Tulsa World | article online
by Jessica Rodrigo
The smoothie is an epitome of convenience food for people on the go.
Pop a few ingredients into a blender, sip it through a straw and ta-da — you’ve got an instant healthy meal on the go. It’s easy to love a meal that won’t slow you down.
But if you have a little extra time and prefer food with added texture, try a smoothie bowl for a change.
“It’s a fun way to eat a smoothie,” said Cynthia Beavers, owner of Pure Food and Juice. “You have to slow down to eat it, and it has so much more texture, too.”
Similar to other bowl foods, the smoothie bowl trend has recently become popular with diners — especially those looking for a healthy menu option. It’s not a new concept, said Beavers, who has been serving the bowls for about five years. But it wasn’t until she moved into her new space in Brookside that they’ve grown to be one of the more popular items.
Each bowl starts as a traditional smoothie, with frozen fruits and sometimes nuts going into a blender and being processed until smooth. But to make them bowl-and-spoon friendly, they thicken the smoothie with more frozen fruit, then top it off with an arrangement of superfoods, granola, fresh or dried fruit.
“Food should be beautiful,” she said. “That’s why we put flowers on everything. We want it to look like art. If you can make it that way, why not?”
What you should know about the most underrated form of exercise The restaurant specializes in raw, vegetarian and vegan dishes, so each smoothie bowl can be made to fit any diet. The smoothie bowls also fit into any meal of the day, Beavers said.
Under the guise of other names — such as parfaits from Nurtify Cafe, acai bowls from Ediblend or energy bowls at Jamba Juice — these dishes have become popular in health food circles for their introduction of superfoods, nondairy or vegan options and their appearances.
The combinations of fresh fruits and other toppings are part of what attracts customers to them, Amy Murray, co-owner of the Ediblend Superfood Cafe, said.
“It really sells itself. People usually see other people ordering it and say, ‘What is that? I want the same thing,’ ” she said.
Similar to the smoothie bowl, the acai bowls are made without dairy or processed sugars and start with a blend of frozen fruit. Ediblend starts with frozen acai berries that are blended with an alternative milk and other ingredients until it reaches a sorbet consistency, then is topped with a few other ingredients.
If you ask the folks at Pure Food and Juice or Ediblend, they’ll tell you both versions offer customers a delicious and filling option for any time of the day. Each is loaded with healthy ingredients, such as acai berries, bee pollen, chia seeds and hemp seeds that are beneficial for overall health, ranging from anti-inflammatory properties to improved digestion and detoxification.
“It’s all kinds of goodness in a bowl,” Murray said. “It’s the perfect meal replacement for breakfast, lunch or dinner.”
Another version of the smoothie bowl includes the parfait and yogurt bowls. These can vary between fruit-based blends to yogurt or Greek yogurt, depending on where you visit, and often include a single layer or multiple layers of granola with fresh fruit.
This recipe can go from traditional smoothie served in a glass to a smoothie bowl topped with other ingredients for texture and health benefits.
Makes 2 servings
2 cups frozen strawberries
2 frozen bananas
2 cups cashew/almond/coconut milk
Pinch of healthy salt
Sweetener of choice (agave nectar, honey, stevia)
For a smoothie bowl (suggested toppings):
Fresh, frozen or dried fruit, chopped