I don't always feel super satisfied with smoothies.
There. I said it. (Is that health coach blasphemy?)
And I think I know what my occasional issue with smoothies is.
They're too fluid. They go down too easily. There's nothing to chew.
Chewing feels like an integral part of the eating experience. When I don't chew, I feel like I've missed out. The meal doesn't feel as satisfying and I invariably rush through it. (Have you ever downed an entire smoothie in under two minutes and wondered where it went? Yeah, me too.) ;) This is probably the thing only thing standing in the way of my eating only hummus and other pureed foods all the time. Actually, that's not true. I'm fairly sure I could justify eating only hummus (or this one, or this one) by dropping one piece of cucumber or red pepper in it... and the eating the entire batch. But I don't. Usually. ;)
When we eat, we're not just extracting nutrients from plants and processing them like robots. Our bodies respond to the entire eating experience - energetically, emotionally and physically - depending on where we are, who we're with, what we're eating and how many individual moments of pleasure the body can find in that experience. For every chew you miss, or every mouthful you swallow too quickly, the body can feel like it has lost out on a micro-moment of joy. Instead, thoroughly chewing and really engaging with your food can prolong the eating experience (more moments of joy) and help us register how full we are more quickly (which I like to think of as an opportunity for extended moments of joy: you don't pass the point of the overstuffed place).
Also, chewing is not only enjoyable, it's necessary for good digestion. Think of it this way: there are no teeth in your stomach or your intestines. They are in your mouth for a reason. When unchewed food reaches those lower-down organs, they all go, 'What the heck? I can't work this. I'm out.' Then they retreat to their dressing rooms and you end up feeling bloated and icky. Less joy, right?
When foods are blended, much of the work of chewing is done for us, which is great if you need something you can have on the go. (Really, smoothies are a good option!) But for those times when you can afford to be a little more luxurious, especially with breakfast, you set your body up to feel satisfied for the whole day. A little chewing goes a long way.
Which is why I love this: putting a smoothie in a bowl! WHAT. (Add a spoon and a little chewing, and that gone-too-quickly smoothie becomes a FOOD EVENT. Bonus.)
The nice thing about this smoothie bowl is that it's thick enough to support some deliciously textured superfoods on top: in this version, raw cacao, bee pollen and hemp seeds. Of course, you could add on whatever you like: goji berries, fresh fruit, coconut, nuts, the toasted nut flour in this recipe here, homemade granola, whatever speaks to you.
I chose to use plantains here a semi-sweet, low-fructose option (also packed with terrifically energizing complex carbs), but you could use cooked squash, sweet potato or banana if you prefer. I will definitely be experimenting with cooked root veggies in here come autumn. If you're using plantains, look for a dark brown or black one; uber-ripe is the only way to eat plantains raw.
This is a super-powered way to start your day with greens, too -- there are over 4 servings of green veggies in this one little bowl, and they're so beautifully blended, you probably won't notice you're basically eating a salad. ;) Kale, cucumber and spinach are super purifying for the blood and also some of the most alkalizing foods we can eat. This bowl would be ideal after a celebratory weekend of partying or barbecuing... meat + alcohol + grains can be very acid-forming in the body, so introducing alkalizing green foods like these can help move out old stuff and create new, hydrated, happily balanced cells.
Plus, it's just really yummy.
Enjoy all of that chewing! ;)
- 1 cup of organic kale
- 1 cup of organic spinach
- 1 handful ice
- ½ frozen plantain (look for a dark brown or black one; uber-ripe is the only way to eat plantains raw)
- ½ cup water
- ¼ cup organic cucumber
- juice of 1 lime
- 6 cashews
- 2 tbsp Pure Lean protein powder
- dash of cinnamon
- dash of turmeric
- For garnish: raw cacao, hemp seeds, bee pollen, goji berries, etc.
- 1. Combine all ingredients a blender except ice and plantain. Blend until smooth, about 45 seconds. Pieces of kale should be fully incorporated/ not fibrous.
- 2. Add plantain and ice and blend another 30 seconds until even. If your smoothie bowl is a little too runny, pop it in the freezer for 10 minutes to become the consistency of frozen yogurt.
- 3. Garnish with whatever you like and serve!