Good Food: The Good Medicine Smoothie Bowl / by emily penn

A better breakfast bowl tastes amazing, keeps you full & gives you the energy you need to get through your day. It’s full of satiating healthy fats, fiber & complex carbohydrates. Best of all, it’s fast to make. While better breakfast bowls are ideally enjoyed sitting down before getting into your day, they’re also portable for those days when that’s just not possible. 


the good

You probably already know this by now, but I LOVE smoothie bowls. They’re delicious, feel really indulgent and give me tons of energy. When I first heard that people were pouring their smoothies in bowls, I was not about it. But then I tried it and I was like Oh. I get it. That’s damn good. Plus this allows you to add a plethora of toppings, and I love a complex symphony of textures and flavors. Which leads me to my next point – a lot of people chug smoothies or sip them through a straw, meaning they’re not chewing. Even though a smoothie is basically pre-chewed food, the act of chewing release important digestive enzymes. By encouraging you to chew, smoothie bowls are ultimately more satisfying and filling.

This is my all time favorite smoothie bowl recipe, which is just sweet enough and totally satisfying from the almond or sunflower seed butter. I usually reserve it for after hard workouts, so it's like a treat - something to look forward to and WERK for. Ya feel me?

Feel free to change up ingredients and toppings to keep it interesting!

the medicine

Blueberries are packed with antioxidants and are one of the top anti-inflammatory foods. They’re also lower in sugar than other fruits.


Zucchini is actually a nutrient powerhouse. In this case it adds fiber plus helps bulk the smoothie up without adding excess sugar. Same goes for the cauliflower, but the cauliflower has the additional benefit of being from the cruciferous vegetable family, making it great for liver support and full of anti-cancer properties.

Greens! We know by now that greens are good for you, yes? I love sneaking greens into smoothies because you can’t taste them and they give you a nice nutrient boost. Spinach is my go-to because frozen organic spinach is inexpensive and I’ve literally never been able to taste it.

Almond or sunflower butter add healthy fats, protein, fiber and vitamin E – a potent antioxidant. Before I started adding fat to smoothies, I would be hungry an hour or two after eating them. Fat gives the smoothie staying power.

Toppings like hemp or chia seeds add additional fiber and omega 3 fatty acids, cacao nibs are a wonderful source of magnesium and trace minerals, and nondairy yogurt gives you gut-boosting probiotics.


If smoothies tend to be too cold for you, use more room temperature ingredients or blend for a longer amount of time. I usually add warm water to my smoothie as the liquid because it makes blending easier and takes the chill off.

I always have smoothies with a warm beverage. In Ayruveda, our digestion is thought of like a fire - too many cold and raw foods can dampen the fire. By having a cup of tea with my smoothie, I'm helping mitigate the cold of the smoothie.

My favorite, non-negotiable toppings are: grain-free granola + cacao nibs. Sometimes hemp seeds or pumpkin seeds.

You could use frozen sweet potato in place of zucchini or cauliflower. To prepare these veggies, simply chop, lightly steam them, lay them out on a baking sheet, freeze overnight and then store in bags in the freezer.

If I’ve just worked out or will be working out later I add the protein powder, but I skip it if not. In the case of not using protein powder, I add 1/2 a frozen banana for sweetness. 

Favorite plant-based proteins include: Aloha and Genuine Health

The amount of liquid you use will depend on how thick you like your smoothies! Feel free to experiment to see what works best for you!

If you have to eat on the go, just make sure you're still "chewing" the smoothie after taking sips. It  might feel weird at first, but I promise it will be better for digestion and you'll feel fuller longer.



 The Good Medicine Smoothie Bowl

Serves 1

1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen
1 cup steamed then frozen zucchini or cauliflower
2 handfuls fresh or frozen spinach
2 tbsp almond or sunflower seed butter
1 scoop plant-based vanilla protein powder (optional)
1-2 cups nondairy milk or water
1/2 tsp spirulina (optional)

hemp seeds
chia seeds
cacao nibs
shredded coconut
nondairy yogurt
extra fresh fruit
extra drizzle of almond or sunflower seed butter


1.    Place all ingredients in a high speed blender and blend until smooth.
2.    Pour into your favorite bowl and adorn with your favorite toppings.
3.    Enjoy! I hope you feel full, happy & ready to take on your day!