Guilt-Free Piña Colada Smoothie Bowl

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I think we can all agree that on a hot summer day there is nothing that hits the spot quite like a fresh, icy Piña Colada. The combination of coconut and pineapple are just about the only surefire way to evoke those tropical beach-side vacation feels that we’re all craving during these hot summer months.

Unfortunately, “piña colada” and “high-calorie indulgence” were basically synonymous in my book until recently, when I decided to take matters into my own hands.

The result was the most refreshing, tasty and (here’s the kicker) NUTRITIOUS smoothie bowl I have had in quite some time. Not only does this bowl satisfy those summer coconut-pineapple cravings, it also packs in fruit, veggies, healthy fats, and plant protein!

In the blender:

  • 1/2 Cup Frozen Cauliflower
  • 1/2 Cup Fresh Pineapple
  • 1/2 Cup Ice
  • 1/4 Cup Unsweetened Coconut Milk
  • 2 Tbsp of Unsweetened Coconut Flakes
  • 1 Tbsp Agave
  • 1 Tbsp Flax Meal
  • 1 Tbsp Hemp Seed Hearts

It took these ingredients slightly longer to combine smoothly than some of my other bowls, so I recommend letting it blend on medium or high for 3 minutes or until the consistency is somewhat thicker than that of a smoothie.

On Top:

  • 3 Fresh Strawberries
  • Granola
  • Unsweetened Coconut Flakes
  • Cinnamon

This was absolutely the perfect breakfast for a hot summer morning, and I will most definitely be recreating it in the very near future. I would love to know if you have any modifications or substitutions that might improve it!

 

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If you’re interested in learning more tips and tricks for low calories smoothie bowls or trying any of my other recipes, check out some of these posts: Low Sugar Smoothie Bowl Hack, Sweet-Green Smoothie Bowl, Strawberry-Dragon Bowl

 

Quick n’ Easy Sweet Green Smoothie Bowl

Generally, I don’t have time to put together a delicious home cooked breakfast on my way out the door in the morning. As much as I hate to admit it, I’m the girl who presses snooze 5 times on the alarm clock and then ends up rushing out the door with no time to spare. This morning, however, I found myself with an extra half hour on my hands and felt my blender calling my name.

When it comes to breakfast, I don’t like to fill up first thing in the morning because I find that a super full stomach tends to drain my energy and slow me down. So on this workday morning, it was my mission to create a light, refreshing, and simple smoothie bowl that would give me energy for the day and pack tons of nutrients into one pretty package.

The result was this Nutty Zucchini and Tuscan Kale Low Sugar Smoothie Bowl! I loved this recipe because it had the perfect texture to leave me feeling both energized and satiated, plus it tasted amazing and was packed with veggies. In the toppings, I included wonderful sources of plant based protein and fats, it ended up with the perfect amount of fortifying substance that prepared me to tackle the day. There’s no better feeling than beginning your morning knowing you have already done your body a favor and everything else you do for it is just bonus!

This bowl made the perfect amount for one medium size smoothie bowl, no more and no less. I hate having extra in the blender because I rarely end up eating leftover smoothie, so a recipe that yields the perfect amount for one bowl is a keeper for me! Here’s the recipe:

In the blender:

  • 1 1/2 Frozen Chopped Zucchini
  • 1 Extra Large Handful of Tuscan Kale
  • 1/2 Small Banana
  • 2 Large Cauliflower Florets
  • 1/4 Cup Coconut Milk (or nut milk of your choice)

Blend these together on high for 2 minutes or until the color is even and the consistency is just thicker than a regular smoothie

Toppings:

  • Banana
  • Raw Almonds
  • Organic All Natural Cashew Butter
  • Black Sesame Seeds
  • Hemp Seed Hearts


Lucky for me, this morning was gorgeous in the Bay Area and I was able to sit outside on my front porch and enjoy the early morning light while I ate my smoothie bowl. I like to power down my electronics and savor my food whenever I can, so this morning was a special treat. I would love to hear about any modifications or additions that you used to improve upon this recipe! Keep it green & keep it whole 🙂

Low Sugar, Low Calorie Smoothie Bowl Hack

I think we can all agree that the beloved trend of beautiful smoothie bowls is here to stay. There’s nothing as refreshing as a nice cold smoothie bowl packed with nutritious fruits and veggies to put some pep in my step, not to mention all the fun you can have with toppings! The options are endless when it comes to these magical meals. From all textures and colors of the rainbow, eaten for any meal of the day, and modified for every different taste and diet, new and exciting smoothie bowls are popping up in the kitchens of first time chefs and gourmet food stylists alike.

Lately, I have been trying my hand at concocting some equally nutritious, delicious, and easy to look at smoothie bowls. Health nut that I am, I tend to be hyper aware of the nutritional value of my smoothie bowls, which brings me to their downfall. There is no question that smoothie bowls are chock full of the best foods for your body, but unfortunately too much of anything can be a bad thing. As a novice smoothie bowl creator trying to get the perfect color, consistency, and volume in a smoothie bowl can lead to packing in unnecessary amounts of banana, avocado, nut butters, sugary fruits, or whatever ingredient you use to beef up your bowl. This process has the potential to yield a highly deceptive final product containing tons of hidden calories, fats, and sugars. Luckily, mother nature has provided us with some nutritious and low calorie alternatives to give your bowl that extra oomph without negating the nutrition or taste of your beautiful bowl:

Drum roll please…….

Zucchini and Cauliflower! Before you dismiss these as the perfect fillers thinking that they will ruin the flavors of your smoothie bowl, let me assure you that you can’t taste either of them at all. Seriously, at all. Since neither of these vegetables have particularly loud flavors, they are ideal for bulking up your bowl without altering the flavors you work so hard to achieve. They both have different and wonderful qualities that can add the perfect body to your smoothie in a pinch, so I like to keep tons of chopped up frozen zucchini and cauliflower on hand at all times.

Frozen zucchini makes a perfect base for a light, fresh smoothie bowl that won’t weigh you down or absorb and mask other subtle flavors. Since they’re mostly just water, you can toss in basically unlimited amounts of zucchini to make a high volume, low calorie smoothie bowl. I particularly like to use them for green smoothie bowls, or bowls where I am already including avocado or other creamy ingredients so that the texture is well balanced. Cauliflower, on the other hand, is the perfect counterpart for zucchini in that it builds a smoothie bowl to a thicker consistency that will balance out overpowering flavors. For fruity smoothie bowls, cauliflower is my go-to base even over banana because of it’s low sugar content that allows me the freedom to include more berries or flavor building, characterizing fruit.

Considering the terrific qualities that both zucchini and cauliflower bring into the mix (literally), I rarely find it necessary to choose between the two. More often than not, my smoothie bowls will include varying proportions of  both of them! Having both of them on hand is extremely convenient because it gives me the freedom to throw in a couple extra frozen zucchini slices or cauliflower florets if I want to alter or thicken my smoothie just slightly. Part of beauty of these two awesomely healthy smoothie bases is their accessibility, they are available at basically any supermarket year round! We all know that the proof is in the pudding (or the smoothie in this case), so go ahead and play around with these two magical ingredients and have fun testing out different combinations and consistencies! Keep it creamy or keep it icy, but whatever you do, keep it simple and keep it WHOLE 🙂

Cauliflower Based Strawberry Smoothie Bowl

Cauliflower and Zucchini Based Pitaya and Berry Smoothie Bowl

Cauliflower and Zucchini Based Pitaya and Berry Smoothie Bowl

 

Strawberry Dragonfruit Smoothie Bowl

There’s nothing to kick off a weekend morning like a tasty and nutritious smoothie bowl. They are just about the most gorgeous breakfast food I can imagine, and they’re so customizable that everyone is able to enjoy them and taylor them exactly to his or her liking! This morning, I had a dragonfruit (also called pitaya) on hand, so I decided to make it the star of my smoothie bowl!

The result was a creamy, bright, and satisfying smoothie bowl that I will definitely be recreating in the future. Here is the recipe:

In a blender combine:

  • 1 cup frozen cauliflower
  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 4 frozen strawberries, 3 fresh strawberries
  • 1/3 cup fresh dragonfruit
  • 1/4th avocado (for texture)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

I had my blender on high for about 2 minutes, but I’m still playing around to figure out the best techniques for blending. Just make sure to blend until it’s mostly the same color and there aren’t any chunks. You can also blend shorter or longer amounts of time to adjust the thickness based on your tastes! This amount of ingredients yielded just enough smoothie to prepare 2 small/medium smoothie bowls, or one medium/large one! I made a couple different variations of toppings:

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Toppings (Left to Right): Banana, Dragonfruit, Hemp Seed Hearts, Black Sesame Seeds, Unsweetened Coconut Flakes

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Toppings (Left to Right): Cranberry-Rasins, Hemp Seed Hearts, Blueberries, Dragonfruit, Banana, Unsweetened Coconut Flakes over top

This was actually my very first time using a dragonfruit at home, and I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to cut and use as well as how tasty it was all by itself! Dragonfruits are so pretty that they can be intimidating to use at home, but they are much easier to maneuver in the kitchen than other, more common fruits like mango or pineapple.

I also want to add that even though there is no protein powder included (I’m not as into using powders and supplements), the nutritional value of this smoothie bowl is off the charts! You’ve got all your macros: carbohydrates primarily from the banana and cauliflower, healthy fat from the avocado, and protein primarily from hemp seed hearts. I recently learned that hemp seed hearts are also a fantastic source of omega-3 and omega-6, which was wonderful news to me because those are the main nutrients that I struggle to find enough of in my plant based diet.

This recipe couldn’t have been better for a perfect Sunday morning pre-yoga meal. I hope you enjoy it just as much as I did, and feel free to let me know if you discover any modifications to improve upon it!