joining the Birchbox Challenge | day 1 // eat dessert for breakfast (really!)

Birchbox teamed up with a panel of all-star experts to bring a 31-day challenge to make 2015 your healthiest, happiest, most gorgeous year ever. I’m joining Birchbox on this month-long challenge and will share my success with #BirchboxChallenge. Make sure to also enter for their daily prize giveaways.

Let’s do this!

Day 1 // A favorite motto of mine is Dessert First! What a great way to ring in the new year with a Strawberry Shortcake Smoothie for breakfast. It’s a wholesome update on a favorite summer treat that makes for a slightly decadent on-the-go breakfast or a sweet afternoon snack.

I made a few alterations to the recipe based on preference and what I have available. I used coconut oil (instead of cashews), vanilla soy milk (instead of almond milk) and honey (instead of maple syrup). The smoothie will be very thick (spoon-able, even!). I added an extra half-cup of ice and thinned it out with more almond/soy milk. I added more honey and soy milk accordingly to texture and taste.

Strawberry Shortcake Smoothie

Makes 2 large smoothies or 3 smaller ones

Ingredients:

1 ½ cups frozen strawberries OR 1 cup fresh strawberries 1 cup ice

1 cup rolled oats

1 cup cashews (I used coconut oil)

1 cup almond milk (I used vanilla soy milk)

1 tablespoon maple syrup (I used honey)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon cinnamon (I use 3/4 tsp since 1 tsp is too strong)

Directions: Add ingredients to blender. Blend until fully combined.

day 1 #birchboxchallenge // strawberry shortcake smoothie for bfast via It's Jou Life blog http://itsjoulife.wordpress.com/?p=1025   day 1 #birchboxchallenge // strawberry shortcake smoothie for bfast via It's Jou Life blog http://itsjoulife.wordpress.com/?p=1025   day 1 #birchboxchallenge // strawberry shortcake smoothie for bfast via It's Jou Life blog http://itsjoulife.wordpress.com/?p=1025   day 1 #birchboxchallenge // strawberry shortcake smoothie for bfast via It's Jou Life blog http://itsjoulife.wordpress.com/?p=1025

day 1 #birchboxchallenge // strawberry shortcake smoothie for bfast via It's Jou Life blog http://itsjoulife.wordpress.com/?p=1025

day 1 #birchboxchallenge // strawberry shortcake smoothie for bfast // itsjoulife.com

What is Birchbox? Read a previous post written.

Birchbox is a monthly subscription service that delivers curated beauty products tailored to my preferences. For just $10 a month, I receive 4-5 hand-picked, deluxe beauty samples from the best brands—popular luxe brands I covet, to the new and niche brands I have yet to discover. I’ve been a loyal subscriber for the past few years and this is hands down the best beauty box and offers the best incentive programs.

{ recipe } Zucchini Bread

zucchini bread recipe via it's jou life http://wp.me/p3cljj-cx

zucchini bread recipe via it's jou life http://wp.me/p3cljj-cx

loaded with zucchini, pistachios, dates

zucchini bread recipe via it's jou life http://wp.me/p3cljj-cxThis zucchini bread was first inspired by a memorable breakfast muffin I tried at True Food Kitchen. I took some of those favorite ingredients (pistachios + dates) and incorporated it into this basic zucchini recipe found on AllRecipes.com. The * means I’ve altered the recipe. The original recipe called for 2 1/4 cups of sugar. I felt it was overly sweet since I added dates. That is why I cut down the recipe to 1/4 cup of sugar. In the summer time we incorporate our home grown zucchini into this bread and it makes such a difference.

Prep Time: 20 Minutes

Cook Time: 1 Hour

Ingredients:

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

3 teaspoons ground cinnamon

3 eggs

1 cup vegetable oil

1/4 cups white sugar*

3 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 cups grated zucchini

1 cup chopped pistachios*

1 cup chopped pitted dates*

Directions:

1.            Grease and flour two 8 x 4 inch pans. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).

2.            Sift flour, salt, baking powder, soda, and cinnamon together in a bowl.

3.            Beat eggs, oil, vanilla, and sugar together in a large bowl. Add sifted ingredients to the creamed mixture, and beat well. Stir in zucchini, pistachios and dates until well combined. Pour batter into prepared pans.

4.            Bake for 40 to 60 minutes, or until tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on rack for 20 minutes. Remove bread from pan, and completely cool.

Note: After two days, make sure you refrigerate  the bread. The natural sugars in the dates may get gooey. Don’t worry, it’s safe to eat.