Wanna stay full all morning long? You need this protein-packed smoothie bowl.
Compared with a jumbo bagel and cream cheese or a skimpy strawberry yogurt, smoothies are a healthy way to jumpstart your morning. But if all you do is throw in a bunch of fruit, veggies, and ice and blend, your smoothie bowl might overdo it on carbs and you’ll miss an opportunity to get your protein fix at breakfast time.
It’s a cinch to add protein to smoothies, and you have a ton of muscle-building options to choose from: Greek yogurt, nut butters, chia seeds, oats, protein powder, and even—yep—tofu! (Silken tofu will blend right in and you probably won’t even taste it.)
For this high-protein smoothie bowl, created by New York City-based nutritionist Sharon Richter, RD, creamy almond butter and protein powder add an energy boost to the pumpkin and banana base. (That’s right—you don’t have to save pumpkin for only your fall lattes anymore.) Bonus: bananas and pumpkin both add fiber to ward off hunger.
And you won’t need to sweeten this healthy smoothie bowl, either. Almond butter is a healthy fat that adds a richness, which wipes out the need for sugar. However, if your sweet tooth is craving a little more flavor, try adding a half a teaspoon of vanilla extract and a dash of cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice! These additions will enhance the natural flavors without turning your high-protein smoothie bowl into a sugar bomb. (Feeling extra fancy? Try adding vanilla seeds right from the pod. Here’s how to deseed vanilla.)
To top this high-protein smoothie bowl, play around with whatever’s lying around in your fridge or pantry. Everything in this list of smoothie bowl toppings is about 35 calories each, so mix and match to taste:
Almond Slices – ½ tbsp. (26.5 calories)
Hemp Seeds – ½ tbsp. (27.5 calories)
Strawberries – ½ cup, sliced (27 calories)
Kiwi – 6 slices (30 calories)
Coconut Flakes – sprinkle – ¼ tbsp. (23 calories)
Cacao nibs – 1 tsp. (19 calories)
Cinnamon – ½ tsp. (3 calories)
Pumpkin Seeds (Pepitas) – ½ tbsp. (24 calories)
Banana – 6 slices (32 calories)
Blueberries – ¼ cup (21 calories)
Blackberries – ½ cup (31 calories)
Goji berries – 1 tbsp. (18 calories)
Raspberries – ½ cup (32 calories)
Flax Seeds – ½ tbsp. (24.5 calories)
Pomegranate seeds – ¼ cup (35 calories)
Matcha powder – 2 tsp. – (24 calories)
Mint leaves – garnish (0 calories)
Mango – three slices – ¼ cup (27 calories)
- 1 scoop vegan protein powder
- 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 1/2 a banana
- 1 tbsp almond butter
- 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
Nutrition Information Based on a Single Serving
*Percent Daily Value are based on a 2000 calorie diet. Your daily value may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
6 surprising health benefits of pumpkin. Atlanta, GA: WebMD. (Accessed on June 12, 2017 at http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/6-surprising-health-benefits-of-pumpkin#2.)
Bananas: Health benefits, facts, research. Brighton, UK: Medical News Today, 2017. (Accessed on June 12, 2017 at http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/271157.php.)
Pasiakos SM. Metabolic advantages of higher protein diets and benefits of dairy foods on weight management, glycemic regulation, and bone. J Food Sci. 2015;80 Suppl 1:A2-7.
Pasupuleti VR, Siew HG. Cinnamon: A multifaceted medicinal plant. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2014.