Healthy smoothie ingredients. (Photo via Flickr)
‘Tis the season to overindulge. Fortunately, these cleansing smoothie recipes serve a multitude of purposes: they’re perfect for on-the-go fuel while you’re busy getting in the holiday spirit, and they’re packed with healthy ingredients that will help your body detoxify from the inside out. Follow along with these recipes for delicious drinks that can boost your immune system, provide key nutrients like fiber and potassium, and — most important — still taste great!
A homemade green smoothie is packed with nutrients. (Photo via Flickr)
Cleansing Smoothie Recipes
Tropical Green Smoothie
This smoothie produces a beautiful green color and a hint of exotic flavor. Kiwi is a powerhouse for vitamin C, and pineapple and celery help keep you hydrated.
- 1 kiwi
- 1 banana
- 1/4 cup pineapple, roughly chopped (can substitute frozen pineapple chunks)
- 2 celery stalks
- 2 cups spinach
- 1 cup water (can sub coconut water for extra tropical flavor)
Combine all ingredients and blend. For a thicker smoothie, add ice and/or freeze pre-cut kiwi, banana, and pineapple in advance.
Antioxidant All-Star Smoothie
Berries are the star of the show in this smoothie, which blends up to a vibrant shade of purple. Oats add extra protein while berries boast antioxidants that can help stimulate the immune system and fight sickness.
- 1.5 cups frozen berry mix (blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries)
- 1.5 cups coconut milk
- 1 cup purified water
- 1/8 cup rolled oats
Add all ingredients to blender and blend until smooth. Substitute almond milk for coconut milk if desired.
Cherry-Chocolate Detox Smoothie
It’s dark and rich, but it’s also good for you!
- 1 tablespoon cacao powder (can substitute cocoa powder)
- 2 tablespoons hemp seeds
- 5 red endive leaves
- 1/4 cup frozen dark red cherries
- 8-10 oz. water
- Stevia to taste
Add all ingredients to blender and blend until smooth. Substitute water for almond milk if desired to create even more depth of flavor.
Fall and winter bring a host of healthy-eating pitfalls — just ask Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. In addition to feeling tempted by decadent foods, people often don’t have extra time to cook thanks to busy schedules during the holiday season. Fortunately, if you live in the Metairie, Kenner, and River Ridge areas, there are plenty of fresh, healthy dining options to keep your hunger and your health in check. Unsure of what to order? No matter which restaurant you choose, nutritionists suggest swapping standard sides for a healthier pick like vegetables, choosing entrees that are steamed, trading white rice for brown rice, and skipping empty calories like bread or tortilla chips.
Shrimp and feta from Byblos. (Photo via Facebook)
Healthy Dining Options
Mediterranean & International
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When asked the age-old question “trick or treat?” we definitely stand with team treat. Check out three easy recipes to help you get in the spooky spirit, from “poison” candy apples to a crowd-pleasing dessert dip. Bone appetit!
Photo via Pinterest.
Halloween Dessert Recipes
Poison Candy Apples
Channel your inner Snow White with this sweet recipe.
- 12 small Granny Smith apples
- 12 dowels or wooden candy apple sticks (available at craft stores)
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup light corn syrup
- 1 tsp. black gel paste food coloring
- Note: you’ll also need a candy thermometer
- Wash and dry the apples thoroughly. Place them on a baking sheet and insert the dowels. Using a second baking sheet, line with buttered parchment paper and set aside.
- Place a candy thermometer in a saucepan. Add sugar, 3/4 cup water, and corn syrup, and place over medium heat. Whisk sugar until it’s dissolved.
- Let the temperature rise without stirring until the mixture reaches 310 degrees. Remove pan from heat, and carefully remove the thermometer.
- Add the food coloring and swirl to mix the color completely.
- Swirl each apple through the candy, allowing any excess to drip off. Place on buttered baking sheet.
- Repeat with remaining apples.
Photo via CountryLiving.com.
Owl Sugar Cookies
Simple and sweet! You can make basic sugar cookies using this recipe, or go the easy route and purchase a pre-made slice-and-bake option.
- One package slice-and-bake sugar cookie dough (such as Pillsbury or Nestle)
- Small package of sliced almonds
- 1/4 cup chocolate chips
- 2 tbsp. shelled sunflower seeds
- 1/4 cup whole almonds
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees (or whatever temperature is stated on the back of your packaged dough)
- Set all but one cookie round onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Use the remaining unbaked cookie to make small balls that will become each owl’s eyes. Lightly press two balls onto the top of each cookie, then place a whole almond on its side in between the two eyes for the beak. Add a chocolate chip on top of each dough ball to create the pupil. Use six sunflower seeds (three on each side) to make the owl’s feet. Finally, overlap three sliced almonds on each side to create wings.
- Bake for about 20 minutes until the edge of the cookies are lightly golden. Let cool for 5 minutes on the sheet, then transfer onto a wire rack to continue cooling.
Photo via BuzzFeed.
Perfect for a crowd of hungry ghosts and goblins.
For the dip —
- Shallow, wide dish
- 1 package room temperature cream cheese (8 ounces)
- 1/4 cup room temperature unsalted butter
- 5 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons sifted powdered sugar
- Crushed Oreo cookies (enough to cover the top of the dish)
For decorating —
- Milano cookies
- Black decorating icing
- Candy corn pumpkins
- Gummy worms
For serving —
- Graham crackers
- Apple slices
- Beat together the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add the cocoa powder, brown sugar, vanilla extract, salt, and milk. Beat on low speed until incorporated, then increase to high speed until smooth, about 3 minutes.
- Transfer to desired serving dish and smooth with a spatula.
- Spread the crushed Oreos over the top of the dip to form “dirt.” Use decorating icing to write tombstone messages on the Milano cookies, then stand them upright to create the tombstones. Scatter with candy corn pumpkins and gummy worms to decorate.
- Serve with graham crackers, pretzels, and sliced apples.
Fall is a perennial favorite for so many reasons. The Saints season starts again (who dat!), the weather cools down just a touch, and fall festivals help everyone get in the spirit. There’s also nothing quite like pulling on a cozy sweater and sipping on a warm drink brimming with the flavors of fall. But you don’t have to hit Starbucks for that famous Pumpkin Spice Latte. Save some cash by taking the DIY route — the results are just as delicious!
A homemade pumpkin spice latte. (Photo via Pexels)
Fall Drink Recipes
Quick Pumpkin Spice Latte
Faster than waiting in line at Starbucks!
- 1/4 cup brewed espresso
- 1 cup whole milk, divided
- 1 tbsp. white sugar (or more to taste)
- 1 tbsp. pumpkin puree
- 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Whisk 1/2 cup of the whole milk with the sugar, pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, and vanilla extract in a saucepan over low heat. Simmer for 5 minutes.
- Whisk in the remaining 1/2 cup of milk.
- Pour mixture through a sieve to remove any pulp. Return the mixture to the saucepan and simmer while whisking for 2 minutes.
- Add espresso and whisk until foamy, about one minute.
Too hot outside for a warm drink? Try this iced pumpkin spice latte recipe from A Cozy Kitchen!
The flavors of fall abound in this pumpkin smoothie.
Spiced Fall Punch
As this fragrant mixture simmers on the stove, your whole home will smell just like autumn.
- 2 oranges
- 6 cups apple juice
- 2 1/4 cups pineapple juice
- 3 tbsp. lemon juice
- 8 whole cloves
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
- 1/4 cup honey
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Stud the oranges with the whole cloves, and bake for 30 minutes.
- In a large saucepan, combine the apple juice and cinnamon stick. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and simmer for about 5 minutes. Remove the mixture from heat and carefully stir in the nutmeg, honey, lemon juice, and pineapple juice.
- Add the clove-studded oranges on top and serve hot.
Perfect for when you’re craving fall flavors but the temperature says otherwise!
- 1 can pumpkin puree (16 0z.)
- 2 cups milk (can substitute almond milk)
- 1/4 cup brown sugar (can substitute honey)
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- Add all ingredients to blender along with desired amount of ice. Blend until smooth.
- Tip: you can partially freeze the pumpkin puree and use in place of ice. You can also add a frozen banana to the mixture.
Recipes via AllRecipes
Get more great recipe ideas by checking out all of our Cooking Tips on the blog.
At the Bella Ridge Brown Bag Wine Tasting Party, our residents and their guests tasted 8 different wines ranging from $6 – $38. Sip after sip, votes for the crowd favorites poured in.
Contending for the crown in the Merlot category, we had Chateau Ste. Michelle, Crow Canyon, Swanson Vineyards and Ramspeck. Among the Sauvignon Blanc contenders were Oak Grove Vineyards, Mohua, J. Lohr and Cake Bread Cellars.
The winners? You might be surprised.
- Crow Canyon ($6)
- Chateau Ste. Michelle ($16)
- Ramspeck ($19)
- Swanson Vineyards ($38)
- J. Lohr ($17)
- Oak Grove Vineyards ($8)
- Cake Bread Cellars ($30)
- Mohua ($12)
Turns out your wallet doesn’t have to take a hit for you to snag wine that’s the hit of the party! Win your friends over this weekend with a wine that’s surprisingly inexpensive and incredibly delicious!
To sip on something from this list, visit Martin Wine Cellar or any local grocer!