Category Archives: Beverages/Smoothies

Banana, Mango, Ginger, Orange Smoothie

Banana Mango Ginger Orange Smoothie @ NancyC

Yes, that’s quite a long name but it sounds good, doesn’t it? This smoothie recipe comes from a cookbook called Eating Clean in Costa Rica (softcover). As I looked through my review copy, I found lots of easy, healthy foods that the book describes as 616-fPC8brL._SY498_BO1,204,203,200_“farm-to-table” recipes and there are 108 to choose from for breakfast and brunch, main dishes, veggies and sides, salads, soups, and desserts. The instructions for most of the recipes include amounts measured in grams, milliliters, etc., so if you’re used to cups and ounces like I am, you’ll have to convert the amounts.

I thought I’d try the Banana, Mango, Ginger, Orange Smoothie. It sounds kind of summery, but the day I made this it was almost 70 degrees. So a tropical-sounding smoothie was in order to celebrate this warm sunny day! It was so smooth and creamy, and had a great lightly-sweet taste. Normally I like to sweeten smoothies with honey, but this recipe does not need any additional sweetener.

BANANA, MANGO, GINGER, ORANGE SMOOTHIE from Eating Clean in Costa Rica

Makes 2 servings

  • 1 mango
  • 1 to 2 bananas (I used 2 bananas)
  • 2 oranges, juiced
  • 200 ml plain yogurt (I used 1 cup–it’s not an exact conversion, but it’s very close!)
  • A pinch of ground ginger (I used 1/4 teaspoon)
  • 12 ice cubes
  • 2 slices of lime

Cut mango into cubes, removing the pit and skin. Chop the bananas. Juice the oranges.

Combine these ingredients into a blender, including the ginger and yogurt. Blend until smooth and creamy, adding a little water if needed.

Add ice cubes and blend once more. Serve in tall glasses decorated with a slice of lime.

I love smoothies and I’m sure I’ll be making this quite often during the warm weather. Do you have a favorite smoothie recipe?

Linked to Fiesta Friday, Weekend Potluck, Inspire Me Monday, Show and ShareFull Plate Thursday, Create It Thursday, Thursday Favorite Things.

Easy Salted Caramel Latte

Easy Salted Caramel Latte @ NancyC

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If you want to treat yourself on a chilly day, think about making yourself a nice hot caramel latte! This recipe makes a creamy and slightly sweet latte. I don’t like overly sweet coffee drinks myself, but if you like yours sweeter, you can add an extra Tablespoon of caramel topping to your coffee/milk mixture. And you’ll definitely want to top this latte with some whipped cream, a drizzle of caramel topping, and a dash of sea salt–the sea salt gives it just the right punch!

NonnisBiscottiWhen you’re enjoying this latte, you may want to have biscotti to go along with it. I recently had the chance to try some limited-edition holiday biscotti flavors from Nonni’s®–I received a box of their Cranberry Cioccolati Biscotti and Gingerbread Biscotti. The Cranberry Cioccolati flavor is dipped in rich dark chocolate, and since I’m a big fan of dark chocolate, that flavor was my favorite. But the Gingerbread biscotti, dipped in white icing, was also good and had a nice gingery, spicy flavor. There are also two other flavors that I haven’t tried–Caramel Apple Biscotti and Pumpkin Spice Biscotti–and those sound really good, too! Not only are these holiday biscotti flavors great for snacking, they also make nice stocking stuffers and food gifts, since they’re individually wrapped.

Easy Salted Caramel Latte II @ NancyC

Here’s the latte recipe if you want to try it out!


Makes 1 serving

  • 1/2 cup strong coffee
  • 2 Tablespoons Half & Half (light cream)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 Tablespoon caramel ice cream topping
  • dash of sea salt
  • Whipped cream and additional caramel topping for garnish

Combine coffee, Half & Half, milk, and caramel topping in a microwave-safe container. Heat for about 60 seconds, or until mixture is hot. Stir with a spoon to combine ingredients.

Pour mixture into a serving cup. Top with whipped cream, lightly drizzle with caramel topping, sprinkle lightly with sea salt, and serve.

This latte is so easy to make! And tastes great with biscotti! Do you make your own fancy coffee drinks at home?

Linked to Fiesta Friday, Foodie FriDIY, Sunday Features, Nifty Thrifty SundayInspire Me Monday. Show and Share, Wow Us Wednesdays, Wake Up Wednesday, Wow Me Wednesday, Whimsy Wednesday, Wonderful Wednesday, Full Plate Thursday, Create It Thursday, Share Your Style, Thursday Favorite ThingsShowcase Your Talent Thursday, Fabulous Foodie Fridays, Feathered Nest Friday.

Blackberry Honey Lemonade

Drinking lemonade in the summertime is always a treat, and it’s always a nice change of pace to try different lemonade flavors. I’ve made Strawberry Lemonade and Raspberry Lemonade before, so I thought I’d try making some Blackberry Lemonade. And I wanted to sweeten it with honey instead of sugar to make it a little healthier. I really like the way this tastes! It has a rich fruity flavor from the blackberries, but it’s very lemony, too. This is the perfect thing to drink on a hot summer day, as you’re sitting in a nice shady area outside…with your feet propped up…maybe even reading a good book!


Makes about 4-6 servings

  • 1 1/2 cups fresh blackberries
  • 4 cups cold water, divided
  • 2/3 cup honey
  • 3/4 cup lemon juice (or use 1 cup, if you want it really lemony)
  • 2 lemons, sliced (use some for stirring into lemonade and some for garnish)

In a blender, add berries and 1 cup of the water and blend about 1 to 2 minutes, until berries are pureed. Strain the juicy part of the mixture into a small bowl with a wire mesh strainer, discarding the solids and seeds.

Heat a second cup of water with the honey in a small saucepan (or microwave in a microwave-safe container), bringing it to a boil; remove from heat and stir mixture until honey is dissolved in the water.

In a large pitcher (about an 8-cup size), pour remaining 2 cups of water, along with the lemon juice, the honey/water mixture, and the juicy blackberry mixture; stir everything well.

Refrigerate mixture until chilled. When ready to serve, add lemon slices to pitcher (save slices as a garnish for the serving glasses) and stir mixture to ensure all ingredients are well-blended. Serve over ice and garnish each glass with a lemon slice.

Of course there’s always good ol’ Fresh-Squeezed Lemonade, too…I like them all! Do you have a favorite lemonade recipe?

Linked to Inspiration Thursday, Create It ThursdayFabulous Foodie Fridays, Full Plate Thursday.

Orange Reboot Detox Smoothie @

Orange Reboot Detox Smoothie

Orange Reboot Detox Smoothie @

When I heard about the book Whole Body Reboot by Manuel Villacorta, M.S., R.D., the thing that got my attention was the 5-day smoothie detox plan, because I love smoothies. But this book is about much more than smoothies–it’s about Peruvian 51lJxBM4BoL._SX359_BO1,204,203,200_Superfoods and, as the cover mentions, includes a healthy eating diet plan and recipes to detoxify, energize, and supercharge fat loss. The book explains that Peruvian super foods fight cancer, reduce inflammation, boost energy, and enhance memory. There’s lots of great-sounding recipes and color photos in Whole Body Reboot–some recipes that sounded good to me were:

  • Roasted Artichoke Mashed Potatoes
  • Power Trail Mix
  • White Bean Avocado Wrap
  • Quinoa Parmesan Pizzettes
  • Sweet Potato Waffles

And there’s lots of recipes for different ways to fix chicken, fish, and pork in healthy ways.

At the beginning of the book, in chapter 2, is where you’ll find the Jump-Start Reboot Diet Plan. And that’s where you’ll find the five detox smoothies. The one I decided to make, the Orange Reboot, is supposed to be made on day 2 of the plan. It’s a lightly-sweet smoothie made with a blend of carrots, orange, and papaya, along with a few other very healthy ingredients. It’s also flavored with cinnamon, which gives the smoothie a nice spicy flavor. Considering I’m not that crazy about carrots, I thought the smoothie was pretty good.

So if you want to give your body healthy reboot, you’ll have to check out the book. And here’s the Orange Reboot smoothie recipe if you want to try it out!


Makes 1 large serving, about 21-22 ounces

  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh carrots
  • 1/3 of a peeled orange, chopped (I used a medium-sized orange)
  • 1 cup chopped fresh papaya
  • 1 1/2 cups coconut water
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 Tablespoon Chia seeds
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons (or 20-25 g) Protein Powder (rice, pea, or whey)

Put all ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth.

There are a total of 135 recipes in Whole Body Reboot and 4 weeks of menus. You might need to add some new ingredients to your pantry to make some of these recipes, like Lucuma and Pichuberries. It sounds like a very healthy way to eat. Have you ever tried a diet like this?

Raspberry-Grape Float @

Raspberry-Grape Float

Raspberry-Grape Float @

I don’t make ice cream sodas or floats often, but I really like them. I was inspired to make this fruity-tasting float after I saw a recipe in a recent issue of Better Homes and Gardens. This is float is made with raspberry sorbet and grape soda. Just use your favorite brand of grape soda and raspberry sorbet–and if you can’t find raspberry sorbet in your grocery store, you can substitute raspberry sherbet. I tried it both ways and it’s good with both sorbet and sherbet. I was a little disappointed because my grape soda seemed a little flat, so the float wasn’t quite so bubbly as I had hoped it would be. One other thing I tried was substituting sparkling red grape juice for the grape soda, and I really liked that, too. Since I don’t drink a lot of soda pop because of all the sugar, using the sparking grape juice is a good less-sugary option!

Here’s a helpful float-making tip I read in Better Homes and Gardens: “Keep everything cold, cold, cold. Prescoop ice cream (or sorbet, or sherbet) and freeze on a tray. Add it to chilled glasses and pour cold soda for a float that stands up to sunny afternoons.”

RASPBERRY-GRAPE FLOAT by NancyC, adapted from Better Homes and Gardens

Makes 1 serving

  • 2 to 3 scoops of raspberry sorbet or sherbet (depending on the glass size you’re using)
  • Your favorite brand of grape soda (or substitute sparkling red grape juice)
  • Chilled glass (I like using vintage sundae/soda glasses!)
  • Optional: frozen raspberries for garnish

Add scoops of sorbet or sherbet to your chilled glass, then pour grape soda (or sparkling grape juice) in until glass is full. Add some frozen raspberries on top for a garnish, if desired. Serve immediately.

The raspberry and grape flavors taste great together! You’ll have to try this out next the time you want a cool, fizzy treat!


Linked to Fiesta Friday, Weekend Potluck, Saturday Soiree, Simply Sundays, Nifty Thrifty Sunday, Sunday FeaturesInspire Me Monday, Show and Share.

Strawberry-Mango Slush After many days of rain, we’re finally getting some sunshine! Which also means it will be hot and humid again. And that kind of weather calls for something to drink that’s nice and cool, like this Strawberry-Mango Slush. It’s a great summer beverage made with two of my favorite fruits. I really like mango–it’s so good for you and so tasty, too! And it tastes really good blended with strawberries. You can whip this up in your blender in no time when you’re wanting to drink something to help you keep cool!

STRAWBERRY-MANGO SLUSH by NancyC Makes about 24 ounces, or two 12-ounce servings

  • 1/2 cup seltzer water or sparkling mineral water
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups crushed ice
  • 1 1/4 cups sliced fresh strawberries
  • 1 cup peeled and chopped mango
  • 2 Tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 to 2 Tablespoons honey

Combine all ingredients in a high-speed blender; cover and process until everything is well blended. Pour into chilled glasses and serve immediately.

A slush like this really tastes great when the weather is hot. What kind of cool refreshments have you been making this summer?

Linked to Fiesta Friday, Inspire Me Monday, Show and Share, Wow Me Wednesday, Wake Up Wednesday, Full Plate Thursday.


Srawberry-Watermelon Cooler

StrawberryWatermelonCooler@NancyCreative Having a slice of watermelon is so refreshing, especially in the summer, isn’t it? Fresh strawberries are another favorite summer fruit of mine. So it seemed like a great idea to whip up a strawberry-watermelon drink. This Strawberry-Watermelon Cooler is a mildly sweet, juicy blend of watermelon, strawberries, lime, and honey. It’s not quite as thick as a slush, so I call it a cooler. You can easily turn this into a smoothie by adding 1/2 cup of strawberry or vanilla yogurt and a small banana to the rest of the ingredients to make it creamier. It’s perfect for sipping on during a hot summer afternoon!

STRAWBERRY-WATERMELON COOLER by NancyC Makes 2 large (12-ounce) servings

  • 2 1/2 cups cubed watermelon (seeds removed)
  • 1 cup chopped fresh strawberries (stems removed)
  • 2 Tablespoons lime juice (fresh or bottled)
  • 1 cup ice cubes or crushed ice
  • 1 to 2 Tablespoons honey
  • Optional: slices of lime for garnish

Put watermelon, strawberries, lime juice, ice, and honey into a blender; blend on high speed until smooth. Pour into chilled glasses and serve. Add a slice of lime for garnish if desired.

Watermelon is also great to use in fruit salads. Do you eat watermelon often during the summer? Do you have a favorite summer recipe you like to use it in? Linked to Fiesta Friday, Inspire Me Monday, Full Plate Thursday, Inspiration Tnursday, Let’s Get Real Friday, Show and Share.


Green Pistachio Smoothie

ncGreenPistachSmthienm Because of St. Patrick’s Day, I’ve been seeing lots of green when it comes to recipes the last few weeks! A lot of them have pistachios as an ingredient, and I love pistachios! So I thought I’d try them in a smoothie. A green smoothie, of course, with a healthy blend of milk, yogurt, honey, frozen banana, baby spinach leaves, and pistachios. It’s a lightly sweet, creamy smoothie that doesn’t taste super-spinachy. If you’re put off by green smoothies, you might want to give this one a try–it has less of a veggie taste than others I’ve had. You do have to do a wee bit of planning ahead to make this by putting a banana (or half of a banana) in the freezer the night before you make it, but otherwise this is super quick and easy to make!

GREEN PISTACHIO SMOOTHIE by NancyC Makes 1 (10-ounce)  serving

  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup low-fat milk (or use soy milk; use 1/3 cup if you want a thicker smoothie)
  • 1/3 cup plain or vanilla Greek yogurt (or use soy yogurt)
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 medium frozen banana, broken into chunks
  • 1/2 cup well-packed baby spinach leaves
  • 2 Tablespoons coarsely chopped pistachios (plus a little more for sprinkling on top)

In a high-speed blender or food processor, add all ingredients and blend until smooth and creamy. Pour into a glass, top with a light sprinkling of pistachios, and serve. Makes about 10 ounces.

Have you made any green smoothies? Do you have a favorite recipe for one? Hope you are having a Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Linked to Let’s Get Real Friday, Inspire Me Monday, Sunday Showcase, Full Plate Thursday.


Chai Tea Latte


I enjoy drinking tea and recently had the chance to try three chai flavors from Choice® Organic Teas. They sent me their Chai Spice Black Tea and two of their new Certified Organic and Fair Trade Certified chai flavors–Rooibos Chai and Masala Chai. If you’re chaiTeasnot familiar with chai teas, they’re blended with spices like cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, clove, and black pepper, giving them a warm, wonderful spiciness that tastes so good on a cold day!

The Chai Spice Black tea and Masala Chai have a rich spicy flavor that I love–both are made with Assam tea. The Chai Spice tasted just a little more spicier to me than the Masala Chai. These teas are perfect for making the Chai Tea Latte recipe that I posted below!

The Rooibos Chai tea is naturally caffeine-free and has a slightly milder spicy flavor, along with a subtle sweetness. Rooibos tea is one of my favorites because it’s such a healthy tea. If you’re wanting to make a caffeine-free Chai Latte, this would be a good tea to use.

I happened to make this Chai Tea Latte on a cold, snowy day and it was the perfect beverage to warm me up! Chai Tea Lattes are a nice change from coffee and hot cocoa. If you’ve never tried making one, you’ll need to try this–it’s easy and just as good as having one from a coffee shop! And it’s a healthy drink, too, sweetened with honey instead of sugar.


Makes 1 serving (about 8 to 9 ounces)

  • 1 Chai tea bag
  • 1/3 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 cup milk (you’ll need a frother for the milk)
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons honey (this is lightly sweet with 2 teaspoons, so use 3 if you want it sweeter)
  • ground cinnamon for sprinkling on top

Heat water to boiling, then steep tea bag in water for 5 minutes; remove tea bag and set aside.

While tea is steeping, add milk and honey in a microwave-safe container. Heat in microwave for 60 seconds or until hot (I heated mine for 60 seconds plus an additional 15 seconds). Stir milk and honey with spoon, blending well, then froth the mixture with a frother to make it light and foamy.

Pour the steeped tea into your serving cup (if it has cooled off, reheat in microwave for 15-30 seconds), then add the milk mixture to the tea. Sprinkle ground cinnamon on top for garnish.

Do you drink chai tea? What about Chai Tea Lattes? This was the first time I tried making one, and I have a feeling I’ll be making many more!🙂

Linked to Full Plate Thursday, Tea Time #7 at EclecticOdds n Sods, Thursday Favorite Things, Lets Get Real Friday, Inspire Me Monday.


Chocolate Peanut Butter Breakfast Shake


Chocolate for breakfast? Yes, please. Especially when it’s a healthier way to have chocolate. This may not sound very healthy, but don’t let the words “chocolate” or “shake” fool you. There’s lots of good-for-you ingredients in this–banana, peanut butter, honey, unsweetened cocoa powder, Greek yogurt, and low-fat milk (you can sub non-dairy products in this, too). This shake has a super-rich chocolatey taste with a hint of peanut butter and banana and it’s so smooth and creamy!

If you like having chocolate in the morning, make this for breakfast. Or drink it for an afternoon snack…or have it as a dinner dessert–it’s great any time of day! One thing to remember is that you do have to plan ahead a little–you need to cut a banana into chunks and put in the freezer so it’s frozen when you make your shake–I usually do this the night before I’m going to make it.


Makes 1 (10-ounce) serving

  • 1 medium banana, cut into chunks and frozen (do this the day before you’re making it, or at least several hours ahead of time)
  • 2 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 Tablespoon natural creamy peanut butter
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 cup plain or vanilla Greek yogurt or soy yogurt
  • 1/4 cup low fat milk, soy milk, or almond milk

Combine all ingredients in a high-speed blender and blend until smooth. Pour in a glass and serve immediately.

This shake is a real treat and while it’s great for breakfast, I really like making it in the afternoon–that’s when I tend to crave chocolate. When would you make this?

Linked to Wow Me Wednesday, Wonderful Wednesday, Whimsy Wednesday, Full Plate Thursday, Let’s Get Real Friday, Foodie Friday, Inspire Me Monday.