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Smoothie bowls: Our new favorite healthy breakfast trend

Gorgeous shots of smoothie bowls are everywhere on Pinterest and food blogs. Here's how you can get in on this tasty, healthy trend.
/ Source: TODAY
Banana and coconut smoothie bowl with chia, muesli and pomegranate seeds
Banana and coconut smoothie bowl with chia, muesli and pomegranate seedsMaya Visnyei

We have a simple rule of thumb when we’re trying to identify a trend: If we can find three credible examples of an idea, then it's a trend. If you’re talking about smoothie bowls, then the trend has been in full swing. It’s almost impossible to not find a gorgeous shot of a dish full of brightly colored deliciousness sprinkled with well-chosen toppings on Pinterest or just about any food blog. But it’s not just the aesthetic of the subject that has people talking.

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Smoothie bowls offer busy families the ease of smoothies but also provide the advantage of additional nutrition due to the toppings. Since you eat them with a spoon, the smoothie bowl lends itself to be covered in healthy fixings. However, nutritionists warn to choose wisely since you can easily take your bowl from healthful to sugar bomb. Instead, choose plain yogurts and satisfy your sweet tooth with the natural sugars found in fruit rather than adding maple syrup, honey or other sweeteners.

Get the recipe: Banana and coconut smoothie bowl with chia, muesli and pomegranate seeds

I love digging into my smoothie bowls because of their thicker consistency. It reminds me of when I was a kid, and I’d frantically mix my ice cream into a creamy froth and also because it mimics the ritual of eating my favorite morning cereal. My daughter, on the other hand, loves them because she can design her trio of toppings. And, as we all know, a DIY meal helps tame picky eaters since it puts them in the driver’s seat. Trend or not, as a mom, I’m sold.

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If you want to pack your bowl to go, prep the smoothie the night before and store it in a thermos in your refrigerator. Then put your toppings in airtight containers. When packing toppings, remember to keep things like berries and other fruit separate from your dry fixings, and squeeze a little citrus on fruits that can brown, like apples.

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Then, in the morning, you can grab your bowl and all its trimmings and head out the door. You'll likely need to give it a good mix before you eat it as there may be some separation, but it definitely beats hitting the drive thru for a doughnut. (Sorry doughnuts, I love you.)

Here are five tips for crafting a super smoothie bowl:

  1. Create a smoothie using your favorite flavors. Use frozen fruits like strawberries, blueberries, bananas, peaches, pineapple or raspberries. If you want it to be nutrient-dense, try using greens (frozen or fresh) like spinach, kale or Swiss chard. We also like to add plain Greek yogurt and proteins or healthy fats like nut butters, coconut oil, flax seed oil or avocado. Want more flavor? Add a smidge of fresh ginger, lemon or lime juice or zest.
  2. You’ll need a bit of liquid and how much will depend on the consistency you enjoy. Try almond, coconut, soy or cow’s milk or just ice.
  3. We like an array of nutritional toppings including nuts, seeds, muesli, granola (use sparingly since they can be high in sugar) or oats.
  4. Also add on some fresh fruit like apple, orange, pear or pomegranate or dried fruit.
  5. Try some good-for-you toppings like cinnamon, flax meal, chia seeds or hemp seeds to help fuel you for the day.

Ready to try it? We love to get out of bed for this smoothie bowl:

Green Banana Smoothie Bowl