Apple Ginger Martini

This may be more of a product review than a recipe, but here goes:

I was craving Leinenkugel’s Orange Shandy thanks to some Thanksgiving festivity family withdrawals. The cold weather + long work week made me want something comforting and I was craving this beer, only to arrive at Publix and see they no longer had it stocked!  I knew I could grab a Blue Moon or Shock Top, but they aren’t the same.
So I walked along to find what I thought was an apple ginger brew. Say what!? Apple ginger beer? Yes please.

Unfortunately I got home and found out it was a Angry Orchard’s Apple Ginger Hard Cider, but that did not deter my tasting.
I have to say to my friends at AO- It’s got a great flavor, but it’s too sweet for my taste. So what did I do?! I made it amazing.  I balanced the tart sweetness of the apple ginger hard cider with a bitter ginger infused vodka martini!

Here is the recipe:

Apple Ginger Martini
1.5 oz. Ginger Infused Vodka
6 oz. Angry Orchard Apple Ginger Hard Cider

There are two ways to do the Ginger Infused Vodka- the lazy way and the prepare-ahead way (see below for both). Either way, take your ginger vodka shaken with ice and pour in a tall glass. Add 6 oz. (half bottle) of Angry Orchard. It’s crisp, delicious, and well-balanced in every sip!

Lazy Way:
Ground ginger + 1 shot Absolut Vodka (or Vodka of choice) in shaker with four ice cubes

The Zinger Way:
Two years ago, my brother-in-law (who knows me so well!) got me a Vodka Zinger so that I could infuse anything I wanted into my vodka. This may sound bad, but I like to be creative with my cocktails. So for this recipe I put in 8 pieces of sliced ginger with two shots of vodka. I let it infuse for two hours prior to serving.

Nutrition Facts:

Coconut Banana Blonde Cake

This will not last long. Alan’s exact words were “why are my pieces so small?” as he finished his third one. ūüėČ

This delicious protein coconut cake (with tons of hidden proteins), is moist and dense, with a  light banana coconut flavor.

Why would your body benefit from eating this?

  1. Chickpeas– The unique combination of antioxidants, phytonutrients, fiber, and protein make the base of this cake a powerhouse for your cells. The combined fiber and protein regulates blood sugar by producing better insulin output and better insulin function. The fiber also lowers blood cholesterol and is shown to improve heart health. The manganese is essential for energy production in cells and regulates blood sugar, calcium absorption, and protein synthesis.
  2. Bananas– The athletes dream food. Even though it’s sweet, banana has a low glycemic impact due to the fiber and pectin combination. The banana also contains iron (strengthens your blood) and potassium (lowers blood pressure and improves heart function). Bananas have also been shown to improve your mood from the tryptophan boosting serotonin levels, aid in digestion from the prebiotic enzymes that help absorb nutrients, and is a natural antacid that helps the body absorb calcium. WHEW!
  3. Coconut– This high fat, low carb treat provides essential nutrients for your body. Coconut contains over 35% of your DV of manganese, helping your energy levels stay high, while regulating blood sugar, calcium absorption, and protein synthesis. It contains over 25% of your DV Copper, which is needed to produce collage in cells and aid in iron absorption. Lastly, it has selenium which produces selenoproteins that support your thyroid and immune function.
And at only 66 calories, 2 g. fat, 3 g. protein, and 1 g. sugar each, this is something you can be excited about. (Full nutrition facts at the bottom)
Coconut Banana Blonde Cake
(Serves 16- or 4 if you are me)
400g (1 can) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 Scoop Cake Batter Protein Powder (I use Optimum Nutrition 100% Whey Cake Batter Protein)
1 Medium Banana
1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
1 tsp. Imitation Butter Extract
1 Egg
1/4 tsp. Baking Powder
Two twists (about 1 tsp.) Himalayan Pink Sea Salt
1 Cup Sweetened Shredded Coconut* (see tip below for sweetening your own)

(Reserve 1/2 c. coconut for sprinkling on top)

1 Packet Truvia
This is super simple.

Preheat the oven to 325 F.
Line an 8×8 pan with Parchment or Pan Lining Paper.

Put all ingredients (except 1/2 cup coconut) into the food processor. Process for a few minutes until you have a smooth batter (may still have some coconut lumps). Make sure you scrape the sides if needed before pouring the batter into the pan.
Pour into Pan Lined with Parchment and top with remaining 1/2c. shredded coconut.
Put into the oven and cook for 30 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean and the coconut is beginning to brown.
Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before cutting. It’s hard to resist, but you really should…
Then devour.
Salivating yet?
(TIP FOR SWEETENING YOUR OWN COCONUT- starting with 2 cups unsweetened coconut, mix with 1/3 cup egg whites, 1tbsp. vanilla and 4 tbsp. baking truvia blend, spread on the baking sheet and bake at for 10 minutes.)

A Healthy Body – Food For Thought

It’s easy to become consumed with the thoughts of losing weight, getting fit, or working off indulgences. In reality, every day we should be working to have the best body we can. We should eat the healthiest foods available to us, exercise when we have the time (or make it!), and have peace with the thoughts of nourishing our bodies. With all of the distractions that come with having a family and work, it never seems simple to work towards your best body that you can have. For some people it’s a number on the scale, or a certain size pants, or only eating organic food that makes them feel gratified with their progress. But for me it’s always wanting to do better. I want a better number, or a better size, or better choices of food, but it never seems to be enough for me to fully feel gratified.

With this, I have turned toward scripture. It helps me reset my mind to the purpose that should be the focus: “Glorify God in your body.”
 1 Corinthians 6, “Your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you”

My goal is to be focused on making my body the temple that I choose. Meditate on the word, eat the most wholesome foods I can, and enjoy the exercise I get between busy work schedules and family time. Don’t let your mind make it harder than it is. Gratification and appreciation should be a daily event, no matter where you are at in your progress. So take a minute to thank God for your many blessings and then work towards making your body the temple you want it to be.