One of the major health-food trends that has seemed to take the world by storm is the smoothie bowl. This concept that revolutionized the traditional smoothie is simple. Make a smoothie that is thicker, put it in a bowl, and then add a bunch of toppings in an artistic way. It used to be that açai bowls were the big trend, but now another super fruit has come into the game: pitaya, otherwise known as dragon fruit. The Instagram world has also embraced this trend. If you don’t believe me, just type in the search bar any one of these terms and thousands of pictures will appear: #smoothiebowl, #pitayabowl, #acaibowl (has 544,718 posts and counting)!
All the hype surrounding this trend convinced me that I should try one myself. So, I went and got myself an açai bowl. The base, aka the smoothie portion, was açai, whey protein, and soy milk while the toppings were hemp seeds, almond butter, strawberries, and blueberries. I have to admit, it was delicious and refreshing!! From a nutritional standpoint, I believe that these bowls are extremely healthful! The bases are made out of fruits and some sort of dairy or dairy-like product (milk, soy milk, almond milk etc). The toppings (strawberries, bananas, blueberries, hemp seeds, granola, and peanut butter) are things that have high nutrient content. This is a nutritious meal because you are able to get some servings of fruits, dairy, and even some protein (if nuts/nut-based products are incorporated).
One of the downfalls to these smoothie bowls is that they tend to be pricey. However, if you are interested in making your own, you can do so more cheaply and with more local goods (the localized version if you will)! Eating locally is a great thing to do, but it can be difficult sometimes. Many foods that are common in your grocery store do not grow locally, bananas for example. But, we can all look for ways to incorporate more local foods into our usual routines if we are not already. After looking at the ingredients of an official açai bowl, I realized that a similar dish could be recreated using more local foods!
A lot of the ‘traditional’ ingredients for these bowls can be purchased at your local farmers’ market when they are in season and frozen or canned for use in the winter. These include an array of fruits like apples, blueberries, melon, peaches, raspberries, and strawberries!
There are also plenty of ‘off-season’ additions that you can find right now at the Winter Farmers’ Market. If you are a person that likes to hide vegetables in your smoothies or do not have fruit that you froze from this last growing season, you can also purchase kale and other greens to blend in! Yogurt is also sold at the market, which can help add flavor and protein to your smoothie base. Toppings like peanut butter, maple syrup and honey can also be found currently at the winter farmers’ market. Finally, you can get milk locally as well. To see what things are in season, look at our seasonal produce guide: http://seacoastharvest.org/harvest-calendar/jan/.
Steps to Making a “Localized” Smoothie Bowl:
- Blend some frozen fruits (you can purchase the fruits at your local farmers’ market and freeze them yourself) with some milk and/or yogurt until you achieve a thick consistency. Add in a sweetener (if you are going completely local, add some local honey or maple syrup!).
- Pour the base blend into a bowl and decorate with your toppings (local fruits, peanut butter, a drizzle of honey, etc.). Enjoy!
This localization of a smoothie bowl is just one example of how you can take a trending food and reproduce it while adding more local goods! I challenge you to find a dish you usually eat and try and create a localized version of it!
Till Next Time,