Breakfast Bowls | How To Get It Right
When you get right down to the numbers, all those store-bought acai bowls are not as healthy as you might think. Even though it's basically a glorified smoothie, before the blending stage, I do enjoy the crunch and satisfaction-factor of a nice colorful breakfast bowl. Drinking a smoothie never keeps me full or feels like a real breakfast. Making them at home can save you unnecessary calories, fat, AND money. Reading labels and monitoring the toppings are key to keeping it everyday healthy and not a hump-day "treat." I recommend shopping from the bulk bins instead of buying packaged seeds and nuts. It's much cheaper and you're able to buy only what you need.
The weirdest new fact I found out while researching this post: coconut flakes are not really a good idea for everyday; they are definitely a high fat topping with low nutritional value and should be saved as a special treat. But flaxseeds, chia seeds, bananas, and berries are all low-calorie, low-fat, high-protein, and high-fiber and make a great breakfast bowl base.
Chia seeds are a current favorite in the blogosphere, and not without good reason. They're surprisingly high in calcium, iron, magnesium, omega-3 acids, fiber and protein. Flax seeds contain some of the benefits of chia seeds, for a quarter of the price. I like mixing the two together.
Granola is another place where fat and calories can getcha. Read those labels! I always eat less than the recommended serving size, as well. Even "healthy" bulk bin granola mixes can be incredibly high in fat and really pricey. I like to stick to granola with a lot of oats and nuts and as little added sugar as possible.
Here's the numbers rundown:
- 1 Tbs. chia seeds ($0.20, 50 cal, 4g fiber, 2g protein, 3.5g omega-3 fatty acids)
- 1 Tbs. flaxseeds ($0.05, 50 cal, 3g fiber, 2g protein, 4.3g fat)
- 3/4 banana ($0.40, 40 cal, 3g fiber)
- 1/4 cup blueberries ($0.90, 20 cal)
- 1/2 apple ($0.35, 20 cal)
- 1/4 cup granola ($0.90, 200 cal, 5g fiber, 5g protein, 6g fat)*
- 1/2 cup yogurt ($1.10, 100 cal)
- 1 Tbs. coconut flakes ($0.10, 100 cal, 2g fiber, 1g protein, 10g fat)*
- 1 Tbs. honey or agave, if needed*
* use sparingly!