Smoothie bowl recipes: Basic, mocha almond, green coconut

Shake up breakfast with a smoothie bowl. The combinations are endless.

It’s easy. Make a smoothie, but reduce the fluid content so it’s extra thick. Pour it in a small bowl and add toppings, so you’re eating rather than drinking your meal. It’s similar to cereal and milk, but without any processed or refined grains, and with an infusion of whole-food nuts, seeds and fruit, says registered dietitian Cara Rosenbloom.

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    Even though the ingredients are healthy, she cautions that eating large quantities can provide too many calories. Use a small bowl and limit the toppings. For children, use a 250-ml (1-cup) serving bowl for the smoothie, and top it with 15 ml (1 tbsp) each of nuts, seeds and fruit. That will make a well-rounded kid-sized breakfast (about 300 calories).

    READ MORE: Colourful smoothie bowls: healthy and social-media friendly food

    Elaine Nessman, who writes the blog Flavour and Savour, provides this checklist of smoothie components. Choose your favourites:

    Liquid: Water, milk (almond, coconut, cashew, rice, cow’s), juice or green tea. Lewis likes to use coconut water in summer when it’s important to stay hydrated.

    Thickener: Banana, yogurt or kefir. Alison Lewis, author of “200 Best Smoothie Bowl Recipes,” also suggests protein powder, which comes in a vegan version.

    Fat: Nut butter, avocado.

    Protein: Hemp seeds, chia seeds.

    Vegetables/fruit: Any fruit or berries, greens such as kale or spinach, or carrots, celery, cucumber, sea vegetables (use sea veggies sparingly as they have strong flavours).

    Flavour add-ins: Dates, honey, maple syrup, cinnamon, cocoa, vanilla.

    Here are Rosenbloom’s suggestions for toppings. Use 15 ml (1 tbsp) of a few of these options:

    Nuts: almonds, pecans, cashews, walnuts.

    Seeds: Hemp, chia, pumpkin, sunflower, sesame.

    Dried fruit: Coconut, raisins, acai berries, dried apricots, dates.

    Fresh fruit: Sliced banana or kiwi; diced apple, peach, mango or pear; berries.

    Toasted oats or granola.

    Optional extras: Cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, fresh mint leaves.

    BASIC THICK SMOOTHIE

    1 ripe frozen banana, sliced250 ml (1 cup) plain 2 per cent Greek yogurt125 ml (1/2 cup) frozen fruit or vegetable or mixture of your choice (kale, berries, peaches, etc.)125 ml (1/2 cup) milk of your choice (skim, soy, almond, etc.)Assorted toppings (fruit, nuts, seeds, coconut, cacao nibs)

    In a blender, place all ingredients except toppings. Puree until smooth. Pour into a bowl and decorate with desired toppings.

    This recipe makes enough for 2 smoothie bowls.

    Source: Cara Rosenbloom, Words to Eat By.

    ———

    MOCHA ALMOND SMOOTHIE BOWL

    This smoothie bowl is brimming with almond milk and chia seeds, sweetened with dates and gets a kick from Nessman’s secret ingredient: a little leftover coffee from the pot.

    “That mere 1/4 cup of coffee transforms this smoothie bowl from chocolate to mocha in two seconds flat,” she says. If you’re not a coffee drinker, leave it out.

    1/2 ripe banana, fresh or frozen175 ml (3/4 cup) almond or other milk50 to 125 ml (1/4 to 1/2 cup) brewed coffee15 ml (1 tbsp) almond butter15 ml (1 tbsp) cocoa15 ml (1 tbsp) chia seeds2 Medjool dates, pitted2 ice cubes

    Garnish:

    Flaked almonds, sliced banana, fresh or frozen raspberries

    Put all ingredients except garnish in a high-speed blender and process until smooth. You may have to scrape the sides once partway through.

    Pour into a bowl. It will thicken within an hour or two. Garnish with almonds, banana slices and raspberries.

    Makes 1 serving.

    Source: Elaine Nessman, Flavour and Savour

    ———

    GREEN COCONUT SMOOTHIE BOWL

    The sweetness of the mango takes away any bitterness of the greens in this recipe, says Lewis.

    Use leftover coconut milk in soup recipes, Thai recipes, hot chocolate and breakfast cereal.

    If you prefer, you can use store-bought granola to top your smoothie bowl.

    50 mL (1/4 cup) unsweetened coconut milk beverage1/2 frozen banana, cut into pieces if necessary75 ml (1/3 cup) frozen chopped mango250 ml (1 cup) trimmed kale leaves30 ml (2 tbsp) unsweetened shredded or flaked coconutIce cubes (optional)

    Suggested Toppings:

    Sliced banana, blueberries, raspberriesUnsweetened shredded or flaked coconutChia seeds

    In a blender, combine coconut milk, banana, mango, kale and coconut. Secure lid and blend (from low to high if using a variable-speed blender) until smooth. If a thicker consistency is desired, add ice, one cube at a time, and blend until smooth.

    Pour into a bowl and top with any of the suggested toppings, as desired.

    Makes 1 serving.

    Source: “200 Best Smoothie Bowl Recipes” by Alison Lewis (Robert Rose Inc.)

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