How to Winterize Your Smoothies

Winterize Your Smoothies | The Organic Beauty

I love green smoothie. I’m not going to go so far as to say I moved all the way across the country to California so that I could have green smoothies for breakfast every day without any consequences — but that isn’t as far from the truth as you would think.  I really LOVE my morning green smoothies.  They are my absolute favorite breakfast, and I find them to be the most wonderful vehicle for getting insane amounts of nutrients and superfoods into my body in a very efficient fashion.

But as great as green smoothies are, drinking them in the colder months actually messes with your health, digestion, energy, and immunity.  Eating and drinking cold foods, especially during periods of cold weather, forces your body to work harder to warm it up and digest it.  Cold foods can throw off the delicate balance of your stomach lining, can increase phlegm, decrease immunity and cause or exacerbate digestive issues like constipation and diarrhea.  No fun.

In both Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda, eating and drinking warm foods is a big part of keeping one’s body running smoothly and optimizing digestion.  I get chastised about my smoothie habit by my acupuncturist every time I see her, and I am in a constant heated back and forth with the Ayurvedic practitioner inside me every time I opt for a smoothie or salad in the middle of December.

So what’s a smoothie and salad loving girl to do?

Seasonal Cooking with Milk & Eggs: Wintery Kale Beet Salad and Green Toddler Muffins!

SPONSORED POST

fullsizeoutput_4639

In this installment of our collaboration seasonal cooking with Milk & Eggs farm direct grocery delivery, I am really excited to talk about more wintery seasonal eating, particularly of greens.  Dark leafy greens are one of the most nutrient-rich and delicious foods that come out of winter, and this is the perfect time of year to increase our intake of these blood-purifying, immunity-boosting foods.

To get the most out of the season’s local produce, specifically greens, nothing beats the Milk & Eggs Organic Farm Sampler Bag (pictured below), which is the most budget friendly way I’ve found to get a load of delicious, local, seasonal cooking going on in my kitchen and onto my family’s plates.  At the insanely reasonable price of $29.99, you get SO MUCH ORGANIC PRODUCE, it’s kind of crazy.  This week, I received a big bunch of kale, a bag of spinach, two heads of green leaf lettuce, celery, beets, a bell pepper, 3 heads of broccoli, a few bananas, an assortment of citrus fruits and a carton of strawberries.  WHAT?!  This usually costs me $50 or more at Whole Foods or my neighborhood natural foods store.

Seasonal Cooking with Milk & Eggs | The Organic Beauty Blog

In addition to being super budget friendly, the organic farm sampler is a great way to get all the fruits and veggies you need for the week!  This one bag has yielded countless salads, smoothies, soups, and toddler meals this week, and with the addition with a few other items in our standing order (organic greek yogurt, sprouted whole grain bread, wild-caught salmon), I’m able to feed our family of three delicious, healthy meals that come straight from our local California farms.  Boom!

My two favorite seasonal cooking recipes this week are lovely little showcases of winter’s bounty that made perfect use of my Organic Farm Sampler Bag!

The BEST Lactation Cookies Around

The BEST Lactation Cookies

I never thought that I would have to worry about milk supply with a one year old, but alas.  Little M turned 14 months and started nursing like an infant again (growth spurt? developmental leap? who knows!), and my boobs just can’t keep up!  I’ve been upping my lactogenic tinctures and eating more milk boosting foods in general (read my 6 Ways to Boost Milk Supply for details on both of those), but I needed a little extra oomph.  That’s where these delicious lactation cookies came in! Seriously, this recipe is the best one I’ve found, and I’ve searched far and wide.

L.A.: Affordable Farm-Fresh Groceries, Delivered!

Affordable Farm-Fresh Groceries Delivered | The Organic Beauty Blog

As a busy mom and business owner, grocery shopping can sometimes feel like an unnecessary hassle.  Don’t get me wrong, I love our weekend family trips to stock up on pantry items and the like, but for our weekly supply of organic produce, eggs, and seafood, it’s amazing to have high quality, affordable food come straight to our door.  Yes, health food stores like Whole Foods deliver through services like Instacart, but I can’t seem to place a single order under $200 at that place.  The food is great, but is it really necessary to drop that much cash on organic food?

Thankfully the answer is no.

Recently I discovered Milk & Eggs Farm Grocery Delivery, which connects health conscious, locavore consumers directly to local farmers (kind of like a CSA), at a 50% discount.  You can set up recurring monthly subscriptions that are completely customizable, or order one-off items.

Super Yummy Lactation Balls!

Yummy Lactation Balls

Continuing on our lactation kick here at The Organic Beauty, we have a new delicious recipe from a beautiful mama, my friend Tara at Tara Josette Snacks.  Tara is part of the amazing community of new mamas that I’m so lucky to be a part of here in LA, and she’s always bringing these super duper yummy lactation balls to our mommy playdates.  No joke, you guys, these things are FOR REAL.  After eating a couple delicious little balls, my milk got flowing like crazy, which was especially crucial after my supply took a hit when I starting my period again : ( (For more ways to naturally boost milk supply, click here).

The delicious lactation balls have a bunch of ingredients that are amazing for milk supply (like brewer’s yeast and oats) and quality (like coconut oil and nuts).  They are naturally sweet and are perfect for satisfying a sugar craving healthfully.  They’re loaded with healthy fats, protein, and whole grains, so they’re also awesome for keeping you full and stabilizing blood sugar. The long and the short of it.. They’re awesome.  Here are a few words about them from the lovely Tara:

Dinner Tonight: Vegan Potato Leek Soup

Vegan Potato Leek Soup | The Organic Beauty Blog

Even though winter in Santa Monica comes in a very mild 50-60 degree variety, the evenings do get chilly enough to light the fireplace and incite a desire for soup.  Delicious warming soups are literally the only thing that used to get me through the gross New York winters I was subjected to for years, so I’m happy that the tradition can continue here on the West Coast, if under slightly (ok majorly) less depressing circumstances.

I’ve been posting some of our soup creations on my Instagram and received a request for recipes, so I’ll do my best to post our favorites here throughout the season, to inspire you all (especially those of you who are freezing your little butts off in the rest of the country ; )

Our weekly soup is influenced in no small part by what that week’s CSA bounty was, which keeps us on our toes and keeps things interesting.

This week, we got a ton of leeks, potatoes and herbs, so this soup was pretty much a no-brainer.  I added a can of organic coconut milk at the end to make it creamier, healthy-fattier, and a touch more decadent — and I highly recommend you do the same!  Almond milk will do in a pinch, but I really like the particular flavor that the coconut milk lends.  Enjoy!

Vegan Potato Leep Soup

Serves 4

V / GF

2 tbsp olive oil
6-8 medium potatoes, cubed (any kind will do, I used a mix)
2 leeks, halved and sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
6 cups vegetable broth (I use water and Seitenbacher Vegetable Broth Powder)
1 can organic coconut milk
1 green onion, chopped (for garnish)
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the potatoes, garlic and leeks and sauté for 5-7 minutes, or until leeks begin to soften.  Add the pepper, thyme and bay leaves and give it a stir.  Add the broth, and bring to a boil.  Cover, lower heat, and simmer until potatoes are soft, about 15 minutes.  Remove from heat, and remove bay leaves.  Puree with an immersion blender.  Add coconut milk and salt to taste. Puree until creamy.  Garnish with chopped green onion.

Keep your Belly Happy with Chia + Probiotics

Kunachia on The Organic Beauty Blog

A happy digestive system is the basis of a slender waistline, glowing skin, and elevated mood, so I am a huge proponent of daily steps to boost digestive health.  I take my probiotics daily, I add awesome soluble fiber to my daily smoothies and oats, and I eat all kinds of prebiotic foods like greens, bananas, and alliums every day.

But when I find a way to combine some of these steps into one, I get super pumped. Enter: Kunachia, a perfect blend of organic, milled chia seeds and probiotics.  Loaded with omega-3’s, antioxidants, fiber and protein, Kunachia scrubs your intestines of toxic buildup, while populating your gut with beneficial bacteria.  This nutritional one-two punch is super powerful for all areas of your health, making it the perfect addition to your morning smoothies, oats, yogurt, and desserts!

Seasonal Summer Party Recipes

We threw a lovely little housewarming party a bit ago, to celebrate our beautiful new Santa Monica home and all we love about west coast living.  (Check out our Sustainable Summer Soiree Inspiration post for all the serving ware and decorative items we used!)

We used our weekly Out of the Box Collective CSA box of fresh, local, seasonal and organic produce as a jumping off point to create our entertaining menu, and filled in the blanks from Whole Foods and food ol’ trusty Trader’ Joe’s.

Eco-Friendly-Summer-Soiree

Continue Reading…

Delicious Fresh Pumpkin Bread

By: Natasha Uspensky, CHHC

Fresh Pumpkin Bread | The Organic Beauty

Ok yes. I may have gone a little bit gourd-crazy.  I had like 5 of those festive puppies sitting around in my kitchen, and decided that Sunday night was the perfect time to put them all to good use!  I roasted up a sugar pumpkin (used in this recipe), a delicata squash, an acorn squash, and another squash of unknown origin (thanks CSA!) for a whole week’s worth of yummy soup and healthy lunches.

But this bread takes the cake (so to speak!).  Made with fresh organic pumpkin (none of that canned crap!), it makes for a delicious breakfast and has the consistency of a perfect pumpkin pie.  Plus it’s gluten-free and has no white sugar!

To make the pumpkin puree:

Cut a sugar pumpkin in half, remove the seeds (wash and save them for roasting!), and roast at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.  Let cool, then puree in food processor until smooth (it should have the consistency of apple sauce).  If puree is a little dry, add water to reach desired consistency.

Gluten-Free Fresh Pumpkin Bread

Makes 2 loaves

Ingredients:

1.5 cups fresh pumpkin puree
2 cups coconut flour
1.5 cups gluten-free flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 cup coconut palm sugar
1 tsp salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. allspice
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup almond milk (or more, to reach batter-like consistency)
4 eggs, beaten
1 cup virgin coconut oil, melted
1 cup chopped raw walnuts
1/2 cup organic raisins or dried cranberries (optional)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large mixing bowl, stir together flours, palm sugar, baking soda, salt and spices.  Add eggs, water, almond milk, oil, and pumpkin.  Stir until smooth. Add walnuts and raisins (if using). Pour into two oiled loaf pans. (I actually had a little extra, which I poured into a muffin tin.)  Bake for 1 hour, or until a knife stuck in the middle comes out clean.  Cool for 10 minutes.  Enjoy!

Yummy Fall Apple Cinnamon Oat Smoothie

Organic-Beauty-Fall-Apple-Cinnamon-SmoothieI’m feeling the fall vibes today, with an overcast sky and crisp 60 degree air here in Brooklyn… and nothing says fall like apples and cinnamon.  This yummy smoothie tastes like apple pie in a glass, with the healthy addition of greens to make it a total nutritional super-breakfast.

Enjoy!

Apple Cinnamon Oat Green Smoothie

1 organic apple, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 tsp raw honey (or Active Bee Power Royal Jelly/Raw Honey/Bee Propolis)
1 cup organic greens of choice (or use 1 full scoop of green powder)
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup organic rolled oats, uncooked
1 tbsp raw virgin coconut oil
1 cup almond milk (here’s my easy homemade recipe!)
(Optional) Hemp Protein Powder

Blend until totally smooth. Top with a sprinkle of cinnamon.