Broccoli and Pineapple Smoothie

Broccoli and Pineapple Smoothie
Photos by Mieshia Petersen.
How many of us set health goals and decide to switch up our diets or make gym time more of a priority with each new year? I’m not one for new year resolutions, but I personally plan to challenge myself to eat more raw foods. I know people promise to be healthier and eat better, but many of us may struggle with consistency, which leads to us making the same resolution yet again the next new year.
My suggestion: let’s take baby steps together. Since I’m a juicer and smoothie aficionado, I want to hook you up a quick start to your day that will make your health goals easily attainable. Breakfast is the most important part of the day, but the majority of us skip it in a hurry to get to work or get the kids to school. Smoothies are an excellent way to get some nutrients in on the go especially when you keep the ingredients simple. This quick broccoli and pineapple coconut smoothie recipe will keep you on track throughout the year. Read on for the benefits of the ingredients and view the recipe below.  

Broccoli and Pineapple Smoothie

Broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable, low in calories but packed with vitamin A, C, K and dietary fiber. Cruciferous vegetables have been known to aid in fighting cancer and also help to improve heart health and assist in weight loss. Broccoli can even increase your metabolism, eye health and slow aging! Who doesn’t want those benefits?
Pineapple is rich in Vitamin C and high in fiber. It reduces inflammation and can lower your risk of colorectal cancer. It can also lower your blood glucose levels and promote regularity. Pineapple also helps to improve fertility and prevent asthma. In addition to it simply tasting amazing, it produces and adds to our happy hormones which means it fights depression and anxiety. Lastly, it aids in digestion and can ease the systems of acid reflux.
Bananas. I personally do not care for bananas, but I who can turn down health benefits? Besides, they’re something you can grab on the go for a fast snack. They’re a great pick-me-up snack because they boost energy so if you work out in the morning then you’ll want a banana in your smoothie before or after. They give your body the energy it needs to build muscle and strength. Bananas are rich in potassium and act as an electrolyte, helping to manage hydration levels within the body. They’re also a good source of dietary fiber, preventing constipation and regulating bowel functions. If you’re looking for a way to feel fuller longer then these are what you want.
Coconut Water is also potassium and it’s a high electrolyte. If you like the flavor then you’ll receive the other benefits like lowered cholesterol and blood pressure. Hemp seeds help those with diabetes, skin allergies, heart disease and arthritis. They feed the probiotics in your stomach to keep your immune system in check. You’ll find hemp seeds in hair, skin, and nail products because they promote healthy cell growth and combat skin disorders, such as psoriasis and dermatitis.

Broccoli and Pineapple Smoothie

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup of broccoli
  • 1 cup of pineapples
  • 1 1/3 cup green apples (about two apples)
  • 1 banana
  • 1 tbsp of hemp seeds
  • 1 cup of coconut water
Directions
  1. Throw all ingredients in a blender and let the machine go to work for you until it reaches a smooth consistency.
  2. Top with chia seeds, flax seeds or whatever you like. I topped mine with shredded coconut.
  3. Drink up and you’re one step closer to reaching your health goals for the day!

Note:

I added a full dropper of golden Echinacea to mine because it’s still flu and cold season. It provides you with additional immune support to fight off bugs others may be passing around.

Broccoli and Pineapple Smoothie

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poco sangria hybird
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The holidays are upon us and what better way to bring in the spirit than indulging in a refreshing glass (or two) of sangria!  Yup, today, December 20, is National Sangria Day!

Of Spanish and Portuguese origin, sangria is a fruit infused wine punch consisting of red, white or rosé wine, sweetened with chopped fruit and often mixed with other ingredients such as orange juice, brandy, spices, carbonated soda and other liquors. The different types of sangria are endless!

So, if you are a sangria lover like we are, go check out some of our picks of where you can go celebrate and enjoy some of NYC’s best sangria!

Poco
33 Avenue B at 3rd Street, New York, NY 10009

This casual tapas spot in Alphabet City serves a special house sangria and occasional live music with its Spanish plates. Their delicious red or white sangria is $9 a glass or $35 for a pitcher. They even have a version of the classic sangria called the Poco Hybrid – red and white sangria mixed with St. Germain, blood orange juice and topped with champagne. Added bonus: happy hour is every Tuesday through Friday and Sunday 5-8 p.m. It includes $6 tapas and half price signature cocktails.

poco sangria hybird
The famous Poco Hybird is a must try for National Sangria Day, drink up! Photo by Poco.

Boqueria
1460 2nd Avenue, New York, NY 10075

With a few locations throughout the city, their Upper East Side location offers happy hour from 3:30-7 p.m. on weekdays including red, white or rosé sangria for $6 a glass or $25 a pitcher. They also feature an impressive six specialty sangria varieties to choose from: the Blanca (white wine, rum white peach, lemon), the Rosada (rosé wine, tequila, cranberry, pomegranate, hibiscus soaked strawberries) or the de Arándano (rosé wine, brandy, cinnamon, cloves, brandied cranberries).

If you get hungry—and of course you will—they have a $40 prix fixe meal option which includes 4 tapas, 2 main courses, churros for dessert and unlimited sangria!

Sangria 46
338 West 46th St, New York, NY 10036

If fruit flavored sangrias are your fav, stop by Sangria 46 to celebrate National Sangria Day. Their traditional red and white options with chunks of fresh fruit, include apple and citrus slices and they also have strawberry, peach, mango and raspberry lemoncello flavors for $7 a glass.

Sangria 46
Fruit and wine, what’s not to love! Photo by @goddess.m1.

Sala One Nine
35 West 19th Street, New York, NY 10011

Come here for the daily happy hour from 4-7 p.m. featuring their half priced signature sangria. Their white version is a favorite of mine and their red uses brandy. Both are great options if you’re craving a strong and fruity pick me up.

Angel of Harlem
2272 Frederick Douglass Boulevard, New York, NY 10027

Lively Harlem mainstay serves up Caribbean cuisine and tasty cocktails. Wednesdays and Thursdays they have happy hour all night! This includes $7 sangrias and a $30 prix fixe dinner! Good thing National Sangria Day falls on a Wednesday this year! When I’m at Angel of Harlem, their white sangria is a must for me.

Angel of Harlem
Photo by Angel of Harlem.

El Kallejon
209 East 117th Street, New York, NY 10035

Such a cozy hidden gem in East Harlem with beautifully crafted cocktails, delicious Mexican small plates and a laid back vibe. Try their $7 sangria during their daily happy hour from 4-7 p.m. The variety of flavors are amazing, specially blended and well presented. If you like a spicy kick try the Kallejon with cilantro and jalapeño. If you prefer a sweeter, more traditional sangria, the red, white or rosé versions are mixed with berries and tropical fruit blends.

Calle Ocho
45 West 81st Street, New York, NY 10024

An NYC favorite known for their Latin themed boozy brunch featuring unlimited sangria. Calle Ocho has a large selection of sangrias to enjoy at any time of day! Head to the Upper West Side for your choice of red or white, with flavors such as the Havana Banana (coconut rum infused with banana and lychee) or the Samba (Acaį liquor, brandy and blueberries).

Calle Ocho
Red, white and Rose sangrias are on deck for National Sangria Day at Calle Ocho! Photo by Calle Ocho.

Tio Pepe
168 West 4th Street, New York, NY 10014

This Spanish style West Village mainstay serves up some of the best sangria in NYC along with its signature paella. During daily happy hour, $7 gets you classic sangria in red or white. For a light bite try something from the $7 happy hour tapas menu, such as their chicken and cod fish croquetas, chorizos riojana infused with rioja wine or mussels.

Where are you pouring it up for National Sangria Day? Share with us in the comment below and don’t forget to tag us in all of your boozy Insta photos. Cheers!

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Uncle Julios Guacamole
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Uncle Julio's EntryIMG_7245

I’ve never been a fan of guacamole; maybe it’s because of the clumpy texture or that it’s $2 extra at Chipotle like what?  Or perhaps it’s the brown color it turns after oxidation. Regardless of the reason, I’ve always said “Hold the guac.” One visit to Uncle Julio’s changed my whole mind! My boyfriend was raving about tableside guacamole and since he was paying, I was all in. I was so intrigued when the waiter came to the table and made the guac in the front of our face with our input on all the ingredients. There’s something fascinating about restaurants that prepare your meals in front of you. I love when we’re included in the experience without having to do the labor and we can supervise everything prepared to the liking of our taste buds.

Tableside Guac

The rich, smooth, and creamy guacamole was complemented with bottomless chips! Luke, our server was very attentive; a fresh hot basket was delivered every time it became half empty. Of course, no Mexican meal is complete without drinks, so we ordered “Lucky Horseshoe” (Herradura Reposado Tequilla, Grand Marnier, lemon/lime sour) and “The Swirl” (a frozen collision of margarita and sangria). Don’t be fooled by “The Swirl”, it looks pretty but definitely gets the job done!

Horseshoe & The Swirl

Uncle Julio's Vibrant

While sipping my drink, enjoying my “not your average guac”, and waiting for my main course, I had the chance to admire the decor. The place was so vibrant; it forces you to be happy. The entrees were overwhelming but scrumptious. Uncle Julio’s is located in seven states but it’s totally worth the trip. The next time you are near Texas, Georgia, Maryland, Virginia, Illinois, Florida, or Pennsylvania make sure you visit Uncle Julio’s.

Uncle Julio's Juanitas Platter

Uncle Julio's Shrimp Fajita's

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batters and berries chicken
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It is too good for words. Though Harold’s still stands as my favorite chicken spot in the Chi, Batter’s and Berries really had me thinking what do they really put in the chicken in Chicago? Seriously.

Batter’s and Berries was an hour wait, BYOB, popular brunch spot that was worth every second I stood in line. The 7-eleven a few blocks away is easily accessible and ready to make your champagne wishes come true. The restaurant doesn’t have a corkage fee but they will charge for flutes if you want to get fancy with it. Aside from their menu, sounding simply mouth watering, they run a number of specials every weekend. Not being able to decide between the rumchatta French toast and the ones on the menu, I opted for a super flight. The flight, gives you EACH of the french toast on the menu, in addition to the special. Yes, this is my kind of party.

batters and berriesBlueberry, Strawberry, Rumchatta, and the lemon French toast all graced my plate to my anticipation. Each piece was infused with the flavor it called for and I must admit, that strawberry French toast was like nothing I ever tasted before. I could sit here and have flights all day, which I recommend for those who just can’t help themselves to everything. It would be a disservice to your tastebuds, to just try one.

batters and berries

But then I reached across the table and had the chicken. Again, what do they put in the chicken in Chicago!? Sweet Potato waffles and a beautiful piece of chicken breast sat across from me with the batter & berries in-house hot sauce  on the side. I meant to only have a piece, but this was an amazing thing – I had to go on and order my own. When was the last time you had something so good off someone else’s plate that you had to go and order your own? It was THAT good. The meat peeled right off my fork, evenly crisp on the outside and succulent on the inside. With the appropriate amount of sauce on the top, I knew they were onto something here.

Batters and Berries

Not only was my server a doll, but the food was also amazing and the vibe at batter’s and berries was busy but not congested. It’s definitely not a brunch you want to pass up in Chicago

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Austin ale house Mimosa & Fruit

Queens is the most underrated borough when it comes to food.  When I talk to people about NYC, they instantly think about Brooklyn or Manhattan but I am here to drop some Queens gems on your palette. Austin’s Ale House is one of them.

Austin's Front View

My first adventure to Austin’s Ale House was extremely laid back. They had a casual dress code, was serving brunch, and they are in a location where I could find any parking near. The restaurant is big, so when you walk in you can either go towards the left to the bar and lunch area or to the right for dinner. There was also an outside patio area that I didn’t learn about until after I got home and went on the website. There were televisions with the World Cup on and a family rooting for Ecuador in the middle of the room. My father and I decided to sit in the main lunch area surrounded by dartboards, paintings, and a random lotto machine.

Austin's Interior Decor

Once we were seated, we received our menus. I chose the steak & eggs Father’s Day Brunch Special which included mini muffins, bagels, a fruit cup, and a MIMOSA. My dad ordered a cheeseburger and onion rings (a pretty simple meal, if I were him I would have ordered the most extravagant item, knowing my daughter is paying the bill).  Our waiter, Andrew, was really invested in us. He shook my dad’s hand, told him Happy Father’s Day, expressed how he wishes he could be home with his but he is working until 11pm, and told us if we need anything, “Just yell, scream, shout.” Service is important to me; my ideal waiter is timely, checking in at the right moments, and FULL OF PERSONALITY! Andrew was exactly that!

Austin's Burger & Fries

Austin's Bagels & Muffins

So we’ve talked about decor and service but what about the food? My starters of a fruit cup and bread were good enough to hold me during the wait. The steak & eggs were delicious! I had very specific orders that my steak was medium well and my eggs were scrambled well because I HATE runny eggs. Instead of using AI sauce, I used the restaurant’s own steak sauce, it was the precise balance of bold and spicy. The meat was tender and flavorful so I didn’t have to chew forever. My father said his burger was good, I’m not a burger person so I didn’t take a bite, but I did try the onion rings and loved that they actually had real onions inside instead of that fake mushy stuff.

Austin's Mimosa & Fruit

Austin's Steak & Eggs

Austin's Homemade Steak Sauce

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Yuerba Beuna Guacamole

It always feels good to cross restaurants off of my “To Eat” list, especially with new friends, so I was super ecstatic to try out Yerba Buena despite the struggle it took getting there. The restaurant is on the corner of Perry Street but the avenue is completely blocked off from the east side, which is where I was traveling from. I couldn’t complain for long because I found out the unlimited drinks are interchangeable here, that was all I needed to know to start loving this place.

So I indulged in the Brazilian Bellini, which included passion fruit instead of orange juice, Sangria, Mimosas and some other drink I couldn’t pronounce but didn’t like too much anyway. We happened to be starving so we decided on trying the guacamole. Neither one of us was very impressed with the flavor but it would do as we waited for the entrees.

Yerba Beuna Guacamole

As I looked forward to savoring the steak “a caballo” which was a hanger steak with fried eggs, I checked out the scene. Not going to lie, the place was packed but despite that our waitress was really attentive and kind to us. She even left a few extra drinks at our table before our time was up. A large party had been set up down the middle and directly behind us, which made me consider this as a reasonable location for a birthday brunch or dinner. Alas, brunch had arrived.

Steak and Eggs

The rice and beans had a subtle flavor of herbs, which I got to spice up with the Salsa Criolla that you see on the side of the Congri. Apparently, Congri is a fancy way of saying “sweet banana” in its entirety. The steak was medium rare, partially overdone, and a part of it was just right. I ate what I could and continued drinking. The parts that I was able to enjoy were juicy and rich, however the egg to accompany it was basic, so I ate what I could to get filled up. I wish the steak would have been more consistent in order to devour it completely but some places you win with the drinks and lose on the food. It wasn’t an entire loss but disappointing indeed.

 

Eggs at Brunch

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