How to Make Healthy Smoothie Bowls

How to Make Healthy Smoothie Bowls

What is a smoothie bowl? Basically it’s a smoothie that’s thick enough to eat with a spoon. Sprinkle on a few toppings and you’ve got a smoothie you can actually chew!

Serving a smoothie bowl packs a substantial nutritional punch. You’ll get several servings of fruits and vegetables plus healthy fats and fiber.

Take that monday morning!

However, you do need to take a balanced approach. While the toppings are what make it fun and delicious, you can quickly load up your bowl with an excess of calories, so go easy on the high calorie toppings.

How to Make Healthy Smoothie Bowls:

These portions will make one smoothie bowl. Double, triple or quadruple the ingredients depending on the number of smoothie bowls you will need.

To a blender add:

1. 1/2 cup of liquid. Choose from:

  • any kind of milk (almond, hemp, rice, soy, cow’s…)
  • coconut water
  • water
  • juice
  • green tea

2. Add a handful of veggies. Choose from:

  • spinach
  • kale
  • romaine
  • celery
  • cucumber
  • pick a combination

Add Greens to a Healthy Smoothie Bowl

At this point, you will want to run your blender to completely pulverize your veggies.

3. Add at least a cup of frozen fruit. Choose from:

  • pineapple
  • cherries
  • strawberries
  • banana
  • blueberries
  • mango
  • raspberries
  • any combination

4. Add 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt.

OPTIONAL (you can choose several, but I’d only choose one fat source):

  • Add a scoop of protein powder
  • Add a tablespoon of coconut oil
  • Add a quarter of an avocado
  • Add a tablespoon of nut butter
  • Add a teaspoon of fish oil
  • Add a tablespoon flaxseed oil
  • Add a bit of local honey
  • Add a date or two

Blend all ingredients until thick and creamy and delicious.

**Smoothie not thick enough? Add more frozen fruit or yogurt. Smoothie too thick? Add extra liquid one tablespoon at a time.**

Now pour your healthy smoothie into a bowl and get ready to add your toppings!

Smoothie Bowl Topping Ideas:

  • chia, hemp, flax, and/or sunflower seeds
  • shredded coconut
  • granola
  • sliced or chopped nuts
  • matcha powder
  • maca powder
  • bee pollen
  • fresh berries
  • sliced banana
  • raw oats

I keep all my smoothie toppings in easily accessible jars. Then I let the girls make a design on top. It’s fun to play with your food!


You’ll get all the goodness of a smoothie with the additional benefit of getting to chew!

Here are some of our favorite healthy smoothie bowl combinations:

Very Berry Smoothie Bowl Recipe

Very Berry Smoothie Bowl

  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • handful spinach
  • 1/c cup blueberries
  • 1/2 cup strawberries
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • Top with sliced almonds, chia seeds and granola

Tropical Smoothie Bowl Recipe

Tropical Smoothie Bowl

  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • handful spinach and kale
  • 1/2 cup pineapple
  • 1/2 cup mango
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • Top with chia seeds, shredded coconut, granola, and sliced almonds.

Have you replaced your morning bowl of cereal with a smoothie bowl yet?

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Homemade Baked Strawberry Donut Recipe with a Hint of Orange

Homemade Baked Strawberry Donuts with a hint of Orange

Happy National Donut Day!

Instead of hurrying out and buying a box of “Fat Pills” (as we call them in our house), why not try out this homemade baked strawberry donut recipe with a hint of orange?

I won’t lie and tell you this is a health food recipe. However, these donuts are made with real ingredients such as whole grains, real fruit puree and natural sweetener. Then, they are baked, instead of fried, which definitely saves your waistline.

Each of these donuts has about 184 calories. Compare that to a Frosted Dunkin Donuts Strawberry Dream Donut at 360 calories!

That should be your incentive to invest in some baked donut pans. They don’t take up much room in the cupboard and they are super useful for satisfying your donut cravings in a healthy way.

Traditionally, I’ve made this recipe with orange zest. However, I didn’t happen to have an orange on hand when I got the craving to make these.

That’s when I remembered I had a bottle of wild orange essential oil.

Wild Orange 15ml

I substituted 3 drops of the wild orange for the orange zest and the recipe turned out amazing!

In the recipe, I’ve included the recipe for the glaze I used on these donuts. Truthfully? It made the donuts on the sweet side for me. But the kids? They LOVED it!

Mind you, I still ate the donuts with the glaze. I just found that a cup of coffee was the PERFECT accompaniment!

Homemade Baked Strawberry Donut Recipe


  • 1 1/4 cups halved strawberries
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter
  • 2 teaspoons orange rind or 3 drops wild orange essential oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup organic all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  1. Preheat oven to 400.
  2. Combine first 5 ingredients in a blender.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Make a well in the center of the mixture. Pour in strawberry mixture and stir just until combined.
  4. Spoon batter into baked donut pan. Recipe makes 12 donuts.
  5. Bake at 400 for 10 - 15 minutes. Donuts are done when they spring back when lightly touched.
  6. Allow to cool in pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.
  7. Once cool, you can choose to glaze them with a mixture of 3 strawberries blended with 1 cup organic powdered sugar.

With the calories you are saving by baking your own donuts, may I suggest you have one for breakfast and one mid-afternoon?

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Homemade Whole Grain Blueberry Waffles with Blueberry Syrup

Whole Grain Blueberry Waffles

I have one daughter who prefers pancakes and the other prefers waffles.

This recipe for homemade whole grain blueberry waffles with blueberry syrup never fails to please them both.

The blueberry syrup is so easy to make but it is purely optional. If you don’t have enough blueberries for both the waffles and the syrup, these waffles are excellent topped with plain maple syrup.

Of course, if you topped your stack with the blueberry syrup and some homemade whipped cream, it would make for the most decadent breakfast ever.  Not to mention, it would look quite patriotic for the 4th of July.

Homemade Whole Grain Blueberry Waffles with Blueberry Syrup


    For the Waffles:
  • 1 cup unbleached organic all purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2/3 cup oat flour (Use your blender to pulverize regular oats if needed)
  • 1/3 cup cornmeal
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons unrefined sugar
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil, cooled slightly
  • 1 pint fresh blueberries
  • For the Syrup:
  • 3/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch or arrowroot
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 tablespoon butter


    For the Waffles:
  1. In a large bowl, stir together flours, sugar and baking powder. Make a well in the center.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together buttermilk, eggs and coconut oil.
  3. Pour the wet ingredients into the center of the dry ingredients and stir just until all ingredients are moist. Some lumps are ok.
  4. Pour 1/2 cup batter onto preheated waffle iron. Sprinkle blueberries over waffle before cooking.
  5. For the Syrup:
  6. In a small saucepan over medium high heat, combine syrup, cornstarch, and water. Cook, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes or until thickened.
  7. Stir in blueberries and reduce heat to simmer. Simmer 10 minutes or until blueberries have started to burst.
  8. Add butter and stir until melted.
  9. Serve over waffles.

Where do you stand – pancakes or waffles?

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How to Make Oatmeal Taste Good: 25 Healthy Topping Ideas

How to Make Oatmeal Taste Good

Have you tried to like oatmeal but can’t?

Come here little grasshopper. I’m going to teach you how to make oatmeal taste good.

First, we need to address the top two reasons people don’t like oatmeal: the texture and the taste.

Texture: Otherwise known as “mouth feel” if you’ve been watching any Food Network. (And apparently I have.)

If you find you just can’t get past the texture of oatmeal, I have a recipe you need to try: Trader Joe’s Quinoa and Steel Cut Oats Copycat recipe. The combination of quinoa and steel cut oats gives you a less slimy bowl of oatmeal. Not to mention the added bonus of the protein boost you get from quinoa.

Taste: Plain oatmeal has no taste. I think the word “gruel” is actually pretty accurate for the taste of plain oatmeal.

That’s where these healthy topping ideas are going to change your morning bowl of oatmeal!

Never added citrus zest to your oatmeal? I’m about to Rock. Your. World.

So fasten your seatbelts folks, I’ve come up with 25 quick and healthy toppings that will change oatmeal for you forever.

How to Make Oatmeal Taste Good:

Blueberry Bonanza: Stir some lemon zest, a dash of cinnamon and a dash of nutmeg into your oatmeal. Top with blueberries.

PB Booster: Stir 1 tablespoon peanut butter into oatmeal. Top with sliced bananas and chopped apples. Dust with cinnamon.

Tummy Tamer: Stir 1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger and 1 teaspoon honey into oatmeal. Top with chopped fresh or dried apricots.

Banana Nut Bread: Top with chopped walnuts and banana slices.

Chocolate Peanut Butter: Stir 1 tablespoon peanut butter into oatmeal. Top with dark chocolate chips. Need a no sugar alternative to chocolate chips? Top with cacao nibs.

Berry Lemon Sensation: Stir 1 teaspoon lemon zest into oatmeal. Top with strawberries, raspberries and blueberries.

Wake-Up Your Bowl: Stir in 1 teaspoon orange zest. Top with a spoonful of vanilla yogurt. Sprinkle with nutmeg.

Thanksgiving Pie: Stir in a generous spoonful of pumpkin puree. Sprinkle homemade pumpkin pie spice on top. Drizzle with honey.

Pineapple Upside-Down Oatmeal: Stir a spoonful of sucanat into oatmeal. You don’t need much. Top with pineapple.

Bowl of Freedom: Top oatmeal with a spoonful of plain or vanilla yogurt. Sprinkle with strawberries and blueberries.

Cha-Cha Chai: Mix a spoonful of pumpkin puree into oatmeal. Pour a bit of chai latte concentrate over oatmeal. Make it over the top delicious by adding almond milk.

Key Lime: Stir lime zest into oatmeal. Top with vanilla or plain yogurt. If your diet allows, you could always throw in some white chocolate chips. Don’t go overboard – just enough to satisfy.

Carrot Cake: Stir fresh grated ginger into oatmeal. Top with shredded carrot and diced dried apricots. No apricots? Use raisins. Have walnuts? Throw some of them on too.

Island Breeze: Stir lime zest into oatmeal. Top with unsweetened coconut flakes and chopped macadamia nuts. If you have any coconut milk, you could stir some of that in too.

Bless Your Heart: Stir a spoonful of sweet potato puree into oatmeal. Top with chopped pecans and if your diet allows, some sucanat.

Almond Joy: Stir in a spoonful of almond butter. Top with unsweetened coconut flakes.

Nut ‘N Honey:  Top oatmeal with chopped nuts – any kind, any combination – and drizzle with honey.

Simply Sweet: Stir cinnamon into oatmeal. Top with chopped dates and raisins.

Cranberry Orange: Stir orange zest into oatmeal. Top with dried cranberries and a dusting of cinnamon.

Cherry Cocoa: Top oatmeal with cherries (I usually defrost some frozen ones) and dust with cocoa powder. Need a treat? Stir a teensy tiny bit of dark chocolate into hot oatmeal so it melts.

Crunchy Oatmeal: Throw a handful of granola into your oatmeal and stir it around. Top with milk of choice. Almond and vanilla soymilk are delightful additions.

Apple Pie: Top oatmeal with chopped apples, a dusting of apple pie spice, and top with vanilla yogurt.

Eggs-ellent Idea: Top oatmeal with a poached egg and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Savor the Idea: Add grated cheese. Parmesan is excellent, as is cheddar.

Sunday Paper Special: Stir orange zest into oatmeal. Top with sliced almonds and a drizzle of honey. And depending on how you roll, you could do a splash of Grand Marnier.

Your homework assignment: Try one, all, some. Report back on what you did or didn’t like!

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Trader Joe’s Quinoa and Steel Cut Oats Copycat Recipe

Trader Joes Copycat Quinoa and Steel Cut Oatmeal

I made my first trip to Trader Joe’s!

Oh. My. Word. You’d think I’d never been to a grocery store before.

Everything looked good. Everything went in my cart. Because Trader Joe’s. 

One of my favorite purchases was the frozen Trader Joe’s Quinoa and Steel Cut Oatmeal.

Most mornings I’m packing lunches for the girls. So if breakfast can be quick and healthy, I’m happy!

If you’ve ever cooked steel cut oats, you know there is nothing quick about them! Most brands take about 45 minutes to cook. On a weekday, ain’t nobody got time for that!

My friend also bought a box Trader Joe’s Quinoa and Steel Cut Oatmeal. When discussing our purchases, we both had the very same comment: we were expecting more than two bowls of oatmeal out of the box.

I don’t know why. The box isn’t very big.

What I do know is I liked it enough that I decided to try to duplicate the recipe at home – making sure there were more than 2 servings!

Frozen Quinoa and Steel Cut Oats

This Trader Joe’s Quinoa and Steel Cut Oats Copycat Recipe makes up a large batch which you then freeze into individual portions using a muffin tin. Once the oatmeal is frozen, let it sit on the counter for about 15 minutes then remove the oatmeal and freeze until ready to use.

To make one full serving, heat two of the frozen oatmeal “pucks” like in the picture above. I weighed the serving at home and it comes to about 6 ounces. The Trader Joe’s serving is 8 ounces, so mine is a slightly smaller portion.

A quick note about the sweetener. The Trader Joe’s version says it is sweetened with brown sugar and maple syrup. To keep this a whole foods recipe, I used only maple syrup.

The Trader Joe’s version is also very lightly sweetened. Use my recipe as a starting point. If you need more sweetener, you can add it after you’ve microwaved it.

Trader Joe’s Quinoa and Steel Cut Oats Copycat Recipe


  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups steel cut oats
  • maple syrup


  1. Cook the quinoa according to package directions.
  2. Cook the steel cut oats according to package directions.
  3. Once cooked, stir together.
  4. Spoon quinoa and steel cut oats into muffin tins, filling about 3/4 full.
  5. Add 1 teaspoon maple syrup to each muffin cup. Add 1 tablespoon water to each muffin cup.
  6. Cover and freeze.
  7. Once quinoa and oatmeal is frozen, set out on the counter for about 15 minutes so you can easily remove it from the muffin tin.
  8. Place in a freezer safe container.
  9. To reheat:
  10. Remove 2 frozen oatmeal "pucks" and place in a microwave safe dish.
  11. Microwave for 2 minutes. Break pucks up using a spoon and stir. Microwave an additional 1 1/2 minutes to 2 minutes until heated through. Allow to stand 30 seconds before stirring and serving.

If you’ve had the Trader Joe’s Quinoa and Steel Cut Oatmeals, give this a try and let me know how you think it compares! This has become my go-to breakfast, and I’ve found I’m making up a batch most Sundays to carry me through the week.

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Homemade Gingerbread Latte Syrup Recipe

Homemade Gingerbread Latte Syrup Recipe

There are two very distinct tastes that make up gingerbread: ginger and molasses. To make a truly great gingerbread latte, you want to capture those two flavors in your homemade gingerbread latte syrup.

In order to get this genuine gingerbread flavor, you must, must, must use sucanat instead of sugar. As I’ve mentioned many times before, sucanat is a less processed form of sugar where the molasses is not separated out – like it is with refined white sugar. You can use only sucanat in this recipe to get that rich molasses flavor without the molasses overpowering your syrup.

As an added bonus, sucanat is considered a better whole food choice than refined white sugar.

If you are like me, and molasses is a favorite flavor, add the 2 tablespoons in the recipe. When you do this, the molasses will become the dominant flavor – not the ginger. So you need to play with it to get the mix right for your taste buds.

Time to mix up your syrup:

Homemade Gingerbread Latte Syrup


  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sucanat
  • 2 tablespoons molasses (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1 5-inch cinnamon stick
  • 8 whole cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice berries
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg


  1. Bring water, sucanat, and molasses (optional) just to a boil.
  2. Immediately lower heat to a simmer and add all spices.
  3. Simmer for 30 minutes.
  4. Strain into a large jar. Allow to cool before refrigerating.

Gingerbread Latte with Homemade Gingerbread Latte Syrup

Now that you have your homemade gingerbread latte syrup, here is how to make it into a latte:

Brew a dark roast coffee.
Add 4 ounces of coffee to two mugs.
In a saucepan, heat 1 cup of milk and 1/4 cup of gingerbread latte syrup until warm.
Add 1/2 cup gingerbread flavored milk to each mug.
Optional: Use a milk frother to froth the milk before adding to the coffee.
And think about Homemade Whipped Cream to top it off!

Additional Uses for Gingerbread Latte Syrup:

  • Add to hot black tea.
  • Pour over apple pie.
  • Add to plain oatmeal.
  • Top vanilla ice cream.
  • Mix with cream cheese as a toast or bagel spread.
  • Pour over pancakes or waffles.
  • Add to hot chocolate.
  • Use to simmer pears.
  • Stir into plain Greek yogurt.

Enjoy! And if you like this recipe, you’re sure to also like my pumpkin spice latte!

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Whole Grain Carrot Waffles with The Best Almond Butter Waffle Topping

Carrot Waffles

Adding carrot to your whole grain waffles is actually a great way to add nutrition.

If you have a kiddo who is a reluctant vegetable eater, sneaking carrots into a waffle can help get them an all important serving of carrots – without them even realizing it!

This recipe calls for using a juicer. I have an ancient juicer that I still use. When I use my juicer, it separates the pulp from juice. That means I’m missing out on fiber. This recipe uses both the juice and the pulp!

No juicer? No problem. Use store-bought carrot juice, then just substitute shredded carrot for the carrot pulp. It will make your clean-up a heck of a lot easier. :)

I use white whole wheat flour quite a bit in my recipes. It has all the nutrition of whole wheat flour but is lighter, meaning it won’t make your baked goods as heavy and dense as whole wheat flour will.

The next lazy Sunday morning you have, preheat your waffle iron and make up a batch of these for your family. The recipe only makes 4 waffles, so you might find you need to double it.

Whole Grain Carrot Waffles

Yield: 4 waffles


  • 1 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon turbinado sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon aluminum free baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup carrot juice
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten or egg substitute equivalent
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup carrot pulp (you may substitute grated carrot)


  1. In a large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the juice, eggs, and butter.
  3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir.
  4. Add the carrot pulp and mix just until well incorporated.
  5. Cook on preheated waffle iron following waffle iron instructions.

So let’s say you don’t want to try the carrot waffles.
Please, please, please try the Almond Butter Waffle Topping on your favorite waffles.
It’s not only delicious, but it adds protein. I find it helps keep me fuller, longer, than a waffle topped with just maple syrup.

The Best Almond Butter Waffle Topping



  1. Mix all ingredients together and use to top your favorite waffles.

Have you added vegetables to your waffles before?

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