My almond-banana "milkshake"...

OK, I was going to finish that 2000s-era song lyric, but honestly I think I'm getting too old for that to be cute. Recently, in the dead of winter, I acquired a craving for milkshakes. However, as a mindful eater, milkshakes as they are usually made are not feasible for me on a regular basis. So I came up with the recipe below to satisfy my craving while enjoying a creamy treat. This recipe provides protein and fiber in addition to the sweetness. Yum!

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Almond-Banana "Milkshake"

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp almond butter (no sugar added)
  • 1/2 cu coconut milk (unsweetened
  • 1/3 tsp stevia or other sweetener of your choice (optional)
  • a handful of dark chocolate chips (optional)

Blend, add a bit more liquid if needed, and enjoy! OK, and you can sing that song if you want.

Comfort food, yogified

OK, I'll admit it. Chilly weather, cozy sweaters, more time indoors watching movies and reading books? It makes me crave comfort food. My many comfort food delights include creamy mashed potatoes with butter and warm, gooey chocolate chip cookies from the oven. What's a health-conscious yogi to do? I am constantly on the hunt for comfort food recipes that are a little spiffed up, health-wise. I have tried a lot of recipes. I've endured some outright gross eating. All for you, my friends. I present, two of my favorite, yogified comfort food recipes!

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Dinner: "Mashed potato" bowl. Mashed potato bowl? Serena, you're asking, how is this healthy? This "mashed potato" bowl uses cauliflower as the base. All you need is a big head of cauliflower, a little seasoning, and the oil/butter of your choice. Oh, and your food processor.  Cut your head of cauliflower into small florets and steam for about 11 minutes. When the cauliflower florets are soft but not mushy, add them to a food processor with a little oil and the seasoning of your choice (I used olive oil and salt, pepper, and oregano). Process well (this might take a few minutes), and top your "potatoes" with what you'd like! I did some garlicky wilted spinach with pine nuts, cheddar cheese, and chives. Get creative. And then eat up! You get your veggies in a smooth, savory, comforting bowl of YUM. (Adapted from this genius, which is where the pic came from.)

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Let's not forget dessert: Cookies! Alright, when I saw cookies with no flour and BEANS, I was...horrified. Let's not beat around the bush, I don't like people tampering with a good thing like chocolate chip cookies. It was so weird that I had to try it. And, much to my surprise, these chocolate chip cookie dough bites are really good! Now, they are not the consistency of regular cookies and they are not as sweet. It's more like eating cookie dough. But honestly? Flourless, (almost) sugarless cookies, with fiber and protein....check! I think my hubby and I ate an entire batch within a day or two... Perfect with a hot mug of tea and a good movie. OK, you'll need your food processor again, so clean it off and preheat the oven to 350 while you're at it. In the food processor, combine one standard can of chickpeas (rinsed), 2 tsp vanilla extract, 3/4 cup of NATURAL (no added oil, sugar) almond butter, a few tsp of stevia or 1/4 cup of your sweetener of choice (agave or honey are nice options), tsp baking powder, pinch of salt. Mix well. Then, by hand, stir in 1/2 cup of chocolate chips. Wet your hands (mixture will be sticky), and form into 12 balls. Smush the balls down a little to look like cookies and bake for 10 minutes. Once they come out, they will be soft and mushy, so you can't dive right in. Let them cool for 30 minutes or so and then get ready to enjoy. (Adapted from this brave soul! And that's where the pic is from, too.)

There you have it! A few favorites, spiffed up a bit. Enjoy.