Maple Alps

drinks

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.

This post contains affiliate links

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!

This post contains affiliate links

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!

 

Shop this post:


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?


 

Vegan Hot Chocolate Mix

RecipesAmanda Walter | Maple Alps16 Comments

The holidays are not the holidays to me if hot chocolate is not involved. There is just something about snuggling up in the couch with a hot mug of love in your hand. Of course, it's not hot chocolate if it’s not magically light and creamy at the same time.

As much as I hate to see Summer go, there’s not much better than cuddle weather. Sweaters and blankets make me happy, and the best thing to complete that is a hot drink. I enjoy tea most days, but sometimes I like something sweet - like a chai latte or hot chocolate. When I don’t have time to melt down some dairy-free cocoa, it’s nice to have this mix ready and available in my cupboard! Well, let’s be real - we take hot drinks really seriously in our house, so more like our hot drink station.

With Christmas around the corner, and the cold weather already here, I figured I’d better buckle down and write down my pantry version of vegan hot chocolate mix to share with all of you!

This post contains affiliate links

Vegan Hot Chocolate Mix | www.maplealps.com

All of my favourite Christmas traditions revolve around hot drinks (and not just hot chocolate, mind you!). Decorating the tree with one at hand was a must. Watching Home Alone doesn’t count unless you have one to keep warm. It’s just something you need to have - something that isn’t as enjoyable when the weather outside is hot. It’s special.

And it’s customizable!

This is quick and simple to mix up, and is subject to all sorts of variations. We like adding cinnamon to our mix, and a tad of almond essence to it when we add hot water. You can stir it with a candy cane, top with marshmallows or whipped cream, and even add soy nog! Dip a Christmas cookie in it! You do you! I finally found some dairy-free Reddi Whip in the store, so I’ll be topping mine with that!

Enjoy your hug in a mug!

Vegan Hot Chocolate Mix | www.maplealps.com

Vegan Hot Chocolate Mix

what you need:

what to do:

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

2) Transfer to a airtight jar (I like these flip top ones from Amazon) and keep in your pantry for 3 months.

3) To use, add 3 TBSP of the mix to 8oz. (1 cup) of hot water and enjoy! You can adjust to your sweetness preferences.

 

Do some of your favourite Christmas traditions revolve around hot drinks or the other way around? I’d love to hear about some of them!