Archive for Beverage

Creamsicle Milk on Memorial Day

    It was hot, it was humid and we spent half of Memorial Day doing the parking for the local Georgetown Memorial Day ceremony.

    Twenty volunteers met Sunday afternoon to go over the plan. Don and several others put out the signs, traffic cones, and yellow ‘caution’ tape late that evening. I am usually non-functional in the morning so I had my clothes, hat, badge, shoes, and socks lined up and breakfast staged on the counter plus a Chocolate Mystery Muffin from Ricki Heller’s Sweet Freedom recipes ready for a mid-morning snack.

    We had to meet at the parking lot by 7:30 on Memorial Day morning. There were the usual complement of stand-by emergency vehicles, cars, golf carts, bicycles, and people arriving from all directions. Several of us had radios for communication. When 1200 people all try to arrive at the same time it gets hectic, traffic backs up a bit, and people get really creative with the parking. At my end of the lot there were two spaces containing five (5) vehicles, 3 golf carts, a Smart Car, and a motor scooter.

Five Vehicles in Two Spaces

Five Vehicles in Two Spaces

    By the time 500 vehicles had been crammed into 300 spaces then funneled out again and the music and speeches were over we headed home, closed the garage, and did not venture out for the rest of the day. For refreshment I literally created this flavored milk drink on my run through the kitchen on the way to the bedroom to change into comfortable clothes.

Creamsicle Milk
8-10 ounces of milk in a glass (Almond Breeze)
9 drops liquid stevia (from Sprouts)
4 drops pure orange extract

Pour. Add sweetener and flavoring. Stir. Sip slowly and gratefully.

Mom (Gretchen)

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Chickpea Smoothie

   Don and I went grocery shopping early this morning. I had been up for about an hour, had a mug of tea with almond milk, a homemade muffin, and edited a chapter of Cousin Ray’s book. That was not enough breakfast to sustain me through two weeks worth of grocery shopping.

   When we finally returned and unloaded the groceries I was way past starved. I just grabbed the most (&least) likely looking leftovers and threw them in the blender.

   It turned out to be surprisingly tasty as well as very satisfying and nutritious. It actually took me through an hour of weeding flower beds before I needed lunch. So I wrote down the ingredients and will be making it later on this summer with other fruits in season.

Strawberry-Chickpea Smoothie

Strawberry-Chickpea Smoothie

Strawberry-Chickpea Smoothie
6 very large strawberries (about 1/2 cup of fruit)
1/2 cup home-cooked chickpeas/garbanzos
Milk to make up to 2 cups on the blender jar (I use Almond Breeze)
Vanilla extract (about 6 drops)
Coconut or almond extract (about 6 drops)
Sweetener to taste (I use liquid stevia)

Set up your blender.

Wash the strawberries, trim, cut in half, and drop them into your blender jar. Add the chickpeas, almond milk, coconut (or almond) extract, and the amount of sweetener you usually use for 16 ounces of liquid.

Turn on the blender. Give it a couple of minutes.

Get out a glass, turn off the blender and serve it up.

Mom

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Cranberry Juice Drink and Oatbran Banana Muffins

    Rita recently sent me the proportions for a juice drink that she has been using on her ‘love your liver’ diet. It is simple, tart, and tangy and each ingredient is something that I already have on hand but had never used in this combination.

Cranberry Drink:
1/4 cup 100% pure cranberry juice (no sugar)
1 tablespoon lemon juice, preferably fresh
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
8 ounces of water

Rita's Cranberry Drink

Rita's Cranberry Drink

    Baking efforts over the summer left me wondering if I would ever have a successful bread or muffin incorporating bananas. I was nearly resigned to using dry banana muffins mashed up with fresh fruit for a breakfast pseudo-cereal. Then along came Sweet Freedom. These recipes are going over to the gluten-free side so easily that I have enlisted family and friends to enjoy them with me – and they don’t seem to mind!
    The Oatbran Banana Muffins with almond butter are breakfast heaven. The only adjustment that I made to Ricki’s original recipe is to replace the 1 3/4 cups of spelt flour with a like amount of flour blend that I favor in most sweet recipes.
My GF Flour Blend:
1/3 cup tapioca flour
1/3 cup brown rice flour
1/3 cup coconut flour
3/4 cup sorghum flout
1 teaspoon xanthan

Oatbran Banana Muffins

Oatbran Banana Muffins

Mom

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Café Latte, Chai Latte, Latte Latte

   The high heat index has already topped 105*F and summer has just started. Staying hydrated is essential for avoiding heat exhaustion which has always been a problem for me. Some people get thirsty when they need to replenish the liquids in their system but I always seem to bypass that step.
   When we were growing up all we ever drank was ice water. We had a two gallon jug with a push spout and my mother kept it filled with water and ice. We all drank from the tin cup and we waited until whoever had it was finished and then refilled it from the jug. We took that jug and tin cup with us when we traveled.
   Now I have to try to remember to drink fluids on a regular basis. In the winter usually one 20-once refillable bottle of water is enough in addition to an occasional cup of tea or coffee. In this Texas summer weather you need a lot more than that especially if you like to work outside in the yard.
   So this is what I have come up with to minimize calories and sugar and maximize caffeine and flavor. If you cannot handle the caffeine then substitute your favorite decaf versions. I do this once in the morning and once in the afternoon with juice and water between. A few drops of vanilla jazzes up so many things, like fruit, juices, cereal, and/or hot coffee – that I keep an old recycled squeeze dropper bottle filled with vanilla extract to save trying to drip some out of the original bottle every time. This is about 40 – 50 calories; whatever is in the milk. Of course you can go all out and use real cream (oh yummy) but I can’t handle the calories.

Iced Cafe Latte

Iced Cafe Latte

Ingredients:
6 ounces strong hot coffee or flavored tea, instant or brewed
1 cup ice chunks (they don’t seem to come in cubes anymore)
6 ounces unsweetened milk (dairy, almond, soy, etc.)
2 packets of stevia sweetener blend
A few drops of vanilla extract – gluten free
A few drops of almond extract or a shake of cinnamon – gluten free

Directions:
1. Brew your beverage or boil water if you are preparing instant. Make it extra strong. Pour it into a tall (at least 20 ounce) glass. The glass should be about one-third full.
2. Add the sweetener and vanilla. If it is tea add a sprinkle of cinnamon or allspice. If it is coffee add a few drops of almond extract. Dissolve completely.
3. Add ice until the glass is about two-thirds full.
4. Add milk to fill the glass. Stir until the ice is mostly melted and then sip and enjoy. It is amazing what a pick-me-up you get simply by rehydrating when your body needs it.
Mom

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