Wining & Dining
Start Your Day With a Smoothie Bowl
8/3/2017 12:13:03 PM
Smoothie

Breakfast... it’s the most important meal of the day! We all want to break the night’s fast by awakening our energy, packing a nutritional punch, and stimulating our palates. And now there’s a new breakfast option on the menu. Fans of the traditional smoothie, meet a trend-setting companion—the sensational smoothie bowl.

Smoothie bowls are similar to drinkable smoothies, but they’re thicker and you eat them with a spoon. They obey no rules, but nutritionists recommend some key components. Green vegetables, fruits and berries (frozen works best for good consistency), protein (which can come from powders, nut butters, or hemp seeds), healthy fats from sources like avocados, coconut oils, and other nuts or seeds, liquids such as almond milk or flavored waters, superfood supplements such as bee pollen, brown rice, shredded unsweetened coconut or spices, and ice to thicken your creation. Sweeteners such as honey, agave, or stevia are optional.

Smoothie bowls are popular because they easily transition as snack, lunch, or dinner options. No straw-slurping allows your foodie instincts to have free rein. Use your imagination and consider exotic ingredients like acai powder, chia seeds, or pureed pitaya (dragon fruit). Smoothie bowls cannot overbake or scorch, so what do you have to lose except (yawn) predictability?

If you’re low on time and want to experiment, two local businesses include bowls on their menus. Miranda Fontenot, owner of Main Squeeze Juice Co., 3629 Nelson Road, says her customers enjoy having something different. "The acai berries in our bowl are imported from Brazil, offering an alternative to traditional breakfast food, especially when topped with nuts and shredded coconut.”

Enthusiasts can also find smoothie bowls at ROLL Indoor Cycling and Juicery, 2801 Ryan Street. Founder Jackie Tabor encourages experimentation. "This is an economical way to try a variety of ingredients not found in your kitchen. Some ingredients can be rather expensive unless they’re purchased in bulk. Taste and appreciate the value of whole food nutrients, as well as the anti-oxidant properties of berries and fruits.” Tabor strives to help SWLA residents discover healthier eating without forfeiting taste and texture. ROLL’s bowls do not yet include vegetables, but Tabor anticipates expanding their offerings soon.

What’s hiding in your fridge or pantry, waiting to be fused into a unique food adventure? Whether tropical fruit, creamy avocados, or other delicious vegetables, deciding what should go into a smoothie bowl is not limited by the straw and glass. The secret is to tantalize your taste buds while creating a nutrient dense meal.

Chocolatey Peanut Butter and Banana Smoothie Bowl
If you’ve always enjoyed smoothies, but yearn for a bit of chew, recipes for smoothie bowls abound on the Internet. Here’s a simple one for chocolate-peanut butter-banana fans:

INGREDIENTS
1 cup almond milk
1 large banana, sliced
1 cup ice
2 Tbsp. peanut butter
1 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
¼ tsp pure vanilla extract
1 Tbsp. maple syrup
2 Tbsp. cocoa nibs
2 Tbsp. granola
2 Tbsp. chopped peanuts

PREPARATION
Blend the almond milk, ½ the banana, ice, peanut butter, cocoa powder, vanilla extract, and maple syrup until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and top with the cocoa nibs, granola, chopped peanuts, and remaining ½ banana.
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