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Eat Well Nov. 22. 2013
Breakfast

Stripped Green Smoothie Bowl + Superfoods 101

Nov. 22. 2013
Breakfast
McKel Kooienga, MS, RDN, LDN

McKel Kooienga, MS, RDN, LDN

Dietitian, Founder and CEO

Looking for a greens-based smoothie bowl? Try this Stripped Green Smoothie Bowl.

A smoothie bowl is essentially a smoothie that’s thick enough to eat with a spoon and has the creamy texture of ice cream, and who doesn’t enjoy a big bowl of ice cream for breakfast?

What I love most about the Stripped Green Smoothie Bowl is the contrast of the creamy, thick, cold smoothie and the crunchy toppings of granola, goji berries, raw cocoa nibs, coconut, and sometimes chia seeds. It reminds me of an ice cream base because it’s very thick, cold, and extremely creamy without any use of ice cream, yogurt, or creams of any kind. It’s all raw fruits and vegetables! Pure and simple.

Also, this recipe is extremely satisfying and filling due to the volume from the raw fruits, greens, ice, frozen bananas, and additional frozen fruit which is optional. One generous serving fills up a very large bowl so there’s no deprivation with this meal – only nourishing whole raw plant-based ingredients.

What Are Superfoods?

A superfood is any food that has super nutrient density qualities, whether that’s being high in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, proteins, healthy fats, or a combination of all of the above. These aren’t a necessity in anyone’s diet since all whole foods are super in their own right, yet incorporating these can be a fun way to boost nutrients in your diet. The toppings I routinely have on my smoothie bowl (and in many other forms) are all considered “superfoods” due to high nutrient density versus caloric density, i.e. more nutrients per calorie.

Many of you have been asking me about the toppings I use and what those unique ingredients I put in my Stripped Green Smoothies are. Below is a breakdown of my favorite superfoods you all may see on or in my smoothies and in other treats I make. This list isn’t all inclusive of superfoods, but these are my favorites for smoothie bowls!

Most Popular Superfoods

Maca (mah-cah):

An adaptogenic root vegetable (from the broccoli family actually) grown in Peru. It’s high in calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, vitamins B1, B2, C, E, iron and also contains trace minerals including zinc and selenium, fatty acids, and amino acids (about 10% protein). It’s been used for centuries by the South American cultures for hormonal balance, stamina, reduction in anxiety and depression symptoms, increased physical strength and endurance, and mental focus/clarity. It’s also been shown to function as an aphrodisiac. Although the scientific evidence for the claims of maca is not at a significant level, the pure mineral and vitamin rich content justifies this root to be a “superfood”.

  • Taste: malt, earthy, nutty
  • Try: 1 teaspoon and gradually increasing. Check here for more on serving sizes.

Raw cacao nibs or powder:

Not only delicious but also high in antioxidants, too! Read more on why I love chocolate here.

  • Taste: bitter, chocolate, rich
  • Try: 1 teaspoon-tablespoon depending on how much you like

Coconut:

High in saturated fat (about 90%) and comprised of 65% MCT or medium chain triglycerides from lauric and myristic acids. Contains natural anti-microbial, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal properties as well as cosmetic uses for your hair, skin, and nails. Read more about why I love coconut here!

  • Taste: sweet, nutty, rich
  • Try: 1 tablespoon or more if you enjoy

Goji berries:

One of if not my favorite “superfoods”. They’re delicious tiny berries that taste like a raisin and a cranberry mixed together. They’re high in minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, selenium; high in vitamins A, C, B2;  high in phytochemicals such as beta-carotene, and zeaxanthin, and contain polysaccharides. Goji berries also contain 18 amino acids  (11 essential amino acids) which make them a good source of plant protein as well.

  • Taste: like a cross between a raisin and cranberry, slightly sweet
  • Try: ¼ cup to however much you enjoy

Bee pollen:

A male “seed” of flowers/plants that are then taken by bees from flower to flower as they continually mix the most nutrient dense parts with their own saliva and honey from their hive creating a small pollen granule (this is a very complex process and I’m leaving out steps for the sake of keeping it short and sweet).

Bee pollen is very nutrient dense, it’s about 40% protein, contains almost all the B complex vitamins and also vitamins C, E, A, K, carotenoids, amino acids, enzymes, trace minerals, antioxidants, essential fatty acids and minerals such as magnesium, zinc, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, iodine, copper and others. Not only is it a complete nutritional package, but it’s also been used for weight loss, allergies, PMS, infertility issues, sports performance, and anti-aging (some of these claims have not been studied). NOTE: if you have a pollen allergy, you may also be highly allergic to bee pollen, so take caution!

  • Taste: slightly sweet, bold, floral
  • Try: ½ teaspoon gradually increasing over time checking with the directions as well. Check here for more on dosage.

Homemade granola:

Often rich in healthy fats from nuts and seeds, reduced refined sugars, and high in fiber and plant protein. See my favorite recipe for granola: Maple Banana Nut Granola.

  • Taste: DELICIOUS! Crunchy and sweet.
  • Try: ¼ cup or more as you like

Pumpkin seeds:

Rich in carotenoids, zinc, sulfur-containing amino acids, vitamin A, E, C, K, B vitamins, magnesium, and copper. Also has a natural diuretic effect.

  • Taste: earthy, nutty
  • Try: 1-3 tablespoons or more as you like

Spirulina:

A blue-green algae rich in protein and nutrients. Read more on why I love spirulina here.

  • Taste: nutty, slightly sweet (a very unique combination of cocoa and seaweed)
  • Try: 1 tablespoon. Check here for more on serving size.

Açaí:

A true beauty fruit! It’s actually a fatty fruit because of its fatty acid content which helps nourish skin from the inside out. It can be found fresh, as frozen pulp, or in a freeze-dried powder. It’s rich in vitamins B2, C, A, E, fiber, fatty acids, phytonutrients, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory compounds. Read more on why I love Acai here.

  • Taste: astringent/sweet, berry flavor
  • Try: depends on how you’re using acai. In powdered form, the serving is ¼-1 teaspoon, and if it’s frozen puree it’d be one packet.

*note all of these “try” serving sizes are general and not based on individuals, as always check with your dietitian about it if you have concerns or take multiple medications (most don’t interfere, but play it safe).

Where To Get Superfoods

Always try to purchase superfoods organic (as most are) from a reputable supplier.

Here are a couple brands I’ve used and enjoy!

I hope that you enjoy this recipe as much as I do or that you at least challenge yourself to try something new! I realize many of you think of green smoothies as an odd thing to consume, but I promise you if you start incorporating more mineral and vitamin rich raw greens and fruits into your diet daily, you’ll start to feel the positive and energizing effects over time!

The Recipe

Serves 1

Print

Ingredients:

    • 1 cup of organic lacinato kale/regular kale

 

    • 1 cup of organic romaine

 

    • 1 handful ice (more as needed)

 

    • 1-2 large stalks of organic celery, chopped

 

    • ½ organic apple, cored and chopped

 

    • 1-2 frozen bananas

 

    • ½ cup of coconut water (double the filtered water if you don’t have this available)

 

    • ¼ cup organic cucumber, chopped

 

    • 1 tablespoon of cilantro

 

    • 1 tablespoon of parsley

 

    • Juice of 1/2 lemon/meyer lemon

 

    • 1 brazil nut

 

    • dash of cayenne (optional)

 

    • dash of cinnamon (optional)

 

    • dash of turmeric (optional)

 

    • OPTION 2 //

 

    • Simply use 1/4th of the recipe from the original Stripped Green Smoothie, which has 4 servings. Add 1-2 frozen bananas and a small amount of coconut water to your desired thickness.

 

Directions:

 

    1. Put all ingredients into your Vitamix/ high speed blender except the frozen bananas.

 

    1. Combine all ingredients very well, lastly add frozen bananas and ice.

 

    1. The mixture should be thick like frozen soft serve ice cream- add more ice if needed.

 

    1. Garnish with your favorite toppings noted above.

 

    1. Enjoy!

 

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