You feel healthy when you drink a smoothie, but did you know you can eat a smoothie, too?
No matter the meal, superfood smoothie bowls are a way to get the nutrients you need in a tasty new way. "It seems that everyone is falling in love with them," says Julie Morris, a superfood chef in Los Angeles. "They're basically a dream come true. Imagine dipping into a big bowl of colorful ice cream but that ice cream just happens to be seriously healthy."
Smoothie bowls are also infinitely customizable, Morris says. "You can make smoothie bowls in a myriad of flavors, from tropical to berry to chocolate and pack in a wealth of superfoods (even green foods like spinach or spirulina) at the same time," she says. "Sprinkle the top with just about any type of fruit, nut, grain or sweet snack topping and you essentially have the best-ever breakfast that tastes like dessert."
To up the health quotient, add nut butter or whey powder for extra protein, suggests Kristen Bonkoski, author of "100 Days of Green Smoothies." "You can also boost the nutritional value of the smoothie bowl by adding chia seeds or ground flax seed and avocados and/or bananas to add thickness."
Your smoothie bowl doesn't have to be sweet, by the way. In fact, a savory smoothie bowl can be just as satisfying, says Ashley Koff, R.D., a registered dietitian in Washington, D.C., and a spokesperson for Earthbound Farm. "In winter, I'll make a puree base of coconut milk and sautéed broccoli," she says. "I might sprinkle hemp seeds on top, too. One of my favorite things about a smoothie bowl is that you can assemble everything from foods from the night before so that's what I do with my leftover cooked broccoli."
Finally, consider a smoothie bowl a one-stop-shop for a highly nutritious meal.
"You're getting so much in one place," says Elizabeth Ward, R.D., a dietitian based in Boston who serves on the Jamba Juice Healthy Living Council. "You're getting protein, calcium, phytonutrients and fiber. You can't go wrong."
Here are two DIY recipes to try:
Green Smoothie Bowl
(Source: Kristen Bonkoski)
- 2 cups baby spinach
- 1 banana (frozen)
- 1/4 avocado
- 6 strawberries (fresh or frozen)
- 1 cup almond milk
- 1 tablespoon almond butter
- 1/2 cup granola
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
- Add spinach, banana, avocado, strawberries, almond milk and almond butter to a high-powered blender. Blend until smooth.
- Pour into a bowl.
- Top with granola and chia seeds.
Dragonfruit Smoothie Bowl
(Source: Julie Morris)
Yield: 1 bowl
- 5 large pieces dragon fruit slices
- 2 tablespoons raw, unsalted macadamia nuts
- 2/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 cup frozen strawberries
- Stevia (or alternate desired sweetener), to taste
- In a blender, combine the dragon fruit slices, macadamia nuts, almond milk and lemon juice together, and blend until smooth.
- Add the strawberries and blend once more until frothy.
- Add stevia (or sweetener of choice) to taste.
- Pour the mixture into a bowl and sprinkle with desired toppings.
TIP: Add 1/4 teaspoon fresh minced ginger for a wonderful flavor boost.