The other day, I decided I wanted a cold liquid lunch, and I made these smoothie bowls for me and my octogenarian parents. (They are both 82.) There are some great nutritional ingredients in these that are not only good for my own health but may help to combat some of the health issues my parents have. These smoothie bowls are full of superfoods.
Berries are delicious and my favorite fruits. They are low in sugar compared to a lot of other fruits, are low in calories and they are also full of phytonutrients, antioxidants and vitamins such as Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Vitamin B9 (folate) as well as magnesium and potassium.
The specific berries in this smoothie are blackberries and blueberries.
Cherries have antioxidants and Vitamin C, potassium, copper and manganese. They also help to fight gout, an affliction from which my mom suffers from time to time. They do this by helping to reduce the level of uric acid in the body.
Above is the exact bag of frozen fruit I found. It is unlikely you will find this exact sort if you live outside of the New York/New Jersey area. There are, however, many brands of frozen fruits and berry mixtures are popular.
You will need a cup of these mixed fruits for two smoothie bowls. You will also need a banana half. You can use a cup of fresh berries and cherries and a frozen banana half or, what I did in this case, a fresh banana half and a cup of frozen berries and cherries. It helps to have some of your fruit frozen to have a thicker and cool, refreshing smoothie.
You can also buy your berries fresh and freeze them yourself. Berries freeze well and will keep better as they are quick to spoil. When I first began freezing bananas for protein shakes, I made the mistake of leaving the peels on. This was slightly dopey but wasn’t an impossible mistake as I was able to scrape the frozen peel off with a knife. Still, it’s much better and easier if you cut and peel your bananas, before wrapping them in Saran wrap and freezing. Do this the night before in anticipation of a morning smoothie or freeze several banana halves at a time if you plan on a smoothie making spree.
Bananas have a lot of potassium as well as other vitamins and minerals and are good for digestive health.
You will also need a cup of milk and a cup of vanilla-flavored Greek yogurt. I used Skim Plus milk. Skim Plus is skim milk that tastes a bit creamier. You can use any kind of milk. You could use whole milk, two percent milk, lactose free milk or a non-dairy milk like soy milk or almond milk. I have sometimes used almond milk in smoothies and protein shakes.
These are the yogurt cups I used in two batches of smoothie bowls. You could add a drizzle of honey if you want it sweeter, but you might want to leave this out if you are watching your sugar or calories. There is already sweetness in the fruit and yogurt. You could also use plain Greek yogurt with or without the honey.
Greek yogurt is a good source of protein, calcium and probiotics as well as many vitamins and minerals.
Put one half banana, one cup of berries and cherries, yogurt cup and cup of milk into blender. Add a drizzle of honey if desired. Blend. Start out on slow speed like “Chop” and then blend on higher speed. Pour into two bowls.
With all those red and blue fruits, it comes out a pretty purpley color. You can get creative with your toppings and arrange prettily into rows. Toppings will float on top.
Slice another half banana for each bowl. Add about a tablespoon to a tablespoon and a half of flaked coconut, a third cup of granola and a tablespoon to a tablespoon and a half of dried fruit. I used Goji berries.
Goji berries are another very trendy superfood that are high in nutrients and antioxidants and good for fighting macular degeneration, another problem Mom faces. They come from China, and I have never seen them sold as a fresh fruit. They also may not be the most frugal purchase, so you could replace these with a different dried berry or fruit. We have recently discovered Nuts.com. This site sells Goji berry powder for smoothies, and this may be a little more frugal, since it should be possible to make it stretch further by adding just a bit to a smoothie made with other fruits.
This was the granola I used which was both healthful and delicious and also gluten-free, for those who need to eat gluten-free.
Click here for downloadable recipe card.