Smoothies and fruit bowls are the superfood lovechildren of whole fruits, vegetables, grains, seeds, and butters.
Loaded with immunity-boosting properties, these vitamin- and nutrient-rich meals are versatile, kid- and budget-friendly and, most importantly, easy to whip up.
“You can make a smoothie or bowl in five minutes,” says Anna Harouvis, chef-owner of Good to Go Cafes in Tremont and downtown Cleveland. “It’s hard to sit down and eat your raw fruits and veggies in their whole form. Blending them allows you to get all those health benefits in just a few minutes. Make it fun for the kids, and encourage them to even enjoy it as a dessert, like a healthy frosty.”
Let whimsy and taste reign supreme when concocting your own beverage or bowl, but it’s helpful to keep in mind a few pointers.
Harouvis suggests following a couple guidelines to make sure your snack has the optimal balance of flavor and nutrition.
“I always make mine with at least one-half veggies, one-fourth fruit and one-fourth of a liquid, like coconut milk,” she says. “Coconut water is like nature’s Gatorade,” Harouvis says. “It has all these electrolytes to help refuel your body. Spinach is higher in sugar, so go for lower-sugar greens like watercress and kale.” And consider adding some raw protein, like chia powder. Build your fruitier smoothies and bowls in the morning, so your body has more time to digest the fruit and stabilize your blood sugar, Harouvis says.
Harouvis offered a few of her favorite recipes to get you started. Blend all the ingredients, and embellish with your favorite toppings, like nuts, granola, or dried fruit.
1 packet of acai pulp (available at Whole Foods, Nature’s Bin, Earth Fare or Amazon)
1/4 cup blueberries
1/4 cup strawberries
2 tablespoons protein powder
3/4 cup juice, coconut water, or milk
1/4 cup coconut water
1 pack pitaya (Dragon Fruit) pulp
1/2 cup pineapple
1/2 cup mango
“Everybody’s into Dragon Fruit right now,” a powerhouse of Vitamin C, fiber, low cholesterol and antioxidants, Harouvis says.
Coco-Avocado Smoothie Bowl
1/4 cup raw cacao powder or cocoa powder
4 tablespoons maple syrup
Pinch of sea salt
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons almond butter
8 tablespoons of cocoa powder
“This kid-friendly bowls tastes like chocolate pudding,” Harouvis says. Dates are some of the best ingredients for muscle development, energy, and bone strengthening. Serve with strawberry jam.
Wake the F up
1 frozen banana
1 cup of cashew or coconut milk
4 ounces cold-brewed coffee
2 tablespoons almond butter
2 scoops of raw protein powder
1 cup of chia seeds
5 cups of your choice of milk
Mix and let sit over night. The chia seeds will gel into a thick pudding.
“This bowl is full of omegas and nutrients,” Harouvis says. “Add cinnamon, vanilla or chocolate to make it taste like a pudding.” This bowl will keep for a week in the fridge.