DOES THIS MAKE ME A FOOD BLOGGER?
I’m switching things up this week with a post coming from my own kitchen and giving my wallet (and my waist) a bit of a break. If you ever watch my stories on instagram, you probably already know I’m a huge fan of breakfast bowls. I’ve had a few people message me about the bowls I make, so I figured it was a worthwhile post. PLUS, even if you never come to Seattle, here’s something you can use! I find it easy to just throw a bunch of stuff together that I already have in my kitchen and the result is always delightful. The best part is that it requires very little measuring (I mean you could measure the ingredients, but I don’t), and you can sub ingredients in and out to your heart’s content, based on what you have in your own cupboards. All of these recipes can be made in 15 minutes or less.
I like a little variety with my bowls, so the four types I alternate between are oat bowls, yogurt bowls, açai bowls, and egg bowls. They are ALL delicious in their own right, maybe even unbeliva-bowl? Yikes, let’s get into it.
Caramelized Banana and Steel-Cut Oat Bowl
This one is pretty easy to make and very filling. It’s the type of bowl I make most often. I used to eat my steel-cut oats with just pecans and cinnamon, but I always thought it had the potential to be so much more. And boy was I right. I’ve also recently started adding cocoa nibs to everything, just as a little something extra, but don’t feel like you need them to make this bowl. Steel-cut and plain rolled oats are fairly similar nutritionally (steel-cut has slightly fewer calories and a lower glycemic index), but I prefer steel-cut over old-fashioned rolled oats purely from a textural standpoint. Ok, I also think they taste just a little better. Thats personal preference though, so if all you have is rolled oats, use them! The last thing I’ll say is that you might think the caramelized bananas are a little extra, and you could use just plain old bananas in a pinch, but don’t you think you deserve the caramelized bananas? Don’t your tastebuds deserve those sweet heavenly little berries? I think they do. And yes, that’s right. Bananas are berries. Bet you didn’t know you were coming for breakfast bowls AND knowledge. You’re welcome.
Steel cut oats (1/4-1/3 cup)*
Nuts (personal preference: pecans, pistachio meats, cashews)
Coconut oil (roughly 1-2 tsp, depending on size of pan used)
*Like I said, I rarely measure, but if I had to guess with the oats, I use between 1/4-1/3 cup oats, depending on how hungry I am.
Heat pan with coconut oil (enough to make a thin layer in your pan) on med-high heat. While it’s heating, cut banana into small rounds (about 1/4 inch thick) and add to pan once hot.
While bananas are caramelizing, add oats to bowl and add enough water to just barely cover the oats. If you add too much, your oats will be very wet. Not enough and they’ll be... well, dry. You can always add some water or any type of milk back into the oats after you cook them if they are too dry. Ignore whatever the bag says about cooking them and microwave your oats on high for 2 minutes. I promise this works just fine and they won’t need 10-30 minutes or whatever it says.
Once the 2 minutes are up and your oats are done, check on your bananas. If they are browning on the bottom, they’re ready to flip. If they’re not, give them another minute and then flip them.
While your bananas are finishing caramelizing, add the rest of the ingredients to your bowl and any milk derivative (almond milk works great here) if your oats seem too dry. I like to use a big dollop of almond butter (or PB if you prefer), a small handful of each of the nuts, and a sprinkling of cocoa nibs.
Once your bananas are brown on both sides (this shouldn’t take more than 5 minutes - if it’s taking longer, you may need to increase your heat), add some cinnamon to your bananas and then scoop them into your bowl.
Get your photo for your instagram stories (ok, maybe that part is just me), give it all a good mix, and prepare yourself mentally for the deliciousness you’re about to devour (and then devour it).
Apple Pie Yogurt Bowl
After I started caramelizing my bananas for my oat bowl, I started wondering what other fruits I could throw in a pan before adding them to my morning breakfast. Enter THE APPLE. Groundbreaking, I know. This recipe actually uses a lot of similar ingredients to the oat bowl, but we’re working with a different base and fruit this time around. You can use any kind of yogurt for this but I just discovered goat milk yogurt and it’s seriously the best yogurt. I guess you could say it’s the GOAT (oh, and mom and dad, this means greatest of all time). Before you shut the browser and vow never to read my blog again, just hear me out. I would normally opt for Greek yogurt for the protein content and because it generally has less sugar than regular yogurt; HOWEVER, I checked the labels at Trader Joe’s and the Greek yogurts still had much more sugar than I wanted. I spied the plain goat milk yogurt, rejoiced at the low sugar content, momentarily questioned my decision-making abilities, and decided to give it a try. I like goat cheese, so why not? You guys… It is SO creamy and smooth. It’s not as thick as Greek yogurt, but I actually like that about it. If you see it on the shelf and you’re feeling adventurous, give it a go. It makes such a great addition to this bowl. This recipe is a perfectly acceptable “dessert” breakfast that you don’t have to feel guilty about (not that I would ever shame dessert for breakfast eaters - see doughnuts post).
Yogurt 3/4 cup(ish) - standard serving, but you do you
Almond butter granola
Ghee, butter, or coconut oil (roughly 1 tbsp, depending on size of pan used)
Cut your apples into small chunks and heat your pan with ghee (I use this because I have it, but butter or coconut oil would also work fine) on med-high heat. Add your apples to the pan. You can also choose to add your pecans to the pan if you wish.
While apples are cooking, add yogurt, a good handful of granola (this is like the crust part of your pie, if you will), almond butter, and pecans (if they are not in your pan) to your bowl.
Stir apples frequently and make sure they are all browned (roughly 5 minutes). Once browned, sprinkle with cinnamon and add to the bowl.
That’s it. Now eat your “healthy” apple pie and thank me later.
I’ve actually never bought an açai bowl from a restaurant, so while I think mine are pretty good, I actually have no base of comparison for the “professional” ones. Do with that what you will. This is definitely the most time intensive of all the bowls for me, partially because of the amount of ingredients I add, partially because I have a garbage $20 Amazon blender that needs replacing and takes way too long to blend things. For these reasons, I make it at most once a week, usually on Sundays. This is one where you can really shake up the ingredient list with whatever you have on hand, as long as you have the base. Açai berries are nutrient-dense and full of antioxidants and when you blend them, they make a great base for a bowl. I know açai packets are harder to come buy for my Canadian friends, but I did find an açai powder alternative for you on Amazon.ca! Just search “Kiva Organic Açai Berry Powder” and it should bring up the 4oz package for $21.50. I know that seems pricey, but a serving size is 1 tsp of powder, so it should last you. American friends, Trader Joe’s frozen açai packets is where it’s at. By the way, I’ve added quotation marks to berries, because now that you know bananas are berries, you should probably also know that raspberries and blackberries are not true berries. Blueberries however, are in fact a berry. So are açai. So are avocados, and tomatoes, and peppers. I’m serious. It has something to do with ovaries, or rather one ovary. Google it. While you question your entire existence, I’m going to move on to the ingredients.
Açai purée package (or powder)
Frozen banana (1/2)
Hemp Seeds (1 tbsp)
Chia Seeds (1 tbsp)
“Berries” (personal preference: raspberries, blackberries, blueberries)
Nuts (personal preference: pecans, cashews, pistachios)
Coconut chunks or flakes
In a blender, add açai, 1/2 a frozen banana (chopped up), a dollop of peanut butter, and a splash of coconut milk. Blend, and adding small amounts coconut milk until you get the desired consistency. You want it to be the thickness of a smoothie. Too much coconut milk, and your smoothie bowl will be more like soup. If you’ve added too much, try adding more banana or peanut butter to thicken it back up.
Once your base is added to your bowl, sprinkle on the rest of the ingredients and you’re good to go! In true instagram fashion, you can sprinkle them on in little rows to show off all of the goods.
This is the part where you eat it and then make sure you tell everyone what a delicious and healthy breakfast you had.
Don’t feel limited by the ingredients I listed. This bowl is your oyster. You could also add things like banana slices, pineapple, mango, kiwi, strawberries (also not a berry), almonds, granola, or anything else your heart desires (except I’m sure there are some limits as to what would taste ok mixed with açai - for example, oysters).
Savory Scrambled Egg, Avocado & Sweet Potato Bowl
Sometimes I’m in the mood for something a little more savory and this is the one that does the trick for me. This bowl has only a couple of main ingredients, and I bet you can guess what they are, though I also bet you won’t guess one of the key ingredients in the scrambled eggs. This ingredient is packed with protein and ensures your scrambled eggs are going to be nice and fluffy. Cottage cheese. If you stuck with me through the goat milk yogurt, hear me out with this one too. I feel like it’s fairly common knowledge that adding milk to your scrambled eggs makes them fluffy. I had some whole milk in my fridge that I needed to use up from baking (I very rarely have regular milk in my fridge), so I was adding it to my eggs and it took my scrambled eggs to the next level. Then it ran out and my eggs were sad. BUT WAIT. What if I added some full fat cottage cheese instead? Would my eggs be as fluffy as with the milk? Abso-frickin-lutely. If you’re worried about the texture, don’t be. Once the eggs are all scrambled, you won’t even notice the curds. I tested this on my husband. He hates the texture of cottage cheese, but I secretly fed it to him in the eggs and he was none the wiser. PROOF. So not only will you have mega fluffy little clouds of eggs, you’re also getting all the added protein and nutrients from the cottage cheese. Now that I hopefully have you convinced, let’s proceed.
Cottage cheese (optional)
Sweet potato, cubed (1/2)
Coconut oil (1 tsp)
“Everything but the Bagel” seasoning**
Hot sauce (bonus points for using Valentinas)
Peel and chop up half a sweet potato into small chunks. Meanwhile, heat pan over med heat with 1 tsp of coconut oil. Add sweet potato to pan. Stir occasionally while cooking.
After the sweet potato has been cooking for a minute two (they’ll need a head start), heat another pan on med heat (adding oil if it is not nonstick), and once hot, add in two eggs. After about 30 seconds, use your spatula to mix the eggs around the pan and get your scramble on. Continue lifting and folding the eggs towards the center of the pan, stopping to occasionally stir sweet potatoes.
Once the eggs are almost cooked, add in large spoonful of cottage cheese and mix well. Do not add the cottage cheese too early, or it can be difficult to gauge the readiness of the eggs. Continue cooking until ready.
If all was timed well, your sweet potatoes should be finished cooking around the same time as your eggs. They take about 5-6 minutes to cook and should be nicely browned. If they haven’t browned, they’ll still be firm, and you want them to be on the softer side. Add your sweet potato, eggs, and avocado (slice it up, if you haven’t already) to the bowl.
Top with EBTB seasoning** and hot sauce.
** CANADIAN FRIENDS, I know how terribly deprived you are of Trader Joe’s products and Everything but the Bagel Seasoning, and I wish I could be an EBTB seasoning mule for you all, but I can’t, so I’ve got the next best thing. A recipe! It’s not mine, because I live in walking distance from a TJ’s and am far too lazy to figure it out for myself, but I did search online, so here you go:
Okay, well that about sums it up. If I’m not eating one of these bowls for breakfast, I’m usually eating some sort of homemade breakfast sandwich or toast, but that might be a post for another time. If you do try any of these, let me know what you think! All of this breakfast bowl talk has made me hungry, so I’m off to eat. Bye!