Yogurt Pro Bowl & Unique Topping Suggestions!

yogurt pro bowl

Do you remember a year or two back when yogurt bowls were super trendy?  It seemed like yogurt was all the rage for breakfast and healthy snacking—especially once Greek yogurt hit the scene.  How, you might be thinking, can a food be trendy?  Well, sorry, folks, that is a question for someone else.  I don’t start the food trends I just utilize them.

In early 2016, I was on the biggest Greek yogurt kick and would start each day with a bowl.  I’d eat it with berries and granola, melon, or stone fruit—oh, yogurt could do no wrong!  Though, sometime during the summer, I had one too many bowls and got turned off.  Now, it has been months since I’ve consumed it but recently I found myself craving the creamy, refreshing, gut-healthy food.

First things first, I picked up individual serving containers of Silk’s blueberry soy yogurt and Kite Hill’s plain almond milk yogurt.  For the yogurt bowl shown above, I used the almond milk one but you can see me use blueberry coconut flavor in this Instagram post.  I think I like the coconut version the most out of the two but use whatever non-dairy or regular yogurt you like.

As I previously mentioned, yogurt with fruit is an easy pairing.  Nowadays, I want a little more out of my yogurt bowls so I like to add sweet potato, oatmeal, and nut butter to tackle all the food groups at once!  Side note: I like to give credit whree credit is due so, I first saw the idea from @olive.eeeats on Instagram.  It’s hearty, comforting, and a breakfast I can get behind.  It’s a total Yogurt Pro Bowl, if you will.  Also, if some of the items I included aren’t your thing, I’ve included suggestions at the end of this post on how to jazz up your yogurt bowl in an unconventional way.

For a well-rounded yogurt bowl, I like to include:

Whole grains

Vegetables

Berries or other fruit

Fats

Admittedly, my yogurt bowls turn out different each time so, while I’ve provided my recipe, this is just a guideline.  If you want more or less food, adjust as needed.  There’s no wrong way to measure or plate any of these foods so just eat according to what you’re craving and enjoy!

Yogurt Pro Bowl
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Recipe type: Breakfast
Cuisine: American, Vegan, Vegetarian
Author:
Prep time:
Total time:
Serves: 1 yogurt bowl
The yogurt pros (that's us!) prep their ingredients ahead of time. So, use your breakfast yogurt as a chance to toss in some roasted veggies, fruit of choice, and healthy fats. It will give your mind and body the fuel it needs to tackle the day!
Ingredients
  • Overnight oats: ⅓ cup oats, 2 tsp chia seeds, ½ cup water or milk, ½ tsp maca powder, ½ tsp cacao powder
  • ½ cup yogurt
  • Roasted sweet potato fries (from ½ small-med sized potato), sprinkled with cinnamon
  • ½ small-med sized banana
  • ¼ cup raspberries
  • ¼ avocado
  • 1 tbsp ground flax
  • 1 tbsp of peanut butter (I used Wild Friends Pumpkin Spice)
  • 2 tbsp granola, optional but recommended for texture (I used Purely Elizabeth Chocolate Probiotic)
  • A pinch of Himalayan pink sea salt, recommended to sprinkle on avocado (I used San Francisco Salt Company)
Instructions
  1. For the oats, combine all of the ingredients the night before. Alternatively, warm, stovetop oats could be substituted.
  2. For the yogurt bowl, first add the oatmeal to one half of the bowl and the yogurt to the other half.
  3. Then, I like to strategically lay out all of the toppings in different sections of the bowl but feel free to toss them all in together. Though, I should say, the sweet potato fries are best left on the sides of the bowl to utilize as yogurt dippers. 😉
  4. Lastly, sprinkle salt on avocado, drizzle nut butter, and add a few clumps of granola before taking a spoon and devouring!

 

yogurt pro bowl

In my opinion, what makes this elevated yogurt bowl different is that it doesn’t solely rely on fruit to make it awesome.  Plus, it doesn’t shy away from carbs or fat.  Normally yogurt is considered the low-calorie, dieter’s choice breakfast.  Which it can be but I’d like to prove yogurt can be fun so long as you know how to jazz it up! 🙂 Actually, as a matter of fact,…

There are many choices for yogurt bowl add-ins!

Whole grains: Stovetop oats or overnight oats, buckwheat, quinoa cooked in coconut milk, warm barley, or simply use a homemade whole grain muffin—YES!

Vegetables:  Roasted or sautéed carrots, sweet potato, butternut squash, cauliflower, or Brussels sprouts if you’re feeling adventurous!

Spice it up: Cinnamon, nutmeg, turmeric, rosemary, paprika, or sweeten with maple syrup or raw/coconut sugar.

Fruit: As you probably know, ANY fresh, frozen, or sautéed fruit you like will work!

Fats: 1-2 tbsp peanut, almond, or sunflower seed butter; toasted walnuts or pumpkin seeds, cinnamon-maple glazed pecans, ¼ of an avocado, or coconut flakes will do.

Bonus: Granola, hemp seeds, adaptogens, flax or chia seeds.

Here are some pairing ideas I cannot wait to try:

Roasted carrots with blackberries, quinoa, and sunflower seed butter; crispy roasted Brussels, with cinnamon maple-glazed pecans, blueberries, and barley; also, sautéed turmeric butternut squash with coconut oil sautéed apples, and toasted walnuts.

Of course, those are just a few ideas.  Mix and match according to your taste buds!  Also, please let me know how you enjoy yogurt or if you’ve got any wild yogurt pairings.  I’d love to try out something new!

Chocolate Cinnamon Breakfast Shake—Mexican Hot Chocolate Inspired

chocolate cinnamon breakfast shake

Oftentimes I go to bed dreaming of what I’m going to eat the next morning for breakfast.  The flavors of peanut butter and cinnamon on toast, berry-filled smoothies, or zucchini oats occupy my mind.  It might be a problem how much I think about food but if it’s wrong then I don’t want to be right!  Especially when it comes to breakfast—the best meal of the day!

Sweet breakfasts are my usual but chocolate, surprisingly, does not make a daily appearance in my breakfast or snacks.  Simply because it is one of those flavors that you crave the more you eat it, or, conversely, crave less if you don’t eat it.  I remember the days of being a chocoholic and it wasn’t pretty.  Now, I can go weeks without tasting chocolate in any form, and I’m quite fine, but once I taste some chocolate muffins or homemade chocolate peanut butter cups I find I’m craving it daily!  Not that I’m complaining.  Thankfully, my chocolate interests are much tamer these days and I channel my sweet tooth in what I’d say is a nutritious manner.

Exhibit A: Chocolate Cinnamon Breakfast Shake.

chocolate cinnamon breakfast shake

Truly, this combination came about when I accidentally threw cinnamon into my chocolate smoothie.  I spice up my breakfasts with cinnamon—AKA the wonder spice!—almost every day.  It adds a warm, comforting feel but also enhances the sweetness in foods.  Though, cinnamon with cherries, frozen cauliflower, spinach, and chocolate protein powder isn’t a pairing I was prepared to make.  Fortunately for me, cinnamon can do no wrong.

The smoothie turned out to be reminiscent of Mexican Hot Chocolate.  If you wanted to tap into that flavor profile a bit more, then a dash (or approximately 1/8 tsp) of chili powder would add some heat.  Though, the cinnamon is enough—especially if you want to keep your smoothie strictly sweet 😉

Let me know if you give this a try!

chocolate cinnamon breakfast shake

UPDATE:

I’ve updated the recipe below to include an option for how to achieve the same Mexican Hot Chocolate flavor if using a protein powder other than ALOHATone it Up chocolate plant-based protein or Nuzest chocolate protein would both work.

Chocolate Cinnamon Breakfast Shake
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Recipe type: Breakfast, Smoothie
Author:
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 1
Cinnamon accompanies cherries, cauliflower, spinach, and chocolate protein powder to create a flavorful smoothie reminiscent of Mexican hot chocolate.
Ingredients
  • 1½ c cauliflower, frozen
  • ¾ cup frozen spinach
  • 1 cup frozen cherries
  • A serving of chocolate plant-based protein powder (I used ALOHA)
  • 1½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tbsp almond butter
  • ⅛ tsp chili powder (optional, but recommended for Mexican chocolate flavor)
  • 1½ tbsp cacao powder*
  • ½ tsp sugar in the raw or coconut sugar*
  • a pinch of Himalayan pink sea salt*
  • ¾ cup coconut water + ¼ cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or plain water + almond milk)
Instructions
  1. Blend up the coconut water and spinach so no spinach bits remain. Then, add in the chocolate protein powder, cauliflower, and cherries. Blend, pushing down on the sides of the blender with a spoon to help the mixture along.
  2. When mostly combined, add in the cinnamon, chili powder, almond butter, and almond milk. If using a protein powder other than ALOHA, add cacao powder, raw sugar, and sea salt.
  3. It will be a very thick mixture, but that's how I like my breakfast shakes. Add in a bit more almond milk or water, if desired.
Notes
I like to blend up the ingredients in steps to make it easier on my blender. If you have a strong blender, feel free to toss all of the ingredients in at once.

*The original recipe was tested with ALOHA chocolate plant-based protein powder. It has a stronger chocolate flavor and slightly sweeter taste. You can use another chocolate protein powder, like Tone it Up plant-based powder, but, to compensate for flavor differences, add the starred ingredients: cacao powder, raw sugar, and sea salt. They're all necessary to bring out the hot chocolate flavors!

 

Zucchini Stovetop Oatmeal

ucchini Stovetop Oatmeal

Have I sunk to a new low?  Am I really writing a post about how to cook oatmeal?  In all fairness, a year or two back, I was still only making overnight oats because I had no idea how to cook hot oatmeal, and much less with zucchini.  When I was growing up, my mom used to cook oatmeal in a way that involved way too much water so the oatmeal would boil and be left swimming in murky liquid.  It was often super mushy, too.  Like, when people associate oatmeal with being old people’s food, that is because they have suffered through bland, mushy oatmeal.  I was one of those people but I’ve come out on the other side with a revived interest in stovetop oatmeal.

zucchini stovetop oatmeal

No offense to my mama’s wonderful cooking, she just never measured.  Dishes don’t necessarily come out well or consistent if you don’t measure.  That is why I looked to Rachael’s Good Eats when I wanted to cook up some real good oatmeal.  Not just any oatmeal though—oatmeal with vegetables!  You’ve seen me throw zucchini into smoothies here and here but oatmeal may be my favorite way to use zucchini.

zucchini stovetop oatmeal

I’ve been taste-testing bowls of oatmeal over the past few months and I have finally found a method I like.  Rachael’s recipe calls for a little bit less oats and a scoop of protein powder.  That works as long as the protein powder you’re using tastes good.  Though, personally, I’d rather not add protein powder because it can overpower the flavor of oatmeal.  I use flax and chia seeds to bulk up the oatmeal and give it creaminess without mushiness.  Then comes the zucchini: an undetectable but healthful addition.  You could totally leave it out and the oatmeal would still be awesome but I promise it’s so worthwhile to try it with zucchini!  It makes me look forward to eating oatmeal! 🙂

zucchini stovetop oatmeal with toppings

As always, let me know if you give this a try by dropping a comment down below or hit me up on Instagram!

Zucchini Stovetop Oatmeal
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Recipe type: Breakfast
Cuisine: Oatmeal
Author:
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 1
This quick-to-make oatmeal is anything but mushy. The rolled oats are flaky and the seeds add a creaminess. The contrasting textures perfectly compliment each other. Plus, there is a sneaky serving of veggies!
Ingredients
  • I/3 cup old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 tsp chia seeds
  • 1 tsp ground flaxseeds
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ cup shredded zucchini
  • ¼ cup almond milk, for serving
Instructions
  1. In a small pot, heat half a cup of water on the stove. Once boiling, add in the rolled oats and cook for 1 minute on high, then, reduce heat to med.
  2. After the oats have started to absorb some water, sprinkle in the chia, flax, and cinnamon and stir, stir, stir! It is important to incorporate the seeds well so that they don’t clump. They will begin to gel and make the oatmeal creamy without compromising the texture of the rolled oats.
  3. Once incorporated, stir in the zucchini and cook for about 2 more minutes on medium before taking the pot off the heat. It may look like a measly amount of oatmeal but here’s where the magic happens: put the oatmeal into a bowl and pour the almond milk over it, stirring to incorporate. The hot oatmeal soaks up the milk and fluffs up nicely.
  4. Add addition milk if desired and your choice of toppings.
Notes
I topped my oatmeal with ½ cup strawberries, 1 tbsp Wild Friends Chocolate Coconut Peanut Butter, 2 tbsp granola, and ½ tbsp flaked coconut.

 

Banana Tahini Shake – My current FAVE

Alright, alright, alright!  How is everyone doing today?  It is Tuesday and it’s time to break out the tahini! Can that be a thing?  Move over tacos, it’s Tahini Tuesday! 😆

Banana Tahini Shake

It’s no secret that smoothies are my favorite thing ever and if I can sneak some vegetables in them, that’s even better.  Too much fruit in a smoothie can spike my blood sugar and leave me crashing with hanger mid-morning.  That doesn’t mean fruit is a no-go, it just means I need to include a little something extra to stabilize my energy and keep hunger at bay.  A recent discovery that I’ve made in regards to my smoothies is the power of HEALTHY FATS.

I used to be so scared of using oil or eating peanut butter and avocados (not necessarily together), but now I know that a moderate amount of fat is A-okay!  I eat mostly plant-based so when I include healthy fats, I add a satiating element to my meals, too.

Banana Tahini Shake

So, back to the Banana Tahini Shake!  Technically it could fall under the “smoothie” category but it is so rich and comforting that it feels like a shake to me.  Shakes are usually loaded up with ice cream, dairy milk, and sugar but mine is sweetened with banana.  It’s more than healthy enough for breakfast for sure!  Plus, the addition of tahini really helps round out the smoothie/shake.  It is…

Uniquely satisfying,

Subtly sweet,

And perfectly thick.

I have been digging this for weeks now and I’m very excited to share it!  Let me know if you try it out 🙂

Banana Tahini Shake Header

 

Banana Tahini Shake
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Recipe type: Breakfast
Author:
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 1
Zucchini adds fiber, tahini adds satiating fats, and banana brings home the sweetness in this simple Banana Tahini Shake.
Ingredients
  • ¼ large frozen zucchini (about ½ cup chopped)
  • 1 med frozen banana
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • a dash of black pepper
  • ½ inch knob of fresh ginger, frozen (I like the zestiness of it but you can sub ground)
  • 1-2 tbsp of tahini,
  • 1 serving of plant-based protein powder, optional
  • ¾ cup - 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • Barbaras Bakery Puffins or other cereal, optional
Instructions
  1. Add zucchini, banana, and ginger to a blender or food processor and ¾ cup of almond milk. Blend away! Then add the spices, tahini, and protein powder. Add more milk, if needed.
  2. Serve the smoothie in a glass with some low-sugar cereal of choice, if desired. Best enjoyed with a spoon and straw.

Blueberry Coconut Smoothie Bowl

On cold days, on rainy days, on sunny days, or cloudy days, I will always be in the mood for a smoothie.  In fact, the jury is still out on whether I consume more smoothies in winter months or summertime.

Blueberry Coconut Smoothie Bowl

On a slightly related side note:

there was a lot of mud from the previous night’s rain when I made this smoothie bowl.  I didn’t let that stop me from marching outside in my boots to snap a picture. 🙂 The lighting is much better outdoors!  Plus, my neighbors would probably wonder where I’m at if they didn’t see me go outside to take a picture of my breakfast.  You know, ‘cause that’s the usual these days.

Anyway, this photo is from a while back but I’ve had this for breakfast a number of times since.  I rarely make the same smoothie twice but there is something particularly crave-worthy about blueberries that makes me want to have them in a smoothie several days in a row.  This simple smoothie is the best way to make that happen.

Blueberry Coconut Smoothie
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Recipe type: Breakfast, Smoothie
Author:
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 1 smoothie
Creamy coconut milk combines with frozen banana and blueberries to make a delicious rich and tropical smoothie.
Ingredients
  • 1 medium to large banana, frozen
  • ¾ cup of blueberries, frozen
  • ¼ cup of canned coconut milk
  • 1 serving of protein powder (optional)
  • Toppings: granola, blueberries, ground flax, coconut flakes
Instructions
  1. If using protein powder, add that to the blender first, followed by the coconut milk and frozen fruit.
  2. The smoothie might be tough to blend but it's perfectly thick with a small amount of liquid. Add a tablespoon of additional milk to the blender if the mixture is not budging.
  3. Scoop the smoothie contents into a bowl and add the recommended toppings, or, simply some coconut flakes to jazz up the tropical factor.
Notes
Prep time does not include freezing the fruit. A very necessary step for the ultimate creamy smoothie!