Because I've been buckling down since December and making sure I do two things that do wonders in terms of any weight loss endeavors - exercising daily and eating breakfast - I thought I'd start off my PJ consumption with a very simple smoothie recipe to help rejuvenate me after a Pilates or Yoga session. Growing up going to Colombia almost every summer, I got used to having fresh fruit juices and shakes, so a good fruit smoothie is very near & dear to my heart. The problem with most smoothies is that after all is said and done, you could easily consume anywhere from 250-500 calories in one fell swoop, depending on size. I should know; I gained a lot of weight on my daily 24 oz. Jamba Juices when I was in college, not taking into account that my "healthy" drink was super full of extra calories! So nowadays when I have a fruit smoothie, I make sure it's of a smallish nature (12-16 oz) and only a couple of times a week. My other problem with smoothies is that, unless you have a loaded gift card from your favorite smoothie shop, it's not the most economical meal or snack you could have. That bugs me (well, not me; my wallet). Like the daily latte that can take a lot of one's disposable income, so can the daily smoothie at $3-5 a pop.
So how'd you fix this for yourself, Poor Girl? Easy! I make one giant smoothie and use it to make smoothie pops. I can usually get at least 6 popsicles out of a 24 oz. smoothie (depending on how much I have for "quality control"), dropping the calories of my snack from 400-ish to 65-ish and my cost per snack from $4.75 to about $0.80 or so. And of course, they last longer, stretching out the value of all those fun, not-so-cheap ingredients like fruits, juices, and the occasional protein booster. These make great after-workout snacks, breakfasts-on-the-go, or a lighter, healthier dessert than an ice cream sandwich. And because it's filled with berries and pomegranate juice, these popsicles are packed with Vitamins A & C and other antioxidants, so you can feel good about indulging in this little treat. Let's look at the recipe before moving on to the contest!
1/2 c frozen mixed berries
1/2 c plain nonfat yogurt
2 T honey (optional)
2 T soy protein powder (optional)
Combine all ingredients in a blender (or if you don't have one, use a sturdy plastic glass & an immersion blender) and puree until completely smooth. Pour into popsicle molds and freeze for at least 2 hours. When they're ready, run cold water on the mold to loosen your popsicle and enjoy!
Of course, this was just one uber easy way to make use of such an amazingly versatile juice, so please don't feel bound to adding this to smoothies for the rest of eternity. Pomegranate juice can be used in a variety of different ways, from desserts to soups to salad dressings to random dipping sauces, the latter of which will be making an appearance on PGEW very soon so stay tuned for that.
Anyway, because I got so many little bottles of this deliciously tart, ridiculously healthy juice, I decided to share some with you fine folks! Sure, I could find a zillion ways to use all this juice but I'd rather see what you all can do with it, too. So, for my first contest of 2010, I'm giving away 4 bottles of POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice to 4 lucky winners!
To enter, simply leave a comment here on the blog about how you have used/would use pomegranate juice in a recipe (don't worry if you've never cooked with it; that's a perfectly valid comment!). You can earn bonus entries by tweeting about the contest: "RT Win a bottle of POM Wonderful Pomegranate Juice from @PoorGrlEatsWell!" and emailing me at poorgirleatswell [at] gmail [dot] com that you have done so. Facebook fans can also earn bonus entries by posting a different pomegranate use comment on the Facebook fanpage. That's all there is to it! I'll be announcing the lucky winners on Saturday, January 23rd.
(NOTE: to be considered as a valid entrant, please refrain from going "Anonymous" here on the blog as I'll have no idea who you are! Thank you!)
Good luck, everyone! :)