Mixed-Berry Chocolate Coffee Protein Smoothie Bowl

photo 3One of the best things about being on vacation is having big globs of time that you can fill with whatever nonsensical activity that you please. I often find myself wandering around Whole Foods after my workouts, with no intention or need to buy anything. I take mental inventory of things that might be interesting to try in the future, and make notes of prices to compare to those of other grocery stores before strolling out towards the subway station. Oh to live this leisurely life all the time. On second thought, I guess it’s good that I don’t since it makes me appreciate it all the more when I can.

So that little spiel was all to say that with my new-found life of leisure, it isn’t necessary for me to plan to post recipes days or weeks in advance. If I stumble upon something yummy, I can just hop on the computer and get the goods to you guys immediately.

I’ve been doing the smoothie thing a fair amount since I’ve been back in Chicago. Because I’m not in my own kitchen, with all of my spices, ingredients, and gadgets, I’ve been trying to keep things as simple as possible. Smoothies are a great way to do that. They’re also awesome for early morning workouts (like the 7:15 “Shredded” class I had yesterday because I’m insane!) because you can make them the night before and store this in the fridge for a quick breakfast that fuels a good workout.

My adventures in Smoothie Land have, ironically, not been that smooth. I dabbled in the green smoothie thing last week with no real success. I love the idea of having greens in my smoothie but masking the flavor without adding a ton of sugar or sugary things was challenging. I felt bad because my friend Liz was visiting and she fell victim to my green smoothie experiments. She was a good sport about it but I know that they weren’t up to bar. Sure, they were edible but sometimes edible just isn’t enough…

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Recently, I’ve been getting into the whole smoothie bowl thing. While eating a smoothie from a bowl with a spoon in some ways make it less of an on-the-go meal, there are some great perks to eating smoothies instead of drinking them. Well really, there is only one perk but it’s enough to make me a fan. YOU CAN ADD TOPPINGS. Despite the capitalization of that last sentence, some of you might be thinking that it’s actually not that bag of a deal. I would like to argue that it is, in fact, a big deal to be able to add toppings as it opens up exciting possibilities for taste and texture.

I’m obsessed with nuts. I love the taste. I love the nutrients. But mostly, I love the crunch. Yeah, drinkable smoothies are great and I get that they’re called smoothies for a reason but there’s nothing like a little crunch. The ability to add nuts and other crunchy things gives the smoothie bowl a significant advantage over its drinkable counterpart in my book.

Okay. So now that I’ve talked about this smoothie bowl thing waaayy to seriously, I’m just post the recipe. This post is becoming a clear indication of how much time I have on my hands.

Mixed-Berry Chocolate Coffee Protein Smoothie Bowl

  • 1/2 frozen large banana (or a whole small one)
  • 1/2 C frozen mixed berries (I used blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries)
  • 1/4 C- 1/2 C coffee ( I used decaf) (This is the only liquid used in the smoothie so adjust the amount for your prefered thickness)
  • 1 scoop protein powder of choice (I used grass-fed vanilla whey)
  • 1 T almond butter
  • 1/2 T cocoa powder

Blend it up. Put it in a bowl. Throw some toppings on it. I added fresh blueberries, almonds, and flax seeds. Next time, I’m definitely adding chopped dark chocolate chunks. I just have to.





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