Super Orange Juice

Superfood Orange Juice Mary Riley Photography LLC Wentzville Missouri

Good morning everyone!  It was a little disappointing this morning after yesterday’s beautiful “hamster sized snowflakes” fell from the sky.

Kids in the Snow Mary Riley Photography Wentzville Missouri

But, this smoothie will make up for that!

This smoothie was created to use up my favorite super foods in the refrigerator and to keep us all healthy this month.  It seemed many were falling down with the flu or stomach bug, so we threw in our super foods, blueberries and spinach, and made it taste great with my biggest smoothie secret — the rind.

My kids love orange juice.  Most do.  And this smoothie tastes like orange juice!  Why?  Because I throw in half the rind of one orange (cut up into 1″ pieces).  The Vitamix blends that all together into one smooth smoothie.

I serve these often when we make “brinner”.  It’s difficult to find veggies to go with some power protein waffles… but the smoothie has vegetables, fruit and tastes great with the menu.  Plus it is fast and easy with little clean up!

Superfood Orange Juice 2 Mary Riley Photography Wentzville Missouri

**Smoothie Tips**

After many, many days of smoothies I have discovered a few things:

  1.  The blender does better if the frozen fruit thaws for 5 minutes or so.  Or if you are impatient like me, put in the microwave on high for 1 minute.
  2. The banana can make or break your smoothie!  Yeah a banana.  If there aren’t enough sweet components, a banana can make your smoothie awesome.  But if your banana has a lot of brown spots, the banana taste can really overpower everything.  I like my banana yellow with no brown in smoothies.  That way some of the starches have converted to sugars, but the super sweet banana flavor doesn’t overpower the entire smoothie.
  3. If the smoothie is not cold enough – add a cup of ice!  Smoothies taste better cold to me anyway.
  4. If the smoothie doesn’t taste great, add a quarter of a lemon or half of an orange – the rind and all.  This gives the smoothie a clean, fresh taste.
Super Orange Juice
Author: Mary Ellen P. Riley / Whisk Together
Prep time:
Total time:
Serves: 2 large smoothies
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 banana, cut in half (optional)
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 2 cups mango, 1″ chunks
  • 2 handfuls baby spinach
  • 1 orange, remove rind and cut orange into fourths
  • 1 half of the orange rind, cut into 1″ chunks (you should have about 3 or 4)
  • 1 cup ice (optional)
  1. Add the ingredients as listed or recommended on your blender.
  2. I put my machine on “Smoothie” and hit start. For non-smoothie blenders, start slow. After about 30 seconds, turn the machine up slowly to high. Stop the machine and use a spoon to push items down towards the blades if needed. The smoothie should form a tornado for 30-60 seconds and you will know then it is ready.
  3. Add ice to make it colder. I always add ice especially if my ingredients are not frozen.
I really like Cara Cara oranges in this recipe for their texture and flavor. Any orange will do as long as it is juicy and looks fresh. [br]If you are purchasing just a few lemons or oranges for smoothies, consider buying organic ones. I am not a huge organic fanatic by any means, but it does make sense to try if you are buying them just for smoothies since the skin is being consumed.



FREE Shipping Coupon Code & New Recipe: Tropical Green Smoothie

Cook Simple Promo


I purchased a new item at Fresh Thyme Grocery store last month from Cook Simple Meals.  It was Tamale Pie and one of the best ones I have ever made.  I couldn’t get enough of it!  In addition, it was so simple to make even my 8 year old could throw it together based on the instructions on the back of the box.  I enjoyed the meal so much that I contacted the company.  They sent these meals for us to review and share with you as well!

PLUS a coupon code JUST for Whisk Together readers.
You get 10% OFF plus free shipping on your entire order.  So even though they may have these at Fresh Thyme grocery store, I can have them shipped to my house for FREE!  Woo hoo!

Why Cook Simple Meals?
1.  No artificial anything.  All real food.
2.  The meals use quinoa, spinach, broccoli, lentils and other healthy items.  The Strogonoff for example uses black bean pasta.
3.  The bags inside that contain the meal also have measurements on the side – so you can measure the water right there in the bag instead of getting out another dish.
4.  My favorite is the Tamale Pie.
5.  My husband’s favorite is the Cowboy Chili after adding some hot sauce for more heat.  Without hot sauce it is rather mild.  I like that because we can always add our amount of hot sauce.
6.  All the meals can be made in 30 minutes or even faster.
7.  My daughter – who loves mac and cheese – LOVED the cheesy broccoli.
8.  I like the suggestions on the box to make it your own.  I liked the Sloppy Joes in our pizza pocket crust.

They are more expensive than making it all yourself.  But I like having these boxes on hand to make a quick meal which is far cheaper than going out to eat for the four of us.

If you want to try just ONE of the meals, I would suggest the Tamale Pie.


Tropical Green Smoothie


Speaking of wholesome and natural ingredients, here is Day One of the  Green Smoothie Challenge I am doing.  There is a 10 Day Smoothie Challenge in the book I received for Christmas which provided a grocery list and menu list for a different smoothie for each of the 10 days.  The very first one was very good!  We love green smoothies and always looking for a great recipe.  The internet contains a plethora… but some of them I wonder if anyone actually tried because they taste terrible.

Here we will only post the good ones that we all liked – even the kids!

To make this a meal replacement for lunch or breakfast, I add a cup of plain Greek yogurt, 1/2 cup cooked beans (usually white like Great Northern beans), or peanut butter for added protein.

Tropical Green Smoothie

Tropical Green Smoothie
Author: Mary Ellen P. Riley / Whisk Together
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups baby spinach leaves
  • 2 bananas
  • 1 cup mango (or frozen or thawed from frozen)
  • 1 cup pineapple
  1. Blend all of the ingredients and drink!
  2. For a cold smoothie, have one of the fruits frozen like sliced bananas or pineapple tidbits.
From Simple Green Smoothies


Mango Strawberry Crisp

Mango Strawberry Crisp on Whisk Together-2881

Books:  I’m reading two books at the same time right now.  Why?  Uh, I dunno.  The other one is “When to Rob a Bank”… which has nothing to do with the other book…..
In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day by Matt Batterson.  It makes for a good read.  Although after repeating the same idea for 20 pages+…. it tends to get a little old.  I would give it 3.5/5 stars.  The book has some good points and quotes in it:

Interesting question to ask ourselves:  “Are you living your life in a way that is worth telling stories about?”

“Worship is forgetting about what’s wrong with you and remembering what’s right with God.”

“Part of spiritual maturity is caring less and less about what people think about you and more and more about what God thinks about you.”

 “If you take a second to reflect on your life, you’ll discover that the greatest experiences are often the scariest, and the scariest experiences are often the greatest.”

“Don’t accumulate possessions; accumulate experiences!”

Mango Strawberry Crisp on WHisk Together-2869


Ooh yes!  Another strawberry recipe 🙂  I love strawberries and they are the best fresh.  Once you start buying strawberries in the winter, I’m sorry they just don’t taste as good.  So, we really like to load up on fresh ones this time of year.  Here is a crisp recipe that used up some of my strawberries and mangoes.  The second time I used up my frozen peaches in lieu of mangoes, and it was fantastic that way as well.  You can make it either way.  You can also make this using all frozen peaches or mangoes and strawberries – just reduce the cornstarch to 1 Tb.

Mango Strawberry Crisp-on Whisk Together2890

Top it with vanilla ice cream, or divide it up into ramekins to make individual crumbles (reduce the baking time!), or top with whipped cream.   This recipe has 71 five star reviews on Food Network because it is so good!

Mango Strawberry Crisp on Whisk Together-2887

Mango Strawberry Crisp
Author: Mary Ellen P. Riley / Whisk Together
  • 2 Tb. lemon juice
  • 1.5 Tb. cornstarch
  • 1 lb. strawberries, trimmed of leaves and cut in half
  • 1.5 lbs. mangoes or peaches, peeled and chopped into 1″ pieces
  • 1/2 cup (3.5 oz.) brown sugar
  • Topping:
  • 2/3 cup flour
  • 2/3 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 8 Tb. (1 stick) butter, melted
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease a 9×9″ or 1.5 qt. casserole dish with butter or cooking spray.
  3. In a great big bowl: toss together the lemon juice, cornstarch, strawberries, peaches or mango, and brown sugar. Add to the casserole dish.
  4. In a medium bowl, toss together the flour, oats, almonds, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt. Stir to combine. Drizzle melted butter on top. Stir until mixture it wet. Sprinkle onto the fruit mixture.
  5. Bake 40 minutes. The fruit filling will be bubbly and the top will be golden brown. Cool for 1-2 hours.
Recipe slightly adapted from Food Network [br]


Mango Lassi

Mango Lassi at Whisk Together


Book Update:  I took ALL my books back to the library!  We move next week!  I already found a school library book from last May under our dining table.  Oy vey.

Recipe:  A lassi is a yogurt based drink mainly found in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.  Feel free to substitute the mango for another fruit and the orange juice for milk or more ice.  Fruits could include berries, papaya, pineapple, oranges, etc.  Basically, try 1 cup of yogurt, 1 cup of fruit, some ice cubes and some honey if you like.  For denser fruits like mango, I had orange juice or water.

Something fast and delicious!  Great way to get my kids some vitamin A since they really dislike carrots and I don’t have any canned pumpkin right now.  Frozen mango and organic mango is sold at Trader Joe’s for $2.30 per bag, so it is a staple around here especially with a sprinkle of cinnamon on top.  Add it to your kid’s lunch box or use it for a breakfast on the go.  You get vitamin A and C from the mango, protein from the yogurt, and more vitamins from the orange juice.

Mango Lassi


  • 1 cup frozen or fresh mango, diced
  • 1 cup plain yogurt, or vanilla
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1 tsp agave nectar or sweetener of your choice, optional
  • 1 Tb. ground flaxseed, optional
  • 4-6 ice cubes (or more if the mango is not frozen)


  1. Blend together in a blender. Adding liquids first seems to help my blender blend faster.

Mango Lassi

1 cup frozen or fresh mango, diced
1 cup plain yogurt, or vanilla
1/4 cup orange juice
1 tsp agave nectar or sweetener of your choice, optional
1 Tb. ground flaxseed, optional
4-6 ice cubes (or  more if the mango is not frozen)

Blend in a blender and drink!  Usually adding the liquid ingredients first seems to help the blender process in mine.



Batidos (Fruit Shakes)

Batidos on Whisk Together


This recipe is from the Caribbean and Latin America.  Traditionally, the batido or “fruit shake” is made with any tropical fruit like pineapple, banana, mango, papaya, guava and passion fruit.  In the photo, I used strawberries because we had a lot of them to use up before going moldy.  Frozen fruit can be used instead of fresh – just eliminate or decrease the amount of ice.  For those eliminating sugars, you could of course eliminate the sugar added or replace with honey, agave, etc.

Kid approved, healthy and fast!

Batidos (Fruit Shakes)


  • 3 1/2 cups ripe fruit, chopped for blender
  • 2 cups ice
  • 1 and 1/2 cups cold milk
  • 1 T sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • pinch salt


  1. Throw everything into your favorite blender and blend until smooth.

Batidos – “Fruit Shakes”

3 and 1/2 cups ripe fruit, cut for the blender
2 cups ice
1 and 1/2 cups cold milk
1 Tb. sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
pinch salt

Blend and drink!

I’m Back & with Mango Bread!

Mango Bread on Whisk Together


Hey Everybody!!!!  So… I’ve been doing this blog 3 years.  THREE years.  Non-stop through anything and everything.  That is until I sold my home.  It’s like a 24 hour job!  Cleaning 3 times per day, packing half of the house into a truck and then a storage unit, touching up inside and out.  Wow!  I would say it is more stressful than getting married, but just a little less stressful than having a newborn baby.  I did get 5 hours of sleep at night in a row – which is way better than having a newborn.  Why sell?

Well, we always wanted to have more land and hubby wanted a workshop.  This subdivision we found gave us more land (that we don’t own… but it’s a park and a giant creek so little chance of building there) and an extra garage gives hubby his workshop.  After discussing it a couple days, we put money down on the lot, put our house up on the market and sold it in EIGHT days.  Yes, eight.   I think we could have sold it sooner, but we had a huge ice storm opening weekend and then school was closed the following Monday as well.

While the new house is built, we are living apartment life.   I have 1 window to take photos with and that window is mostly covered by our sectional couch.   So, I can stop taking photos of food… or just bear with me for 5 months.  🙂


This recipe is for Mango Bread – a recipe I found at King Arthur Flour.  I had some thawed out mango and wanted to make something different from it.  Now, the bread tastes nothing like mango.  It would taste great savory or sweet like as French Toast or as a ham sandwich.  So, if you received mangoes as a gift, in your produce basket, or just tired of mango – then you may want to try this recipe and use them up!

Mango Bread
Recipe Type: Bread
Author: Mary Ellen P. Riley / Whisk Together
  • 1 1/4 cups puréed mango (1-2 large, ripe mango, peeled and puréed in a blender or food processor)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons vital wheat gluten (optional)
  • 1 cup King Arthur 100% White Whole Flour
  • 2 cups King Arthur Unbleached Special Bread Flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons regular instant yeast
  1. Add everything to the bread machine per the instructions. For my Oster machine, I add the liquids first. Then, I add everything else but the flour and yeast. Add the flour in one big heap. Poke a hole in the top with my finger and add the yeast into the hole.
  2. Hit “Dough Cycle” to make just the dough, or hit “white bread” cycle to make and bake the bread. This time I decided to try baking the bread and it worked great!
  3. If using the dough cycle, bake the bread in a 9×5 bread pan at 350 degrees for 25 minutes covered with foil, and then 15 minutes uncovered.



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