Wednesday, July 25, 2018

A Different Kind of Breakfast.

Scrolling through Instagram and Pinterest, it seems that smoothie bowls and açaí bowls are all the rage (especially among vegans and vegetarians). Of course I've always thought they look pretty and delicious, but there's the little voice in my head asking, 'Who actually has the time to make that every morning?' There's the smoothie part itself, and then cutting up the fruit, and then sprinkling on granola/coconut flakes/peanut butter/whatever in a way that's aesthetically pleasing. It's just too much work. Who can possibly do all that in the morning before the coffee even kicks in?

Well, I can now say happily, I do!

I made the revolutionary decision to upgrade from my 3-year-old Nutri Bullet to a shiny new Ninja about two weeks ago. I have never owned a proper blended, but wanting to start making more homemade comfort foods (tomato soup, cream of cauliflower, etc.) helped me finally make the switch. I found a Ninja with several different attachments - on sale, yet! - at Target. It arrived a few days later, and my life was forever changed. Making the actual smoothie/açaí bowls doesn't take as long as I thought, especially after a few trial runs. And I love having something so simple but so healthy in the morning. So today I thought I'd share two of my favorite new recipes: Pumpkin Chia/Banana and Chocolate-Covered Strawberry (+Protein). They take under 10 minutes to make, and the options are endless. As I'm new to this, I'm rather boring in my toppings (fruit, granola, peanut butter), but I definitely plan on expanding my horizons. Let me know what you think!

Peanut Butter/Banana Smoothie Bowl
For the Smoothie Bowl:
1 Banana (frozen)
1/2c Pumpkin puree
8-10 Standard ice cubes
3/4c Cashew milk
1 tbsp Chia seeds

Toppings:
Peanut Butter (I use 2 tbsp PB2)
Nature's Path Coconut Chia Granola (or any granola)
1/2 Banana
Cinnamon

1. If you use a Ninja or Nutri Bullet, always put the ice in first! Then add frozen banana, pumpkin puree, chia seeds, and cashew milk. Blend until smooth.
2. Pour into a bowl and add your toppings. I add more cinnamon as I go, because it's amazing.
3. Enjoy!

Chocolate-Covered Strawberry (+Protein)
(So much variance in toppings, I know - I wish I would have had fresh berries or cacao nibs. Next time!)
For the Smoothie Bowl:
8-10 Standard ice cubes
1 Scoop (33g) Vega Chocolate Protein + Greens 
1/2 Banana (unfrozen)
5 Strawberries (frozen)
3/4c Cashew milk

Toppings:
Peanut Butter (I use 2 tbsp PB2)
Nature's Path Coconut Chia Granola (or any granola)
1/2 Banana
Cinnamon
*Again, I would've loved to have fresh berries instead of the banana, and cacao nibs or cocoa powder instead of the peanut butter. But it was still delicious!

1. Add the ice first, then the frozen berries, unfrozen banana, cashew milk, and last the Vega or other chocolate-flavored protein powder. Do not add the powder first or it will just get stuck to the bottom of the blender cup! 
2. Blend until smooth and pour into a bowl.
3. Add your toppings and enjoy!

I hope you enjoy these recipes! I know I have been thoroughly enjoying them every morning and can't wait to try out different fruits/flavors over time. I will definitely be posting more as I get more practice and would love to try out açaí bowls at some point as well (I haven't been able to find açaí - even at Meijer, Walmart, and Kroger....any suggestions?). They really don't take long to put together, and it's great to know I'm starting the day with something healthy that keeps me going. Let me know your favorite recipes or if you give these a try!

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