill on our gigantic outdoor grill)

(for bruschetta, caprese salads, summer salads, and salsas)

(let’s face it, basil makes everything taste better in the summer!)

Oh yeah, did I mention we will also be growing corn and spaghetti squash? Yeah, Nick seems to think we live on a farm.