Gluten & Dairy Free Acai Smoothie Bowl

In this thing called life, a lot of trends come and go. There is always the current popular thing to do, whether it is a color, hair style (I cut my hair first you guys!) or certain food items.

Soy products where a big thing once, kale was suddenly everywhere, then came in the coconut oil...and now acai. There is always a hot food of the moment.

But here is the thing about trends, they become that way because people like them. Or pretend to anyway. Remember that time bagel foreheads where a thing? I do not know who in their right mind ever jumped on that band wagon...

Because popular things became popular for some kind of a reason, I feel like it is important to try them out. Not because I want to be one of the cool kids necessarily, but just because I want to see what its all about.

Enter the acai smoothie bowl, the new kale green smoothie.

All a smoothie bowl is, is a thicker variation of a smoothie that you eat with a spoon in a bowl, rather then a straw in a cup. 

It's not that complicated. 

Acai, is a berry that is supposedly all super fruited with antioxidants and all that. 
(are antioxidants really an actual thing, or just something someone made-up to get us to buy things that seem healthy? serious question.)

It seems you can only buy acai as a juice, either fresh or frozen or as a powder situation. I chose the frozen variety, for no reason other then that's what Whole Foods had and because I figured it would last longer.
I also chose the Amazon Planet packs, because they had no ingredients other then acai juice, where some of the others had preservatives or added sugar. We don't want any of that.

Get some other ingredients that fit your fancy, then make yourself an extra thick smoothie. 
The end.

or so it would seem.

Let me just talk about my smoothie feelings for a second, because it's my party and I'll cry if I want to.

I am not big into the fruit smoothie situation. Don't get my wrong, I find them incredibly delicious and I have had my fair share of trips to Jamba Juice. 
But, they are basically pure sugar, and I'm not down with that.

I have this complex about fruit sugar, and all sugars in general based off of my family health history, and my own diagnosis of P.C.O.S.

Basically, I only like to eat a small amount of low sugar fruits in a day. 
As far as a typical smoothie goes, it is generally a whole load of very sugary fruits liquified to go straight to your blood stream without needing anything to break down along the way.
I personally, cannot even drink a cup of juice or soda in good conscious. I have a lot of paranoia issues you guys. Only sometimes are they actually reasonable.

To eat this without anxiety, and better health I need to throw in some protein. Eat a protein with a sugar remember!
Plus it will make you feel better about essentially eating ice cream for breakfast.

I bring this up, in relation to this smoothie bowl as an explanation for some of my ingredients.

(here lies the unofficial recipe)

For taste:
1/2 Frozen Acai pack
1/2 cup Frozen Berry medley
3 Fresh Strawberries
1 Fresh Banana

For a little health help:
1 Tbsp Chia Seeds (you can soak them or not)
1 scoop Protein Powder, this one is my favorite. (gluten/dairy/soy/corn free)

Put all ingredients into a blender, and blend er up!
(I use my Magic Bullet which after many a years is starting to die a little...hands up, who wants to buy me a NutriBullet?)

Add some almond milk as needed to blend, but remember you don't want it too runny.

Next, you can go ahead and through in some yummy toppings.
I also have this thing about eating smooth foods... I don't like it.
I always need a little crunch to my lunch, ya know?

I went ahead and topped it with bananas and strawberries, as well as some Larabar Grain Free Granola (which is really just flavored nuts and coconut)

I added some toasted coconut flakes the other day, instead of granola and that was pretty good as well.

and that is all folks!

(tag me on instagram (@carinamdee) if you try one out for yourself!)

Enjoy! xoxo


Gluten Free/Dairy Free Frozen Yogurt Pie

There are quite a few things that I have missed since going dairy free. 

For me, eliminating dairy was waaaay harder then the gluten. Partially, because dairy doesn't give me as extreme of side effects, and because there just is no worth while substitute for ooey gooey cheese.

I miss you so much cheese.

I often sit and contemplate the existence of cheese, ice cream and other delicious dairy products in my life. Should I just do it anyway? It will taste so good. Worth it or not?

My brain is obviously filled with very deep philosophical thoughts.

There are several alternatives to cows milk in the world, such as the milks of almonds, coconuts, rice, etc.
I generally only choose to partake of products of the almond or coconut variety, because they seem to be the only ones worth partaking of.

One thing I have been waiting and waiting for to exist is a dairy free cool whip. As I'm typing this, I realize I could have probably just made my own this whole time, so obviously I wasn't missing it that much, but still.

I think its one of those things you don't realize you miss as much as you do, until its back in your life. Like Britney Spears. 
Crossroads you guys, a cinematic masterpiece.

Thankfully, So Delicious has heard my psychic vibes and created a coconut milk answer to cool whip. 
Cocowhip is it's name, deliciousness is it's game.

{I legit just changed my spotify station to britney. not even kidding.}  

Growing up, there was a few recipes that were in constant rotation.
One of these was frozen yogurt pie.
It's incredibly easy and quick, and is probably the very first food item I ever made by myself.

Don't quote me on that, but it probably was.

To make yogurt pie, all you gotta do is make a graham cracker crust (I used Kinnikinnick S'moreable Graham Crackers) and fill it with a mixture of yogurt and cool whip. Then freeze! The waiting for it to freeze is seriously the hardest part of the whole thing, I'm pretty sure there were several times when this pie got served only partially frozen due to anxious eaters.

For your benefit, I tested this recipe with three miniature pies made with three different types of dairy free yogurt. 
The brown pie, is So Delicious almond yogurt in chocolate. 
The lighter of the pink, was So Delicious coconut yogurt in strawberry, and the darker pink was Almond Dream mixed berry.
Of the three, the berry flavors where my favorites, with the strawberry coconut yogurt winning as the best in my opinion.

p.s. these are the pans I used, if you were wondering

Here is the recipe, strait outta the family cookbook:

| click on recipe for printable version |

Excuse me now, while I proceed to recite every lyric to Baby One More Time. It's funny how these things just stick in your head forever, ya?
Kinda like how I could still make yogurt pie in my sleep...ten years later.
Sorry, had to bring it back around.

Enjoy! xoxox

(this is not a sponsored post. all products were purchased by me, for the benefit of this recipe. as always, opinions are all my own without further influence.)


Chocolate Covered Valentine

If you are like me and Valentine-less, go ahead and treat yourself. 
If the people say you need to be given chocolates and roses on this particular day, give yourself some chocolate and pick a darn flower.

I think I sound way more feministic and anti the man then I actually am. 
Also I have no particular feelings about Valentines day, I don't particularly care for it-but not in an overly dramatic, ya I actually care too much, kinda way.
I did enjoy the movie, however.

But I really like chocolate....
and chocolate covered strawberries are my jam.

I was a Whole Foods today, and they had signs set up for the different colored roses, and what they signified. So if your certain somebody bought you roses from Whole Foods, they new exactly what they were doing when they chose those red/orange/yellow buds.

There is no hidden meaning in chocolate covered strawberries....they are either delicious or not. But really they are just always delicious.

To make in no particular measurements, 
Melt Enjoy Life Chocolate chips with a bit of coconut oil.
(my ratio I think, was like 2tsp coconut oil to 1cup chocolate. you just want enough to add some fat to help the chocolate set.)

Then dip your fresh and clean berries in one at time until you run out of chocolate and or strawberries. 
Then, if you are to have happened to run out of strawberries first, and therefore have extra chocolate, it is perfectly except-able to scrape a spoon to it and/or lick it clean. Because you are all alone, and nobody is there to judge you. (positive vibes and all)

Enjoy! xoxox

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