How to Make Smoothie Bowls

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So, here’s the thing.  I’ve been absolutely, bladdy awful at getting in my five a day recently.  Truly terrible at it.  I mean, I’d say I get about half that; I’ve never had trouble sneaking a healthy portion of vegetables into my dinner, but for the rest of the day, anything goes.  Fruit just isn’t what I go for when I want a snack.  Five doughnuts, no problem.  Five (squared) custard creams, easy mate.  Five pieces of fruit?  PASS.  I’m not sure what happened, because the truth is I’ve always really loved fruit – and when I do actually make the effort, I really enjoy eating it.  But over the past couple of years – either out of laziness or bad habit – I’ve just stopped reaching for it, and I’ve really noticed a change in my skin and my energy levels because of that.

I’ve been making it my mission recently to find easy ways of sneaking in those missed portions of fruit, and I’ve kind of come to the conclusion that breakfast and the mid-afternoon munchies are when I’m more receptive to scoffing a bit of fruit instead of dipping into the old biscuit tin.  So I started making the odd smoothie bowl for breakfast as a way of rekindling my love of fruit and – d’you know what? – I’ve enjoyed making them so much that I’ve even occasionally swapped out my lunchtime egg on toast for one!  They’re easy to make, can be prepped ahead of time and there are so many different flavour combinations that it’ll be a long, long time before you get bored of scoffing them.  Oh, and did I mention that they’re pretty? 😉

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The Idea

You’ll probably have seen smoothie bowls all over either Pinterest and Instagram and shrugged them off as essentially pretty but pointless – a lot of faffing around for something designed to be inhaled first thing on a Monday morning before you fly out the door.  They’re basically a bowl of blitzed fruit (and sometimes added flax seed or protein powder), mixed with fresh yoghurt (or a dairy-free alternative) and topped with more fresh fruit, nuts and granola. But they’re not as time-consuming as they look; the blended base recipe can be prepped and whipped up the night before, or even frozen for the week ahead.  That way, all you need to do is mix it into your chosen yoghurt and then add whatever toppings you fancy.

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The Basic Base Recipe

The base recipe is simple – provided you’ve got a blender handy – and uses only a handful of ingredients.  It’s adaptable; so if you’re not a banana fan then substitute it with 80g of another fruit, and the yoghurt can be swapped out for any dairy-free alternative (personally, I love coconut yoghurt).  You can also add in protein powder and/or flax, hemp or chia seeds if that’s your jam.  Once you’ve got the base figured out, you can mix it up and get creative!  As mentioned above, it can be blitzed up the night before or on a Sunday when you’re prepping your meals for the week ahead – letting you hit snooze on your Monday morning alarm! 😉

Ingredients (serves one)

  • 1 large banana, sliced and frozen
  • 120g of your chosen fruit, chopped and frozen
  • 1 tsp runny honey, agave or maple syrup
  • 100 ml chosen yoghurt
  1. In a blender, blitz the banana, fruit and honey together on a low setting until the mixture resembles ice cream.  If you’re prepping ahead of time and plan on freezing the mixture now’s the time – just pour it into a portion size ziplock and freeze.  Just remember to pop it in the fridge to defrost slowly the night before you intend to eat it.
  2. Once you’re ready to serve up the smoothie bowl, mix in the yoghurt until smooth and combined – then add toppings.  Easy!

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Toppings

When it comes to toppings, there are so many different ways you can go – but a combination of fresh fruit, seeds and/or nuts and some kind of cereal or granola works really well – especially if you flavour-match your fresh fruit with whatever fruit you’ve put in your base recipe.  If you’re feeling particularly extra, you can even pop a couple of edible flowers on top or some grated chocolate.

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Recipe Ideas

By swapping out the base fruit and yoghurt flavour and then adding different combinations of toppings there are literally thousands of different recipes you could come up with.  But here are three I’ve been enjoying lately to get you started… 🙂

Pina Colada

  • 1 large banana, sliced and frozen
  • 120g of fresh pineapple
  • 1 tsp runny honey
  • 100 ml coconut yoghurt 
  • Topped with: sliced, fresh pineapple, dessicated coconut, poppy seeds and marachino cherries.

Peanut Butter and Jelly

  • 2 large bananas, sliced and frozen
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp smooth peanut butter
  • 100 ml toffee yoghurt
  • Topped with: sliced bananas, raspberries, pecans and raisins

Strawberry Bakewell

  • 1 large banana, sliced and frozen
  • 120g of fresh strawberries and raspberries
  • 1 tsp runny honey
  • 100 ml almond yoghurt
  • Topped with: fresh strawberries, almond granola, dried cherries, white chocolate dots, poppy seeds

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Have a smoooooth(ie) week! 🙂

“Extra” French Toast

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What do you eat for breakfast on Christmas Day?  Well, for starters, is there even time?  I mean, do you shove down a couple of slices of toast and a cuppa before the kids come stampeding into the bedroom with their stockings?  Do you just skip it and starve yourself knowing that you’ll be cradling a turkey-sized food baby in a few hours time?  Or, do you put away the Terry’s Chocolate Orange from the bottom of your stocking whilst parked in front of The Life of Brian(Knowing that I have no children, which one of these scenarios is moi, d’you think?  I’m a very naughty boy girl!)

Well, I’ve got the answer; how about whipping up a batch of “Extra” French Toast the night before?  Pop it in the fridge on Christmas Eve and then bake it on Christmas morning while you’re busy unwrapping those presents.  Is it “Extra” because it’s made of croissants – and so, extra-French?  Is it “Extra” because it’s got a shot of cream liqueur in it?  Or, is it “Extra” because it’s definitely a breakfast for this side of Christmas (my husband might or might not have called it a heart attack on a plate when I put it in front of him over the weekend…)?  Whatever the reason, it makes a perfect (and easy) treat for Christmas Day. 🙂

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Extra French Toast (serves 2)

Ingredients

  • 2 croissants
  • 1 slice of bread cut into stars (optional)
  • 2 eggs
  • 200ml milk
  • 50 ml of cream liqueur (I love Penderyn Distillery’s Merlyn ♡)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 50g fresh raspberries
  • 50g chocolate chips
  • a dusting of icing sugar
  • 25g gold crunch (optional)
  1. Roughly chop up your croissants (and bread) and arrange them in an oven proof dish with the raspberries and chocolate chips.
  2. In a jug, whisk together the eggs, milk, cinnamon and cream liqueur and then pour over the croissants.  Cover with foil. (If you’re making it the night before, you can whack it in the fridge overnight at this stage).
  3. Set the oven to 180 and bake for 20 minutes with the foil, and 10 minutes without.
  4. Dust with icing sugar and sprinkle over the gold crunch.

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What do you like to eat for breakfast on Christmas Day? 🙂