Mocha Superfood Popsicles

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We had our first day of warmer weather and sunshine this weekend. I love that first day of spring-like weather after a long winter. It’s finally time to put the patio furniture out, clean the grill, and open the windows to let the fresh air in. The warm weather inspired me to make these popsicles. The hardest part was waiting for them to freeze! I also had a hard time narrowing down the ingredients. The choices are endless for homemade popsicles but I wanted to keep it simple and healthy. I’m a coffee and espresso lover and have two coffee makers at home (one for espresso and one for drip coffee), so making a mocha pop was a no-brainer! I actually used decaf espresso for these so that I could have them at night and not stay up. The decaf version also makes them kid friendly. These popsicles are creamy, chocolate-y, and taste similar to a mocha drink you would order in a coffee shop. They will satisfy your craving for a mocha drink with about a third of the calories. These pops aren’t too sweet and contain no refined sugar. They also contain flax seed and chia seeds which add some fiber and antioxidants. This is just the beginning of my spring/summer popsicle making and I’m still learning how to photograph them without having them melt before my eyes! If you are looking for a tasty, easy, healthy treat then these are perfect. I used Polar Pops brand popsicle molds but also like the Zoku brand (both can be found on Amazon.com). Tag us on Instagram or Facebook @thefriendlyepicurean with pictures!

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Mocha Superfood Popsicles

  • Servings: 6
  • Time: 15min + 8hr freezing time
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 1.5 cups almond milk
  • 1/2 cup espresso (or coffee)
  • 1 tbs almond butter
  • 6 pitted dates
  • 2 tbs agave syrup
  • 2 tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp chia seeds
  • 1/2 tsp flax powder

Directions


Place all ingredients in a high powered blender (such as Vitamix) and blend on medium speed until smooth. Pour into popsicle molds and freeze overnight.

Nutrition Information:

  • Approximate Calories per Popsicle: 71 cal

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Polar Pops Popsicle Molds Set (Traditional Paddle Style) – Homemade Ice Treat Maker for Toddlers, Kids and Adults – BPA Free, Stainless Steel – Dishwasher Safe


Zoku Classic Pop Molds

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Curried Sweet Potato Fries with Lemon Garlic Aioli

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I don’t eat fries often but when I do it’s to treat myself after a tough week at work or after a big workout. Good fries are not hard to find in Chicago. The temptation is everywhere! Fries are vegan but not exactly healthy… This spicy, healthier recipe for fries is easy and will satisfy your craving without destroying your healthy eating goals for the day. You can enjoy a serving of these fries with less guilt. I’ve learned a lot about food from reading Michael Pollan’s books including Omnivore’s Dilemma. He recommends making your own fries when you crave them. That way you can control what goes in them. Making your own fries also allows you to appreciate and savor them more. The lemon garlic aioli is really the star of this recipe. It goes perfectly with the curry spices in the fries. If you like crispy fries make sure that you spread them out evenly so they aren’t touching on the baking sheet. I prefer softer fries so I tend to pile mine onto the baking sheet. These fries are incredibly flavorful and so easy to make. They contain less fat compared to traditional fries since they are baked not fried. The spices add a savory kick which complements the natural sweetness of the potatoes. I prefer sweet potatoes because they are high in vitamin A and have a lower glycemic index compared to regular potatoes. Let me know how they turn out by taking a picture and tagging @thefriendlyepicurean on Instagram!

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Curried Sweet Potato Fries with Lemon Garlic Aioli

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 1 hr
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 2 lbs sweet potatoes (about 4 potatoes)
  • 2-3 tbs olive oil
  • olive oil spray
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • For the aioli:
  • 3 tbs vegan mayonnaise
  • 2 tbs freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic, minced (use a garlic press for best results)

Directions

Preheat oven to 425F. Grease a baking sheet with olive oil spray and set aside. Wash, peel, and cut potatoes into 1/4″ to 1/2″ sticks. Toss potatoes with olive oil, cayenne pepper, cumin, garlic, coriander, salt, and black pepper. Spread fries evenly on baking sheet making sure fries do not overlap (for crispy fries). Bake for 30 minutes (flip half way through cooking time). For the aioli: whisk together lemon juice, mayonnaise, and minced garlic until smooth. Serve immediately. Store fries and aioli separately in an airtight container for up to 1 day. Reheat fries in oven or toaster oven at 350F for about 5-7 minutes.

Nutrition Information:

  • Approximate calories per 1/4 fries: 210 cal (without aioli)
  • Approximate calories per 1/4 aioli: 68 cal

 

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Calming Green Protein Smoothie

If you’re looking for a “go to” smoothie to make every morning – this is it! This smoothie is high in plant based protein and fiber and also contains calming turmeric. The cardamom adds delicious and fragrant flavor while the ginger adds a little kick. You can sneak in a serving of spinach as well as 18 grams of protein with this delicious smoothie. It’s filling and won’t make you crash later because there’s no refined sugar in it. I use protein powder from Livwell Nutrition because it’s plant based and raw. I like to have non-soy protein options and prefer this protein powder because it’s soy free and minimally processed. I’m also a fan of Vega protein powder which is easily found at stores like Whole Foods and Target. LivWell Nutrition protein powder can be found here – you can use the code “EPICUREAN” to get a 10% discount.


Calming Green Protein Smoothie

  • Servings: 1
  • Time: 10min
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 1.5 cups unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/4 cup frozen sliced bananas
  • 1/2 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1 scoop vegan vanilla protein powder (such as LivWell Nutrition brand)
  • 1 cup baby spinach
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom powder
  • 1/4 tsp ginger powder
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tbs raw shredded coconut (optional for topping)

Directions


Place all ingredients in a high powered blender and blend until smooth. Top with shredded coconut and serve cold.

Nutrition Information:

  • Approximate calories per serving: 206 cal
  • Approximate protein per serving: 18g
  • Approximate fiber per serving: 6g
  • Approximate fat per serving: 7g
  • Approximate carbs per serving: 24g