There is a popular health food craze going around, and it’s called smoothie bowls! Why drink your smoothie in a boring cup when you can pour it into a bowl and decorate it all pretty! From bee pollen to spirulina, there are all kinds of health foods that people add into their bowls to increase nutrition, color, flavor and texture.
The possibility of options and colors are endless with smoothie bowls, which is what makes this such a fun and exciting thing to create. Toss in your favorite fruits, nut butters, protein powders, and supplements, and load it up with any and all of the toppings you can dream up.
Thanks to byrdie.com for sharing how to make a smoothie bowl in a few simple steps.
Step 1: Start with your base.
Ideally, the bulk of your smoothie should be a mix of fruit and veggies. “Greens, lots of greens!” says McKel Hill, blogger at Nutrition Stripped and author of the upcoming cookbook by the same name. She suggests adding two or three handfuls of organic kale, spinach, chard, or whatever other leafy vegetable you’d prefer—it’s an easy way to knock out a few servings of veggies, and if you add the right balance of fruit (Hill suggests one cup) and other ingredients, the taste is virtually undetectable. Want nutritional bonus points? Add some frozen peas or zucchini as well.
The smoothie will likely be too thick without liquid, so add a nut milk, coconut water, or regular water until you get the right consistency.
Step 2: Add…
Next you’ll want to throw in protein, healthy fats, and any other supplements or powders you desire. For your fat, consider 1/4 avocado or a small spoonful of nut butter. If you’re a fan of protein powder, try to choose a variety that’s plant-based and minimally processed. And if you struggle to remember to take your vitamins on a daily basis (I can relate), take this opportunity to toss in any supplements you can think of, whether it’s matcha, wheatgrass, or any of the countless ingestible beauty powders on the market. “If you have them on hand, I also recommend adding powders like medicinal mushrooms, maca, turmeric, cinnamon, freeze-dried fruit/veg powders, spirulina, or any other nutrient-dense powder,” says Hill.
Step 3: Top it off.
After blending your smoothie until it’s smooth, take your pick of nutrient-dense toppings, whether it’s goji berries, chia seeds, nuts, dried fruit, coconut… you name it. And if you really want to overachieve for Instagram, serve it all up in a makeshift edible “bowl”—a coconut, pineapple, or any other hollowed-out fruit with a thick rind will do.
Avoid these pitfalls:
While we’ll enthusiastically praise the deliciousness of frozen bananas, from a nutritional standpoint, they’re not totally ideal. “It’s easy to use frozen bananas because they taste sweet and they make smoothie bowls extra thick, but it adds up very easily,” says Hill. Sugar content is a good thing to keep in mind in general—while fruit is healthier than say, ice cream, the carb load is high. Stick to single servings (one cup of frozen or fresh fruit) and you’ll be in the clear. If you’d like your smoothie to be a little sweeter, consider adding a few pinches of stevia. The same goes for calorie-dense nut butters, granola, and treats like chocolate chips. As always, the rule of thumb is to practice moderation.
Recipe to Get You Started
Endless options can feel overwhelming, so dive in with LaVeque’s spa smoothie:
- 1 serving vanilla protein powder
- 1/4 avocado
- 1–2 tbsp. chia seeds
- Freshly squeezed lemon juice (to taste)
- Handful of spinach
- 1 small Persian cucumber
- Mint leaves (to taste)
- 2 cups unsweetened nut milk
- Blend ingredients in high-speed blender until smooth.
- Top with less than 1/4 cup berries.