Happy Blizzard 2016 from the DC metro area! It’s snowing at a rate of 2-3 inches of snow PER HOUR…and it hasn’t stopped since yesterday (Friday) at 1pm. We’re all bundled up inside our apartment enjoying the down time and excuse to be homebodies.
Last night we set up the hookah in our living room (Keith picked banana flavored shisha, which is tobacco free and promised me that the smoke is really just water vapor) and we rewatched Ex Machina. If you haven’t seen it yet, watch this movie! Plus if you’ve seen the new Star Wars movie you’ll get a kick out of seeing Oscar Isaac (Poe Dameron) and Domhnall Gleeson (General Hux) playing totally different roles in Ex Machina. When I watched Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens for the first time it was driving me crazy as to where I had seen both those actors before–they play totally different roles in Ex Machina.
I fell asleep half way through rewatching, because apparently I can’t handle two glasses of wine anymore. I took a long hiatus from alcohol, almost six months without consuming a full drink, there were sips here and there, because it’s difficult not to want to try a well mixed gin and tonic (my favorite), or a nice glass of wine, so it makes sense that my tolerance is so low.
Anyways, back to my main point–I’m home, so I’m cooking, and baking, and making smoothie creations! It’s great. I love when I have the chance to do this all day, with nothing else on the schedule but whatever I want to do. The one down side to being in a white out blizzard though is that I’m limited to the ingredients we stocked up on. The one main ingredient I’m missing is greek yogurt, plus I’m running low on almond milk. Greek yogurt goes amazingly well in baking recipes as a substitute for butter, oil, sour cream, mayo, cream cheese, and buttermilk–check out Nifty Thrifty Saving’s greek yogurt substitution chart.
This morning, after having a glass of wine last night, I felt the need to make something packed full of healthy ingredients for breakfast. I’m usually craving sweet foods first thing in the morning, and decided to make carrot cake. After searching Pinterest for the perfect sugar-free recipe and coming up more than short (almost every recipe called for 1/2 to 2 cups of sugar), I decided to alter my search strategy and see what came up when I searched “carrot cake smoothie”. You might be thinking carrots in a smoothie sounds gross or strange, but let me tell you, if you have a high powered blender (such as a Ninja, like I have), then your carrots will be reduced to a smooth consistency and your smoothie will be all sweetness and nutrition. Carrots are a great, different ingredient to use in sweet smoothie recipes because they don’t have much of taste, besides sweetness, and they’re packed with “β-carotene, fiber and many essential micronutrients and functional ingredients. The presence of high concentrations of carotenoids, especially β-carotene in carrot roots makes them inhibit cancers, free radical scavengers, anti-mutagenic, and immuno-enhancers”. Adding carrots to a smoothie, or making a smoothie that centers around this wonderful vegetable is not only delicious, but a smart choice for your overall health!
This treat can be made as a breakfast, a snack, or a dessert. I used Gimme Some Oven’s Carrot Cake Smoothie as a template and modified it to my tastes/ingredients on hand. My version also ended up being VEGAN! It came out lovely! I hope you’ll give adding carrots to your smoothies a try, and if you do, let me know how it goes.
Vegan Carrot Cake Smoothie
- 6 – 10 slices frozen banana
- 1 cup baby carrots, or cut up carrots
- 1/3 cup – 2/3 cup unsweetened vanilla coconut yogurt
- 2 – 3 teaspoons agave syrup
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 dash ground nutmeg
- 1 dash ground ginger
- 1 handfull walnuts
- splash of almond milk to reach desired consistency (or other type of dairy free milk)
- Add all ingredients to blender (I didn’t puree my carrots first, just eyeball measured them as whole baby carrots) and blend on medium for about 1 minute.
- Check the consistency and taste. Too thick? Add more almond milk. Not sweet enough? Add another teaspoon of agave and a dash more of cinnamon. If you added more ingredients, blend again for about 30 seconds, or until you reach desired smoothie consistency.
Pour into a cup and enjoy your Vegan Carrot Cake Smoothie! If you’re on instagram and try to make this smoothie, tag it #glutenfreeinvestigation so I can follow you and hear how it came out.