One of my most favourite combinations – especially around Christmas time! I still remember sneaking away with a box of After Eight chocolates when I was little! I adore thin mints, chocolate mint Girl Guide cookies, peppermint patties, and now they even make chocolate mint Oreo’s! And please don’t get me started on Peppermint Mochas or Candy Cane Hot Chocolates. YUM!
It’s a lot of indulgence, and I have to remind myself to keep my diet balanced this time of year. Chocolates are great, but seventeen too many and I’ll need to go up a pant size! So what better way to experience the delicious flavours of chocolate and mint than in a nutritious smoothie?
I used the Vega One Nutritional Shake in Chocolate as a base, and added in peppermint tea with fresh mint to boot! It was delicious! A creamy, chocolate smoothie with a hit of fresh mint that makes you feel like you’re having dessert!
The Cornucopia Food & Wine Festival came and went in a flurry of wine glasses, artisan cheeses, tapas-style plates, and indulgent desserts. Throughout the eleven delicious festivals days, the new workshop series at The Fairmont Chateau Whistler was the most buzz-worthy event, by far. I was lucky enough to get a coveted spot at The Art of Festival Fondues, one of my favourite and indulgent holiday feasts.
The ‘Lunch & Learn’ featured Chef de Cuisine, Kreg Graham, cooking up a wine-paired, three course menu. It was held at the luxuriously warm Grill Room at The Faimont Chateau Whistler.
Our first course consisted of two mouthwatering cheese fondues, the Applewood Smoked Cheddar and Bacon Fondue, as well as a Dried Cranberry, Pistachio and Brie Fondue. The pots were served with an array of sausages, charcuterie, artisan breads, vegetables, and pickles. While each fondue was equally as delicious as the other, the indulgent combination of Bacon-Wrapped Pears in the cheddar fondue was to die for.
Different wine pairings were chosen for each course, because what’s a wine festival without wine, am I right? Our wine glasses were always full and it added a definite merriment to the occasion. Large, plump scallops, shrimp, and beef were served up for our second course. Again, two fondue pots, one with oil and one with broth, were there for cooking our selected protein in. A variety of sauces were arranged on our plates, including a lovely mustard sauce and a spicy yogurt-curry sauce.
Throughout the luncheon, Chef De Cuisine Kreg Graham demonstrated different cooking techniques. He discussed different food and wine pairings, and we learnt which fondue pots are best for which recipe. I think my jaw dropped when the dessert came out.
Served with a sweet red dessert wine, the candlelit fondue pots held a rich chocolate fondue and a heavenly salted caramel fondue. We dipped strawberries, cookies, and meringues to our hearts desire!
The Art of Festival Fondues was the most memorable part of my Cornucopia Festival experience. Dining at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler is an incredibly luxurious experience, and we came away from the fondue workshop delighted and absolutely full! Below is the luscious Salted Caramel Fondue recipe, courtesy of the Recipe Book from “The Art of Holiday Planning” Workshop Collection at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler.
Everyone I talk to asks me “How is your smoothie challenge going?” – and I always answer “GREAT!”, although there were days that I wasn’t quite looking forward to washing my blender again. I’ve definitely been feeling a lot better, I think I’ve lost a couple of pounds, and my skin is doing that annoying ‘detox’ thing where every bad thing I’ve eaten in the past 6 months decides to become a pimple. Right on my forehead.
Skin problems aside, I’ve started becoming more adventurous with my smoothies! I discovered a new book, Green Smoothies: The Weight Loss & Detox Secret, which has helped me find new recipes. I’ve been adding in different varieties of fruits and vegetables, adding sweeteners like honey or maple syrup, and I tried out a new Vega One Nutrition Shake – Vanilla Chai! It was absolutely delicious and added some well-needed spice to my smoothie!
Green Smoothies: The Weight Loss & Detox Secret, contains 50 recipes for a healthy diet. It’s easy to read, and gives a ton of information on the nutritional value of smoothies, how it can help your health, discusses seasonal green smoothies, and tasty tips for changing your regular recipe up!
The recipes are easy to read, with lots of unique smoothies that all taste amazing. I’ve tried twelve different recipes from the book (another 38 to go!) and they’ve all been tasty, as well as easy to adapt. For instance, I couldn’t find watercress one day so I subbed it with celery and kale, and the recipe still turned out. I also added a scoop of Vega One Shake to many of the recipes and they still turned out delicious!
My favourite recipes so far have been:
Beet & Broccoli Smoothie
Sweet Potato Smoothie
Almond & Strawberry Smoothie
Chocolate Spinach Smoothie
Spiced Pumpkin Smoothie
The Spiced Pumpkin Smoothie has perfectly warm flavours of fall – the spiciness of the cinnamon and ginger, with the comforting pumpkin is so, so good in a smoothie! I would have never have thought to put pumpkin in a smoothie before this! Try it out and let me know how you like it! And check out the book, Green Smoothies, for more ridiculously easy and delicious smoothie recipes!
1 cup plain yogurt (or almond milk/liquid of choice)
½ teaspoon grated ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons maple syrup
Optional: 1 scoop Vega One Shake - Vanilla Chai
Optional: ½ teaspoon crushed pecans to garnish
Mix all ingredients together in a blender.
Pour smoothie into a glass and garnish with pecans and a sprinkle of cinnamon!
Adapted from Green Smoothies: The Weight Loss & Detox Secret
Disclosure: This is not a paid post. I received the product mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.
Have you ever taken a real hard look at your eating habits?
My son recently started daycare a couple of times a week, and with my daughter back in school, I suddenly have time to myself – alone! – to work from home. This also means I get to make my own meals, just for myself. This is something that hasn’t happened in years.
But suddenly I’m stunned by my choices. Hot dogs, popcorn, caesar salads – all convenience and processed foods. I need to kickstart myself back into healthy eating mode, to feel better and to lose a few pounds.
They are absolutely delicious – don’t let the colour fool you! Yes, there are dark greens like spinach and kale, but their flavours are muted by the addition of berries, fruits like mango and pineapple, and delicious protein powders or nut butters.
Don’t know where to start?
Neither did I. Then I discovered Simple Green Smoothies (I swear, these girls have no idea I’m even blogging about them, I just think they’re brilliant!) and quickly learnt how to mix smoothies like a pro. If you join up with their 30-Day Challenge, they email you grocery lists and recipes! Super simple!
Why should you add Vega One to your smoothie?
Firstly, Vega products are all plant-based and vegan-friendly. It’s not full of processed and strange ingredients like most other protein powders and weight-loss shakes are. I can feel good about putting it in my body because it contains 50% of the daily nutrients and minerals that your body needs.
It’s a great addition to a smoothie because it adds a little bit of calories (about 140 calories per serving) and it tastes delicious! My favourite is the French Vanilla flavour, with Chocolate being a close second, but I’m really keen on trying the Vanilla Chai!
For the next 30 days, I will be drinking a green smoothie with Vega One for breakfast, and another for lunch, with a light dinner to round it all up, and healthy snacks like nuts or fruits if necessary. I’m hoping to see some changes in my body and in how I feel about my health!
I’ll be checking in along the way, sharing a few of my favourite smoothie recipes and letting you know how it goes! Here’s an easy green smoothie recipe that I’m loving lately!
The first day of September screams fall to me, even though summer isn’t technically over yet! Walking into Starbucks this time of year means being bombarded with delicious scents of cinnamon, nutmeg and pumpkin – and while I usually enjoy my Americano with a bit of cream, I can’t resist the temptation of the Pumpkin Spice Latte!
Have you read this recent post from Food Babe about the ingredients in a Starbucks pumpkin spice latte? It gave me some added incentive to create my own recipe to make at home!
This recipe is simple enough to make for yourself when you’re in a rush – and you won’t even have to wait in line at Starbucks to do it!