september 24, 2016
A couple of years ago, I grew tired of my breakfast routine and tried starting my day with smoothies. Fruits, Greek yogurt, almond butter and red kale growing in my tiny garden patch – all went in the blender, with the occasional toasted nut and seeds.
The fad did not last long, since I never felt I was eating my breakfast, but merely drinking it, and the act of chewing was, for me, the signal that a meal was being enjoyed. Fast forward a few years and I am seeing fabulous smoothie bowl concoctions everywhere : Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, magazines, newspapers, grocery store handouts! Lovely Parisian Morgane Enselme has some architecturally interesting smoothie bowls on her Instagram account; they served as inspiration for this article. Eating a meal with a spoon appeals to me, and the bonus of crunchy chewy toppings means I am indeed eating my smoothie.
It seems there are innumerable ways to make a smoothie bowl, but the basics come down to fruit and/or vegetables, something creamy like banana or avocado, something milky like yogurt or nondairy milks and toppings that may or may not reflect what is contained in the smoothie. Extras may be seeds or nuts, various nutritive powders and particularly yummy and healthy items like chocolate in its many incarnations.
Since it is finally autumn ( I love your food, summer, but that humidity…..), a nod to the colors of fall seem appropriate with crisp local apples and end of summer season plums. Today’s version is vegan, with my favorite alternative to whole milk which is unsweetened coconut milk beverage ( I like the So Delicious brand). Almond butter adds a little protein and the frozen banana is plenty sweet; add a tablespoon of honey or agave syrup for more sweetness without cloying. Frozen red grapes are wonderful for a quick and refreshing snack, and a handful thrown into the blender makes this smoothie bowl taste like a not-too-sweet sorbet. A tablespoon of chia seeds makes me slow down and chew this colorful breakfast, and since that is my goal with a relaxing morning routine, forgive me if my spoonful is generous.
For topping, pretty fanned slices of apple and plum keep company with toasted almond slices and kiwi, just because they have an interesting texture and, well, just because. A few more chia seeds? Sure, why not? Expect an occasional smoothie bowl post from River City Good Eats, since this fangirl cannot wait to see what the other seasons have to offer up to the blender.
Apple Plum Smoothie Bowl
makes one generous smoothie bowl
one small frozen banana, cut into chunks
¾ cup frozen red seedless grapes
one half small crisp apple, unpeeled and diced
one small red or black plum (I like the pluot)
one generous tablespoon almond butter or other nut butter
one generous tablespoon chia seeds
¼ cup nondairy milk ( I used So Delicious brand’s unsweetened coconut milk beverage)
optional sweetener : one tablespoon honey or agave syrup
toppings : thinly sliced apple, plum and kiwi; toasted almond slices, chia seeds
Place smoothie ingredients in blender (if you like a more chunky texture, add all except the apple, then add apple with a few quick pulses for apple bits throughout – that’s my take!). Process until nice and smooth. Pour into your favorite bowl.
Garnish with toppings and serve immediately.