Acai Bowl for Breakfast

I'm currently obsessed with acai bowls and decided to make them at home.Obsessed.  Totally obsessed.  I am obsessed with acai bowls for breakfast and afternoon snacks.  Or sometimes lunch.  And maybe after dinner.  Have you ever had one?  They are pretty easy to find now, like at Juice it Up or Nektar.  But I just got a Ninja and decided it was finally time to start making them at home.

Acai bowls are a great healthier breakfast ideaYou can buy the acai packets at Costco (thanks for the tip, Genette!) and then you just need a few other ingredients.  I followed this recipe here.  The only problem is that my youngest son always tries to share with me.  But this – mama doesn’t want to share.  Do you make them at home?  What do you put on yours?

 

Dole Shakers – The easiest smoothie ever!

 

Oh my gosh, Dole Shakers are my new favorite thing!   How delicious does this strawberry banana smoothie look?!  I think this just revolutionized the way I have breakfast.  For real, yo.

Do you know about these Dole Shakers yogurt and fruit smoothie kit?  Sold in the freezer section of your local store, this has to be the best idea ever invented.  Especially for those of us worried about swimsuit season and, well, just not pumping our kids full of chemicals and empty calories.

When you first open it, you will see these frozen yogurt balls and fruit pieces.  Looking at it, it is hard to believe that this will turn in to a nice, thick smoothie.  But it will!

The super simple directions are on the back of the container and you just add juice.  That’s it!  The lazy person inside of me is rejoicing!  Especially since I often (always) turn to convenience foods in the morning because I “just don’t have time!” to make something more healthy.  This is even easier to make than a pop tart.  A quick shake and you are ready to drink up.

And while I don’t run off to work in the morning, I am up and about shuttling the kids to school or running errands.  And as most of you moms know, sometimes you have a very small window to get something done and you don’t want to have to stop and eat and waste those precious seconds.  This is shaped perfectly for a cup holder.  All you would do is take the Dole Shakers smoothie cup out of the freezer, give it a quick shake to break up those frozen pieces and pour in your juice.  Then just take it with you and run out the door.  To mix, all you do is shake the container for 30-45 seconds.

My kids adore smoothies.  I reluctantly shared my smoothie with my boys.  My 3 year old drank the whole thing (which is unusual – like his mother, he also prefers carbs to anything else) and my 6 year old told me it was the best smoothie he has ever had!  And I love knowing that when I get that craving for something sweet in the afternoon, these are there to save me from snacking on something terrible for me.

The Dole Shakers don’t take up much room in the freezer.  And I will be keeping them stocked.  This door compartment is now the designated Dole Shakers space.  I saw another blog post that noted they were about $1.50 each at Wal-Mart.  But if you head to the Dole Shakers page, you can download a coupon.

I gave my husband the mixed berry Dole Shakers to try.  There were going to be pictures but he was still in his underwear.  The mixed berry flavor was also very tasty!  He loves to have a smoothie on the weekends and will make them for us in the blender.  But he never makes them on a weekday because it just takes too much time.  I love that he will be able to take one of these with him now.

And because I am a crazy craft hoarder, I also think the  container is going to prove very useful for things…Have you tried the Dole Shakers yet?  Tell me what you think!

*Dole gave me the products to review.  All opinions are mine.  And I love this product.

 

 

Banana Oat Smoothie

How yummy does this banana oat smoothie look?  I probably shouldn’t admit this, but I totally just had to look up how to spell banana.  All I could hear while writing it was Gwen’s voice spelling it but I heard far too many n’s.  Dang.  How am I going to be able to help my kid’s with their homework if I can’t even spell banana?

If you don’t think I am a total loser and are still around, let me tell you about my new favorite breakfast.  It is a banana oat smoothie.  I eat about 3 bananas a year, on average.  They are not my favorite fruit by any means.  But something about this recipe made me want to try it.  And I’ve been trying to get off the ‘Tarts.  Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pop Tarts have always been my weakness and I attribute many a cellulite dimple to them.  This smoothie is delicious and super satisfying.  AND I have found that I make it when I need something sweet at other times of the day and feel so much better about that choice then when I eat a whole bag of Trader Joe’s Kettle Corn.

The excuse I used to tell myself was that I just don’t have time to put breakfast together in the morning and I have to grab something quick.  But if you make it a priority, it quickly becomes part of the routine and you can make it in no time at all.  There is little to no prep and as you get comfortable with your measurements you can put it together even more quickly.  As I am a terrible judge of well, most guess-timations, I will continue to use a measuring cup to make sure I am not adding unneccessary calories.  This recipe is modified a bit from this one on the Martha Stewart page (which was acting all wonky when I was trying to link to it but I think we all know where to find her if you want to see the real recipe).  Here is what you will need:

1 bananananananana

1/4 cup oatmeal (uncooked – not quick cooking)

1/2 cup plain nonfat yogurt

1/2 cup vanilla soymilk

a squeeze of honey (to taste – I don’t like things very sweet so I sometimes don’t even put it in)

dash or two of cinnamon

Add it all to the blender and get to whirring.  The banana does not need to be chopped up, but you should break it up in to at least 3 pieces so that it will blend well.  I chose to use soymilk instead of regular milk because (spoiler alert – it’s about to get gross) it makes me extra phlegmy.  But I don’t like the tang of soy yogurt so that it why I use cow’s milk yogurt in it.  Quite possibly, a dumb substitution but I can tolerate and enjoy it this way, so there.

And why should cocktails have all the fun.  Add some pizzazz to your banana oat smoothie and drink up!  I have also made several variations of this smoothie to change it up.  I’ve added unsweetened cocoa powder – delicious!  I’ve swapped the soymilk for orange juice and added a dash of vanilla – hello creamsicle.  I’ve also added strawberries to change-up the flavor and added other spices, like nutmeg, for a match made in heaven.  Depending on how long you blend it, your oatmeal will either be pretty darn smooth or a little bit more chewy.  I find that this smoothie keeps me full and I feel good about what I am putting in my body.  Then I only have the rest of the day to worry about screwing up my diet.  Believe me.  I can be the world’s worst eater.  We’re talking cupcakes for breakfast, lunch and snack with a grilled cheese dinner.  Not THAT’S bananas.