Ever since the emergence of social media, I now put more effort into the way I pour my oatmeal, wiping off the edges and laying out toppings I never used to even add to my bowls. I also probably spend way too much time deciding which color bowl to put my latest pots-workout smoothie into, and thinking about what ingredients will give it a camera-ready appeal. I do all of this, just in case it looks pretty enough to post on Instagram. The plethora of foods on social media featuring mesmerizing hues, floral accents, and neatly placed goji berries, has made me into one of “them.” So here are some tips I’ve learned along my smoothie art obsession.
1. First, before anything, realize that the portion sizes of all these fruit smoothie bowls you see on Instagram are not healthy. In the picture above, note, these bowls are miniature. One of the biggest mistakes I see people do with smoothie bowls is assume that because it’s fruit, they can eat a large portion. At the end of the day too much fruit will turn your healthy smoothie into one big sugar bomb. To be able to eat large smoothie bowls that fill you up, you can add in veggies such as spinach, kale, cauliflower, squash…etc., as well as protein powder, for a healthy and balanced meal. I follow one food blogger who posts beautiful pictures of her colorful fruit smoothie bowls, and then in her Instagram stories, she shows that after the photo is taken, she adds veggies and superfood powders. She doesn’t do this up front, because it looks unappealing in her feed. This is what’s really going on in most cases – many bloggers aren’t really eating what they’re posting, so don’t be too influenced to recreate their concoctions if it doesn’t work for your health goals.
2. OK, not that we’ve decided we’d like to make a picture-perfect smoothie bowl that is not just pretty, but edible and nutritious, I’d recommend cutting up your favorite fruits and storing them in containers or bags in the freezer. That way you’ll always have them on hand and will have plenty of options ready. I also love to snack on frozen fruit when I’m craving something sweet.
3. Don’t go crazy with the ingredients. Keep it simple and try to pick fruits that are in the same color family, so it doesn’t end up looking murky…if a photo-opt is what you are striving for.
4. Once you’re ready to make a smoothie bowl, the possibilities are endless. If you want more of an ice cream consistency, use frozen bananas as your base and then you can pretty much add anything to it. If you love sorbet, just blend up the frozen fruits of your choice. You can use your favorite type of milk to make sure the fruits can move around in the blender. I love using coconut or almond milk in my smoothies.
5. Finally, add your toppings…sparingly, because that nicely decorated smoothie bowl you usually see from your favorite food or fitness blogger on Instagram is almost always loaded with a ton of sugar and can be nearly 500 calories or more when you add on things like granola, nut butters and dried fruit.