Ruby Red Smoothie Bowl

How about a holiday inspired antioxidant-packed smoothie bowl?

Ruby Red Smoothie Bowl

A couple of months ago, I created decadent vegan orange-flavored shortbread cookies topped with a uber-shiny cranberry glaze for the company Karen’s Naturals, using their freeze dried cranberries. After I had tested and shot these cookies, I still had a bit of cranberries left so it was the perfect opportunity to get creative, take out my blender and use them in another festive recipe!

If you’ve been following my blog or Instagram page for a while, you might know that I have a soft spot for red fruits - pomegranates, raspberries, strawberries, cherries and of course cranberries. I find each one of them has magical flavor boosting abilities. They can bring to the next level all smoothies, salads, toasts, cakes, oatmeal bowls, sundaes and even a curries; yep, next time you make your favorite coconut curry, try serving it with a couple of pomegranate arils. GAME CHANGING!

Because of their lovely flavor & since I hadn’t really put more than two of these fruits together in one recipe, I thought, why not create a delicious ruby red smoothie bowl packed with antioxidants!

Ruby Red Smoothie Bowl

Regarding the flavor profile of the freeze dried cranberries I used, you must know that they are very tart. Their sweetness level is far from dried cranberries; it is rather more comparable with fresh cranberries. That is why they work so well in this smoothie bowl. Because, they are paired with very sweet fruits like strawberries, bananas, dates and pomegranates, their acidity is beautifully balanced.

When reading the ingredient list, you might wonder why there is a random zucchini in there... Well, when I make smoothies, I like to add at least one serving of veggies (why not;)). Most times, I opt for kale or spinach, but in this case, I really did not want the beautiful red color to dulled by the green of spinach or kale. Zucchini was therefore the perfect substitute; it is a vegetable as well, BUT also has a completely white interior, which really does not affect the color of your final smoothie. Do not worry about the peel either, I kept it on, and look how bright red the bowl turned out ;)

If you have never tried adding a zucchini into your smoothies, you might be surprised by how much creaminess they add – it’s actually mind blowingly delicious, considering just how little calories it has, compared to avocado or nut butters let’s say. 

Ruby Red Smoothie Bowl

Finally, this smoothie bowl contains a couple of “superfood” add-ins like hemp hearts, flax seeds, moringa and amla powder. All except the hemp hearts are optional. I just personally like to add flax seeds for omega 3s as well as moringa and amla powders for added antioxidants. All 3 do no alter the flavor of the smoothie so if you don’t have any of those on hand, no worries, just leave them out!

On that note, I really hope you guys make this smoothie; its super quick and easy to make. It is super fruity, packed with vitamins and is perfect for breakfast or as a snack J If you do end up making it, share it on IG & tag me @muriellebanackissa

Ruby Red Smoothie Bowl

Prep time : 5 minutes
Cooking time : -
Total time : 5 minutes
Yield : 1 smoothie bowl

INGREDIENTS

1 cup frozen strawberries
1 frozen banana, sliced
1 cup freeze dried cranberries (I used Karen’s Naturals Just Cranberries) *
1 zucchini, sliced
1-2 pitted dates (to taste)
1 cup unsweetened plant based milk
1/2 cup filtered water
1 tbsp hemp hearts
1 tbsp ground flax seeds (optional)
1 tsp moringa (optional)
1 tsp amla powder (optional)

Suggested toppings:
Freeze dried cranberries
Hemp hearts
Goji berries
Fresh raspberries
Pomegranate seeds
Raw cashews

STEPS

  1. Add all ingredients to the blender and blend until smooth.

  2. Transfer to a bowl and garnish with your favorite toppings.

NOTE:
*
If you only have fresh or frozen cranberries on hand: Swap out the freeze dried cranberries with 1/2 cup of fresh or frozen cranberries.

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Ruby Red Smoothie Bowl
 

Fall Inspired Burrito Wrap

Is anyone else already a bit nostalgic that as the days go by, we are saying goodbye to our beloved autumn? I definitely am. I feel like this season went by so fast - granted it is not technically done, but fall as we know it, with golden leaves and double layers of sweaters, is long gone here in Montreal.

Yesterday morning, I woke up to a thermometer displaying -10ºC and the window by my office overlooking a leafless tree... Today, first major snow fall here! Oh well I guess it’s just means it’s time to take out my two piece Christmas red flannel pyjama ;)

Fall Inspired Burrito Wrap

Although we are entering the colder months, fall produce still occupies a big part of the groceries’ fresh produce aisle which makes me extremely happy! Fall fruits and veggies are some of my favorites.

I absolutely adore all squash.
Pomegranates are fruits from the gods.
Brussel sprouts are so simple to prepare and yet when paired with garlic and a bit of nooch (nutritional yeast) are absolutely DIVINE.
Cranberries’ acidity is delectable in any dessert and works surprisingly well in many savoury dishes.
Sweet potatoes. Yep, sweet potatoes are just awesome, no explanation needed. 
Apples. I mean talk about a versatile fruit: from eating them raw as a snack, to pureeing them, caramelizing them, roasting them and enjoying them in any dessert unimaginable, there is a reason apples are one of autumn’s signature fruit. 

Fall Inspired Burrito Wrap

Now that you are a bit more familiar with my love for fall and its produce, let me introduce you to this burrito. It’s called Fall Inspired Burrito Wrap for a reason; it not only contains 1 or 2 or 3 fall ingredients but a total of SIX fresh fall ingredients: butternut squash, Brussel sprouts, cranberries, sweet potatoes, garlic and shallots!

Making this burrito might require a bit of meal prep as it includes my Butternut Squash and Kalamata Olives Hummus as well as some of my Sugar Free Cranberry Sauce, but once you’ve made those, putting this burrito together should be a piece of cake and I promise you the result will be 100% worth it!

When I tested the recipe, my boyfriend and I shared one and as we both took a bite, we looked at each other with big eyes & immediately, I knew this one was one for the books.

All the different layers of flavours go so well together! I love the acidity from the cranberry sauce, which is beautifully balanced by the creaminess and saltiness from the butternut squash hummus. The slightly caramelized Brussel sprouts also complement so well the smokey sweet potatoes…ouff… I wish I had one right now as I am writing this.

Honestly this burrito would be perfect at any time of the day - for breakfast, pre lunch snack, lunch, post lunch snack, dinner, and midnight snack ;) Did I mention it’d be a great pre and post workout snack?

On a more serious note, I think you guys would really enjoy this one. If you do end up making it, make sure to share it on social media and tag me at @muriellebanackissa.

Fall Inspired Burrito Wrap

Prep time : 15 minutes
Cooking time : 30 minutes
Total time : 45 minutes
Yield : 4 burritos

INGREDIENTS

Roasted Sweet Potatoes
4 cups diced sweet potato
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground pepper

Sautéed Brussel Sprouts
1 tsp olive oil
2 shallots, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
5 cups finely chopped Brussel Sprouts
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper, to taste

4 tortilla wraps (I used Food For Life’s Gluten Free Tortillas)
4 heaping tbsp Butternut Squash and Kalamata Olives Hummus
4 heaping tbsp Sugar Free Cranberry Sauce
2 cups cooked wild rice (or other grain of choice)

STEPS

  1. Prepare the roasted sweet potatoes by lining a baking sheet with parchment paper and preheating the oven to 400ºF.

  2. Transfer sweet potatoes on the baking dish and season with smoked paprika, cumin, salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Bake for 20 minutes or until fork tender.

  3. In the meantime, prepare the sautéed Brussel sprouts by heating olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Add shallots and sauté until starting to brown.

  4. Decrease heat, add garlic and Brussel sprouts. Cook until the Brussel Sprouts become soft and the edges start to caramelize.

  5. Add balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper to taste. Remove from the heat.

  6. To assemble your burritos, roll out a large tortilla wrap. Spread 1 tablespoon of Butternut Squash and Kalamata Olives Hummus and 1 tablespoon of Sugar Free Cranberry Sauce. Add 1/4 cup of wild rice, roasted sweet potatoes and sautéed Brussel sprouts. Roll up and place seam down while you roll the other 3 burritos.

  7. Enjoy as is or place them seam down into a frying pan and grill on both sides until brown and crispy to your liking.

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Fall Inspired Burrito
 

Sugar Free Cranberry Sauce

The holidays are right around the corner and I am sooo excited! My Instagram feed has started to be flooded with incredible looking holiday treats and I am seriously thinking of starting to catalog the ones I want to make for Christmas and New Years Eve dinner.

So far some of the ones that really caught my attention are:

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  • Many of Avant Garde Vegan’s recipes from his latest cookbook Vegan Christmas, including his Festive Nut Roast Wreath, his cheeses and much more!

In the meantime, I am still enjoying some of fall’s most delicious produce like Brussel sprouts, squash, pomegranates, sweet potatoes and of course cranberries!

I tend to buy cranberries in bulk and, if I don’t need them for a particular recipe, I simply freeze them to use throughout the winter.

Sugar Free Cranberry Sauce

As you may know by now, I am a lover of all things sugar free. I regularly transform some of my favorite recipes and sweeten them solely with dates, date sugar or maple syrup - sometimes with success & other times with not so much success.

This cranberry sauce was a success! In the past, I used to make it the traditional way (with white sugar or lots of maple syrup), but recently decided to challenge myself and make it with as little maple syrup as possible and adding some applesauce instead.

I like using this sauce in wraps, sandwiches, tacos, in dressings and simply enjoying it as a condiment the same way I would eat ketchup and mustard - I tried eating it with stuffing I made for a client: out of this world! 

Anyways, just like any sauce, the possibilities are endless with this cranberry sauce. If you decide to make it, feel free to share it on social media and tag me @muriellebanackissa.

Sugar Free Cranberry Sauce

Prep time : 5 minutes
Cooking time : 20 minutes
Total time : 25 minutes
Yield : 1 1/2 cups

INGREDIENTS

2 1/2 cup fresh cranberries
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup water
1/4 tsp pepper
1-2 tbsp maple syrup (optional)

STEPS

  1. Add cranberries, applesauce and water to a small saucepan and heat over high heat.

  2. When it starts boiling, reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 15 minutes or until the cranberries are soft, mixing every 5 minutes or so.

  3. Add pepper and maple syrup to taste.

  4. Remove from heat and let cool before transferring to a jar. Keep in the fridge for up to two weeks.

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Sugar Free Cranberry Sauce