Smoothie Bowls - The beauty and the benefits
As many of you who already follow my blog will know the efforts I have put in to change to my lifestyle and habits over the last 18 months and earlier this year I made the decision to go vegetarian. Although I’ve made a conscious effort to look at the foods and drinks I’ve been putting in my system, I didn’t realise how much cutting out meat was going to make me more creative with what I eat now and infinitely more aware about the produce I’m putting in my system. I think a huge part comes down to me wanting to get the right amount of fruit, veg, vitamins, protein etc into my diet and so I’ve discovered new and exciting foods I hadn’t tried before.
If you follow me on instagram - theharmonyproject.ashlie - you’ll see several posts about my biggest food addiction of the moment, smoothie bowls. My best friend said the other day “I don’t get it? Why not just drink it like a smoothie?” which got my head thinking about why I LOVE my smoothie bowls but find drinking smoothies a bit of a chore. If you’re not already aware of what a smoothie bowl is, you just have to head over to instagram and you’ll find over half a million posts with hashtag #smoothiebowl, proving this is a trend that is really catching on.
So… What make smoothie bowls so different?
First of all, I’m psychologically aware that eating my meal with a spoon makes me take my time and ultimately eat much less than what I would consume if drinking out of a glass. I take after my mother when drinking and somehow manage to drink an entire glass without even taking a breath, I’m definitely one who tends to gulp my drinks instead of savouring it, so I could drink three times the amount of smoothie than if I was eating it out of a bowl. Since I want to reduce my calorie intake not triple it, I’m happy sticking to what I know with this one.
But there is much more to a smoothie bowl than adding a straw and changing the serving dish. As someone who always struggled with eating breakfast everyday, I like to think of my smoothie bowl as the modern veggies cereal - cereal 2.0 if you like. Instead of skipping my breakfast or just grabbing something quick and easy, this breakfast is one I can enjoy, savour and pack full of vitamins a nutrients as well as added sustenance like Maca powder or Green Blends.
The beauty of the smoothie bowl is the blender is your oyster and the components you wish to add can change from meal to meal.
If I break it down to what I like to add into my bowl you can see just how much goodness goes into this little dish. I find I have my smoothies in a colour order as opposed to a just slapping everything in, this maybe a little obsessive of me, but I love how it looks and the end and ultimate the tastes go amazing together.
Reds - Strawberries, raspberries and blueberries are a common denominator in my bowls mainly because I bloody love them. They taste so good but I am conscious of the high levels of sugar this adds so if you’re avoiding sugar the the fruity ingredients won’t be the best option for you. I also enjoy added beetroot - messy but magical - as well as plums and I even red about a tomato based one when I was craving a bloody mary! I haven’t tried that yet but will inform you when I do!
Greens - now green drinks never looks as good as they tastes. But I’m a huge fan of smoothing avocados, kiwi, apple, lime, kale, spinach, celery, lettuce and cucumber. My favourite green smoothie combines kiwi, apple, cucumber and lime over ice with a splash of pineapple juice. It’s so refreshing and perfect for summer weather.
Orange/yellow - passion fruit, pineapple, mango, apple (peeled), orange and I imagine bananas would go well but I’m not a fan so I’ve never tried.
Proteins - protein powders are an option, but I tend to use my toppings for added protein including almonds, pumpkin seed, chia seeds and anything you might like sprinkling on the top. I also like to and nut butter into my shakes for a bit of extra protein.
Added powders/ superfoods - goji berries are a topping of choice for me, as well as maca powder and my green smoothie blend from Funktional Foods. You can toss in any superfoods or blends you like to give you that added boost. I find wheatgrass goes really well with a green bowl!
Ice and coconut water are added to blend the smoothie together. Almond milk, coconut milk or filtered water would work too.
Note: not everyone will want to sweeten their smoothie bowl, but I like a bit of Agave to take the edge off, especially when using Maca powder which can give a dry and nutty taste.
The beauty of a smoothie bowl is the experimentation. You can design and create your bowl to suit your tastes and everything that you like. Top your bowl with nuts, seeds, extra fruit, granola or whatever you fancy to give it a bit of a bit and some decoration and you have yourself an incredible dish in front you.
It’s your turn to get in the kitchen and try it out. I’d love to hear some of your recipes and ideas so don’t forget to send them!