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.

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.