Pineapple, Perisan cucumber & Mint Juice

Let’s get this week started right! Since I was just generously gifted my Vitamix  couple weeks ago (thank you Aunt Naomi!!!), I’ve been making juices and smoothies most mornings, and this is one of my favorite ones yet.

Ingredients (for two 16 oz. juices – scale up or down as you like):
1. 1/3 of a pineapple
2. 1 small Persian cucumber (skin on or off)
3. a few mint sprigs
4. 2 tbspn honey
5. 2.5 cups of water

Directions: Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.  In a Vitamix, I put this on setting #5 for about a minute and it was blended to perfection. 

And since it’s Monday and I’ve spent the weekend reading Rumi poems, here are a couple of  Rumi quotes to enjoy with your juice :):
-“Everything in the universe is within you. Ask all from yourself.”
-“Stop acting so small. You are the universe in ecstatic motion.”
-“This is now.  Now is. Don’t postpone til then.  Spend the spark of iron on the stone.  Sit at the head of the table; dip your spoon in the bowl.  Seat yourself next your joy and have your awakened soul pour wine…You’re the tailor, settled among his shop goods, quietly sewing.” 

Blackberry Mint Cacao Super Smoothie

In honor of the sun gloriously greeting us in San Francisco today, I decided to make smoothies with some of the blackberry bounty we picked up this weekend at our local Alemany Farmers Market ($5 for 3 boxes!!).  If you find yourself in SF on a Saturday morning (8 am -2pm), it’s definitely worth checking out the sprawling, affordable, mural-feast-for-they-eyes Alemany farmer’s market, which I just learned was the first farmer’s market founded in all of California (see here).   Anyways here is the Alemany farmer’s market inspired smoothie: I used some of the blackberries and souped it up with raw cacao superfood (which adds a yummy crunchy texture), mint from our garden, and lightly sweetened with agave.

Ingredients (for 1 smoothie, multiply proportionally if you are making a few at a time):
1. 1 cup of soy milk (My favorite is Organic Vanilla Silk, which you can get at Costco or other natural food stores)
2. 1/8 cup blackberries
3. 1/8 cup frozen berries (I used these instead of ice so it doesn’t get watered down, but if you don’t have on hand you can replace with a couple ice cubes)
4. 1 tbsp agave
5. 2-3 mint sprigs
6. 1 tbsp raw cacao nibs (I use Divine Organics but you can use any)

Directions:  Put all ingredients in a blender until everything is well mixed.  Note the cacao nibs will likely stay a little chunky, which gives the smoothie a nice contrasting crunchy texture.  Enjoy, ideally on a hammock or any sun spot you can carve out :).

Mint choco-coco bars

This is an incredible mostly raw vegan holiday treat – crunchy, chocolaty goodness!

Ingredients:
1. Almond flour- 2 cups
2. Cocoa powder- 2 cups
3. Coconut  OR maple sugar- 1/2 cup
4. 1/2 tsp sea salt
5. 1/2 cup coco oil, warmed to liquify
6. 1 tbsp peppermint extract
7. 1 tbsp vanilla extract

Directions:
1. In a bowl, combine ingredients #1-4
2. In a separate small bowl, mix coco oil and extracts
3. Add the wet mixture to the dry bowl and stir well
4. Press dough on parchment lined pan and put in freezer to chill
5. Once firm, cut into slices and store in a container – keep in freezer or fridge. I reco freezer b/c it stays really crunchy.

This recipe was inspired by and slightly adapted from Living Raw Food book

Mint Parsley Pesto (Vegan!)

Ingredients:
1. 1 cup raw cashews
2. 1 cup fresh mint
3. 1 cup fresh parsley
4. 1/2 cup nutritional yeast (this gives it cheesy flavor)
5. 1 garlic clove, diced
6. 1-2 tbsp olive oil
7. 1-2 tbsp water
8. 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
9. 1 tbsp bragg’s amino acid (or any soy sauce)

Directions:
1. Soak raw cashews in water until all are covered for 2-4 hours to soften.
2. Once cashews are done soaking, strain out the water and transfer cashews to blender or food processor
3. Add ingredients #2-9 to blender or food processor and blend until smooth and creamy.

Serving ideas: We had this on  zucchini pasta (made w/ a spiralizer) and added some extra fresh mint and parsley on top.  We also tried it on crackers w/ some sliced heirloom tomatoes on top.  Great as a sauce, spread or thick dip!

**This recipe was inspired by and adapted from a recipe in a cookbook I love, Blissful Bites