Smoothies With a Crunch!

21 05 2014

 

I don’t know about you, but I love a good smoothie. There’s a smoothie place in Tampa that has buy 1 get 1 free smoothies on Sundays. If Bill’s in town on a Sunday, there’s a good chance we’ll partake in that deal, indulging in the “Peanut Butter Whirl” smoothie: which is peanut butter, banana, honey, fro yo and milk. Delicious!

Smoothies make for a great snack or are a healthy way to jumpstart your day. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, folks!

Sweetpotatopie1

 

The biggest “problem” I have with smoothies (if you can really call it a problem)- is that I’m not just satisfied with slurping one up and calling it a day. I crave some other kind of texture; something I can chew or something I can crunch. When I’m grabbing a smoothie on the go, I’ll often buy one of those so called “healthy” cookies they have by the counter of the smoothie shop to get my texture fix. Sayonara healthy meal.

Recently, I’ve started drinking Shakeology for breakfast, and the way I’ve been enjoying my morning shake is with a few clusters of granola on top. It’s just enough crunch and isn’t quite as high calorie as that cookie I always grab at the smoothie place. ;-)

The friendly folks at KIND sent me a few bags of granola to review and I’m happy to say that they are a PERFECT complement to my smoothies. Or to eat by the handful, which I often do. :-) I tried the Peanut Butter Clusters, the Dark Chocolate & Cranberry clusters, and the Cinnamon Oat Clusters. The PB one is the bomb- it’s a great way to satisfy a peanut butter craving, without all the fat of a few spoonfuls of PB. Chocolate and cranberry is also a great combo, and I used that one on top of my Red Velvet Smoothie.

redvelvetsmoothie

Red Velvet Smoothie

Chocolate Shakeology
1/2 boiled beet (cooled)
spoonful of cottage cheese
Coconut milk
Ice
Topped with KIND Dark Chocolate & Cranberry Clusters Granola

Don’t worry- you can’t taste the beet! I’ve actually found that hiding some veggies in my smoothies helps me stay full longer.

The most versatile granola I received was the Cinnamon Oat Clusters granola. This is one of the more simple flavors, and it pairs well with so much. It goes great on top of some fresh Greek yogurt with berries, or with a banana in a bowl with milk. My favorite combination was of course on top of a smoothie!

cat and smoothie

Lulu wanted to try it too!

For this one, I made a Sweet Potato Cream Pie Smoothie. Let me tell you, this is definitely one of my favorite smoothie concoctions ever! If you want to replicate, here’s the recipe:

Sweet Potato Cream Pie Smoothie: 

Vanilla Shakeology
1/2 boiled sweet potato (cooled)
2 TBS cottage cheese
1 TBS almond butter
cinnamon (to taste)
almond milk
ice
a drizzle of maple syrup
topped with KIND granola

sweetpotatosmoothie2

 

Mmm. So good.

Thank you to the awesome peeps at KIND for sending me some yummy granola to try. You can grab some at your local supermarket too- it’s delicious!





Pancake Friday: Dark Chocolate, Coconut, and Blueberry Pancakes

2 05 2014

So you all know that I am in LOVE with my Feedzone and Feedzone Portables cookbooks. One recipe that has caught my eye but I haven’t made yet is for Blueberry and Chocolate Coconut Rice Cakes.

Blueberry Chocolate coconut rice cakes

I love all three of those ingredients by themselves, and chocolate and coconut is divine, but I’ve never actually paired chocolate and blueberries. Doesn’t quite have the same ring to it as “chocolate covered strawberries.” But, I figured it would still be delicious- I mean anything with dark chocolate is amazing- so why not try it out in pancakes?

ChocolateCoconutBlueberry5

I started with a basic pancake recipe and added in some cocoa powder to the dry ingredients. Then, instead of regular milk, I used coconut milk in the batter.

I attempted to make coconut whipped cream to top them with, but I kept the coconut milk in the freezer too long and it was pretty much impossible to work with and I didn’t feel like waiting for it to thaw. So I made more of a coconut cream with what I could scrape out. It was still tasty :-)

ChocolateCoconutBlueberry2

Here’s how you can enjoy these too:

Dry Ingredients:
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup cake flour (this is optional, you could use all AP if you’d like)
1.5 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 cup granulated sugar (I used sugar in the raw)
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup sweetened shredded coconut

Wet Ingredients:
1.5 cups coconut milk
2 egg whites, 1 egg yolk (separated)
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp coconut oil

Stir ins:
big handful blueberries
1/4-1/2 cup chopped dark chocolate (I used 88%)

Toppings:
Coconut whipped cream
shredded coconut
blueberry syrup (blueberries + sugar reduced over low heat)

ChocolateCoconutBlueberry3

How to:

In a medium bowl, mix together all dry ingredients. In a smaller bowl, whisk the egg whites until fluffy. In another small bowl, whip together the yolk, vanilla and milk. Fold in the egg whites to the wet ingredients. Pour the wet ingredient mixture into the dry ingredients and lightly fold together (Don’t over stir!). Fold in your stir ins.

On a hot griddle, pour about 1/4-1/3 cup batter. Allow bubbles to form and edges to begin to cook. Flip. Let cook through. Enjoy!

ChocolateCoconutBlueberry1(Pardon my splashes of blueberry sauce on the background!)

 

 

 

 





Pancake Friday – Peanut Butter, Bacon, Banana Pancakes

4 04 2014

So I’ve recently discovered Peanut Butter & Co.’s White Chocolate Wonderful.

pbco-wcw-2012-web-lrg(source)

I don’t know what took me so long, but wow. I’m pretty sure I went through that jar of peanut butter in like 2 weeks. Whoops. Good thing I’ve been training a lot

It’s so creamy and delicious- and I’m not a big white chocolate fan- I constantly found myself going back to the jar for another spoonful. That was typically how I ate it. #noshame

But then I discovered Thomas’s Limited Edition Banana Bread English Muffins. YUM! Combining the soft nooks and crannies with the delicious flavor of banana bread? Genius! So of course I topped mine with White Chocolate Wonderful. And, because I was feeling particularly dangerous one day, I threw on a bit of bacon and some maple syrup.

IMG_2919

To be perfectly honest, I’ve always been skeptical of Elvis Presley’s famed combo of banana + peanut butter + bacon. But now, I TOTALLY GET IT! Wow, that man was on to something!

The combo was so good, that I made a loaf of banana bread with bacon grease instead of butter, and bacon bits and chocolate chips inside. I didn’t snap a picture, which is why I’m not blogging about it (because what is a recipe post without pictures?) but man oh man was it GOOD! Especially when topped with…you guessed it, peanut butter!

I did capture photos later that week of another bacon/banana/PB recipe:

ElvisPancakes5

(cue angels singing)

Yup, that would be some peanut butter, bacon and banana pancakes. I was all out of my White Chocolate Wonderful, so I used good ol’ standard peanut butter mixed with some honey.

This was CERTAINLY a winner in my book. Big, fluffy, salty, and sweet. Yes, yes, yes, and yes.

I started by cooking up some bacon on my new griddle, and while I was at it, I decided to throw on some banana slices too.

ElvisPancakes8

A closer look:

ElvisPancakes9YOLO, right?

And while we’re living on the wild side, why not throw in some mini peanut butter cups that I picked up at Trader Joe’s?

ElvisPancakes10Yup, I went there.

Bacon bits and peanut butter cups = perfect stir-ins for pancakes. Who knew?

ElvisPancakes2

A few minutes on each side, and you got yourself some Elvis-approved pancakes!

Naked pancakes:

ElvisPancakes1

Kitty photo bomb!

ElvisPancakes3

That’s better.

ElvisPancakes4

Ok, that’s enough. Recipe please?

Peanut Butter, Bacon, Banana Pancakes

Ingredients:

2 bananas
4 slices of bacon
1½ cups all purpose flour
½ cup cake flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
dash of cinnamon
¼ cup peanut butter
1 TBS bacon fat
2 TBS honey
¼ tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
1½ cups milk

stir ins: crumbled bacon, mini peanut butter cups, roughly chopped

How to:

On a griddle, cook the bacon until crispy and 1 banana, sliced. The banana will cook faster than the bacon and it gets mushy, so make sure you’re watching it. When the bacon is done, place on a plate with a paper towel to soak the excess fat. When it’s cool enough to handle, crumble the bacon into little pieces.

In a large bowl, mix your dry ingredients: flours, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon.

In a medium bowl, mix together the peanut butter, honey, vanilla extract. Add in 1 TBS bacon fat from the cooking bacon. Mash the grilled banana into the mixture.

In a small bowl, mix together the eggs and milk. Pour into the peanut butter mixture.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, careful not to over mix.

Stir in most of the bacon bits (save some for topping) and a handful of mini peanut butter cups.

Griddle those babies up!

Top with some bacon bits, peanut butter cups, and fry up slices of that other banana!

ElvisPancakes6Dig in!








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