Have you already been indulging a little too much over the holidays? Don’t worry! Here is one possible antidote: the smoothie bowl.
As the name implies, a smoothie bowl is a smoothie, in a bowl. If you’ve never had one, it really is the ideal way to enjoy smoothies, as they can be just a little too thick to drink comfortably with a straw. With a smoothie bowl, there’s no need to struggle with every sip, you simply eat the smoothie with a spoon. Brilliant. Not only that, but the bowl can be topped with all sorts of superfoods, adding texture and flavor, and bringing up its nutritional value even further and transforming a simple drink into a complete meal, perfect for a nourishing breakfast or snack.
Now, there is often confusion on the question of smoothies vs. juices. So, which one is best?
Well, it really depends on what we are trying to achieve. Ideally, we should do both. Sometimes juices, sometimes smoothies. That’s because each serves a very different purpose.
Juicing extracts the juice from fresh produce, leaving behind its fiber. This helps concentrate the nutrients in an easy-to-digest form, since it is much easier to drink a whole lot of vegetables that have been juiced, than to eat them in their whole, fibrous form (for tips on juicing, and my favorite green juice recipe, see this post). However, juicing does not preserve any of the beneficial fiber contained within produce.
Smoothies, on the other hand, are made from whole vegetables and fruits that have been liquified in a blender. Unlike juicing, this process keeps the fiber of the produce intact. Yes, the fiber has been broken down, but it is still present. And, if you think about it, this breaking down is what also happens in our digestive system. So, think of smoothies as pre-digesting the fiber contained in produce without eliminating it.
Both juices and smoothies deliver a lot of phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals, fight cell damage, help prevent aging, support the immune system and boost energy. But only smoothies supply fiber, which supports a healthy digestive system and also helps us feel full a little longer.
Smoothie bowls make a great, nutritious, breakfast or snack, and varieties are endless. Experiment with all sorts of combinations and toppings, and look forward to breakfast and snacks again!
SMOOTHIE BOWL IDEAS:
– Basic components of a healthy smoothie: liquid (see below, I usually start with 1/2 cup and add more if needed), produce (vegetables, leafy greens, lettuce, fruits, etc.), protein (see below), fat (see below), and boosters (see below).
– Go easy on fruits: use fruits in moderation and always add a protein source to a smoothie, as well as vegetables and healthy fats in order to balance out the sugar content. Some good options: kale, romaine, cucumber, freshly roasted pumpkin, beets, chia seeds, hemp seeds, nut butters, coconut oil, coconut milk, etc.
– To thin out a smoothie: non-dairy milk (preferably homemade, see this recipe with video tutorial); coconut water; vegetable juice; plain filtered water; etc.
– To thicken a smoothie: nut butter; chia seeds; flax seeds; hemp seeds; fruits; coconut oil.
– Boosters: spirulina; chlorella; maca powder; bee pollen; cacao nibs; cinnamon; flax seeds.
– For a creamier taste and more fat: avocado; coconut meat; nut butter; coconut oil.
– For more protein: nut butter, chia seeds, spirulina, chlorella, hemp seeds, flax seeds.
– For a little kick: ginger; garlic; cayenne.
– For more sweetness (use in moderation): maple syrup; raw, local honey; fresh stevia leaves; coconut palm sugar; dates; fresh fruit juice.
– For texture: chopped nuts; buckwheat groats; unsweetened, toasted, shredded coconut; sunflower, pumpkin, or other seeds (flax, chia, hemp, etc.).
– Toppings: chia seeds; hemp seeds; sliced fruit; chopped nuts; unsweetened, toasted, shredded coconut; sunflower, pumpkin, or any other seeds.
Love and health!
- 1 cup baby arugula
- 1 kale leaf, de-stemmed, roughly chopped
- 3 cups chopped romaine lettuce
- 1/2 cup coconut water
- 2 tablespoons almond butter
- 1 Asian pear
- 1/2” piece ginger, minced
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 cup ice
- sliced bananas, chopped pecans, pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, for garnish
- Add the arugula, kale, romaine, coconut water, almond butter, pear, ginger, chia seeds, lemon juice, and ice to a high speed blender. Blend on high until smooth, about 1 minute.
- Pour into 2 large bowls, and garnish with toppings separated into uniform layers.
- Serve immediately.