When my little brother was really little, like six years old, he was a very picky eater. Well, actually the same can be said of him today, but back then he was ultra picky. It was a struggle for my parents to get him to eat anything, and anything new was out of the question. So we’d end up going to the same diner pretty much every time we went out to eat together – thankfully this diner was a prevalent chain and could be found even when we were on vacation in the middle of nowhere.
This restaurant had an innovative children’s menu, which boasted several unusual and fun items that were clearly an attempt to get the kids to eat healthy food and enjoy it at the same time. One of these dishes was “Applesauce with Swimmers,” which quickly became my brother’s go-to. It consisted of a bowl of applesauce – this was the “pool” – and Teddy Grahams sprinkled on the surface as if they were lazily backstroking in this serene pool of doom. My brother would always be very excited to order this dish, and seemed to get some peculiar enjoyment out of plunging his spoon into the lumpy lake, scooping up one of the innocent honey-flavored swimmers, and popping the victim in his mouth before returning to strike terror in the hearts of all Teddy Grahams once again. At that time, I began to fear my little brother was shaping up to be a dangerous individual. Luckily, it seems sadism in eating Teddy Grahams doesn’t translate into criminal violence, and my grim predictions were not fulfilled.
One time we went out to eat, and, as usual, my brother wanted “Applesauce with Swimmers.” A while after we ordered, the waiter came to our table and apologetically informed us that the kitchen was all out of swimmers. Not being one to try something new, my brother elected to just get the applesauce without the swimmers. A few minutes later, the waiter returned once more with our food. A sad little bowl of sloshing, lumpy applesauce was placed in front of my brother, who slowly nibbled at it as the rest of us chowed down on our dinners. When we left the restaurant, he had hardly made a dent in the applesauce, which looked like an empty pool on an early autumn day too cold to play outside. Clearly, the applesauce without the swimmers was just not the same.
Lately, I’ve been feeling the same way about my smoothies that my little brother used to feel about his applesauce – it needs that extra something to make it worthwhile. Instead of smooth, homogenous smoothies, I tend to prefer something with a little extra crunch or munch – cookie chunks or globs of brownie batter are welcomed. And an interactive smoothie is even better!
For this “interactive” smoothie, I blended the flavors of tangy yogurt flavorful fresh apple and banana with the subtle sweetness of maple and cinnamon. Tart dried cranberries on top add a touch of sassy flair. The fun part is plunging the “dippers” – toasted bread bites spread with buttery Earth Balance and sprinkled with the comforting combo of cinnamon and sugar – into the cool smoothie for a treat that’s fun to eat. And the best thing about it is, it’s cruelty-free and Teddy Graham approved. 🙂 Get your fruit, whole grains, and protein the awesome way with this yummy breakfast smoothie.
Maple Apple Smoothie with Cinnamon Toast Dippers
- 1 frozen banana (or use fresh but add more ice)
- 1/2 of a large Gala apple
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 container Brown Cow brand Maple flavored yogurt
- 1 tbl organic 100% pure maple syrup
- small dash cinnamon
- 1 small ice cube (more if not using frozen banana)
- 1 tbl dried cranberries
for cinnamon toast dippers
- 1 slice whole wheat bread
- 1 tsp Earth Balance Original Buttery Spread
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- generous dash cinnamon
Smoothie: Place all smoothie ingredients (except dried cranberries) in blender. Blend until smooth. Pour smoothie into desired glass. Chill in the fridge while you make the cinnamon toast!
Cinnamon Toast Dippers: Toast the whole wheat bread. Then, spread Earth Balance on bread, and sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon. Cut into two-bite-sized pieces.
When ready to serve, remove smoothie from the fridge and sprinkle dried cranberries on top. Dip your cinnamon toast in the smoothie for a unique and delicious treat!
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