A Healthy Chocolate Matcha Smoothie

Smoothies can be calorie traps. But my Chocolate Matcha Smoothie is not only heatlhy, it is also dairy-free, gluten-free and vegan. Enjoy this delicious smoothie guilt-free!

My life changed a little bit the day I got a smoothie blender. That first summer I had so many smoothies, you would not believe it! I tried every recipe I could find and added way too many ‘extras’ sometimes. With time I learned to keep my ingredient selection more basic and simple. A perfect example is this wonderful Chocolate Matcha Smoothie.

Chocolate Matcha Smoothie

Build a Better Smoothie

I have already posted a while back a great post that explains my favorite techniques to build a great smoothie. But I have even more tips for you today for #SilkSummerofSmoothies and why not fall as well!

Limit your fruit! Yes fruits are healthy and in the begining I was adding several fruits to one smoothie. Well guess what, fruits have a lot of sugar so I ended up gulping loads of sugar unknowingly. Now I try to keep my smoothies to the equivalent of one fruit portion.

Playing with various milks! I mentioned this in my last guide but it is worth saying again. Not only is it fun to experiment with various milks, it can change the flavor of your go to recipe. You can use standard milk, coconut milk, soy, rice, hemp, oats, etc. In this chocolate matcha smoothie recipe I used almond milk from Silk which is low in calories, has no added sugar, lots of calcium and vitamin D, and a non-GMO product.

Super Smoothie! When I really want to kick it up a notch I’ll add a ‘super food’ element; like chia, kale, a nut butter or hemp. Antioxidant rich Matcha is a favorite addition but I know many folks are afraid to drink a Hulk-impersonation smoothie. Well just add a bit of cocoa powder and it is an instant chocolate feast. Endorphin boosting cocoa powder is also a rich source of fiber, iron, manganese, magnesium and zinc.

Vega One protein powder Chocolate Matcha Smoothie.jpg

Turn your Smoothie into a Meal

Now you could skip the powder and lower the milk content of this chocolate matcha smoothie for a simple drink. But why not turn it into a meal? At one point I started to experiment with protein powders . I am guilty of turning these protein packed smoothies into a dinner when on the go, when it is to hot to cook, or when plain lazy. When I started looking into protein powders I learned quickly that many of them are not very natural. I stuck with whey protein powders at first as they were the best option.

Now I am trying the Vega One All-in-One Nutritional Shake I was sent. As the name suggest, they are all vegan. I am not vegan but I love trying all kinds of products and theirs is healthy. Each serving has 20 grams of protein, 25% daily fibre, Omega #3 ALA, antioxidants, probiotics, vibrant green blends, plant-based minerals and vitamins, and is a non-GMO product.

Vega Silk Chocolate Matcha Smoothie

As you can see by the powder pic above, it is not super refined and bleached like highly processed powders. Yes the taste is less processed for sure, it is a lot more natural and earthy in taste and a bit grittier to mix. In the chocolate matcha smoothie recipe it worked great. I also really liked the other flavors (there are 6 flavors available). I tend to add more liquid then recommended but that is personal preference. And I hear they are great in recipes so I look forward to trying them out more in the kitchen.

Chocolate Matcha Smoothie

Ingredients

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons Matcha powder
  • 1/2 cup protein powder
  • 1 1/2 cup almond milk
  • sweetner of choice, to taste
  • mint leaves, optional

Directions

  1. Put all the ingredients (minus mint) in a smoothie belnder.
  2. Place the lid on, flip over and shake a bit to mix the layers.
  3. Blend until perfect consistency is achieved. Depending on your combination you may find you need to add liquid while blending it if the consistency is too thick.
http://cultureatz.com/chocolate-matcha-smoothie/

Disclaimer: The products Vega and Silk featured in this post were provided to me free of cost. Any personal opinions reflected in this post are my own and without influence.

Punschtorte, an Austrian Punch Cake

The Punschtorte is a classic Austrian cake with a big boozy punch! A thin cake sandwiches a rum punch filling, and finished off with a thick pink fondant icing.

No one knows for sure the origins of this Punschtorte cake but it may have been introduced to Vienna in the Middle Ages by the Ottoman armies some time during the 17th century. The components include cake crumbs, chocolate, rum, apricot jam, citrus juices. It is a kick-ass cake! Individual pastries are known as Punschkrapfen.

punschtorte inside

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4 Brazilian Dishes to Eat as You Watch the Olympics

With most of the world’s attention focused on the Olympics in Rio, it is a perfect time to discover some delicious Brazilian dishes.

So when was the last time you enjoyed a meal composed of Brazilian dishes? I am willing to bet it has been quite a while, if ever. Luckily I have sourced 4 Brazilian recipes from CulturEatz’s archives for you to try in honor of the 2016 Olympics in Rio. They are are mix of traditional recipes with a twist, a vegan version of a classic dish, a sandwich made with a tapioca crepe, and a refeshing drink made with Coca Cola.

Brazilian Dishes

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Olivier Piffaudat: a chocolatier like no other!

The chocolatier Olivier Piffaudat is breaking the conventional chocolate mold with with his black garlic chocolate for Saint Valentine’s Day.

Have you ever heard the proverb “Birds of a feather flock together”? When I take a look around at my friends, I realize I truly live by this proverb. Most of my friends are not afraid of the weird, the unknow, the exotic. And one friend who truly brings this to mind is Olivier Piffaudat, a passionate chocolatier who really knows how to think outside the box. Or should I say outside the chocolate shell in his case.

chocolate display

When it comes to creating his flavors, he is a mad genius. You can count on one hand the more traditional flavors in his store. All the rest are very unusual. And I love how Olivier groups them: fruits, vegetables and cocktails. One chocolate is making its debut too, a very special one for Saint-Valentine’s day…one made with black garlic!

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Vanillekipferl, an Austrian Cookie

Although mostly associated with Christmas, you can enjoy these delicate crescent shaped Austrian Vanillekipferl cookies year round.

It’s time for the MENA (Middle Eastern & North African) Cooking Group. This monthly group has for goal to help us discover the culture and cuisine of the countries found in these parts of the world. For the month of January we did things a little different: we were asked to choose a traditional cookie from our culture. I made Austrian Vanillekipferl cookies, in honor of a big part of my cultural background but mostly in honor of my Austrian dad who is currently recovering from a successful heart surgery.

Austrian Vanillekipferl vanilla powder sugar

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Can you handle 200+ Christmas Cookies?

Nothing “smells” holidays like hundreds of Christmas cookies fresh out of the oven. I have 6 cookie recipes to share with you today to get you in the spirit of merry baking.

Have you ever spent an afternoon baking Christmas cookies for the holiday celebrations to come? Well I got together with my friends Catherine and Vitalia and we spent a good 6 hours baking our holiday butt’s off. Yes you read that right, we made at least 200 Christmas Cookies all in one afternoon, and had six balls of dough left to freeze for future ready-to-go batches.

christmas cookies 2015

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La Cure Gourmande: Get your Sweet on

The heavenly shop of confections and sweets, known as La Cure Gourmande, is celebrating the 1st anniversary of its Montreal location!

La Cure Gourmande is known for its savoury and sweet artisanal biscuits, but you will also find here traditional Berlandises (sweets made with fruit pulp), Choupettes (lollipops), chocolates, caramels, calissons, nougat flavoured with strawberry paste or candied orange peel, and chocolate olives (chocolate-covered roasted almonds), madeleines and cakes.

La-Cure-Gourmande-4

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