Healthy Chocolatey Banana Smoothie

Kid tested, dad approved

Hail to the super food drink that’s deliciously smooth, and a healthy way to start the morning. It’s also a better alternative to a rich cake or sundae. My hubs loves his smoothies and the kids love them too. Smoothies are simple to make and require only a handful of ingredients. The recipe below can make 2.5 to 3 large drinks. For little tykes, you can divvy up and pour into smaller cups.

Smoothie History

A smoothie is basically that cold frothy beverage made from pureed fruit (sometimes veg) and combined with ice, milk, or juice. You’ll often find nut butters incorporated into chocolate smoothies. A smoothie is a healthier cousin to milkshakes.

Smoothies go back to the turbulent 1930’s when health food stores started making and selling them. All thanks to the invention of the electric blender.  The term “smoothie” found its way in recipes during this decade. By the late ’60s, they were more widely distributed via ice cream vendors and health food stores. Smoothie bars came about in the ’70s.

Smoothies are ubiquitous now. Walk into any grocery store, coffee shop, Starbucks, chain restaurant, and gym, and you can order one up. They come bottled up, or made to order.  Some smoothies contain a scary amount of calories, packing 600-1000 calories in a single serving!

When possible, make it at home. It takes you <5 minutes.

Chocolatey Banana Smoothie Recipe

The ingredients are simple. The only appliance you need is an electric blender. We like the Ninja blender.

Assemble your ingredients
Get your ingredients together. Almond milk, organic cacao powder, bananas, raw honey, almond butter, and monk fruit (powdered form).

Assembling ingredients
Gather all your smoothie ingredients

Toss into the blender
Place sliced bananas, ice cubes, cacao powder, unsweetened almond milk, almond butter, monk fruit powder, and raw honey.

Ingredients go into the blender
Toss all your ingredients into the blender container

Blend for up to 2 minutes
After securely placing the lid, blend for up to 2 minutes. Everything should be well combined.

Blend your smooth
Ready, set, blend!

Serve it up with love
Smoothies look great in a tall glass, or a cool stainless steel cup. Add a small detail like a colorful paper straw when you serve it up to loved ones.

Chocolate smoothie
Yummy smoothie that’s good on the tummy

Ingredients

– 2 bananas
– 1 cup almond milk (unsweetened)
– 3 tbsp of almond butter
– 2 tbsp of cacao powder
– 1 tbsp of raw honey
– 1/2 tsp of monk fruit
– 1 1/2 cup of ice cubes

Optional chocolate spice version, include:
– 1 inch fresh ginger (sliced)
– 1/2 tsp of cinnamon

Optional chocolate mint version, include:
– fresh mint leaves (small bunch)

Monk fruit usage advice (if you’re a newb)
As a word of caution, don’t overdo the monk fruit sweetener. A little goes a long way. It’s extracted from a small melon native to China and Thailand, and has been used for centuries in traditional Eastern medicine. You can buy monk fruit in dried and powdered forms.

Enjoy for breakfast, post work-out, or dessert
Have a smoothie without the sugar crash! It’s a favorite in our home, and the hubs is the master smoothie maker. Kid tested, dad approved!

Yummy smoothie
Kid tested! Dad approved

Instant Pot sous vide egg bites (breakfast with love)

Healthy-ish sous vide eggfast

When I consider healthy alternatives to regular egg dishes, I think of poaching and boiling eggs. Sous vide opens up more options. This recipe makes 7 servings, perfect for a weekend brunch. You can even save and reheat the next day.

What is sous vide?

Sous vide has become popularized in the culinary world. A French term, it literally translates to “under vacuum”, and it applies to a method of cooking in which food is sealed in an airtight plastic pouch or a glass jar, and cooked in a bath of hot water or steam environment for a long cooking time (i.e. 1 to 7 hours+). The temperature is regulated during the entire duration of the cooking process. 

[Optional] appliances that make it easy-peasy

You can find best-selling appliances online like the ChefSteps Joule (list price: $199) or the Anova Culinary Precision Cooker (list price: $149). These nifty gadgets create the right temperature control by heating up the water in a pot. You can monitor the process through an app on your smartphone. The art of sous vide means there is absolutely zero contact with flames or smoke. What’s great about this French method of cooking is that you forego the need for unnecessary oils and butter. 

But, all you need is an Instant Pot

The beauty of the Instant Pot Egg Bites is that you enjoy the sous vide execution without other appliances. I used the 6 Qt Instant Pot. It’s very simple to make, and you can add your own creative flare.

In my case, I used heart-shaped silicone egg bite molds, which you can buy on Amazon. An alternative heart version can be found here. I also have a set of adorable food punch-out cutters, which I use to dress up kid lunches, and weekend brunch. 🙂

Heart-shaped (IP) recipe – made with LOVE

So, let’s get started with making the recipe. Nothing says I love you like a beautiful heart-shaped breakfast. The family and kids love it. You can accompany your eggfast with an expresso, English Breakfast tea, or a bubbly mimosa.

Get the Instant Pot ready
Pour (1) cup of water into the bottom of the pot, and place a metal (or silicone) trivet on the bottom (as you don’t want the egg mold sitting in the water).

Prep strawberries and punch out hearts
Take a carton full of ripe strawberries. Rinse them, remove the stems and then halve the strawberries. Then use the heart-shaped fruit cutter and punch out hearts. Set it aside.

Prep the egg dish ingredients
You’ll need five large brown eggs and a large mixing bowl. Prep your diced ham and/or pre-cooked breakfast sausage, diced tomatoes, and shredded cheese. You can sprinkle some wonderful Herbs de Provence in keeping with the French origin of sous vide.

I used diced rosemary ham and a turkey sausage patty. If you’re vegetarian, you can sub with vegan breakfast sausage or do without it. Same goes for cheese if you’re lactose sensitive, opt for a non-dairy version like Daiya mozzarella style shreds.

You’ll also want to add 1/4 cup of milk. I used almond milk, but you can use a milk of your choice.

In the mixing bowl, blend or stir all the ingredients together (eggs, cheese, ham, sausage, tomatoes, milk, and herbs). If using a blender, you can pulse for about half a minute.

Egg mixture
Blend all the ingredients in the egg mixture

Pour the egg mixture into the molds
You can lightly grease the molds with olive oil spray. There are seven reservoirs, so pour the egg mixture into each all the way to the top. The carefully place the mold tray onto the trivet resting in the Instant Pot. You’ll want to keep your hands steady for this part.

Egg mixture in egg molds
Pour egg mixture into the molds

Pressure cook on high for 8 minutes
Close the top of the Instant Pot lid and turn dial to sealing position. Turn on the manual setting at high pressure for 8 minutes. You can let the steam release naturally.

Voilà! Your egg bites are perfectly cooked.

IMG_6153

For presentation purposes, I take a plate and cover it with paper towels and carefully flip the egg bites out of the molds. The paper towels removes the excess moisture.

Toast some bread
Eggs and toast go well together. You can toast some bread and lay it out on a toasting rack. Your company can butter and jam their toast to their liking.

Heart-shaped presentation
For presentation, use a nice wooden board and cover it with a sheet of parchment paper. Arrange the egg bites on the board with some gaps, so you can add the heart-shaped strawberries.

Breakfast with love
Breakfast with L-O-V-E


Ingredients

– 5 large brown eggs
– 1/4 cup almond milk
– 1/3 cup diced tomatoes
– 1/4 cup shredded cheese (mozzarella and cheddar)
– 2 slices of ham or turkey (diced)
– 1 savory breakfast sausage patty (diced)
– 1/2 tsp herbs de provence

– Olive oil spray (grease the mold tray)
– 1 cup water

– 1 carton of ripe strawberries

– Several slices of toast

Things used
– Instant Pot pressure cooker
– Trivet (goes inside Instant Pot)
– Silicone egg mold tray
– Fruit/veggie shape cutter (heart)

Hope you enjoy the sous vide eggs. Lots of love went into this dish. 😉