I love the classics of red and white this time of year--pictures of Santa's hat, candy canes, and poinsettias against a backdrop of snow immediately come to mind.

This smoothie bowl delivers that beautiful December combo with a white chocolate and craisin topping that will become a seasonal favorite.

Craisins and Pistachios, holiday colors for granola

Dessert Designed to Satisfy

Though we usually think of smoothies as a midday snack or breakfast, the white chocolate in this recipe definitely makes this recipe indulgent enough to meet my cravings for a dessert.

At the same time, this smoothie bowl and its granola topping provides a delicious dose of nutrition to keep you satisfied and well.

Smoothies--from blueberry protein smoothies to smoothies with oats--are one of the best ways to help us get in our daily protein and spread it evenly out across the day to maximize our gains.

And this recipe doesn't disappoint with 19 grams of protein when topped with 1/4 cup of granola and a grand 24 grams if you add one scoop of our best collagen peptides.

Winter Crunch Smoothie Bowl with granola

What are the Health Benefits of Adding Collagen to Smoothie Bowls?

Why do we recommend adding collagen to your smoothie bowl besides the 5 grams of added protein?

Collagen, a natural protein that helps the body repair itself, has loads of benefits for women. For example, recent research suggests that taking collagen everyday can increase the skin's hydration and elasticity while reducing the appearance of fine lines.

With our formula's addition of L-Carnitine, adding our collagen peptides to your smoothie bowl may even support your healthy weight journey.

It’s All About the Granola Crunch

For this recipe, I highly recommend taking the time to make my stovetop granola recipe.

It comes together in just 10 minutes, warms the kitchen air with lovely holiday aroma, and packs an unbeatable flavor.

Stovetop Winter Crunch Granola with craisins, pistachios, and white chocolate

Plus, it’s super easy to make any substitutions based on your taste preferences and diet restrictions. For example, the nuts in the recipe can be easily swapped with pecan or walnuts or omitted altogether if you have a nut allergy.

While just one recipe makes plenty for multiple smoothie bowls, I love doubling this recipe for extra leftovers. The granola can be stored in an airtight container for up to one month. Leftovers make a great standby for the next smoothie, smoothie bowl, or bowl of yogurt. I've also been known to grab a handful by itself when I need a little snack boost.

Granola for a smoothie bowl

Finding the Healthiest Store-Bought Granola Substitutions

But don’t fret--if you’re looking for the fastest breakfast, snack, or healthy dessert possible, a store-bought granola in vanilla, cinnamon, or gingerbread flavors would still be yummy.

When on the lookout for healthy options, you always want to check the nutrition label especially when trying out a new flavor. Nutritional information even among the same brand can vary widely since granolas’ potential ingredients are nearly endless.

Many brands and even the odd flavor in relatively “healthy” brands can be packed with fillers and unnecessary sweeteners.

Take a careful look at the grams of sugar which can soar unnecessarily high. Dried fruits, common in granola, will naturally increase the total sugar. So instead, I recommend checking the added sugar (vs. total sugar) in addition to the listed ingredients. Avoiding those pesky added sugars is the main goal here!

Winter Crunch Smoothie Bowl

The Health Benefits of a High Protein Granola

In addition, look for whole grains like oats as the first ingredient and high protein mix-ins like almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, and sunflower seeds. These ingredients are low in saturated fats, keep you feeling satiated, and have been linked with positive outcomes for weight control (1, 2).

Granola is packed with nutrition and flavor, so a little goes a long way on a smoothie bowl. More than any other cereal, we almost always overpour, so consider measuring out a ¼ cup until you get a feel for how much is just right for you (3).

  1. Rebello CJ, O'Neil CE, Greenway FL. Dietary fiber and satiety: the effects of oats on satiety. Nutr Rev. 2016 Feb;74(2):131-47. doi: 10.1093/nutrit/nuv063. Epub 2016 Jan 2. PMID: 26724486; PMCID: PMC4757923.
  2. Smulders MJM, van de Wiel CCM, van den Broeck HC, van der Meer IM, Israel-Hoevelaken TPM, Timmer RD, van Dinter BJ, Braun S, Gilissen LJWJ. Oats in healthy gluten-free and regular diets: A perspective. Food Res Int. 2018 Aug;110:3-10. doi: 10.1016/j.foodres.2017.11.031. Epub 2017 Nov 21. PMID: 30029703.
  3. Lewis IM, Boote L, Butler T. Effect of breakfast cereal type on portion size and nutritional implications. Public Health Nutr. 2021 Feb 17:1-10. doi: 10.1017/S1368980021000744. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33593471.

 


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