Pretty pictures of smoothie bowls fill my Instagram feed and whilst they look super healthy, are they really?
They can be a great source of fibre, protein, healthy fats and carbohydrates to start your day or refuel after a workout, but they can also be highly calorific and full of sugar depending on the ingredients.
Ive put together some tips to make your smoothie bowls super nutritious AND delicious!
1- USE LESS FRUIT
On the whole, fruit is undoubtedly good for you, but when it comes to using it in smoothies, you can end up eating far more fruit than you would ever normally eat in its whole form in one meal. Lets not forget that fruits are carbohydrates so too much can affect blood sugar levels.
2- BE AWARE OF PORTION SIZES
Fruit, yoghurt, greens, nut butters, seeds and nuts may fill the blender cup in whole form but once you blend them they may not even fill half. Although it may look less blended, keep in mind what it looked like before you whisked it all up, it doesn't mean its less. Adding in extra ingredients may throw the balance off.
For example - a smoothie of one banana, a handful of strawberries, one cup of raspberries, one cup of oats and the milk of your choice, you'll be eating around 400 calories and around 1.2 ounces of sugar. Add in half an avocado, some peanut butter and chia seeds, your smoothie could now be up to 800 calories. Sometimes that could be up to half your daily calorie intake, depending on you age and gender. Try and replace some fruit with green such as kale and spinach.
3- LEAVE THE SKIN ON!
When you can leave the skin on, it can be a great source of extra vitamins and minerals that have antioxidant properties. When fruit gets blended, the surface area is increased which allows digestion to occur more easily and may allow the sugars to be absorbed at a faster rate. This is why the fibre, protein and fat content is important in determining the rate sugars get digested and overall impact of blood sugar levels.
4- DONT DRINK IT TOO QUICKLY
It can be so easy to drink a smoothie in a glass super fast but try and make it last around 20 minutes and take small sips. This will signal to the brain that you are full . Add in some crunch for extra chewing time and help you slow down.
5- BE AWARE OF EXTRA TOPPINGS
The typical pretty Insta smoothie bowls are often topped with chocolate, more fruit, honey, grains, dried fruit, shredded coconut etc which actually can add up to more calories than the actual smoothie part!
Top your bowl with a tablespoon of hemp or pumpkin seeds and a spoonful of nut butter for omega 3 fats and protein.
6- ADD IN SOME PROTEIN AND FAT
Most smoothie bowls contain a lot of fruit and not enough protein. Plain greek yoghurt, silken tofu or protein powder are great sources. For yoghurt and nut milks, go for the unsweetened versions.
Store bought smoothie mixes and drinks often contain lots of added sugars such as corn syrup, granulated sugars, palm oil and additives. By making yours at home from scratch you can have control of what goes in it!