Matcha-colada Smoothie Bowl
It’s been a hectic few weeks, and in my flustered state I somehow misread my calendar, making next week’s recipes this week. I was okay with it (it’s not like you would know), but then I realized that the Kentucky Derby was this weekend and Cinco de Mayo was Tuesday. The internet was suddenly awash with tacos, tequila and mint juleps, and I was standing there taking photos of a random smoothie bowl. I mean, apologies for the profanity, but fuck.
As I’ve mentioned before, after Christmas and my birthday, Cinco de Mayo is my favorite holiday, and I obviously enjoy the Derby for its fabulous hats and shameless day drinking. I firmly believe that these two events deserve stories, and parties, and new/creative menu options! At the very least, I planned to acknowledge both in the form of cocktails and thematic finger food.
But I dropped the ball, and all you’re getting this week is a Matcha-colada Smoothie Bowl and the series premier of Just The Tip. Again, I’m sorry.
Anyhoo, whether you’re attending a classy Derby soirée or hosting a Mexican fiesta, you’re probably going to need something cleansing both before and after your celebrations. So, the timing of this smoothie bowl may actually be quite apt. Hallelujah.
I’m thrilled to report that this vibrant green smoothie is like a vacation for your taste buds, and I swear on Logan’s life you can’t taste the kale/spinach it’s packing. It’s light, bright and refreshing, and the flavors are very reminiscent of a piña colada (which everyone loves, no?). I’d be pumped to drink this smoothie straight, but you know the toppings are what make it worth getting out of bed for. For the record, decorating a smoothie bowl is the ultimate exercise in individuality, but my favorite toppings for this one are goji berries, almonds, bananas, hemp seeds, and toasted coconut to keep things tropical. Cacao nibs are also a delight if you’re into their bitter chocolate-y vibes.
There’s a lot of superfood goodness happening in this bowl, but the magical secret ingredients is matcha green tea powder. On the off chance you’re not familiar with matcha, it’s a fine green powder that’s ground from the highest quality green tea plants and contains a whopping 10x the antioxidant benefits of regular green tea. It’s best known for improving mental focus and giving you a serious energy boost sans scary coffee jitters.
I’ve been trying my best to get on the matcha bandwagon for a while now, and truth be told, it’s been a struggle. Personally, I think it tastes like dirt as straight up tea and as a hot latte, BUT I’ve come around to it in iced latte form with almond milk. I even bought some matcha powder last week for said iced lattes and ended up adding it to my smoothie bowls. Long story short, it’s my new jam. You can hardly taste it, and I actually dig matcha’s subtle earthy sweetness when combined with fruit. You should try it. (It’s sold at Whole Foods, most health food stores and on Amazon.)
Before you go about your busy and important day, I want to quickly talk about smoothie bowls in general, as it appears that not everyone fully understands the concept. In fact, someone recently commented on one of my Instagram posts, “Why a bowl if it’s a smoothie? Why not drink in a cup with a straw? I keep seeing these but missing the point? So it’s basically soup?” Let’s address these excellent questions right now.
The most important property of the smoothie bowl is that it’s much thicker than your average smoothie, almost like soft serve. Yes, you could probably suck it through a straw with some serious dedication à la an extra thick milkshake, but the point of the smoothie bowl is to accommodate a bunch of dank toppings (which would obviously clog a straw). Just think of it as a healthy sundae that will keep you full and happy longer than a regular smoothie. Sweet.
Now, if you over-blend your smoothie or use too much liquid, your bowl will end up on the soupy end of the spectrum. The trick to avoiding this sad smoothie bowl fate is patience, friends. These things are VERY thick, so you really have to work for it. Unlike a regular smoothie, where you can just whizz everything for 5 seconds to smooth, pourable perfection, this mixture has to be broken down little by little. If you have a Vitamix, you’ll need to put that big black plunger thing to work and really mix/smash as the smoothie breaks down. If you do not have a fancy Vitamix, you will most likely need to stop the motor a few times, take the top off, and stir the contents of the blender with a spatula. You will be tempted to add more liquid. RESIST THE URGE. More liquid=soupy smoothie bowl. Patience is a virtue.
Go forth and smoothie bowl, friends. You can do it. (And please forgive me for not making blackberry juleps and enchilada meatballs. Next year…)
Matcha-colada Smoothie Bowl: (Makes 1 bowl)
1½ cups frozen pineapple
1 ripe frozen banana
1 cup greens of your choice (I like a baby kale mix, but spinach or regular old kale are also great.)
½ cup unsweetened coconut milk (The kind in the carton, not the can.)
2 teaspoons matcha green tea powder
Squeeze of fresh lime juice (optional)
Preparing your Matcha-colada Smoothie Bowl:
-Place all the ingredients in a blender.
-Blend until smooth. This can be a little tricky because this is a THICK smoothie. Take your time, and be patient with the blender. If you have a Vitamix, put that big black plunger thing to work and stir as you blend. If you don’t have a Vitamix. You may need to stop the blender a few times and stir things with a spatula.
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