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 lovely bombarded my eyes. And they made my completely advantageous but strange 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 have been unhealthy. There have been no Skittles, M&Ms, or canned spam consumed within the making of those artistic endeavors. 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 due to its centrality within the weight-reduction 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 diet influencers say they’re? Should we embrace them wholeheartedly? Are some more healthy than others? And what are the most effective components and recipes if we select to hop on the prepare and make our personal smoothie bowl?
What is a Smoothie Bowl?
The finest approach 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 standard 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 nicely, so that you want a spoon to scoop it into your mouth. Because the smoothie bowl is thicker than a smoothie, and incorporates some unblended toppings, it seems 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, extra 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 selected meals is wholesome, the one approach 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 components. But what about evaluating smoothie bowls to different much less processed plant-based meals?
Since smoothie bowls are usually thicker (say that 5 occasions quick) than common smoothies, they might be extra nutrient-dense, and higher for blood sugar management because you’re prone to devour them extra slowly. Fruit is a scrumptious approach to devour numerous fiber, water, antioxidants, and different vital phytochemicals that preserve your cells functioning and your good intestine micro organism blissful. But a fruit smoothie can overwhelm your physique with a fast inflow of fruit sugar, particularly in the event you gulp it down quick. If you’re taking a while to savor your smoothie bowl, that may assist to mitigate the issue. Raw nuts and seeds, carefully, can present wholesome fat and decelerate the absorption of sugar into our bloodstream. And the complete 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 think about 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 giant, presumably 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 that you would be able to drink two bananas, a cup of cherries, a cup of raspberries, three apples, and a kiwi far sooner 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, do not forget that mixing will not be a part of this system, so smoothies of all types are off the menu.
Finally, the make-up and high quality of components in a smoothie bowl issues an incredible deal. If you’re topping a healthful inexperienced smoothie bowl with processed granola, it’s possible you’ll be ingesting numerous 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 gradual it down or to set off satiety. In different phrases, you possibly can devour a number of hundred additional energy that wouldn’t lead you to eat much less for the remainder of the day — thus contributing to weight achieve. Whatever fruit you add, ensure 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, nonetheless. First, they are often actually costly. Second, they’re usually formulated to be extra scrumptious and fairly than nutritious, so it’s possible you’ll find yourself consuming a variety of sugar and empty energy, together with synthetic components within the toppings. Make certain you realize what’s actually in a restaurant smoothie bowl earlier than assuming all these colours are really wholesome.
The most secure and healthiest approach to get pleasure from 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 components 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 area. They’re fabulous, in the event that they’re inside your funds. Some of the Ninja model blenders can even deal with ice and frozen fruit, and are available at cheaper price factors. You would possibly need to try demos on YouTube earlier than shopping for, as all of them have totally different strengths and weaknesses, from ease of cleansing to loudness to container measurement.
Smoothie Bowl Base
Now, let’s speak concerning the smoothie bowl base. When doubtful, 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 realize you’ll have some round whenever you want it. Fresh fruit additionally works, combined with ice, to provide the similar consequence. Since avocado is a fruit, including some in can lend a satisfying creaminess and wholesome supply of fats to your bowl. And don’t neglect 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 might impart a brilliant 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 received’t win you any followers on Instagram. Nor is it prone to ever grow to be Pantone’s coloration of the yr. Of course, in case your purpose is a wholesome and attractive bowl, which may not be an issue for you. Other greens can supply totally 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 lined. Instead, water, coconut water, or an unsweetened plant-based milk could possibly be your finest choices.
If you need 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 beautiful 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 numerous 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 an honest quantity of omega-3s, you’ll additionally profit from the anthocyanins within the berries — each of which may help mind well being.
Strawberries and Cream Smoothie Bowl
Refreshing but creamy, this bowl is the right approach to begin the day with an considerable protein and fiber enhance. Or get pleasure from it as a pick-me-up deal with mid-afternoon. No matter whenever you attempt it, know that you simply’re supporting a wholesome physique and blissful tastebuds with every chew.
Morning Matcha Wake-Up Bowl
Get a bit mild enhance of sustainable power with this matcha tea- and maca-powered smoothie bowl. The base of this bowl is nice if you would like a pure power enhance with out added sugar. But in the event you favor only a contact of candy, you would possibly add a little bit of coconut or dried fruit.
Banana Split Smoothie Bowl
The base of this smoothie bowl alone is likely to be sufficient to name it a day by way of taste! But in the event you’re seeking to optimize diet whereas feeling indulgent — with out really being indulgent — then add some additional diet in with natural cherries, your favourite nut or seed butter, or some additional banana slices.
Tropical Delight Smoothie Bowl
Bring the tropics to you with this Tropical Delight Smoothie Bowl that’s full of vitamin C, beta carotene, and potassium. With every chew, shut your eyes and envision your self on a ravishing, 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 approach to begin a wholesome day!
Pumpkin Spice and Amaranth Smoothie Bowl
Fruit doesn’t must be the one star in a smoothie bowl. Vegetables and grains deserve their probability 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 get pleasure from 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 approach to get pleasure from your vegetables and fruit, particularly for teenagers. And after you try some photographs of gorgeous, wholesome, smoothie bowls, you would possibly discover your individual childlike creativity kindled. While they’re gaining popularity and simply obtainable in eating places, cafes, and juice bars, it’s nonetheless finest to make your individual. That method, you may management the standard of components and portion measurement. You would possibly need to consider smoothie bowls as a particular deal with somewhat than as a daily precursor to breakfast since they’re usually so excessive in fruit sugar and might 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 components?
- Do you’ve got your individual favourite smoothie bowl recipe?