Updated: Oct 14
If you're perusing fancy food photos on Instagram, chances are that you've seen lots of beautiful smoothie bowls packed with vibrant colors with the toppings arranged so perfectly that all you want to do is dive in. While I personally appreciate the gorgeous plant-based colors and vibrancy, I've never been a fan of the sweetness of smoothie bowls. My taste buds generally prefer savory and bitter over sweet so sometimes it's a struggle to get in a daily dose of fruit. (Like, I literally have to ask myself, "did you have at least two servings of fruit today?")
However, it recently dawned on me that fruit doesn’t have to be the only star in a smoothie bowl. Vegetables and grains should get their chance to shine, too. If you're a lover of all things pumpkin and spice, why wait until the fall to enjoy it? Shelves here in Atlanta are stocked with canned pumpkin, but if you can't find it, you can always substitute sweet potato in place of pumpkin (just as yummy!). Pumpkin (like sweet potato) is chock-full of beta carotene, an important precursor to vitamin A, which serves as a natural protector from the sun (but still wear your sunscreen). In order to absorb beta carotene and convert it to vitamin A, you need a fat source with the pumpkin. Enter pecans! Not only do they add nutrition, but maple pecans are the perfect complementary crunch to this smoothie base. You can add more toppings of your choice such as chopped dates or shredded coconut, but if you're looking for more protein, then gluten-free ancient grain amaranth has you covered with 9 grams of protein per cup.
Enjoy this smoothie bowl for breakfast, a snack, or a sweet treat after dinner.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: none (if the maple pecans are already made!)
1 3/4 cups pumpkin (1 unsweetened 15-oz can of pureed pumpkin or homemade from baked)
1 cup unsweetened plant-based milk*
2 small-medium bananas (or 1 1/2 large bananas)
2 Tbsp tahini
1/2 tsp cinnamon (or pumpkin spice blend)
2 dashes nutmeg
2 pinches salt (optional)
How to make
Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until creamy (about 1-2 minutes).
Add toppings of choice (options below).
1/4 cup puffed amaranth, brown rice or quinoa
1/4 cup maple bourbon pecans
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup crunchy candied walnuts
1/4 cup homemade granola
*Have you ever had the intention of making a smoothie bowl or a bowl of oatmeal or cereal and realized you're out of plant-based milk? Me too! In the case when the milk has vanished you could make your own nut-based milk from almonds, if you have a nut milk bag and want to go through the effort of blending, squeezing out the milk, and having almond meal leftover to use in a future recipe.
Or, you could keep a shelf-stable container of JOI on hand, which is what I do, and I am always happy that it's there! Why I love this product:
it's just one ingredient—blanched almonds
there are no fillers or unwanted ingredients
it's simple to make: add 1 tablespoon of JOI to 1 cup of milk, blend and you're done! (If I'm using JOI in baking, this is all I use. If I'm using it for tea or the smoothie bowl above I'll add a bit of cinnamon, a pinch of salt, and a dash of nutmeg.)
You can adjust the creaminess to your liking (want it more creamy? Add more JOI or less water.)
JOI is planet-friendly—the packaging is recyclable and one truckload of JOI is the equivalent of five truckloads of plant-based milk in a carton.
Shared in partnership with JOI.