Pistachio Ice Cream Smoothie Bowl with Coconut Buckwheat Granola

I came to a kind of obvious realization recently: salads and smoothie bowls have a lot in common. Base with greens? Check. Protein? Check. Fresh produce? Check. Toppings? Obviously. So yeah, smoothie bowls are really just breakfast salads. Or in any case, they're a delicious way to eat, instead of drink, a smoothie. And by putting a smoothie in a bowl, there's more surface area for toppings. Because that's the whole point anyway, right?

 Pistachio Ice Cream Smoothie Bowls with Coconut Buckwheat Granola | Vegan and gluten-free. | Loveleaf Co.

Just like a good salad, you want your smoothie bowl to have a mixture of layers, textures, and flavors. Smoothie bowls need to be thicker than regular smoothies so that they're spoon-able and can withstand the weight of the toppings. Here's my general smoothie bowl formula:

1. BASE
Greens (spinach and kale are my favorites) + something creamy (frozen banana, avocado, and/or coconut cream) + non-dairy milk.

2. PROTEIN
Coconut or grass-fed yogurt, protein powder, and/or nut butter.

3. PRODUCE
Fresh fruit, like berries, banana slices, peaches.

4. TOPPINGS
Crunchies (granola, nuts, and/or seeds), coconut flakes, nut butters, and/or chocolate chips.

This pistachio ice cream smoothie bowl seriously tastes like a pistachio milkshake (added bonus: it's good for you). The texture is smooth, thick, and creamy because of the frozen banana, pistachios, almond milk, and protein powder. Besides the pistachios, almond extract is the key ingredient to getting the pistachio ice cream flavor. And a high-speed blender is necessary for that ultra-creamy consistency.

I topped this pistachio ice cream smoothie with some coconut buckwheat granola (so so good). The buckwheat groats*  up the crunch-factor of regular oat-based granola and, without being too sweet or oily, the granola's slight coconut flavor pairs perfectly with the pistachio smoothie. I like to add some untoasted coconut flakes after the granola cools to make it even more coconut-y, but this is optional. You'll end up with more than two servings of granola, but trust us - this is a good thing. Enjoy it on another smoothie bowl, on top of coconut yogurt, or shamelessly by the handful. No judgment.


*What are buckwheat groats?  Buckwheat groats are the hulled seeds of the buckwheat plant. Although "wheat" is in the name, buckwheat groats are actually gluten-free and are rather soft and mild tasting.


Pistachio Ice Cream Smoothie Bowl
with Coconut Buckwheat Granola

INGREDIENTS

PISTACHIO ICE CREAM SMOOTHIE BOWL (SERVES 2)

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1/3 cup raw shelled pistachios
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed kale, stems removed
  • 1 cup almond milk + 1/4 cup if needed (protein powder can make the smoothie quite thick, so use your judgment).
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 serving vanilla or unflavored protein powder or collagen peptides
  • 2 dates, pitted (see notes)
  • pinch of salt

COCONUT BUCKWHEAT GRANOLA (SERVES 6-8)

  • 2 cups raw buckwheat groats
  • 1 1/2 cups coconut flakes, plus more for serving
  • 1/2 cup nuts and/or seeds of choice (I like almonds or walnuts)
  • 1/2 -1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup

INSTRUCTIONS

PISTACHIO ICE CREAM SMOOTHIE

  1. Add all ingredients to a high-speed blender (like a Vitamix) and blend until smooth and creamy. Add more almond milk depending on desired consistency.

COCONUT BUCKWHEAT GRANOLA

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. In a bowl, stir the buckwheat groats together with seeds and nuts, coconut, and salt.
  3. In a separate small bowl, mash the banana with a fork and mix in the coconut oil and maple syrup. Add the dry buckwheat groat mixture to the wet mixture and stir until everything is nicely coated.
  4. Spread evenly onto a baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes, stirring once halfway through, until fragrant and golden. Watch carefully as coconut flakes burn very easily! The exact cooking time will vary depending on your oven.
  5. Let cool before storing in a glass container.

TO SERVE

  1. Divide pistachio ice cream smoothie into two bowls. Top with 1/4-1/2 cups of coconut buckwheat granola.

NOTES

You can use Medjool dates or Deglet Noor as long as they are soft. The number of dates you use will depend on the sweetness of your protein powder and personal preference.

Stored in an airtight glass jar, the coconut buckwheat granola will stay fresh for several weeks.