3 Easy Smoothie Bowl Recipes

Smoothie bowls are one of those “must try” recipes.  It’s a food trend, kind of like juicing, overnight oats, kale chips, spaghetti squash subbed for pasta, and cauliflower errrything.  Don’t get me wrong, I have dabbled in pretty much all of the aforementioned food trends (minus juicing…I cannot survive a day without chewing something).

Chocolate Raspberry Acai Smoothie Bowl

I make smoothies as a protein boost after a workout, breakfast on-the-go during the week, or as a meal replacement when I’m feeling lazy.  Pretty much any hour or meal of the day can be substituted with a smoothie hehe.  I noticed that although I am always drinking or eating this sweet little treat, I am never blogging about smoothies.  I send texts to girlfriends all the time with smoothie recipe ideas, so why not start sharing the love with all of you too :)  I will add more smoothie recipes to the blog soon, since I am always mixing them up.  I even have a yummy chocolate, peanut butter, banana protein smoothie that will have you reaching for a smoothie instead of a cookie (errr maybe both…I really love cookies).

Blueberry Acai Smoothie Bowl

These are 3 different smoothie bowl recipe ideas.  Seriously take a risk and mix them up, you really can’t go wrong.  You can even add oats, granola, chia seeds, or coconut flakes into the blender to add to the thickness and consistency of your smoothie.  If you have bananas that are going bad, peel, slice, and freeze them for your smoothies too.  Other fun boosts are ginger, cinnamon, orange juice, maca powder, and spirulina.  You can load up on nutrients, fruits, veggies, and fiber without using any silverware or making extra dishes.

Green Goddess Smoothie Bowl

As always,

Bon Appeteek

Chocolate Raspberry Acai Smoothie Bowl

The Players:
1 sambazon acai smoothie pack, thawed
1/2 C frozen raspberries
1/2 small banana, sliced
1/2 C fresh spinach (optional)
2 t dark cocoa powder
1/2 C to 3/4 C liquid (coconut water or unsweetened soy or almond milk)

Toppings: 
1 t chia seeds
1 T coconut flakes
1 t cacao nibs
1/4 C fresh blueberries (alternatively raspberries or strawberries)

Blueberry Acai Smoothie Bowl 

The Players:
1 sambazon acai smoothie pack, thawed
1/2 C frozen blueberries
1/2 small banana, sliced
1/2 C fresh baby kale
1/2 C to 3/4 C liquid (coconut water or unsweetened soy or almond milk)

Toppings: 
1/2 kiwi, peeled and quartered
1 T coconut flakes
1/4 C fresh blueberries
1/4 C granola
1 t chia seeds
1 t cacao nibs

Green Goddess Smoothie Bowl

The Players:
1 kiwi, peeled and halved
1 C spinach (alternatively baby kale)
1/2 C frozen mango (alternatively frozen pineapple)
juice of 1/2 a lemon
1/2 to 3/4 C liquid (coconut water or unsweetened soy or almond milk)

Toppings: 
1/2 small banana, sliced
1 t chia seeds
1 t cacao nibs
1 T coconut flakes

**optional protein boost: 1/2 to 1 scoop vanilla protein powder added to the smoothie bowl ingredients**

The Rules:

  1. Place ingredients for the smoothie in a blender or food processor and pulse to desired consistency.  (Note: I use a Magic Bullet and it takes < 60 seconds)
  2. Pour into bowl and garnish with desired toppings.  Enjoy!

Easy Healthier Cinnamon Rolls

Let me just say that I love 3-day weekends!  Today is President’s Day and one of the many perks of working at a Federal Hospital is getting to take those Federal Holidays off.  Everyone deserves a little personal time.  Part of me feels guilty that Andrew had to work, but the other part is doing a celebratory dance because I was able to spend an entire day doing what I wanted.  I slept-in, cleaned, did laundry, made dinner, went on a 9 mile run, walked Teek, and blogged :)  I think the world would be a better place if there were more 3-day weekends…just saying!

Easy Healthier Cinnamon Rolls

Okay now for the fun stuff –recipe time.  Cinnabon® cinnamon rolls are a treat that I used to enjoy when I had long layovers at airports or during a particularly difficult work shift, when I worked at the mall in high school.  Let’s be honest…those cinnamon rolls are finger-licking good.  They are so rich, fluffy, and gooey.  But they definitely come with a high-calorie price tag.

Easy Healthier Cinnamon Rolls

Don’t get me wrong, you should be able to have your cake and eat it too.  I am one of those individuals that works out religiously so I can eat whatever I want.  I am a lover of all foods and definitely indulge; however, I try to eat fairly healthy throughout the work week so I can splurge on the weekends.

Easy Healthier Cinnamon Rolls

Due to this philosophy I am constantly trying to create a healthier version of a not-so-healthy recipe.  I work in the Digestive Disease Center and am constantly impressed by the patients that adapt their diet due to food intolerances.  So I decided to create a dairy-free cinnamon roll recipe.  I know…what was I thinking?

Easy Healthier Cinnamon Rolls

But they turned out pretty great!  I actually even brought some of the cinnamon rolls out to the bar with me (yep, I am that girl).  My girlfriend saw the picture and told me I was not allowed to leave the house without a roll or two for her.  Her husband was shocked when he realized he was eating a healthier version of a cinnamon roll.  I’d say with a response like that, this a successful twist on a recipe :)

Easy Healthier Cinnamon Rolls

I use whole wheat flour for my recipe and almond milk, but you can substitute white flour and any non-dairy milk (or regular milk if dairy is not an issue for you).  I stuck with the healthy coconut theme that was in the dough and filling and carried it through for the icing too.  I used coconut cream sweetened with honey.  It was a great substitute for the usual sugar-packed icing other cinnamon roll recipes provide.   Also don’t limit yourself by the filling ingredients below.  You can get creative and add minced dates, raisins, orange zest…the possibilities are endless.  I love nuts and pecans are so great in desserts so I went with pecans in half the rolls and plain for the remainder —next time I’m going all pecan.

Easy Healthier Cinnamon Rolls

If you need anymore convincing that these cinnamon rolls are thebomb.com I leave you with this: Andrew splurged and inhaled 4 cinnamon rolls after work one day.  I seriously do not understand where he packs it in?!?!

As always,

Bon Appeteek

Prep time: 1 hr 30 min
Cook time: 25-30 min
Servings: 10 cinnamon rolls

The Players: 

For the dough
2 3/4 C + extra whole wheat flour (alternatively use all purpose or cake flour)
1/4 C granulated sugar
1 packet instant yeast
1 T ground cinnamon
1/4 t salt
1 C unsweetened vanilla almond milk (alternatively use soy or regular milk)
1/3 C coconut oil

For the filling: 
2 T coconut oil, melted
1-2 T ground cinnamon
1/3 C granulated sugar
optional: 1/2 to 3/4 C pecans, roughly chopped

For the glaze: 
1/4 C coconut cream
1 t honey
1 t ground cinnamon

The Rules: 

  1. In a large mixing bowl combine 2 1/2 C flour, sugar, cinnamon, salt, yeast.  In a microwave heat coconut oil and almond milk for 1-2 minute, whisk to combine.  (Note: temperature should be similar to bath water, not too hot or yeast may inactivate and not too cold or yeast won’t activate)
  2. Pour almond milk and coconut oil over dry ingredients and mix to form dough.  Add remaining extra 1/4 C flour if needed; the dough should form a ball and be sticky.  (Note: I used my KitchenAid Stand Mixer with the bread dough hook attachment)
  3. Sprinkle flour on a flat surface and transfer dough to surface.  Knead the dough for 4-5 minutes, adding additional flour as needed.  Form a ball with the dough.  Spray a large mixing bowl with non-stick cooking spray and place dough in the mixing bowl.
  4. Cover the bowl and place in a warm area for 1 hour.  Allow the dough to double in size.  (Note: I preheated the oven to 225 F and turned it off, then I placed the dough in the oven)
  5. Line a flat surface with wax paper, punch down on the dough and place on wax paper, using a rolling pin flatten dough and shape into a rectangle ~1/4 inch thick (~9 x 12 inch).
  6. Brush the surface of the dough with melted coconut oil.  Sprinkle cinnamon, sugar, and optional pecans evenly over surface.  Be as generous as you would like with the filling ;)
  7. Use the wax paper to help tightly roll the dough into a wheel.  (Note: Roll the longer side so you form a cylinder shape)
  8. Using a sharp knife cut the dough into 10 pieces.  Transfer the cinnamon rolls to a greased 9-inch cake pan.  (Note: I used coconut oil non-stick cooking spray)
  9. Preheat oven to 350 F and allow the cinnamon rolls to rise while the oven is preheating.
  10. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until golden brown on top.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool 15 minutes.
  11. While your cinnamon rolls are cooling, prepare the icing.  Place all the ingredients in a microwave safe bowl.  Microwave for ~5-10 seconds and stir to combine, adjust seasonings to desired sweetness.  (Note: just microwave to soften coconut cream, you don’t want it to liquify)
  12. Drizzle the icing over the cinnamon rolls and enjoy warm.  Store in an air tight container and reheat cinnamon rolls in microwave for ~30 seconds to enjoy throughout the week.

Skinny French Toast Bread Pudding

I love meal prepping.  I wake up at 5 am Monday through Friday so I can get a work out in before work.  Meal prepping and smoothies have become my best friends.  Historically I have made breakfast muffins, bars, egg bakes, quiches, and overnight oatmeal to make sure that I do not miss the most important meal of the day and fuel my body after a sweaty gym sesh!

What I had never thought of making until this weekend was a breakfast bread pudding.  Seriously, this breakfast dish was such a little treat before work.  I felt like I was eating dessert before work every day ;)  How’s that for a happy Monday.

Skinny French Toast Bread Pudding

Now I happened to have a baguette that got a little too stale, but you could easily use any bread you have on hand: brioche, gluten free varieties, stale bagels, cinnamon raisin toast, etc.  The more dry and crusty the bread, the better the bread pudding!

Skinny French Toast Bread Pudding

I served the bread pudding with vanilla greek yogurt & honey on day 1, just with honey and a little extra cinnamon on day 2, and with fresh blueberries today.  Consensus: you can pretty much top this pudding with anything and it will taste delicious.   Next time I might toss some apple or dried fruit into the casserole dish before I bake it, but this is a great, healthier, basic bread pudding recipe!

Skinny French Toast Bread Pudding

As always,

Bon Appeteek

Note: I covered my casserole dish after it cooled and stored the bread pudding in the refrigerator throughout the week.  I would heat up a serving in the microwave for 1 minute and enjoy a warm treat on these chilly mornings. 

Prep time: 10 minutes
Bake time: 40 minutes
Servings: 4-6

The Players: 

1 french baguette, preferably 1-3 days old
2 eggs
2 C unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1 C unsweetened apple sauce
1/4 C brown sugar
1 T cinnamon
1 t vanilla extract
1/2 t sea salt

The Rules: 

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F and grease a 9 x9 or 11 x 7 casserole dish.
  2. Cut baguette into bite-size (1-inch) cubes.  (Note: if your baguette is not stale, you can toast the pieces in the oven for 5-10 minute to dry out the bread)
  3. Transfer the bread to the casserole dish.
  4. In a medium-size mixing bowl, combine remaining ingredients and whisk together.
  5. Pour the liquid mixture over the bread and press down firmly with clean hands so all of the bread is coated in the liquid.
  6. Bake for 40 minutes then remove from oven and allow to cool 10-15 minutes before serving.  Serve with a dollop of vanilla greek yogurt, a drizzle of honey, fresh berries, or your favorite topping.

Chocolate Chip Banana Breakfast Bars

I love having fresh fruit on-hand as a snack.  There are two types of fruit I always have in the house: bananas and honey-crisp apples.  Unfortunately, sometimes I am not as efficient at snacking on the bananas and we all know what that leads to… the overly ripe banana…boo

Chocolate Chip Banana Breakfast Bars

Have no fear.  I am always thinking of creative ways to put those brown, mushy, not-so-appetizing bananas to use.  Everyone makes the standard banana bread, but I have really fallen in love with bars lately.  I decided to recreate the traditional banana bread in breakfast bar form.  Oh yeah, things just got a little more interesting.

Chocolate Chip Banana Breakfast Bars

Since I love oatmeal for breakfast (or any time of the day really), I knew I wanted the bars to have the taste and texture of oatmeal, but still have the consistency of bread.  Therefore, I decided to incorporate a mixture of whole wheat flour and oatmeal.  Cinnamon is a great spice to add to oatmeal, bananas, and chocolate.  I AM NOT afraid of leaning heavily on cinnamon when I bake.  I love the aroma and taste it provides.  Honestly, these bars are healthy, nutritious, and adapt well to whatever other ingredients you want to throw in (nuts, coconut, dried fruit).  They even taste like dessert.

Chocolate Chip Banana Breakfast Bars

I had one after dinner last night and one for breakfast after today’s morning work out.  These Chocolate Chip Banana Breakfast Bars are a perfect treat any time of the day.

Chocolate Chip Banana Breakfast Bars

As always,

Bon Appeteek

Recipe heavily adapted from Ambitious Kitchen’s Healthy Banana Bread Chocolate Chip Oat Breakfast Bars 

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Servings: 16 bars

The Players:

Wet Ingredients 
4 ripe bananas
1/4 C sugar-free applesauce
1/4 C agave syrup or honey (I used a mixture of the two)
1 t vanilla extract

Dry Ingredients
1 1/4 C whole wheat flour
1 1/4 C oatmeal (quick oats)
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1 T cinnamon
1/2 C chocolate chips (I used dark)

The Rules: 

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F and spray a 9 x 9 -inch baking pan with cooking spray (I used coconut oil cooking spray).
  2. Combine the dry ingredients, excluding chocolate chips, in a medium sized mixing bowl.
  3. Place wet ingredients in standing mixer or combine using a hand-mixer, until smooth and creamy.
  4. Add dry ingredient mixture slowly and mix until just combined.  Fold in the chocolate chips.
  5. Pour the batter into your prepared baking pan and spread evenly with spatula.  Bake for 25 minutes or until tooth pick inserted into center comes out clean.
  6. Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes and then cut into 16 bars.  Enjoy warm or store in an airtight container for snacking.

No Fuss Biscuits N’ Gravy

No Fuss Biscuits N' Gravy

I always battle between which of two breakfast options I will order when I go out to eat–eggs benedict or biscuits n’ gravy.

Both options seem intimidating to make at home, but I have learned a great short cut to biscuits n’ gravy.  Use store bought refrigerated biscuits!  Sure, sure everyone prefers homemade biscuits–you feel fancier when you can say that you made your own biscuits.  Believe me I understand.  I prefer to make food from scratch too, but sometimes you just want a quick, hearty breakfast without all the fuss.  Hence, the “no fuss” biscuits n’ gravy recipe.

No Fuss Biscuits N' Gravy

You will not compromise the taste by using store bought biscuits and who would have thought you could make this restaurant quality breakfast in 15 minutes???  Hot breakfast and hot coffee on a crisp morning is an amazing way to start the day.

No Fuss Biscuits N' Gravy

I even made the recipe this morning before work for Andrew.  Biscuits n’ gravy are his go to when we go out to brunch.  I tend to rely on him ordering that breakfast option so I can explore other yummy treats when we go out to eat (I know sneaky of me).  I decided to re-pay him for all those forkfuls I have stolen over the years by making his favorite breakfast at home.  He was impressed that I took Teek on a walk and even served up breakfast by the time he had got ready for work.

No Fuss Biscuits N' Gravy

I have made these biscuits with different types of pork sausage and turkey sausage–the country style, hot sausage is my personal favorite, but you can use whatever type of protein you prefer.  Also, you can cook sausage patties or links and then remove them from the frying pan and make the gravy with the grease that is left in the pan.  This is a great alternative if you want to serve the sausage on the side of the biscuits.

If you want to add fuss to the recipe and make your own biscuits be my guest!  I am always on the hunt for a yummy biscuit recipe (when I am not feeling lazy) so please share your favorite biscuit recipe with me :)

No Fuss Biscuits N' Gravy

As always,

Bon Appeteek

Prep Time: n/a
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4-6

The Players: 

1 can refrigerated buttermilk biscuits (8 biscuits per can)
1 lb country, hot pork sausage (or any sausage you prefer)
1 T all-purpose flour
1/4 C heavy cream
1 1/2 C reduced fat milk
sea salt and cracked pepper to taste

The Rules:

  1. Bake the biscuits as indicated on the package.  The brand I use has the oven preheated to 375 F and you bake the biscuits for 11-15 minutes (takes 13 minutes in my oven).
  2. While the biscuits are baking, place a large sauté pan over medium-high heat.  Once hot, add the sausage to the pan and use a wooden spoon or spatula to break apart the sausage into bite size pieces.  Brown the meat until no longer pink in the middle ~7-10 minutes.  (Note: I like my sausage gravy to have larger pieces of meat, feel free to break yours down further)
  3. Once the sausage has browned, sprinkle the meat with the flour and stir until the fat from the sausage dissolves the flour, cook for 1 minute.
  4. Add the heavy cream, milk, salt and pepper and reduce heat to medium-low.  Cook an additional 3 minutes until the sauce forms a gravy-like consistency.  Remove from heat.
  5. Cut the biscuits in half and spoon sausage gravy over the biscuits.  Serve immediately.