If you haven’t heard via one of my social media accounts (follow me on Twitter and Instagram @jackiewitzke or on Tumblr, TheFreshFormula), I am pregnant with baby #2! We have lovingly named our mini-us Baby Dos, since we aren’t finding out the sex until birth. I’m happy to report that I’ve been feeling well overall, especially now that the exhaustion of the first trimester has passed.
When I was pregnant with Nolan, I craved macaroni and cheese, which doesn’t exactly bode well for my plant-based lifestyle. This pregnancy, I’m thankful to be craving something animal-free: good ‘ole peanut butter and jelly! So long as jelly doesn’t contain gelatin, it is naturally vegan. I buy nut butters containing only nuts, so they’re as natural as you can get, too. And as you know, I also make my own bread, so PB&J is generally a pretty healthy snack for me…
…except for the excess of sugar found in some jelly brands. I’ve handled this a couple of ways. If I purchase premade jelly, I look for all-natural varieties that do not contain high fructose corn syrup. Travis and I have also made our own jellies and jams in the past, allowing us to control the amount and quality of sweetener that goes in.
Regardless of how well I shop or prepare homemade jellies and jams, sugar is sugar. Not only does the average person need to avoid consuming an excess, but certainly a pregnant woman should. I have solved this problem by turning to an old standby: my dessert smoothie formula.
Yes, it’s here: the no-sugar-added PB&J smoothie! I derive all of the sweetness in this treat from raw fruit and medjool dates (as needed). But wait, doesn’t fruit contain sugar? Yes – thankfully, it is coupled with fiber to slow the body’s absorption and prevent the conversion to fat. A dietician that I follow (as mentioned in this previous post) eats primarily raw fruit in her vegan diet and claims that you cannot consume too much of natural sugar in this form (juice, of course, is another story, which I wrote about in the same post). So, not to worry PB&J lovers!
My favorite jelly is that of raspberries, which I’m including in today’s formula adaptation. Raspberries (as with many other berries) happen to be low in sugar, for those concerned, and contain more fiber than any other fruit. Pretty awesome, huh?! These pictured below are frozen, not moldy. 🙂
Like my chocolate peanut butter banana smoothie, you can enjoy this one for dessert, but it would make for a well-balanced breakfast or snack, too. Enjoy!
FORMULA BASE: DESSERT SMOOTHIE
- 2 frozen bananas (or fresh bananas and ice)
- ½-1 cup specialty ingredients –> I’m using ¾ cup frozen raspberries and ¼ cup peanut butter.*
- 1 tbsp chia seeds
- 1 tbsp ground flax seeds
- 1 tbsp hulled hemp seeds
- ¼-½ tsp extract of choice (optional, and amount depends on flavor intensity) –> I’m not using any.
- Pitted medjool dates as needed for sweetness –> I’m not using any.
- Juice or plant milk until desired consistency (start with 4 oz) –> I’m using almond.
*You could use any combination of berries and nut/seed butter. 🙂
Place all ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth, adjusting specialty ingredients as necessary.