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 strange 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 in fact, the crossover star of the last decade, the acai berry, which arguably began the entire smoothie bowl development because of its centrality within the weight-reduction 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 diet influencers say they’re? Should we embrace them wholeheartedly? Are some more healthy than others? And what are one of the best elements and recipes if we select to hop on the practice and make our personal smoothie bowl?
What is a Smoothie Bowl?
The finest option 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 properly, 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 entire 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 option 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 sometimes thicker (say that 5 occasions quick) than common smoothies, they might be extra nutrient-dense, and higher for blood sugar management because you’re more likely to eat them extra slowly. Fruit is a scrumptious option to eat plenty of fiber, water, antioxidants, and different essential phytochemicals that preserve your cells functioning and your good intestine micro organism comfortable. 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’re 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 entire 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 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, presumably 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 which you can 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 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 isn’t 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 an incredible deal. If you’re topping a healthful inexperienced smoothie bowl with processed granola, you could be ingesting plenty of 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 gradual it down or to set off satiety. In different phrases, you could possibly 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, be certain it’s in its entire 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 typically 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 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 option 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 reasonably high-powered blender to take care of the ice or frozen fruit — and to mix the smoothie base to a desired stage 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 subject. They’re fabulous, in the event that they’re inside your price range. Some of the Ninja model blenders may also deal with ice and frozen fruit, and are available at lower cost factors. You may need to take a look at 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 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, combined with ice, to provide the identical 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 widespread, and might 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 coloration that received’t win you any followers on Instagram. Nor is it more likely to ever change into Pantone’s coloration of the 12 months. Of course, in case your purpose is a wholesome and attractive bowl, that may not be an issue for you. Other greens can supply totally different coloration 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 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 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 do-it-yourself granola, and numerous nuts and seeds or nut and seed butters are all nice decisions 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 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 might assist mind well being.
Strawberries and Cream Smoothie Bowl
Refreshing but creamy, this bowl is the proper option to begin the day with an ample protein and fiber increase. Or get pleasure from it as a pick-me-up deal with mid-afternoon. No matter once you attempt it, know that you simply’re supporting a wholesome physique and comfortable tastebuds with every chew.
Morning Matcha Wake-Up Bowl
Get just a little light increase 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 increase with out added sugar. But in the event you want only a contact of candy, you may 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 really being indulgent — then add some additional diet 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 filled with vitamin C, beta carotene, and potassium. With every chew, shut your eyes and envision your self on an attractive, breezy seaside!
Lemon Detox Smoothie Bowl
If you’re a “more greens, please” individual, 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 option 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 proper 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 option to get pleasure from your fruit and veggies, particularly for youths. And after you take a look at some pictures of lovely, wholesome, smoothie bowls, you may discover your individual childlike creativity kindled. While they’re gaining popularity and simply out there in eating places, cafes, and juice bars, it’s nonetheless finest to make your individual. That method, you may management the standard of elements and portion measurement. You may need to consider smoothie bowls as a particular deal with quite than as a daily precursor to breakfast since they’re typically so excessive in fruit sugar and might 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 might have your individual favourite smoothie bowl recipe?