Creamy Cranberry Smoothie Bowl (Gluten Free, Vegan)
When it comes to this college celiac, no "recipe" is more unwritten than my favorite smoothie bowls. This Black Friday, though, I wanted to give you the most bang for your buck - at least in terms of your cranberry sauce from Thanksgiving. This smoothie isn't just prime real estate for leftovers, either. It's vegan, paleo and free of most allergens, packed with hidden veggies (perfect for a post-Thanksgiving detox), and super creamy thanks to So Delicious yogurt.
Ready to dig into your own creamy cranberry smoothie bowl? Then gather these simple ingredients:
Ingredients (for 2-3 servings):
1/2 frozen banana
Handful of mixed berries and cranberries (I personally use frozen cranberries, but this is also a perfect excuse to use leftover cranberry sauce from Thanksgiving!)
1 large chopped frozen zucchini/squash (add more or less zucchini depending on your sweetness preference)
1 TBSP chia seeds
Enough liquid to blend (I prefer green tea for the health benefits)
Two spoonfuls of So Delicious Unsweetened Vanilla Yogurt
Spices like cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla extract
Optional: frozen spinach or other greens (which will result in a more green or brown colored smoothie), frozen pieces of beet (for an even brighter red color) and superfoods like turmeric, spirulina, maca and cacao powder
If you're tired after hours of cooking on Thanksgiving, this is the recipe for you! Just add the ingredients into a high-speed blender. (This recipe is designed for a Vitamix, but you can scale down the ingredients for smaller blenders like a Nutribullet). For the best results, first add the liquid, spices, chia seeds and yogurt (along with cranberry sauce, if you're using that form). Then, add your frozen vegetables and fruit. If you like drinkable smoothies, add more liquid. If - like me - you prefer smoothies that need a spoon, use less liquid.
|Best of both (drink-and-spoon-able) worlds!|
Craving an extra festive breakfast? Then play with one of these holiday-inspired three color options:
- Rudolph Red: along with your cranberries, stick to red fruits like strawberries, raspberries and pomegranate seeds. If you're craving even more hidden veggies, choose frozen beets over spinach or other greens. You can also add superfood powders like camu camu or acai for an even more vibrant color.
- Evergreen: along with cranberries, add bananas and cantaloupe, which are both fruits that won't greatly affect your smoothie's color. If you're not a fan of tart smoothies, these sweet fruits will also taper down the cranberries' sour flavor. Don't be shy with your leafy greens either (ranging from beet greens to spinach to kale), and you can even experiment with adding spirulina for a green boost.
- Loco for Cacao: just because you already feasted on Thanksgiving dinner doesn't mean you can't have dessert for breakfast! Combining cacao powder and cranberries results in an addictively sweet and sour smoothie. For the deepest "chocolate" color, add leafy greens along with bright colored fruits and veggies like blackberries and beets.
|All of your options...including mixing two colors!|
Whatever base color you choose, you shouldn't skimp on the toppings either. One of the best parts about this creamy cranberry smoothie bowl is its contrast to crunchy or chewy toppings. Some of my favorites? For crunchy, reach toward: homemade granola, Enjoy Life Foods trail mix (nut free and addictive!), oatless oatmeal clusters and puffed rice cereal. For chewy, pick up: dried fruit, homemade Pumpkin Popcorn Balls, and snack/protein bars. I always end up including some diced fresh fruit and nut butter too because...why not?
Sometimes, the best kind of recipes are those that we don't need to write down. They're part of our regular routine - whether in holidays like Thanksgiving or a typical Wednesday at college - and our taste buds' regular cravings.
|All those fall colors...|
I hope you can consider this creamy cranberry smoothie bowl my holiday treat to you. Take it, make it and make it your own! And trust me...when it comes to this recipe, Thanksgiving leftovers will never taste so sweet.
*I did receive a free carton of So Delicious yogurt to use in a recipe, but I buy their yogurt every week anyway...so all opinions are my own!*
*This post also appears at Allergy Free Thursdays, Pretty Pintastic Party, Saucy Saturdays, Share Fest, Snickerdoodle Sunday, Tasty Tuesday, What Cookin' Wednesday and Let's Get Real!*
Do you often repeatedly make meals without writing down the recipe? What is your favorite way to reuse Thanksgiving leftovers? Tell me your tips and tricks below!