Maple Alps

Recipes

Classic Strawberry Banana Smoothie (vegan)

RecipesAmanda Walter | Maple AlpsComment

Did I tell you about the time my husband won a year’s worth of free smoothies? The first 50 customers at an opening smoothie shop was offering free smoothies (one a week for a year). He went out at 5am as kind of a joke to see if it would even work out, and ended up being #48 or something like that. Crazy, right? The sad ending of this story was that he was greatly disappointed in the quality of the smoothies and we ended up moving away anyway.

Why did I share this story? I don’t know. But…

One thing that is sure in our home is that the blender will be whipping up a smoothie every day. It’s part of the reason we had to upgrade our blender early on (that, and I kinda of made our old one die…). We love experimenting with different combinations of flavors and textures, but there are smoothies involved. Smoothies are a great way to get some nutrients in and even stay somewhat hydrated. They are also easy to customize to your own specific needs. ALSO, they taste way better than any of the ones we’ve bought from stores and they don’t cost $6/smoothie. Yikes.

This summer, I’ll be sharing some of our favorite smoothie recipes with you, starting with a classic.

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Classic Strawberry Banana Smoothie (vegan) | www.maplealps.com

Strawberry banana was probably one of the first smoothies I ever made on my own way back when. It has remained an easy favorite.

It was kind of weird to measure out exactly what we put into this smoothie, but I think it was worth it to be able to share it with you. Honestly, eyeball the heck out of this smoothie, because it will still taste great! This is a great smoothie to start out your day with or to end it - I won’t judge.

This recipe will make enough to share with your favorite friend - or you could just enjoy it on your own, I suppose. I love adding flax/or chia seeds to my smoothies for some fiber too. It’s optional for you, however. Just know that you can’t actually taste it if you choose to add it.


By the way, we never add any ice to our smoothies, because we find that it takes away from the creaminess of them (that, and we never have ice on hand!). Instead, we use frozen fruit to achieve a similar effect. Feel free to use a few blocks of ice if you prefer, however.

Strawberry Cream Smoothie | www.maplealps.com

Strawberry Cream Smoothie

what you need:

  • 2 cups non-dairy milk (I use soy)

  • 1 large banana (use a frozen banana for a thicker smoothie)

  • 1 cup strawberries (use frozen strawberries for a thicker smoothie)

  • 1 tsp ground flax seed (optional)


what to do:

1) Add all ingredients to a blender and process until everything is well mixed.

2) Serve immediately and enjoy!

 

Do you enjoy a good smoothie? What is your go-to? Let me know in the comments!


 

Fresh Homemade Lemonade

RecipesAmanda Walter | Maple AlpsComment

Whenever I envision the perfect summer break in my mind’s eye, whether I picture myself sitting somewhere peaceful like a nice deck or on the beach enjoying the sunshine, I also see myself sipping on some lemonade. It’s almost as if I can’t have summer without lemonade! Or some cold iced tea. But mostly lemonade!

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Fresh Homemade Lemonade | www.maplealps.com

I’ve done all different types of lemonade over the years. I remember one summer I was obsessed with putting ENTIRE (yes, whole) lemons into the blender with ice and agave. I mean, it was tasty, but I think my system couldn’t handle all of the rind by the end of it. Huh, just telling you about this is making me want to retry this episode of my life story! I also used to mix some other fruit into lemonade - usually blueberries, because I loooooove blueberries!

But this recipe is super easy. All you need is some lemons (duh), water, ice, and simple syrup (find the recipe here)! The simple syrup bit, you may have to plan ahead since it requires some cooling down, but it’s worth the wait, truly!

Fresh Homemade Lemonade | www.maplealps.com

The best part about this lemonade is that it’s quick and easy to make. That, and there are no instant lemonade granules in the bottle of your glass or jar. Seriously a pet peeve of mine! I like my lemonade natural and freshly squeezed from a lemon.

Use still water or swap it out for sparkling if you’re feeling fancy! Sip it out of your reusable straws (these are the ones that are picture that we use from Amazon!) and feel really good about what’s in your glass!

Fresh Homemade Lemonade | www.maplealps.com

Fresh Homemade Lemonade

what you need:

  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

  • 1/4 cup simple syrup

  • 1 cup water (OR sparkling water)

  • Ice


what to do:

1) Add all ingredients to a small pitcher

2) Stir well, until mixed

3) Serve immediately with ice and enjoy!

 

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Are you a lemonade fan or an iced tea fan? If you liked this recipe, share it with a friend or on Pinterest! Did you try it? Snap a quick photo and tag us on Instagram @maplealps!


 

Untraditional Simple Syrup

RecipesAmanda Walter | Maple AlpsComment

Summer for me means a lot of fresh lemonade and iced tea. I remember the days of powdered mixes in a can that you mixed with water and at the end of the drink there would be little granules at the bottom - and it would get sweeter as you got to the bottom. I know I’m not the only one who was annoyed with that.

Besides canned and powdered mixes being full of chemicals and dyes and sugars that are not the best options during the summer, it is incredibly easy to make your own drinks that contain less ingredients and taste just as great - if not better!

Untraditional Simple Syrup | www.maplealps.com

A couple of things makes my simple syrup untraditional, the first being that instead of white refined sugar, I use raw organic cane sugar. The reason I use raw organic cane sugar is not necessarily for health reasons (gasp!). First off, I find white sugar a little bland. It’s just sweet and there is no depth of flavor. Maybe it’s just a personal preference, so feel free to use white if that is what you so wish. Organic cane sugar just means that the sugar cane used for the sugar was grown organically and is produced without any synthetic pesticides and herbicides. Which is nice to know. Not only does this decrease the amount of pesticides you are potentially intaking, but it is a step towards lowering the pesticide load on the environment.

In conclusion, there really isn’t a difference nutritionally between the two sugars, and you should be careful to not intake too much of a good thing anyway ;-)

Simple Syrup-2.jpg

The other thing that makes my simple syrup untraditional is the ratio of water and sugar that I use. Usually, there is a 1:1 ratio. I, however, use 2 parts water to 1 part sugar. It’s a small difference, but still a difference nonetheless. I’ve been curbing my sweet tooth, I guess. Don’t worry. It is definitely still sweet enough!

This simple syrup is perfect for lemonade and sweet tea and anything else you may want sweetened - without the granules in the bottom of your glass!

The best part? It’s quick and easy to whip up! And even easier to store in the fridge for up to 4 weeks!

Untraditional Simple Syrup | www.maplealps.com

Simple Syrup

what you need:

  • 2 cups water

  • 1 cup raw cane sugar


what to do:

1) Add all ingredients to a pot and bring to boil

2) Simmer for about 3 minutes, until syrup is clear

3) Allow to cool down before using in the drink of your choice

4) Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for about 3-4 weeks (if it lasts that long!)

 

What are your go-to summer drinks? Have you ever made a simple syrup before?


 

Maple Alps Roundup: 6 Sweet Treats for Summer Days

RecipesAmanda Walter | Maple AlpsComment

It is hard to believe that Summer is here again! It has been another eventful year - a lot of things have happened and changed - and I think that goes for pretty much all of us!

To kick off the Summer season, I thought I might share some the sweet, cold treats we’ve shared before for you to enjoy over the next weeks! It will be a pretty hectic summer for us while we transition to a new state and I take two classes and get ready for a brand new type of school year, but the best thing about these treats is that they’re relatively quick to make and easy to keep in the freezer!

Maple Alps Roundup: 6 Sweet Treats for Summer Days | www.maplealps.com

I’ll be releasing some new goodies over the summer, but just in case you forgot about these ones, here you go!

 

This mango swirl ice cream is delicious and easy to whip up! All you need is a pot and an ice cream maker! Well, and the ingredients, but that’s a given….right?

Chocolate Chai Ice Cream? Yes, please! Also, I just realized that 'chia' and 'chai' are basically the same but just with the last two letters rearranged. Okay. Go make this ice cream already!

 

Speaking of chia….these chia peach frozen pops are perfect for those days on the porch. Bonus: they're low in sugar and high in fun! Also, they’re highly customizable. Don’t like peaches? Pick a different fruit!

You won't find a tastier vegan Fudgsicle! These frozen chocolate pops are creamy and delicious and you can bet I'll be keeping my freezer stocked with these - they’re my personal favorite actually.

For those days you're feeling a little fancy: try this strawberry cream dream cake! You’ll need to do a bit of planning, but it will be worth it! Again, customizable. Don’t like strawberries? Pick something else!

It’s not summer without a good chocolate cream pie! I love cream pies - especially when I get to enjoy them out on the deck with a good friend. What about you? This one is gluten free, has little sugar, and vegan, so less guilt, right? Maybe. Still tastes great.

 
vegan pantry | www.maplealps.com
 

How To Cook [Garbanzo] Beans

Recipes, HealthAmanda Walter | Maple AlpsComment

I love the versatility of garbanzo beans (also known as chick peas)! You can put them in a salad, roast them in the oven to make a quick snack, have them in a bowl or even crush them to make a spread or burgers. Beans of any sort are great to keep in the pantry, and if you are trying to save money on groceries, a fantastic way to do that is to buy beans dry! They keep a long time, and they are easy to prepare and freeze if you want to keep them on hand. Plus, if you have concerns about the sodium content in canned beans, dried is the way to go! Canned or not, you definitely need beans in your diet, so I decided to do a quick "how to" post to help you out. 

How To Cook [Garbanzo] Beans | www.maplealps.com

This how-to really applies to any bean and there are several ways to cook them. 

Step One: Sort
Check your beans for any broken fellows or other debris or stones you may find in a dry bag of beans. You will want to get all of that out.

Step Two: Rinse
Pretty self-explanatory.

Step Three: Soak
Now, soaking is optional actually! The thing about soaking is that it will cut your actual cooking time down (Saving you on gas/electricity - whatever your stove runs on), and it will also make beans less of a "musical fruit," as it helps break down some of the indigestible sugars that cause flatulence. The easiest way to soak beans is overnight. Just make sure water is about 2-3 inches above them and sleep the night away. Waiting is easier then. You can also do a quick soak by putting them in a pot with water, bringing it to a boil, and then taking them off the heat and let them soak for an hour.

How To Cook Garbanzo Beans | www.maplealps.com
How To Cook Garbanzo Beans | www.maplealps.com

Step Four: Cook
Again, make sure there is 2-3 inches of water covering your beans and bring the pot to a boil - slowly though. Bring the pot to a simmer, and stir occasionally, scraping off any foam that on the surface (you won't get too much with garbanzos). You will know your beans are done when they are tender (you can mash or poke them with a fork - or eat one like I tend to do....hehe)

Those weirdly shrivelled things do come out plump and juicy - as long as you don't overcook them. 

Now, I did mention you could cook them in several different ways. Some other ways I know of (let me know how you cook beans in the comments!) are:

  • in a pot in the oven

  • in a slow cooker (my favourite method - I just turn it on before work and I have cooked beans when I get home for dinner!)

  • in a pressure cooker

How To Cook Garbanzo Beans | www.maplealps.com

Step Five: Store
Beans will stay good in the refrigerator for several days, but I like to keep them in the freezer for easy and quick access. They will stay several months in the freezer. I suppose you could can them as well, but I personally like the freedom with how many I want to use with the freezing method. I don't always use an entire jars worth.

Yay! You are now ready to save time (with some planning, of course) and money!

 

How do you cook your beans? What do you cook with them?