Cold & Flu Season Smoothie

Cold & Flu Season Smoothie

This post was sponsored by NutriBullet. All opinions—as always!—are my own. I appreciate your support of the brands that make this blog possible.

A timely post, considering I’m on Day 7 of my battle with the flu. At this point, the fever is long gone, but I’ve got no energy, some serious congestion, and a gnarly cough that won’t quit. I’m trying to flood my body with fluids, vitamins and minerals to support the healing process, and this cold & flu season smoothie was made with that very purpose.

Before we break down the ingredients, I want to talk about how I did the *literal* break down: The NutriBullet Balance. This is one seriously cool kitchen gadget. The quality and functionality are great—it easily blended all the ingredients, both frozen and soft—but its abilities go far beyond that. 

The nutrient extractor syncs to the NutriBullet smartphone app (available in the App Store and on Google Play) via bluetooth. In the app, you can pick from a ton of existing recipes or create your own. The NutriBullet Balance acts as a scale as you add ingredients, precisely tracking in real time how much you’ve put in, and displaying the information for you on your phone.

Cold & Flu Season SmoothieCold & Flu Season Smoothie

I’ve mentioned that I don’t personally track nutritional info or calories of food I eat, but if you do, this app-extractor duo is right up your alley. And if you’re like me, the functionality is still pretty awesome because it automatically tracks amounts of ingredients so that you can easily save recipes for later. When I make smoothies, I typically just dump unmeasured handfuls of ingredients in and hope for the best. This way, when it’s a winning combination, I’ll know exactly how to recreate it.

To see the NutriBullet Balance in action with the app, check out the quick video I put together below:

Cold & Flu Season Smoothie

This citrus zinger of a smoothie contains oranges for their Vitamin C, turmeric for its anti-inflammatory properties, and the ginger and lemon duo for an added boost to the immune system. Typically I use frozen bananas to thicken smoothies, but I wanted to keep the sugar content down given I’m sick and went with frozen zucchini instead. If you want a sweeter drink though, go with banana.

Cold & Flu Season Smoothie

Cold & Flu Season Smoothie

Yield: 1 smoothie

Cold & Flu Season Smoothie

Ingredients

  • 1 orange, peeled
  • 1 lemon, peeled
  • 1 frozen zucchini
  • ½ cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • ½ inch fresh ginger root
  • ½ inch fresh turmeric root

Instructions

  1. The night before, chop up a zucchini, place in a sealed container, and place in freezer.
  2. Put all ingredients in the NutriBullet Balance extractor and blend until smooth.
http://pumpsandiron.com/2018/02/21/cold-flu-season-smoothie/

Cold & Flu Season Smoothie

To find out more about the NutriBullet Balance, visit their website. I hope you all are staying healthy this cold & flu season! Whether you are or, like me, have fallen victim to the flu, be sure to give this smoothie a try.

Cold & Flu Season Smoothie

xo Nicole

3 Simple Avocado Toast Ideas

3 Simple Avocado Toast Ideas

I think we can all agree this post is a shining example of groundbreaking journalism. A topic never before covered by wellness blogs. Uncharted territory for the Instagrammers of the world. I mean, I bet this is the first time you’re even hearing the term “avocado toast.”

But that’s what makes Pumps & Iron special. I’m different from the rest. A visionary in my field. A true leader. I’m not afraid to take risks and break away from the pack. If “3 Simple Avocado Toast Ideas” doesn’t win me a Pulitzer then, well, I just give up.

Ok. Cue the basic jokes. But sometimes the simple food ideas are the best—the ones that you can whip together with just a couple ingredients already in your kitchen. These are currently my three favorite ways to eat avocado toast.

3 Simple Avocado Toast Ideas

3 Simple Avocado Toast Ideas

Sometimes I get crazy with my avocado toast if I’ve done some meal prep for the week and actually have sauces and other stuff on hand (pesto, roasted chickpeas and sweet potato hummus are my fave toppings). But more often than not, I’m lucky to even have an avocado in my kitchen. These are easy but delicious avocado toast combos.

Red Pepper Flakes & Nutritional Yeast Avocado Toast

3 Simple Avocado Toast Ideas

This is my go-to! A generous amount of smashed avocado, sprinkle on some nutritional yeast and red pepper flakes and finish with sea salt.

Za’atar Avocado Toast

3 Simple Avocado Toast Ideas

Za’atar is a Middle Eastern spice combo that you can usually find in the ethnic foods section of your grocery store. I was turned on to this avocado toast topping by B.Good’s menu and decided to buy some and make my own at home. Finish with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt.

Strawberries & Balsamic Vinegar Avocado Toast

3 Simple Avocado Toast Ideas

I love this combo for a snack during the day (not so much for breakfast). Chop up strawberries and drizzle with balsamic vinegar. Simple and delicious!

And since the theme of today is sharing non-groundbreaking things …

If you continually smoosh your bread flat when trying to mash up your avocado toast, you’ve gotta start smashing it up IN the skin and then scooping it onto your toast.

3 Simple Avocado Toast Ideas

In other news, the sky is blue and fire is hot.

xo Nicole

Banana Nut Muffins (Vegan)

Banana Nut Muffins (vegan)

This post was sponsored by HomeGoods. All opinions—as always!—are my own. I appreciate your support of the brands that make this blog possible. 🙂

HomeGoods is one of those places where you walk in to get one or two items and then magically end up leaving with a cart full of things (in my case: throw pillows). In-and-out missions for a single product never work for me—I could literally spend the entire day shopping through the aisles of decorative pieces, furniture and pantry essentials. It’s like the 30-year-old’s equivalent of a kid’s treasure hunt.

Most of us think of HomeGoods as a go-to when decorating a new home or apartment, but I also love stocking up my pantry there. They have a big selection of health-conscious ingredients and foods, from cooking oils to chia seeds and everything in between. And the best part? They are all at HomeGoods prices.

Pantry staples (nut butters, coconut oil, olive oil, spices, flours—the list goes on) can be some of the more expensive items in your grocery cart. Have you ever looked at the price tag on those big jugs of maple syrup at other grocery stores or health/specialty food stores and thought to yourself, “This is why Millennials can’t afford to buy homes.” Well I have (lol). At HomeGoods, on the other hand, I was able to stock up on all that’s pictured below, plus three gourmet spice blends and apple cider vinegar, for under $100. And more than half the products were organic!

Banana Nut Muffins (vegan)

On my latest trip to HomeGoods, my best find was probably the Chosen Foods oil sprays. I LOVE these and use them all the time when cooking, so being able to stock up for less was a huge win. They’re one of the few oil sprays that don’t contain propellants, which make them my preferred brand. I also was excited to try the Chia & Flax Seed Powder. Flax “eggs” (flax meal + water) are a great vegan egg replacement in recipes, and I was curious to see if this blend would work as successfully. It does—the vegan banana nut muffin recipe I’m sharing with you guys today turned out great! In addition to its function as an egg replacement, chia and flax meal are great sources of fiber and omega-3 fatty acids.

Banana Nut Muffins (vegan)

Some other panty items I always look for at HomeGoods include:

  • Spice blends – No joke, I have four different salt grinders currently in my pantry from HomeGoods right now. My favorite is a garlic, red pepper and salt mix that I sprinkle on just about everything.
  • Smoothie add-ins | HomeGoods has everything you need to power up a smoothie: hemp, flax and chia seeds, protein powders, maca, cacao—the list goes on. In this most recent shopping trip, I found sunflower seeds which I love to sprinkle on top of smoothie bowls. They add a nice crunch and are a great source of iron.
  • Sweeteners | Maple syrup, honey, coconut sugar—so many ways to sweeten recipes without white granulated sugar.
  • Snacks | I always find popcorn, chips and fun nut mixes (Joe is obsessed with trail mix so I stock up for him!).

Almost all the ingredients in these vegan banana nut muffins were found during my latest trip to HomeGoods. Even though I was there to stock up my pantry, I couldn’t resist shopping the other aisles, and how cute are the gold measuring cups, whisk and butter knives pictured? I had no choice, guys, I had to buy them. 😉

Banana Nut Muffins (vegan) Banana Nut Muffins (vegan)Banana Nut Muffins (vegan)

Banana Nut Muffins (Vegan)

Yield: 12 muffins

Banana Nut Muffins (Vegan)

Ingredients

  • ½ cup chopped pecans or walnuts (plus more for topping)
  • Dry ingredients:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (I used gluten-free)
  • ½ cup coconut sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Wet ingredients:
  • 2 medium ripe bananas , mashed
  • 1/3 cup non-dairy milk (I used unsweetened almond milk)
  • Flax “egg”: 2 tbsp flax meal (I used a flax and chia meal) + 5 tbsp water
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat to 375 degrees F. Lightly grease muffin tin (I spray with olive oil) or insert liners. In a small bowl, make flax egg and set aside.
  2. Mix dry ingredients together (except for sugar) in a large bowl. Mix sugar and wet ingredients together in a medium bowl (including flax egg once it’s settled about 5 minutes).
  3. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until just combined. It’s important you don’t over-mix the batter or the texture of the muffins will be off. Add the chopped nuts and stir a few more times.
  4. Fill muffin tins about 3/4 of the way with the batter. Top with more nuts if desired.
  5. Bake 17-20 minutes (toothpick should come out clean when inserted into top of muffin). Let cool for 10 minutes and enjoy!
http://pumpsandiron.com/2018/01/07/banana-nut-muffins-vegan/

Banana Nut Muffins (vegan)

These banana nut muffins make for a quick breakfast on the go or the perfect snack during the day. Try spreading peanut butter on top or drizzling with honey to really take them to the next level. I found some artisan jams at HomeGoods (just four simple ingredients in each jar) and while I normally wouldn’t put jelly on a muffin, it worked so well with these. Give it a try!

Banana Nut Muffins (vegan) Banana Nut Muffins (vegan)

xo Nicole