Quick Healthy Breakfast: Strawberry Banana Bowl.

BerryBowl

January is the time where a lot of people make it their goal to eat healthy and to get fit. This can be a difficult process if you just jump right into it. Acai bowls are a yummy treat that is super popular here in California. I know a lot of places don’t carry acai packets in their grocery store, so I decided to create a “faux acai bowl”. This is definitely a cheaper alternative and can be made many different ways. I don’t usually eat breakfast (I know! Shame on me!) because I’m not big on breakfast food. But I love fruit and this is an easy way for me to get my fruit intake for the day and fuel my body.

items

Ingredients*

handful of strawberries (or berries of choice)

1 Banana (half for the blend and other half for topping)

1/2 cup-1 cup of granola or crunchy cereal

1 cup almond milk

1 1/2 cups of ice (you can add more to your liking)

extras

bee pollen

coconut shreds

honey/ agave

chia seeds

-Pretty much anything you like-

*All ingredients are based on personal taste and can be changed up with what is available to you

-About some of the ingredients that are less familiar-.

chiaseeds

Chia seeds- These crunchy little seeds are a great way to add some fiber and protein to your diet. They are high in omega 3 fatty acids and give your food some extra crunch. Beware that if you leave them in liquid it will turn it into a jelly like consistency which could cause texture issues for people. The jelly it creates is also a good substitute for eggs in baking.

beepollen

Bee Pollen- It is said that bee pollen gives you energy and is a good source of vitamins and minerals. I just had it in my fridge and I’m just trying to use it up in creative ways. It is pretty crunchy and to me it has a bitter after taste that might not appeal to everyone. WARNING!- if you are allergic to pollen or bees I would not suggest eating this for obvious reasons. 

choppedfruit

I have a Vitamix Blender which is a pretty powerful blender but for those of you who don’t have one, it is best to chop up your fruits into small pieces to help your blender process it better. I only used half of a banana for the berry blend and tried to save the other half for the toppings but I got hungry and ate the other half…oops.

blender1Blender2

Combine strawberries, bananas, almond milk, and ice in your blender. Blend until everything is combined and it has reached your desired consistency. I like mine a bit on the thicker side to mimic an acai bowl. TIP- freezing your fruit is a good way to ensure you get a thick blend.

finished bowl

Pour your blend into a bowl and assemble your toppings as you like. Serve and eat immediately. ENJOY!

TIPS

-If you don’t have a blender you can always create a parfait and use yogurt instead of the berry blend.

-If you have left over berry blend then you can put it in a freezer bag and use it as a pre-made mix in your blender. Just add almond milk  and the frozen mixture into your blender and blend away! This is good for people who meal prep for the week. Make your mix the night before and portion it out and freeze so its easy to make every morning.

Thank you again for reading and I hope you have a wonderful day!!

* This post is dedicated to my younger cousin who loves strawberry banana smoothies and acai bowls 🙂

DIY Valentine’s Day 2015 Gift Idea: Sharpie mug

February is on it’s way and although it is still January, store shelves are already stocked with Valentine’s Day items. While handing out the generic Valentine’s Day card is nice, handing out something that is personalized and handmade is a great way to show someone you care. Why not try your hand with a homemade sharpie mug filled with candy and tea. Your family and friends will be impressed with your artistic abilities and your thoughtfulness.

finishedmug

Cup

– Plain oven safe mug (any color you want or fine)

-Oil based sharpie paint pen

mug1 sharpie mug2

I found my mugs at the 99 cent store but you can fine plain mugs at Michael’s. I even found some nice ones at Ross.

3cup design

Find your favorite quote or design and let your creativity take over. If you don’t like your design you can simply remove it with rubbing alcohol and start all over. The great thing about these mugs is that you can customize it to fit whoever you are making it for!

oven

Place your mugs into the oven BEFORE you preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Doing this allows your mugs to heat up with the oven and reduces your risk of cracking the cup. After you turn your oven on, set a timer for 30 minutes. Once your 3o minutes is up, turn your oven off and let your mugs cool completely in the oven. While your mugs cool you can start making your personalized tea bags.

cup1 cup2 cup3

Homemade Tea Package

-Assorted tea bags

-Paper in assorted colors

-Heart stickers

-Chalk board sticker labels (or whatever labels you like and find)

– Scissors

-Glue

-Tape

teabags tea boxes

Pick your favorite tea or maybe a flavor you think your loved one would enjoy and remove it from the package.

removetag

Remove the tag at the end of the tea bag. You will be creating your own personalized tea bag tag.

indexpaper cutindex foldtag

Take any plain paper (I used an index card because I thought it was thicker than printer paper) and cut it into thick strips. Fold your strip in half ensuring you have enough room to write your message.

cuttagcorners

For fun I cut the edges off of the tab to create the look of the tea bag tag.

writeaspecialnotes tapetag finishedtag

Write your special message onto the tag. You can write something on both sides to give your loved one twice the sweetness. Place a piece of tape on on side of the tag and lay the tea bag string on top of the tape. Fold over the other side of the tag and press down firmly to ensure both pieces are stuck together.

tea bag materials

Creating the tea bag packaging sounds like a lot of work but your loved one will be impressed by the extra step, plus it just looks cute!

measureteabag newtag

Measure out the width of the tea bag. Make sure you leave extra room on the sides to glue it together. Once its measured out cut the paper and keep the whole length of the paper because you need to fold it over to create the pouch.

makeapocket gluesidesofpocket

Fold over the sides to fit the tea bag. Once its folded, open it back up and glue the sides together and press firmly to ensure a tight seal. You can then cut the excess paper off the top but make sure you leave enough to fold over to close the pouch.

putstickeronpocket labelthetea

Place a label on your tea packet and write the name of your tea. You can even create a fun name for your tea and draw pictures. I used these fun chalk board labels I found at Michael’s and a white gel pen. Just make sure you let the ink dry a little because I made the mistake of getting too excited and I smudged my label after I flipped it over.

putteabaginpocketsealteabag

You are now ready to fill the packet with your tea bag and seal it with a cute heart sticker.

skittles pickcandy fillcandybox

The tutorial is almost over! Hopefully I didn’t bore you to sleep. Here comes the fun part!! You get to fill your cup up with all the fun goodies you got for your loved ones. I decided to fill mine up with lots of candy and a fun heart straw I got at the 99 cent store. I also found these cute heart shaped candy containers and I decided to fill them up with hot tamales. You can put anything you want in the cups. I thought about a Starbucks gift card because they always have cute designs and they have a nice Valentine’s day one out now.

finishedcup2 finishedmug

And we are done! Thank you so much for taking the time to read through this and if you didn’t, then thank you for at least taking a peek. Hopefully you enjoyed this and found some inspiration for creating a gift for your loved ones any time of the year!