Banana Almond Smoothie

My Banana Almond Smoothie is an extremely simple, 4-ingredient smoothie that will conquer your sweet tooth without sweeteners, nourish your body and keep you cool in the summertime. Its simplicity may seem elementary, but this smoothie will be your new best friend.

Banana Almond Smoothie // treatswithatwist.com  

How has your summer been going?
I live in one of those “heat warning” zones you’ve been hearing about on the news, so to say I’ve been living indoors is an understatement. Walking from my car to the entrance of Target practically gave me heat stroke the other day. I’m not a fan of being pregnant in the summertime!

I’ve been keeping really hydrated and yet I still feel like I can’t keep up. One of my favorite staples this summer, besides loads of iced tea, water and La Croix, has been this creamy, simple Banana Almond Smoothie.

I made a small (yet huge) decision to really watch my sugar intake. I don’t mindlessly snack on sugary treats, but I wanted to make sure I wasn’t taking in any more sugar than I should be. Thought out treats are one thing, but sauces with sneaky sugar and handfuls of m&m’s instead of one good piece of cake just aren’t ok.

Banana Almond Smoothie 1

So when I devised this smoothie, I had to keep it super basic, and not over-think it. It doesn’t need a glob of honey or maple, it doesn’t need a sprinkle of Stevia or even a few dried dates.

Bananas are naturally sweet when they’re perfectly ripe. Almonds are full of nourishing, healthy fats. And almond milk (unsweetened) is the perfect liquid to pull it all together, keeping the smoothie simple and tasting of bananas. I can’t resist a splash of vanilla, and you shouldn’t either, because it transforms the taste into an almost milkshake-like flavor. The whole thing is divine.

Banana Almond Smoothie 2

I, of course, add a handful of ice to make it colder and a bit thicker, but that’s a matter of preference.

Use whatever blender works for you, but I highly recommend a high powered blender like a Vitamix or a Blendtec. If you haven’t used one, you seriously should (or go watch a demo because they tend to do those in random grocery stores). They’re a game changer. You can even buy a refurbished model, making it more affordable and you get all of the amazingness of the machine!

Banana Almond Smoothie // treatswithatwist.com

On to the recipe! Enjoy! 

Banana Almond Smoothie
My Banana Almond Smoothie is an extremely simple, 4-ingredient smoothie that will conquer your sweet tooth without sweeteners, nourish your body and keep you cool in the summertime. Its simplicity may seem elementary, but this smoothie will be your new best friend. (makes 1 smoothie)
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Ingredients
  1. 1 banana
  2. ¼ cup raw almonds
  3. ¾ cup unsweetened almond milk
  4. splash of vanilla extract
  5. ice (optional)
Instructions
  1. In a blender, combine the ingredients (except for the ice) and blend until smooth. Then add a handful of ice and blend again until smooth.
  2. Enjoy!
Notes
  1. I rimmed the glass with a bit of honey and cinnamon, but this isn’t necessary (it’s just adorable).
Treats With a Twist http://www.treatswithatwist.com/wp/
 Another fun, simple banana recipe is this one! You’ll love it! 

Chocolate Dipped Frozen Banana Bites

My Chocolate Dipped Frozen Banana Bites are a fun, super simple treat for those hot Summer days. They’re fun to dip, roll in toppings and freeze for an anytime treat. 

Chocolate Dipped Frozen Banana Bites // treatswithatwist.com

When it comes to torching-hot, impossibly humid summer days, nothing beats a frozen treat. And for some reason, I’ve been hooked on staring at pictures of Disneyland treats lately, because I haven’t been there since I was a little kid.

This is kind of embarrassing, really. Because it isn’t a “recipe”, it’s more of a method. But that’s the best, right? SO easy, and SO good. And just looking at them reminds me of Mickey Mouse. Priceless.

I definitely encourage you to be adventurous with your toppings! I chose to mix together toasted and untoasted coconut, some of my favorite granola, and yummy honey roasted almonds, chopped up very fine! But these would also be amazing with salted peanuts, cacao nibs, mini white chocolate chips…endless possibilities.

Chocolate Dipped Frozen Banana Bites 1

chocolate dipped frozen banana bites 2

Chocolate Dipped Frozen Banana Bites are such a fun treat to put together with kids. They’re also just fun to do in a spare moment. Just be careful, because somehow I ended up with chocolate all over my face by the time I was done…I have no clue how that happened.  

Chocolate Dipped Frozen Banana Bites 4

Chocolate Dipped Frozen Banana Bites
My Chocolate Dipped Frozen Banana Bites are a fun, super simple treat for those hot Summer days. They’re fun to dip, roll in toppings and freeze for an anytime treat. (makes 8-10 bites)
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Ingredients
  1. 2 large bananas
  2. ½ cup dark or semisweet chocolate
Toppings
  1. ¼ cup shredded coconut (toasted, not, or both)
  2. ¼ cup granola
  3. ¼ cup chopped honey roasted almonds
Instructions
  1. Have a pan lined with parchment paper ready.
  2. In the microwave or in a double-boiler, melt the chocolate slowly so it stays glossy.
  3. Cut your bananas in 1-2” chunks. Dip each chunk into the chocolate, then roll in a topping. Set the finished banana on the parchment. Dip each piece and roll in a topping until you’ve finished the bananas.
  4. Put the pan of finished banana chunks in the freezer. Freeze for 4-6 hours or overnight. Place in a plastic bag to keep in the freezer for snacking! Enjoy!
Treats With a Twist http://www.treatswithatwist.com/wp/
 There’s always money in the banana stand. 

Strawberry Cashew Smoothie

This Strawberry Cashew Smoothie is inspired by fresh, local juice companies, made of a small handful of ingredients for a purely delicious drink. Strawberries and cashews or almonds combine for a refreshing snack you can feel good about. 

Strawberry Cashew Smoothie // treatswithatwist.com

Before I pour my heart out about this smoothie, I have to take a quick side-step and say a huge THANK YOU. All of your comments on my Surprise post meant so much to my husband and myself. I meant it when I said if anybody needs to email me about the topic, I am an open book and listening ear. Thank you, I feel so loved.

Strawberry Cashew Smoothie 3

This smoothie! It is SO simple, and that’s the true beauty of it. It is inspired 100% by a smoothie I picked up in a beautiful glass bottle while I was traveling over Memorial Day weekend. I stopped at a local farmers market, saw fresh juices and just had to have a couple. This one had such a simple list of ingredients and looked so creamy and delicious.

The original smoothie was made with almonds, but I only had cashews in my pantry, so that’s what I went for. You can totally substitute almonds and I’m sure it would be amazing.

Strawberry Cashew Smoothie 1

My Strawberry Cashew Smoothie is only sweetened with pure maple syrup, just to highlight the delicious strawberries. You could throw in a couple of dates if you have them, but maple syrup is more often found in my fridge.

Strawberry Cashew Smoothie 2

Lastly, I added a pinch of black Hawaiian sea salt. I picked this sea salt up while I was shopping Boulder at Blend Retreat with my beautiful mermaid friend, Kait. She and I were testing tons of raw salts (ie eating salt by the palm-full) and she told me I had to buy this one! Done. I love how it just melts into things and adds a pleasantly sharp saltiness. You only need a pinch. BUT if you’re not a salt-aficionado, a pinch of sea salt or Kosher salt will do just fine. Just don’t leave it out, because you need the balance. 

Strawberry Cashew Smoothie 5

Strawberry Cashew Smoothie
This Strawberry Cashew Smoothie is inspired by fresh, local juice companies, made of a small handful of ingredients for a purely delicious drink. Strawberries and cashews or almonds combine for a refreshing snack you can feel good about. (makes 1 smoothie)
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Ingredients
  1. 1/3 cup raw cashews
  2. ¾ cup (a large handful) rinsed strawberries
  3. 2 tsp maple syrup
  4. pinch of sea salt
  5. 1 ½ cups filtered water
Instructions
  1. Combine all of the ingredients in your blender and blend. Taste the smoothie, if you need more sweetness then add more maple syrup.
  2. Pour into a glass, enjoy!
Notes
  1. Drink smoothie right away, or store in a glass jar (with lid) in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Treats With a Twist http://www.treatswithatwist.com/wp/
Note: this is not a sponsored post. I blended this smoothie in my Blendtec blender, but you can use whichever blender works for you. If you want to check out a Blendtec and find one for your home, click on one of the Blendtec ads to your right in my sidebar (I am an affiliate, and you’ll get free shipping!). 

Mexican Hot Chocolate Popsicles

Ole!

I’m so excited to bring you an easy treat for Cinco de Mayo! Mexcian Hot Chocolate Popsicles

  Mexican Hot Chocolate Popsicles // treatswithatwist.com

I had concocted all of these elaborate Mexican chocolate desserts, and then when it came down to it, fudgsicles and popsicles were screaming louder than the rest. Popsicles are great because they’re always simple, sweet, and fun to eat. So, you can’t beat that.

If you like the whole “sweet then heat” you get from putting a pinch of cayenne into chocolate, then certainly do that here. I know it can be super trendy, but I’ve just never loved it. I don’t like sucking on chocolate and then wondering why my throat is on fire. Instead, I like just a bit of flavorful cinnamon in my chocolate to make it “Mexican.”

Mexican Hot Chocolate Popsicles 1

If you don’t own a popsicle mold yet, you definitely should. They range in price from a few bucks, to pretty darn expensive, depending on how “fancy” you want them to be. Some come in “instant freeze” packaging, but I have just the old fashioned “wait forever while freezing” variety. I’ve picked up a few different mold shapes over the years, but just remember, they all taste the same. I have these ones and these ones and love them.

Mexican Hot Chocolate Popsicles // treatswithatwist.com

Mexican Hot Chocolate Popsicles 4

Mexican Hot Chocolate Popsicles 5

This recipe is super simple. If you like a creamier popsicle (fudgsicle, more like), then I’d use canned coconut milk. Because I was feeling lazy, I went with some unsweetened almond milk, which results in a bit icier popsicle. Either way, you get a great chocolate punch of flavor from real melted chocolate and a fun twist from the cinnamon. I think these are the perfect way to celebrate Cinco de Mayo…you know, until the margaritas are ready.  Mexican Hot Chocolate Popsicles 3

Mexican Hot Chocolate Popsicles
Mexican Hot Chocolate Popsicles are the perfect treat for Cinco de Mayo! Cinnamon spiked hot chocolate is frozen into popsicle molds, making it a fun, portable treat for the warmer months. (makes 5 popsicles)
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Ingredients
  1. 2 cups unsweetened almond milk (or coconut milk)
  2. ½ cup semisweet chocolate chips
  3. ¼ tsp. vanilla extract
  4. ½ tsp. cinnamon
  5. optional: pinch of cayenne pepper or chili pepper
Instructions
  1. In a saucepan on the stovetop over medium-low heat or in a microwave-safe bowl, combine the unsweetened almond milk and the chocolate chips and stir until completely melted and combined together. Turn off the heat, add the vanilla and cinnamon (and chili if you’re using it). Whisk together.
  2. Pour the hot chocolate mixture into your popsicle molds (mine made 5 standard-sized popsicles). Freeze overnight. Un-mold, lick, enjoy!
Treats With a Twist http://www.treatswithatwist.com/wp/
 Note: links are Amazon affiliate links. 

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Raw Almond Chocolate Chip Cookies

Raw Almond Chocolate Chip Cookies are a super-quick and simple, no bake cookie! After only a few minutes of work, you can be enjoying delicious cookies without turning on the oven. 

Raw Almond Chocolate Chip Cookies // treatswithatwist.com

This weekend was really a good one.

My husband suggested that we drive to the outdoor mall in our area (ie an hour away). Shock! He wanted new clothes and shoes for work and I had a Sephora VIB sale coupon burning a hole in my wallet.

I bought twice as much stuff as I went in there looking for, which is so typical. Head slap. And I’m still really torn on one of my purchases and can’t decide if I’ll keep it or exchange it for something comparable. Anyways, you know that means a Spring Beauty Round Up post is in your near future!

I also found out that none of my local grocery stores sell Sour Straws, and that Sour Patch Kids now have a blue kid. Just in case you were curious.

Also, the Lilly Pulitzer line for Target sold out in .0009 seconds and I didn’t get any of it! Totally not cool. 

And I made these cookies! Without turning on the oven! Which is a huge perk right now because some days are 85 degrees and turning on the oven fills our house with more heat and strange odors than I can handle (yeah, nothing is better than freshly baked cookies, but I seriously can’t handle that lingering for 2 days).

Raw Almond Chocolate Chip Cookies 3

This recipe for Raw Almond Chocolate Chip Cookies is so simple, so use the best ingredients you can get your paws on. If you love the taste of only one particular almond butter, splurge on that one (hello, Justin’s Vanilla!). If you have a thing for sliced almonds glazed in honey sweetness, definitely use those.

Raw Almond Chocolate Chip Cookies 2

The cookies come together in your food processor in just a matter of seconds. I use my mini food prep and it works perfectly for this recipe.

Then the cookies are scooped out and you can choose how big or small you want them to be. They’ll be pretty rich, so nothing bigger than a Tablespoon is what I recommend.

Raw Almond Chocolate Chip Cookies 4

Raw Almond Chocolate Chip Cookies // treatswithatwist.com

My Raw Almond Chocolate Chip Cookies are a perfect solution for a hot day when you don’t want to turn on your oven, or for when you need a cookie RIGHT NOW and can’t stand to wait on them. Plus, it’s like eating raw dough, which we all know is the best part. You’re welcome! 

Raw Almond Chocolate Chip Cookies
Raw Almond Chocolate Chip Cookies are a super-quick and simple, no bake cookie! After only a few minutes of work, you can be enjoying delicious cookies without turning on the oven. (makes 8-10 cookies)
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Ingredients
  1. ½ cup almond butter (I used Justin’s Vanilla Almond Butter)
  2. 3 soft Medjool dates
  3. 2 Tbs. pure maple syrup
  4. ½ cup oats
  5. pinch of Kosher salt
  6. 2 Tbs. sliced almonds (I used Trader Joe’s Honey Roasted Almonds)
  7. 2 Tbs. mini chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. In your mini food prep or food processor, combine the almond butter and soft dates (if your dates aren’t super soft, let them soak in warm water for 30 minutes before starting). Blend until almond smooth. Next, add the maple syrup and pulse it in. Then add the oats and pulse those in until they’re pretty well broken up, but still a descent size. Finally, add the salt, almonds and chocolate chips, and pulse a few times until they’re stirred in and only slightly broken up.
  2. Use a small cookie scoop or a spoon to scoop out even portions of the dough. I like to use a Tbs scoop, then roll the ball in my hands a few times to make sure it all sticks together. You can leave the cookies in balls, but I like to flatten them a bit with my palm then use a fork to press in a grid pattern on top.
Notes
  1. Cookies can be kept in the fridge for a couple weeks in a well-sealed container, or in the freezer. But seriously, it’s 8 cookies, they’ll be gone in no time.
  2. To keep the cookies Vegan, use regular sliced almonds instead of honey roasted.
Treats With a Twist http://www.treatswithatwist.com/wp/