Tag Archives: Maca

Fruit Smoothie with Fresh Baby Spinach

14 May

This was the smoothie recipe we shared at the 3rd KarmaFree Cooking Class recently.  I just wanted to share with the class how easy it is to add nutrition to a fruit smoothie by adding fresh spinach.  The green flecks might be a bit strange, but the vegetable flavor is masked with the sweetness of the banana and berries.

If you prefer not to see any green flecks at all, you can try my Stealth Shake which has darker berries and the spinach is completely masked.

Also, you can boost the power of your smoothie by adding chia seeds, flaxseeds, maca all together or any of them individually.

 

Breakfast Smoothie for Mom

FRUIT SMOOTHIE WITH FRESH BABY SPINACH

1 banana
4 strawberries
A handful of fresh baby spinach leaves
½ cup plain yogurt or kefir
1 cup passion fruit juice
A squirt of honey or agave nectar
1 tbs ground flaxseeds
1 tbs chia seeds
1 tbs maca powder
3 ice cubes

 

  1. Blend all the ingredients in a blender.
  2. Serve ice cold.
Advertisements

Recap of our 3rd KarmaFree Cooking Class

6 May

Last month we celebrated our 3rd KarmaFree Cooking Class.  The theme was Breakfast in Bed for Mom…

KarmaFree Cooking's Vegetarian Class

We were honored to be featured in El Nuevo Día, Puerto Rico’s largest newspaper.  The turnout was great – many people who do not consider themselves vegetarian yet wanting to learn about a more natural and meat-free lifestyle.  To me that reads SUCCESS because that’s exactly the goal of KarmaFree Cooking…  teaching people that a vegetarian lifestyle is doable and delicious.

Slide2

I want to share a recap of the recipes shared at the class.  Some are new, some are KarmaFree classics and some are updates on favorites of all of us.

Clase de Cocina KFC #3

 Tofu Scramble with Tomatoes, Peppers and Baby Spinach

Double Mustard Roasted Potatoes

Tofu Scramble and Potatoes 1

Papaya Mango Fruit Salad

Papaya Mango Fruit Cup   KFC

Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Yogurt Frosting

carrot-cupcakes

Fruit Smoothie featuring Fresh Baby Spinach

We also talked about how to best combine fruits for your fruit salads and juices

If you live in Puerto Rico, hope you can join us for our next KarmaFree Cooking class.  If you are not so lucky to live in Puerto Rico, rest assured we’ll be sharing the recipes here on the blog.  But doing it in person, as part of our group and then tasting the results of your labor is a whole different experience.

KarmaFree Cooking 3rd Class

Thanks a lot to Angie and my mom who always help and thanks a bunch to the class attendants who always make giving these courses a whole lotta fun.

Making the most of that morning smoothie…

8 Nov

Since last year, I’ve been training for ½ marathons… This weekend I will run my 4th half-marathon – the Run Like a Diva Half Marathon in San Juan, PR.

Half Marathon Collage

Training for a running event is exciting… and might seem kinda challenging for a vegetarian. People talk soooooo much about the importance of proteins when you’re training for a sporting event. And always, people concentrate on animal-based proteins. That’s all they know!!! I already mentioned a few ideas on the snacks I usually have when I am training to make sure I have the energy, stamina and recover as quickly as possible to continue my training successfully.

Smoothies Mix Ins 2

Something I have learned is to add certain boosters to my morning fruit smoothies… mix-ins that will provide me with protein, energy, strengthen my immune system and keep me injury-free. Some have become fads, some not so much, but I want to share them with all of you and a little of what they can provide:

  •  Maca – Maca is a plant that grows in the Peruvian Andes Mountains. It has been cultivated as a vegetable for the last 3,000 years and most Peruvians consume the root as a boiled or roasted vegetable in soups, just like we eat potatoes or taro root. I use maca in powder form.

??????????

Maca is used for anemia, to increase stamina and athletic performance, to improve memory and fertility. When I learned about this fertility fact I was not too excited, but… oh well, the other benefits outweigh that minor detail. It’s also used for osteoporosis, depression, leukemia, HIV/ AIDS, tuberculosis, erectile dysfunction, to arouse sexual desire and to boost the immune system. When used in conjunction with a good workout regime you will notice an increase in muscle mass.

Maca is rich in Vitamins B, C and E. It provides calcium, zinc, iron, magnesium, phosphorous and many fatty and amino acids. If you are pregnant or lactating you should avoid taking maca. There are no known side effects of maca but like any other supplement it should not be taken in large amounts. I usually add a tablespoon of maca powder to my morning smoothie. It has a peculiar taste… kinda like butterscotch, but mixed in with your favorite smoothie the flavor blends very well.

  • Chia Seeds – Yep… these are the same ones… Chi-chi-chi-chia!!! If you were around in the 80s, you might recognize and even be hearing the jingle in your head right now. They became infamous via the Chia Pets of the past, but nowadays chia is becoming better known as a great health supplement and food.

81vPzG13LRL._SL1500_

Chia seeds are relatives to the mint plant and they’re native to Mexico and Guatemala, suggesting they were a very important food crop for the Aztecs. Chia seeds are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, manganese, phosphorous, and protein. They are known to help with controlling Type-2 diabetes, fight belly fat, making teeth and bones stronger, improving blood pressure and increasing levels of healthy cholesterol.

I add a tablespoon of chia seeds in my morning smoothies. But I prefer to plan a little in advance… I add the chia seeds to my Magic Bullet mug with a splash of juice. Wait about 15 minutes for the seeds to bloom and form a gelatinous coating. Afterwards, add the rest of your smoothie ingredients. The seeds will bloom… and they’ll either bloom in the mug or around your teeth if you get some of them stuck when you drink your smoothie. So I prefer to bloom before I blend.

 

  • Goji Berries – Berries are good for you… they’re considered like the “fountain of youth” by many. Blueberries, cranberries, strawberries, , cherries, açai berries… they’re all filled with powerful antioxidants. But what’s so special about the goji berry?
retouched 3

Photo courtesy of http://www.gojigrow.com/

Goji Berries are a bright orange-red and come from China, where they’ve been eaten for generations in the hopes of living longer. People have enjoyed goji berries raw, cooked or dried to treat many common health problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure and age-related eye problems. It’s also known to benefit mental well-being, promote calmness, athletic performance, happiness, and improve quality of sleep and feelings of good health. Goji berries are rich in Vitamin A.

I also add a tablespoon of Goji berry powder to my morning smoothies.

  • Hemp – You’re thinking it…   so let’s address the pink elephant in the middle of the room.   Hemp seeds come from the same hemp plant renowned for its durable fiber and also it’s a variety of Cannabis, the plant grown for marijuana. This particular variety contains extremely low levels, or none at all, of THC, which is what’s considered a drug in most countries and what give people that “high”. Something very similar to the amount of opium found in poppy seeds. It is not possible to use industrial hemp as a drug.

Hemp is considered one of the world’s most nutritious plants. Hemp contains all of the essential amino acids, essential fatty acids, magnesium, iron, potassium and fiber. It also contains Vitamin E and antioxidants.

Hemp can be consumed in many packaged products nowadays – hemp milk, ground hemp flour, hemp oil, hemp ice cream and hemp protein powder. I add these hemp hearts in my smoothies too.

I hope that you can appreciate you can supplement your training diet by simply adding a few scoops of these add-ons to your morning smoothies. No need to depend on the eggs or other animal-based protein sources to build muscle and to strengthen physically. I have noticed how I perform better during training and even recover better afterwards when I add these powerful add-ons to my diet.

What has been your experience?? Do you like any of these supplements?? Tell me your story…

What to buy when traveling to Peru…

31 Jul

As you know, to me the best kind of souvenirs are edible souvenirs… something to eat and reminisce about the place I am traveling in.

??????????

In Peru, these are my recommendations on what to bring home to remember your trip by:

Perurisimas Lays

Lay’s Perurísimas Potato Chips  – Peru prides itself for having 1,000+ potato varieties. We had the chance to taste some of them during our dinners. But for munchies, the best potato chips I’ve had in a while are Lay’s Perurísimas. These are similar to a Terra chip, but made with several varieties of Peruvian potatoes. With a very light sea salt touch. De-li-cious!!! I wanted to bring back several bags of these… I will be campaigning for Lay’s to distribute these in the US and Puerto Rico.

??????????

Maras Salt, the Peruvian Pink Salt – Near Cusco there’s a place called Salineras, where Sal de Maras is harvested. Sal de Maras is a pink, very flavorful salt only available in Peru. You can buy it in any supermarket in the area. And I suggest you do so, because if you decide at the airport, you’ll be paying a hefty premium for forgetting it while you were buying your Perurísimas chips.

Sal de Maras Airport

??????????

Maca – Lately, I’ve been hearing about all these add-ons you can add to your morning smoothies to make them more nutritious. Among these add-ons is maca powder. Maca is a Peruvian root, similar to a radish, which has been cultivated for many, many years. It is many times eaten as a cooked vegetable but for us outside of Peru, is more convenient to have it as a powder. Maca is said to help with anemia, boost energy, improve athletic performance and memory and even help with the symptoms of menopause. It’s also used for weak bones, depression, boost the immune system, erectile dysfunction and even to arouse sexual desire.

When I went to buy this at Whole Foods and saw it was a Peruvian thing… I waited to purchase it during our trip. I was lucky enough to find organic maca. I tried it first in a blended juice drink where they added maca to it. The taste is a tad bitter, but that may be a factor of the amount of maca they added to the drink. I only plan to add a tablespoon to my morning smoothie. Will report about the effects of it later on… OK??

Selva Naranja

Selva Brand Orange JuiceI have told you about my love for Orangina… so imagine this Selva Orange Juice is like Orangina, but without the fizz. It’s sweet and tart at the same time. It’s light and delicious. We bought a few bottles along the trip to have in our room to snack or to have for breakfast. I wish I could’ve brought a few bottles home with me. I would have if I had brought with me the super large Ziploc bags to make sure there wasn’t any spillage in my suitcase.

??????????

Oatmeal Cookies from La Gran FrutaI’ve told you about La Gran Fruta… and these cookies make the best gifts for friends at home. Have them taste a little piece of Lima thru these cookies. They might crack into pieces, but no-one will care after they taste their deliciousness.

Ají Amarillo – My friend Mara is from Peru… and she urged me to bring home some ají amarillo, the one used to make salsa huancaína to serve with potatoes or sweet potatoes. I did not get a lot of time at the supermarket right before returning home, so I bought a packet of Ají Mirasol. I hope I bought the right thing. But in the near future I will ask my other Peruvian friend, Lucy, to share with me her papas a la huancaína recipe. We had a chance to have it at her Lima home and it was THE BEST papas a la huancaína we had the whole trip.

??????????

And in a completely unrelated to food topic… I also bought myself a nice little knitted hat made from alpaca wool. It’s the Peruvian wool of choice. I bought it in a little town called Chincheros from the nicest and funniest Peruvian lady ever. She should have her own stand-up comedy show… so I do sometimes buy stuff that is not edible. Just so you know…  😉

55 - 8472_10152905694770174_1704162506_n

Have you been to Peru also?? What did you bring as a souvenir?

%d bloggers like this: