50 Shades of Tomatoes {recipe}

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Curvaceous. Juicy. Bursting. Plump. Tempting. Exotic. Heavenly. Sinful. 50 Shades. No, this isn’t the sexy Hollywood movie. It’s 50 Shades of Tomatoes.

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My organic heirloom tomatoes are show stopping in spectacular shades, shapes and sizes with exotic names like: Black Tula, Principe Borghese, Large Barred Boar, Brandy Wine, Purple Russian, Big Pink and Green Zebra.

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 “Only two things that money can’t buy,  

that’s true love and homegrown tomatoes.” Guy Clark


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“It’s difficult to think anything but pleasant thoughts while eating a homegrown tomato.”  – Lewis Grizzard


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 “Gardening is cheaper than therapy and you get tomatoes.”


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 “The tomato offers its gift of fiery color and cool completeness.”

  -Pablo Neruda


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“A world without tomatoes is like a string quartet without violins.”

-Laurie Colwin


Nothing screams “Summer!!” like just-picked tomatoes, sun-kissed and dripping with juicy ripeness.  To highlight your mouth-watering garden gems, keep it simple. Start by adding fragrant basil…

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“A man taking basil from a woman will love her always.”

– Sir Thomas Moore 


Add soft, fresh mozzarella cheese…

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Finish with a drizzle of olive oil and a thick, rich balsamic glaze.

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Now, how sexy is that?


Caprese Salad

(Shhhh. The secret is the glossy balsamic glaze.) For a more dramatic presentation, vary different shades, colors and shapes of tomatoes.

Serves 8 to 12

Adapted from The Pioneer Woman

Ingredients:

2 Cups balsamic vinegar

3 ripe heirloom tomatoes, preferably organic

12 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, thickly sliced

Fresh basil leaves

High-quality olive oil, for drizzling

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

Preparation:

Make the glaze: Pour balsamic vinegar into saucepan. Bring to a gentle boil over low heat.

Cook for about 15 minutes (stirring occasionally) or until the balsamic has reduced to a thick (but still pourable) glaze. Cool.

Assemble: Cut tomatoes into thick slices and arrange them on a platter. Sprinkle tomatoes with salt and pepper.

Alternate tomato slices with mozzarella slices. Tuck whole basil leaves in between the tomato and cheese slices.

Drizzle olive oil in a thin stream over the top. Drizzle balsamic glaze.

Sprinkle with a bit more salt and pepper, to taste.

***

Buon Appetito!

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“Homegrown tomatoes, homegrown tomatoes

What would life be without homegrown tomatoes?

Only two things that money can’t buy

That’s true love and homegrown tomatoes.”

– John Denver/Guy Clark

(click on link to sing along to “Homegrown Tomatoes”)

***

Photos by Seedy Lawyer.  All rights reserved.

Post shared with:  Fiesta Friday, Motivation Monday, Creative Mondays, Mix It Up Monday, Melt In Your Mouth Monday, Tasty Tuesday, Try A Bite Tuesday, Full Plate Thursday, Gluten Free Fridays, Foodie Fridays, Thursday Favorite Things, Link Party Palooza

Do you grow tomatoes? What’s your favorite heirloom tomato?

Mangoritas! {recipe}

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“If life gives you limes, make margaritas.”-Jimmy Buffett

Calypso music. Breathtaking sunset. Sailing away. A Caribbean cruise with my BFF’s. Decked out in my floppy hat and movie star sunglasses, the only thing missing was a drink in my hand.

The bartender (impersonating Isaac from The Love Boat) tempted us with exotic cocktails, “Mango Tangos, ladies?” Of course we indulged, happily sipping the frozen concoction to the beat of the steel drums.

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Yuk! What promised to be a tropical tequila treat was nothing more than an overpriced sad slushie! I was left with a bad taste in my mouth and a worthless souvenir glass. Since that day I have longed for the perfect mango libation.

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It’s mango season in Miami, when neighborhood mango stands pop up on every street corner! Look at these gorgeous gems I brought home. (Check out my cool Mango Facts)

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With my ripe beauties on the kitchen counter, I brainstormed how to best use my magnificent mangoes to beat the sweltering South Florida heat.

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Then I recalled that disappointing cruise cocktail…

It was now blender time!

Mangorita22_seedylawyerMinutes later, (steel drum roll, please) ….Mangoritas!!

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Perhaps The Love Boat should hire me to bartend? My mouthwatering Mangoritas are silky smooth, tangy, not too-tequila-y, a bit sweet, refreshing, very creamy, exotic frozen goodness. Guaranteed to make you feel sexier than Tom Jones and dance like Mick Jagger. Whip up a boozy batch for your friends.

After all, it’s 5:00 O’clock somewhere.

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“One tequila, two tequila, three tequila, floor.” – George Carlin

Mangoritas

Note: I am lucky enough to live where fresh mangoes are available. If mangoes are not in season or not available where you live, check out the frozen fruit section of your grocery store for frozen mango.

Serves 2-3

Ingredients:

1 1/4 oz high quality tequila (You will thank me later!)

1 oz triple sec, Cointreau or Grand Marnier

1 1/2 oz fresh lime or lemon juice (plus extra to squeeze on top)

2 oz simple syrup or sour mix

1 1/2 cup frozen mango chunks

1 cup ice

lime garnish

sugar or salt for rim of glasses (optional)

Preparation:

Place ingredients into blender in the order listed. Blend until desired consistency. Pour into margarita glasses. Top with a squeeze of fresh lime or lemon juice. Garnish with lime slice and a paper umbrella. Cheers!

*** 

What’s your favorite cocktail?

Shared with Great Idea Thursday, Wordless Wednesday, Full Plate Thursdays, Gluten Free Fridays, Foodie Friday, Fiesta Friday, Plant Based Potluck, Flashback Friday, Foodie Friends Friday, Link Party Palooza, Thursday Favorite Things, Showcase Your Talent Thursdays, Simply Natural Saturdays, I’m Loving It Party, Creative Mondays, Motivation Monday, Busy Monday, Mix It Up Monday, Melt in Your Mouth Monday, Munching Mondays, Totally Talented Tuesdays, Tasty Tuesday, Try A Bite Tuesday, Simple Supper Tuesday

Photos courtesy of Seedy Lawyer and Love Boat.  All rights reserved.

Garden Potato Salad {recipe}

Garden_Potato_salad_seedylawyer

You know that scary yellow stuff staring back at you from the deli case? Eww! That’s what I always envision when I hear Potato Salad. Well this American classic has undergone a makeover and it’s now bursting with fresh herbs and a tangy vinaigrette.

Memorial Day weekend kicked off the (unofficial) start of summer. Although summer officially begins June 21, it’s not too early to impress your BBQ crowd with mouth-watering side dishes like my Garden Potato Salad.

WARNING: This is not your granny’s potato salad!

Start with, of course, potatoes.

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My organic potato plants

 “I love potatoes – they’re my favorite food!”- Trisha Yearwood

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Drop them like they’re hot!

 “I have these big piano-playing hands. I feel like I should be picking potatoes.”  – Sandra Bullock

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Harvest time!

“A lucky person is someone who plants pebbles and harvests potatoes.” -Greek Proverb

Then add garden herbs.

Dill (Anethum graveolens) is a member of the celery family.  Leafy dill has a slightly sharp flavor. This aromatic herb can be also used as a digestive tonic to calm an upset stomach. Perfect after stuffing yourself at a weekend cookout!

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Fresh Dill

 “The intense perfumes of the wild herbs as we trod them underfoot made us feel almost drunk.” -Jacqueline du Pre

Chives (Allium schoenoprasum) are related to onions, yet with a milder flavor. Easy to grow, chives bloom into beautiful purple flowers.

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Garden Chives

Toss the potatoes and herbs into a bowl with some celery.  Whip up a simple vinegar dressing and you’re done! How easy was that?  This tasty Garden Potato Salad is sure to be the Pride of the Picnic! Enjoy!

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“What I say is that, if a fellow really likes potatoes, he must be a pretty decent sort of fellow.” – A.A. Milne

Garden Potato Salad

Serves 6

Adapted from Moosewood Restaurant Favorites

“Dress the potatoes while they’re hot; that way they are infused with the flavor of the dressing. These are delicious served hot, at room temperature, or chilled.”

Ingredients

5 cubed potatoes (Red-skinned are very attractive; I used white potatoes)

½ cup olive oil

¼ cup red wine vinegar

1 ½ teaspoons salt (plus extra for salting cooking water)

¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

1 cup celery

½ cup finely chopped scallions or red onions, or freshly snipped chives

¼ cup minced fresh dill (can substitute other fresh herbs)

Preparation

In a soup pot, cover the potatoes with cool salted water. Bring to a boil on high heat, reduce to a vigorous simmer. Cook, covered, until the potatoes are tender, about 7 minutes.

While the potatoes cook, in a serving bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, salt and black pepper. Place the celery and scallions/red onions/chives in the bowl.

Once the potatoes are done, drain well. Add them to the serving bowl and toss with the oil and vinegar while still hot. Stir in the dill and season with more salt and pepper, to taste.

***

 

What’s your favorite side dish?

Photos by Seedy Lawyer. All rights reserved.

Shared with Fiesta Friday, Gluten-Free Fridays, Old Fashioned Fridays, Real Food Friday, From The Farm Hop, Plant Based Potluck, Foodie Friends Friday, Link Party Palooza, Simply Natural Saturdays, I’m Loving Linky Party, Simple Saturdays, Creative Mondays, Motivation Monday, Busy Monday, Mix It Up Monday, Melt in Your Mouth Monday, Munching Mondays, Tasty Tuesday, Try A Bite Tuesday

Farm to Fido: Sweet Potato Dog Treats

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 “What a dog I got, his favorite bone is my arm.”

– Rodney Dangerfield

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Homemade Organic Sweet Potato Dog Treats

Stuffing, sweet potatoes, cranberries and applesauce… Oh My, It’s Thanksgiving! My grandma whips up her rutabagas and of course, sweet potatoes topped with melted (sometimes burnt) marshmallows. Dad is in charge of the turkey, while Mom and I love baking pies. It’s amazing how fast the food disappears when it took days to prepare.

Food coma sets in and you hit the couch to watch the football marathon. As you try to digest with your dog on your lap, you catch a glimpse of his huge sad eyes. While you were previously impersonating King Arthur gnawing on a turkey leg, did you forget your loyal companion?

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“Give the dog a bone!”

Don’t leave out Man’s Best Friend on this special holiday (or any day). You can whip up healthy dog treats as quickly as you can say, “Pass the cranberries.” You just need a few kitchen staples and a sweet potato (minus the marshmallows – Sorry, Granny!)

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How Sweet It Is! My homegrown organic sweet potatoes.

   “If there were only turnips and potatoes in the world, someone would complain that plants grow the wrong way.”

– Georg C. Lichtenberg

My rescue dogs literally watched over the organic sweet potatoes growing in my garden. It is only fitting to share this sweetness with them.

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My rescue Lab: The Garden Guard

“A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.”

– Josh Billings 

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Can you dig it?

How sweet it is!

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Harvest Time!

You don’t need to grow your own sweet potatoes to bake these tasty biscuits. Here’s how to make scrumptious Scooby Snacks guaranteed to keep tails wagging.

sweet_potato_dog_treat-recipe

Sweet Potato Dog Treats

An easy homemade dog treat recipe with healthy ingredients!

adapted from BrownEyedBaker

Yield: 20 small treats

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 55 minutes

Ingredients:

1 medium sweet potato (about 8 ounces), peeled and diced (or canned sweet potato puree)

1¾ cups organic brown rice flour*

1 tablespoon flaxseed meal

2 Tablespoons unsweetened applesauce

1 egg, lightly beaten

plus extra beaten egg for brushing treats (optional)

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Place the cut sweet potato in a small saucepan, cover with water. Place over high heat and bring to a boil. Ensure that the potatoes can be easily pierced with a knife, then remove from heat, drain and allow to cool.

Puree the sweet potatoes in a food processor or blender until completely smooth.

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In a large bowl, whisk together the flour and flaxseed meal.

Add the sweet potato puree, applesauce and 1 beaten egg to the dry ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon until a dough forms.

Dump out dough onto a lightly floured surface. Roll out dough to ¼ inch thick and cut out with cookie cutters (bone, heart shapes).

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Place the biscuits on the prepared baking sheet and brush with beaten egg. Bake for 25 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.

*Note: You could replace the rice flour with whole wheat flour or other flour.

***

“Here, Fido! Come and get it!”

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LIVE LOVE BARK.

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On Thanksgiving, don’t fur-get to give the dog a bone. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

What special treats do you make for your pet?

This post was featured on:

Creative Mondays[1]

Shared with: Fiesta Friday, Real Food Fridays, Motivation Monday, LHITS DIY, Melt In Your Mouth Monday, Mix It Up Monday, Busy Monday, Creative Mondays, Natural Family Friday, Foodie Friday, Old Fashioned Friday, Simple Saturdays, Simply Natural Saturdays, Farm Hop, Weekend Bites, Flashback Friday, Tasty Tuesdays, Tuesdays With A Twist, Totally Talented Tuesday, You’re Gonna Love It Tuesday, Backyard Farming Connection, Wine’d Down Wednesday, Home and Garden Thursday, Share Your Cup Thursday, Full Plate Thursday, Great Ideas Thursdays

“Treats” photo courtesy of Sue O’Bryan. Original Photos courtesy of Seedy Lawyer.  All rights reserved.

Brewing Booch {Homemade Kombucha}

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Tart. Sweet. Fermented. Fizzy. Tasty. Tangy. Fun to make and good for you, too. Hello, Kombucha!

My cool friend who shared her Lemongrass and Tumeric plants with me, also introduced me to Kombucha. I watched in disbelief as she brewed up a batch of “Booch.” Staring at the flying saucer (SCOBY)  floating in dark tea, I wondered if she was kidding.

I was hesitant to taste her science project. I suddenly had horrible flashbacks of my childhood days, ingesting cod liver oil and brussels sprouts. Yuk! Acting like the same little brat, I cringed, kicked and held my nose as I reluctantly choked down my first sip of this mysterious potion….

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Homemade Kombucha with SCOBY

Wowzie!! Love at first sip! It was like the moment that everything turned from black and white into color on The Wizard of Oz. No, we’re not in Kansas anymore. Welcome to the wonderful world of Kombucha!

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So long, sugar-packed bottled juice. See ya later, crappy soda. Buh-bye, boring tea.  There’s a new drink in town. It’s Booch, baby, and I’m hooked!

Kombucha (pronounced kom-BOO-cha) is a sparkling sensation packed with probiotics, live enzymes, B vitamins, polyphenols (fights free radicals), glucuronic acid (a powerful detoxifier), and tons of other purported health benefits.  Simply put, Kombucha is good for your gut, builds immunity and helps to detoxify.

“Booch” is made by fermenting sweetened tea with a pancake-like “SCOBY” (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast). SCOOBY DOO?!

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Not this Scooby….

 

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This SCOBY!

Basically, the SCOBY gobbles up the sugar and magically transforms the tea into a low calorie, low-sugar (low alcohol) fermented fizzy goodness.

If you have never tried Kombucha, do yourself a favor and pick up a bottle at the health food store. It comes in all flavors. I will even bet you a Scooby Snack that you will be instantly hooked. And once you’re hooked, you too will brew!  Why pay up to 5 bucks at the store when you can make your own for just pennies?  Here’s how:

Homemade Kombucha

yields 3 quarts

Ingredients:

  • 3 ½ quarts filtered/distilled water
  • 9 black tea bags
  • 1 cup sugar, preferably organic
  • 1 SCOBY (from a friend or purchase online here)
  • 2 cups starter kombucha (use either the liquid that comes with your SCOBY or store-bought raw/unpasteurized/unflavored kombucha)
  • large wide-mouth one-gallon glass jar (not plastic)
  • tea towel or paper towels
  • large rubber band
  • a bit of patience

Preparation:

In a large stockpot, heat the water. Add the sugar and stir to dissolve. Add the tea bags. Reduce heat. Steep for about 5-10 minutes and remove the bags. (Do not use metal utensils).

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Remove tea bags with non-metal utensil.

Remove from heat. Allow tea to cool completely. Pour the cooled, sweetened tea into the clean glass jar. (Rinse jar first with white vinegar, not dish soap which kills the SCOBY.) Add 2 cups of starter kombucha.

With clean/sterile hands (rinse hands in white vinegar), carefully place the SCOBY into the jar (SCOBY should float on top, but it’s OK if SCOBY sinks to bottom or goes sideways).

Place a tea towel or double layer of paper towels on top of jar and secure tightly with a rubber band. You want it to breathe, but you also need to keep bugs and dust away.

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Place jar in a warm, dark place where it will not be disturbed. Mark date. Keep out of direct sunlight.

Let the mixture sit for 7 to 10 days. To test the Kombucha, simply slip a straw into the liquid (underneath the clear film/SCOBY on top) and put your finger over the top of straw so you can taste it. DO NOT PLACE USED STRAW INTO KOMBUCHA AGAIN.

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Brew, baby, brew!

NOTE: It’s normal for brown strings to float below the SCOBY. You may also see sediment collecting at the bottom of the jar and bubbles collecting around the SCOBY.  These are all signs of healthy fermentation

The Kombucha should taste slightly sour, tangy, sweet and be a little fizzy. If the Kombucha is too sweet, let it sit a little longer. It could take up to 14 days depending on fermenting conditions. (If it tastes off at all, start over.)

Once the taste is to your liking, with clean hands carefully remove the SCOBY and reserve two cups of the kombucha. Set these aside and use to start another batch.

(The Kombucha will have produced a second SCOBY. Use this for other batches, store it as a backup SCOBY or share with a friend.)

Pour Kombucha into a glass (not plastic) jar or pitcher with a tight fitting plastic (not metal) lid. Store in your refrigerator. (You can strain Kombucha before bottling using a non-metal strainer.)

If your SCOBY develops holes, bumps, dried patches, darker brown patches, or clear jelly-like patches, it is still fine to use.  However, any sign of mold or a foul smell, discard and start over. (Remember, it should be FIZZY, not FUZZY!)

***

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You can drink your Kombucha plain or add flavors. The possibilities are endless!  My favorite combo is Ginger, Raspberry and Rosemary, straight from my garden. Simply pour the Kombucha in a jar (I used a quart mason) and infuse with your favorite fruit, fruit juice, herbs and spices.  Cover with a paper towel/cheesecloth and let sit for 24 to 48 hours.  Strain, then refrigerate.

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Raspberry Ginger Kombucha

So, will you be hooked after only one sip of this fizzy, fun drink? You bet your sweet Boocha!

Sharing my delicious Kombucha with Natural Living Monday, Busy Monday, Melt in Your Mouth Monday, Mix It Up Monday, Motivation Monday, Home and Garden Thursday, Simple Lives Thursday, Green Thumb Thursdays, Share Your Cup Thursday, Fiesta Friday, HomeAcre Hop, Real Food Fridays, GlutenFree Fridays, Great Idea Thursdays, Simple Saturday Blog Hop, Simply Natural Saturday, Strut Your Stuff Saturday, Farm Girl Friday, Link Party Palooza, LHITS DIY Linky, Weekend Bites, Creative Style Linkup, Old Fashioned Friday, Healthy Vegan Friday, Creative Mondays, Mouthwatering Mondays, Tuesdays With a Twist, Totally Talented Tuesdays, Tuesday Garden Party, Wellness Wednesday, Full Plate Thursday, Plant Based Potluck

This post was featured on:

CreativeWithStyleButton[1]         Creative Mondays[1]FEATURED-PLANTBASED-POTLUCK250bordered-300a[1]

Photo of Scooby Doo courtesy of Yumingsu.com

Original photos by Seedy Lawyer.  All rights reserved.

DISCLAIMER: Information on SEEDYLAWYER.COM is not reviewed or endorsed by the FDA and is NOT intended to be a substitute for the advice of your health care professional. If you rely solely upon this advice you do so at your own risk.  (After all, I’m just a Lawyer, not a Doctor.) As always, it is recommended to seek advice from your healthcare professional.

Bravo, Avocado! {raw recipe}

Homegrown Florida Avocados

My avocado-loving Dad always wanted his own tree. So a few years ago he hired a landscaper to plant a big, bad avocado tree in his South Florida yard. Like an impatient kid, my Dad waited for his new budding, guacamole-producing tree. He was soon to be the envy of all the neighbors!

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My Dad loves avocados!

The garden guy brought a huge back hoe (fancy, huh? – yeah, so was his bill!).  He and his crew dug a hole in my Pop’s yard big enough to land a Lear Jet. Oh, just the thought of endless avocados

The time came for the unveiling of the terrific tree. Filled with bursting anticipation, Dad skipped into his backyard. There it was… All three feet of it. The Charlie Brown Christmas Avocado Tree: A sad, lifeless, twig with one brown leaf. Heartbroken, my poor Dad hung his head in disbelief. Good Grief, Charlie Brown Dad. Sadly, at 80 years old, my father knew he would never pick his own avocados.

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Oh, but Darling Mother Nature must have had a crush on my adorable Dad. Just a few guacamole-less football seasons later, things began to change…

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Bloom, baby, bloom!

Voila! May I present my father’s tree featuring ginormous avocados! Ta-da! 

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Pop is so proud of his green goodies! If the Miami Dolphins ever run out of footballs, maybe they can use one of these! Oh, yeah, baby!

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Known to my Miami friends as La Avocado Abogada*, I quickly got my hands on some of Dad’s treasures!

(*Translation: The Avocado Attorney)

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One of Dad’s avocados (Persea americana) even had a huge root wrapped around the pit. I planted it and now my tree is bigger than Dad’s original tree! Ha!

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Avocado Tree I grew from Dad’s Avocado pit!

I love raw food recipes. Years ago, I bought Carol Alt’s Raw Food book. A recipe for a raw Chocolate Banana Shake made with avocado seemed too good to be true. A delicious (milkless) milkshake that’s actually good for you? Get out! No way! So I had to try it for myself…

OMG!! Move over Haagen-Dazs! This shake is:

Thick

Rich

Oh so Creamy

Chocolatey

Mouth-watering

A bit Banana-y

Frozen goodness

A blenderful of bliss

This fake shake is so darn good that I tricked all my friends and family into thinking it’s the calorie-packed, sinful, get-your-butt-to-the-gym, ice-cream shop real deal. I challenge you to do the same!

The results will make you yell,Bravo, Avocado!”

 

Raw Chocolate Banana Shake

Adapted from The Raw 50 by Carol Alt

Ingredients:

¼ cup raw cashews, soaked for about 2 hours, drained

¼ to ½ ripe pitted and peeled avocado

2 ripe bananas, sliced (preferably frozen)

½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

¼ teaspoon Himalayan salt or sea salt

1 tablespoon raw agave nectar or raw honey

2 tablespoons raw cacao

½ cup non-dairy milk (I used chocolate almond milk; can use regular almond milk, flax milk, etc)

2 cup crushed ice

Preparation:

Blend first 7 ingredients in blender for 60 seconds.  Add ice and blend until reaching a thick milkshake-like consistency.  Add enough milk to reach desired consistency.  Blend.  Pour into glass and enjoy!

***

 

A nutrient-packed raw milkshake without the guilt! Cheers!

What is your favorite Avocado recipe?

I am sharing my ripe avocados with:  Green Idea Thursday, Full Plate Thursday, Share Your Cup Thursday, Green Thumb Thursdays, Simple Lives Thursday, Home and Garden Thursday, Fiesta Friday, Home Acre Blog Hop, Real Food Fridays, Farm Girl Friday, Simple Meals Friday, Gluten Free Fridays, Simple Saturdays Blog Hop, Savoring Saturdays, Strut Your Stuff, The Party Brunch, Link Party Palooza, Little House Friday DIY Linky, Weekend Bites, Creative Style, Motivation Monday, Mix It Up Monday, Busy Monday

Charlie Brown Photo by Charles Schultz Courtesy of  Anthony Peoples

Original photos by The Seedy Lawyer.  All rights reserved.