With all the complicated nutrition information these days, it is hard to know what to eat. No-carb, low-carb, high-fat, paleo, keto, vegan and the ever popular potato diet? My head is spinning just thinking about all of the options. I’m here to ease your mind, and help you establish a healthy routine that takes the guesswork out of meal planning.
One of the simplest and most nourishing meals I recommend to my clients is a smoothie bowl. You can create tons of different combinations, all of which will provide a huge dose of antioxidants and health boosting vitamins and minerals. You can even get all three macronutrients (fat, protein and carbs) if you combine your ingredients correctly.
Smoothie Bowl Base
Establishing the heart of the bowl is the most important step. The goal is to make a thick, delicious smoothie, that can be consumed by the spoonful.
The main ingredients for the base of the smoothie should include a plant based milk and a handful of leafy greens, such as spinach or kale. While the nut milk provides a small amount of protein and essential fatty acids, the leafy greens will add essential vitamins, iron and calcium. I recommend starting with a 1/4 cup of milk at first because you can always add more.
Next, add a small amount of fruit. The biggest mistake I see in most smoothies, is that it is packed with sugar. Try sticking to 1/2 to 3/4 cup of a low glycemic fruit, such as berries, cherries or peaches. If you are looking for an extremely low sugar option, try adding frozen zucchini or cauliflower. It may seem bizarre, but trust me. I always recommend steaming vegetables before freezing to aid in digestion.
To establish a thicker texture, add half of a frozen banana or avocado. Also, be sure to throw in some plant-based or grass-fed beef protein powder. This addition will keep you full and energized throughout the morning. I like the Meno Clinic Organic Pea Protein or the Sun Warrior Protein Powder, both of which you can find at the Jackson Whole Grocer.
Now that you have your smoothie base, it is time for the toppings. This is where you can really mix and match, keeping your daily smoothie interesting and original.
Chia and flax seeds
If you are looking to decrease inflammation and achieve optimal health, chia and flax seeds are a great addition to any smoothie bowl. Both provide huge amounts of fiber, which helps to stabilize blood sugar. They are also rich sources of plant based Omega 3, aiding in the fight against inflammation in the body.
Nuts or seeds
Add a little sprinkle of chopped walnuts, pumpkin seeds or sliced almonds for a great addition of protein and healthy fats.
In the mood for something a little creamier? Add a drizzle of nut butter on top of your smoothie for an eye pleasing display of good fat and protein. Be sure to stay away from anything with added sugar, salt, hydrogenated oils and other questionable ingredients. Confused as to which one to buy? Just look for a nut butter with the least amount of ingredients.
Toss on a handful or coconut flakes for a dose of healthy fats and a nice crunch.
Hemp hearts are the shell of a hemp seed, and are packed with protein and healthy fats. They do not have much flavor, but provide a little saltiness and crunch to the bowl.
I sometimes add a little bit of fresh fruit on top of my smoothie if I get something delicious at the Jackson Hole People’s Market and want to enjoy it in its full glory. Feel free to add a few sliced peaches or small handful of berries.
Craving chocolate but not the sugar? Cacao nibs are your solution. This superfood contains a huge amount of antioxidants and may even help to increase your mood!
Have fun creating! Be sure to follow @expeditioneats for more plant-based recipes and healthy living ideas.