Blueberry Acai Smoothie Bowl with a Coconut Cashew Crunch

Blueberry Acai Smoothie Bowl with a Coconut Cashew Crunch Topping

One of the best parts of escaping to warmer climates during the brutal New England winters is all the mouth-wateringly fresh, in-season produce. You’re more likely to get struck by lightening than find a ripe avocado in a Boston grocery store right now, but when I was in Australia last month, all we ate was juicy, ripe fruits and fresh veggies. Take me back!

Even though the 10-foot-high snowdrifts stand as a brutal reminder that I am no longer Down Under, I’ve been on a bit of a smoothie kick ever since my trip. Smoothies are filling as-is, but sometimes I like to eat them with a spoon topped with granola, muesli, chopped fruit or other crunchy goodie to make them feel more like a meal. This smoothie bowl is super refreshing, especially on warm summer days…or for those of us who are in denial that it’s still winter.

blueberry-acai-smoothie-bowl-cashew-coconut-topping-2If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you know that I eat dairy sparingly. The easiest dairy product to eliminate from a diet (in my opinion) is cow’s milk because there are so many delicious alternatives. When I got the chance to try out Silk Cashewmilk, I immediately thought to put it in a smoothie bowl because of the irresistible creaminess of cashews. blueberry-acai-smoothie-bowl-coconut-cashew-topping-4

Blueberry Acai Smoothie Bowl with a Coconut Cashew Crunch

Yield: 1 bowl

Blueberry Acai Smoothie Bowl with a Coconut Cashew Crunch

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup cashew milk (I used Silk Unsweetened Cashewmilk)
  • 1 acai smoothie pack (you can find these in the freezer aisle of most grocery stores; I usually buy unsweetened Sambazon)
  • ½ cup blueberries, plus more for topping
  • 1 banana, half in the blender, half chopped for topping
  • 1 tbsp flaxseeds (optional)
  • Small handful of roasted cashews, chopped
  • Sprinkle of shredded coconut (I used Dang Coconut Chips)

Instructions

  1. Put cashew milk, acai, blueberries, half the banana and flaxseeds in a blender until smooth. The mixture should be thick.
  2. Pour into a bowl and top with sliced banana, blueberries, shredded coconut and cashew pieces.
  3. Grab a spoon and enjoy!

Notes

If you want more of a sweet taste, use sweetened cashew milk and/or sweetened acai. Because I used sweetened coconut chips, I didn’t want to overdo it on the sugar, but keep in mind that unsweetened acai can have a slightly bland taste if not countered with something fruity/sweet.

http://pumpsandiron.com/2015/03/06/blueberry-acai-smoothie-bowl-with-a-coconut-cashew-crunch/

I love the crunch of the cashews and shredded coconut on top, but if chewing isn’t your thing, slurp it up in traditional smoothie form! Just make sure to add more cashew milk so that it’s not as thick. You can also sub out the flaxseeds for chia seeds or any other boost—the best thing about smoothies is they’re so easily customizable.

Blueberry Acai Smoothie Bowl with a Coconut Cashew Crunch ToppingDisclosure: This post was sponsored by Silk through their partnership with POPSUGAR. While I was compensated to write a post about Silk, all opinions are my own.

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No-Bake Chewy Granola Protein Bars

No-Bake Chewy Protein Granola BarsAs I mentioned when I posted that sweet potato veggie burger recipe, I’ve been on a kitchen mission lately to recreate things I regularly buy. It saves money, and it means I know exactly what is in everything I’m eating—always a nice bonus. I try to eat as little pre-packaged food as possible, but it can be tough to avoid the convenience of granola and protein bars when I’m running around in between teaching classes, getting in my own workout, and working on the blog. There are some wholesome, real-food bars out there, but for the most part, reading the ingredient labels on those things is like reading a chemistry equation. Why not just make my own? Can’t be that hard, right? Right! These are super easy. No-Bake Chewy Protein Granola BarsNo-Bake Chewy Protein Granola Bars 

No-Bake Chewy Granola Protein Bars

Yield: 8

No-Bake Chewy Granola Protein Bars

Ingredients

  • 1 cup old fashioned rolled oats
  • ½ cup protein powder (I used Healthy Skoop)
  • 1 cup pitted dates
  • ½ cup almond butter
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ cup almonds (I used roasted almonds but raw would be perfect, too!)
  • ½ cup dried cranberries

Instructions

  1. Crush the almonds into little chunks--I did this by pulsing them in the food processor a few times. Put the dates in a food processor and blend until chopped into a big gooey, sticky ball.
  2. Mix the oats, protein powder, dates, crushed almonds and dried cranberries in a bowl.
  3. Place the almond butter, vanilla and honey in a small skillet and heat over low heat until fully combined and runny. Pour it over the dry mixture and stir together. Use your hands to make sure it’s fully combined.
  4. Line an 8” x 8” pan with parchment paper and press the mixture evenly into it.
  5. Cover and place in the refrigerator for 20-30 minutes.
  6. Lift parchment paper from the pan and cut the mixture into 8 equal bars.

Notes

Store in a Tupperware container for a couple days. If you want them to last longer, store in the refrigerator. These are a little sticky, so I’d recommend placing a small piece of parchment paper in between them when stacking for storage.

http://pumpsandiron.com/2015/01/28/no-bake-chewy-granola-protein-bars/
No-Bake Chewy Protein Granola BarsNo-Bake Chewy Protein Granola BarsNo-Bake Chewy Protein Granola Bars

As you’ve probably noticed, I’m not a huge animal-product consumer. The protein powder I used in these bars was introduced to me by a BTone client—Healthy Skoop is plant-based, and I’m really liking it! I admittedly don’t supplement my diet very often, but when I do make a morning smoothie or a recipe like this, the vanilla Healthy Skoop has been great. If you want to try it out, you can use the code PUMPS15 to get 15% off any purchase through 2/28/15 (excludes the super sampler).No-Bake Chewy Protein Granola Bars No-Bake Chewy Protein Granola Bars

Do you use plant-based protein powder or stick to whey? What’s your go-to brand? How about protein bars—what brands do you like?

Hope all you Northeast readers are staying warm and enjoyed the snow day yesterday!

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Oyster Mushroom Tacos from Just Add Cooking

Oyster Mushroom TacosI hope for your sake you’re reading this from somewhere other than the Northeast. It is FREEZING. I had snot icicles hanging from my nose on the brief, one-block walk from the T to the studio…that’s how cold it is. (I know, I know, I’m sexy and you want to date me.) Anyway…

As I mentioned in a previous post, I got the chance to try out Just Add Cooking, a Boston-based meal delivery service, and I loved it. So start, the logistics:

You can pick between a four-person box or a two-person box, and can opt to have three to five meals delivered each week. Two-person boxes start at $79/week and four-person boxes at $109/week. The Wednesday of the preceding week, you log into your account and can pick from a variety of meal options (the options change each week). For mine, I picked Oyster Mushroom Tacos (recipe below!), Scallops in Peppery Butter and Beef White Beans and Leeks (I don’t eat red meat, but I let my boyfriend pick out one—aren’t I nice??). That Sunday night, Just Add Cooking delivers a box to your home with all the ingredients you’ll need to put together your three chosen meals, sourcing them locally. Also in your package are detailed, easy-to-follow recipes for each. Scallops in Peppery Butter Oyster Mushroom Tacos Beef White Beans and Leeks

My boyfriend and I loved all three of the recipes—seriously, couldn’t even pick a favorite because they were all so tasty. When I first opened the box, I was nervous it wouldn’t be enough food, but the serving sizes were perfect to satisfy two people. And it was so nice to not worry about grocery shopping for dinner those few days! Just Add Cooking Oyster Mushroom Tacos Oyster Mushroom Tacos Oyster Mushroom Tacos

To give you a little taste, I wanted to share one of the recipes with you so you can recreate it at home. I have to admit, I thought these were mushroom tacos with oysters in them, but turns out there’s a type of shroom called the oyster mushroom. Doh.

Enjoy! Oyster Mushroom Tacos

Oyster Mushroom Tacos from Just Add Cooking

Total Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 2 servings

Serving Size: 2 tacos

Oyster Mushroom Tacos from Just Add Cooking

Ingredients

  • 5 oz oyster mushrooms
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ red onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tomato
  • 1 chipotle in adobo sauce
  • ½ cilantro bundle
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • ½ can pinto beans
  • ½ lime
  • 4 small flour tortillas
  • 1 avocado
  • ¼ cabbage
  • Salt

Instructions

  1. Prep: Cut the mushrooms into 1-inch pieces. Peel and slice the red onion thin and mince the garlic. Chop tomato and remove seeds from chipotles and chop. Rinse pinto beans. Shred cabbage. You need about 1-½ cups. Mix in a bowl with ½ tbsp olive oil, juice from ¼ lime and ¼ tsp salt. Dice avocado.
  2. Preheat a large pan over medium heat. Add ½ tbsp of olive oil and sauté onion with a pinch of salt for 3 minutes.
  3. Add garlic and mushrooms and cook for 5 more minutes. Then add tomatoes, chipotles, cilantro and cumin and turn up the heat. Cook for 5 more minutes.
  4. Lower heat and add pinto beans and juice from ¼ lime. Cook until everything is warm. Season with salt.
  5. Toast the tortillas in a dry pan and stuff with mushrooms, avocado and slaw.
http://pumpsandiron.com/2015/01/08/oyster-mushroom-tacos-from-just-add-cooking/

Big thanks to Just Add Cooking for the free trial!

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