This smoothie bowl caught my eye because of the chai spiced granola. I didn’t look closely when I was reading the recipe the first time. Then, when I started to make a list of ingredients to buy at the grocery store, I realized that it was gluten-free.
That freaked me out a little because I’m a big fan of grains. I like pecans and almonds as much as the next person, but when I eat a bowl of granola, I like there to be some semblance of oats.
I decided to suspend my doubt and give the granola a try. Anything with chai spice has to at least taste good, I reasoned.
As it turns out, this granola is as good, if not better, than “regular” granola. It’s crunchy and full of spice, and the smell while it’s baking in the oven is unreal. It’s like a maple syrup pancake, a pecan roll and glass of chai tea all decided to record a song together. The notes are fragrant and delicious.
I was walking to work this morning and this song came on. I almost started laughing at the lyrics, “you can go to bed when you’re dead.” The song is about partying but I also think it works well for motivation.
Mango Smoothie Bowl with Chai Spiced Granola (slightly adapted from Downshiftology)
1½ cup frozen mango chunks
½ cup frozen pineapple chunks
1 cup coconut water
for chai spiced granola:
2 cups almonds
¾ cup pecans
1 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup pumpkin seeds
½ cup cashews
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp cardamom
½ tsp allspice
2 tbsp maple syrup
½ cup honey
½ cup mango and pineapple chunks
½ cup blueberries
¼ cup coconut flakes
¼ cup chai spiced granola
First, make the chai spiced granola. Preheat your oven to 275 degrees F. Place your nuts and seeds (individually, one type at a time) in a food processor. Pulse until they’ve been chopped to a medium-fine texture, stopping before they turn into nut butter. Place the nuts and seeds into a large mixing bowl.
Add the remaining ingredients to your mixing bowl and use your hands to mix together thoroughly.
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Divide the granola mix evenly between the two pans in a single, flat layer.
Place in the oven and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and stir the granola. Rotate your pans when you place back in the oven. Cook for an additional 10-15 minutes, being careful not to burn the granola. (Note: It can quickly go from golden to burned within a minute, so keep an eye on it. It won’t look any different when it’s done baking and will still be soft – that’s fine. It will harden once it cools.)
Remove from the oven and let cool for 30 minutes or overnight (if you’re making it way ahead of time). Place in a sealed container and store for future use.
When you’re ready, make the smoothie. Add the coconut water, then fruit into a high-powered blender. Blend on high for one minute, until thick and creamy consistency.
Pour into a bowl and add your toppings. Enjoy!