Earlier this week I discovered that Williams-Sonoma are having a Smoothie Week. And not just any Smoothie Week, the theme is: Not Your Average Smoothie!
I was scratching my brain trying to answer the question: What’s the oddest, most completely-not-average thing I’ve ever added to a smoothie? At the same I was eating (yet another) one of these Breakfast Cauldrons. Looking down at the googly eyes starting back at me, I had my answer.
(If you couldn’t tell, those white balls in the above photo are supposed to be eyes!)
I remember the exact point in time when I first discovered smoothies: I was 14 and didn’t even realize there was a blender in the kitchen. Into the blender went one banana, ½ cup of frozen mixed berries and 1 cup of soy milk. Success! Not surprisingly, I loved the smoothie and made it again the very same day. It’s probably still my favorite smoothie recipe, and I ended up posting a variation of it – Multicolored Banana Berry Smoothies.
All of that brings me to today’s recipe: Breakfast Cauldrons (don’t worry, there’s no baking soda).
These Halloween-themed ‘cauldrons’ are green smoothies with Pumpkin Cookie Dough Balls and a few extra mix-ins. I consider walnuts mandatory, because I really, really think they look like brains! Maybe I’m analyzing my walnuts a bit too closely…
Feel free to use your favorite green smoothie recipe for these, although I used the recipes from Monday’s post – and I do mean recipes because I tried this with both green smoothies. While it seemed logical to use the Greensleeves Smoothie from Monday’s post (which contains pumpkin and cinnamon), the first time I made these I opted for the Green Goodness Smoothie (which contains frozen mango and coconut water). Yes, the mixture of pumpkin cookie dough and mango was weird. But there’s no part of a Breakfast Cauldron that isn’t weird.
If you’re not after too much weirdness, then stick to a green smoothie that’s complementary to pumpkin – banana, apple, maybe even chocolate!
The most important part of these Breakfast Cauldrons is the cookie dough. Without those Pumpkin Cookie Dough Balls, the cauldrons are really just smoothie bowls. Plus, cookie dough – what’s not to love?
Luckily, these cookie dough balls are very easy to make and only require a few ingredients. Plus, they’re gluten-free, vegan and sugar-free (unless you cover them with frosting/icing, of course)!
To make these cookie dough balls, you’ll need a food processor. It doesn’t have to be a fancy one – I used my (cheap) mini food processor. In a pinch, a blender might even work (a stand one – don’t go grabbing the immersion/stick blender).
Process some dates, pumpkin and rolled oats.
Then add in cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice (or mixed spice) and vanilla extract. Process again.
Last but not least, stir in some more oats. If you’re feeling adventurous, try adding in some chopped walnuts, pecans, chocolate chips, shredded coconut, or whatever else is sitting in your kitchen and yelling, ‘Add me!’
What’s that? You’re food doesn’t talk to you. Hmm…
Once everything’s combined, roll the mixture into balls and freeze them for at least 10 minutes to set. And you’re done!
Well, not quite. If (like me) you’re obsessed with adding a touch of novelty to your food, then these cookie dough balls need to be turned into eyeballs and spiders. It’s Halloween soon, so it’s the one week of the year when we all have permission to play with our food 😛 (Nah, we’ve got permission all year round).
Making the ‘Eyeballs’
To make the ‘eyeballs’, all you need to do is combine some confectioner’s (icing/powdered) sugar and a tiny bit of water in a dish. Adjust the sugar-to-water ratio until you end up with a thick, but spreadable mixture. Something resembling a white brownie batter.
Then just roll the cookie dough balls in the mixture, and add a chocolate chip for the pupil.
Alternatively, roll the cookie dough balls in melted white chocolate!
Making the ‘Spiders’
This is the same as the eyeballs, except about half the sugar is replaced with cocoa powder. Adjust the sugar-to-cocoa ratio to suit your tastes, and adjust the sugar/cocoa-to-water ratio until you end up with a brownie batter consistency. Otherwise, melt some delicious chocolate!
Roll the cookie dough balls in the mixture, and decorate them with raisins (or chocolate chips) for the eyes and slivered almonds for the legs.
I bet pretzel sticks would be a tasty alternative to the slivered almonds. Now I’m craving pretzels!
Assembling the Breakfast Cauldrons is a piece of cake:
- Top the smoothies with some cookie dough balls, and anything else you like
- Uh, that’s it!
Other than ‘eyeballs’ and ‘spiders’, the weirdest things I’ve added to my smoothies would be baking soda, cream of tartar and salt. Sounds weird, yes, but I maintain that it totally worked in my Chocolate Cake Batter Smoothie.
Expect a few more dessert-esque smoothies on this blog! I’ve got a Black Forest Smoothie coming up, and I’ve just been itching to make Snickerdoodle smoothies, cookie smoothies, pumpkin pie smoothies…
So many smoothies, not enough time!
Question of the Day
I have two questions for you today! 1. What’s the oddest thing you’ve ever added to a smoothie? 2. Is there one particular smoothie that you make all the time?
- 2 oz. (57g) dates
- ¼ cup pumpkin puree
- 1 cup rolled oats (divided)
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice*
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Optional: Chocolate chips, chopped nuts, or other mix-ins
- If your dates aren’t sticky and moist, soak them in warm water for at least 15 minutes, or up to an hour.
- In a mini food processor (or the smallest bowl of a regular processor), process the dates, pumpkin puree and ½ cup of rolled oats until it forms a relatively smooth mixture. It’s fine if the oats don’t completely blend in.
- Add the cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice and vanilla extract, and process until combined.
- Using a wooden spoon (or just any spoon), stir in the remaining ½ cup of rolled oats. If adding any mix-ins, stir them in now.
- Roll the cookie dough into balls (approximately 1 ½ - 2 tablespoons of dough per ball). While these can be served at room temperature, they’re best when chilled in the freezer for at least 10 minutes. Store any leftovers in the freezer. Enjoy!
Sugar Coating for 'Eyeballs': In a small bowl, combine a few tablespoons of confectioner’s (icing/powdered) sugar and a drop of water. Stir well to dissolve the sugar. Add in more sugar and/or water as needed to form a thick, but spreadable mixture (about the consistency of brownie batter). Roll the cookie dough balls in the mixture, and top with a chocolate chip 'pupil'
Chocolate Coating for 'Spiders': See above, but replace about half of the confectioner’s sugar with cocoa powder. After rolling the cookie dough balls in the mixture, decorate with two raisins (or chocolate chips) for eyes, and slivered almonds for the legs
- 2 green smoothies (recipes here)
- Pumpkin Cookie Dough Balls
- Toppings of choice: nuts, dried fruit, chocolate chips, candies, etc.
- Pour the green smoothies into two bowls
- Top with as many cookie dough balls as desired, as well as topping of choice.
- That's it! Enjoy!