The secret to a good smoothie bowl

I'm not even sure when or how I first discovered smoothie bowls, but ever since I started making them for breakfast, it's been love at first bite (see what I did there).

Before then, I was generally drinking a green juice or fruit-based smoothie for breakfast. While I'm still very much a fan of a liquid-based breakfast, I didn't like the feeling of constantly consuming my food on the go, either as I was driving to work or while I was sitting at my desk. 

I'm a big believer in eating (and living, for that matter) mindfully. Mindful eating is a concept deeply rooted in Buddhist teachings, with the aim to reconnect us with the experience of eating and enjoying our food.  This means eating slower, chewing our food properly, refraining from using technology while we're eating, and connecting with the story behind our food - who grew this? How far did it travel to get here? 

Studies have shown that mindful eaters tend to have a lower body weight, a greater sense of wellbeing, and fewer symptoms of eating disorders. All strong reasons for me to start committing to appreciating and respecting the food I'm eating. I found that making smoothie bowls for breakfast meant that I physically had to sit down and take the time to eat properly, rather than gulp it down on the go. 

How do you make a good smoothie bowl? Keep reading for my tips. 

  • Use dense fruit. To ensure the smoothie bowl 'base' is thick enough to support a variety of toppings, it's best to use fruit that has a lower water content, such as bananas, mangoes, dates, persimmons, or blueberries. Fruit like watermelon, apples and oranges are best suited to juices.
  • Frozen fruit is your friend. Mixing fresh fruit with frozen for the base of the smoothie bowl will help give the base extra thickness too. I like combining frozen bananas with fresh dates, or fresh bananas with frozen berries.
  • Add some crunch. To avoid the feeling of eating 'baby food' as my dad says, I like adding a gluten-free 'cereal' to the smoothie bowl. I love the taste of Loving Earth's Buckini range, although Table of Plenty and Honest to Goodness also have good vegan options. 
  • Fruit is king. Adding bite-sized fruits like strawberries, raspberries, figs or passionfruit to the top of the smoothie bowl provides some extra (natural) sweetness and colour (if you're in the business of photographing your food. Weird, but I know a few people who do...;)). Another tip - strawberries look better in photos if you leave the green top leaves on! 
  • Experiment with flavours. I've gotten into the habit of adding natural peanut butter to my smoothie bowls (probably half a tablespoon). I love the saltiness it adds, although other flavours like vanilla powder, cinnamon, cacao  or maca powder are also on high rotation. Play around and see what flavours you like. 

You'll soon realise the possibilities are endless. Get on the smoothie bowl train!

Written by Aishe Besim
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