Breakfast Bowls: Healthy way to start your day

    Breakfast Bowls are a perfect way to start your day. Not only are they visually appealing, but they are a convenient way to get multiple sources of vitamins and minerals in one delicious meal.

    Read on to see how the combination of fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts and seeds can be a tasty way to add an energy boost to your morning, and how easy they are to prepare.

    Breakfast Bowls - Packed with Goodness

    The bowl food trend is less than a fleeting fashion trend as it is a way of life. Beautifully presented with ingredients that are visible, what makes these wellness bowls a popular choice for breakfast is that they can be personalized with ingredients of your choice. Whether it is a Buddha Bowl, Smoothie Bowl, Chia or Acai Bowl, there are no limits to the creative ways you can start every morning off with a fresh, flavorful and nutritional kick.

     A breakfast bowl offers ample space to place the nutritional components, including proteins, vitamins, carbohydrates and healthy fats. You can pack each bowl with small portions of foods ranging from whole grains and proteins to vitamin-rich produce, ensuring a healthy start to your day.

    Buddha Bowl - A Wellness Bowl

    Based on the Buddhist philosophy of Oryoki, the practice of eating mindfully, the Buddha Bowl is all about being fresh, delicious, versatile and healthy.  As a rule of thumb, your Buddha Bowl should consist of 20 percent carbohydrates, 30 percent protein, 10 percent healthy fat and 40 percent vitamins. The great thing is that you can adapt the contents to your preferences. The possibilities are endless – use chia pudding, oatmeal, and garnish with fresh fruits, nuts, flaxseed and more. 

    Oatmeal: The Base for a Nutritious Breakfast Bowl

    To prepare quick cooking or rolled oats, place ½ cup of oatmeal with 1 cup milk or water in a pot.

    Bring to a simmer, and stir constantly for 4 minutes.

    Season with a pinch of salt and nutmeg, if desired.

    For busy mornings, you can prepare oats the evening before, then reheat in the microwave.

    Smoothie Bowl - A Creamy Alternative

    Take your smoothies to the next level and create a smoothie bowl, topped with delicious and healthy ingredients. Puree a mix of fruits and vegetables into your favorite smoothie, then place in the bowl and top with bite-sized fruit pieces, herbs, vegetables, nuts, seeds and even crispy granola or muesli. Healthy, refreshing and satisfying!

    Tip: To ensure a creamy consistency for your smoothie bowl base, blend at least one frozen ingredient (fruit or veggie) into the smoothie.

    Chia Bowl - A Delicious Pudding Bowl

    Chia seeds are the favorites among the superfoods. Because the Mexican-derived Chia is particularly rich in ingredients: it contains five times as much calcium as milk, the iron content exceeds that of spinach and the antioxidants contained in the seeds, such as phenolic acid, protect the cells.
    To prepare a Chia Bowl, the seeds are made to swell with coconut or almond milk, giving them a pudding-like consistency. This can be refined with a little honey, maple syrup, vanilla or cocoa powder. Then arrange beautifully with banana slices, raspberries, granola or other toppings in a bowl - and the healthy energy boost for the day is ready!

    To Make a Chia Pudding Base

    - For proper consistency, add 1/2 cup of water or nut milk to 2 tablespoons of chia seeds.

    - Mix quickly and thoroughly, then sweeten as you like.  Maple syrup, honey, vanilla extract are delicious options.

    - Refrigerate for at least one hour, or overnight, to allow the seeds to swell.

    Acai Bowl - A Colorful Start to the Day

    The allure of acai goes beyond its vibrant reddish-purple color. It’s the unique taste and numerous health benefits that make the acai berry the star of your breakfast bowl. The flavor, which is a cross between blackberries and unsweetened chocolate, provides the ideal nutrient-dense base for your bowl.

    - Rich in antioxidants, promoting cell renewal.

    - The berries are full of polyunsaturated fats, which improve blood circulation and lower blood pressure.

    - High in vitamins B1 and C.

    - Rich in minerals, such as magnesium, zinc, calcium and iron, which make you feel full for an extended period of time.

    The traditional acai bowl consists mainly of frozen acai puree - refined with bananas and guarana syrup, a syrup from the shelled and dried seeds of the guarana plant, and topped with fresh banana and crunchy muesli. The acai puree can also be replaced by acai powder. Also, add fruits likes strawberries, raspberries, mango and kiwi. Crunchy nuts give extra bite. Honey or agave syrup are ideal substitutes for the guarana syrup. 

    Superfoods for a Super Breakfast

    Acai and chia are readily available, but don’t stop there!  Many other superfoods are readily available in your local grocery store, which can help you build fresh, delicious and healthy breakfast bowls.

    Here are a few suggestions:

    Flaxseeds are a good substitute for the Chia seed, offering a great source of energy and fiber to keep you satisfied. The seed of the flax plant is filled with nutrients such as vitamins B and E, niacin, calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc. Its protein content is comparable to chia seeds. Note: flax seeds must be ground to consume.

    Other chia seed alternatives include hemp, sesame and poppy seeds.

    Use a variety of nuts, including hazelnuts or walnuts, both of which have high-quality protein, are rich in calcium and contain many other minerals.

    Include antioxidant-rich berries in your bowl, including blueberries, blackberries and strawberries.

    Image: ©Arx0nt/istock