On a sunny day, one of my favourite meals to dive into is a smoothie bowl. It could be breakfast, lunch or dessert! They’re delicious, super quick to make and there’s minimal clean up. What’s not to love!
Of course, I’m not the only one who loves a smoothie bowl these days, and I’m well aware they’re uber-trendy. Like many things that get popular and go Insta-crazy, the “healthy” smoothie bowl you see ain’t always such a balanced meal. Just a huge bowl of frozen fruit, topped with more fruit, may not be addressing the protein and fat requirements you need for the day.
The beautiful Jess Moses (former events manager for Deliciously Ella, and a.k.a. @freshlysnapped on Instagram) is ALL about the big, beautiful and balanced smoothie bowl. She’s part of a duo that’s founded NanaBowls in Thailand. Yes, a healthy, mouth-watering smoothie bowl business that’s based in Thailand…yet another reason to go on a sunny South East Asian holiday!
While I am away on holidays right now (though unfortunately, not close to NanaBowls) I’m bringing you an interview with NanaBowls. Read on for top tips on making a nourishing, satisfying smoothie bowl for yourself! Plus, NanaBowls have shared a delish recipe for their Nutella Crunch NanaBowl. I’ve tried it myself (my creation is pictured at the top of this article) and it’s AWESOME!
1. Please tell us a little bit about yourself. Where are you from, where are you now, what do you do?
Hi! We’re Jess & Phil, the chief tasters and flavour gurus at NanaBowls! Both of us have flown over from London for a taste of living on the beautiful island paradise of Phuket, Thailand.
Phil is a former architectural engineer, consultant and director of Thailand’s leading health and fitness retreat. Jess is the former digital media and events manager at Deliciously Ella and the creative spark behind the instagram feed ‘@FreshlySnapped’.
We’ve merged our passions to revolutionise the common smoothie bowl. Introducing NanaBowls. Think of a cross between a protein shake, a fruit smoothie and a creamy ice cream; that’s NanaBowls! High protein. Dairy free. No added sugars. Thick. Cold. Creamy. Crunchy. Smashing nutrition. Dreamy!
2. How and why did you come to start your business?
We simply love smoothie bowls. But often after eating them we’d get a sugar crash. Sound familiar? Fed up of that bloated feeling and those sugar comas, we wanted to create something that not only tasted indulgent, but was also actually great for our health and nutrition.
That’s when we set ourselves the vision of being ‘the healthy Ben and Jerry’s of protein smoothie bowls’.
You see the big problem with most smoothie bowls are that they’re simply pureed fruit topped with sugary toppings. All that sugary business leads to insulin spikes and energy slumps. Especially when you start your day with a smoothie bowl. This is where NanaBowls are different.
We’ve made sure that NanaBowls can be eaten for breakfast, lunch or dinner, pre or post workout. Guilt free. Why? Because they contain no added sugar (not even dates, maple syrup or honey), loads of plant protein, and a healthy dose of coconut oil to dampen sugar spikes.
There’s absolutely no dairy, additives or sweeteners either! Instead we use a 100% natural blend of frozen bananas, local Thai fruits, plant protein and coconut oil. This blend is topped with our signature homemade gluten-free granola, superfoods and salted peanut butter! Yum!
3. Did you undertake study or any particular work experience to prepare you for doing what you’re doing now?
Food and nutrition is something we are super passionate about (maybe food a little too much!) We experiment with recipes every day and learn new things all the time. Working for Deliciously Ella and Phuket Cleanse – literally the meccas of food and nutrition, has allowed us to learn, explore and get creative! We don’t have any fancy nutrition or cooking qualifications, we’re just two regular people who love to eat delicious food that makes us feel good. So we thought, if we want it, surely others do too, right? I mean, who would ever say “no” to a smoothie bowl with the indulgence of Ben and Jerry’s when we’ve also got health and nutrition on point?
4. So… obviously I have to ask you about smoothie bowls! What are your top tips & tricks for making a killer smoothie bowl?
We’ve got a few tricks up our sleeve!
- Firstly, we always add a good clean protein powder to our NanaBowls to guarantee that we’re tucking into a nutritionally balanced meal (and not just a bowl of fruit puree). Try adding 20g of plant protein powder (pea, brown rice and hemp are best) into your smoothie blend. This simple addition ensures you hit your daily protein intake, whilst also making smoothie bowls the perfect workout fuel for all you gym bunnies out there!
- Secondly, if you’re suffering from bloating or gut issues, added sugars (whether refined or natural) may just just be feeding the problem. Literally! To starve off that inflammatory bloat try avoiding all that sugary business. It’s goodbye syrups, sweeteners and dried fruit (even dates and honey are out)! Don’t worry we’re not complete party poopers! How about embracing the natural sweetness of a frozen banana or two? The natural fibre in bananas slows down the energy uptake, helping you avoid those sugar spikes. Plus the added creaminess frozen bananas brings to your blend is simply mind-blowing!
- 99% of smoothie bowls contain fruit, but here’s the secret weapon you can add to any and every smoothie bowl to avoid those insulin spikes – healthy fats. A spoonful of coconut oil, a splash of coconut milk or half an avo will do the trick. These good fats will keep your insulin levels stable and help you avoid those dreaded energy slumps and food comas. This nutrition hack is what makes NanaBowls incredibly special. Revolutionary in fact.
Go ahead, run wild and trim your smoothie bowl with toppings galore! We’re talking crunchy granola, runny peanut butter, juicy berries and chewy superfoods like bee pollen. These extras are the cherry on top of your bowl of heaven! Plus, for all you food bloggers out there, topping with a little extra texture makes even the simplest smoothie bowls instantly Insta-worthy. Watch your ‘likes’ rocket up every time you add a bit more crunch! So what are you waiting for? It’s time to #GrabASpoon and start creating some all day smoothie bowls.
We’re so excited to be sharing this Nutella Crunch NanaBowl smoothie bowl with you guys! Think thick, cold, creamy, sweet, indulgent and crunchy all in one — what a dream! This protein smoothie bowl has absolutely no dairy, gluten or added sugars (not even dates or honey), so it’s safe for all you fitsters, yogis and health gurus!
Zero guilt. Just heaven.
- 2 frozen bananas (peel before freezing)
- 2 teaspoons of raw cacao powder
- 2 tablespoons of hazelnut butter
- 20g plant protein powder (pea, brown rice or hemp are best)
- 1 tablespoon of coconut oil
- Pinch of himalayan salt
- 2 tablespoons of roasted hazelnuts
- Blend all the ingredients together using a top loading blender (not a NutriBullet) or food processor (you won’t need to add any liquid). Mix using your blender plunger until a thick, smooth and creamy consistency forms.
- Pour into a bowl and top with your favourite toppings – we love crunchy roasted whole hazelnuts, fresh banana slices, a sprinkle of cacao nibs, runny nut butter and a spoon of crunchy homemade granola!
So #GrabASpoon and enjoy! If you guys make this one at home, don’t forget to tag us @NanaBowls and let us know what you think! P.S. Feel free to share this with any of your smoothie lovin’ friends!
For more inspirational healthy smoothie bowl tips and tricks head on over to @NanaBowls…