Ever since I scored a Vitamix for Christmas, I've been cooking like crazy and have come to the realization that the majority of meals I enjoy involve some kind of blending. From pretty-hued smoothies to seriously addictive pates to no-fail pureed soups to dreamy dessert balls (heh), here are the recipes that are getting tons of play at the Casa de Alcala.
Beet-n-Berry Smoothie (adapted from Choosing Raw)
Not only is this smoothie ridiculously delicious, but the fantastic color reminds me of both Birchbox and my favorite luxury dessert shop in Paris, Fauchon.
Yields: 1 serving
1 medium beet, steamed, roasted, or raw (if you don't have a high-speed blender, use steamed or roasted)
1 cup fresh or frozen mixed berries
1/2 cup fresh orange, sectioned
1 cup of almond milk
-If using raw beet, carefully peel beet and cut into squares.
-Blend all ingredients together.
Fresh Almond Milk (adapted from Kimberly Snyder)
This is a total game-changer. Homemade almond milk tastes way more rich, sweet and filling than the store-bought kind. You'll never turn back.
Yields: 7 cups
4 cups raw almonds (soaked overnight)
7 cups of filtered water
-Rinse the soaked almonds very well in a strainer.
-Place the soaked almonds and the filtered water in a blender and blend on high until smooth.
-Taking a nut milk bag (I use this one), pour the mixture through the cloth into a separate container.
-Squeeze all the liquid out of the cloth with your hands (this is the fun part!) and save the almond pulp for other recipes (like the one below!).
-Store the milk in a container with a lid in the fridge and use within 3-4 days.
Raw Cacao Truffles (adapted from Kimberly Snyder)
Here are the aforementioned dreamy dessert balls. This is the ideal way to get the most out of the almond pulp you have left over from making fresh almond milk. So insanely good.
Yields: 10-15 balls
3 cups of almond pulp
7 raw dates, pitted
3/4 cup raw cacao powder
1 Tbs. organic coconut oil
Pinch of Celtic sea salt
1 cup shredded, dried unsweetened coconut flakes
-Combine all the ingredients (except for the coconut flakes) in a large bowl and mix thoroughly.
-Take a small amount of the mixture and roll into golf-sized balls.
-Dip each ball in a separate smaller bowl containing the coconut flakes.
-Freeze overnight to harden the truffles.
Macadamia Nut & Sundried Tomato Pate (adapted from Kimberly Snyder)
I made this at my juice tasting party a few weeks ago and my girls gobbled it up. This is the recipe to make if you're entertaining guests or if you're looking for a quick dish to bring to a potluck or picnic.
Yields: 4 servings
1 cup of raw, unsalted macadamia nuts
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup sundried tomato, chopped
1/4 tsp Celtic or Himalayan sea salt
2 tbsp finely chopped parsley (I like Italian)
Black pepper to taste
-Soak macadamia nuts in water for two hours. Rinse.
-Place the macadamia nuts in a high-speed blender or food processor with the lemon juice, and blend well.
-Next add the chopped sundried tomato and sea salt, and blend again.
-Spoon the mixture into a bowl, and mix the chopped parsley throughout the whole mixture.
-Scoop mixture onto a salad for a quick lunch, or use it as a dip with jicama sticks (my fave).
Butternut Squash Soup (adapted from Local Foods)
My fiance loves this soup. It's perfect for dinner and holiday parties.
Yields: 2 servings
1 large butternut squash, peeled and cubed (here's an easy how-to)
1/2 cup chopped onions
1 Tbs. raw coconut oil
3 garlic cloves
4 cups of vegetable broth
Pinch of Celtic sea salt to taste
-Heat a large pot over medium-high heat. Add coconut oil and chopped onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft, about 3 minutes.
-Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
-Add the squash and the broth. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to a simmer, and cook until the squash is very tender, about 20 minutes.
-Transfer small batches to a high-speed blender and whirl until completely smooth.
-Return the soup to the pot and add salt to taste.
-Pour soup into a bowl and top with steamed kale for added color.