Smoothie Bowls: Are They Just for Pretty Photos or a Well-Balanced Meal?

Smoothie bowls have crept their way into your life, whether you approved it or not. Your social feeds are speckled with these beautiful and brightly-colored bowls with all of the toppings your healthy heart could ever desire.

It's similar to the froyo experience we all know and love, but smoothie-fied and bowled in your own kitchen. We all have no problem pinning various smoothie bowl creations, but who's actually implementing these decadent beauties in real time, and why?

Mind Over Matter

It's important to first talk about the purpose behind a smoothie. Unlike the smoothies you got when you were eight and at the coffee shop with your parents, smoothies are supposed to be an easy way to get the nutrients you may be less inclined to eat into your system with disguised tastes. Here's the thing about smoothies, though.

Since smoothies are generally more of  liquid-base than solid, your body registers how to digest them differently. If you've ever felt hungry after having a smoothie, this is probably why. With smoothie bowls, just the mere fact you're eating them with a spoon sends a signal to your brain that yes, this is going to be nutrient dense and energy is on it's way, according to Madeline Romeo of Active.

So, you have total know-how into what you've prepped in your smoothie bowl, and your brain will process it the right way, leaving your body replenished and your mind sustained. That's a pretty great argument in favor of smoothie bowls.

Control is Key

As is true when you make any type of snack or meal from home, you can dictate what goes in, the amount, and what will never touch your beautiful bowl. In the case of smoothie bowls, it's extremely easy to go overboard on sugar, especially when you get to the toppings. All the decadent and vivid bowls that are filling your Instagram feed are likely not the ones you want to be recreating. I'd recommend solely making a smoothie bowl at home rather than going to a restaurant or cafe to get them.

This makes it easier to ensure the amount of greens overpowers the amount of sugars, and that you can put good-for-you toppings on, not added fruit on top of the fruit you've already blended. This recipe from Minimalist Baker is a great place to start. With an array of toppings such as flaxseed and walnuts and a base of avocado, kale, spinach and bananas, available to you, you'll be satisfied until lunch--which should always be the goal with any breakfast.

Doin' Time

It's safe to assume many people's first thought when it comes to smoothie bowls is, "Why". That is a fair question, as I've even asked it myself. Why make a smoothie, to then pour it in a bowl and add even more ingredients to it. Doesn't that seem time consuming? Also, how many dishes and kitchen supplies are we dirtying up this early in the day?

Those concerns are valid and heard, but think about it: you make breakfast every morning, or try to, right? And this process probably includes making coffee, maybe scrambling some eggs, steaming some broccoli, and cutting up some of the season's freshest fruits to accompany your already delectable meal. How many plates, pans, and other utensils have you used? A lot more than you probably even recognize -- it was mind-boggling to me, too.

In the end, its really more about preference than anything else. One plus side to smoothie bowls, however, is the fact you can make them the night before, pour it into a mason jar, and your morning routine just got a whole lot faster.

Read More: 16 French Toast Recipes That'll Make You Want Breakfast for Dinner

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