Instagram’s #smoothiebowl craze has taken the health and fitness world by storm, and for good reason. Not only are they eye-pleasing, they translate the weight loss benefits of a smoothie into substantial, anytime-meal option.
Smoothie bowls are exactly what they sound like: Smoothies made with less liquid, so you can eat them with a spoon. They can be fruit-based, vegetable-based, or a combo, and can be made in minutes. Toppings provide another opportunity to add fat-burning ingredients. Think of it as creating the ultimate froyo sundae—the possibilities are infinite. Only these bowls won’t sabotage your diet. Get inspired by some of the bowls below and ditch the straw.
GREEN SMOOTHIE BOWLS
BANANA, VANILLA AND GREENS SMOOTHIE BOWL
Banana, spinach, kale and vanilla protein powder are blended smooth and topped with berries and Kashi Cinnamon Harvest. This bowl is a nutrient powerhouse. If you’re sensitive to dairy, substitute a vegan protein powder like Vega Ones French Vanilla. It’s packed with antioxidants and provides half of your daily value of vitamins and minerals, plus 20 g of protein per serving.
ALMOND BUTTER, STRAWBERRIES AND SPINACH SMOOTHIE BOWL
You might think twice about topping your greens with almond butter, but the meeting is flawless. Spinach, cashew milk, banana and pineapple are topped with strawberries, figs, raw oats and raw almond butter. Looking to shed a few pounds? This recipe will help.
In a study published in the journal Molecular Nutrition & Food Research, researchers fed participants salads topped with saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat-based dressings and tested their blood for absorption of fat-soluble carotenoids (disease fighting compounds associated with fat loss). They found that veggies topped with a monounsaturated-fat, like almond butter, required the least amount—just 3 grams—to get the most carotenoid absorption, while saturated fat and polyunsaturated fat dressings required higher amounts of fat (20 grams) to get the same benefit.
AVOCADO BANANA SMOOTHIE BOWL
Besides giving this bowl a rich consistency that makes it feel like a splurge, avocado adds serious weight-loss punch. Studies show that they help lower cholesterol, quell hunger, reduce belly fat, and boost energy. This smoothie bowl fuses spinach, romaine lettuce, half an avocado, banana, hemp, maca and coconut water. It’s then decorated with grapes, coconut, pecans, cacao nibs, freeze-dried strawberry, bee pollen and manuka honey.
ZUCCHINI BANANA BERRY SMOOTHIE BOWL
This one is almost too beautiful to eat. Spinach, maca, zucchini and banana discs are topped with shredded coconut, a drizzle of tahini, berries and edible flower. Low in calories, zucchini is loaded with vitamins and hunger-quelling fiber. Plus, it packs more blood pressure-lowering potassium than a banana. For more way to start your day with zucchini, check out these Recipe Ideas for Zoats.
BEET BERRY COCONUT SMOOTHIE BOWL
Beets are responsible for the vibrant color, but toppings steal the nutrient stage. Chia seeds are accompanied by frozen berries, banana, apple, kiwi and buckwheat groats. Coconut chips stabilize blood sugar, keep your hunger at bay and keep your body hydrated throughout the day. Plus, an ounce of those chips provides a whopping 11 grams of fiber and 4 grams of protein!
PINEAPPLE BLACKBERRY PISTACHIO SMOOTHIE BOWL
Need an afternoon pick-me-up that won’t sabotage your diet? This bowl is just the fix. This recipe calls for 1 cup of pineapple, which provides 76 percent of your RDA of manganese, a mineral that’s essential for energy production. Better yet, blackberries provide 8 g of fiber per cup. Top this off with pistachios and frozen berries, and those healthy smoothie ingredients mean you're blending yourself skinnier. In a recent Texas Woman’s University study, researchers found that feeding mice three daily servings of berries decreased the formation of fat cells by up to 73 percent!
Pomegranate Mango Smoothie Bowl
Rev up your sex life and fight cancer with this refreshing bowl. Research shows that pomegranates have a positive effect on testosterone and are loaded with cancer-fighting antioxidants that support blood flow, which help boost sensitivity and pleasure. Mangos add carotenoids, fat-soluble compounds associated with a reduction in a wide range of cancers, as well as reducing risk and severity of inflammatory conditions such as asthma.
CASHEW PISTACHIO BERRY SMOOTHIE BOWL
Sweet-and-salty fan? You should be all over this one. Natural sugars from raspberries, banana, figs, and cranberry are contrasted with two of the best nuts for weight loss: Cashews and pistachios. In a study at UCLA Center for Human Nutrition, researchers found that a daily snack of pistachios reduced BMI, cholesterol and triglyceride levels. According to Richard Mattes, a nutrition scientist from Purdue, nuts like cashews and pistachios are rich in protein and fiber, aiding in satiety which prevents overeating.
BERRY KIWI MANGO SMOOTHIE BOWL
Although called "nice cream," or banana-based ice cream, by this Instagramer, this bowl combines nutritious fresh and frozen fruits. Its ingredients are 100% raw—blackberries, kiwi, raspberry, and mango drizzled with molasses. When making smoothies, always opt for natural sweeteners like molasses, pure honey or 100% natural maple syrup. Studies show that artificial sweeteners can actually increase your appetite and lead to weight gain.
CHOCOLATE STRAWBERRY BANANA SMOOTHIE BOWL
This bowl might help you focus. In a recent study, researchers from the University of Warwick found that eating chocolate improved subjects’ productivity in subsequent tasks by 10-12%! Whip this by combining stress-reducing strawberries, potassium-rich bananas, and maple or coconut syrup. Cover it with fresh fruit, and don’t forget the chocolate sauce: Cocoa and maple/coconut syrup.
BANANA Watermelon SMOOTHIE BOWL
This recipe might help you wiggle into those skinny jeans, courtesy of fat-fighting ingredients like banana, cinnamon, almond butter and watermelon. Research conducted at the University of Kentucky concluded that eating watermelon may improve lipid profiles and reduce fat accumulation. Better yet, a Spanish study found that watermelon juice helped reduce athletes’ level of muscle soreness. This is ideal post-workout fuel.
GOJI SMOOTHIE BOWL
The calorie-burning goji berries in this bowl make it super-slimming. In a study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, participants were either given a single dose of Lycium barbarum, a compound in goji berries, or a placebo after a meal. One hour after the dose, the goji group was burning calories at a rate 10 percent higher than the placebo group. The effects lasted up to four hours. This might help you get a post-workout metabolism kick—without the workout!
COCOA BANANA SMOOTHIE BOWL
When you’re trying to lose weight, dessert is not typically your friend, but this cocoa bowl can actually help you shed a few. Combine sprouted buckwheat seeds, banana, raw cacao powder and greens in a blender, and top it off with fresh fruit. For an added fat-loss benefit, opt for a unripe banana. Prior to ripening, bananas are rich in resistant starch, which feeds healthy gut bacteria, leading to prolonged feelings of fullness and more efficient fat oxidation. One study found that replacing just 5 percent of daily carbohydrates with a source of resistant starch can boost post-meal fat burn by up to 30 percent! Get more ideas in How to Lose Weight Eating Resistant Starch!
COCONUT OAT SMOOTHIE BOWL
This bowl features pumpkin seeds, which are packed with minerals, are low in fat, and have antifungal and antiviral properties, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. One ounce contains more than eight grams of protein and is high in iron, potassium, magnesium and zinc (important for a healthy immune system). These superseeds are accompanied by coconut chips, oat flakes and agave syrup, adding both nutrients and flavor to pureed coconut and peach.
GREEN APPLE PIE SMOOTHIE BOWL
Apple-picking season is in full swing, and what better incentive to grab a basket than this Green Apple Pie Smoothie? Apple is blended with cashew milk, spinach, kale, cashew butter, oats, ginger, and fat-fighting cinnamon. Sprinkling cinnamon in your smoothies can shrink your waist, ward off blood-sugar spikes and moderate your appetite.
GINGERBREAD SMOOTHIE BOWL
This bowl can boost muscle recovery. Ginger is a proven muscle relaxant, reducing soreness brought on by exercise by as much as 25 percent! It also banishes bloat. When gingerbread spices, blackstrap molasses, frozen bananas and raw chocolate come together, it’s literally a holiday for your body.
Piña Colada SMOOTHIE BOWL
This piña colada-flavored bowl comes stright from Hawaii, and its coconut and pineapple do more than create tropical flair. A study published in Lipids found that daily supplementation with coconut oil actually reduced abdominal obesity! Pineapples will give you an natural energy boost, helping you burn more calories.
PUMPKIN PIE SMOOTHIE BOWL
Why wait for Thanksgiving to partake of savory spiced pumpkin? Not only does Pumpkin Pie Smoothie Bowl brim with autumn flavor, pumpkins are a natural appetite suppressant and fat burner. Carotenoids in the flesh improve your complexion and aid in muscle recovery. In animal studies, Taiwanese researchers found that eating squash reduced production of lactic acid, the compound that’s responsible for making your muscles ache the next day. Check out more Amazing Ways to Eat Pumpkin!
COCONUT ALMOND KIWI SMOOTHIE BOWL
Looking to satisfy your late-night sweet tooth without getting bloated? Create a flat-belly dessert with caramelized almonds, coconut, vanilla protein powder, berries, kiwi and carob powder. One medium kiwi has only 60 calories and provides 100 percent of your RDA of Vitamin C. And they provide more than half the potassium of one banana, which aids the body’s ability to metabolize fats and carbohydrates.