Healthy Eating, Healthy Living, Recipe, Wellness

Chocolate Smoothie Bowl

To say that I am a smoothie bowl addict is 100% accurate, and maybe even understated.  There are so many reasons I love them but ultimately it comes down to how much incredible nutrition you can get in one meal that tastes absolutely delicious.

I’m all for jumping right into the recipe but let me just give you a quick overview of some of the superfoods I add to make this extra nutrient-rich.

Maca powder is cruciferous vegetable that is native to the Andes of Peru. So it’s similar to kale, cabbage, and broccoli.  It has been consumed for thousands of years for its healing benefits but only recently has gained attention in mainstream Western wellness.  I have only consumed it in powder form  Not only that, but maca provides a host of important micronutrients and is jam-packed with antioxidants, and it has been shown to improve sexual health, balance hormone levels, and boost energy, mood and memory. After turning 40, maca became a staple in my pantry. While it’s great for both men and women, it is often recommended for women who want to maintain healthy hormone levels naturally or in conjunction with other remedies. It does have a slight spicy taste so start with a small amount if you are sensitive to earthy, spicy flavors.

Acai berries are the fruit of a type of palm tree in the rain forests of South America. They are similar to a grape and are loaded with antioxidants. Specifically they have anthocyanin – an antioxidant known to reduce oxidative stress and inflammation and support brain health.  Anthocyanins have also been shown in laboratory tests to have anticarcinogenic effects.  Acai berries are rich in fatty acids, especially oleic, palmitic, and linoleic acids.  Straight acai does not have a super sweet taste compared to a lot of other berries. Its deep purple color makes for a beautiful creation, whether you are making a smoothie bowl or regular smoothie. My kids will often eat the packets of frozen acai like a popsicle and have a lovely purple mustache and lips.

The other ingredients in this smoothie bowl include a mix of healthy fats – avocado, coconut (if you use coconut milk and/or shredded coconut) as well as protein (nut butter, Complete plant–based protein powder), as well as some superfoods (chia, hemp seeds) and plenty of antioxidants from the other berries. This can be made as a meal, a snack, or even a dessert. My kiddos love this one and it is not unusual for us to have this for dinner on a weekend, especially on a summer night, or one of the many where my husband is working at his restaurant and I want an easy healthy dinner for myself and the kids.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/4 cup organic almond, coconut milk, hemp or cashew milk (adjust for thickness)
  • 1 cup of organic frozen mixed berries (I get these at Target, Trader Joe’s, Costco or other local grocery store)
  • 1 packet of açai (I often get Sambazon brand in frozen section at Target, local health food store, or Costco or get the Trader Joe’s brand of açai)
  • 1 scoop of Juice Plus+ Complete Chocolate plant-based protein powder*
  • 1 tsp of maca powder (I get Trader’s Joes organic maca but also can usually find at Whole Foods and other health-oriented grocery stores0
  • 2 tbsp of crunchy organic almond butter
  • 1/2 avocado (soft, but not over ripe)

Toppings

  • 1/2 cup of granola (I typically use Nature’s Path Love Crunch because it has freeze dried strawberries and some chocolate nibs)
  • 1/2 tsp of chia or hemp seeds
  • Fresh cut blackberries and raspberries
  • 1/2 tsp of organic unsweetened shredded coconut (optional)
  • 1 tbsp of raw, unfiltered honey – drizzle on top

In a high speed blender that has a tamper (the plastic piece that goes through the center of the lid so you can mix while blending), add the non-dairy milk. Then add the rest of the ingredients. Blend on a low speed and gradually increase speed while using the tamper to mix everything. Consistency should be thick, almost like an ice cream. When well blended, spoon mixture into a serving bowl. Add the toppings. Enjoy!

Servings size: 1-2. To increase # of servings, add slightly more milk and increase frozen berry mixture or add a 2nd acai packet.