Friday, May 28, 2010

Double take, double shake

Haven't you seen this before? Okay, maybe the garnish is different, but the idea is the same. Thanks to the good people at Vega, I can make this version even easier.

I had planned on posting about Vega's new Shake & Go Smoothie a couple days ago, but since these lovely ladies beat me to it, I let Hayden share her dill-ectable thicker than pea soup recipe instead. Besides, my little lady wanted to get in on the soup action in a timely fashion, like this frugal gourmet and this blending beauty.

Sorry you haven't heard as much from either of us (Hayden and myself) lately, as we've had quite a packed schedule. We've cheered Jacob on at his field day, celebrated Matthew's grandmother's birthday, attended my youngest sister's college graduation and are all revved up to walk the track at Jacob's mini Relay for Life today (his school does one every year).

Speaking of getting ready for some relaying, these convenient Vega smoothie mixes couldn't have come at a better time. Although I haven't had much of an opportunity to blog about them, they've definitely come in handy while on the go.

Of course, they do "shake & go" by just adding a couple heaping tablespoons to about a cup of water, but I wanted to experiment with this powder further. As a simple smoothie, it transports perfectly in my trusty little jar, which reminded me of my original layered recovery pudding (pictured to the left). Thank goodness I had two flavors to combine again.

When a representative from Vega e-mailed me about trying one of the flavors, I had trouble picking just one. They all sounded so good; there's Bodacious Berry, Tropical Tango, Choc-A-Lot and Vanilla Almondilla. In the end, I liked the way "Vanilla Almondilla" rolled off my tongue, so I selected it to taste, while adding that I wouldn't mind being surprised by what was sent.

To my surprise, I not only received the vanilla, but the chocolate, as well. Thanks Vega!

Anyway, so I decided to make puddings out of both flavors by adding a lot less water. The results were grittier than a pudding, but with a gel effect, similar to one containing chia (it must be due to the xanthan gum in it; obviously, this product is not entirely raw).

I layered both in my snack jar, topping it off with some cacao nibs to represent the chocolate flavor and almond slices for the "almondilla" (you can really taste the almond in it, like an amaretto cookie or something).

The flavors were a little strong in this form, which made it hard to ignore the low glycemic sweetener (I think it is coconut palm nectar or something). However, as I ate it, I got used to it.

I started out sampling the flavors individually. The chocolate wasn't quite chocolate, but okay. I think I actually preferred the green vanilla, due to the almond addition.

In the end, I thought they tasted best when swirled together. I think I just created my own flavor: "Choc-Anilla-Dilla."

From now on, I plan on making my Shake & Go Smoothie out of a scoop of each, and maybe adding a banana if I have the time to incorporate it with my blender. This is the way I think it tastes best.

Speaking of adding banana, the Shake & Go Smoothie mix also does a good job of boosting the nutritional content of my banana-based n'ice cream. I instantly made a protein-packed chocolate version just by adding about a heaping tablespoon to some sliced frozen banana, and whipping it into a soft-serve consistency in my mini food processor. I served mine in a reusable silicone cupcake liner for the fun of it.

And, since I love cupcakes so much, I also thought about using the mix to make a quick low glycemic icing. Like the pudding idea, add only a tiny about of water to the powder to create a paste for frosting your raw cupcakes.

I once used this idea in this past post about Brendan Brazier and Vega, icing a reshaped Vibrancy Bar with a Complete Whole Food Health Optimizer "frosting." As this is a low glycemic product, it should also work well for topping this specialty raw cupcake recipe.

In conclusion, the Vega Shake & Go Smoothie isn't as tasty as making one myself, but it certainly comes in handy while on the go (isn't that the point of this product anyway). It also is a convenient way to give your other recipes a nutritional boost, and is a nice low sugar alternative to use in your desserts. I think it is worth having around.


friday, may 28, 2010, continued ... .....................................................................................

This little raw cupcake
makes me very happy

As you may already know, I've been searching for raw cupcakes made by my fellow bloggers to highlight on my site. Of course, this refreshing lemon poppy seed cupcake totally caught my eye. Check out Angela's the happy raw kitchen site to see the even bigger, more fabulous bundt-style cake, and while you're there, leave a complimentary comment for her :-)