Tag Archives: vitamix

Homemade Lara Balls

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Oh, hey there! It seems that once summer hit, I kind of fell off the blogging wagon. But, now that the temps are cooling down and my schedule is returning to normal, I promise to bring many, many delicious recipes into your kitchen! Today I’m going to jump back in with a great snack and on-the-go recipe: Lara Balls.

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These energy bites, are a homemade twist on a Larabar. If you’re not familiar, Larabars are energy bars that use dates and almonds (or other nuts) as there base and build flavors from there. And of course, I love any excuse to used my favorite kitchen tool: our Vitamix!

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These are SUPER easy to make, your blender or food processor does all (most) of the work!

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After the mixture has been processed, it’s time to get your hands a little messy. The mixture will probably seem too loose to be able to roll into balls, and this is partly true. You really need squeeze the mixture in your hands to get it to stick a little before shaping it into a ball. of course, you could also press this into a pan and cut into squares after a few hours in the fridge, but I haven’t tried that before. Watch out though, these little guys are addicting!

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Homemade Lara Balls

Servings: 9-10 balls

Prep time: 10 min

Cook time: n/a

  • 1/2 C almonds
  • 1/4 C sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 C pitted dates
  • 1/4 C dried cranberries
  1. Add the almonds and sunflower seeds to your food processor or blender; process until coarsely ground
  2. Add the dates and cranberries to the nut mixture; process until combined and slightly cohesive
  3. Roll into ~1in balls
  4. Store in the refrigerator*

*Don’t forget this step! The cool temps in the fridge really help hold the balls together.

Question: What flavor combinations do you think would make awesome Lara Balls?

Sailor Man Smoothie

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When we got our Vitamix from my husband’s parents, they told us the first thing we should make is a Sailor Man Smoothie…it was their favorite. So, the day we took the Vitamix out of the box we went straight to the grocery store to pick up the necessary ingredients. The Sailor Man Smoothie was not only the first thing we made in our Vitamix, but it was also our first green smoothie!

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The original recipe for the Sailor Man Smoothie can be found in the Whole Food Recipes cookbook. I’ve tweaked the recipe a little, but mainly to make use of what we had in our fridge.

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Green smoothies may seem scary, but look at the tropical flavors that are under that vibrant green color! Although the Sailor Man is very much a summertime smoothie, I like in the winter too so you can imagine laying on a warm beach somewhere as you drink it down.

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If you don’t have a Vitamix, I wouldn’t worry too much. You’re average blender should be able to mix this smoothie up with no problem.

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Sailor Man Smoothie

Prep time: 5 min

Cook time: n/a

Serves: 2

  • 10 large, green grapes
  • 1/2 apple, deseeded
  • 1 banana, peeled
  • 1/4C vanilla yogurt
  • 1/2C pineapple
  • 2C greens
  • 1C ice
  1. Add all ingredients into blender
  2. Blend until smooth
  3. Enjoy!

Question: Do you drink green smoothies? Do you follow recipes or wing-it, and use whatever’s in the fridge?

Mango Paradise Smoothie

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I recently made a delicious new smoothie combo that has really got me in the mood for summer…your turn Mother Nature, we’re all waiting. Despite the temperature outside, you can imagine you’re sitting on a tropical island as you drink this Mango Paradise Smoothie.

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Because most of the ingredients are super juicy, there’s not much that goes into this smoothie:

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I don’t often buy mangos, and truthfully I didn’t buy this one. I came home from parents house with it recently, after cleaning out the produce they had in their fridge before they went out of town…score! Anyways, mangos are daunting to me, they’re big, clunky and have an odd-shaped pit. I still couldn’t give you nicely diced mango, but I can show you how to get the fruit out for this smoothie. Basically, it helps to keep the mango on its end when you are peeling (with a paring knife) and cutting the fruit off.

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Next, give it all whirl in your trusty Vitamix and you’re good to go!

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Mango Paradise Smoothie

Prep time: 5min

Cook time: n/a

Serves: 2

  • 1 mango, peeled & fruit cut away from pit
  • 1 banana, peeled
  • 10 large, green grapes
  • 1 orange, peeled
  • 1C ice
  1. Place all ingredients into blender
  2. Blend until smooth
  3. Enjoy!

Question: Are there food items you shy away from because you aren’t comfortable prepping them?

Creamy Chicken, Mushroom & Broccoli Soup

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It was a dreary day in Baltimore, so last night I made Creamy Chicken, Mushroom & Broccoli Soup (loosely based on a recipe from Skinny Taste).

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I used low sodium chicken broth, and unsalted butter for this soup. I like to use low/no sodium ingredients when I’m cooking, so that I can add my desired amount of salt as I go. I usually won’t list salt and pepper in a recipe, but I always taste my food as it’s cooking and use salt (I’m a fan of kosher salt) and freshly ground black pepper when necessary. Salt and pepper can seriously make or break a meal, so don’t forget about them!

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I had never made this soup before, but I liked the technique of blending part of the soup to thicken it up…I will definitely be doing that again! Also, this technique uses one of my all-time favorite kitchen appliances, my Vitamix. We were lucky enough to receive our Vitamix from my husband’s parents as a Christmas gift a couple of years ago, as these blenders are quite the monetary investment. I’ve been in love with it ever since! It’s great for my morning smoothie, soups, nut butters, sauces, and the list goes on.

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You’ll notice that this soup has chicken in it, so I want to point out that I’m not strictly a vegetarian. That being said, you will see quite a few vegetarian recipes here on the blog. I eat meat occasionally, and when I do it’s mainly chicken or seafood. If you don’t eat meat, you could easily keep the chicken out of this recipe and use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth.

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On my way home, I picked up some Panera sourdough rolls to serve alongside this soup…highly recommend! However, a nice side salad would also be a great, lighter, option.

Creamy Chicken, Mushroom & Broccoli Soup

Prep time: 5min

Cook time: 35min

Serves: 3

  • 1/2lb chicken breast
  • 8oz baby bella mushrooms, sliced
  • 4oz shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 4 stalks celery
  • 2C broccoli, chopped
  • 4C chicken broth
  • 3T flour
  • 1T butter
  1. Place flour & chicken broth in blender; blend until smooth
  2. Pour mixture into dutch oven, over medium heat
  3. Add mushrooms, celery, broccoli & butter; bring to a boil
  4. Add chicken, cover and cook for 15min (until chicken is cooked)
  5. Remove chicken, let cool before shredding or dicing
  6. Place celery and 1.5C of soup into blender; blend until smooth
  7. Add blended soup back into dutch over, along with the shredded/chopped chicken

Question: What’s the most recent kitchen/cooking technique you’ve learned?