Put something new in the cereal bowl…and have a party

Cathleen Kronemer, NSCA-CPT, Certified Health Coach, is a longtime fitness instructor at the Jewish Community Center. 

By Cathleen Kronemer, NSCA-CPT, Certified Health Coach

As many of you may already know, I am a big supporter of the post-workout shake.  I have even been known to take out the blender and whip up a smoothie at home, especially in this season of fresh produce abundance.  As delicious and nutritious as these beverages are, they are still just beverages, albeit certainly a preferable alternative to empty-calorie juices or sodas.    That translates simply into the fact that they are often consumed way too quickly, and more importantly, there is nothing to chew.

Texture is a very important factor in our daily food choices.  Chewing allows us to slow down and truly savor our food, the ideal way to eat just about anything.  However, when a meal or snack can potentially be over in about 2 minutes, the time it takes an average hungry or thirsty individual to chug a smoothie, it often fails to satiate completely.

Enter the world or “Smoothie Bowls”, one of the most creative nutrition trends of 2015.  Here is how this works:

  • Take out the blender
  • Make your usual smoothie/protein shake
  • Instead of a glass, pour the smoothie into a cereal bowl
  • Now for the fun part:  Toppings!

If you plan to enjoy your creation at breakfast, you may choose to add healthy toppings such as berries, banana slices, chia seeds, a little granola/raw oats or other cereal, almonds or a spoonful of almond butter.  If it is decadence you are craving, toppings may run the gamut from chocolate chips to shredded coconut, which we all know must be chewed forever.

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You can achieve the nutritional benefits derived from the protein powder, and your palate will appreciate the opportunity to chew!  Here is a basic recipe:

2 frozen banana, chopped into chunks

1 scoop protein powder

1/2 cup frozen mixed berries

1/2 cup unsweetened milk of choice (almond, coconut, soy, or dairy-based)

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend to a desired consistency.  Pour this into a cereal bowl and then have a blast choosing your toppings! 

This culinary delight has blossomed to the point where health-conscious people are throwing “Smoothie Bowl” parties; think wine party with bowls instead of goblets.  Each guest brings a different variety, enough for everyone to try.  The buffet table will not only be creative and colorful, but most likely there will be no hangover the next day.

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