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 wonderful but peculiar 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 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 food 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 practice and make our personal smoothie bowl?
What is a Smoothie Bowl?
The greatest approach to describe a smoothie bowl is, simply think about 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 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 entire 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 approach 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 instances quick) than common smoothies, they could be extra nutrient-dense, and higher for blood sugar management because you’re more likely to eat them extra slowly. Fruit is a scrumptious approach to eat numerous fiber, water, antioxidants, and different necessary phytochemicals that preserve your cells functioning and your good intestine micro organism completely satisfied. But a fruit smoothie can overwhelm your physique with a fast inflow of fruit sugar, particularly when 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 sufficiently big 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 you could 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 greatest 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 elements in a smoothie bowl issues an amazing 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 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 eat 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 that it’s in its entire 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 typically discover them in airports.
Commercial smoothie bowls include two issues, nonetheless. First, they are often actually costly. Second, they’re typically formulated to be extra scrumptious and fairly than nutritious, so it’s possible you’ll find yourself consuming a number of sugar and empty energy, together with synthetic elements within the toppings. Make positive you understand 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 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 would plow a small discipline. They’re fabulous, in the event that they’re inside your price range. Some of the Ninja model blenders may deal with ice and frozen fruit, and are available at cheaper price factors. You would possibly need 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 discuss 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 may retailer frozen fruit as a kitchen staple in order that you understand you’ll have some round once you want it. Fresh fruit additionally works, blended with ice, to provide the identical 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 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 vivid 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 gained’t win you any followers on Instagram. Nor is it more likely to ever change into Pantone’s shade of the yr. Of course, in case your aim is a wholesome and attractive 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. 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 may very well be your greatest choices.
If you need 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 beautiful on high of a bowl, both matching or complimenting the colour of the bottom. Coconut flakes, natural oats, clear, store-bought or selfmade granola, and numerous nuts and seeds or nut and seed butters are all nice decisions for a wholesome smoothie bowl. And beneath, 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 your whole favourite plant-based omega-3s collectively in a single recipe! We might 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 might help mind well being.
Strawberries and Cream Smoothie Bowl
Refreshing but creamy, this bowl is the right approach to begin the day with an plentiful protein and fiber enhance. Or get pleasure from 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 completely satisfied 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 need a pure power enhance with out added sugar. But when you want 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 when you’re seeking to optimize vitamin whereas feeling indulgent — with out truly being indulgent — then add some additional vitamin 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 an exquisite, 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 may add chopped fruit on high for only a contact of sweetness. What a pleasant approach 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 get pleasure from it year-round? Pumpkin is chock-full of beta carotene, an necessary 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 vegatables and fruits, particularly for teenagers. And after you take a look at some pictures of gorgeous, wholesome, smoothie bowls, you would possibly discover your individual childlike creativity kindled. While they’re gaining popularity and simply accessible in eating places, cafes, and juice bars, it’s nonetheless greatest to make your individual. That means, you may management the standard of elements and portion dimension. You would possibly need to consider smoothie bowls as a particular deal with fairly than as a daily precursor to breakfast since they’re typically so excessive in fruit sugar and might 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 could have your individual favourite smoothie bowl recipe?