Banana Chai Smoothie Bowl with Almonds + Blueberries

Nothing is better on a warm summer morning than a smoothie bowl! Blend up this perfect combination of chai spice, bananas and vanilla then top with sweet + crunch fixings for the most perfect way to start the day!

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Smoothie bowls - are they something that you are familiar with? They are one of those things that seem to be popping up everywhere and are almost always picture perfect!

Now for me, these bowls became a big part of my life when my parents opened an Acai Smoothie Bowl Food Truck. We taste-tested many many variations until they came up with the perfect combination for the smoothie base and topping combinations! Needless to say, even when we are not in taste testing mode I still tend to eat a smoothie bowl or two when I visit them.

So after my visit last week I knew that I needed to make a bowl of my own. Now, of course, I can't give away their secret recipe so I have gone in a completely different direction and do a straight banana base rather than berries and Acai.

For me, the flavours that go particularity well with banana are warm spices - aka cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg or…. Chai Spice! If you're going to use warm spices in your base the toppings you choose need to complement and not compete. Blueberries, almonds, coconut, almond butter and the perfect options as all of those flavours are mellow enough to not overpower the chai but rather enhance it perfectly.

So whip up your own Insta-worthy bowl tomorrow morning, though consider this a warning, your friends may all be requesting their own bowls once they see your creation!

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prep time 10 minutes

blend time 5

total time 15 minutes

servings 1 - 2

Ingredients

2 large or 3 medium frozen bananas

1 1/2 tsp chai spice

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 coconut milk

1/2 cup coconut

1/2 cup granola

1/2 cup blueberries

4 tbsp almonds shavings

4 tbsp almond butter

drizzle of honey (optional)

Instructions

In your vitamix or high powered blender combine frozen bananas, cinnamon, vanilla and coconut milk. Blend until smooth and no chunks remain.

Divide blended banana between 2 bowls and top with granola, blueberries, almond shavings and almond butter. Drizzle with honey for added sweetness.

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Summer Fruit + Honey Pavlova

This fresh and light dessert is the perfect ending to any summertime meal.

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So, here is what I love the most about Pavlova - it looks amazing and oh so fancy, yet is actually super easy to make. If you can make whip cream, you can make Pavlova. Honestly, all you are doing is beating, then beating some more. It takes a bit of patience, but if you have that, your set!

Now let’s talk about the toppings. Your options are endless, I mean how good would it be with cherries and almonds or sweet juicy peaches. This is the perfect dessert to make if you have a bunch of fruit to use up and want to feel fancy.

Now if you haven’t ever had Pavlova it’s basically a meringue topped with whip cream and fruit. The meringue centre is like a soft delicious marshmallow with a crispy coating. If you have a tough time getting it out of the pan and some of it breaks don’t fret, you're covering the entire top in whip cream so no one will have any clue that it wasn’t perfect.

This version I made in a springform pan but you can also line a baking sheet in tin foil and spread your meringue into a circle - but if you have a springform pan use it. It gives you a perfectly uniform shape and allows you to put it on any serving tray or platter without any challenges.

So next time you want to wow your friends make this Summer Fruit + Honey Pavlova - I promise, everyone will be instantly in love!

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prep time 30 minutes

cook time 1 hour + 1 hour to rest

total time 2 hours 30 minutes

servings 6

Meringue Ingredients

4 egg whites at room temperature

1 cup white sugar

1 tsp corn starch

1 tsp white vinegar

1 tsp vanilla

Topping Ingredients

1 cup whip cream

2 tbsp white sugar

1 tsp vanilla

1 kiwi

1/2 cup raspberries

1/2 cup blueberries

1/2 cup strawberries

2 tbsp honey

Instructions

Preheat oven to 250. Cover the bottom of an 8 inch spring form pan with tinfoil then set aside.

in a large bowl or a stand mixer place egg whites that are at room temperature and beat until the eggs make soft peaks.

To the eggs slowly add in sugar and corn starch and beat until it becomes stiff (this could take up to 10 minutes). Once your eggs are stiff take a small amount and rub it between your fingers being sure that it is smooth and you do not feel any sugar remaining. if you do, continue to beat until it is completely smooth. Add in vinegar and vanilla and beat another 1 minute to fully incorporate.

Pour your meringue into the prepared springform pan then bake for 60 minutes then turn off the heat and allow it to sit in the oven for another 60 minutes (do not open the door during this time).

Once cooled carefully remove it from the spring form pan using a knife to help release the sides if needed.

In a medium bowl or your stand mixer place your whip cream, sugar and vanilla and beat until thick and creamy.

Evenly spread your whip cream over the entire merengue then top with your blueberries, raspberries, strawberries and kiwi. Drizzle with honey then serve.

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Coconut Milk Risotto with Lemon Blueberry Compote

This Coconut Milk Risotto with Lemon Blueberry Compote is so creamy and delicious, it's a great treat any time of the day. Plus, it’s dairy-free and vegan, so you can serve this dish to anyone!

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So, this coconut milk risotto is very controversial in my house. Is it breakfast or dessert? In my world this is dessert. I can’t really imagine eating it first thing in the morning, but Aaron grew up having rice porridge for breakfast, so he thinks this is the perfect way to start the day!

One thing I will say is that if you're going to "carb it up" doing it earlier in the day is always a better plan, so perhaps breakfast is the best option. Or, we could just meet in the middle and call it dessert for breakfast win-win!

Now, before you get upset with me, I know this isn't exactly how you traditionally make risotto, but you do still use the general principles - cook slow and stir often. Also since your using arborio rice, it's so creamy like a good risotto always is. I highly recommend using white vanilla extract if you have it available. If you don't have it in your cupboard don't fret, it will taste just as good with regular vanilla, you just won't achieve that bring white colour.

So, what side are you on - breakfast or dessert?

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prep time 6 minutes

cook time 35 minutes

total time 40 minutes

servings 4

Ingredients

1.5 cup coconut water

1 cup arborio rice

2 cans light coconut milk

2 tbsp white vanilla

6 tbsp white sugar

Instructions

In a large pot bring coconut water to a boil then reduce heat and add in arborio rice. Stir constantly until water is fully absorbed.

Add in the coconut milk, vanilla, and sugar and cook over medium heat for 10-15 minutes or until rice is soft and most of the liquid has been absorbed and your risotto is creamy.

Serve either warm or chilled with lemon blueberry compote.

Lemon Blueberry Compote

2 cups fresh blueberries

3 tbsp water

1/4 cup honey

1 lemon

In a small sauce pan combine 1 cup of the blueberries, water, honey and juice of the lemon. Simmer for 10 minutes stirring often. Add in remaining cup of blueberries and simmer another 5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

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