By Alyona Pakhnev
Released just a few days ago, 200 Best Smoothie Bowl Recipes is the newest book by Alison Lewis, a food and travel journalist and photographer. The concept of the book is quite innovative, taking the traditional idea of smoothie-making and adding a creative twist. Instead of the common smoothie-in-a-glass, Lewis presents a smoothie served in a bowl and attractively garnished with beautiful, fresh ingredients.
In our busy, fast-paced world, smoothies have gained popularity in the recent years as a quick and easy way to obtain a high dose of much-needed nutrients (vitamins, minerals, healthy fats etc). Smoothies are already blended and liquefied, hence your body doesn’t need to work hard to break down the food and extract the nutrients.
Smoothies are also quite filling because they contain high amounts of fiber and water, and they can make you feel like you just ate a full meal. However, when served in a glass and lacking any texture variance, many tend to view smoothies as a beverage. This issue is quite effectively resolved in Lewis’ book. The bowl format, along with the toppings (which add various textures to the smoothie), make it feel more like a meal. They also make the smoothie more appealing to the senses, which is important since we know that what attracts us to food is not just taste, but appearance, texture and the overall presentation.
As the title suggests, 200 smoothie bowl variations are presented in this book, organized into chapters by category, such as “breakfast”, “kid friendly”, “green creations” and “anytime”. There is also a separate section with quick recipes for the various topping options. The maple cinnamon granola particularly caught my eye, with its simple yet lovely combination of old-fashioned rolled oats, vanilla extract, cinnamon and maple syrup.
In the middle of the book, there is a section featuring mouth-watering photos of Lewis’ creations. The rest of the book, however, lacks any photography, which is unusual for a modern recipe book. I was equally surprised at the predominance of sweet ingredients, such as fresh and dried fruit, honey, and maple syrup. While my sweet tooth was jumping for joy, the rest of me kept hoping to see options utilizing a lower proportion of these ingredients. Including more low-glycemic recipes could give the book wider appeal, and would be more attractive to already healthy people like me who are always looking for recipes full of nutrition but without excess sugar (albeit natural). To this end, you may want to try adjusting the proportion in some of these recipes, lowering the amount of sweet ingredients and increasing the veggie volume for a greener smoothie.
Overall, this book is worth checking out and the recipes are worth experimenting with. Lewis has generously shared one of these recipes with us so that we can share it with you (see below). So dust off that Vitamix and start blending!
And here’s a recipe for Superfood Smoothie Bowl from 200 Smoothie Bowl Recipes
Alison says, “With all these fabulous superfoods, this tastes like health in a bowl. If you use frozen raspberries, you may not need any ice.”
1⁄4 cup water (60 mL)
2 tsp liquid honey (10 mL)
1 frozen banana, cut into pieces if necessary
1 cup pineapple chunks (fresh or frozen) (250 mL)
1 cup trimmed baby spinach leaves (250 mL)
1⁄2 cup raspberries (fresh or frozen) (125 mL)
1⁄2 cup chopped celery (125 mL)
Ice cubes (optional)
Granola (homemade or store-bought) (try our recipe for easy homemade granola!)
Ground flaxseeds (flaxseed meal)
- In blender, combine water, honey, banana, pineapple and spinach. Secure lid and blend (from low to high if using a variable-speed blender) until smooth. Add raspberries and celery; blend until smooth. If a thicker consistency is desired, add ice, one cube at a time, and blend until smooth.
- Pour into bowls and top with any of the suggested toppings, as desired.
Makes 2 servings
About the Author: Alyona Pakhnev resides in San Francisco. She is a health and nutrition enthusiast, and on most days can be found at the local Farmer’s Market or experimenting in her kitchen with seasonal ingredients and superfoods. She is inspired by the vitality that comes from healthy habits, and in turn inspires those around her on a daily basis. She is also an avid traveler that loves adventure and exploring new places: her adventures include hiking solo in Norway, studying abroad in Paris, and, most recently, ziplining and bodysurfing in Hawaii.
Recipe and images courtesy of 200 Best Smoothie Bowl Recipes by Alison Lewis © 2016 www.robertrose.ca Reprinted with publisher permission. Available where books are sold. Thanks to Robert Rose Publishers (Canada) for providing a review copy of this book.