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. sauces and smoothies .

May 29, 2011

Hullo, hullo my beautiful boos 😀

Ohhhhh, how I love Sundays. Nothing that needs doing. Nowhere that needs being. Just church, family, and time spent relaxing in the sun. Mmmm. Wonderful. Another thing I love? Coooo-kies. Remember the batch that I baked up yesterday? All gone. Yeah, I can’t quite believe it either; one minute they were there, and the next minute… poof… vanished… just like that. But what can you do…

… besides make more….

… which I will do…

But not today… because today is all about sauces and smoothies.

Well, okay. Technically it’s only about one sauce and two smoothies, but who’s counting? No one. Numbers suck anyways (no offence to any math lovers out there). But I digress.

Every so often, some of the crazy concocting that I do in the kitchen actually yields pretty tasty results. Other times, even my dog won’t eat the stuff I come up with. And for good reason. But nevermind those times for now. Today, I’ve got a few of my better experiments to share with you guys. Hope you enjoy!

. – . – . – .

. vanilla almond butter protein frosting .

This fancy-shmancy sounding frosting is actually a breeze to whip up. All it takes is three simple ingredients, a bit of mixing action, and voila – a sweet and satisfying “frosting” that you can use anywhere you use regular old almond butter when you’re looking for a tasty change.

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp. almond butter
  • 1 Tbsp. vanilla protein powder (I use whey)
  • ½ – 1 Tbsp. vanilla almond milk

Instructions

  1. Pour protein powder into a small bowl. Add about 1 tsp. of almond milk to moisten.
  2. Add in almond butter and begin stirring to combine.
  3. Continue stirring, adding almond milk gradually until desired consistency is reached.

 

This stuff is like crack. I’ve been using it on absolutely everything lately- oats, bananas, apples, toast, yogurt messes, muffins, cookies. Anything dippable is fair game. Seriously good stuff. Seriously.

. – . – . – .

And now, moving right along into smoothies…

I like my smoothies thick. Like, seriously thick. Forget straws, I want “must eat with a spoon” thick.

Come to think of it, I’m not sure you can really call them smoothies at all… puddings would probably be a more accurate description. But what’s in a name, really? Anywho, I know that a lot of people achieve this kind of consistency with the addition of xantham/guar gum, because I’ve used them in the past.

And then I stopped.

Why? Because the side effects of said gums were… less than pleasant. Without going into too much detail, let’s just say that my stomach did not appreciate those little buggers, and it didn’t hesitate in letting me know. Painful cramps? Excessive bloating? Nooooo thank you. Gums, meet trash.

In ditching the gums, I had to be a bit more creative to get the same pillowy, pudding-y effect. My secret?

Avocado… and tofu. But not together.

Besides offering far more in terms of nutritional benefits and satiety, both avocado and tofu gave my smoothies the same thick and creamy consistency that I got from the gums, without the nasty side effects. And if you’re worried about the taste, don’t be – it’s completely masked by the other flavors.

. – . – . – .

. vanilla avocado protein pudding .

Ingredients

  • ½ cup vanilla almond milk
  • 1 scoop Vega Vanilla Almondilla (or any protein powder)
  • ¼-½ avocado, depending on preference
  • ½ banana

Just throw all the ingredients into any old blender, and blend away.

 

. – . – . – .

Another variation of this pudding that I use when I’m not feeling the Vega or the avocado issss…

. vanilla tofu protein pudding .

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup vanilla almond milk
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder (I use whey)
  • 1 serving (85g) silken tofu
  • ½ banana

. – . – . – .

These pudding/smoothies may not win any beauty contests, but it’s about what’s inside, not outside, that counts. Between these and the almond butter frosting, you’ve pretty much got my latest obsessions… I’ve been having one of these pudding/smoothies everyday as part of a meal or a post-workout snack, and the protein frosting… yeaaaaah… let’s not even go there.

But that’s it for me today, loves. Thank you for all the questions that you left on my last post – I kind of have a better idea of what to write about myself now, and if you have any more, just let me know.

I hope you’re all enjoying a beautiful Sunday night 😀

. – . – . – .

Do you have any unique uses for nut butter?

Favorite ingredients to make a super thick smoothie? Would you try avocado/tofu?

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51 Comments leave one →
  1. Katherine permalink
    May 29, 2011 5:33 pm

    I don’t know how unique it is, but I just tried this. Cook sweet potatoes and do the whole mash it up and put cinnamon on it thing. Then put it on pita bread with peanut butter. Soooo gooood.

  2. May 29, 2011 5:35 pm

    I love warming up some almond butter, peanut butter, brazil nut butter or hazelnut butter, and drizzling it over steamed/roasted vegetables.

    To make a super-thick smoothie = lots of frozen berries.

    • May 29, 2011 6:54 pm

      That actually sounds fantastic. I don’t know why, but I always tend to gravitate towards using nut butters on sweet dishes… I really need to start using them in savory ones.

  3. May 29, 2011 5:41 pm

    That almond butter frosting is on my list of things to make 🙂

    I know a lot of people with issues when it comes to xantham/guar gums.. I haven’t noticed any problems with it.. but I only use a teeny tiny bit because I found lots of ice thickens my smoothies up better.
    I’ve tried tofu in my smoothies but I didn’t like it eick – I’ve been wanting to try it with avocado though.

  4. May 29, 2011 5:55 pm

    Oh my, that frosting sounds SO good – I’m making this asap!
    As for nut butters, well I guess I’m still experimenting with them. I have tried making stir-fries with peanut butter and it is really yummy! I felt inspired from a Thai restaurant I went to. Otherwise, I guess I bake with them and put them in smoothies.
    As for thickening smoothies, I do use the gums and haven’t had a problem but I know some people have. I find that bananas and lots of ice are just the most yummy way though…I’d like to try using tofu instead though as that sounds interesting! I’m not up for trying the avocado though – I just really don’t like avocado as much I really want to be able to! An acquired taste I guess…

    • May 29, 2011 6:59 pm

      Awwr but you can’t taste the avocado at all! The banana completely covers it up 🙂 I wasn’t a big fan of avo when I first had it, but now I absolutely adore it. So yeah, definitely an acquired taste.

  5. May 29, 2011 5:57 pm

    I loved this post! I have been making smoothies daily – sometimes twice a day!
    My favorite thickener is definitely a frozen banana! I too do not like the use of gums in my smoothies! My favorite is almond milk, frozen banana, vanilla protein powder, a dash of sea salt, tablespoon cocoa powder and ice – topped with granola and sometimes some nut butter!
    I loved the idea of mixing protein powder with almond milk and nut butter! I am definitely going to give this a whirl!
    Glad you had a relaxing day!
    🙂 aimee

  6. May 29, 2011 6:02 pm

    I’m very, very original… when I want a thicker smoothie, I just… add less liquid. 😉

    ❤ ❤

  7. 2tightlywound permalink
    May 29, 2011 6:10 pm

    I mix peanut butter and soy (or almond) milk all the time—one of my favorite snacks to make in the university cafeteria was PB, soy milk, raisins, and Kashi cereal; everyone else was disgusted but it is so yummy!

    I’ve heard of adding tofu to smoothies, but never actually done it. I find that using frozen strawberries and banana works really well.

  8. May 29, 2011 6:13 pm

    did you read my SOS for a xanthan gum alternative the other day? You are my savior, boo. Definitely ditching the gum for some ‘cado. My boyfriend will thank you – for some reason he’s not in to farty gals. Weird, right?

  9. May 29, 2011 6:31 pm

    I only like smoothies thick too, but I still use Xanthan gum. I haven’t had horrible side effects from it (knock on wood). I’ve tried putting tofu in my smoothies, but I haven’t tried avocado. It’s such a good idea though, so I will totally give it a try!

  10. May 29, 2011 6:33 pm

    The smoothies (well, and the sauce, too!) look awesome! I love the texture avocado gives smoothies. I was hesitant at first, but pleased to discover the taste isn’t too detectable.
    And for a while, I was on a major nut butter sauce kick…just mixing nut butter with milk! I loved being able to drizzle it over pancakes and waffles. 😉

  11. May 29, 2011 6:40 pm

    That vanilla avocado protein pudding is most definitely going to be whipped up in my kitchen later this week. Thanks for sharing the rockin awesome recipes girlie!! 🙂

  12. Joil permalink
    May 29, 2011 6:44 pm

    How much protein powder to use (15 or30g? scoops are differet, and I’dlike to get the same consistency you achieve!).

    I have a question for you since you asked last time. If you could not exercise (say,for about 6-7 month) including zero walking, or working, or being about and out at all (nada), but you needed to gain…would you have eaten differently? emphasized a certain food grup or this or that? (not exercising is hard…I mean no walking or working even) and its ahem , rough on the “elimination proces”…sojust wondring how you would’ve adjusted it.

    I hope (I vow) to someday be as happy as u sound in your posts.

    • May 29, 2011 7:14 pm

      I use a normal tablespoon for the frosting, so not sure about scoops. And for the smoothies, it’s a full 30g scoop.

      I didn’t do any exercise while I was gaining, and I ate the same. When you need to gain, you don’t need to be concerned about macros. You need to eat.

      • Joil permalink
        May 30, 2011 5:10 pm

        Confidence. I need gumption and belief. I can eat ice cream all day and it won’t matter. Just got to get my health back. Must. Its too serious.
        (Talking to myself here!).

        I think dealing with shame and regret for relapsing is the hardest.

        Keep your head on straight and never fall back…its too much for the body to take.

  13. katie permalink
    May 29, 2011 6:53 pm

    Wow…ask and you shall recieve!thanks so much for the recipes xoxo

  14. May 29, 2011 6:57 pm

    That’s a great idea for thickening up smoothies! Especially since those gum thingies are really expensive around these hills.

    I wouldn’t say this was unique but I like putting nut butter on my PB choc chip cookies? Nut butter overload? Yes. Does it matter? NOOOO XD

    xxx

  15. isabelle permalink
    May 29, 2011 7:48 pm

    do you have a job? are you still living with your parents? would love to hear more about what you do ! 🙂

    • May 29, 2011 9:08 pm

      I was going to address this in a future post, but because you asked three times already and I don’t want you to think I’m ignoring you, the quick answers are yes and yes 🙂

  16. May 29, 2011 8:20 pm

    Omgg that Bfast looks amazing love nut butters

  17. May 29, 2011 8:59 pm

    So much proteinnnn! I am definitely making that frosting. And probably eating it plain. 🙂

  18. May 29, 2011 9:30 pm

    I haven’t tried using tofu or avocado in smoothies but it definitely seems like a good idea! Especially since Ireact the same way to the gums. I never thought about it being the gums that caused upset stomach or anything from smoothies (I thought it could have been being used to solid foods then switching to liquid meals)..but it makes sense. Next time I have a smoothie, I’ll nix the gums and see if that helps any.

  19. May 29, 2011 11:40 pm

    Okay I seriously make that frosting almost every single night. I need a lot of calories, so lately for dinner I make 1.5 cups oats (dry) mixed with a scoop of whey… then I make this seperately and heat it up in the microwave… 1.5 cups vanilla soymilk, 4 tablespoons of almond butter, 1 teaspoon vanilla, some cinnamon, and some maple syrup. Then I pour it on top of the oatmeal. And then I’m in heaven and really full. Next I will try your tofu version! I still haven’t bought a blender because I wanted to wait until I’d actually use it once it gets warmer outside, but I really want to experiement with yams or sweet potatoes in my smoothies. I actually froze some mashed up yams yesterday for that reason. And I don’t think I have any unique uses for peanut butter. Mostly just on pancakes, oatmeal, or potatoes.

  20. May 29, 2011 11:42 pm

    experiment* sorry it bugs me when I spell something wrong.

  21. May 30, 2011 3:12 am

    YAAY a fellow tofu-in-smoothie fan!! I love tofu in my smoothies!! Makes them so thick and proteiny! And I am DEFINITELY trying your avocado version soon! 😀

  22. czechvegan permalink
    May 30, 2011 4:57 am

    I love those smoothies recipes, I also need my smootihes to be super thick (if I could eat the, with fork and knife, now THAT would be great:)). I´ve tried avocado and tofu, and I like both. My fave addition is also mango and raw cocoa, but I always need to put a banana in the smoothie!

  23. May 30, 2011 5:42 am

    Morning love!! I hope you had a fabulous Sunday!!!

    I am loving the protein frosting yum! I would put that on everything or just eat it plain right out of the bowl!!!

    Loving your way to thicken smoothies too! I never tried tofu or avocado in a smoothie!

    Love ya girl! xoxo

  24. May 30, 2011 6:38 am

    There is nothing unique in the way I use nut butters (and I have actually never seen almond butter so I feel really jealous because everyone else has tried it) but I also tend to gravitate around sweet foods. Cakes, cookies, sandwiches, yogurt messes, fruit mixes… I use only tahini for savory meals but it is not even a nut butter… And when I saw your almond butter dip, the first thought that came on my mind was “Oh, how I want to dip a slice of my fresh cold Fuji apple in it!” 🙂 .

  25. May 30, 2011 7:07 am

    VERY interesting combos! I love melting pb as “fosting” but I def wanna try your recipe now 😉

  26. May 30, 2011 8:20 am

    Avocado is so good in smoothies, and cake actually… but that’s another story!

    Thanks for sharing all these great ideas!

  27. May 30, 2011 8:20 am

    FINALLY! i’ve been looking for a super thick smoothies! I haven’t been able to figure it out. I’ve been playing with the greek yogurt fruit and protein powders but I haven’t been able to get it down. I’ll have to give your smoothie a go around tomorrow. I’ve never tried tofu so I’m excited to use it!

  28. May 30, 2011 8:49 am

    I LOVE using tofu in smoothies and pudding. I usually add about 1/2 block of light tofu to my smoothies for breakfast, and then I make a pudding similar to yours with tofu as wel. Sooo thick and delicious, and packs such a nutritios punch! I love knowing I am getting in my protein the NATURAL way, without having to add protein powder that has articial sweetener (not that there is anything wrong with that, I use those too, just saying, I prefer the natural way) 😉

  29. May 30, 2011 10:03 am

    i love both these recipes!!!! gums do weird things to my gut too! i get weird stomach pains and bad…. well.. poop… 😛

  30. May 30, 2011 11:54 am

    I love nut butters in making sauces- like a thai peanut sauce, etc
    Those recipes look delicioussss! Ever had avocado ice cream?

  31. May 30, 2011 1:11 pm

    Oh my gosh that protein frosting sounds to die for! I have yet to add avocado to a smoothie – but I definitely need to try it! I’m all about the thick smoothies too! 🙂

  32. May 30, 2011 2:34 pm

    I just imagined myself singing a song about nut butters. Your post has inspired me, hah.
    Honestly I will eat them on anything (read:anything) and I love mixing them into things to make dips. I’ve mixed them with yogurt cheese, with oats, with yogurt for dips, with sweet potato and pumpkin, etc.
    I love making dips too. In my fridge right now is a sweet potato/greek yogurt/soy nut butter/cinnamon/oat dip and a strawberry banana soy yogurt/banana dip. So good!!
    I’ve been lucky that the gums don’t bother me too much, I don’t know what I’d do without them, as I’m not a fan of the avocados.

  33. May 30, 2011 2:36 pm

    That protein icing looks amazing! U come up with some crazy and tasty recipes! Ever put vanilla protein powder in iced coffee? Surprisingly very yummy!

  34. May 30, 2011 2:44 pm

    I’ve never bought the gums for my smoothies! I have actually heard some conflicting things about gums! So I think it’s smart not to use them!

    I do, however, love THICK smoothies! My favorite technique is using a frozen banana, ice and as less liquid as possible! I have also done frozen avocado and it was the THICKEST most VOLUMINOUS smoothie everr! It was soo good!

  35. May 30, 2011 3:35 pm

    All of those concoctions look heavenly! I put nut butters on breads, oats, pancakes, in smoothies, on crackers, on fruit..well I put nut butters on just about anything 🙂 I haven’t tried any gum/thickeners before, but thanks on the heads up about bloating and whatnot. My stomach is uber sensitive, so I’m guessing I might experience the same things!

  36. May 30, 2011 5:21 pm

    Uh yeah, I think I’ll be staying away from gums. Avocado definitely sounds do-able though! I made something really similar to that nut butter sauce a little while ago except replace protein powder with maple syrup. It’s actually a little sweeter than I like on its own but drizzled on top of oatmeal it is pure perfection!

  37. spoonfulofsugarfree permalink
    May 31, 2011 8:10 am

    Unique uses for nutbutters??? Hmmm…..Just eatin it with a spoon I guess! It is the best way 🙂

  38. June 1, 2011 7:49 pm

    these recipes look so so good! I had a raw chocolate mousse the other day at a restaurant, and it was given its texture and sweetness with avocado and dates! It sounds like one of your smoothies 😉

  39. August 11, 2011 3:21 am

    Your vanilla avocado tofu pudding looks devine! Just look at the colour – yum!

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