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Eat Well Sep. 16. 2014
Breakfast

Blue Morning Smoothie Bowl

Sep. 16. 2014
Breakfast
McKel Hill

McKel Hill

MS, RDN, LDN, Dietitian

You’re all going to think I’ve officially gone mental with this recipe, I can already hear my mom telling me “McKel, no one is going to eat that blue stuff!”- all in good fun. This Blue Morning Smoothie Bowl came to me, well on a beautiful blue summer morning a couple weeks ago, hence the name. It’s been really hot here in Nashville so my smoothie bowls are calling MAH name in the mornings for something simple, delicious, nourishing, and cold. This one hits all of those + it incorporates my beloved protein packed spirulina, omega-3 rich chia seeds, and a fiber rich veggie, which you’ll never guess!

If you’re thinking that me presenting another smoothie bowl to you all isn’t anything “new” nor grounds for calling myself mental, then you may change your mind when I tell you I’m using frozen zucchini in this. Yes, zucchini, that’s been frozen! You all know that my mission is to squeeze as many vegetables into your diet as possible, mainly because so many of us have challenges reaching the minimum servings/day let alone more than 5/day which can be incredibly beneficial for your overall health. So here I am, sneaking in frozen zucchini of all things into a blue smoothie bowl.

Using frozen zucchini in my smoothie bowls has been a new discovery this past year, and it’s changed the way I prepare and suggest recipes to some of my clients, especially those watching their carbohydrate or sugar intake. Zucchini can easily replace bananas to create a lower carbohydrate smoothie, or can replace avocados to make said smoothie lower in fat. Once zucchini is frozen and then blended it has an amazing characteristic of turning everything very thick and creamy just like a banana or avocado would do. It’s not surprise that zucchini can do this, it’s comprised of about 70% water giving it an “ice cube” effect to blended smoothies.

If you’re allergic to bananas, simply use double zucchini and dates to sweeten!

What makes it blue? There are no blueberries or blackberries in this smoothie bowl, although if you fancy, pop them in! What makes this smoothie bowl blue is spirulina. Any chance I get to add spirulina to meals and recipes I do. It’s an amazing food that so many of us never use, which is a shame because it’s loaded with protein and minerals. What I come to find out is that most people (friends and clients included) simply don’t know how to use spirulina, not that they don’t enjoy it. We’ve talked about spirulina so much on Nutrition Stripped, but just as a reminder spirulina is 70% protein by dry weight and contains all the amino acids, essential for everyone but especially wonderful for those practicing strict plant-based lifestyles (i.e. veganism). As I mentioned though, spirulina isn’t just for plant-based eaters, it can easily be incorporated into everyones diets. This recipe is a great “starter” as I don’t use much in it.

Top it | I love adding different components to smoothie bowls to get a full flavor profile but also hit on all the textures- smooth, creamy, crunchy, sweet, chewy, and cold.

 

Blue Morning Smoothie Bowl
Recipe Type: smoothie, breakfast
Author: McKel Hill, MS, RD, LDN
Prep time:
Total time:
Serves: 1
A delicious, thick and creamy smoothie bowl using less sugar by utilizing frozen zucchini. Raw GF VGN Paleo
Ingredients
  • 1 banana, frozen
  • 1 large zucchini, frozen
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk, light or full fat
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 2 tablespoons cashew butter (or use almond butter)
  • 1 teaspoon organic spirulina, powder (up to 2 tablespoons as desired)
  • pinch of sea salt
  • dash of cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Add all ingredients into a high speed blender and blend until thick and creamy.
  2. Garnish/top with ingredients listed in the blog before serving.
  3. Enjoy immediately.
Notes
HIGHER PROTEIN // add 1-2 scoops of protein powder[br]HIGHER CALORIE // add double banana[br]HIGHER FAT // add 1/2 avocado[br]Color // note, I only used 1/4 teaspoon of spirulina for the sake of the picture/photography, but I normally am gracious with spirulina and add up to 2 tablespoons

I hope you all enjoy this one and be sure to tag me on instagram when you make your own! #NutritionStripped , #NSsmoothiebowl

I hope you all have a beautiful day!

xx McKel

The Recipe

Serves 1

Print

Ingredients:

  • 1 banana, frozen
  • 1 large zucchini, frozen
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk, light or full fat
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 2 tablespoons cashew butter (or use almond butter)
  • 1 teaspoon organic spirulina, powder (up to 2 tablespoons as desired)
  • pinch of sea salt
  • dash of cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Add all ingredients into a high speed blender and blend until thick and creamy.
  2. Garnish/top with ingredients listed in the blog before serving.
  3. Enjoy immediately.

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Did you try it out?

Share Your Thoughts & Images

  • Wow, the idea of using frozen zucchini is so interesting! Does it affect the taste much (i.e. does it taste zucchini-ish or does the taste get covered up)? I love using spirulina to get that beautiful blue color, tastes great too 🙂

  • Jessica Bringas, RD, LDN

    Beautiful McKel! So excited to try freezing some zucchinis for this : )

  • Julie

    Does one peel the zucchini or go whole hog and add the skin? I’m sure the skin has lots of nutrients, but I hate unpeeled apples in my smoothies because the skin doesn’t totally puree, and I’m sure I wouldn’t enjoy pieces of zucchini skin, either.

  • Great idea! I’ll have to try this especially since I LOVE zucchini

  • This looks really good! I love a good smoothie bowl!

  • Looks gorgeous! I’m loving all the ingredients and nutritional value. Perfect start to the day for me and all my fellow expecting mamas. I know what I’m having for breakfast now. Thanks!

  • what an intersting idea! i wish i could find my blender in my mess of boxes, i have some zucchini that could make an excellent smoothie bowl!

  • Alexis

    I started made this for breakfast the day you posted and have eaten it every morning since. Can’t stop! The frozen zucchini is a genius ingredient and totally adds creaminess, and the cashew butter, well…can’t go wrong with adding that to anything!

  • This is such a great idea! I love sneaking zucchini into my food, as well. It really does make it creamier but then is actually a straight-up veggie ha! I never thought to add it here. I might try that sometime 🙂

  • Soph

    As a low sugar eater bananas are usually on my no list…. but frozen zucchini is a total yes! Great idea!!! Thanks 🙂

  • sam stirek

    If I am allergic to bananas, how many dates would you add in to the smoothie with the 2 zucchinis/what type of dates? Please let me know, thank you!

    • Try another fruit like pear or apple instead of the banana and you can use however many dates to sweeten- use your taste buds to tell you 😉

  • Allison

    Hey, McKell! I’m a newish reader, and I just wanted to say how much I appreciate these tips for avoiding bananas and avocados. I’m allergic to both, and I’ve had such a hard time adapting all the amazing, healthy recipes others enjoy. It was really getting me down, but now I’m very excited to get cracking with these smoothies. Thank you so much! 🙂

    • McKel Hill

      Hi Allison, so happy you’re here! Have you signed up for the NS newsletter? I share all kinds of goodies and you also might like the Society! Cheers to frozen zucchini in smoothies though, it’s delicious and packed with fiber. xxM

  • Alex

    Have you ever used frozen spinach in this recipe? I have so much, figured I’d try it. I imagine it will be realllllly thick. Will let you know how it goes.

    • Alex

      Oops thought I was posting on the green matcha smoothie bowl. My bad!

    • McKel Hill

      I wouldn’t recommend using frozen spinach in smoothies- it can taste a little off and too green- if you do, add plenty of lemon to balance it out!

      • Alex

        Thanks, Mckel! I have one more question. I don’t have coconut milk on hand. Would it be cool to replace it with almond milk?

        • Alex

          To be clear, the question is actually for the blue morning smoothie bowl now. Haha.

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