Tropical Smoothie Detox Bowl
This is a smoothie for people who hate smoothies.
Usually relegated to punishment for an indulgent weekend, brief but fervent moments of health-consciousness or intensely regimented diets, smoothies are often boring, unsatisfying and unappealing visually. Not to mention they virtually ALL use bananas as a thickening agent. Blech. Don’t tell me you can’t taste them in a smoothie – YOU CAN TASTE THEM and they taste like bananas.
But the real problem for me is, they are just so… smooth. Like eating nothing. Or worse, like eating something that FEELS like nothing and that you’re being forced to eat because you are unable to chew or perceive texture due to a tragic injury.
Smoothie bowls fix this egregious error of viscosity by making the smoothie play support to a riotous parade of interesting, textural toppings. Teensy, crunchy chia seeds, creamy and toothsome cashews, bumpy berries or chewy dried fruit – the possibilities are practically endless to liven up the uninspired smoothness of smoothies. Join me in making this Tropical Smoothie Detox Bowl, and together we can fix what is wrong with the classic blended meal.
After three days of meat sweats during a recent trip back to Texas, (so. much. Heim BBQ.) a conciliatory meal was in order. A peace offering to my ailing, meat-and-sweets-addled stomach, I decided to bite the bullet and blend up a lunch packed with whatever buzzy health ingredients I could scrounge up in my pantry and fridge.
The base of this smoothie bowl is made with pineapple, yogurt, blueberries, a passionfruit and greens – sometimes I use spinach, but all I had on hand was swiss chard, which worked fine. My bbq-stained hands moved independently and automatically toward the greens, as though I was no longer entitled to make decisions for my own body (fair, given the circumstances…).
WORK AN EXTRA SERVING OF GREENS INTO YOUR DIET BY BLENDING IN A CUP OF NEUTRAL-TASTING, NUTRIENT-PACKED SPINACH, CHARD OR KALE IN YOUR NEXT SMOOTHIE.
Parents of picky kids and adults who aren’t huge vegetable fans – this is a great way to work an extra serving of greens into your diet. Spinach has a very neutral flavor that is completely drowned out by the splashy, loud tropical notes of the pineapple and passionfruit. I promise, unlike bananas, you won’t even know it’s there.
But your body will, though, and it will thank you.
Pineapple has an enzyme that eases digestion and deflates bloat, and research has shown blueberries help work to reduce belly fat. Add in some probiotics from the yogurt (blessedly standing in for bananas as a thickener) and a cup of fiber-packed greens, and you’ve eliminated at least three days of poor eating choices. Right? Well at least you’re headed in the right direction.
And now things get a little crazy.
Inspired by the legions of gorgeously-arranged smoothie bowls on Instagram (one of my favorite bowl-centric feeds is @craftedbowls, check them out to be dazzled by their daily display of artfully designed bowls!), I thought creating my own version would be a fun (and edible) lunch-time art project. Excited and terrified by the possibilities of the blank – or in this case, purple – canvas, I neatly arranged rows of chia seeds, nuts and raspberries, topping it off with a dishy and exotic passionfruit half.
Don’t laugh at my neat, restrained rows. Abstract isn’t my thing, okay?!
The result was a fresh, tropical bowl full of tummy and body-rewarding nutrients that successfully addresses my textural fixation. Feel free to improvise, both in your artful arrangement and selection of toppings – the key is to get a wide variety of sizes and textures. Crunchy, chewy, crispy, nubby, seedy – mix it up and there will be something interesting in every bite of your no-longer-boring smoothie.
You could even line up some mushy bananas. But I won’t.
- 4 oz Vanilla Noosa yogurt (or other plain yogurt)
- 1 c. fresh or frozen pineapple
- 1/2 c. frozen blueberries
- 1/4 c. raspberries
- 1 c. spinach, swiss chard or kale*
- Pulp of 1 passionfruit, optional (but gives it tropical flair and tartness!)
- 1 Tbsp pistachios
- 1 tsp coconut chips (I like Dang Original Coconut Chips)
- 1 tsp freeze-dried blueberries, optional**
- 1/2 Tbsp chia seeds
- 1 Tbsp cashews
- Blend all smoothie ingredients together until well-blended. Pour into a bowl.
- Get creative! Arrange the toppings artfully in rows or circles, however you think will look the most appealing. You can also just sprinkle the toppings evenly over your bowl, no one will judge.
- *Discard the stems if you're using chard or kale, using only the leaves
- **I have seen these at Trader Joes, Sprouts and Whole Foods - check your specialty stores. They make great snacks, too!
- 395 calories, according to MyFitnessPal