PINA COLADA SMOOTHIE

Woohoo, hallelujah spring has finally arrived in Minnesota! I can see green grass under the snow drifts in my back yard. Folks around here can’t recall a winter with so much snow since the 70’s. It is melting now. There are threats of flooding but this too shall pass.

Pina Colada Smoothie

What does this have to do with a pina colada  smoothie you might ask? Spring is here so I am celebrating this in my vintage kitchen by creating a smoothie that reminds me of the tropics and the warmer weather to come.  Before long my tulips and daffodils will be blooming. I purchased the vintage small milk jugs at my local antique store here for only $2 each. Now that is a bargain!

This smoothie contains only four ingredients so you can whip this up in no time in your blender or magic bullet. It serves as a quick breakfast in the morning, a delicious snack or dessert and it is very nutritious so there is no guilt involved.

This smoothie deserves superstar status due to its high protein content, low calorie content, and it also provides 29% of the recommended daily value (RDV) for Vitamin C, 8% of the RDV for calcium and is an excellent source of potassium.  As you may be aware protein is essential for building and repairing tissues in the body and manufacturing hormones and enzymes. It is also an important building block of bones, muscles, cartilage and blood. Protein also has a very filling effect so that you are satisfied after you have consumed it in a meal or a snack. Vitamin C promotes healing and is beneficial for our immune system. Calcium is important for building and maintaining strong bones and teeth. Potassium plays a role in maintaining fluid balance in the body as well as keeping our brains, nerves,  heart and muscles functioning normally on a constant basis. Occasionally, a physician may recommend that a person limit potassium if they have kidney failure so always discuss your food intake with your personal physician, health care provider or dietitian if you have concerns about your food intake.

 

PINA COLADA SMOOTHIE
Author: 
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 5.29 oz container of Dannon Lite Toasted Coconut flavor Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup crushed pineapple, juice packed, undrained
  • 1 medium banana, frozen
  • 1 cup crushed ice
Instructions
  1. Place all of the ingredients in your blender or magic bullet. Blend until all ingredients are combined well. Serve immediately.
Notes
If desired, you may substitute a different brand of yogurt. I have used organic yogurt or even plain or vanilla Greek yogurt. You may wish to add 1 packet Stevia or honey to taste with the plain yogurt. If using the plain or vanilla flavored yogurts, you can add 2 tsp of flaked coconut to give the smoothie the coconut flavor.Dairy Free/Paleo diets may substitute a dairy free yogurt such as a soy or almond milk yogurt as an example.

This food blog is not intended to provide medical or nutritional advice. Please contact your own health care provider for medical and nutritional advice.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: ½ recipe Calories: 163 Fat: 0 grams Saturated fat: 0 grams Trans fat: 0 grams Carbohydrates: 36 grams Sodium: 23 mg Fiber: 3 grams Protein: 8 grams Cholesterol: 5 mg

 

Happy Spring to all my readers and may God bless you in every area of your life!

PUMPKIN ‘N SPICE LATTE

Brr, there is a chill in the air. It is the last week of October and 75% of the colorful fall leaves have fallen from the trees here in Minnesota. We had a high temperature of 52 degrees today but there will be one final heatwave of this Indian summer since temperatures are predicted to be a sunny and warm 70 degrees tomorrow just in time for the weekend! We like to sit out on out front porch and sip on hot Pumpkin N Spice Lattes or hot apple cider this time of year and enjoy every minute outside that we can since we know that winter weather with cold wet snow and ice is just around the corner. On the bright side, that means Christmas is coming! Since Halloween is next week, I enjoy enjoy preparing recipes using pumpkin this time of year. Just love this latte recipe as well as pumpkin muffins and pumpkin bread. I saw a recipe for pumpkin soup on a recipe blog that I would like to try. I also plan on creating a pumpkin smoothie recipe very soon since I love my breakfast smoothies!

Pumpkin ‘N Spice Latte

I tried the Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte a couple of years ago and went to work in my kitchen to create a very similar tasting beverage with fewer calories and no artificial flavors or additives. The homemade version is very economical too compared to purchasing this beverage. You can expect to pay $3.00-$5.00 for one serving of this beverage at your local Mc Donalds, Starbucks or Caribou coffee. A nutritional comparison reveals that the Starbucks 12 oz Pumpkin Spice Latte using non-fat milk and 2 tablespoons of whipped cream contains 200 calories, 6 grams of fat, 4 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 30 mg of cholesterol, 170 mg of sodium, 40 grams of carbohydrate and 11 grams of protein. Made with whole milk, the calories increase to 330, as well as 14 grams of fat, 9 grams of saturated fat, 50 mg of cholesterol. The protein and carbohydrate content remain the same when prepared with whole milk. Plan to walk for 30-60 minutes to burn this off!

Autumn Garden

PUMPKIN 'N SPICE LATTE
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1 serving
 
Ingredients
  • 5 oz almond or 1% milk
  • 2 TB fresh pureed or canned pumpkin
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla or almond extract
  • 1 tsp granulated Stevia or 1 TB sugar or Agave Nectar
  • ⅛ tsp cinnamon
  • a dash of nutmeg
  • 7 of brewed coffee
  • Topping:
  • 2 TB Reddi Whip topping or non-dairy topping such as whipped coconut milk
Instructions
  1. Place milk, coffee, vanilla or almond extract, pumpkin, sweetener and spices in a 12 oz mug. Whisk together until well combined. If desired, you may place these ingredients into your magic bullet or blender and blend until smooth and pour into your tall coffee mug. Microwave for 60-70 seconds until the beverage is hot. Spray the Reddi Whip topping on the beverage and sprinkle with pumpkin pie spice if desired. Serve immediately. You may substitute ¼ tsp pumpkin pie spice in place of the nutmeg and cinnamon in this recipe if desired.
Notes
The recipe was calculated using the Stevia sweetener and almond milk. Nutrition information was calculated using My Fitness Pal recipe calculator.

If desired, add 1 scoop (approximately 1 TB) of vanilla protein powder to the recipe and blend this with the other ingredients in a blender or nutribullet prior to heating to increase the protein content of the beverage.

Information in this food blog is not intended to be medical advice. Consult your personal health care provider for medical and nutritional advice for yourself.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 12 oz Calories: 111 Fat: 3 grams Saturated fat: 0.5 Trans fat: 0 grams Carbohydrates: 6 grams Sodium: 79 mg Protein: 1 gram Cholesterol: 0 mg

 

Pumpkin has a very healthy nutritional profile as well. One half cup of pumpkin contains only 50 calories, 5 mg of sodium, 10 grams of carbohydrate and 3 grams of fiber. Pumpkin is very filling due to the fiber content and the thick creamy consistency. Pumpkin is a rich source of nutrients. One half cup provides 200% of the Daily Value for Vitamin A, 70% of which is beta-carotene and also provides 4% of the Daily Value for Vitamin C. Beta carotene if important for our eye and skin health and also fights some forms of cancer such as prostrate and lung cancer according to some research studies on this nutrient. Vitamin A and Vitamin C act as a cell defense squad since they are both antioxidants and act as shields for your cells against cancer causing free radicals.

We love to take fall leaf watching tours this time of year. Nature certainly shows the awesome handiwork of God in this earth! Enjoy these scenic fall photos that we shot with our camera.

Beautiful waterfalls, Minneopa Park, Mankato
Waterfalls at Minneopa State Park, Mankato, MN
Scenic Overlook of the falls at Minneopa State Park
Autumn Scene, Minneopa State Park, Mankato
Scenic Overlook of the Mississippi River, Alma Wisconsin
Beautiful Seven Mile Creek Park, north of Mankato, MN
Colorful Seven Mile Creek Park
A small creek wanders through Seven Mile Park.

 

Exploring Minneopa Park, Mankato, MN
Fall Splendor at Seven Mile Park, north of Mankato, MN
Overlooking the Mississippi river near Alma, Wisconsin
Hummingbird feeding on the flowers