Lovely to look at and fun to eat, this smoothie bowl is packed with flavor and nutrition.
I’m fascinated with smoothie bowls. Thicker than a smoothie and eaten with a spoon rather than being sipped through a straw, a smoothie bowl is a heartier, kicked up version of a traditional smoothie. And in case you haven’t noticed, they’re all the rage right now in the food world. Just check out Instagram and you’ll find tons of amazing photos of smoothie bowls. It seems like people love to use smoothie bowls as a canvas to express their creativity. With their bright, vibrant colors and elaborate garnishes, many of these bowls look like more like works of art than actual food.
So let’s break down the anatomy of a smoothie bowl. You basically have two parts- the base and the toppings. The first couple of times I tried to make a smoothie bowl, I had a hard time getting the consistency right. I stuck with my usual base of pureed fruit and Greek yogurt that I use for my smoothies but I found it to be too thin. When I put my toppings on, they immediately started sinking to the bottom. With a smoothie bowl, the texture of the base has to be thick enough so that the toppings rest on top and you can eat the whole thing with a spoon. So I experimented a little in the kitchen and realized that I needed to add something to the base to make it thicker. Some things that can be used as a thickener are protein powder, chia seeds (which have a gelling action), nut butters or frozen fruit. Frozen bananas in particular help thicken smoothies and smoothie bowls really well so I always keep them on hand in my freezer. One tip- peel the bananas first before freezing them otherwise it will be almost impossible to get the peel off!
For my Raspberry Coconut Smoothie Bowl, I decided to use frozen raspberries. I love raspberries with their lovely red hue and sweet tart flavor. But raspberries are quite delicate and their intense summer harvest season lasts only a few weeks. Fortunately, you can enjoy raspberries all year round by heading to the freezer aisle. Picked at peak ripeness, red raspberries are frozen within hours of harvest, often at the same farm as they were grown. Only the highest quality raspberries are selected for freezing and the gentle flash-freezing process maintains their flavor and nutritional integrity, locking in their important nutrients.
Don’t you just love it when the foods you love also happen to be really good for you too? Hare are a few stats about raspberries. A cup of raspberries has only 80 calories but boasts 9 grams of fiber- that’s more fiber than any other berry and is 1/3 of the USDA daily recommended value! Raspberries are also an excellent source of Vitamin C and manganese and a good source of vitamin K. They also contain important health-promoting phytochemicals and are one of the lowest in natural sugar content compared to other berries.
The combination of healthy carbohydrates and lots of fiber means that they’re a good source of energy that will help keep you feeling full and satisfy your cravings. This is especially significant since most of us don’t eat nearly enough fiber. Adults need about 25–38 grams of fiber a day, depending upon your age and gender. So the next time you’re craving something sweet, razz up your favorite smoothie or smoothie bowl with some delicious frozen raspberries. Not only do they add impressive flavor and nutrients, they also act like mini ice cubes and help keep your smoothies refreshingly chilled.
For my Raspberry Coconut Smoothie Bowl, I blended frozen raspberries with a frozen banana, coconut milk, and chia seeds. The result was a beautiful puree with a bright magenta color and thick, creamy consistency. The raspberries and banana had just the right amount of sweetness so I didn’t even to add any additional sweetener. Just a warning- you will need to push the ingredients down in the blender to get it started because it will be very thick. Add a little more coconut milk as needed to get the blender going.
Just as important as the base of a smoothie bowl is the assortment of toppings. The toppings are one of the main things that distinguish smoothie bowls from their drinkable counterparts. Toppings are a great way to add texture, nutrients, and flavor. Nuts, seeds, fruit, coconut, chocolate shavings, and granola are just a few examples. Have fun and get creative when garnishing your smoothie bowl! I decided to top my lovely bowl with frozen raspberries, shredded coconut, dark chocolate, chopped hazelnuts, and chia seeds. I even found some lovely edible flowers at the market so I tossed a few of those on too! My creation was almost too pretty to eat. Almost but not quite.
Raspberry Coconut Smoothie Bowl
- 2 cups frozen raspberries
- 1 large frozen banana
- 2/3 cup light coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
- Optional garnishes: shredded coconut, shaved dark chocolate, hazelnuts, chia seeds, edible flowers
- Puree the raspberries, banana, coconut milk and chia seeds in a blender until smooth. The mixture will be very thick and you will need to push the ingredients down to get the blender going. If needed, add a little more coconut milk to get the blender going. Garnish with shredded coconut, shaved dark chocolate, hazelnuts, chia seeds, and edible flowers.
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