Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know smoothies have been the “it” food of the health world for years now. They’re a perfect way to get a nourishing, quick breakfast that’s also healthy and portable. But hey, nothing’s perfect. Smoothies have a downside, too.
For one thing, smoothies can be not-so-satisfying sometimes — you can’t really “eat” a smoothie, after all, and smoothies often digest faster since the ingredients are sort of pre-chewed (is that too gross to say?).
So… how to get the best of both worlds?
What’s a smoothie bowl?
Smoothie bowls basically join the benefits of a smoothie with whole ingredients that digest more slowly, so you’re not completely hangry 30 minutes after breakfast.
Popular smoothie chains like Jamba Juice have been offering smoothie bowls for a while (apparently, this has been a thing and I’ve been out of the loop?). But I live in this place called “Reality” where breakfast happens in the middle of a sleepy stupor in my own kitchen.
Fortunately, it’s pretty easy to whip up your own smoothie bowl at home, and with just a little more work than a regular smoothie.
Think of a smoothie bowl like the healthy version of an ice cream sundae. In this case, the smoothie is the base, and you top it with yummy add-ins for fiber, crunch, and texture.
Ready for some cool ideas? Here are some super delcious suggestions for your first smoothie bowl:
Tropical Fruit Smoothie Bowl
Make a smoothie with fresh banana, frozen tropical fruit mix, and vanilla Greek yogurt. Blend until it’s smooth but thick. Spoon into a bowl and top with unsweetened shredded coconut, chopped macadamia nuts, plus some dried papaya and pineapple.
Super Green Smoothie Bowl
Make a green smoothie with a cup of baby kale or baby spinach, a cup and a half of frozen berry mix, and a cup of coconut water. Add a drizzle of honey if you need a little more sweetness. Blend until smooth. Spoon into a bowl and top with chia seeds, banana slices, fresh pineapple, and sliced kiwi fruit.
Pumpkin Pie Smoothie Bowl
Start with 3/4 cup of pureed pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling — use one like this) and slice in a banana. Add a half cup of unsweetened almond milk or coconut milk, and about a half teaspoon each of cinnamon and nutmeg. Blend until smooth and transfer to your bowl. Top with pumpkin seeds, chopped walnuts, grated nutmeg and apple slices. (There’s a great example of a pumpkin pie smoothie bowl here.)
Chocolate Almond Butter Smoothie Bowl
Make a smoothie with a chopped banana, a handful of frozen strawberries or blueberries, 1.5 tablespoons of almond butter, 3/4 cup of unsweetened almond milk, and 2-3 tablespoons of cocoa powder. Add a bit of honey or stevia if you like a sweeter smoothie. Mix until smooth. Spoon into a bowl and top with chopped peanuts or almonds, sliced banana, flax seeds, and mini semi-sweet chocolate chips (try this soy-free brand).
And of course, create your own!
You can invent your own smoothie bowls by combining your favorite smoothie recipe with some complementary toppings. If your smoothie uses ice, water, or coconut water as a liquid base, just cut it back slightly to make the smoothie thicker for a bowl.
The only drawback to a smoothie bowl over your typical smoothie is that you can’t sip it on your way to work! If you’re in a hurry, gather and chop up ingredients the night before, and have your toppings ready to go. You can also mix up the smoothie, put the toppings in a separate container, and combine them into a bowl to eat once you get to work or wherever you’re going.
But first, just be willing to trade the straw for a spoon — it will open up a whole new world of breakfast possibilities! 😉
Now, I just need to figure out how to do this with my famous coffee smoothie recipe…