Smoothie Bowl Basics

Smoothie Bowl

Does anyone else have a growing pile of papers on their desk? I think it has something to do with school having started, feeling like I can’t cross off as many things on my list as I need to, and being a full-blown soccer mom for the next two months. Busy means happy for the kids though. They have a balance of school, down-time, homework, and extra activities – like most kids, they thrive on some routine. For me, all this means that I’m squeezing in food where I can. This is where knowing some smoothie bowl basics comes in handy.

This is simple people. If you are looking for something healthy, nutty, fruity, and filling = taaadaaa!! Here it is.

Here’s the super not complicated tricks to a smoothie bowl:
* make a smoothie
* pour it in a bowl
* top it with stuff
* eat it

When I make a smoothie, I like to make lots of it. I use some in that moment and pour the rest into cups that I stick in the freezer. These come in handy for my late night snacks, tomorrow’s breakfast, or maybe just 2nd breakfast. It makes a smoothie bowl even quicker if you have some prepared that you can just soften in the microwave (just make sure not to heat it, just soften).

I like to include fruit chunks in my bowl, mango and blueberries being my top choices. Banana slices will make their way there as well. I always keep frozen fruit on hand for this reason. Fresh peaches, pineapples, plums, nectarines, and kiwis would be great as well. Really, what fruit could make this go wrong? Is there any stinky ones? That would be gross. Don’t do those ones.

To give the crunch factor, I like to add sliced almonds and seeds.  I usually have sunflower and pumpkin seeds around, so that’s easy. For extra crunch, I like to add my granola or some grape nuts.

I often stop there, if it’s morning. But to be honest, if this is an evening snack there’s definitely going to be some mini chocolate chips thrown in there too.

I know I’ve talked about smoothie bowls before, but really, this is an underestimated meal/snack/get-in-my-belly-now food choice. So yah, here I am talking about it again. Cheers to green smoothies today and I hope you have a really good one!

Smoothie Bowl

And because I really believe in you and your amazingness…here’s a little reminder for the day:

magical person you are

(via my pinterest board quotes to live by)

Simple Hummus

Simple Hummus

I want to introduce you to one of my favorite things. Meet hummus.

It wins the contest for one of the easiest and quickest things to make.

With the end of school, this is a great quick snack that you can make all through summer with your kiddos. It’s a simple one for them to get involved in too. What kid doesn’t like to experiment by adding extra ingredients?! This simple hummus recipe is easy to personalize by adding different spices, beans, or veggies.

I love that it’s filling, it’s flavorful, and it can be used to amp up your veggies. I love that it can be used as a spread on sandwiches, a dressing for a salad, and a party dip. Let’s face it, hummus around here doesn’t go to waste. All it takes is a couple of tips and you’ll be making your own hummus too.

I literally eat this almost every day as part of my lunch, so I’ve made it lots and lots of times. Every once in a while I’ll splurge and buy some pre-made, but I more often like to make my own now. Sometimes it’s fun to buy a new flavor combo and then try recreating it at home. If you’re a hummus addict like I am, then you’ll be saving money if you learn how to make this at home. Points for extra fiber and protein plus extra points for saving money. I always like the sound of that.

Simple Hummus

Simple Hummus

Quick tips to make your hummus successful:

1.  I use my food processor or vitamix to make hummus. I’ve also used a kitchen aid blender before. It doesn’t get quite as smooth in the blender, but it gets the job done.

2. If you use a vitamix, you’ll need to add more water than if you were using a food processor. I don’t recommend using a regular blender for this one. It’s a little to thick to mix without the high-power. Add a Tbsp of water at a time until it’s creamy and combined…. 

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Creamy Cashew Dip

Cashew Dip / good for veggies and vegan nachos

I really don’t know if anyone can love a homemade ranch dip as much as I do. Forever ago I made cilantro lime ranch that is to die for. But then I kinda went mostly vegan, so that doesn’t work very well anymore.

I’ve tried making a dill flavored dip but haven’t succeeded yet. Just you wait…just you wait.

In the meantime, I’m pretty pro at this dip. I dip my veggies in it, I use it as a sauce on salads, nachos, or enchiladas. It’s creamy, it has cilantro in it, and it holds up to the other flavors and textures in a dish.

Cashew Dip

I’m okay that I use cashews in so many sauces, they are amazing. I love discovering different foodie ideas because I had no idea that this was ever a possibility. Before I went vegan-ish, I never thought about cashews outside of their beany form. The broader I make my food spectrum and desire to experiment, the more I have to learn.

I have  s o  m u c h  t o  l e a r n. But that’s a good thing…. 

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Baking {the protein packed and nutty way}

Healthy Treats

Sometimes I get all bakey. Is that a word…nope. But I’m sure some of you know what I mean.

The timing is right, it doesn’t feel like a burden to stand in the kitchen for at least 4 hours, and once one recipe is complete, you move onto the next…joyfully.

My children are quite used to me being in the kitchen and we have some good conversation. I bake or cook and they do homework and report their day to me. Then they take their usual places at the dining room table and get their craft on: cutting a piece of paper into approximately 100 million pieces, writing stories, drawing, and paper stamping. These will be fond memories…. 

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Baba Ghanoush with Parsley

Baba Ghanoush

If I’m thinking of a go-to restaurant, the ones that you decide on last minute, we either go for Thai or Mediterranean. The Gyro House that’s by our place is run by Lebanese people that make some awesome food.

Mmmm…I can taste the falafel sandwich right now. And their hummus is so creamy, light, and not over-spiced. Then I tried baba ghanoush for the first time. It had the creaminess of hummus, yet an undertone of sweetness.

Some of the most rewarding cooking experiences are when a re-creation is successful: meaning you want to make it again and again…and again. I have Kalina to thank for this one.

Baba Ghanoush … 

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Car Crumb Explosion

Healthy Travel Food You’ve seen it. You look over the back of the driver’s seat and the floor is covered in day old or month old bread crumbs. Compliments of that piece of bread your 2-year-old just had to have on the way to the library. Next to that is a soggy carrot stick, bendable from sitting in a car kept in the sun-beat driveway. No idea when that one escaped. There’s a fruit leather wrapper, super sticky and inside out, plastered onto the cup holder in the back row. Then deep in the buckles are the unmentionables. You stick your fingers down there, trying to loosen the crumbs so when you vacuum, it can actually suck them up. You might knock off a blueberry that had tried to congeal to the side of the buckle and pull out no less than 15 almonds. Moving inward, you start to tackle the car seats. One of them has a permanent rattle to it. Once upon a time, you thought that giving the children pistachios with shells was a good idea. For the car, not so much. The shells were put in the booster cup holder, cup holder closed, booster turned upside down, and shells stuck for eternity. And the sand? Thanks to a beach trip with a lack of rinsing water, you brush the car fabric and it expels sand clouds for your enjoyment. Gum. I’m not even going there…. 

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