I posted on Instagram recently that I’ve been eating these smoothie bowls for breakfast or lunch lately and I feel so good after eating them. I just had to share because they are jam-packed with nutrition, tasty, satisfying, and it doesn’t get much easier than throwing things in a blender. This can be a great weekday breakfast you can whip up before work and really set yourself up for a good food day. And seriously, I feel like I’m glowing after eating one of these so it’s been easy to make almost every day.
I have a tendency to buy anything labeled as a “superfood” – chia seeds, hemp seeds, bee pollen, moringa powder, hemp protein powder, grassfed gelatin, you name it – but then I don’t always know what to do with these wonderful things and often times they sit, totally unwilling to provide me the great benefits they tout through osmosis (go figure). So one day, I threw a bunch of them together in a smoothie, and the results were quite satisfying.
I read once about how putting smoothies in a bowl and eating like soup forces you to slow down and not eat so quickly, allowing you to feel more satisfied and full. I’ve noticed before when I drink smoothies I don’t necessarily feel like I’ve had a “meal”, but doing it this way, especially with the addition of crunchies like walnuts, cashews, and shredded coconut on top, definitely feels like a satisfying meal.
As with any smoothies, the combination possibilities are endless. That’s why I love these so much. I usually try to keep a base of 2 cups dark, leafy greens, plus one more vegetable, at least one fruit, and then go crazy with the add-ins. I bought some aloe vera juice recently because it is supposed to be so good for digestion and immune function, but that stuff, honestly, tastes nasty. So, in to the smoothie it goes! Same with unflavored hemp protein powder and bee pollen. Alone those two are very…earthy (pretty gross), but you can’t taste it in a smoothie.
Here is a brief rundown of the benefits of each ingredient in case you’re curious (skip to the bottom for the recipe if you’re not interested):
- Kale – High in fiber, antioxidants, iron (more iron per ounce than beef), Vitamin K, protein (for a vegetable), low in calories, and because of it’s organosulfur compounds, has been known to help fight cancer.
- Carrots – Excellent source of Vitamins A, C, E, and K, potassium, folate, manganese, phosphorous, magnesium, zinc, and of course the antioxidant beta-carotene which makes it orange.
- Banana – High in potassium, fiber, Vitamins C and B6, and manganese (along with smaller amounts of other vitamins, minerals, and amino acids), plus aids in digestion.
- Blueberries – Super high in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals the blueberry has been shown to have positive effects for cardiovascular and cognitive systems, reduce cholesterol, lower blood pressure, protect against stroke and reduce oxidative stress.
- Hemp Seed Protein Powder – If you buy the right kind (I like this one), it’s a good way to get an extra serving of protein without questionable ingredients. It’s just clean, ground hemp seeds. No dairy products like whey protein has and no need to wonder or worry about where the milk comes from and if it’s been grass fed, given hormones and antibiotics, etc. The plain powder also contains no additives like sugar or flavorings.
- Chia Seeds – These tiny seeds pack a punch. They’re high in Omega-3 fatty acids, phosphorous, manganese, protein, fiber, and has been shown to stabilize blood sugar (helping those with diabetes) and help you feel full faster.
- Bee Pollen – Bee pollen is richer in proteins than any animal source. It contains more amino acids than beef, eggs, or cheese of equal weight. It also comes packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that have been shown to improve energy, cardiovascular function, digestion and some even say it can be used to help treat addiction since supposedly inhibits cravings and can be a great tool for weight management.
- Aloe Vera Juice – Supposed to be great for digestion, immune function, and blood circulation.
- Coconut Water – Low in calories, more potassium than four bananas, more electrolytes than any sports drink, and super hydrating.
- Shredded coconut – Protein, fiber, iron, and zinc. But mostly it just tastes really good on top. :)
- Walnuts – Full of healthy fats, these are proven to be great for the heart, immune system, brain, bone, and breast health, digestion, skin and hair.
- Cashews – Another source of healthy fats, cashews are also great for skin, hair, and nails as well as rich in iron, phosphorus, selenium, magnesium and zinc. They are also good sources of phytochemicals, antioxidants, and protein.
Of course, as with any food or supplements, there is always going to be conflicting information or reasons not to consume any of the above, so do your own research and do what you like.
Also, don’t feel the need to go out and buy all these different powders and superfood supplements if you don’t want to. Just go with what you have or what’s easily available and incorporate whatever you want. You can put pretty much anything in smoothies. Here’s what I put in this one:
Kale, Carrot and Blueberry Superfood Smoothie Bowl
2 cups kale, packed
1/2 cup blueberries (frozen are good here)
3 T. hemp seed protein powder
2 T. chia seeds
1 T. bee pollen
3/4 cup coconut water
1/4 cup aloe vera juice
Combine everything in blender until smooth, add a bit of honey or other natural sweetener if necessary, pour in to a bowl and top with:
1/4 cup shredded coconut
1 T. walnuts (raw)
1 T. cashews (raw)
Always buy organic if you can, especially for kale and blueberries since they are shown to be among the most toxic when pesticides are used. Which is crazy because it’s like, completely ruining all of the amazing health benefits those foods contain by spraying nasty and harmful chemicals all over them.