Would you believe me if I told you that before this moment, I haven’t had a smoothie bowl? I know – wild, right? What kind of holistic nutritionist hasn’t had a smoothie bowl?
The truth is:
– I’m not a huge smoothie person (I go through my phases, usually more-so in the summer)
– Smoothie Bowls can quickly and easily become Sugar Bowls
That’s not to say every smoothie bowl is sugar-filled (and I’m talking natural sugars here – dates, frozen fruit, maple syrup, honey etc). It really depends on what you put in it. The reason we want to be mindful of this is because typically we’re starting our day with a smoothie for breakfast or using it as a snack. But if the ratio of sugar-y fruits is higher than the other vegetables or fat content, the smoothie is going to be more of a blood sugar roller coaster than it is stabilizing for both mood, hunger and energy.
If you are including natural sweeteners in the form of fruit (p.s: frozen banana and pineapple are actually amaze-balls for naturally sweetening and creaming up smoothies!) it’s helpful to include sources of healthy fats and proteins to slow the release of glucose, or sugar, into the bloodstream. Examples of this include 1/2 avocado, 1 tbsp of chia seeds or ground flax or hemp seeds, 1 scoop of protein powder or 1 tbsp of a nut butter. This will prevent you from feeling sugar-high from your smoothie and keep your energy levels balanced.
With St. Patrick’s Day on the horizon, Becka Crowe (of Going Grainless) and I decided to dedicate our second recipe of our collaboration to none other than a Shamrock Green Smoothie Bowl! I guess the other hilarious thing about this is that I’m a holistic nutritionist and I have only posted a green smoothies on my site twice now, both times being dedicated to St. Patrick’s Day #GetItTogetherRach. But here I am, preaching to people that healthy eating shouldn’t just be an occasional thing – it should be an enjoyable part of your everyday life! In all honesty, I do prioritize green smoothies in my life – sometimes on the daily, other times on the weekly, depending on which breakfast I’m loving up that week. I just haven’t posted them on any other occasion but St. Patrick’s Day … Don’t judge me, okay? 😉
While I tend to prefer more of a runny/drinkable smoothie, Becka is all about the thick and creamy smoothies which inspired this smoothie bowl creation. I’m super glad she led us in that direction because what we came up with is super simple and nothing less than delish! She’s also a champ when it comes to food styling. If it were up to me, I would’ve shlopped all of this green goodness into a bowl and called it a day, but she took the time to meticulously layer in the hemp seeds, smoothie, ground flax and then topped it with raw coconut chips. I mean, they say opposites attract – maybe that’s why we make such a solid pair in the kitchen!
The ingredients, while minimal, are packed with loads of healing properties and nutrient density:
It breaks my nutritionist heart to see that the two top questions that appear when you look up avocados is “Do avocados make you gain weight?” and “How fattening is an avocado”. It goes to show how much the low fat craze corrupted our minds of what healthy eating is all about. While yes, avocados do contain a higher amount of fat compared to some other foods (~10 grams), it’s health benefits outweigh any number you could negatively connote. These babies are loaded with fibre, which help keep us full and feed our good gut bacteria. Since it’s such a great source of fibre, it can also be helpful in lowering cholesterol. We know it’s loaded with healthy fats, which help to reduce inflammation in the body and provide us with slow burning energy. And while it may be hard to believe, avocados can actually help us lost weight. A study was done that split people into two groups – one group that had avocado with a meal, the other group which didn’t. The results showed that those who had the avocado with their meal were more satiated and less likely to snack later on, helping them lose more weight in the long run. All that to say, fat is your FRIEND! Make some guacamole, would ya?!
Bananas haven’t received the most awesome reputation as of late either, due to their high fruit sugar content (14 grams). But when bananas are consumed strategically (yes, there is a way to strategically eat bananas), like with a nut butter or with a protein powder in a smoothie, it helps to slow the release of sugars in our bloodstream. If you’ve ever had a leg cramp, many of us are familiar with bananas and their healing properties. Bananas are rich in potassium which help to regulate our sodium/potassium levels, which further regulate our hydration levels (P.S: If you ever get a leg cramp, pull your toes back towards you and that should provide instant relief. But bananas are still awesome too!) Bananas are also rich in a fibre known as pectin. Pectin escapes digestion and and is instead used as food for our good gut bacteria.
Almond Milk definitely has some nutrition to offer, but it doesn’t exactly equate to chomping down on heart-healthy almonds, especially if you’re purchasing store-bought (which yes, I do from time to time, because we’re all human, right? Carrageenan free though!) Almonds in general offer up loads of fibre and protein, making it a satiating snack packed with loads of antioxidants. It also has quite a bit of magnesium which is super beneficial for alleviating sore muscles, headaches, migraines and lowering blood pressure.
I have to give Becka credit for this one again. When I think “smoothie”, I don’t typically think “lime”. Lemon? Sure – usually there’s some fresh ginger not too far behind. But I promise, this lime was quite the game changer! Limes, like many other citrus fruits, are loaded with vitamin C, making them a match made in immune-boosting heaven. They are also super detoxifying as they activate the master antioxidant in the liver known as glutathione. It does this by deactivating harmful chemicals and turning them into harmless chemicals that can safely be removed from the body. Sometimes, the intelligence of the human body blows my mind!
What doesn’t kale do (am I right?!) Kale, like broccoli and cauliflower, is considered a cruciferous vegetables. Cruciferous vegetables are known to have a high sulphur content and sulphur is a key nutrient required for liver detoxification. And we know your liver will be needing a whole lot of that come March 18th, right?! The reality is that we should be helping to support our body’s natural detoxification systems every single day in order to avoid toxic accumulation. That is the point of which we start seeing symptoms arise.
Needless to say, this smoothie bowl is packed with loads of nutrition which we usually don’t get enough of on St. Patrick’s Day, or even the day after when people turn to their favourite comfort foods for their hangover remedy. But I encourage you to weasel one of these into your day on St. Patty’s day or as your hangover food and assess how you feel. I’ll let you in on a little secret – back in my hangover days, all I could ever need was a Tim Horton’s Iced Capp made with Chocolate Milk (in my mind, I thought I was being so healthy by choosing chocolate milk over cream). It took me a while to start distancing myself from that as my go-to hangover cure. Soon enough, it clicked.
If I wanted to feel exponentially better really fast, it only made sense to put the most hydrating, detoxifying, nourishing foods into my body.
My hangover cures quickly went from my Iced Capps, to green smoothies, chlorella shots, lemon water, jam-packed nutrient dense salads and yes, even coffee enemas (we’ll save that for another blog post. I already shared my story about pooping in my sister’s bathing suit a couple days ago and a girl’s gotta save a couple secrets, y’know?!) While this might sound absurd and totally undesirable, it is exactly what my body needed.
This Shamrock Green Smoothie Bowl is exactly what your body needs, be it St. Patrick’s Day, your hangover cure or just your average day!
Shamrock Green Smoothie Bowl
- 1/2 avocado
- 1 frozen banana
- 1 cup kale
- 1/2 cup almond milk
- 1/2 lime, juiced
- 1-2 tbsp ground flax, layered (optional)
- 1-2 tbsp hemp seeds, layered (optional)
- 1-2 tbsp raw coconut chips, garnish (optional)
- Prepare ingredients as directed and blend in a high speed blender.
- Place in mason jar or bowl and layer in toppings or ingredients as suggested.
Happy St. Patty-ing!