As a boy, my Dad was required to take a spoonful of cod liver oil every morning before breakfast. It was one of those oft-repeated stories we heard if we voiced displeasure with what was on our plate. I still have this mental picture of my maternal grandmother hovering over my dad as a young boy, his face all scrunched up in anticipation of what was coming his way. I had some serious empathy for the guy!
If you read my Baked Horseradish Carrot post a couple of years ago, you know that I’ve had some challenges with my eyes. Since then, I’ve had two more surgeries that I haven’t written about. The results have been mostly good, and I thank my lucky stars for modern medicine every day.
Before one particular procedure some years ago, my doctor prescribed high potency fish oil, and said I should take it every day, without fail. This, of course, brought some gentle teasing from you-know-who!
My dad’s mom was clearly onto something. These days we hear so much about the wide ranging benefits of omega-3s. Studies have made a positive connection between the regular consumption of fish oil and the treatment of heart disease, high cholesterol, depression, certain cancers, inflammation, diabetes, arthritis, IBD, and Alzheimer’s disease. It’s also believed to aid in weight loss, skin health, muscle soreness after exercise, and seasonal allergies…just to name a few!
Specifically, my doctor was focused on fish oil’s ability to fend off or improve a variety of eye disorders, including macular degeneration, glaucoma, and dry eye disease. For a long time, I took fish oil in capsule form every morning with my breakfast. But when I created a tasty recipe using a Barlean’s product paired with with yogurt for a Stonyfield Clean Plate Club project a little over a year ago, I discovered a whole line of liquid fish oil that tasted like a smoothie.
My go-to has been a tangerine-flavored product called Eye Remedy. I truly look forward to my daily spoonful–and have happily reported this to my dad. 😇 A recent project, however, found me with a bottle of Barlean’s piña colada-flavored Omega Swirl, and I was only too happy to work this the tropical deliciousness into something special. The consistency is like a smoothie and the flavors are delicious. These oils are truly nothing like the fish oil for which my dad held his nose and subsequently choked down every morning!
My friend, Christine, often pops over on her lunch break for a quick smoothie, so she was my guinea pig. We both love the smoothie-in-a-bowl concept. (That’s her holding her smoothie bowl before we dug in!) Adding a bed of crunchy granola and layers of fresh fruit and other toppings creates a satisfying meal that, unlike the traditional smoothie, you can actually chew! The piña colada theme is a favorite for both of us, but the drizzle of the piña colada swirl–yes, fish oil!–added something just a little magical.
The options are many with this versatile bowl: blend in some mango for a slightly different tropical spin; skip the toppings and add Malibu rum for an after 5:00, adults only frozen cocktail; or get yourself some fish oil (the piña colada version, of course). The latter can be blended in or drizzled on top. Or both!
And then we can clink glasses (or spoons) and drink to good health and vision!
Yield: 2 servings (approximately 10 ounces each without the toppings)
- 1 1/2 cups frozen or fresh pineapple*
- 1 large frozen overripe banana, sliced
- 3/4 to 1 cup coconut milk**
- 2 teaspoons honey (or to taste)
- Freshly grated zest from 1 lime (optional but enhances the tropical flavor)
- Optional Toppings: Barlean’s piña colada omega swirl, granola, sliced banana, chopped fresh pineapple, toasted coconut, chopped cashews or almonds…maybe even a cherry!
Combine the pineapple, banana, and 3/4 cup coconut milk in a blender and blend until completely smooth. Scrape down the sides as necessary and add the honey, optional lime zest, and another drizzle of milk or two, as needed, to allow the mixture to blend into a thick, creamy smoothie.
Pour into two large bowls. (I often sprinkle a layer of granola on the bottom of the bowl and then add a little more on top.) Arrange additional toppings over the surface of the smoothie and enjoy!
- *Frozen fruit adds thickness to the smoothie but fresh may be substituted. If using fresh, reduce the amount of liquid to start. You want just enough to allow the mixture to blend but not so much that you can’t eat it with a spoon. Aim for a pudding-like consistency.
- **Either canned or carton coconut milk may be used. I prefer canned coconut milk for this recipe as it creates the creamiest smoothie, with full fat lending a bit more creaminess than the light option. I’ve also used Silk’s coconut-almond milk with good results. Almond milk could be used, but you’ll lose the traditional piña colada flavor.