I have never been a person that really loves smoothies or even milkshakes. I like fro yo (but not ice cream), and I like all the things that go into smoothies, but I just would usually rather eat my calories than drink them. Which is also why I avoid fruit juices–it isn’t that I hate the taste, I just don’t really like it and would rather eat whole fruit than drink juice.
This has always been how I felt, even when I was little I didn’t like juice very much-with the exception of guava juice. This dislike of juice did not work to my advantage when I was younger and went to friends’ houses for dinner–because I also didn’t like milk. For someone as non-picky about food as I have always been, I guess I was kind of a beverage snob. I wonder what I drank at home every night growing up? I don’t remember!
One day not too long ago, as I was standing on my juice and smoothie hating pedestal, smoothie bowls entered my life. If you read other food blogs at all, you will probably know that smoothie bowls are not a concept that I came up with, although I wish I could take credit for them! I saw them all over the place and figured it was just a blog world craze that I would not be partaking in. But then a few weeks ago, I was really craving something cold and frozen yogurt-ish but healthy so I could eat it for breakfast and remembered these smoothies that I had seen. I had frozen bananas and frozen berries in my freezer so I decided to give it a try. One bite and I was hooked.
All you need to do to enjoy a smoothie bowl is make a smoothie-preferably a green monster but any kind will do. You just have to make sure that you make a huge smoothie so that it will fill an entire bowl. My favorite combo is 1 frozen banana, 1/2 cup frozen berries (I buy the mixed berries from Trader Joe’s), one large handful of spinach, about 1/2 cup milk and a pinch of xantham gum to thicken. Today I made one with pear instead of berries but I didn’t like it as much. I also sometimes like to add protein powder but I’m out of it right now. If someone wants to bring me some then we could be BFF’s. Blend all of the ingredients, pour into a bowl and add whatever you like! I usually add a couple tablespoons of oats (raw) and a cup or so of cereal. I have been using Trader Joe’s High Fiber cereal lately because I am 25 going on 86 apparently. Last week I ate a smoothie bowl with TJ’s cereal for all three meals. Getting crazy over here!
Some smoothie/smoothie bowl tips…..
I always try to include a banana if I can because I like the flavor and bulk it gives a smoothie. Frozen bananas are much better than non frozen and I try to always have them around. You can also make banana soft serve using frozen bananas but that is for another post. Anytime bananas that I have are starting to go bad, or are brown enough that I don’t want to eat them, I just peel them and break into large pieces and then freeze in a ziploc. That way they are already frozen and ready to go when I want a smoothie!
I use frozen berries too because fresh berries are often expensive and when I buy them I want to eat them not blend them away. Trader Joe’s has a huge variety of frozen berries for very cheap. Also, if you don’t have xantham gum you can skip it, but I recommend buying some if you can. I only recently started using it and it thickens the smoothie so much–totally worth it. Xantham gum costs kind of a lot (around 10-15 dollars for a bag of it), but will last forever since you only use a small pinch of it at a time. You can also use it to thicken dressings, sauces, etc.
I think that I like smoothie bowls so much even though I don’t really like smoothies because 1. you actually aren’t drinking, you are using a spoon to eat so it feels more like a meal. 2. I guess it really is more like a meal since you are adding cereal, oats, peanut butter, whatever else floats your boat 3. The smoothie makes a lot so it feels like you get to eat a ton. I’m always all for anything that lets me eat a lot and is still healthy. This bowl goes on and on and I still get sad when I finish it!
If you give this a try, you might get some weird stares and skeptical comments like I did from my entire family when I made one last weekend. Some examples:
‘That looks disgusting’
‘Um why are you eating a smoothie out of a bowl?”
“You put cereal in it too? That’s really weird Katie’.
In their defense it looked more like this:
than the prettier version above. But still!
I just enjoyed every last bite of my smoothie bowl, knowing that they were the ones missing out. Now what are you waiting for? Go make a smoothie bowl!!