Go-go Goji Berries!

The goji berry, also known as wolfberry, is a sweet orange-red fruit native to Asia. It has been eaten for thousands of years and is a staple of some of the longest-living people on earth, including the Hunza in the Himalayas. With an impressive array of nutritional properties and health benefits, you might want to include it into your diet. We’ll show you how.

Background & Nutritional Properties

Goji berries have been used both as food and botanical medicine. Fortunately, with its sweet taste (it looks like a red raisin but tastes more like a cross between a cherry and a cranberry), it ‘helps the medicine go down’, as Mary Poppins would say.

What else do goji berries offer, nutritionally-speaking? Plenty – including 18 amino acids (the building blocks of protein), high antioxidant content, more protein by weight than other fruits (e.g. oranges, apples, berries), great source of beta-carotene and vitamin C, trace minerals, B vitamins and more.

Goji berries have been extensively studied for their health benefits and have been known to:

• Strengthen the immune system
• Increase longevity and protects from premature aging
Reduce skin cancer risk
• Promote cardiovascular health
• Support eye health and vision
• Maintain healthy blood pressure and blood sugar
• Improve fertility
• Strengthen muscles and bones
• Manage weight

Ready to include more of these delicious and nutritious berries into your diet? First, let’s talk about who should NOT eat goji berries without consulting their doctor or healthcare professional. Obviously, those allergic to the berries should avoid them. Goji berries may interact with certain drugs including blood thinners and diabetes medications as well as drugs for high blood pressure.

Choosing to partake in the nourishment and benefits of these red berries? Here are some ways to include them into your go-go, busy lifestyle:

• During breakfast with DIY Hippie Granola or a warming Great Goji Groatmeal recipe or even just as a topping to your cereal

• Brew in a tea ball with loose green tea

• As a snack on its own or in a trail mix

• In smoothies and yogurt

• Paired with dark chocolate for a satisfying dessert rich in antioxidants

…and more! Goji berries have been used to make soup, stew and wine as well as herbal formulas as a tonic for health.

This nutrient-dense superfood deserves a spot in your pantry with all it can offer to you and your family. Enjoy!

Chocolate Maca Smoothie

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Caffeine and chocolate fiends, unite! This smoothie is the perfect wake-me-up for summer. Here’s the recipe we made today along with ideas for modifications:

Disclosure: some of the links below are affiliate links or discount codes, meaning, at no additional cost to you, if you click through an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may make a commission.

Yields: 2-4 servings

Ingredients

1/2 banana
1 pint blackberries (or blueberries)
3 tbsp cacao nibs
5 tbsp cacao powder
3 tbsp shredded coconut
2 cups swiss chard leaves
2 cups non-dairy milk (we used hazelnut milk from Elmhurst)
2 cups water
1 cup coffee
1 tsp maca powder
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp ashwagandha powder (optional)

This recipe is meant to be healthy and full of veg! If it’s not sweet enough for you, consider adding your favorite form of sweetness (e.g. more fruit, stevia, dates, etc). Looking for more greens-based smoothies that are lower in sugar? Check out the Green Smoothie Challenge eBook! It has recipes, grocery lists, along with tips and tricks for making smoothies part of your life.

Instructions
You know what to do here – load all ingredients into the high-speed blender, cover, and blend to desired consistency. Enjoy!

Green Smoothie Challenge eBook Release!

Perhaps you’ve thought to yourself, “I should really try having some green smoothies for breakfast or as a replacement for my 3pm-vending-machine-snack visit. I might have more energy and feel better. Ah, that sounds like a lot of work figuring out what ingredients I need and spending hours on Pinterest or at the grocery store. Maybe someday when _________ [insert your personal obstacle here].”

Well it’s time to bust through your own obstacles because when it comes to making a nutrient-rich meal, we have just done the lion’s share of the work for you!

The Green Smoothie Challenge eBook contains tips and tricks of the trade, 14 green smoothie recipes, ideas for substitutions, a food diary, superfood additions, and the grocery lists for week 1 and 2 of your personal challenge. Armed with this guide and your trusty blender, you’ll go far!

Spring is the perfect time to start adding in these green smoothies so you can experience having more energy, clearer skin, improved digestion, weight loss, or any number of benefits as yet unforeseen.

Get ready to experience the easiest and most sustainable way to enjoy some superfood-fueling smoothies; grab the guide and get started on the first week today!

green smoothie challenge finished ecover

Recipe: DIY Almond Milk

Have you read the ingredients label for almond milk? Eek! It’s not just almonds and water, kids. Take a look at this common, unsweetened version:

Ingredients: almond milk (filtered water, almonds), calcium carbonate, sea salt, potassium citrate, carrageenan, sunflower lecithin, natural flavor, vitamin A palmitate, vitamin d2 and d-alpha-tocopherol (natural vitamin e).

Pshaw. Who needs all those additives? Here’s how to make your own. It’s easy, I swear.

diy almond milk obw

Yields: half-gallon of almond milk

Ingredients & Equipment
1 cup raw, organic almonds
8 cups of water
1/2 tsp. sea salt
Strainer & cheesecloth
Blender
Optional: pure vanilla extract and/or natural sweeteners like stevia and maple syrup

Instructions

1. Soak almonds in 2 cups of water and salt for at least 3 hours or overnight.
2. Toss in a blender with 8 cups of water and run on high for about a minute, until it’s creamy and frothy.


3. Pour 1 cup of almond mixture through double cheesecloth-lined strainer and then use cheesecloth to squeeze into a large bowl. Repeat until all almond mixture has been transferred to bowl.

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Note: keep the almond ‘pulp’ and use it to make gluten-free almond flour or for smoothies. It would be a shame to throw this out.
4. Optional: for sweetened milk, put liquid back in the blender and add preferred sweetener (above).
5. Pour liquid from bowl into large jug or containers.

Lasts about 6 days in the fridge. Product will naturally separate; just shake it before serving.