One of the hardest parts of being a new vegan (or even an old seasoned vegan) is trying to keep up with all the new products out there. I must have spent over $50 looking for the "right" vegan cheese my first year being a vegan and I have over 50 vegan/vegetarian cookbooks in my arsenal but not all the recipes are the greatest. I’m the first born so I’m used to being a Guinea Pig and now I’m your Vegan Guinea Pig. So here are my recommendations and critiques. Let me know what you think!

Monday, April 29, 2013

Cookbook Review and Giveaway: Superfood Smoothies by Julie Morris


I have a strong aversion to the word “Superfood”. As a dietitian, I think of all fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and whole grains as super food. They are all rich in vitamins, minerals, phytochemical/phytonutrients, fiber, and the right balance of all the essential components your body needs. But it seems the term “superfood” has become a part of the American vocabulary and although I loathe to term I must learn to accept it. I got the book Superfood Smoothies: 100 Delicious, Energizing & Nutrient-dense Recipes just as I was diving deep into my exploration back into smoothies. As I read through the introduction I was impressed at the real world, practical advice the author, Julie Morris, gives readers as well as her thorough explanation of every ingredient in the book. Many of the superfoods she names in the book like Maca and Camu I heard of before in passing but wasn’t very familiar with. Morris not only explains the health benefits of all the superfoods in her book but their flavor profile so you can get an idea of what you’re getting into with these exotic named foods. She also gives a suggested serving size which is helpful in buying the superfoods.

When it comes to buying these superfoods I also wish that Morris could do that for me too. All these little powders, berries and seeds are expensive! This is definitely not a book for a college student on a tight budget. It took me over a week to find most of the specialty ingredients at semi-decent prices. On my first search for Acai powder the results came back with a $40 bag of it at Whole Foods with the next cheapest option being a $31 bag on amazon.com and that is just for an 8 ounce bag. Eventually I was able to find a smaller bag but it was still nearly $16 for 4 ounces. Many of the superfoods called for in this book like Camu berry, hemp seeds, chia seeds, dried mulberries, maqui berry powder, and lucuma powder were similarly expensive. Surprisingly, goji berries were one of my cheapest finds at just $5. Stocking my superfood pantry cost me, literally, $100 which isn’t counting the flax seeds, cacao nibs, maca powder and hemp seeds that I already had in my pantry and didn’t need to buy.

Once I spent my life savings on the promise of a healthier me it was time to start the smoothie making! As a quick tip for those who make smoothies for breakfast, try getting together as many of the ingredients as possible the night before, prep what you can and put all the frozen items together (pre-measured) in a bowl in your freezer, all the refrigerated stuff together and all the dry items together so that in the morning all you have to do is throw everything in the blender and go.  Literally every single recipe in this book looks divine so it was hard trying to decide on which one’s I would try first. The strawberry chamomile and strawberry kombucha immediately stood out to me but I wanted to wait until strawberries are in season to try them so I’ll have to pass on them for now. First I tried the Raspberry Pineapple smoothie (page 145). It sounds benign but it’s filled with bok choy, coconut milk and maqui powder making it a lovely green smoothie without actually being green. I like brown rice protein and flax oil in all my smoothies as a way to sneak in my omega 3’s, make smoothies more filling and get a protein boost in the morning so for every recipe I tried I added 1-2 tablespoons of brown rice protein and 1-2 tablespoons of flax oil as well. The raspberry pineapple smoothie was downright dreamy. You couldn’t taste the bok choy at all and I plan on experimenting by adding more to the smoothie next time. Next up came the Mango Ginger smoothie (page 172) in addition to the obvious mango and ginger there are goji berries, dried white mulberries (which I doubled up), and Camu powder and chia seeds. That’s a lot of super foods in one smoothie. This, by far, was my favorite smoothie of the book. The only thing it was missing to make it complete was a little greens so I might try it with a handful of spinach one day. Even without greens it is quite literally the perfect smoothie. Next up was the Red Velvet Cake (page 143) which features roasted beets! I’m not a beets fan but to make myself a beets fan I planted a ton in my garden for spring but I couldn’t wait to try this recipe out so I bought a couple fresh beets from the farmers market and tried this recipe out. This smoothie is so rich, sweet and creamy that I might have it instead of birthday cake for my next birthday. The list goes on and on of amazing recipes from cookie dough (which really taste like cookie dough), to Pineapple Papaya to Apple with Broccoli. Morris hits it out of the park with this book.

Wait, you didn’t think I was going to tell you about all these fantastic recipes and then not give you the opportunity to try them for yourself did you? First, check out Morris’ recipe for Maqui Banana and Mint Chip smoothies here! Then enter to win a free copy of Superfood Smoothies for yourself by entering below! The winner will be announced next Monday, May 6th!



a Rafflecopter giveaway

19 comments:

  1. Just have made basic fruit smoothies, interested in these additional ingredients.

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  2. I love green smoothies! I make mine with kale, spinach, coconut water, frozen mangoes and pineapple, ginger, half a banana, and sometimes a pinch of cayenne. I often add a vegan protein powder for a little boost. Delicious!

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  3. I love green smoothies made with spinach and kale, ginger, frozen fruit and coconut water. My secret ingredient is a dash of cayenne! Delicious!

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  4. my go-to smoothie is a cup of water, 1.5 cups of blueberries, a banana, some agave and a scoop of protein powder in the Vita Mix

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  5. I use bananas, strawberries, spinach, almond milk & ground flax.

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  6. My favorite smoothie ingredient is Chia seeds!! They're such an awesome Super Food!

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  7. Greek yogurt, apples, and bananas

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  8. I love bananas and spinach!

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  9. I have a smoothie almost daily in the summer. Current fave is pineapple, orange, banana and chia seeds!

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  10. Love kale in every smoothie I make! But, when I want to get crazy, I'll throw in some pineapple juice, oranges, and unsweetened coconut. Dreamy and delicious!

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  11. Bananas are awesome because of their natural sweetness and the thick & creamy attributes they add to a smoothie.

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  12. Bananas, Strawberries, & Vanilla soy milk...classic smoothie...and keeps you "regular" if u know what I mean ;)

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  13. I make a morning smoothie every day with apple juice, banana, strawberries, blueberries, ground flax seed, turmeric, cayenne pepper, gingeroot, lemon and an orange.

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  14. Peaches, frozen bananas, orange juice, lemon juice, and lime juice.

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  15. Interested in finding more recipes sans bananas - one fruit I don't care for, but is in a LOT of smoothies. :)

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  16. I love a simple spinach, strawberry, banana, ginger smoothie :)

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  17. I love green smoothies with coconut water, kale, spinach, ginger, frozen mangoes and pineapple, a banana and a dash of cayenne. Sometime I add vegan protein powder. Delicious!

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  18. Cucumber makes everything better. :)

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