I still remember the very first time I had a smoothie bowl. It was at a little shack on Oahu’s famous North Shore. It was pretty much the most delicious thing I had ever tasted. It was blended with acai and other berries, and topped with tons of granola and banana. For as nutritious as it was, I knew it couldn’t be healthy in terms of calories. I don’t know the exact count on the one I had that day, but a similar bowl at Jamba Juice weighs in at 480 calories, 55 grams of sugar, and only 8g of protein. Are you kidding? You might as well eat a donut (which has less sugar, by the way).
I wanted to recreate the creamy and crunchy deliciousness of a smoothie bowl that could actually be part of my “clean eating” routine. One thing I definitely needed to do was get rid of the granola. Did you know that just 1/4 cup of granola has around 115 calories? That’s way too many for just a topping. I decided to substitute the granola for bran flakes, which have just 30 calories per 1/4 cup and still offer a nice little crunch. Another thing I did was add a scoop of protein powder to the mix. (You know how I feel about my protein, you guys.) One scoop of Optimum Nutrition Hydrowhey will get you 30 grams. And finally, instead of using juice to sweeten the smoothie, I used Born Sweet™ Zing™ Zero Calorie Stevia Sweetener.
Zing™ is the perfect sweetener for beverages, fruits, and most importantly, my smoothie bowl. It is made with only real ingredients – nothing artificial, and has ZERO calories per serving, extracting the sweetness found in Mother Nature’s stevia plant. I added two packages of Zing™ to my smoothie because I have a crazy sweet-tooth, but I think most people would be fine with just one (as 1 packet = sweetness in 2 teaspoons of sugar). It gives any smoothie the perfect amount of sweetness without adding extra calories.
Here’s a breakdown of the calories in my Berry Bowl creation:
The entire Berry Bowl is only 260 calories and contains a whopping 30g of fast-digesting protein. This bowl is perfect for breakfast or a post-workout recovery meal. Here is the recipe:
And there you have it! It’s super quick and easy to make, leaving you no need or excuse to substitute healthy eating for convenient junk food. The Zing™ adds just enough sweetness to satisfy any craving.
Have you tried using Zing™ to make a low-calorie smoothie? If you haven’t, you can request a FREE sample and/or a coupon for $1.50 off at www.ZingStevia.com. Look for Zing™ in the Sweetener Aisle at mass merchandiser and grocery stores nationwide.
And guess what? I also have a chance for you to win a $100 VISA gift card. To enter for a chance to win, ALL you have to do is leave a comment telling me what beverage YOU would use Zing™ for. Is it your morning coffee? Your afternoon sweet tea? Or do you have a creative concoction like I do? I want to hear from you!
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