Super simple yet oh-so-delicious, this versatile smoothie bowl (V/GF) is chocked full of healthy fats!
In the Kitchen 101 Series
With every recipe I create, I love to share some behind-the-scenes cooking and nutritional info with the hope of getting you excited and informed about cooking and your health! Here’s what we’re learning today:
Which fats are good for you and why?
How do I get my smoothie to have a super thick consistency (you know, like the kind you need to eat with a spoon), aka smoothie bowl?
I first made this smoothie this summer when the temps were high. I know, I know, fall is already in full swing and the smoothie bowl cravings are at an (almost) all time low, what with the cold weather upon us. BUT I had to share this smoothie bowl recipe before I forgot about it. And, come on – who still doesn’t enjoy the occasional smoothie bowl/ice cream in winter?? I know I can’t be the only one…
This smoothie has coconut milk, avocado, and flax seeds in it. Yes, a lot of fatty-filled foods – but they’re the GOOD kind.
Yes, there is such a thing as good fats.
Now, I’m not an expert on fats (at least not until I start my studies), and so I’m not going to get into a big debate between saturated and unsaturated fats today. Even the “bad guys” (saturated fats) can sometimes be the “good guys”, as you’ll see below.
No, today we’re just going to focus mainly on UNSATURATED fats.
Okay, yes, we’ll call them the good guys.
These good guys can help lower cholesterol and lower your risk for heart disease. There are two kinds of unsaturated fats: monounsaturated and polyunsaturated.
Polyunsaturated fats are required for normal body functions. HOWEVER, your body cannot make them, therefore you need to get them from the food you eat. These fats are required for blood clotting, muscle movement, and inflammation.
Let’s take a look at the kind of fats in MY smoothie:
Avocados: High in monosaturated fats. Monosaturated fats fight heart disease, strengthens bones, and may even boost your mood!
Coconut milk: Contains lauric acid, a medium-chain fatty acid that is technically a saturated fat. But don’t fear! The fat found in coconut milk has been shown to build muscle, prevent fatigue, and improve heart health. HOWEVER it’s best to limit your consumption to 1/4-1/2 cup at one sitting.
Flax seeds: High in omega-3 fatty acids, a type of polyunsaturated fat. Omega-3’s help your cardiovascular health, lower inflammation, and boost your immunity. Just a few things among many other benefits!
……Now, let’s switch gears a bit.
Have you ever seen those drool-worthy smoothie bowls and thought man, how do they get their smoothies to be so thick and creamy??
The trick is in the amount of liquid you add.
Seems kind of obvious now, doesn’t it? But it’s actually a little bit trickier than it sounds. Here’s what I like to do: I add in all of my ingredients, and start blending to see if it will start coming together without any liquid. If not, then I start with just ONE tablespoon of liquid (usually water, maybe a plant-based milk). Start blending again, and if after 30-40 seconds it still hasn’t started coming together and you’ve already tried stopping to mix it with a spoon, add in another tablespoon of water.
Basically, just keep adding a tiny bit of water until it starts blending together. DON’T add in a lot of water at once in the beginning. Take it slowwwwww.
I like this smoothie because it’s very versatile – in place of the raspberries, you can add whatever berry you like. In place of flax seeds, try adding chia seeds, which are also high in omega-3’s.
A (healthy) fat-filled smoothie bowl
- 1 /2 avocado
- 1/2 cup coconut milk
- 1 1/2 TBSP ground flax seed (or chia seeds)
- 1 cup frozen raspberries (or berry of choice)
- 1-2 TBSP water or plant-based milk, if needed
- Optional toppings: frozen fruit, puffed grains, coconut flakes, nuts, seeds, nut butters, etc.
- Add all ingredients to the blender. Blend on high for 1-2 minutes. If the ingredients do not start coming together after 30-40 seconds, keep adding in 1 TBSP water until it starts blending together (though you should need no more than 2 TBSP, 1 should do the trick).
- Pour into bowls and add toppings!