Emma’s Powerhouse Peanut Butter Smoothie

Well, it’s that time again!  The leaves are falling and the temperature is dropping. The days are growing shorter (boo) but so is the grass!!!  And what else is happening?  It’s the unofficial start of “Eating Season”. Starting with Halloween, as the kids go door-to-door soliciting neighbors for candy to give to Dad and the parents hang out eating bowls of chili, moving through November and the much anticipated Thanksgiving meal (and leftovers!),  surviving the Christmas holiday parties loaded with eggnog and desserts, and culminating in New Year’s Eve, New Years Day and (it should be a holiday) Superbowl.

We decided in our family to get a little ahead of the upcoming “eat-fest” and baking season by incorporating some regular exercise in our schedule.  Emma already began when she started high school with daily fitness classes  and has now pulled us into her routine by creating a family workout schedule complete with planks, lunges, push ups, working with bands, leg lifts and wall squats, to name a few.  There will also be some various yoga sessions, walks and runs and visits to the Rec Center.smoothie

Emma also realized the importance of having energy to make it through these workouts, so she created a smoothie that was inspired by our morning breakfast smoothies, Pinterest and her love for chocolate and peanut butter!  It’s a very easy recipe with a few simple ingredients. The result is a fantastic tasting smoothie that can help provide a bit of extra energy as you work those muscles in an effort to shed a few pounds from all the exercise and prepare for…candycornturkeyanddressingcakescookieschilinachos…!!

 

Emma's Powerhouse Peanut Butter Chocolate Smoothie

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

1 banana

2 tbsp creamy peanut butter

1 tbsp cocoa

1 tsp honey

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/2 cup almond milk

1/2-3/4 cup crushed ice

dark chocolate chips (optional)

Combine all ingredients in a smoothie machine or blender.  Blend until smooth.

For a lower-fat version, substitute powdered peanut butter (yes, there is a ‘powder’ for everything!)

 

 

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Chocolate-Avocado Mousse

I’m not going to lie.  I am NOT a big fan of the avocado.  I know, I know…full of fiber and antioxidants, fatty acids and potassium, can lower cholesterol…”wonder food!” they say, beloved of the health conscious. Of course you could say similar things about blueberries and almonds…

So the other night after dinner Tonya told us she is trying out a new dessert recipe that she would be sharing at an upcoming event and wanted our opinion.  Very secret and hush-hush as she added the final preparation touches.

IMG_3703What she presented was delicious looking chocolate mousse topping a couple of  lady-fingers and covered in pecans.  After having several scrumptious bites of this silky and smooth mousse and knowing there HAD to be something unusual about this dessert, I asked her “What’s the catch?”  She explained, much to my surprise, that the chocolate mousse was prepared with…yep, avocados.

Chocolate-Avocado Mousse has been a favorite vegan and healthy chocolate alternative for several years as the avocado replaces a lot of the dairy and saturated fat ingredients usually associated with mousse, such as eggs and heavy whipped cream, without sacrificing the taste.

Needless to say, before knowing the details, I would have sworn the Chocolate-Avocado Mousse was just ordinary…mousse.  And it’s quick!  And it’s easy!  Seriously.  No baking, no boiling…no cooking!  Just combine the ingredients, blend in a processor and…Done.

Chocolate-Avocado Mousse

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

2 ripe avocadosIMG_3701

1/3 cup cocoa powder

1/3 – 1/2 cup honey or maple syrup

1/4 cup almond milk

dash of salt

Peel and pit the avocados.  Combine all the ingredients in a food processor and puree until smooth.  Remove from processor and refrigerate at least an hour.  Serving suggestions:  Serve with  lady-fingers or  lemon wafers.  Top with nuts, berries or chopped chocolate.