This post is sponsored by Aloha.
Can ice cream count as breakfast? Why yes. Yes it can!
There is a certain sense of accomplishment when you get a day’s worth of fruits and veggies and a workout before 10 AM. And smoothies, rich and THICK smoothies, do just that. Now, if you have spent a second on Instagram, you know that the latest and greatest smoothie innovation is putting smoothies in BOWLS. And guys, I’v been doing this for years with no plans of stopping. A bowl of smoothie just makes them more meal-like, you know? Because you can just a ton of toppings on em and BAM, instead filler upper.
You might as well dump your whole pantry on here… cause I do.
It’s no secret that I love smoothie bowls. I normally only get to have them on weekends because, surprise!, they do not travel well for work. Plus, there’s something so exciting about waking up on the weekends and thinking, “YES! I can have this breakfast because it is the weekend and I can eat this due to the unlimited time.” It’s kind of like when you are a kid and your parents can make you pancakes or omelets on the weekends.
And yes, weekend breakfasts also can include pie. Always pie.
Below, I have the recipes for three of my most FAVORITE smoothies. These smoothies have won out because the flavor in each is absolutely incredible. As anyone does, I have my hits and misses with smoothie flavors (not sweet enough/too sweet/artificial tasting) and textures (too gritty/too icy). However, these flavors kill the game for me. Each smoothie starts with a base of fruits and veggies, some protein powder, and nondairy milk (feel free to use whatever nondairy milk you choose). Now, I know what some of you are thinking. Sarah, cauliflower and zucchini in your smoothie? What gives, girlie? If you have never tried veggies in your smoothies before, I will say to give em a chance! I have found they offer bulk and nutrition without any of the flavors you associate with veggies. All you can taste is the fruit! I personally steam and freeze my veggies before adding them to my smoothies, mostly to make them easier to digest. However, in a pinch, you can also grab frozen zucchini and cauliflower in your grocery store to add (it just will not have cooked beforehand) If you want to omit the veggies, I would suggest adding more banana or avocado to give the smoothie some more bulk.
Ok, so now kids, let’s talk flavors! Yippee! First up, I have my latest smoothie obsession. This smoothie came about because I had an excess of peaches. Not knowing what to do, I figured, “Hey, these might taste good in here.” Y’all, this happy accident is now my absolutely fav addition to smoothies. The peaches add their own creaminess without being icy. I love adding a scoop of tahini in here as well, to counteract the sweetness and give you that mouthfeel that makes you think “Hmm, what is in here?”
Second, we have what can best be described as dessert for breakfast. Why yes, I am talking about mint chocolate chip smoothie bowl. I don’t know what makes this smoothie so good, but it might just be the addition of fresh mint, frozen mango, and cacao nibs which serve as the “chips”. If you want to go all out, feel free to add chocolate chips. However, I am in love with the bitter crunch of the nibs, that these work perfectly for me.
Lastly, we have a blueberry pineapple cheesecake smoothie which, I kid you not, tastes legitimately like cheesecake. The secret is a 1/4 cup of full fat cottage cheese, which adds such a creamy dreamy mouthfeel that will make you just say OH LAWD!
Now, when I am in a pinch, I normally just buy all of my smoothie fruits and veggies from either Trader Joe’s or Costco (aka the best frozen berries ever!). But, since it’s still summer around these parts in the good old Mid Atlantic, I highly HIGHLY recommend buying your produce and freezing it yourself. Not only will you save money from buying the bags, but you will get SUCH a better flavor. Currently, I am buying ALL of the peaches and cherries in bulk and freezing them for smoothie perfection. All you have to do is line a baking sheet with parchment paper, spread out the fruit in a single layer without touching, freeze until solid, and then pile it into gallon sized ziplock bags. I swear, my smoothies taste better with in season fruit.
It might be a labor, but it is a labor of love
Many people on Instagram and my blog ask me why I use protein powder, particularly in my smoothies. While I am a vegetarian, I usually find I can get enough protein for my body throughout the day. For me, protein powder is just an easy way to ensure I get enough protein on weekends when my diet is less than stellar. You know, when you are subscribing to meals of donuts and… more donuts? I usually use vegan protein powder in smoothies because I find whey and soy powders irritate my gut. Now, I have tried many different vegan protein powders. I am very picky, particularly vegan ones because they are normally (1) very gritty and do not blend well into smoothies or (2) contain stevia. I am allergic to stevia, and, surprisingly, it is hard to find a protein powder, vegan or not, without stevia in it. When I discovered Aloha protein powder, I fell in love. It blends incredibly well in smoothies, gives them a slight sweetness without tasting artificial, and actually makes the smoothie texture creamier than without. I also give it bonus points because it is naturally sweetened with monk fruit, not stevia!
So go forth, and make a delicious nutritious smoothie that, I kid you not. It might change smoothies for you forever. Also, I really recommend you dump ALL of the toppings on these guys. Think granola, any fruit, nut butter, nuts, seeds, coconut flakes, protein bars, or, heck, even chocolate. Or and, because with smoothie toppings, the limits simply do not exist.
Smoothie Bowls, Three Ways
Makes 1, although can be easily doubled
My Smoothie Base:
1/4 frozen banana
1/2 cup frozen cauliflower
1/4 cup frozen zucchini disks
1 scoop Aloha Protein Powder
1/3 cup almond milk or other plant based milk plus more to blend
Peach Tahini Smoothie
1/2 cup frozen diced peaches
1/2 tablespoon tahini
Mint Chocolate Chip Smoothie
5-6 mint leaves
1/4 cup frozen mango
1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/2 cup frozen spinach
1 tablespoon cacao nibs
Blueberry Pineapple Cheesecake
1/4 cup frozen blueberries (preferably wild, if you can get your hands on em)
1/4 cup frozen pineapple
1/4 cup cottage cheese (omit if vegan or DF)
For the Peach Tahini Smoothie and the Blueberry Pineapple Cheesecake Smoothie, add the smoothie base ingredients to a blender, then the ingredients for whatever smoothie you choose to make and BLEND. Place into a bowl and add toppings. EAT.
For the Mint Chocolate Chip Smoothie, add all of the ingredients except for the cacao nibs to the blender and blend. Stir in the cacao nibs. Place into a bowl and add toppings. EAT.
I have a Nutribullet, so I normally place the frozen stuff at the bottom, followed by the refrigerated stuff (think yogurt/cottage cheese/avocado), protein powder, and then finally liquid (nut milk/coconut water). However, if you have a regular blend, I would add the refrigerated stuff and then the frozen stuff. By placing the refrigerated stuff closer to the blade, it makes it easier to blend. If necessary, add more almond milk or water if the ingredients are having a hard time blending.
If you want an “Instagrammable” smoothie, you can place the smoothie bowl in the freezer before adding the toppings. This prevents the toppings from sinking to the bottom.