Summer time means eating as much cold food as possible, and this year has been no different! As much as I love smoothies I don’t have them often throughout the other seasons. But, Summer? They’re basically what I’m living on. And Gazpacho is just a savory smoothie, right? So, instead of my everyday green smoothie I thought I’d switch it up with this pretty, layered, Strawberry Peach Smoothie!
There’s a fun thing about this smoothie, that you may not realize. I snuck a bunch of zucchini in it! So, not only do you get a different variety of vitamins, you get to use up some of the bounty from you (or your nice neighbor’s) garden. Right now, I have over 20 pounds of zucchini (two plants was maybe overkill), so I’m looking for all of the ways to use it! Below is a pic of just some of the pretty squash I have on hand.
To make this smoothie super creamy, I used Silk’s Unsweetened Cashew Milk and added raw, hulled hemp seeds for some protein. I don’t like adding sweetener or juice to my smoothies, because I find the fruit sweet enough. But, if you like a sweeter smoothie, add frozen bananas to each layer, or soaked dates!
And here’s a smoothie tip for you: If you don’t have time during the week to pick and choose ingredients for a smoothie. Take time one day a week to prep, and measure out ingredients for each and separate them into zip bags or jars. Then, each morning, place contents in a blender with water, non-dairy milk, or coconut water, and blend! Easy-peasy.
I guess you could say that tip would also work well for some blended mixed drinks, eh? 😉 Also, another tip! You can get coupons off of Silk products by signing up for their newsletter! Plus, they share a lot of awesome recipe ideas on their instagram, if you’re into that kind of thing.
Also, stay tuned for SO MANY zucchini recipes. So many. I hope that you’re as excited as I am! And as always, I’m open to your dish suggestions. Now, go, make this Strawberry Peach Smoothie and enjoy! <3
Before I went vegan, and when I was a regular at a Japanese restaurant in Orange County, I used to eat black sesame ice cream all of the time. Since going vegan, I had never encountered a Jackie-friendly version! This was a super sad time for me, even if I didn’t realize that I missed this flavor so much. That all changed when Cocobella Creamery opened in Hollywood. Because of them, I decided to make this Black Sesame Coconut Ice Cream, so that we can all enjoy!
I have to tell you though, when I got the black sesame at Cocobella, it was straight up amazing. Like, I’m an addict. So, if you’re in the Hollywood area and are looking for some vegan ice cream that is oh-so-good, you need to stop by there! They have late hours, too. Below is my cone from them with a scoop each of Black Sesame and Fudge Brownie. Mmmm…
Dreaming of yesterday, when I went to the grand opening of @cocobellacreamery and indulged is some amazing #vegan ice cream!🍦😍 So many flavors, including the Black Sesame (up top) and Toasted S'mores, then some toppings and a couple of cones to choose from. You MUST check this place out! Right by @doomies and @cruciferousla (coming soon).👌💚
Back to my recipe! The flavor is not necessarily the same as the one at Cocobella, but it is still SO good. It’s black sesame coconut ice cream, because the coconut flavor is more present, as it’s the base. If you don’t want to have it be as coconutty, use 1 can coconut milk + 1 cup water + 1/2 cup raw cashews.
Either way you make it, it’ll be super creamy, with that savory flavor of sesame seeds but sweet. And while I usually top my stirfries with all kinds of sesame seeds, I love having them in this ice cream for a change! I don’t think I realized there were so many health benefits to them. Black sesame seeds are high in Iron, Calcium and Vitamin E.
If you’re looking to make this black sesame coconut ice cream, you can find the seeds at a variety of stores. Some health food stores, like Sprouts and Whole Foods have them, while I got mine at an Indian market! (It’s probably a lot cheaper at the Indian market, to be honest.) Another thing, I added xanthan gum to this which really gave it an amazing texture! If you don’t have that on-hand, try 1 tablespoon of arrowroot, instead.
I love the addition of chocolate sauce to this cone, as it adds another layer of richness. The chopped almonds add a nice crunch to an otherwise smooth and fluffy treat. Of course, these are all optional, but I highly recommend them! So, go ahead, save yourself from the summer heat with this black sesame coconut ice cream!
A few weeks ago, when the blackberry bush in my backyard was producing like crazy, I took requests for blackberry recipes. So far, out of that came the Blackberry Cheesecake Popsicles I made a video for *YUM*. And now, I made this Summery Salad drizzled with Blackberry Vinaigrette, topped with almond ricotta, for you! Though, I had to purchase some blackberries for this recipe, as today I ate the lone berry left after the bush’s solid run. And because I’m a dork, I thanked the plant for giving me roughly a pound of blackberries and let it be.
As for this recipe. I wanted it to have bright colors, contrasting flavors and textures, and to really epitomize Summer. And, I think that’s exactly how it turned out! Which, reminds me of a conversation that I had the other day. My mom was at work and forgot her lunch, so I put something together for her and ran it over. When I showed up, I handed the bag over and met her boss, who had a very colorful dress on. I complimented her on it, and she told us that her mother had made it for her, so I cracked a joke saying, “mom, where’s my dress?” (because I’m a smart ass)
She cocked her head at me and said, “You’d where that?” Alluding to the fact that it was supremely colorful (and maybe had an interesting pattern). I replied with, “well, if it was black or gray” *insert half-smile*. “Of course,” she says with half of an eye roll. My mom isn’t the only one who likes to point out that I have a mostly monotone wardrobe, and I’m totally in love with it, so it doesn’t bother me. But, it did make me think about how much I truly love color. Like, REALLY LOVE COLOR. Yet, I don’t want it on me, for the most part. Maybe I’m more sensitive to color in bigger doses?
But, food.. food is where colors should be. Colors that draw you in, and excite your eyeballs. Colors that make it hard to resist the camera eating first. And that’s what I love so much about Spring and Summer. Not the weather, or the crowded beaches, but the amazingly beautiful produce that grows from the earth and ends up on our plates. Don’t get me wrong, I love Fall and Winter so, so much. But, orange + beige + brown + drab green is not tremendously eye-catching. Of course, no matter the season, it’s easier to eat a colorful meal when you’re vegan.
This salad is so appealing, with its vibrant oranges from the slices of nectarine, against the cool greens of the salad. The white, almond ricotta pops in contrast to the dark violet hue of the blackberry vinaigrette, and deep, black-purple of the blackberries. As for the pepitas, they nearly blend in with the greens, but you’re reminded that they’re present with every crunch, as you take a bite. As my dad said (me paraphrasing), “This salad reminds me of the fancy dinner salads I would get on business trips.”
But, look at us! We don’t have to go anywhere special to enjoy this beautiful salad. You can make it at home, mostly with ingredients that are staples in your pantry. Maybe with the exception of the fresh fruit; such is life. So, prepare this Summery Salad with blackberry vinaigrette as the perfect starter to a wonderful summer dinner. <3