Summertime Smoothie

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I would have to say summer is by far the best season to make smoothies. Not only are they refreshing and satisfying, but we have the opportunity to use as many fresh, local ingredients as possible. This recipe was inspired by Alissa Segersten and Tom Malterre’s Blueberry Cucumber Smoothie from their cookbook, Nourishing Meals. This antioxidant-rich smoothie provides a balanced breakfast, lunch, dinner or post-workout snack. Next time you’re at the market or the grocery store, pick up a few local, in-season ingredients to blend together to make this recipe or create a flavor combination of your own!

Summertime Smoothie

Makes 16-20 oz

Ingredients:

1 cup water

1/3 cup sliced cucumbers

2/3 cup fresh blueberries

1-2 tablespoons organic creamy peanut butter

1 small banana

Handful of fresh kale

4 ice cubes

Directions:

Place all ingredients except for the ice in the blender in the order listed and cover with lid. After a few pulses, add one ice cube at a time, blending after each addition. Taste, in- between blends to find the right flavor and texture you’re looking for. Enjoy!IMG_2476

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Ice Cream

ice cream post to blog

What crosses your mind when you hear the word Ice Cream? Is it a certain flavor, the texture or mouth-feel of this creamy, luscious dessert? Does it bring you back to warm summer evenings and the attempts made to lick the cascade of melting decadence before it drips down the side of your cone?  Ah yes… the smiles the word itself brings to faces and contentment to the heart.

The word Ice Cream, to me, brings me back to my high-school years of working at the local Dairy Queen. Not that it was REAL ice cream, it was considered close enough. I dabbled in the gelato craze, which, I do highly recommend trying. However, not until recently have I felt any strong feelings toward ice cream. When I tasted Howling Cow’s Campfire Delight my taste buds danced and I couldn’t help but smile. Now THIS is Ice Cream. THIS is what all ice cream should be remembered as. The first bites brought back the childhood remembrance of crisp cinnamon graham crackers. The hint of smooth marshmallow along with the mildly sweet chocolate chunks (yes, chunks) made this experience one to remember. And to repeat.

Where can you find Howling Cow Ice Cream? Only on North Carolina State’s Campus…..and once a year at the NC State Fair. Why I’ve lived in Raleigh for 4 years and have just stumbled upon it in Our State Magazine is beyond me. Luckily I’m beyond my dairy free days and ice cream is welcomed.

If you happen to live in this great state, or are passing by Raleigh on a late summer road trip, I highly encourage you to pick up a pint, a waffle cone or a sundae and rediscover what ice cream means to you.

Food for thought: How does ice cream relate to your life? Do you have a favorite flavor or brand? I’d love to hear your thoughts below!