Lite Bite: Peppermint Mocha Protein Shake

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I've been toying with the idea of doing these "lite bite" posts. "Lite" as in quick or easy. I often come up with recipes on the fly or by accident. These recipes don't get a full camera roll of pictures, or a length story filled blog post, but still deserve to be shared. I mean, let's be honest, no one really reads blog posts anymore anyway. We al just  skip to the section with the recipe listed out. Or is that just me?

I'm going to start posting more "lite bites" when these quicky recipes work out! Enjoy. 

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Peppermint Mocha Protein Shake
serves 1

Ingredients:
2 scoops Arbonne Protein Powder, chocolate or vanilla
1 tsp. cacao powder* (only add if using vanilla powder)
1 tsp. coffee grounds
1 drop peppermint essential oils
shake of cinnamon
1 cup almond milk
1/2 cup frozen cauliflower
handful of ice

Directions:
Blend items together. Serve in a mug just like you would sip your favorite coffee drink out of! 

Annie

Happy Hour with Vim Vitae

Cocktails that are good for you? Oxymoron? Not in this case. I have three killer (in my opinion) cocktail recipes coming your way today. Each recipe is made with fresh vibrant ingredients thanks to Vim Vitae

Vim Vitae, formally know as Vim + Vigor, is an organic, raw, cold-pressed juice company based out of Dallas, but can be found all over Texas, Oklahoma City, and Little Rock. Vim Vitae's mission is to feel amazing about yourself and your choices, every single day. With delicious and nutritious juices, they make it easy to incorporate healthy choices into your day. Their line of juices ranges in flavors and products, all developed by nutrition experts and food lovers.

I've been a Vim Vitae fan from the early days. Fun fact, the founders Annie & Liz are cousins originally from Oklahoma City. Annie's dad and my dad were fraternity brothers and her dad was also my landlord my senior year of college. Home Sweet Lahoma! Annie and Liz also lived in that house while they were in college. 

It's fun to have seen them grow and evolve while continuing to develop new products. From cold-press juices, adding in exotic flavors, savory soups and their newest line of limeades. V V's new limeades are just perfect. They are exactly what I want to grab for in the afternoon when water won't make the cut. I have no problem downing one knowing they are made with few and real ingredients. Things like ginger, basil, agave, acai berry, cardamom and more. 

Despite them being my afternoon pick me up, today we are talking happy hour. Ramping up the deliciousness of limeades by turning them into cocktails. Vim Vitae's limeades come in five flavors. Since I couldn't pick just one, I chose three, creating a Lavender Cardamom Gin Lemonade, Basil Agave Mint Mojito and Hibiscus Berry Vodka Smash.  I can't wait to sip on these drinks all spring and summer long.

First up is the Lavender Cardamom Gin Lemonade. Simply inspired by the colored label I knew I wanted to add lavender. Lemon, gin, and lavender simple syrup get shaken with gin and garnished with a lavender sugar rim. Disclosure I hate gin. But in this cocktail, I love gin. 

Lavender & Cardamom Gin Lemonade
serves 2

Ingredients:
1 cup Vim Vitae Cardamom Limeade
1.5 oz or 3 Tbsp. lavender simple syrup (recipe to follow below)*
2 shots or 3 oz gin
1/2 lemon
ice
lavender sugar for garnish*

Directions:
*Using a tablespoon of lavender and two tablespoons of sugar, blitz in a single serving blender or crush the lavender buds into the sugar using a mortar and pestle or end of a wooden spoon. Spread sugar in a thin layer on a plate. Run a lemon wedge along the edge of your martini glasses. Dip into the sugar and set aside. 

In a cocktail shaker, combine Cardamom Limeade, simple syrup, gin, squeeze of lemon and a big handful of ice. Shake until combined then pour into martini glasses. Sprinkle a little lavender sugar into the glass and enjoy!

Lavender Simple Syrup:
Combine 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup water and 1/2 tablespoon lavender buds in a sauce pan over medium-low heat. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Strain out the lavender buds then place in a mason jar and cool in the refrigerator. 

Mojitos are my favorite cocktail. When I tried the Basil Agave limeade I knew it would be turning into a mojito!

Basil Agave Mint Mojito
serves 2

Ingredients:
1 cup Vim Vitae Basil Agave Limeade
6-8 large leaves of basil and mint
2 shots or 3 oz white rum
1 lime
sparkling water or club soda
ice

Directions:
Tear your basil and mint up and divide evenly amongst 2 glasses. To get the most flavor from your basil leaves, one leaf at a time, place in the palm of your hand then smash with your other hand, then proceed to tear up. Cut your lime into fourths. Squeeze 1/4 lime into each glass with the mint and basil. Using a muddler or the end of a wooden spoon, muddle the herbs and lime juice together. Pour 1 shot of rum and 1/2 cup Basil Agave Limeade into each glass. Fill with ice and top with sparkling water. Stir to combine. Garnish with a basil leaf and lime wedge. 

This last drink is so easy and even easier to drink...oops! I used the Hibiscus Flower Limeade combined with mixed berries. The hibiscus adds a suspicious taste to the drink that you'll love but wouldn't guess if you didn't know what it was.

Berry Vodka Smash
serves 2

Ingredients:
1 cup Vim Vitae Hibiscus Flower Limeade
1/4 cup mixed berries (I used a package of frozen berries I let thaw out)
2 shots or 3 oz vodka
1 oz or 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
sparkling water or club soda
ice

Directions:
Divide mixed berries among two glasses. I used raspberries, blackberries and strawberries. Using a muddler or end of a wooden spoon smash the berries together in the bottom of the glass. Add a shot, 1/2 cup Hibiscus Flower Limeade, and 1 tbsp. lemon juice to each glass. Fill the glasses with ice and top with sparkling water. Stir to combine. Garnish with a few berries and lemon wheel. 

Can I get a #takeasip? Vim Vitae Limeades can be found locally at Native Roots Market. The originals can be found locally at Whole Foods. All retailers listed here. Thank you Vim Vitae for the delicious limeades and opportunity for this post!

Annie

*All photos by KGC Photography

Bites About Town: Best Matcha Latte in OKC

I've been preaching to the matcha choir lately, but if you haven't tried it yet I urge you to! Matcha is green tea leaves made into a powder giving you the purest form of it's nutrients. I had my first matcha latte about two years ago, but have just recently gotten boarder line addicted to them. They have an energy boost for those who are looking to weed off of coffee, but nothing too strong to make you jittery if you can't handle the caffeine like me.

If you are a matcha lover or a matcha newbie this post is still for you. I fed my addiction and went on a quest about town to find the best matcha latte in OKC. All contenders have something special about them, but I kept pretty honest about my opinions on each. They are ranked on a scale of 1-5, all ordered with almond milk and all ordered hot as compared to iced to keep it consistent. 

Evoke
Matcha: Woodshed Tea Matcha Latte Mix (comes pre-sweetened)
Things to note: They offer Skim, Whole, Almond and Soy milk. They use a matcha mix that comes pre-sweetened. It's not too sweet though. Can't be unsweetened. 
Verdict: 5, Go Evoke! Their matcha is so creamy dreamy I catch myself daydreaming about it. Combined with velvety steamed almond milk they win! 

All About Cha
Matcha: Not sure :/ Sorry!
Things to note: They offer two sizes either love or passion, it is ordered as a "green tea latte" instead of matcha. They also offer a cappuccino, con panna, macchiato and freddo version. Milks include skim, 2%, whole, soy and almond.  You can get it sweetened or unsweetened. 
Verdict: 5, All About Cha ties! They were my first taste at a Matcha Latte and still one of my favorites.

Clarity Coffee
Matcha: Woodshed Tea Matcha Latte Mix (comes pre-sweetened)
Things to note: They offer a wide variety of milks like hemp, coconut, and almond. They use the same matcha mix as Evoke. 
Verdict: 2. Matcha lattes are hard to make. I've tried several times at home. I think it takes a fairly skilled person to make a matcha latte. That being said, I'm not sure if it was the barista to blame or if they just don't have it down yet, but it was not good. There was no flavor and it was full of chunks of matcha. No one wants a chunky latte. I'm open to trying it again seeing as though they use the same tea mix as Evoke and I love Evoke's, but I was pretty turned off by the first time. Bonus points for looking so pretty!

Urban Teahouse
Matcha: Their own matcha powder
Things to note: Kristy, the owner, is a tea genius and is there to answer any questions you may have. This is a good place to start if you are new to matcha. She allows you to customize your sweetener and level of sweetness (1-3). She also has a collection of milks, including some local options. With this spot being a "teahouse" you are getting a very well crafted tea beverage by someone who knows what they are doing. Only comes in to-go cups. They also offer a killer matcha lemonade!
Verdict: 4. I'm still playing around with my level of sweetness. I've varied between a level 1-2 using raw sugar. This latte has a more raw matcha taste. It's the purest matcha I've tasted. 

Leaf + Bean
Matcha: Urban Teahouse matcha powder
Things to note: The time I went in they did not ask me if I wanted it sweetened or unsweetened. It had no flavor and tasted like raw powder. 
Verdict: 2. Piggy backing off my experience at Clarity, it very well could have been the barista making my drink the day I went it, but again, it was just bad. No flavor. It definitely needed a little sweetener, but that option wasn't given to me. The foamy texture was good but the flavor was not there. 

So there you have it. In my opinion you can find the best matcha latte at Evoke and All About Cha! Have a different opinion or a matcha I need to try? Let me know in the comments. 

What other best bites should I go on the hunt for? Best pizza in OKC, best cookie, best breakfast dish? Let me know what "bite about town" you want to see next!

Annie

Matcha Mint Smoothie

When biggest sis Claire was home back in April, we tried to balance our huge dinners with lots of smoothies and morning workouts. I made her my Perfect Green Smoothie, because, well it's perfect. She agreed. Ww also made a stop at Organic Squeeze for CB&J smoothies. You can find my recreation here

A few weeks later I got this snapchat from sis insisting that I needed to recreate a smoothie she had. I go weak for green smoothies, so I was game. Claire mentioned how the lady making her smoothie suggested she add matcha next time. Matcha is easily my favorite flavor right now, so that was a given addition when I was to recreate. 

After some trial and error, I give you this tasty matcha mint smoothie recipe! New to matcha? Jump on board. It's the purest form of green tea leaves, giving you so many more nutrients. It has magical energy, detox, and calming powers. Great for weight management,  your skin, combating aging and helps to build immunity. It has a crazy amount of antioxidants and just 1 cup of matcha is the equivalent to 10 cups of green tea. Combine it with warm or cold almond milk for a latte, use it in baking, turn it into ice cream, shake it up with ice water, or mix it into a smoothie!

Matcha Smoothie
serves 1

Ingredients:
1/2 frozen banana
1/4 avocado (if you aren't into the avocado thing, use a full banana)
a huge handful or two of spinach
a few mint leaves
1/2 cup coconut water
1 tsp. matcha powder (I use this brand, you can find it at Whole Foods or online)
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 Tbsp. almond butter

Directions:
Combine all ingredients in a high powered blender and blend until thick and smooth. Slurp up every last drop and thank me later. 
 

Annie

Bites of My Life

It's amazing how much I can fit in a day without having work getting in the way. Errands, shopping, lunch with old friends, recipe testing, house cleaning, laundry, meetings, dentist visits, workouts; I could get used to that life...Unfortunately/fortunately this is my last week off. So many delish bites last week in the form of food, vibes and visitors. Time to pack it all in before funemployment is over. 

-No grocery shopping last week meant helping mom clean out her fridge. I don't think she minded.
-I discovered turmeric milk last week. It's a great nighttime drink full of health benefits that do your tummy well while you sleep. 
-This Cashew Butter and Jelly smoothie recipe got slurped up almost everyday for breakfast last week and the recipe is up for you to enjoy!
-Sister and I spent our Wednesday recipe testing scones. We came up with blackberry dark chocolate and (not pictured) grapefruit brown sugar!
-The Oklahoma City Festival of the Arts came to town this week. I made an appearance twice. I'm always more interested in the "culinary arts" portion. 
-It's one of my favorite events of the year, and probably the thing I knew would be easiest to cross off my Spring TDL.
-A salad date with one of my favorite friends to catch up with. We could sit and talk for hours!
-Wallpaper vibes in Pencil Shavings house during a local neighborhood home tour.
-Such a special day for my city and a special day for my besties completing their 3rd Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon! 

Annie