You Need to Know What's in that Smoothie Bowl

You Need to Know What's in that Smoothie Bowl

Smoothie Bowls are on fuego right now! But are they really that healthful or good for us?


Diet culture, like everything else, has its trends. In the 1990's it was low-fat, processed snacks in 100-calorie bags. We all endured the paleo craze of the mid-2000’s and keto trend of today. It is always something.


In the 1970’s, Vogue published one of our personal favorites - a wine, coffee and cigarette dietChablis + cigs? Count us IN!! 😂


Currently trending is the Insta-worthy, colorful and very appealing concept of the smoothie bowl. The basic idea is that you whir up a bunch of frozen fruit and top it with more fruit, crunchy things and healthy fats. No debate - they are gorgeous to look at. However, in looking at some of the more popular recipes, it became very evident to us that some of these bowls went way over the top calorically. They also inherently contain a lot of nutrient density.

Given that these smoothie bowls are often perceived as a healthier alternative to more traditional snacks than something like ice cream, we assessed the nutrition for two of the smoothie bowl recipes included in this Tasty article. We ran them through our professional nutrition software and compared the bowls to two very popular commercially available ice creams, looking at several different data points.


Tasty’s Pineapple, Banana and Peach Smoothie Bowl VS Jenny’s Brambleberry Crisp Ice Cream:

Calories: approximately: 570 / per item

 

Item

Protein

Fat

Total Carbs

Added Sugars

Fiber

Antioxidant Score

Serving Volume for 570 cals

Smoothie Bowl

8 grams

10 grams

121 grams

0 grams

12.5 grams

35/100

20 ounces

Jeni’s Brambleberry Crisp Ice Cream

8 grams

30 grams

66 grams

40 grams

0 grams

0/100

7 ounces

Winner

TIE, but meh for low protein on both

Smoothie

Jeni’s

Smoothie

Smoothie

Smoothie

Smoothie


Right away you can see that calorie-for-calorie, you do get almost 3 times as much food for the same caloric value on the smoothie bowl. We talked to Heather Refenes, a nutrition coach with My Body Tutor, and she pointed out that, ounce for ounce, smoothie bowls are “lower in calories than ice cream”, but she would consider them “a treat with nutrition in them,” rather than a daily staple. She thought they were a good tool for behavior changes, but probably not an everyday thing.


Tasty’s Chocolaty Peanut Butter Smoothie Bowl VS that OG temptress, Ben and Jerry’s Chunky Monkey:

Calories: About 700 per item


Item

Protein

Fat

Total Carbs

Added Sugars

Fiber

Antioxidant Score

Serving Volume for 700 cals

Smoothie

19 grams

37 grams

80 

grams

2 grams

13.5 grams

35/100

17

ounces

Chunky Monkey

13 grams

47 grams

56 grams

56 grams

2.5 grams

15/100

9.7

ounces

Winner

Smoothie

Smoothie but both are high

Chunky Monkey

Smoothie

Smoothie

Smoothie

Smoothie


Again, you get more food for the same amount of calories on the smoothie bowl here, but the carbs are very high.


The advantage to smoothie bowls, though, is that, because you are making them from scratch, you can customize them however you want.  We also reached out to Caylea Borges, a nutrition coach who runs her own company Keep It Simple Nutrition, and she suggested modifying some of these recipes by swapping out some of the fruit for ice and/or lower carb yogurt. She agreed that they were beautiful to look at and likes them as an “ultimate upgrade to the traditional smoothie”, with a “create your own” component that makes the possibilities endless.


We experimented with making our own smoothie bowl and came up with the following for a more macro-friendly option:

Blueberry Nutella Smoothie Bowl

Calories: 360

Item

Protein

Fat

Carbs

Added Sugars

Fiber

Antioxidant Score

Serving Volume

Arya Blueberry Chia Smoothie Bowl

8 grams

18 grams

58 grams

34 grams

5 grams

20/100

10.5 ounces



Recipe:

  • 170 grams Greek Gods Honey Yogurt, Partially Frozen
  • 100 grams frozen blueberries
  • 9 grams Nutella
  • 5 grams chia seeds
  • 10 ml maple syrup
  • 50 grams chopped fresh apples
Arya Blueberry Nutella Smoothie Bowl Ingredients

 

Whir together the yogurt, blueberries and Nutella.

Smoothie Bowl in Blender

Top with the chia seeds, maple syrup and apples. Eat immediately or freeze for another 15 minutes for a delicious treat. 😋
Arya Blueberry Chia Apple Smoothie Bowl
What recipe would you like to see made healthier next? Let us know in the comments!

Sheb is the Arya® Resident Nutrition Coach and record holding powerlifter. Her company, Shebnation® Nutrition was founded in 2017 and she has helped countless people reach their nutrition and weight loss goals, all the while fostering an environment of science based knowledge and empathetic support for her clients. If you're interested in learning more about Shebnation Nutrition, visit Shebnation.com or find @Shebnation on Instagram.
Previous post

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published