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!
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.
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. If you do end up making it, share it on IG & tag me @muriellebanackissa
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