Happy New Year! I don’t know about you, but the last few weeks got a little hectic around here. It started with a busy couple of days at work, and continued with an awesome surprise trip to Seattle for Christmas courtesy of my mom and grandma, and ended with us rushing back to Washington to
binge watch The League get back to work. Luckily, we got to sleep in this morning and started the year off with my all time favorite breakfast standby. The smoothie bowl.
Think about it. In theory, smoothies sound like a great idea. They are packed with fruit, and don’t weigh you down in the morning. The problem is that they just don’t feel like a real meal. I mean, it’s basically like drinking a super calorie laden glass of juice that leaves you feeling famished long before lunch time. Enter the smoothie bowl. Similar to a smoothie, a smoothie bowl is made with yummy fruit, a few handfuls of spinach or kale, and tart nonfat yogurt. Unlike a regular smoothie though, it is way too thick to be served in a glass (hence the bowl) and should be eaten with a spoon. In addition to making the smoothie feel more like a meal, the bowl and spoon lend themselves easily to a delicious sprinkle of homemade granola or a few tablespoons of oats mixed with peanut butter for a little added heft.
The trick to a nice thick smoothie, is to freeze all of your ingredients ahead of time. I usually slice up a bunch of bananas and spread them out in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Then, I pop the cookie sheet in the freezer for a couple of hours before transferring the banana slices to a ziplock bag. I also toss ziplock bags stuffed with washed and dried kale and spinach into the freezer, which ends up being the perfect amount for a single smoothie. Freezing all of your ingredients, especially bananas, leads to a thick and creamy smoothie, even without yogurt. In fact, I used to make these all the time with just fruit, kale, and a splash of water, but I found that adding about a half cup of yogurt helps me stave off hunger until lunch time.
I must warn you though, adding kale and spinach can wreak havoc on the color of your smoothie bowl (today I made one smoothie bowl with and one without kale). If you’re going for bright green, you’ll have to pass on any red fruits like berries, and instead rely on bananas, pineapple, mango, and oranges. If however, all you care about is a smoothie bowl packed with nutrients and flavor you can go crazy-blueberries, strawberries, cherries, bananas, leafy greens…throw it all in there! Just remember to freeze everything first…
Let’s talk toppings for a minute. Adding a little something on top is an essential part of the smoothie bowl. It’s what transforms the smoothie from juice to breakfast. So, instead of drinking a sad glass of juice before you run out the door, it’s as if you are eating delicious frozen yogurt sprinkled with granola for breakfast. If I haven’t made any granola, I usually mix together a tablespoon of peanut butter with a couple tablespoons of oats and then add whatever else I have on hand. Maybe a spoon of shredded coconut, chia seeds, ground flax, or even a few dried cranberries.
- 1/2 cup frozen banana slices
- 1/2 cup frozen pineapple
- 1/2 cup frozen cherries (optional)
- 2 large leaves of kale
- 1/2 cup nonfat yogurt
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 tablespoon peanutbutter
- 2 tablespoons oats
- 1 teaspoon chia seeds
- 1 teaspoon flax seed
- In a small bowl, combine peanut butter, oats, chia seeds, flax, and/or whatever else you feel like.
- Blend fruit, kale, yogurt and water together until smooth.
- Pour smoothie into a bowl (obvs) and top with peanut butter oat mixture.