When I searched Instagram this morning for the hashtag “smoothie bowl,” I used to be provided nearly two and a half million posts. Scrolling a bit, dishes so garishly stunning bombarded my eyes. And they made my completely nice but bizarre meals appear boring and lifeless by comparability. And Instagram apparently agrees. A seek for the hashtag “green salad” returned fewer than one-tenth the outcomes. Clearly, smoothie bowls are the so-called wholesome it-meal of the second.
And it’s not like the colourful rainbows in entrance of me had been unhealthy. There had been no Skittles, M&Ms, or canned spam consumed within the making of those artworks. The colours got here from recent fruits like strawberries, blueberries, mangoes, papayas, and kiwis, together with extra unique (to me) fruit like pitayas, lucumas, and carambolas. And after all, the crossover star of the last decade, the acai berry, which arguably began the entire smoothie bowl pattern because of its centrality within the weight loss plan of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu founder Carlos Gracie.
So what’s the take care of smoothie bowls? Are they as wholesome because the Instagram wellness and vitamin influencers say they’re? Should we embrace them wholeheartedly? Are some more healthy than others? And what are the perfect elements and recipes if we select to hop on the prepare and make our personal smoothie bowl?
What is a Smoothie Bowl?
The finest strategy to describe a smoothie bowl is, simply think about that a bowl of oatmeal and a fruit smoothie had a child. That is, take a traditional fruit smoothie — a chilly mix of liquids and fruits (recent or frozen) — and pour it right into a bowl as an alternative of a glass. But make it thicker than a drinkable smoothie, and add some crunchy issues to it as effectively, so that you want a spoon to scoop it into your mouth. Because the smoothie bowl is thicker than a smoothie, and comprises some unblended toppings, it appears like extra of a meal. (And the bowl in all probability provides to the notion.)
The commonest toppings are recent fruits, nuts, seeds, granola, and even complete grains. They’re added for texture and mouthfeel, further taste, and, after all, Instagramability. (Yes, that’s a phrase.)
Are Smoothie Bowls Really Healthy?
Whenever you hear a query about whether or not a specific meals is wholesome, the one strategy to reply it usefully is so as to add, “compared to what?” Smoothie bowls are far more healthy than breakfasts filled with white sugar and white flour, fried animal meals, and synthetic elements. But what about evaluating smoothie bowls to different much less processed plant-based meals?
Since smoothie bowls are sometimes thicker (say that 5 instances quick) than common smoothies, they might be extra nutrient-dense, and higher for blood sugar management because you’re prone to eat them extra slowly. Fruit is a scrumptious strategy to eat a lot of fiber, water, antioxidants, and different vital phytochemicals that preserve your cells functioning and your good intestine micro organism pleased. But a fruit smoothie can overwhelm your physique with a speedy inflow of fruit sugar, particularly if you happen to gulp it down quick. If you are taking a while to savor your smoothie bowl, that may assist to mitigate the issue. Raw nuts and seeds, sparsely, can present wholesome fat and decelerate the absorption of sugar into our bloodstream. And your entire household of inexperienced smoothie bowls options veggies like kale, spinach, and different leafy greens, which pack much more of an antioxidant punch.
Potential Downsides of Smoothie Bowls
What concerning the potential well being downsides of smoothie bowls? Well, one factor to contemplate is the scale of the bowl. Are you having fun with 2-cup servings, or crushing half a gallon in a bowl large enough to do a load of laundry in? Many of the Instagram bowls are fairly massive, probably for photographic impact, but additionally as a result of it’s actually satisfying to shine off a thousand energy beneath the halo of “good for you.”
When you eat recent fruit, the fiber within the fruit slows the absorption of the pure sugars. While there’s some debate over whether or not that’s nonetheless true in a blended smoothie, it’s clear which you can drink two bananas, a cup of cherries, a cup of raspberries, three apples, and a kiwi far quicker than you may eat them. Also, it’s finest to chew most of your meals, as that not solely slows issues down, it additionally prompts anaerobic micro organism within the grooves of your tongue that assist convert nitrates in greens into heart-protective nitrites.
If you’re following Bright Line Eating, keep in mind that mixing just isn’t a part of this system, so smoothies of all types are off the menu.
Finally, the make-up and high quality of elements in a smoothie bowl issues an ideal deal. If you’re topping a healthful inexperienced smoothie bowl with processed granola, you could be ingesting a lot of processed sugar, synthetic flavors, and free radical-containing oils. If you utilize fruit juice as the bottom, you’ll be setting your self up for a excessive sugar load, with out sufficient fiber to sluggish it down or to set off satiety. In different phrases, you could possibly eat a number of hundred further energy that wouldn’t lead you to eat much less for the remainder of the day — thus contributing to weight acquire. Whatever fruit you add, be sure that it’s in its complete type, so that you get the utmost profit from the fiber and keep away from a sugar excessive and subsequent crash.
Where to Find Smoothie Bowls
Aside from Instagram, that’s. These days, there are many locations which have smoothie bowls on their menus. You can get them at juice bars and smoothie outlets, upscale cafes, and a few vegan or vegetarian eating places. You’ll even typically discover them in airports.
Commercial smoothie bowls include two issues, nevertheless. First, they are often actually costly. Second, they’re usually formulated to be extra scrumptious and fairly than nutritious, so you could find yourself consuming quite a lot of sugar and empty energy, together with synthetic elements within the toppings. Make positive what’s actually in a restaurant smoothie bowl earlier than assuming all these colours are really wholesome.
The most secure and healthiest strategy to take pleasure in smoothie bowls is to make your individual.
How to Make a Smoothie Bowl
As you’ll recall, a smoothie bowl is nothing greater than a smoothie in a bowl with toppings. So you’ll want a blender, a bowl, some toppings, and elements for the smoothie base.
Depending on the quantity of liquid utilized in your smoothie bowl base, you’ll in all probability want a reasonably high-powered blender to take care of the ice or frozen fruit — and to mix the smoothie base to a desired degree of creaminess. But many smoothie-efficient blenders aren’t low-cost. Vitamix, Blend-tec, and KitchenAid all make professional-level blenders with horsepower numbers that would plow a small discipline. They’re fabulous, in the event that they’re inside your funds. Some of the Ninja model blenders also can deal with ice and frozen fruit, and are available in at cheaper price factors. You may wish to take a look at demos on YouTube earlier than shopping for, as all of them have completely different strengths and weaknesses, from ease of cleansing to loudness to container dimension.
Smoothie Bowl Base
Now, let’s speak concerning the smoothie bowl base. When unsure, begin with frozen fruit, as that provides thickness and coldness. And because it lasts a very long time, you may retailer frozen fruit as a kitchen staple in order that you’ll have some round once you want it. Fresh fruit additionally works, combined with ice, to provide the similar end result. Since avocado is a fruit, including some in can lend a satisfying creaminess and wholesome supply of fats to your bowl. And don’t overlook the fruit that began all of it: acai berry.
Vegetables for Smoothie Bowls
Next, add the veggies. Leafy greens like spinach and kale are widespread, and may impart a shiny inexperienced hue to the smoothie so long as you utilize light-colored fruit like pineapple and mango. Start including blueberries and cherries to greens, and also you’ll get a coloration that gained’t win you any followers on Instagram. Nor is it prone to ever develop into Pantone’s coloration of the yr. Of course, in case your purpose is a wholesome and engaging bowl, which may not be an issue for you. Other greens can provide completely different coloration and style profiles, together with beets, carrots, celery, and even bell peppers.
Before mixing, you’ll want so as to add liquid. But the stronger your blender, the much less liquid you’ll want so as to add. An expert blender can deal with a base with a consistency like hummus, however you’ll want a spatula to take away the contents from the container. Other blenders will burn out if challenged with a smoothie that thick, so that you’ll want so as to add extra liquid. While fruit juice is widespread on Instagram, I like to recommend in opposition to it for causes we’ve already coated. Instead, water, coconut water, or an unsweetened plant-based milk might be your finest choices.
If you wish to add dietary supplements, adaptogens, or protein powders, they’ll go in earlier than mixing.
Smoothie Bowl Toppings
Once your smoothie is mixed and poured right into a bowl, it’s time so as to add the toppings. Fresh, frozen, and dried fruit are pretty on prime of a bowl, both matching or complimenting the colour of the bottom. Coconut flakes, natural oats, clear, store-bought or do-it-yourself granola, and varied nuts and seeds or nut and seed butters are all nice decisions for a wholesome smoothie bowl. And under, you’ll even discover a recipe that requires amaranth, an entire grain initially cultivated by the Aztec civilization.
7 Colorful and Healthy Smoothie Bowl Recipes
Berry Delicious Omega-Three Smoothie Bowl
This nourishing bowl of deliciousness packs your entire favourite plant-based omega-3s collectively in a single recipe! We may have known as it the “Brain-Powered Bowl” since, along with a good quantity of omega-3s, you’ll additionally profit from the anthocyanins within the berries — each of which might assist mind well being.
Strawberries and Cream Smoothie Bowl
Refreshing but creamy, this bowl is the right strategy to begin the day with an considerable protein and fiber increase. Or take pleasure in it as a pick-me-up deal with mid-afternoon. No matter once you strive it, know that you simply’re supporting a wholesome physique and pleased tastebuds with every chew.
Morning Matcha Wake-Up Bowl
Get a little bit mild increase of sustainable vitality with this matcha tea- and maca-powered smoothie bowl. The base of this bowl is nice if you would like a pure vitality increase with out added sugar. But if you happen to choose only a contact of candy, you may add a little bit of coconut or dried fruit.
Banana Split Smoothie Bowl
The base of this smoothie bowl alone is perhaps sufficient to name it a day when it comes to taste! But if you happen to’re seeking to optimize vitamin whereas feeling indulgent — with out really being indulgent — then add some further vitamin in with natural cherries, your favourite nut or seed butter, or some further banana slices.
Tropical Delight Smoothie Bowl
Bring the tropics to you with this Tropical Delight Smoothie Bowl that’s filled with vitamin C, beta carotene, and potassium. With every chew, shut your eyes and envision your self on a good looking, breezy seaside!
Lemon Detox Smoothie Bowl
If you’re a “more greens, please” particular person, then this Lemon Detox Smoothie Bowl is true up your alley! Made with kale, parsley, ginger, avocado, and lemon, it’s refreshing as is, or you may add chopped fruit on prime for only a contact of sweetness. What a pleasant strategy to begin a wholesome day!
Pumpkin Spice and Amaranth Smoothie Bowl
Fruit doesn’t should be the one star in a smoothie bowl. Vegetables and grains deserve their likelihood to shine too! Especially gluten-free amaranth, which ranks as one of many highest protein-containing grains, at 9 grams per cup! Sure, that is the right smoothie bowl for the autumn season, however why not take pleasure in it year-round? Pumpkin is chock-full of beta carotene, an vital precursor to vitamin A, which serves as a pure protector from the solar.
The Verdict on Smoothie Bowls
Smoothie bowls are a enjoyable and colourful strategy to take pleasure in your fruit and veggies, particularly for teenagers. And after you take a look at some photographs of lovely, wholesome, smoothie bowls, you may discover your individual childlike creativity kindled. While they’re gaining popularity and simply accessible in eating places, cafes, and juice bars, it’s nonetheless finest to make your individual. That approach, you may management the standard of elements and portion dimension. You may wish to consider smoothie bowls as a particular deal with fairly than as a daily precursor to breakfast since they’re usually so excessive in fruit sugar and may simply include sufficient energy for a meal.
Tell us within the feedback:
- Have you had a smoothie bowl? If so, the place did you first encounter them?
- What are your favourite smoothie elements?
- Do you’ve got your individual favourite smoothie bowl recipe?