What do avocado shakes, hummus and nutty protein bites have in common?

Nothing. I’m just posting about them today because I think they are delicious. And also because I am excited to share two of my most recent experiments that did not end in failure (i.e. roasted red pepper hummus and protein bites). Truth be told, I have been making avocado shakes for quite some time – we go wayy back – so I am not as excited about the recipe, but wanted to share it anyways. I certainly don’t want my ol’ friend Avo to feel his numerous merits have been overshadowed by newer and more glamorous food items. That would be a monumental travesty. And no, I am not being dramatic in the least.

Avocado shake (creamy and thick)

So … I am not lying when I say that this LITERALLY (and I am one who detests misuse of this word) tastes like a vanilla milkshake. You really can’t taste avocado at all and it is full of healthy fat! Gooooo FAT! I don’t know about you, but I like my fat healthy (I’m picturing radiant, fit-looking cellulite, just sitting there smiling post-workout). With respect to food items, it’s true I try to get a lot of omegas and MUFAS (mono-unsaturated fatty acids) during the week, with food like olive oil, avocado, dark chocolate … and then on the weekend I let the glory of unhealthy and saturated fats take centre stage. Makes for a perfect balance 😉

The photo shown below with the last two ingredients ommitted and I used my Ninja single serving blender (love that thing) to whip this up in a mere min 37 sec, or some time period that sounds equally efficient.

photo (7)

Ingredients:

– 1/2 large avocado (or 2/3 a small) – about 125 grams (make sure it is nice and ripe)
– 3/4-1 cup of milk of choice OR water and a scoop of vanilla protein powder (my choice, because it makes it super vanilla-y and absolutely scrumptious).
– Dash of cinnamon
– Packet of stevia or sweetener to taste (depending if your milk or protein powder is sweetened, you may need more or less)
– 1/3-1/2 cup of frozen kale or spinach (the latter has less taste, and I like to go for frozen because it makes the shake thicker)
– Tbsp of flax or chia seeds ground (or the latter can be in a “gel” format too)
– Add whatever else you like (Maca powder, vitamin powder, etc.)

——

Roasted red pepper hummus with a “kick”

I have made hummus numerous times, all with different variations (usually a lot of extra garlic … which pleases Ryan’s and my palate but is not as appropriate for a social evening). This time, I decided to throw in a roasted red pepper because I have really enjoyed that flavour when I buy the Sabra brand (one of the best, in my humble opinion). This hummus turned out perfect; not too runny or too thick. Nicely seasoned, with a kick to it that is almost a requisite for anything made in my household (we really, really like spicy foods. If you haven’t already picked-up on that, you will soon enough). Sorry for the crappy photo; our kitchen has terrible lighting and I was not in the mood to setup a crafty photo op with an inanimate bowl of chickpea purée. My bad.

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Ingredients:

– 1/4 cup tahini
– Drained chickpeas (one can)
– Pepper and salt to taste (I often season again after it’s been mixed to make sure it is not bland. While over salting is a terrible thing, bland food is arguably terrible in it’s own way. Just ask my mom, she has a keychain with a spice-shaker on it. I am not kidding.)
– 2 tbsp olive oil
– 1/4 cup lemon juice plus a tbsp (I used the bottled kind because I am lazy)
– 1 tsp pressed garlic (the kind that is in the jar, I think 1/2 tsp equals one clove)
– 1 roasted red pepper skin on but deseeded and destemmed (are those even words? And isn’t that kind of obvious?). I just put one in the oven with my spicy chickpeas & nuts – see recently posted recipe – at around 400 degrees celcius for 20 or so minutes).
– 1 tsp garlic powder
– 1 tsp cayenne
– 1 tsp cumin
– 1/2 tsp arbol chile (not necessary, you can use regular chili powder or none at all).
– 1.5 tsp hot sauce (I used some from the Dominican Republic or Mexico … can’t recall now … so it is a lot spicier than using the mild Frank’s – I could eat that stuff with a spoon! On a side note, at any given time we may or may not have more condiments in the house than food items).

Directions:

In terms of “process” for this recipe, all you have to do is dump everything into the food processor (better than a blender) and mix it up! Gotta love one step, one dish recipes. Eat with chips, pita, veggies, whatever your heart desires.

——

Protein bites (gluten-free)

I love Lara bars and all sorts of other organic goodies, but they do a number on the wallet. I have seen recipes floating around for various food-processed versions of these healthy treats and decided to amalgamate a few and add in my own ingredients or substitutions based on what I had in my cupboard. Chocolate Covered Katie and Vega gave me some ideas. The following items were dumped into my food processor (I should find a synonym for the word “dump” next time, as I don’t think it’s the most suitable for describing a brown glob of food that I am trying to market as really, really tasty):

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Ingredients:

– 1 tbsp maple syrup
– 2 tbsp chia seeds
– 2 tbsp flax seeds
– 5 tbsp almond butter
– 2 tbsp PB2 (which I just happened to recently buy – it is dried, defatted peanut butter powder … actually surprisingly tasty, especially in shakes. You need to add water as per instructions) or just regular PB.
– 1/4 cup almond meal (or make your own by grinding up almonds in coffee grinder).
– Pinch of salt and vanilla to taste
– 1 scoop of vanilla protein powder

Directions:

Make into little or big balls – to each their own – put into fridge and eat whenever you want! More importantly – enjoy!

There you have it. My recipes for the week. While I was finding January to be off to a very slow start … I am really trying to see the light at the end of the tunnel (i.e. Spring) and spend time doing some of these fun leisure things (e.g. cooking, blogging, attempting to knit, etc.). I also have a trip “home” coming up in 4 weeks, thanks to my generous  parents and their travel rewards points, as well as my loving and supportive husband who is encouraging me to go. Can’t go wrong with that combination. Feeling more positive already!

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