When I searched Instagram this morning for the hashtag “smoothie bowl,” I used to be supplied virtually two and a half million posts. Scrolling a bit, dishes so garishly lovely bombarded my eyes. And they made my completely superb but atypical 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 in fact, the crossover star of the last decade, the acai berry, which arguably began the entire smoothie bowl pattern because of its centrality within the food regimen of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu founder Carlos Gracie.
So what’s the cope with 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 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 method 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 a substitute 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 comprises 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, in fact, 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 method to reply it usefully is so as to add, “compared to what?” Smoothie bowls are far more healthy than breakfasts stuffed 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 occasions quick) than common smoothies, they could be extra nutrient-dense, and higher for blood sugar management because you’re prone to eat them extra slowly. Fruit is a scrumptious method to eat a lot of 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 speedy inflow of fruit sugar, particularly in the event you 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 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 in regards to 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 sufficiently big to do a load of laundry in? Many of the Instagram bowls are fairly giant, 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 you could drink two bananas, a cup of cherries, a cup of raspberries, three apples, and a kiwi far quicker than you possibly can 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 shouldn’t be 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 incredible 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 gradual it down or to set off satiety. In different phrases, you would 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, 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 retailers, upscale cafes, and a few vegan or vegetarian eating places. You’ll even generally 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 loads of sugar and empty energy, together with synthetic elements within the toppings. Make certain you already know what’s actually in a restaurant smoothie bowl earlier than assuming all these colours are really wholesome.
The most secure and healthiest method to get pleasure from smoothie bowls is to make your personal.
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 fairly high-powered blender to cope with 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 might plow a small discipline. They’re fabulous, in the event that they’re inside your funds. Some of the Ninja model blenders may also deal with ice and frozen fruit, and are available in at cheaper price factors. You would possibly wish 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 in regards to 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 possibly can retailer frozen fruit as a kitchen staple in order that you already know you’ll have some round if you want it. Fresh fruit additionally works, blended with ice, to provide the similar outcome. 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 may impart a vivid 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 colour that gained’t win you any followers on Instagram. Nor is it prone to ever change into Pantone’s colour of the 12 months. Of course, in case your purpose is a wholesome and engaging bowl, which may not be an issue for you. Other greens can supply totally different colour 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 may very well be your finest choices.
If you wish to add dietary supplements, adaptogens, or protein powders, they will 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 home made granola, and numerous nuts and seeds or nut and seed butters are all nice selections for a wholesome smoothie bowl. And under, you’ll even discover a recipe that requires amaranth, a complete 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 all your favourite plant-based omega-3s collectively in a single recipe! We might have referred to 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 assist mind well being.
Strawberries and Cream Smoothie Bowl
Refreshing but creamy, this bowl is the right method 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 if you strive 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 vitality with this matcha tea- and maca-powered smoothie bowl. The base of this bowl is nice if you need a pure vitality enhance with out added sugar. But in the event you desire 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 could be sufficient to name it a day by way of taste! But in the event you’re trying to optimize diet whereas feeling indulgent — with out truly being indulgent — then add some further diet 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 wonderful, breezy seashore!
Lemon Detox Smoothie Bowl
If you’re a “more greens, please” individual, then this Lemon Detox Smoothie Bowl is correct up your alley! Made with kale, parsley, ginger, avocado, and lemon, it’s refreshing as is, or you possibly can add chopped fruit on prime for only a contact of sweetness. What a pleasant method 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 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 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 method to get pleasure from your fruit and veggies, particularly for youths. And after you try some images of lovely, wholesome, smoothie bowls, you would possibly discover your personal childlike creativity kindled. While they’re rising in popularity and simply out there in eating places, cafes, and juice bars, it’s nonetheless finest to make your personal. That method, you possibly can management the standard of elements and portion measurement. You would possibly wish to consider smoothie bowls as a particular deal with quite than as a daily precursor to breakfast since they’re usually so excessive in fruit sugar and may simply comprise 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 your personal favourite smoothie bowl recipe?