Category Archives: Thirst quenchers

Apple and orange smoothie snack

How absolutely refreshing...even in the middle of an ice storm!

My snack this afternoon was soooo tasty, filled my belly and recharged my energy stores…BIG TIME!  Give this fruity smoothie a try for a quick afternoon pick-me-up!

Apple and orange smoothie 2 servings

  • 1 apple
  • 2 oranges, peeled
  • 1/4-1/2 c almond, soy, or coconut milk

Put all ingredients into the blender and give it a rip!  Drink.  ENJOY!

Pumpkin smoothie

I know you already know how much I love smoothies, right?  I drink one pretty much everyday!  I usually load blender up with fresh baby spinach, frozen fruit, protein powder, ground flax seed and use coconut milk as my liquid of choice.  I also know that if you are reading this post you must enjoy a smoothie from time to time yourself!  Which means that at this time of year you have seen plenty of pumpkin smoothie recipes, but don’t worry, this one is not like the rest…I promise!  There is no sweetener or frozen yogurt in my pumpkin smoothie–it uses the awesome sweetness of bananas to help make it delicious (and much better for you!).  Like 30 seconds ago, my hubby had his first drink and said…”it tastes just like pumpkin pie!”.  Yep, that is exactly what I was going for!  It is super smooth, thick, creamy and so very healthful!  You would seriously think that I threw the pumpkin pie mix in the blender instead of my short list of GREAT FOR YOU ingredients.  So fire up your blender and give this one a spin.  I might just make these instead of pie this year on the big day!  If I add a dollop of whipped cream on top I don’t think anyone would be disappointed, do you?!

Holy cow, I just finished my 6 oz serving and I am stuffed!  Thanks to all of the protein and fiber in this one, I have a feeling this will power me through my 90 minutes of yoga and well into the afternoon!  Cheers to easy and delicious ways of taking good care of yourself!

Pumpkin smoothie

Makes 2-6 oz smoothies

  • 2 frozen bananas
  • 1/2 c puree pumpkin (or more, to taste)
  • 1 c Silk’s vanilla coconut milk
  • 1 t pumpkin pie seasoning
  • 2 big scoops of HBV protein powder (I use hemp protein powder, which I buy from Amazon)
  • 1 scoop ground flax seed (I use Stober Farms Natural Milled Golden Flax Seed–this stuff rocks!)

Thow it all in your blender and let it rip!  Oh, make sure BEFORE you freeze your banana that it is cut into 1-2″ pieces–leave the peel on so you don’t have to prefreeze it before bagging–this will save your blender a lot of extra work and you a lot of extra time!  Then all you will need to do is dip the banana in warm water when you are ready to use it to easily remove the peel!



Smoothie love

Spinach smoothie

My breakfast!  This refreshing smoothie was the perfect way to start my day!  Remember those awesome peaches that I picked up at Gordon’s a few weeks ago?  Well many of them made it to the freezer for breakfasts like this!  Loaded with fiber, antioxidants, and protein this remarkably delicious drink left my hubby begging for seconds!  It literally takes about 5 minutes to make and will power you through even the most stressful mornings!  Give this one a try–you will be so very happy that you did!  Oh, and head to your farmer’s market and load up your freezer with peaches, nectarines and berries now so you can enjoy smoothies like this even in the off season!

Enjoy the love!

Smoothie love

Servings:  2

  • 2 big fistfuls of baby spinach
  • 1/4-1/3 c hemp protein powder
  • 1 c vanilla coconut milk
  • 1/2 c frozen peaches
  • 1/2 c frozen mango
  • splash of agave nectar
  • 2 T chia seeds
  • 1 T ground flax seed

Thow it all in your blender and give it a rip!  All of my measurements are just estimates–use as much as you need to create the perfect flavor and consistency for YOU!  Garnish with a frozen peach or mango!


Tropicaf Martini

Is it happy hour yet??

So it is Friday evening and you are prepping for a big night out (or dinner with the family)!  After your long, exhausting week what you really need is a coffee, but a nice cold adult beverage  sounds soooo good!

–what to do??  Quickly whip together this awesome tropicaf martini and your problem is easily solved!  Check out the ingredient list for this drink and tell me if you can think of a better way to start the weekend??  Ha!  I didn’t think so!  I have the martini glasses chillin in the freezer as I type!  5 O’Clock won’t come soon enough!!

Tropicaf Martin

Tropicaf Martini

Servings:  1 delicious drink!

  • 1 1/2-2 oz Malibu (or kahlua or Baileys, or butterscotch schnapps or a combo).  Try not to go over 2 oz of alcohol or you will lose the flavor of the drink and it may end up being a very short night regardless of the coffee!
  • 3 oz Silks’s vanilla coconut milk
  • 1/2-1 tsp instant coffee
  • chocolate syrup or dark chocolate shavings (optional garnish)
  • maraschino cherry (optional garnish)

Make sure your martini glass is frozen.  If not, place a couple of pieces of ice in your glass and add water.  Let sit while you prep the drink.  FYI–I paid for college working as a bartender and the secret to a really great martini is making sure it is SUPER COLD!  So don’t skip this step, PLEASE!

In your shaker, add the coconut milk, BOOZE, instant coffee and a 1/2 c ice.  Shake the daylights out of it.  When you are done shaking, shake some more!  Dump the water out of your martini glass, pour the contents of the shaker into the glass, and garnish!

Move over Starbucks make way for my coconut lattes

Are you spending too much of your valuable time in the drive-through line at Starbucks waiting on your morning hit or afternoon splurge?  When you get done tallying those numbers maybe you should take a look at your bank statement and see what kind of numbers are flying out of your account everytime you make that decision!  No reallly, DO IT!  This is money you could be sending to the red cross for disaster relief  (think JOPLIN people–PLEASE), MS Society, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society…should I go on?   Ok, I am stepping down from my soap box now…SORRY!

I guess you know by now how infatuated I am with Silk’s coconut milk, if not pay more attention please!  Anyway, I have been very busy here at 488  finding ways for you to use what you already have at home and avoid that dreaded drive-through!   The recipes I have tested couldn’t be easier to whip together and trust me at about $.58-1.25/8 oz, Starbucks has nothing on these cool healthful drinks!

Move over Starbucks, make way for my coconut latte recipes:

Benecafe smoothie

  • 8 oz Silk’s vanilla coconut milk
  • 1 scoop hemp protein powder (or your favorite pure HBV protein)
  • 1 t instant coffee–caf or decaf–our favorite is Extra Smooth Mountain Blend found at our local grocer
  • ice
  • Put all ingredients into a lidded container.  Shake the hell out of it.  I mean give it all you got!  Pour over ice and enjoy!

Benecafe frappacino

  • Follow the Benecafe latte recipe except throw it in your blender and give it a spin.  Serve and enjoy!

Benecafe fruit smoothie

  • 8 oz Silk’s vanilla coconut milk
  • 1 tsp high quality instant coffee
  • 1/2 c frozen fruit (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, mango, banana–whatever you like!)
  • hemp protein powder

Thow all ingredients into your blender or smoothie machine and let it rip!  Serve and Enjoy!

Benecafe fruit ice

  • 8 oz Silk’s vanilla coconut milk
  • 1 tsp high quality instant coffee
  • 1 scoop hemp protein powder
  • 1/2 c frozen fruit

Throw this all into a container with a lid.  Shake, shake, shake, shake, shake, shake!  Enjoy your drink and then have a nice fruit snack!  YUM!

Whatever is in your fridge smoothie

Ok, so we are still ‘on’ smoothies and have them for breakfast 3-4 times a week.  I pretty much just use whatever is in the fridge, but I always add protein powder to make it last until lunch.

So this is what happened when I started cleaning out the fridge this AM–DELICIOUSNESS in a glass!

1/2 c Silk Vanilla Coconut Milk

1/2 c heavy pulp orange juice

2 scoops protein powder (I use hemp protein powder)

1/2 apple

1 c frozen mango chunks

1 frozen banana

2 T chia seeds

1 T ground flax seed

Thow it all in the blender and ENJOY the creamy and healthful burst of sunshine!  Every time I take a drink I feel my 40-something wrinkles shrinking!

Mango Smoothie

I guess you can tell we drink a lot of smoothies for breakfast here at 488!  I can’t get enough of the sumptuous flavor of mango–reminds me of my honeymoon floating around the grenadines!  Anyway…we don’t have access to good fresh mango in the midwest, so frozen often has to suffice.  I buy the big bags at Sams and snack on it often.  I even use the big chunks of fruit in my water instead of using ice–what a delightful afternoon cocktail!

This mango smoothie is packed with all sorts of key nutrients for a boost of energy to start the day!



  • frozen mango (add as much as you like!)
  • 1-2 c baby spinach
  • 1 c orange juice or water
  • agave nectar (to taste–if using water instead of juice)
  • spash of coconut, almond, or soy milk
  • 1 T chia seeds
  • protein powder– I use hemp powder

Throw it all in a blender and let it spin until smooth.

Add frozen blueberries if you want a delicious twist to this fantastic breakfast treat!


Banana Smoothie

What in the world do you do with over-ripe bananas (well, besides make banana bread–boring!)??  MAKE healthful and yummy breakfast smoothies!  At least that is what Andy and I did just the other day and absolutely fell in LOVE with the final product–I think you will as well!


  • 3-4 Frozen peeled bananas
  • 1/4 c soymilk (milk, juice or yogurt)
  • 1 T peanut butter (or more:))
  • 1 T chia seeds

Place all ingredients in the blender and let it rip!  It will be a smooth, frozen treat in no time!

Another great version of this recipe–use 1/4-1/2 c frozen blueberries instead of peanut butter!

Add protein powder to give it a little more ‘staying’ power!

To make a delicious adult beverage out of this, add some kaluha or spiced rum–now doesn’t that sound good??


Ginger mojito

Normally high maintenance drinks are ‘off’ the menu at 488.  This is the one and only exception to the rule.  You will have to work hard for this refreshing, thirst-quenching delight, but I promise you there is nothing better on a hot summer day!  My mouth is watering already!

Ginger Mojito

Peel from 4 large limes (green part only, use a veg peeler to remove in 2 inch long strips)

1 c freshly squeezed lime juice

8 1/4 inch thick slices of peeled fresh ginger

1/4 c sugar

30 large fresh mint leaves plus 10 or so for garnishing

1 c Brazilian rum

5 c ginger beer or ginger ale (don’t get the cheap stuff in a plastic bottle!)

Combine the lime peel, lime juice, ginger, sugar and 30 mint leaves in mortar.  Use muddler or pestle to crush the lime peel, ginger, and mint leaves together.  Transfer to a large pitcher.  Stir in the rum.  Cover and refrigerate.

Right before serving add the ginger beer.  Serve over ice and garnish with mint sprigs.


Vanilla Extract

My hubby is a home brewer.  I know, I know, what does this have to do with making vanilla extract?  Be patient and keep reading…he started to brew seriously about 5 years ago.  In the spring of 2006 he decided to brew his first batch of vanilla porter.  To make the beer he had to buy a LOT of beans!  We weren’t thrilled by that thought– knowing how much just one bean costs at the grocery store.  So we went in search of a cheaper bean outlet!  EBAY, we love you!  We found the most amazing organic beans at a fraction of the cost.  Of course, we bought a huge quantity because we love vanilla and wanted to take advantage of the ‘deal’ that we had found.  With some of the left over beans we decided to try our hand at making vanilla extract!  It honestly couldn’t be more simple, and if you are patient, I promise that it will be worth it!  Ours has been ‘steeping’ since 2006 and is fragrant, flavorful, and beats the hell out of those plastic bottles of vanilla that we used to buy for a healthy sum at the grocery store.

Oh, and by the way, Andy’s vanilla porter was so DELICIOUS I wanted to pour it over ice cream!

Vanilla Extract

1 c Vodka

3-4 vanilla beans cut into 1/4 inch pieces

Put the beans and vodka into a kerr (canning) jar and place in the cabinet for long-term aging.  You can probably start using the vanilla after 12-18 month, but it will get much better after more time.  So, again, BE PATIENT!

Don’t forget to throw your used (seeded) beans in with a splash of vodka.  The more beans, the better!