Pumpkin and spice breakfast bowl

This Oct. 23, 2017 photo shows a pumpkin and spice breakfast bowl in Bethesda, Md. Loading up the freezer with these bowls is an excellent plan-ahead strategy, whether you’re a mom of four, or you just want to streamline your mornings. (Melissa D'Arabian via AP)This Oct. 23, 2017 photo shows a pumpkin and spice breakfast bowl in Bethesda, Md. Loading up the freezer with these bowls is an excellent plan-ahead strategy, whether you’re a mom of four, or you just want to streamline your mornings. (Melissa D'Arabian via AP)

Servings: 4

Start to finish: 15 minutes, plus freezing and thawing time

Base:

1 large ripe banana, sliced

1 1/2 cups canned pumpkin puree

1 cup reduced fat vanilla Greek yogurt (nonfat yogurt not recommended)

3/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (or mix of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and allspice)

pinch of salt

Topping:

2 small apples, thinly sliced

1/4 cup pecan halves or pieces

1/4 cup raw oats

4 teaspoons maple syrup

Place all the ingredients for the base into a blender and blend until creamy and smooth, about one minute. (Tip: Blend on low. You may need to start and stop blender, breaking up the ingredients using a wooden spoon when NOT blending.) Divide the blended mixture among four individual freezer-safe bowls or to-go containers. Top and eat as is for a smoothie bowl. Or, freeze for at least 30 minutes, or up to a month (covered). Just before serving, top with apples, pecans, oats and the maple syrup drizzled on top.

Breakfast bowl can then be eaten frozen like an ice cream: Allow a frozen solid bowl to soften a little before — at room temperature, this will take approximately 20 minutes.

In a lunchbox with an ice pack, the ideal frozen eating time is 1-2 hours after removing from the freezer. If the bowls “overthaw,” simply enjoy them as smoothie bowls.

Chef’s Note: Customize your toppings swapping in nuts, seeds, fruit, berries, chia seeds, hemp hearts, or shaved coconut.

Nutrition information per serving: 235 calories; 68 calories from fat; 8 g fat (1 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 4 mg cholesterol; 97 mg sodium; 39 g carbohydrate; 8 g fiber; 22 g sugar; 9 g protein.

Melissa d’Arabian, Associated Press