By Natalie Richoux

Smoothie bowls are one of the biggest nutritional trends today, but why? The customizability of these bowls allows you to create the perfect smoothie based on the benefits you want to gain. Do you want an antioxidant-rich meal replacement? Add spinach, blueberries or cranberries. Something packed with protein? Add almonds, oats or pumpkin seeds. Do you want an energy-boosting snack? Add some banana or quinoa. You decide what raw ingredients to use to create the exact meal replacement you have been craving.

The primary ingredients in smoothie bowls are fruits (fresh or frozen, although frozen eliminates the need to add ice), a raw protein (chia or hemp), a naturally derived liquid and a natural sweetener (honey or agave). Due to this impressive roster, they are packed with nutrients and protein making them a satisfying meal.

Unlike conventional smoothies, which use added liquids such as juices, water or yogurts to make them thinner and more “sipable,” smoothie bowls only use a minimal amount of liquid and are instead packed with raw fruit, making them thicker and more nutritious and topped with nutritional add ons. Because you cannot use a straw to quickly slurp down a smoothie bowl, you are more likely to take your time while eating them and engage in mindful eating practices. Mindful eating is the practice of fully paying attention to your experience as you eat and take in all of the colors, smells, textures, flavors and temperatures. Through mindful eating practices, you eliminate the “where has my food gone” moment that has caused you to overeat and left you unsatisfied.

Our stomachs also contain stretch receptors, which are activated while we eat, and signal to the brain that we are full and satisfied, according to the Harvard Medical School. When we eat quickly, our stretch receptors do not expand fast enough to signal to the brain we are full, which leads to overeating. Because cold smoothie bowls must be eaten slowly, your stretch receptors have time to signal to the brain that you are full and satisfied.

Beyond the health benefits that smoothie bowls provide, they are fun to make! Adorned with brightly colored fruits such as kiwis, blueberries, pineapples and mangos, a smoothie bowl is the perfect healthy food to snap a picture of for your Instagram!

Sunshine Smoothie Bowl

Smoothie Bowl Base
½ cup frozen pineapple chunks
½ cup frozen mango chunks
1 frozen banana, peeled
½ teaspoon fresh, minced ginger
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
1/3 cup coconut milk

Toppings
Grapefruit
Strawberries
Pumpkin seeds
Raw almonds
Chia seeds
Blueberries

Blooming Sweetness Smoothie Bowl

Smoothie Bowl Base
½ cup frozen blackberries
½ cup frozen blueberries
1 frozen banana, peeled
1 tablespoon chia seeds
½ cup coconut milk
½ cup raw granola

Toppings
Dragon fruit balls
Blueberries
Strawberries
Sweetened coconut flakes
Granola

Green Machine Smoothie Bowl

Smoothie Bowl Base
2 handfuls of raw spinach
1 frozen banana, peeled
1 red delicious apple, cored
½ cup frozen pineapple chunks
½ teaspoon Chlorella
¼ lime, peeled
¼ cup ice

 

Toppings
Blueberries
Kiwi
Sweetened coconut flakes
Granola