Vegan Berry Crunch Smoothie Bowl
I’ve done a lot of physical activity over the past few days, which as you know, is rather uncharacteristic.
First, I went to the Beyoncé and Jay-Z concert at MetLife Stadium. As much as I’d like to fangirl out right now, I recognize you’re probably not here to read about my obsession with Bey or my feelings about Jay-Z’s rumored infidelity. (But if you are, please contact me to discuss. I have a lot of thoughts.) All I’ll say is that it was the most amazing concert I’ve ever been to (times infinity), and I did my best dancing for 2½ hours.
It was a lot of cardio for a Friday night.
On Saturday, I went out to my bestie Fifi’s house on Long Island, and she suggested we go paddleboarding. Since I have zero upper body strength and pathetic swimming skills, I wasn’t exactly pumped about this idea. But I’m a good friend, and paddle boarding is trendy, so I reluctantly agreed.
Much to my surprise, I got the hang of the paddleboarding thing pretty quickly, and I was quite proud of myself. I’d even venture to describe the first 30 minutes as delightful. The sun was out, the wind was at my back, and my balance was remarkably on point. My arms weren’t even tired, and I started to think that maybe I had had underestimated my own strength. Whoop!
Unfortunately, things took a sudden and unexpected turn for the worst.
Paddling back to shore against the wind almost killed me. At a certain point (i.e. after my fourth fall), I sat down on my board and paddled furiously (making almost no headway), while wondering if it was possible for one’s arms to actually fall off. Fifi and our friend Alston somehow managed to get ridiculously far ahead of me, which was both embarrassing and terrifying on many levels.
I felt like Marky Mark in The Perfect Storm, alone and lost at sea. (Except wearing a life jacket and in the middle of a busy harbor.) Funnily enough, I kept thinking, “If I die out here, will Logan stay on The Dude Diet?”
And then a friendly boat rescued me and I was motored the last 200 yards to the dock. Crisis averted.
You’d think that shaking it at Beyoncé and extreme paddleboarding would be enough exercise for the month weekend, but no. Fifi also wanted to do Ladies’ Tennis Clinic on Sunday.
Dear God, WHY?!!
Luckily, I actually know how to play tennis, so that wasn’t so bad, but there was a lot of running, and I was VERY sweaty. Needless to say, I slept like a baby on Sunday night.
Based on my level of physical exertion this weekend, I imagined myself waking up on Monday morning looking like an SI Swimsuit model and feeling like Gwyneth. Shockingly, that didn’t happen. Everything was the same, except that I was (and still am) insanely sore. Like, an absurd amount of pain. I haven’t felt this way since varsity volleyball tryouts circa 2003.
Yes, I’m serious, and no, I didn’t make the team.
My poor body was clearly in need of a good stretch and some rejuvenating nourishment yesterday, which was delivered in the form of YouTube yoga and this big, beautiful Vegan Berry Crunch Smoothie Bowl.
Based on my internet research, I’m a little late to the smoothie bowl partay (as per usual), and all the cool nutrition/fitness gurus on Instagram have apparently been posting these bowls for months! I was unaware of this because I don’t follow any of those peeps. Too much #fitspo makes me feel anxious about my bi-monthly workout schedule. Sorry.
Anyhoo, I couldn’t be more excited to be part of the smoothie bowl movement, and I suggest you join me. The bandwagon is very nice, and it’s full of beautiful, healthy people.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with the smoothie bowl, allow me to enlighten you…
It’s a smoothie.
In a bowl.
Just kidding, it’s way more exciting than that!
First of all, the smoothie portion is really thick, almost like soft ice cream, which is obviously awesome. Ice cream for breakfast is a win. More importantly, you can load it up with all kinds of fabulous toppings since you don’t have to worry about slurping it through a straw. Hallelujah.
The berry crunch smoothie bowl you’re looking at is a vegan revelation, friends. An antioxidant rich blend of mixed berries, banana, kale (or spinach for ze kale haters), chia seeds, almond milk and agave, it’s sweet, creamy goodness that doesn’t taste offensively “green.” I promise.
And the toppings! I would happily crush a bowl of this super thick smoothie on its own, but the toppings are what make it so irresistible. I went to town on my bowl with fresh strawberries, blueberries, and banana, as well as chopped almonds, toasted coconut, a sprinkling of my favorite granola, and extra chia seeds. This combo was a badass blend of fresh flavor and crunch, but feel free to get creative with your add-ins. It’s part of the fun.
This smoothie bowl makes an unbelievably festive and satisfying breakfast or lunch, and you can easily half the recipe for a light, energizing snack. If you want to amp up the protein, just add a scoop of vegan protein powder or a couple tablespoons of almond/peanut butter into the mix. (I stand by my earlier feelings about combining greens and nut butter, but you do you.)
Get on board.
Vegan Berry Crunch Smoothie Bowl: (Makes 1 large smoothie bowl)
1 cup chopped kale or baby spinach
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1 cup unsweetened almond milk (or milk of your choice)
1½ cups frozen mixed berries
½ frozen banana (Yes, you can use a regular banana, but then you may have to add some ice to your smoothie bowl.)
1-2 teaspoons light agave (depending on how sweet you like things)
½ banana, sliced
¼ cup blueberries
2-3 strawberries, sliced
1 teaspoon chia seeds
2 tablespoons chopped almonds
2 tablespoons unsweetened coconut shavings, raw or toasted
¼ cup granola of your choice
Preparing your Vegan Berry Crunch Smoothie Bowl:
-Place the kale or spinach, chia seeds, and milk in a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. (This will ensure that you don’t have any gross, chewy greens in your smoothie bowl.)
-Add the frozen mixed berries, banana and agave to the blender.
-Puree, scraping down the sides of the blender periodically, until relatively smooth. Don’t be crazy about getting it completely smooth, people. You won’t be drinking this through a straw, so a little texture is good!
-Pour smoothie into a bowl.
-Garnish with toppings of your choice, and get after it.
I like to make festive designs with my toppings because I like fancy things, but that’s obviously optional…
But you should probably do it…
Because pretty food is the best. Duh.
- 1 cup chopped kale or baby spinach
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk or milk of your choice
- 1½ cups frozen mixed berries
- ½ frozen banana Yes, you can use a regular banana, but then you may have to add some ice to your smoothie bowl.
- 1-2 teaspoons light agave depending on how sweet you like things
- ½ banana sliced
- ¼ cup blueberries
- 2-3 strawberries sliced
- 1 teaspoon chia seeds
- 2 tablespoons chopped almonds
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened coconut shavings raw or toasted
- ¼ cup granola of your choice
Place the kale or spinach, chia seeds, and milk in a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. (This will ensure that you don’t have any gross, chewy greens in your smoothie bowl.)
Add the frozen mixed berries, banana, and agave to the blender. Puree, scraping down the sides of the blender periodically, until relatively smooth. Don’t be crazy about getting it completely smooth, people. You won’t be drinking this through a straw, so a little texture is good!
Pour smoothie into a bowl and garnish with toppings of your choice. Serve immediately.
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