If we’ve learned anything from our Instagram feed lately, it’s that smoothie bowls are one of the biggest breakfast trends out there—and for good reason. Whether packed with leafy greens, tropical fruit, or creamy avocado, these super-bowls are filling, nutrient-packed, and most importantly, absolutely delicious.
To make a smoothie that’s best eaten with a spoon (we’re talking extra thick) use slightly less liquid than usual. The result: a thicker, richer, and creamier consistency that’s almost ice cream-like. (Doesn’t this sound way more fun than snoozy oatmeal?)
Better yet: Going sans glass lets you go nuts with delicious additions like sliced almonds, chia seeds, shredded coconut, and other fun toppings. Try one of these amazing recipes this week and get ready to feel like you’re digging into a bowl of fro-yo at the breakfast table.
Soak oats in water overnight to make them super blendable, then whip together this satisfying (but not too heavy) smoothie in seconds. The base, made with blueberries and raw honey, packs an antioxidantand anti-inflammatory punch to up your energy levels. To further boost your nutrient intake, top with goji berries, cacao nibs, slivered almonds, chia seeds, or toasted coconut.
Not escaping to the tropics this winter? Right there with you. But before you resort to fake-cationing, make this refreshing recipe with the crazy-good combo of coconut and mango. Less caloric than granola, baked quinoa cereal provides a nice contrast to the creamy base, while gluten-free oats bulk it up to ensure you’ll stay full ‘til lunch. A sprig of mint finishes the bowl off with a pop of springtime freshness.
You could go out and spend $9 (or more) on an acai bowl. Or you could whip up your own equally-as-delicious (and healthier) version at home! Switching standard coconut milk for almond milk slashes fat and calories, and don’t be intimidated: While it sounds exotic, acai powder, which gives the bowl that vibrant purple color, can easily be found at a health foods store or online.
We know, veggie-filled smoothies can sometimes taste like a freshly mowed lawn. But this recipe, featuring avocado, banana, and blueberries, masks the taste of the greens so well your tastebuds will never detect the disease-fighting nutrients you’re downing with each bite. The blogger goes so far as to say it tastes like “melted ice cream,” which in our book is always a breakfast #win.
This vegan blogger is spot on when she says that once you try a smoothie bowl, you never go back—especially if your first experience involves her decadent (yet healthy) chocolate-infused version. While a chocolate smoothie may not sound the healthiest, the hemp seed hearts are a great source of plant-based protein, iron, and omega-3 fats. Their slightly earthy yet neutral taste pairs perfectly with cacao, banana, and hazelnuts for a breakfast that definitely beats your standard oatmeal.
This blend of berries, banana, kale (spinach works too!), chia seeds, almond milk, and agave is sweet, healthy, and even has the creamy texture of frozen yogurt (um, yum). Get creative with your add-ons—from granola to almonds to berries—for a killer breakfast, snack, or light lunch. Since you’re not limited to slurping this drink out of a straw, the topping possibilities are endless. In the words of this blogger: Hallelujah.
Believe it or not, this bright pink bowl is au naturel. Thanks to the vibrant color of pitaya, or dragon fruit, this breakfast bowl is almost—almost—too pretty to eat. Pitaya, which is slightly sweet and tastes similar to melon, is a great source of antioxidants, magnesium, fiber, and B vitamins, making this an ideal post-workout snack. Look for the pure, frozen purée at a health foods store or online.
With all the flavor of carrot cake—minus the calories and sugar—this gluten-free, vegan smoothie bowl may very well revolutionize your morning routine. Not only does it taste like the classic dessert, but it’s highly filling thanks to vanilla protein powder. It even sneaks in veggies that aren’t leafy greens for a change!
Avocado isn’t only for savory recipes. The green fruit is not only a stealth ingredient in healthy chocolate cupcakes, pancakes, and more, but it also makes smoothie bowls thick, tasty, and insanely filling. Top it with pretty pomegranate perils and rich, nutty cashew cream for the perfect finishing note.
It’s easy to think that sweets and protein never mix, given that most baked goods are decidedly lacking in protein status. To be fair, the muscle-building macronutrient is tops when it comes to savory dishes (chicken breasts, anyone?). But it also stars in some legitimately satisfying sweet recipes. All the more reason to add some protein to your dessert? A meal high in protein helps promote feelings of fullness for longer, reducing cravings and the chances of overeating.
To have your cake and eat your protein too, try one of these protein-rich sweet recipes, most of which pack 20 or more grams of the good stuff per serving!
10 Protein-Packed Dessert Recipes
We know the facts: Preparing meals at home is good for your health and your wallet. But let’s face it, with minimal free time and other priorities taking up space in our schedules (think: long hours at work, significant others, keeping in touch with family, maybe even a workout here and there), spending hours or even minutes in the kitchen isn’t always at the top of our to-do lists.
But before you give in to endless Seamless clicking, becoming a regular at the Chinese place near the office, or living off of frozen meals, know that in the time it takes to watch your favorite cat videos on YouTube, you can make a nutritious, home-cooked meal. All of these recipes are easy and healthy—and ready in 10 minutes, tops. No matter what meal of the day—including make-and-take breakfasts and lunches—this is fast food that health experts would approve of.
Photo: Buns in My Oven
1. Cheddar Garlic Grits With Fried Eggs
A Southern classic, cheesy grits don’t have to be a complete fat and calorie bomb. Cook them in water rather than milk and omit the butter. But keep the cheddar (the two tablespoons per serving here keeps this gooey and rich and provides almost 10 percent of your daily calcium), then add eggs for staying power, chopped chives to lend a slightly oniony flavor, and garlic, which makes everything taste better.
2. Open-Faced Sandwiches With Ricotta, Arugula, and Fried Egg
Morning sandwiches can be so much more than a smashed bacon, egg, and cheese eaten behind the wheel. Yes, this one does call for a fork and knife, but it’s worth it. Toasted bread is topped with spicy arugula, a good source of vitamin K, which helps blood clot. Then add an egg, salty ricotta (it has more protein than cottage cheese), Parmesan, and thyme, and it’s a sandwich like no other.
3. Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal
The number of pumpkin-pie-spiked foods turned ridiculous when Pringles debuted chips in 2012 in the flavor. That said, some foods really do taste better with the spice—and you can make them at home year-round. This healthy, autumn-inspired oatmeal combines pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, and vanilla to give it a pie flavor, then tops it all off with dried cranberries to natural sweetness.
4. Blueberry Pancakes
A stack of homemade flapjacks doesn’t take that long—and these are free of gluten, dairy, eggs, and nuts. But they still taste amazing and fluffy thanks to bananas, coconut, cinnamon, and of course blueberries, which may prevent memory problems and heart disease.
5. Scrambled Tofu
When properly prepared, tofu is anything but blah—and this version provides as much protein as a scrambled egg. Toss the vegan staple with cheesy nutritional yeast, turmeric, cumin, and paprika (buy smoked for even more flavor), and even egg lovers will enjoy it.
READ MORE at 31 Healthy Meals You Can Make in 10 Minutes or Less.
If, like many of us, you’ve already indulged just a bit too much this holiday season (what, pie and wine aren’t a balanced meal?), it might be a good time to detox (but don’t run away just yet).
The word “detox” tends to bring to mind scary-intense juice cleanses or a gluten- dairy-meat-grain-sugar-caffeine-free diet that will make you run away screaming (and hungry). But never fear—when we say “detox,” we’re talking about refocusing the mind, body, and palate on healthy, tasty, and nutritious foods. Instead of going crazy-restrictive and nixing all food groups except kale and steamed fish (not exactly a sustainable diet), let’s explore new tastes, textures, ingredients, and cooking techniques. Most of these recipes are based on healthy staples like whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, and both vegetarian and meat protein sources.
The following collection of recipes will get you psyched about eating well again (and might even help kick that cookie-a-day habit you picked up over the past week). For a super-easy meal plan, just pick one recipe from each category per day.
Photo: Marla Meridith / Family Fresh Cooking
1. Blueberry-Coconut Baked Steel Cut Oatmeal
This year, make your New Year’s resolution to eat a healthy breakfast every morning. Kick off 2014 on a tasty note with this flavorful, baked version of steel-cut oats. Since it’s a baked oatmeal dish, you can make it the night before and heat it up for on-the-go mornings.
2. Vanilla Chia Pudding
Start the day right with a healthy dose of chia seeds, which are loaded with protein, calcium, antioxidants, magnesium, iron, and potassium. Not bad for a bunch of tiny seeds, right? Whip up this tasty breakfast-worthy pudding by mixing seeds with a cup of milk (soy, almond, or cow’s), a dash of vanilla, and a drizzle of maple syrup. Let the mixture sit for a few hours (or overnight) and watch the chia seeds create a creamy, pudding-like texture.
3. Gluten-Free Blueberry Muffins
These gluten-free beauties are far from ginormous (gut-busting) bakery muffins. Instead of a carb-fest of processed sugar and white flour, these healthy little guys are made with brown rice flour, flax seeds, and applesauce. They’re sweetened with dried dates and topped with fresh blueberries and sliced almonds. Healthy enough for seconds, we think.
4. Veggie Quinoa Breakfast Bowl
Is your breakfast style more savory than sweet? With just a tiny bit of olive oil and plenty of veggies and protein, this bowl is the real breakfast of champions. Pro tip: If your stomach isn’t ready for so much protein (egg, cheese, and quinoa) in the morning, this dish would make a bomb-diggety lunch or dinner, too.
5. Charred Tomatoes with Fried Eggs on Garlic Toast
Elevate your breakfast ritual with this flavorful take on eggs and toast. Rub slices of whole-wheat toast with garlic and a touch of olive oil, then top ‘em with charred tomatoes and fried (or poached) eggs.
6. Banana-Apple Buckwheat Muffins
Who needs sugar or white flour when you can make delicious, healthy muffins out of buckwheat flour, mashed banana, apples, walnuts, and not much else? With plenty of fiber and healthy fats, and a bit of protein (from the eggs and buckwheat), these wholesome pastries will keep you full all morning.
7. Chia Seed Breakfast Bowl
Loaded with bananas, chia seeds, almond milk, raw almonds, hemp seeds, cinnamon, and dried fruit, this breakfast is a veritable superfood spectacular. Since most of the work takes place the night before, it’s ideal for busy mornings.
8. Wholesome Winter Fruit Granola
Pre-packaged granola (and especially granola bars) are often loaded with sugar, preservatives, and other unsavory ingredients that won’t exactly help you recharge after a decadent holiday season. The solution? Make your own! This easy recipe contains just whole grains, a tiny bit of oil and maple syrup, and nuts and dried fruit for flavor.