Horchata Recipe

April 03, 2014 April 03, 2014/ Morgan

I recently broke down and bought myself a brand new “big girl” blender – a Blendtec! Now there are different high speed blenders I could have picked but this is about why I chose this one over a Vitamix or Ninja Blender. 

The Blendtec and Vitamix both have tons of power, blend beautifully and make one heck of a smoothie or nut butter. I also looked at getting a Ninja as an alternative but everything I read told me that it just wasn’t going to do what I wanted so I turned to the “big girl” contenders. I know that the Ninja does work great for a lot of people, but it just wasn’t  going to cut it for the jobs I was planning on putting a high speed blender though.

So since the Blendtec and Vitamix did what I wanted equally why did I choose one over the other? Well first of all the Blendtec has a great warranty for their refurbished models (which is what I initially was looking to purchase.) They have the same great 7 year warranty as their other blenders (Vitamix has a 5 year warranty for their refurbished models.) Refurbished models go through high standard inspections for both companies, so if you’re looking for a great deal on a high speed blender but you don’t just HAVE to have a brand new one I suggest looking at refurbished! (You can buy a refurbished Blendtec for $279.95 with free shipping here!) 

Another reason I ended up choosing a Blendtec is that it is super easy to clean on the base. I am kind of picky when it comes to buying new small appliances because my food processor has a ton of nooks and crannies that get food stuck in them. I don’t have time to deal with that! I’m a busy mom and I don’t want to have to clean my stuff with a tooth brush every time I use it. The Blendtec has a flat surface with no places for food or smoothies to get stuck in. The model I ended up buying (The Designer Series with Wildside Jar) has a totally solid touch screen surface that I can clean with a quick swipe of a rag. 

Here is the Vitamix Blades for comparison. Sharp and harder to clean everything out of the bottom because of the design. 

The biggest perk for me though is the blade design. It is a super strong blunt blade that is ultra easy to clean around. I can get every last drop of nut butter or smoothie out without a hassle. (No tearing up your favorite rubber spatulas because of sharp blades and tiny spaces!) Food just doesn’t get stuck under it like the competitors blade. Also, if I want to stick my hand in there (with the jar completely off the base and SAFE of course….) to you know.. get the last drop of brownie batter smoothie and lick it off my fingers? Well guess what – I won’t get cut at all! That’s good for a clumsy woman like me! Especially when cleaning it! 

Won’t cut yourself while cleaning it! Woop!

Speaking of cleaning – the jar and lids can go in the dishwasher. A Vitamix cannot. A perk every now and then! I usually just clean the jar and lids right after I use them but there has been a time or two that I left it and was happy to be able to throw it in with the rest of my dishes for a quick wash. 

It also fits under my counter! Awesome!

It has a pulse button which is handy! 

And they also have a nifty 3 Payment Plan for blenders over $350 with no finance charges (just a small convenience fee) if you want to spread your payments out over 3 months!

So yeah, that’s why I chose the Blendtec. I’m so happy I finally made the decision so I could make even more fun recipes for you guys! 

Here are a few recipes I wanted to share with you that I’ve made so far with my Blendtec Blender!

Creamy Dreamy Horchata

I can hardly think of a more refreshing drink than horchata! The almonds make it ultra creamy and extra yummy!!

  • 1 cup white rice (you can also use brown rice if you want)
  • 1/4 cup raw almonds
  • 1  6″ stick cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup sugar (or sweetener of your choice)
  • 8 cups water  

Blend the rice, almonds, cinnamon, sweetener and 4 cups of water together in your blender until chopped up pretty fine (I used the Whole Juice program for this.) Add the remaining 4 cups of water and soak the mixture for 3-4 hours in the refrigerator (alternately you could soak everything together first and then blend. It works both ways!) Strain through a fine mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth or a nut milk bag. Serve over ice. It’s especially great with Mexican food (or by the pool. Throw in a shot of vodka and you’re good to go!) 


Green Hippie Smoothie

Kale smoothies are amazingly delicious and it blows my mind how the blender totally obliterates all traces of the kale in smoothies! Really, there’s not a single speck of leaves to get stuck in your teeth – just all totally smooth and delicious. 

  • 1 large orange
  • 2 cups kale
  • 1 cup frozen mango
  • juice 1 lime
  • 1 cup ice
  • 3 Tablespoons hemp seeds
  • 1/2 cup almond milk (or water)
  • 1 cup water

Blend using the Whole Juice program button on your Blendtec (or until totally smooth on whatever blender you are using!) 



Brownie Batter Smoothie

This makes an ultra smooth delicious chocolate smoothie that you MIGHT just get addicted to. Just had to warn you!

Blend using the Smoothie program button on your Blendtec (or until totally smooth on whatever blender you are using!) 

note: After deciding which blender I ultimately wanted, I chose to become an affiliate for Blendtec. They did not pay me for this review or opinion. I do make a small commission if you buy through any of the affiliate links on this page. Doing so helps support forealslife.com so that I can continue posting recipes for you! I really appreciate your support! Much love, Morgan! 

April 01, 2014 April 01, 2014/ Morgan

I love fries! Well, I love homemade baked fries the most. I eat them several times a week (okay most days..) and I can’t imagine how sad my plate would be without a big side of fries! I love russet potato fries, red potato wedges, yellow potato fries and of course sweet potato fries!! 

And while I LOVE just plain fries with a bit of salt, I love to sometimes jazz them up with a bit of something. This something is some awesomely delicious oil free vegan pesto made with cilantro and pepitas (if you haven’t had them they are hulled pumpkin seeds!) 

If you hate cilantro you can use basil instead, I won’t judge!

Oh and by the way – my family loves these fry baskets that I picked up at the store! So fun for sandwiches and fries outside or at home sitting on the couch! We just line them with parchment paper and throw our meals into them. Easy clean up!

makes 4-6 servings

  • 2-3 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into fries
  • 2 cups loosely packed cilantro
  • 1/2 cup toasted pepitas (hulled pumpkin seeds)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 jalapeno, optional
  • juice of 1 lime
  • big pinch of salt 
  • 1/2 cup water

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick silicon baking mat. 

Lay the sweet potato fries on the baking sheets in a single layer and bake for 15 minutes. Flip the fries and then bake for another 10-15 minutes or until lightly browned. 

Meanwhile blend the cilantro, pepitas, garlic, jalapeno, lime juice, salt and water together until smooth (I used my awesome new Blendtec for a really smooth sauce but a food processor would work as well!) Taste and add any additional salt as necessary. 

Toss the fries with as much of the pesto as you like! Any leftover pesto can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. 

March 24, 2014 March 24, 2014/ Morgan

Some days only a simple meal will do. I do love fancy complicated dishes but don’t forget that I’m also a mother who is too dang busy to cook a lot of the time. I have to throw stuff together real fast but that doesn’t mean that I have to skimp out on health and flavors. 

I’ve been getting asparagus on sale this week (I’m buying it compulsively because it’s so cheap!) so what better thing to do than throw together a soup that cooks in 20 minutes! It’s simple, creamy (but still vegan!) and super low calorie (you know, so you can eat doughnuts later!!) 

Since it is very simple you can look at is like a primed canvas to build upon. Add extra vegetables, fresh herbs, different spices, or just leave it simple because simple doesn’t mean bland. Spring asparagus is so incredibly flavorful that you may not want to add a single thing! 

  • 2 lbs asparagus, wood ends trimmed off
  • 2 cups chopped cauliflower
  • 4 cups vegetable broth (low sodium is best!) 
  • 3 shallots or 1 small onion, minced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper to taste 

Cook the onions in a nonstick pan over medium high heat until they become translucent. Add in the garlic and cook for another minute or so, or until fragrant.

Add the broth to the pan along with the cauliflower. Chop your asparagus into 1-2 inch pieces and add to the pot as well. 

Bring to a boil, cover with a lid, turn down the heat and simmer for 15 minutes

Blend up with your immersion blender, high speed blender or whatever you’ve got until it is silky smooth. Add salt and fresh ground pepper to taste! You could also add any fresh herbs that you enjoy here such as dill, parsley, basil or thyme. 

To make the fancy asparagus tip garnish cut the tips off before adding to the soup and set aside. Blanch them in a separate pot of boiling water for 60 seconds and then dunk into ice water to stop the cooking process. Garnish your soup with them and feel ultra fancy-pantsed! 

March 20, 2014 March 20, 2014/ Morgan

Here’s the post about Why I Bought a Blendtec Blender but first I really wanted to share this with you before I did that because it was crazy delicious! 

It’s a super yummy blend of beets, orange, strawberries and spinach. I was so shocked at how much I loved it and I drank it with a smile on my face the whole time. That’s saying a lot this morning (ever just wake up feeling yucky, old and sore?! Even vegans wake up feeling like crud sometimes! Ha!) 

I’m not going to start claiming any health benefits here. It’s really yummy, sweet and whole fruit smoothies are crazy filling! And it’s gorgeous, isn’t it?!

Drink it and watch this music video. I swear you’ll have an awesome happy morning! 

makes 1-2 servings (about 3 & 1/2 – 4 cups) 

  • 1 small/medium raw beet, cut into chunks
  • 6-7 strawberries
  • 1/2 orange
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup ice cubes

You need a high speed blender for this recipe to blend everything up smooth (I’m using a Blendtec and LOVING it!) 

Put everything into your blender and blend until smooth. If you’re using a Blendtec you can use the Whole Juice blend cycle! Easy peasy. 

March 19, 2014 March 19, 2014/ Morgan

So we all know that vegans are famous for loving hummus but did you know that baba ganoush can be just as delicious? It can be virtually the same but you use roasted charred eggplant instead of chickpeas. This results in a lighter but smoky delicious dip that can be mildly addictive! 

You can eat it on pita chips, cut vegetables and even use it as a fabulous sandwich spread. I’m a dip fanatic, if you haven’t heard, and there are few foods that don’t get some dip or sauce slathered on them!

Since the recipe calls for charring the eggplant you could always do this on the grill – which is super fun in the summer! Just keep turning them over the grates to get them charred and toasted. Then you can wrap them up and place them on a higher rack to let them cook until they are very soft (or transfer them to the oven to finish off!) Then you could eat this dip slathered on some plant-strong burgers for the best BBQ ever!

  • 2 large eggplant

  • 3 Tablespoons sesame seeds

  • Juice of 1 lemon

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 2 large garlic cloves

Preheat the broiler in your oven. Cover a baking sheet with foil (parchment paper should not be put under a broiler or it can catch on fire, trust me!) 

Prick your eggplants several times with a fork and place on the baking sheet. Put under the broil and char for 2-3 minutes, or until the skin starts to darken and blister. Use some long tongs to turn it so that each side gets charred. 

Leave them in the oven, turn off the broiler and turn it to bake at 375 degrees. Let it bake for 30 minutes, or until they are very tender. 

Take it out and let them cool until you can handle them comfortably. 

Scoop the eggplant flesh out of the skins and put into your blender (I used my high speed Blendtec and it made this the smoothest dip I’ve ever had!) Add in all of the remaining ingredients and blend until very smooth (my blender totally blended up the sesame seeds.) 

Add additional salt or lemon juice to taste if necessary. Garnish with some sesame seeds and parsley if desired.

Serve up with some vegetables, pita chips (bake some pita at 425 degrees for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned and crisp!), or spread it on a sandwich… mmm!!!