Tropical Green Smoothie

This Tropical Green Smoothie is truly a dream come true. It’s packed with nutritious ingredients to power us through our end of summer adventures, AND it tastes like dessert thanks to Yoconut’s vanilla yogurt.

I’m pretty obsessed with all yogurt (my go-to is full fat greek), and Yoconut is such a fun way to switch it up.  Plus, it means that all my dairy free friends get to share in the deliciousness.

tropical green smoothie

I recently received a hand delivered (!!) trio of yoconut yogurts, and have totally fallen in love with them. I snacked on the plain one straight up with granola, put the pineapple flavor on pancakes, and used the vanilla in this smoothie. It makes the smoothie so creamy and sweet, and as an added bonus the yogurt has super simple ingredients and minimal sugar.

Frozen bananas are usually my go-to ingredient for thickening smoothies, but as lower sugar smoothies have become more popular, I’ve been experimenting with cauliflower, coconut chunks, and more low sugar options. But I hadn’t found an option I really liked until I used Yoconut!

Honestly, I love sweet, fruity smoothies, so I’m definitely not kicking bananas to the curb, but I do love having different options for all my moods/cravings.

I hope you love this smoothie (and Yoconut) as much as I do!

If you make this Tropical Green Smoothie, be sure to leave a comment or let me know on Instagram!

Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
 
Ingredients
  • 1 (5 oz) container vanilla Yoconut yogurt (or preferred coconut yogurt)
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • ½ cup shredded zucchini
  • 1 cup frozen mango cubes
  • Small handful ice
Instructions
  1. Add all ingredients to blender and pulse until smooth.

 

And if you’re into smoothies, be sure to check out these recipes:

Matcha Green Smoothie

Hydrating Strawberry Smoothie

 

Earl Grey Latte (London Fog)

A couple weeks ago, I visited Seattle on a school trip and fell completely in love. Everything I knew about Seattle came from my 8th grade obsession with Twilight and my current obsession with Grey’s Anatomy, but I was convinced that I would like Seattle. And it was one of those lovely moments in life where I liked the city just as much as I thought I would. My favorite part of the trip was spending an afternoon hanging out in Local Color cafe in Pike Place Market, chatting with friends and enjoying an Earl Grey Latte.

The entire experience was just so cozy- the chilly day, friendly baristas, and a delicious latte, that I can’t help smiling whenever I think about it. So to allow me to relive a portion of that moment, I have created my own Earl Grey Latte (also known as a London Fog if you want to get fancy, which I often do).

Local Color cafe wasn’t the first place I tried an Earl Grey Latte (it’s been one of my go-to Starbucks orders for years), but this one was by far the best I’ve ever had. It was super simple, sweet, and mild. Unlike most coffee shop beverages that get me a little hyped up on caffeine and/or sugar, this Earl Grey Latte made me feel relaxed and even a little sleepy.

I’ve tried to replicate all of these aspects in my own recipe, and I’d say I’ve succeeded. So settle in with a good book, turn on your favorite TV show, or invite a friend over for tea, and make this Earl Grey Latte for all the relaxed and cozy vibes.

London Fog
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: Serves 2
 
Ingredients
  • 2 bags Earl Grey tea
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Boil water, then pour into 2 mugs and add a tea bag to each.
  2. While tea brews, add almond milk to saucepan over medium-low heat.
  3. Add maple syrup, cinnamon, and vanilla to saucepan.
  4. Stir milk mixture, then heat until milk is just barely simmering (about 5 minutes).
  5. Whisk milk until frothy, then divide between mugs.

 

Chocolate Chai + Wellness Beyond Food

Recently, I’ve been thinking a lot about health beyond food. I’ve found that each person’s nutritional needs are so specific that it can be hard to navigate all the  advice out there. Personally, I love reading blogs, but all the different advice on nutrition and movement and health can get a little overwhelming. So today I’m just bringing you a chocolate chai latte and some of my favorite articles/ blog posts on wellness BEYOND food. Enjoy!

Chocolate Chai Latte
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup milk (I used dairy milk but you can use whatever you like)
  • ½ tbsp cacao powder
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • ¼ tsp vanilla
  • ½ tsp maple syrup (optional)
  • 1 cup freshly brewed coffee
Instructions
  1. In a saucepan, bring milk to a gentle simmer.
  2. Add spices, vanilla, and maple syrup (if using).
  3. Leave saucepan over low heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Remove saucepan from heat, and strain milk mixture into a mug.
  5. Add coffee and enjoy!

 

Wellness from the Web:

Thoughts on learning to move intuitively from The Balanced Blonde. This totally resonated with me because there are times in my life when I absolutely LOVE exercise and there are also times when I’m really not feeling it, so listening to my body and trusting myself is really important to me.

I put a lot of emphasis on eating foods that satisfy my, and I love this piece on the difference between satisfaction and fullness from the Imma Eat That blog.

In my mind, pursuing health means ADDING new practices and habits to your life instead of trying to eliminate old ones. So this article from Mind Body Green about practicing Lent by committing to developing a yoga practice really inspired me.

This emotional and reflective post from In it for the Long Run really made me think about what I want to be consuming and what I want to be sharing on my blog and on social media. I love the self awareness and mindfulness that I gained from reading the post.

I’d love to hear about the content that has inspired YOU lately, so feel free to link to cool posts (your own or someone else’s) in the comments!

Hydrating Strawberry Smoothie

As soon as the weather begins to get warmer, I crave smoothies like no other. There’s just something about a cold, creamy smoothie on a hot day that makes me feel absolutely incredible. It also takes me back to when I was a little kid and would get Jamba Juice as a special treat after preschool on really hot days. But then my local Jamba Juice closed, and smoothies suddenly became $9, and I had to start relying on myself to create crave-able concoctions, such as this Hydrating Strawberry Smoothie I’m sharing today.

Hydrating Strawberry Smoothie

Usually, I like packing my smoothies up with protein and fats alongside the fruits and veggies to give them a little more staying power. You can see some examples of that here and here, but for this one I was really just craving something 100% fresh and hydrating. It’s a little more like a juice, and therefore I’ve found that it’s definitely not a meal all by itself. (Yikes, that makes me think of juice cleanses. SO not my style).

However, this smoothie is so perfect and refreshing as a light snack, or alongside some eggs and toast for breakfast.

The creaminess of the banana, sweetness of the strawberry, and crispness of the bell pepper come together for an absolutely delicious blend.

If anyone needs me, I’ll be lounging outside sipping Hydrating Strawberry Smoothies until September.

Hydrating Strawberry Smoothie
Author: 
Recipe type: Smoothie
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: Serves 1
 
Ingredients
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 3 strawberries
  • ⅓ cup chopped bell pepper (I used an orange pepper)
  • ¼ cup cold water
  • ¼ cup ice
  • Optional: cashew butter for topping
Instructions
  1. Add all ingredients to blender and mix until completely smooth.

 

Sesame Latte

Recently, I noticed a sesame latte on the menu of a cafe across the street from my school. Completely intrigued, I abandoned my classic order (a chai latte) to give the sesame latte a try.

I was a little suspicious, but I figured the nutty, toasty, creamy flavor of sesame seeds could be a good complement to the basic coffee + milk combo that I know and love.

Sesame Latte

Unfortunately, when I went to order I was told that the sesame latte wasn’t actually offered anymore. I was disappointed for a moment, but a chai latte was more than enough to console me. Still, the idea of a sesame latte lingered in my mind, and I eventually decided to try to create my own.

This cozy drink absolutely delivers on all the complex, warming flavors I had hoped a sesame latte would have, and I totally think all coffee shops should serve it.

If you try this recipe, be sure to comment or share with me on Instagram!

Tahini Latte
Author: 
Recipe type: Beverage
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: Serves 1
 
Ingredients
  • ½ cup brewed coffee
  • ½ cup your favorite milk (cow, almond, coconut, etc)
  • ½ tbsp tahini
  • ½ tsp maple syrup
  • ¼ tsp vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Combine milk, tahini, syrup, and vanilla in a saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Whisk constantly as milk comes to a gentle simmer.
  3. Pour coffee into a mug, then top with milk mixture.
  4. Serve immediately.
Notes
If you would like frothier milk, you can mix all ingredients except coffee in a blender before adding them to the saucepan.

 

Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Brew (Copycat Starbucks Recipe)

I don’t drink much coffee, so when I do you can bet it has a major impact. Like an “is this really just coffee or did they spike it with something” kinda impact. So naturally, my trick for crunch time essay writing is to go to Starbucks, order some form of latte/iced coffee/vanilla sweet cream cold brew (!!), and instantly transform into Super Katherine, who just happens to be an essay writing machine.

While employing this strategy last week, I discovered the best Starbucks drink I’ve ever had. The Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Brew that got me through my history paper was delicious, but that caffeine high was intense (and the ingredients are probably pretty sketchy) so buying one will definitely be a very occasional indulgence.

Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Brew

Luckily, I was able to come up with a pretty great copycat recipe at home, which I can make with decaf coffee without the fear of being judged by a barista and has much less sugar than the original.

This is definitely going to be a regular part of my morning routine, and I’m confident it will become part of yours too!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Copycat Starbucks Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Brew
Recipe type: Beverage
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
 
Ingredients
  • ½ cup dairy free milk (I used Ripple Foods)
  • 2 tsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 cups cold brew coffee (I prepared mine using a french press, but if you don't have one there are lots of great tutorials online)
  • ½ cup ice cubes
Instructions
  1. Stir together dairy free milk, maple syrup, and vanilla in a small pitcher or cup.
  2. Divide ice between two glasses, then pour half of the cold brew into each glass.
  3. Add ¼ cup creamer to each glass, and serve with a straw for the true Starbucks experience.

 

I used Ripple Foods milk in this recipe because I love its creaminess and protein content, so I want to share it with you, but this post is not affiliated with Ripple Foods in any way.

Matcha Green Smoothie

If you’re like me, then the idea of facing all your responsibilities again after a (hopefully) lovely period of relaxation gets your stomach twisted up in knots. Whether yours are severe, sailor type knots or more like loose bows, your feelings are absolutely valid and deserve to be addressed.

For me, addressing these feelings of anxiety means reminding myself that even as my life gets busier I’m still allowed to practice self care and spend time with people I love. This really should be a given- of course I’m allowed to make some tea, put on a face mask, and call my best friend whenever the heck I want- but I think when I get stressed I begin to see self care as a waste of time.

This is most definitely FALSE because loving and caring for yourself is one of the most important investments you will ever make. At the same time, I completely understand the panic of being pressed for time and feeling like you can’t take a moment to combat the pressure/anxiety/fear you’re feeling.

And that, my friends, is where this smoothie comes in. Breakfast and magic anti-stress elixir all in one! What could be better than that?

Ok, for real though. While I can’t actually promise this will cure your anxiety, it does have some legitimate brain boosting benefits. Spinach is rich in magnesium, which acts as a “natural ‘chill pill'” according to MindBodyGreen. Bananas supply potassium, which helps lower blood pressure, while turmeric contains mood boosting antioxidants. Matcha, however, is really the star of the show. While matcha contains caffeine (meaning this smoothie will help you ditch your coffee addiction), it also contains the amino acid L-theanine, which promotes relaxation. Most matcha can be a little pricey, but you can find my favorite affordable brand here.

When I was growing up, my dad would say “when the going gets tough, the tough get going.” So if you’re feeling a little stressed, get going to the kitchen and make this smoothie!

Matcha Green Smoothie
Author: 
Recipe type: Breakfast, Snack
Serves: Serves 1
 
Ingredients
  • 1 small frozen banana
  • ½ cup frozen spinach
  • 1 inch piece fresh ginger
  • ½ tbsp coconut oil
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • ¾ cup brewed matcha tea
Instructions
  1. Peel ginger.
  2. Add all ingredients to blender.
  3. Blend until smooth.
  4. Drink and feel your stress melt away.

 

All nutrition information comes from this article and this article from MindBodyGreen.