True to form, I was late to the smoothie bowl party. Which in itself is actually sort of surprising, since I have a sweet tooth like no other and smoothie bowls are inherently right up my donut-lined, chocolate-lovin’ alley.
I’ve never been one to crave eggs for breakfast. As a child, I always chose the sweetened cereals, chocolate chip pancakes, waffles or pop-tarts (when I was allowed). As an adult, I’ve modified my choices slightly to accommodate a little more nutritional value, and will often rotate between overnight oats, quinoa almond pancakes, chia ‘pudding’ or greek yogurt topped with tons of goodies.
I first started making smoothie bowls a couple of years ago — back when acai bowls were also majorly popular. I totally fell into the trap — I mean, who would turn down a beautifully vibrant, creamy bowl of delicious fruit, topped with allllll the goods?! So I found myself some acai (more on that in a post to come!), purchased a Costco-sized bag of organic mixed berries (thanks, Dad!) and went on a smoothie bowl kick like no other.
Initially, my bowls were filled with bananas, berries, mangoes, pineapple – the sweetest of all fruits. I would top them with homemade granola, mini chocolate chips, sweetened coconut flakes… do you see where I’m going with this? It doesn’t take long to realize that I have a WICKED sweet tooth – and it’s especially bad first thing in the morning. However, it’s been ingrained in my brain since the dawn of time that you really shouldn’t start your day with such sweet, sugar-laden foods, so I’ve tried to be better about cutting down on all that fruit first thing in the morning and instead incorporating more protein, whole grains and veggies into my breakfast.
That said, this particular smoothie bowl combination has become one of my favorites. My bowls almost always start with the same base ingredients: a banana, greek yogurt and some nut butter. The real kicker in this one is the addition of half a sweet potato, which packs a nutrient-filled punch and takes the flavor to another level. Sweet potatoes are super good for you and chock full of vitamins — C, D, B6, iron, manganese, potassium and magnesium, to name a few. I usually add a teaspoon or two of honey or maple syrup for some sweetness, but definitely feel better about enjoying this smoothie bowl on repeat each morning with the not-so-subtle inclusion of a veggie.
I actually see all-veggie smoothie bowls plastered all over social media constantly, but haven’t yet gathered the courage to throw half a zucchini in the blender or try out an intimidating ‘green’ bowl. Baby steps, my friends! However, I’ve recently started venturing out into the big, bad world of potions – so keep an eye out for another (lengthy!) post on all that good (for you) stuff :)
Buuuuut why smoothie bowls, you may ask? Why not a regular old smoothie (you know, like a normal person)?! Just personal preference, I guess! This may sound
weird as all hell a little odd, but I crave foods that I can chew. It’s rare that I make soup and have never been into the whole juicing thing — except for that one time Peter and I tried to create our own juice cleanse…. without a juicer. You literally don’t want to know the details. Let’s just say that neither of us could even so much as look at a beet for a solid six months.
Anywho! Speaking of preferences – smoothie bowls are completely customizable, which is another reason I love ’em so much! I happen to like mine thick AF, and so I use as little liquid as possible — well, as little liquid as my Magic Bullet will allow. But if you want yours to be a bit thinner, simply add more liquid!
The recipe I’ve provided below calls for milk, which is another ingredient you can play around with. We typically have dairy-free milk in the Bartash household, so I’ll just use whatever is handy: almond, cashew, coconut. Regular (dairy) milk works just fine too. Sometimes I’ll even nix the milk altogether, and instead use the liquid whey that forms on top of my greek yogurt – the perfect way to sneak in a smidgen more protein, potassium and calcium!
If this is your first time making a smoothie bowl, please feel free to opt out of using the sweet potatoes — it took me years to make this leap! I’d suggest substituting 1/2 cup of your favorite berries instead – heck, you’re still getting some pretty damn important health benefits. Did you know that berries are packed with antioxidants and are also a great source of fiber?! BOOM.
- ¾ banana
- ½ sweet potato, cooked & cooled
- ½ cup greek yogurt
- 2 tablespoons almond butter
- 1 teaspoon honey
- splash of almond milk
- pinch of cinnamon
- Using a blender or your Magic Bullet, combine all ingredients and blend until smooth. Top with your favorite goodies (see Notes below).
Make this recipe completely dairy-free by using a lactose-free yogurt - So Delicious has some yummy options.
Now go make yourself a thick ass smoothie bowl! and yes, I’ll let you kids know when I finally man up and ‘go green’.