Blueberry and Zucchini Smoothie Bowl
Hi friends, it’s been a while. I hate apologizing every time I post a (way overdue) recipe, so let’s just clear a few things while we’re here.
Lack of blog posts have been due to a few changes:
- I’m BUSY. I hate that word and I hate glamorizing it. But seriously, I’ve been taking weekend trips, going to the beach, visiting family, going on long walks + hikes, and doing plenty of barre3 classes instead of blogging. Will I apologize for that? No way, Jose.
- I’ve been uninspired in the recipe department. Why? I haven’t yet figured that out yet. Has the food blog and healthy food Instagram scene become too saturated with vegetable bowls, ombre smoothies, and gluten-free cookies that it’s impacting my own view of recipes and food? Possibly. For now, I’ll continue sharing recipes when I do have a chance + and when inspiration strikes, not because I have to.
- My relationship with food has changed ten-fold (fifty-fold) since beginning this blog two-three-ish years ago. Where I once would have avoided chips, fried foods, burgers, cheesecake, and even pizza like the plague, I now fully embrace them into my lifestyle. I once was way, way, way too regimented with my eating habits. I took clean to the extreme and missed out on a lot of delicious things — or, If I did consume the delicious things, I would feel extreme guilt over doing so. Woah baby. This habit + headspace has changed and I have Portland + my age + my relationships + my knowledge of biology and nutrition to thank for it. This means that the recipes in this space might change too. Yes, there will always, always be smoothies and salads (like THIS blueberry + zucchini goodness), but there will be other things too. Like dairy. And chicken. And (gasp!) even beef.
On those brief notes, let’s get into this smoooooothie bowl.
Blueberry + Zucchini Goodness
Thank goodness for sunshine in Portland, because our winter was brutal. A smoothie in February, or even April for that matter, would have been laughable – as it was so stinking cold and dreary. Now that the sun is shining all day, every day…it’s smoothie time.
This smoothie is different from some of the other smoothies on my blog (which are still delicious – go make them all!). Not only is this smoothie jam-packed with all kinds of healthy fats, it’s minimally sweetened. As of lately instead of cramming my smoothies with fruit, I’m going for more of a low-sugar, no-sugar vibe. This smoothie is sweetened with just ¼ cup of frozen blueberries, and that’s it.
Why low sugar? Let’s talk blood sugar. Fruit, and all those delicious alternative sugars out there (honey, maple syrup, dates, coconut sugar) is broken down that exact same way as regular ol’ white sugar. Yes, the alternative sugars have nutrients, antioxidants, and goodness, but biologically are broken down into glucose (aka sugar). Fruit (and agave syrup) is broken down into fructose, a sugar that is metabolized in the liver, and liver alone.
Both of these sugars (fructose + glucose) are incredibly important for our body’s biologic functions. When we consume sugar, our stomach and small intestines absorb the glucose and send it off to the bloodstream. From here insulin, a hormone that shuttles sugar throughout the body, directs glucose to cells for energy or for storage. If there’s too much sugar going on it will be stored for later as fat or glycogen (sugar storage in the liver and muscles). Let’s be real, sugar is great. However, the majority of the foods we consume every day are sugar-loaded. This blueberry and zucchini smoothie is a delicious (and naturally sweet) way to enjoy a low-sugar, healthy fat-filled, and nutrient-rich bowl of goodness, without having to deal with a roller coaster ride of blood sugar fluctuations.
And yes, you read right. Frozen zucchini. Zucchini pumps up the fiber content, water content, and nutrient content to this smoothie. It also naturally thickens, has a neutral taste, and is a fun way to sneak in another vegetable into your (or your hub’s) diet.
Frozen blueberries + frozen zucchini + creamy coconut butter + antioxidant-rich cacao + nutrient-packed spinach + crunchy chia seeds = a lower sugar way to get your smoothie on. Yum!
Blueberry and Zucchini Smoothie Bowl
¼ cup frozen blueberries, plus more to garnish
1 cup frozen zucchini
1 large handful baby spinach
1 Tablespoon coconut butter
1 Tablespoon peanut or almond butter
1 Tablespoon chia seeds
2 teaspoons cacao powder
2 Tablespoons coconut flakes, plus more to garnish
2 Tablespoons cacao nibs, plus more to garnish
1 ½ cups coconut or almond milk, unsweetened
Blend all ingredients in a high-speed blender for 40-60 seconds, until smooth and creamy.
Pour smoothie into a large bowl and garnish with additional cacao nibs, coconut flakes, and blueberries. Enjoy!