Frozen hot chocolate

From the Smitten Kitchen

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This September has still produced warm summer weather – which I love! Winter is coming, but not yet. To celebrate a lovely summer evening, I whipped up this frozen hot chocolate. This treat keeps all thoughts of snow and cold near (hot chocolate!), but is perfect for when it’s 78 degrees and the sun is setting, the last of the days stickiness fading away with the gentle breeze (we do get gentle breezes up here on the ridge). I was lazy and omitted the whipped cream and chocolate shavings on top, but I suspect they would be a wonderful addition to those who have the willpower to spend an extra five minutes. We sit on the front porch, waving at the neighbors who drive or walk by, and sip this chocolatey goodness. Well, some of us might slurp it down, but the inevitable cold headache is a reminder to enjoy slowly.

Yield: Makes 6 small just-about-1-cup servings, or 3-4 medium sized ones

Ingredients

3 ounces semi- or bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped

1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder

2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons granulated sugar

1 1/2 cups cold milk (preferably whole)

1/2 cup cold heavy/whipping cream (optional)

Chocolate shavings, for garnish (optional)

Directions

Melt chocolate in a small/medium saucepan over very low heat, stirring constantly and not letting it cook a moment beyond its melted point. Remove from heat. Stir in cocoa and 2 tablespoons sugar. Drizzle in 1/2 cup milk very slowly, whisking the whole time. If any chocolate firms up, return the saucepan to a low stove, warming and whisking the mixture until it melts again.

Off the heat, stir in the remaining 1 cup of cold milk, which should make the chocolate base cold. If not, let it chill in the freezer for a few minutes to hasten the cooling along.

Beat heavy cream with remaining 2 teaspoons sugar until soft peaks form. You can do this vigorously by hand or with an electric mixer.

In a blender, combine ice and chocolate-milk mixture until as smooth as a frozen cocktail. Pour into a glass dollop with whipped cream and finish with shaved chocolate. Serve with a straw and a spoon.

Easy strawberry watermelon and chia smoothie

Barely adapted from Eat Thrive Glow

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It’s summer! Time for drinks and loads of fresh fruit. Why not combine them both? This smoothie is ideal for when you take a moment, sit back and relax, and soak up some sun. The watermelon is delightfully thirst quenching and the strawberries and limes make it taste like summer in a glass. It’s best when fresh, in season ingredients are used. And for you adults out there, throw some rum in there, because why not?

Yield: 2 servings

Ingredients

 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice

2 cups watermelon chunks

1 cup frozen strawberries*

4 teaspoons chia seeds

1/8 – 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

2 teaspoons maple syrup (or to taste)

Optional: adults only, add 2 oz of clear rum (such as Bacardi, you don’t need top shelf in this)

Directions

Blend all ingredients, except chia seeds, together. If applicable, remove blender blades and stir in chia seeds (otherwise pour into 2 glasses and stir in 2 teaspoons of chia seeds per glass) – cleaning chia seeds from blender blades is not fun. Let sit for ten minutes (to let chia expand). Enjoy!

*use in season strawberries for the most flavor – find them at farmers markets, roadside stands, or pick your own. Freeze overnight before using. 

Layered mango berry smoothie

lnspired by no gojis, no glory

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To finish mango week, I made mango pizza and this smoothie (not pictured because we ate it too fast, dessert: vanilla ice cream with fresh, local strawberries).  I topped this smoothie with a mango slice and some goji berries, which added a really nice crunch. These layers are very different, but really compliment one another – light and fruity. It was the perfect refreshing accompaniment to a cheesy pizza dinner. 

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Yield: about three pint sized smoothies

Ingredients

Bottom layer

1 cup frozen blueberries

1/2 cup frozen strawberries

1 tablespoon maple syrup (or sweetener of your choice)

1 cup coconut milk (I used from a carton, coconut water would be great here, too)

Top layer

1 cup frozen mango

1/2 cup frozen peaches

1 tablespoon honey (or sweetener of your choice)

3/4 – 1 cup water (or coconut water)

Mango slices and goji berries to top (optional)

Directions

Blend all of the ingredients for the bottom layer and pour into three or four glasses. Wipe out the blender so colors don’t mix. Blend all of the ingredients for the top later. It should be fairly thick – add a little extra water only if you need to. Layer on top of purple mixture. Top with mango slices and goji berries, if desired. 

Mango Chia Smoothie

Adapted slightly from The Gracious Pantry

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I love love love making (and eating!) smoothies. I try new ones all the time, as they are a quick and healthy snack for my toddler and I (and for my husband, if he’s lucky enough to get leftovers). I made this smoothie for lunch today, and it went beyond my expectations. I have been meaning to make smoothies with cottage cheese for a while now (greek yogurt is good, but often rather sour and sometimes requires too much extra sweetening). I was really excited when I ran across the idea to use cottage cheese instead. This smoothie is a perfect reminder of summer. Tropical, sweet and decadent, and so healthy! Who doesn’t love feeding their family (or themselves) with really tasty food that is also really good for you? I love the added little crunch from the chia seeds, and I have a bit of a mango addiction, so this really satisfied my craving.

Ingredients

2 cups frozen mango (no sugar added)

1 1/2 cups milk (I used whole milk, because that’s what I always use!)

3/4 cup cottage cheese

2 tablespoons chia seeds

Sweetener of choice (I used about 1 tablespoon of pure maple syrup)

1 fresh mango (optional)

Directions

Mix mango, milk, cottage cheese, sweetener, and flesh from one mango, if using, in a blender until smooth. Stir in chia seeds (I have this one, so I like to take the blades out before adding the chia seeds … I do not like cleaning tiny chia seeds from the blades!). Let sit for about ten minutes (to soften the chia seeds a bit). Enjoy!