> The Beesley Buzz: Brilliant Blooming Breakfast Smoothie bowl with Vita Coco Coconut Milk Alternative.

Brilliant Blooming Breakfast Smoothie bowl with Vita Coco Coconut Milk Alternative.

Breakfast is the meal of the day that I can get stuck in a rut with and since going largely dairy and gluten-free since last year, I've been trying to ensure that I have a bit of variety at breakfast time so I'm always keen to give new ingredients and recipes a go.

Already a fan of Vita Coco coconut oil in my cooking and baking, I couldn't wait to try their Coconut Milk Alternative. It's made with 70% coconut and so it #TastesLikeNoUdder.

Before I get to my breakfast recipe that I made with Vita Coco Coconut Milk Alternative, I have a confession to make...I tasted a sip and then began to drink it. Lots of it. It tasted soooo good just on it's own. So I had to stop myself drinking it all so that I could make my "Brilliant Blooming Breakfast Smoothie Bowl" that is packed with goodness.

for the smoothie bowl:
50g oats
1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
1 tablespoon chia seeds
(optional) superfood style powders - I used half a teaspoon of baobab and half a teaspoon of a superfood powder mix containing pea protein, maca, chlorella and camu camu - This is totally optional as the smoothie bowl will still taste and look awesome without these if they are tricky to get hold of.
Small handful of strawberries
Small handful of raspberries
Small handful of blueberries
200ml Vita Coco Coconut Milk Alternative
1 or 2 chunks of banana for extra natural sweetness if desired.

for the topping:
Half a ripe mango
Edible flowers from the garden (dried rose petals would look lovely, too, when your own flowers are not in season)
Pumpkin seeds
Cacao nibs
(you can get creative here and choose all sorts of nuts, seeds, fresh or dried fruits to get your smoothie bowl looking and tasting great).

1. Start by preparing a mango rose that will be used on top of your smoothie bowl. I've always wanted to have a go at making one and this was actually my first attempt at making one. Well technically second attempt but today was the first time I made one. You can find a plethora of You Tube videos showing you how and although they do make it look easier than it is, I think with practice it will get easier. So at this stage, peel and cut your mango into very thin slices. Don't attempt to make the rose yet as I found leaving the mango for a short while helped it become juicier and 'stick' together better as a rose when I got to that stage.

2. Pop your oats, chia seeds and flaxseed into a blender and blitz for a few seconds to break up the seeds and make the oats finer. I love adding oats to my smoothie bowls as I find it makes it a more filling breakfast to keep me going for the morning. Oats are nutritious and contain Beta-Glucan, a soluble fibre. They are also believed to lower cholesterol levels. Chia seeds offer a whole host of nutritional benefits and contain Omega 3s. Flaxseed is another great source of plant Omega 3s and contain both types of fibre as well as having antioxidant properties. So we're already off to a great start with the smoothie bowl.

3. Next add in any 'superfood' style powders you wish to - I used half a tsp of Baobab powder and half a tsp of a powder mix containing pea protein and maca amongst other things. This step is entirely optional but as I had these ingredients in my store cupboard, I like to add a bit to any smoothies I make for added goodness. Baobab powder for example is high in Vitamin C and is a rich source of fibre and antioxidants. It contributes to normal immune function, energy release and healthy, glowing skin. I love it because it has a great taste too!

4. Pop in the berries into the blender. Frozen work just as well if your favourite berries are out of season. I love the gorgeous purple colour that this combination of berries gives.

5. Add 200ml of Vita Coco Coconut Milk Alternative and blend everything together. If you want to make it a little sweeter then a couple of chunks of banana will do the trick. Coconuts are super nutritious and packed with vitamins and minerals. This Coconut Milk Alternative from Vita Coco is gluten-free, dairy-free and has no added sugar. I found that it tastes great on it's own too!

6. Pour into a bowl and then you can get creative with all your favourite toppings to make it look and taste amazing! Here's what I did...

7. I made my mango rose and carefully lifted it onto the centre of my smoothie bowl. I wanted to stick with the flower theme (hence naming it 'Brilliant Blooming Breakfast Smoothie bowl') so used some edible flowers from the garden. I used pansies, violas, primroses, pinks/dianthus, and a little sprig of mint. Some of the flowers were placed clustered together and some of the petals were placed around the mango rose.

8. Then I added the pumpkin seeds making a pattern around the mango rose. Finally I sprinkled cacao nibs (rich in anti-oxidants due to the phytonutrients in them) around the edge of the bowl.

Some of my other favourite toppings which I sometimes use in smoothie bowls are cacao powder, roasted chopped hazelnuts, pistachio nuts and additional berries. All of these would have also worked well.

I was really pleased with how it turned out and I'm sure the Vita Coco Coconut Milk Alternative helped it taste extra smooth and delicious compared to the normal milk alternatives that I sometimes use.

This recipe is an entry into the Dairy Free Style Your Breakfast challenge with Vita Coco and Foodies100. See more great breakfast ideas at http://vitacoco.com/uk/

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