Coffee, Peanut Butter + Banana Smoothie [featuring FreshGround Roasting]

Coffee, Peanut Butter + Banana Smoothie - Sarah J. Hauser

It's Friday. Phew. Take a breath. I love having a holiday in the middle of the week, but I'm not going to lie. It kinda' throws me off my rhythm a bit (as if I had any rhythm to begin with). Anyone else know what I mean? But alas, the weekend is here and so is this smoothie. 

Summer afternoon—summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.
— Henry James

I've been craving a coffee smoothie lately, but so many of the recipes I've seen contain extra sugars or loads of dairy - both of which I love, but my body doesn't. This one is sweetened with dates and uses almond milk. To make it paleo, use almond butter instead of peanut butter, but there's something about the peanut butter flavor that just can't be beat. If you're not avoiding peanuts for dietary reasons, I highly suggest sticking with that creamy, peanut goodness. 

For the coffee, cold brew iced coffee tastes best. I used FreshGround's ready-to-drink Black Ice Brew. If you use a cold brew concentrate, you may just need to add a little extra almond milk or water to the smoothie. It's a flexible recipe, though, so just taste as you go along!

What are you sipping this weekend? Any favorite summer beverages? I'd love to hear in the comments below!

Coffee, Peanut Butter + Banana Smoothie - Sarah J. Hauser
Coffee, Peanut Butter + Banana Smoothie - Sarah J. Hauser
Coffee, Peanut Butter + Banana Smoothie - Sarah J. Hauser

Coffee, Peanut Butter + Banana Smoothie
Yields 2-3 servings

1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 cup brewed coffee, cold*
2 large bananas
¼ cup creamy peanut butter
3-4 Medjool dates, pitted
1-3 cups ice

Add the almond milk, coffee, bananas, peanut butter, 3 dates, and 1 cup of ice to a blender. Blend until smooth. Add another date if you want it to be sweeter and additional ice to taste. Less ice will give you a richer flavor but a thinner smoothie. More ice tones down the intensity and makes the smoothie thicker. (My personal preference is about 2 heaping cups of ice.)

*Your recipe is only as good as your ingredients, so use good quality coffee! I used FreshGround’s ready-to-drink Black Ice Brew. Cold brewed iced coffee is ideal in this recipe!

Mixed Berry + Cocoa Smoothie [and growing into motherhood]

I watch my son, Josiah, hold onto the old, scratched up coffee table, gripping the edge with his tiny fingers while he shuffles over to the couch. At 10 months, he’s still wobbly, but every day I notice his legs grow sturdier and his confidence stronger.

He also falls. Often. Sometimes his face gets red with frustration when he can’t keep up with his older siblings, and tears well up when he stumbles. But he’s just learning, and stubbornness propels him onward.

I hear the slap of his hands on the hardwood floor as he makes his way to the front stairs. He’s beginning to climb steps now—a milestone I’d prefer to delay. I follow closely behind, because even though he’s gotten quite adept at going up, he hasn’t exactly mastered coming down—or at least coming down safely.

He sets his hands on the first stair and waits for me. The corners of his mouth turn up and his blue eyes squint in excitement. I tentatively “chase” him to the top. He enjoys the game and doesn’t realize I’m actually spotting him. Mama’s not about to let him take another tumble, although it seems to him like that possibility is all part of the fun of it. The threat of falling doesn’t deter him from climbing.

Somewhere along the way, I lost that fearlessness. I started to assume I should be able to walk without ever crawling, to bolt up the stairs without a misstep. In the past, I traveled across the world without the prospect of getting lost holding me back. I applied for jobs without being crippled by the idea of rejection. I jumped into new ventures headfirst simply because I found joy in possibility. But now in the daily work of mothering, I easily forget it’s not only okay to fall, but it's normal, expected, and part of the learning process.

Keep reading and get the recipe at Coffee + Crumbs!

Full post and recipe instructions can be found at Coffee + Crumbs!

Green Breakfast Smoothie [paleo + vegan!]

Green Breakfast Smoothie [paleo + vegan!]

In my ideal world, I’d sit down every morning for a hot breakfast, complete with over-easy eggs served on top of sautéed vegetables with a side of perfectly crisp, thick-cut bacon. One of those recipes is coming soon to the blog, but I usually end up making that type of "breakfast" dish for lunch or dinner. I can barely think straight enough to pour myself a cup of coffee before 10am. Most days I’m scrambling for something to hold me over until my kids’ nap - when I can hopefully eat for a couple uninterrupted minutes. Unfortunately, my grab and go food choices all too often include treats like chocolatey scones and sugar-topped muffins - hardly a nutrient-rich option (but so delicious!).

This past week, I’ve skipped the pastries (OK, not counting the occasional scone) and whipped up a green smoothie to get fruits and vegetables into my system first thing in the morning. This recipe is dairy free and only uses a banana and dates for sweetness. It also has a good dose of fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, iron, and potassium. And best of all? It takes about two minutes to make. Perfect for busy mornings!

What's your go-to quick breakfast? 

Green Breakfast Smoothie [paleo + vegan!]
Green Breakfast Smoothie [paleo + vegan!]
Green Breakfast Smoothie [paleo + vegan!]
Green Breakfast Smoothie [paleo + vegan!]

Green Breakfast Smoothie
Yields 1 (12-14 ounce) serving

3 ounces fresh spinach
⅓ cup unsweetened almond milk
1 medium banana
1 medjool date (add an additional date or two for extra sweetness)
1 Tablespoon unsalted almond butter
4 ounces ice (one big handful)

Add all the ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. Pour into a glass and serve immediately. Enjoy!

This recipe was originally featured at Lark + Linen.

Cherry Almond Smoothie Bowl

Cherry Almond Smoothie Bowl | Sarah J. Hauser

I keep seeing smoothie bowl recipes pop up on food blogs and all over social media, and for a while, I couldn't figure out what the big deal was. But to be honest, after enjoying a few versions of smoothie bowls over the last couple weeks, I've jumped on the bowl bandwagon.

First, they're photogenic. Let's just be honest and admit that's why many of us like posting photos of them on Instagram. Second, it's all about the toppings. I don't know why, but it's just so fun to go crazy with toppings. Whether it's over ice cream, a blended soup, a plate of tortilla chips or a smoothie bowl, these "blank canvas foods" provide a tasty backdrop for whatever we can dream up to throw on them. 

Third - and most important - smoothie bowls require we sit down. I love regular smoothies, but I usually eat them on the run. With a smoothie bowl, you've gotta pull up a chair, grab a spoon and actually sit down and enjoy. It's a breakfast you can whip up quickly, but is meant to be savored. 

Are you a fan of the bowl? What are your go-to toppings? 

Cherry Almond Smoothie Bowl | Sarah J. Hauser
Cherry Almond Smoothie Bowl | Sarah J. Hauser
Cherry Almond Smoothie Bowl | Sarah J. Hauser
Cherry Almond Smoothie Bowl | Sarah J. Hauser

Cherry Almond Smoothie Bowl
Yields about 16 ounces (not including toppings)

1 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 heaping cup frozen, pitted cherries
3 Medjool dates, pitted
2 Tablespoons almond butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4-1/2 cup whole milk
Toppings (such as almonds, unsweetened coconut flakes, chopped dates, chia seeds)

Add the yogurt, cherries, dates, almond butter and vanilla to a blender. Add a splash of milk and blend until smooth. Add additional milk until you reach the desired consistency.

Pour into a bowl and top with your favorite toppings such as almonds, unsweetened coconut flakes, chopped dates or chia seeds. Grab a spoon, dig in and enjoy!