When I searched Instagram this morning for the hashtag “smoothie bowl,” I used to be provided virtually two and a half million posts. Scrolling a bit, dishes so garishly lovely bombarded my eyes. And they made my completely fantastic but atypical 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 had been unhealthy. There had been no Skittles, M&Ms, or canned spam consumed within the making of those artistic endeavors. 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 pattern due to its centrality within the food regimen of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu founder Carlos Gracie.

So what’s the cope with 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 the very best elements and recipes if we select to hop on the prepare and make our personal smoothie bowl?

What is a Smoothie Bowl?

The greatest solution 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 an alternative 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 complete grains. They’re added for texture and mouthfeel, further taste, and, in fact, Instagramability. (Yes, that’s a phrase.)

Are Smoothie Bowls Really Healthy?

ingredients for green smoothies
iStock.com/wmaster890

Whenever you hear a query about whether or not a selected meals is wholesome, the one solution 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 usually thicker (say that 5 occasions quick) than common smoothies, they could be extra nutrient-dense, and higher for blood sugar management because you’re prone to eat them extra slowly. Fruit is a scrumptious solution to eat plenty of fiber, water, antioxidants, and different necessary phytochemicals that hold your cells functioning and your good intestine micro organism completely happy. But a fruit smoothie can overwhelm your physique with a speedy 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, moderately, can present wholesome fat and decelerate the absorption of sugar into our bloodstream. And your complete 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 concerning 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 massive, presumably for photographic impact, but in addition 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 can drink two bananas, a cup of cherries, a cup of raspberries, three apples, and a kiwi far quicker than you’ll be able to 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 shouldn’t be a part of this system, so smoothies of every kind are off the menu.

Ingredients Matter

Finally, the make-up and high quality of elements in a smoothie bowl issues an excellent deal. If you’re topping a healthful inexperienced smoothie bowl with processed granola, chances are you’ll 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 sluggish it down or to set off satiety. In different phrases, you may 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 acquire. Whatever fruit you add, be sure it’s in its complete 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

business partners at juice bar
iStock.com/andresr

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 generally discover them in airports.

Commercial smoothie bowls include two issues, nonetheless. First, they are often actually costly. Second, they’re usually formulated to be extra scrumptious and fairly than nutritious, so chances are you’ll find yourself consuming lots of sugar and empty energy, together with synthetic elements within the toppings. Make certain you realize what’s actually in a restaurant smoothie bowl earlier than assuming all these colours are really wholesome.

The most secure and healthiest solution to take pleasure in 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 cope with 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 area. 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 try 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 measurement.

Smoothie Bowl Base

Now, let’s speak concerning the smoothie bowl base. When doubtful, begin with frozen fruit, as that provides thickness and coldness. And because it lasts a very long time, you’ll be able to retailer frozen fruit as a kitchen staple in order that you realize 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 frequent, and might impart a shiny 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 gained’t win you any followers on Instagram. Nor is it prone to ever develop into Pantone’s coloration of the 12 months. Of course, in case your objective is a wholesome and attractive bowl, that may not be an issue for you. Other greens can provide completely different coloration and style profiles, together with beets, carrots, celery, and even bell peppers.

Liquid Mixers

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 frequent on Instagram, I like to recommend towards it for causes we’ve already lined. Instead, water, coconut water, or an unsweetened plant-based milk might be your greatest choices.

Powdered Supplements

If you need to add dietary supplements, adaptogens, or protein powders, they’ll 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 varied 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

berry delicious omega 3 smoothie bowl

This nourishing bowl of deliciousness packs your entire favourite plant-based omega-3s collectively in a single recipe! We may have referred to 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 may help mind well being.

Strawberries and Cream Smoothie Bowl

strawberries and cream smoothie bowl

Refreshing but creamy, this bowl is the right solution to begin the day with an plentiful protein and fiber increase. Or take pleasure in it as a pick-me-up deal with mid-afternoon. No matter once you attempt it, know that you just’re supporting a wholesome physique and completely happy tastebuds with every chunk.

Morning Matcha Wake-Up Bowl

morning matcha wake up bowl

Get a bit of mild increase of sustainable power with this matcha tea- and maca-powered smoothie bowl. The base of this bowl is nice in order for you a pure power increase with out added sugar. But when you favor only a contact of candy, you would possibly add a little bit of coconut or dried fruit.

Banana Split Smoothie Bowl

banana split smoothie bowl

The base of this smoothie bowl alone may be sufficient to name it a day when it comes to taste! But when you’re seeking to optimize diet whereas feeling indulgent — with out truly 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

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 chunk, shut your eyes and envision your self on a lovely, breezy seaside!

Lemon Detox Smoothie Bowl

lemon detox smoothie bowl

If you’re a “more greens, please” particular person, then this Lemon Detox Smoothie Bowl is correct up your alley! Made with kale, parsley, ginger, avocado, and lemon, it’s refreshing as is, or you’ll be able to add chopped fruit on high for only a contact of sweetness. What a pleasant solution to begin a wholesome day!

Pumpkin Spice and Amaranth Smoothie Bowl

pumpkin spice smoothie bowl

Fruit doesn’t need to 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 take pleasure in 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 solution to take pleasure in your vegatables and fruits, particularly for youths. And after you try some pictures of lovely, wholesome, smoothie bowls, you would possibly discover your individual childlike creativity kindled. While they’re gaining popularity and simply obtainable in eating places, cafes, and juice bars, it’s nonetheless greatest to make your individual. That means, you’ll be able to management the standard of elements and portion measurement. You would possibly need to consider smoothie bowls as a particular deal with relatively than as an everyday precursor to breakfast since they’re usually 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’ve your individual favourite smoothie bowl recipe?

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