When you discover a good thing, it can be hard not to dive in headfirst! Tell everyone you know, and eat, eat, eat. I fell into this trap when I discovered an irresistible smoothie bowl. You may have seen them on your Instagram feeds in all their fruity, colorful glory.
The obvious hurdle is that buying smoothie bowls regularly isn’t sustainable, especially if you’re tight on time, money, or calories. So, what do you do? Find a way to mimic the goodness!
Smoothie Bowl Steps
Smoothie bowls are very similar to smoothies, they’re just consumed in a different way (spoon, not straw), and include additional toppings and texture. So, start with your favorite smoothie recipe, blending fruit, some greens (spinach, kale), ice, milk (soy, almond), juice (orange, pomegranate, carrot) or yogurt (greek), and a little healthy sweetener (agave syrup, maple syrup, honey). Have fun with it and try your favorite flavors. You can even make two different smoothies to combine in the same bowl for more interesting bites. Keep thickness in mind overall, as you won’t want it too soupy.
Choose colorful fruit toppings.
The trick is in the toppings. Consider your base and then add complimentary (but not necessarily identical) fruit like blueberries, strawberries, bananas, passion fruit, and raspberries. This is your chance to try something new or uncommon. When’s the last time you had a kiwi? Try a little on top.
Texture is key. You don’t want everything to be smooth, so add some healthy seeds (chia, sunflower, hemp, etc.), grains (granola, oats), and/or nuts (walnut, pumpkin, almond). A little unsweetened coconut flakes sprinkled on top is a nice finishing touch.
Beware of sweetened yogurt, high-calorie granola, and other unnatural, processed ingredients. Stay as fresh as possible, and know that you’ll get a lot of sweetness from the smoothie and additional fruit toppings. You may even find you want a dollop of crème fraîche or plain greek yogurt on top to tame things!
Have fun with the design.
Just like the “recipe,” which can be varied in a million ways, have fun with the assembly. Pro tip: It usually looks nicer if toppings are added in chunks, in their own space; and it’s best if the heaviest items go last. You can always mix it and lose the pretty when eating!
Admire your creation. Then dig in!
That’s it. Whether or not your final bowl is Instagram-worthy, you can pat yourself on the back for starting the day with a healthy breakfast. Way to go!
If you’re looking for more specific direction, find many smoothie bowl recipes online.
Refreshing & Easy 3 Ingredient Peach Granita
You scream, I scream, we all scream for ice cream! There’s definitely room in every healthy diet for a modest scoop of fully-loaded ice cream on occasion, but if you want to indulge in a healthier and lighter way while still enjoying a tasty frozen treat, we’ve got a recipe for you!
If you’ve never heard of a granita, it’s an Italian dessert that lives somewhere between sorbet and shaved ice. It’s wonderfully easy to make at home because it requires no special equipment and no churning. And it’s wonderful for folks who are looking for a healthier treat because the recipe is low on added sugar and dairy, and packed with healthy nutrients thanks to fresh, ripe peaches.
3 Ingredient Peach Granita
Makes 1 quart (4 servings)
- 6 ripe peaches, peeled and pits removed
- 2 Tablespoons honey
- 1/3 cup whole milk
- Combine all ingredients in the basin of a blender. Blended on high until very smooth.
- Pour the mixture into a shallow dish (a loaf pan works well) and freeze.
- After an hour, take a fork to the mixture and scrape any frozen parts to break it up. Continue to do this every half hour until the entire pan is flaky and loose.
Nutrition per 1 cup serving
101 calories, 1g fat, 23.6g carbs, 2g protein
How to Read a Nutrition Label
Nevertheless, being aware of what you’re putting in your body (and how much) is important. So buckle up! We’re going for a ride to Labeltown (it’s like Funkytown, only more educational).
Break it down
- Serving size – the first thing you want to look at is the serving size, and how many servings are in the container. I used to think that the serving size for Oreos was “one package.” Turns out it’s two cookies. Clearly you can see my discrepancy.
- Caloric Content – trying to watch your weight? Watch your calories! Essentially, this part of the label tells you how much energy you’re taking in. It also tells you how much of that energy is coming from fat.
- The Nutrients – this part of the label clues you in on macro-nutrients (fat and protein), vitamins, minerals, and fiber. The left side of the column lists the nutrient (e.g. Iron, total fat, fiber), and the right side of the columns lists the percentage of the recommended daily value (%DV) for that nutrient.
Generally speaking, most Americans consume too much of the following nutrients:
- Total fat
- Saturated fat
We want to work on getting more of these:
- Mono and polyunsaturated fat
- Vitamins A and C
One thing to keep in mind when talking about Daily Value percentages is these percentages are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. So, if you’re daily calorie budget is 1,500, the percentages will be higher for you.
So there you have it! The nutrition label, decoded. Now, if anyone can tell me why un-popped popcorn is listed on a nutrition label…that would solve one of life’s mysteries for me.
What nutrient boggles your mind?
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