Even though the warm weather is quickly leaving us, I still just cant get enough of smoothie bowls. I honestly will probably still be making them in the dead of winter curled up under seven blankets, alternating frozen smoothie bowl bites with a warm cup of tea, but hey doesn't the picture above look delicious to you too? How can I say goodbye to something that appealing for the next five or six months. Nope my smoothie bowl game is here to stay.
Since I began making these smoothie bowls regularly I have been getting a lot of questions about what kind of supplemental products I use and how to make sure that your smoothie bowl is balanced. I can really relate to these questions because it can be overwhelming at first to stock your pantry, and learn about what foods really do make for an overall nutritious smoothie. I cant tell you how many times I have winced at a smoothie recipe that is basically pure sugar, and it does anger me to see so much of the food industry pushing "health foods" on the public, that really aren't healthy.
In order to try and make the task of jumping into the smoothie bowl world a little bit easier, I thought that it may be good to outline a few of the ground rules I stick to when making my smoothies. This way you will have the tools you need to look at another smoothie recipe and determine whether or not you think it is balanced, and a right choice for you.
My 5 Guidelines For a Balanced Smoothie
- Choose a High Quality Protein: I cannot even begin to describe how important it is to choose a high quality protein supplement if you are going to be adding protein to your smoothies. When looking at protein powders usually I look for four things: is there any added sugar, grams of protein, number of ingredients, and quality standards. Personally I do not like adding sugar into my diet so I avoid protein powders which add cane sugar. Next, I make sure that there is enough protein to meet my needs. I usually aim for ~20g. After that I will look at the number of ingredients, the smaller the better! Finally, I usually research the protein company to look at their quality standards. Over the years I have tried many many brands, and my all time favorite is Sunwarrior, mostly because they have rigorous quality standards, are plant based, use as few ingredients as possible, and their protein tastes amazing without a strong Stevia taste like some other brands tend to have.
- Watch the Added Sugar: This is where everyone goes down hill when making smoothies. Sugar can be found a few different ways in a smoothie. The first way is by added sugar in the form of cane sugar, honey, agave, maple syrup, fruit juice, etc. I usually try to avoid these concentrated forms of sugar in my smoothies because I just do not find them to be necessary, and they really provide little nutritional value outside of their sugar content.
- Limit Your Fruit: The second form of sugar found in smoothies usually comes from fruit. Now fruit is an incredibly nutritious food group, however fruit is also loaded with sugar. It is recommended to have about 2-3 servings of fruit per day for overall health and weight management so I ideally will try to keep my fruit to 2 servings in my smoothie, then if I want to I will have 1 more serving at another point later on in my day. Just for reference 1 servings of fruit would be 1/2 of a banana, or 1 cup of berries. I also like to stick to fruits with a lower-glycemic index such as berries because they are packed with antioxidants which make them an excellent addition to any smoothie.
- Include a Healthy Fat: Healthy fats that come in the form of nuts, and seeds are great for our health, and also help keep us feeling full longer. When fats are including in our meals, they help slowly manage the amount of glucose (from the fruit) entering into our bloodstream which makes us feel satisfied longer. I typically will always include 1-2 TB of nuts, nut butter, or seeds in my smoothie for a dose of healthy fats.
- Add Fiber: I like to try and top my smoothies with some gluten free rolled oats, berries, nuts, or seeds for a little dose of added fiber. Since fiber is what helps keep us feeling full (and running regular) I tend to opt for toppings to my smoothie bowls that taste great, and help balance out my meal.
I really hope that these simple guidelines help you all when making your own smoothies, or ordering them out! And now on to this mind-blowing delicious bowl of bright purple goodness!
Very Berry Vegan Smoothie Bowl
This smoothie is the perfect blend of antioxidant rich berries, sweet banana, and vanilla. Topped with a variety of healthy super foods this smoothie bowl is bound to leave you feeling sweetly satisfied.
Smoothie Base Ingredients
- 1/2 Frozen Banana (Medium Sized)
- 1 Cup Frozen Blackberries
- 1 Cup Cashew Milk
- 1 Scoop Sunwarrior Vanilla Vegan Protein (19 g vegan protein)
- 1 Tsp Acai Powder
- 1 Tsp Vanilla Matcha Powder
- 2 Ice Cubes
- 1 TB Gluten Free Oats
- 1 Tsp Raw Cacao Nibs
- 1 Tsp Chia Seeds
- 1 TB Coconut Flakes
- 1/4 Cup Frozen Blackberries
- 1 Tsp Cinnamon
- Add smoothie base ingredients into your blender, and blend until smooth. Depending on your blender you may need to stop the blender and scrape down the sides.
- Next, pour your bright purple smoothie into a bowl, and top with the toppings listed or any of your favorites.
- Eat with a spoon and enjoy!
Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Sunwarrior, all recipe development, content, and beliefs about the product are my own.