When I searched Instagram this morning for the hashtag “smoothie bowl,” I used to be provided virtually two and a half million posts. Scrolling a bit, dishes so garishly stunning bombarded my eyes. And they made my completely positive but extraordinary 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 artworks. The colours got here from contemporary 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 development due to its centrality within the food regimen 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 elements and recipes if we select to hop on the prepare and make our personal smoothie bowl?
What is a Smoothie Bowl?
The finest solution 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 (contemporary 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 comprises some unblended toppings, it looks like extra of a meal. (And the bowl in all probability provides to the notion.)
The most typical toppings are contemporary 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 selected meals is wholesome, the one solution 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 usually 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 devour them extra slowly. Fruit is a scrumptious solution to devour numerous fiber, water, antioxidants, and different essential 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 case 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, carefully, can present wholesome fat and decelerate the absorption of sugar into our bloodstream. And all the 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 think about is the dimensions 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, 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 contemporary 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 may drink two bananas, a cup of cherries, a cup of raspberries, three apples, and a kiwi far sooner than you’ll be able to 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 will not be a part of this system, so smoothies of every kind are off the menu.
Finally, the make-up and high quality of elements in a smoothie bowl issues a fantastic deal. If you’re topping a healthful inexperienced smoothie bowl with processed granola, you could be ingesting numerous processed sugar, synthetic flavors, and free radical-containing oils. If you employ 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 would devour 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 achieve. Whatever fruit you add, be certain that it’s in its complete kind, 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 generally discover them in airports.
Commercial smoothie bowls include two issues, nevertheless. First, they are often actually costly. Second, they’re typically formulated to be extra scrumptious and fairly than nutritious, so you could find yourself consuming plenty of sugar and empty energy, together with synthetic elements 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 solution 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 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 might plow a small discipline. They’re fabulous, in the event that they’re inside your finances. Some of the Ninja model blenders may also deal with ice and frozen fruit, and are available at lower cost factors. You would possibly 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 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’ll be able to 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 frequent, and may impart a brilliant inexperienced hue to the smoothie so long as you employ light-colored fruit like pineapple and mango. Start including blueberries and cherries to greens, and also you’ll get a shade that received’t win you any followers on Instagram. Nor is it prone to ever turn out to be Pantone’s shade 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 provide completely different shade 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. Knowledgeable 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 frequent 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 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 high of a bowl, both matching or complimenting the colour of the bottom. Coconut flakes, natural oats, clear, store-bought or home made granola, and varied nuts and seeds or nut and seed butters are all nice selections for a wholesome smoothie bowl. And beneath, 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 referred to 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 may help mind well being.
Strawberries and Cream Smoothie Bowl
Refreshing but creamy, this bowl is the right solution 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 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’d like a pure vitality enhance with out added sugar. But in case 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 may be sufficient to name it a day by way of taste! But in case you’re seeking to optimize diet whereas feeling indulgent — with out really 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 full of vitamin C, beta carotene, and potassium. With every chew, shut your eyes and envision your self on a good looking, breezy seashore!
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’ll be able to add chopped fruit on high for only a contact of sweetness. What a pleasant solution to begin a wholesome day!
Pumpkin Spice and Amaranth Smoothie Bowl
Fruit doesn’t need to 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 essential 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 solution to get pleasure from your vegetables and fruit, particularly for teenagers. And after you take a look at some images of lovely, wholesome, smoothie bowls, you would possibly discover your personal childlike creativity kindled. While they’re rising in popularity and simply accessible in eating places, cafes, and juice bars, it’s nonetheless finest to make your personal. That manner, you’ll be able to management the standard of elements and portion measurement. You would possibly wish to consider smoothie bowls as a particular deal with slightly than as an everyday precursor to breakfast since they’re typically 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 will have your personal favourite smoothie bowl recipe?