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Summer Garden Smoothie Bowl with Oat & Flaxseed Granola

by Kristina Vanni


During the summer months when produce is in full bloom, backyard gardens and farmer's markets burst with color. The bright green, red, and yellow hues make eating fresh and healthy an effortless choice.


This recipe for a "Summer Garden Smoothie Bowl" was created to embrace these beautiful colors and flavors of summer in an easy dish to start off your morning on the right foot. 


The Marimekko Kaalimetsä collection was inspired by the abundant growth of lettuce, kale, and cabbage in designer Maija Louekari's home garden. Kaalimetsä translates to "cabbage forest" and you can certainly see in this elaborate pattern the appreciation for the plentiful produce.


In this recipe you can feel free to "harvest" your favorite greens from this virtual cabbage forest. From purple kale to rainbow chard, or lamb's quarters to kohlrabi, they all can be blended into your morning smoothie bowl for a nutritious boost to your breakfast



To balance out the bitter notes from these greens, your favorite fruits can be blended into the smoothie bowl. For me, there's nothing like the sweet flavor from a perfectly ripe summer strawberry. In this recipe, these ruby red treasures not only add flavor, but also a lovely pink hue.  


Smoothie bowls have been popularized not only because they are healthy and delicious, but also because they are ideal for adding your favorite toppings and edible decorations. I love to top this Summer Garden Smoothie Bowl with my favorite recipe for Oat and Flaxseed Granola. A blend of oats, almonds, coconut, flaxseeds are sweetened with a touch of brown sugar and honey, then toasted to perfection. 


When ready to serve, simply blend together your favorite healthy green from the "cabbage forest" along with milk, frozen bananas and frozen strawberries, rolled oats and flaxseeds. The mixture will be thick and creamy. Pour the blend into your serving bowl.


Finally, it's time to garnish and serve your stunning smoothie bowl. Start with a generous amount of the prepared Oat and Flaxseed Granola.


 

Did you know that flaxseeds grown in Finland up near the Arctic Circle contain 10-15% more healthy omega-3's than flaxseeds grown elsewhere across the globe? It is due to "Midnight Sun" continuous light during summer. In this recipe, Finnish flaxseeds and Marimekko are the perfect pair!


You can then feel free to get creative with slices of fresh strawberries and banana as well as elegant strands of fresh red currants or even edible flowers.


Serve this Smoothie Bowl with a warm cup of coffee and enjoy a leisurely summer morning breakfast.



Summer Garden Smoothie Bowl with Oat & Flaxseed Granola


For the Granola:

Oat & Flaxseed Granola:

2-1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats

1/2 cup sliced almonds

1/2 cup shredded coconut

1/2 cup sesame seeds

1/2 cup flaxseeds

1/ 4 cup flour

1/4 cup instant nonfat dry milk solids

1/4 cup wheat germ

2 Tablespoons packed brown sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 cup canola oil

1/2 cup honey

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup dried currants


Heat oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine oats, almonds, coconut, sesame seeds, flax seeds, flour, dry milk solids, wheat germ, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a large bowl. Mix oil, honey, and salt in a small bowl. Pour honey mixture over oat mixture; combine thoroughly. Spread in 13 x 9 x 2-inch pan. Bake until toasted about 25-30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. Stir in dried currants; bake an additional 5 minutes. Cool in pan on wire rack. Store in airtight container until ready to serve.

 


Smoothie Bowl:

1 cup roughly chopped leafy greens (pick your favorite healthy green from the "cabbage garden!")

1/2 cup milk

1 medium banana - sliced and frozen

1 cup strawberries - sliced and frozen

1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats

1 Tablespoon flaxseeds


In the container of a high-speed blender, add greens, milk, banana, strawberries, oats and flaxseeds. Blend on high until smooth. Serve immediately.



To serve:

Pour smoothie mixture into serving bowl. Spoon prepared granola, over the smoothie and garnish with additional sliced banana, sliced strawberries, fresh currants, and edible flowers, as desired.



Internationally recognized culinary authority Kristina Vänni is a food writer, TV host, recipe developer, and food photographer who is currently writing her first cookbook, an exploration of the traditional and seasonal cuisine from her family's dairy farm in Finland (www.homefarmlife.com). You can find her on social media @KristinaVanni and follow the creation of her cookbook @HomefarmLife