I have been dragging so hard this week--I don't know what it is, but I can't believe the week isn't over yet and every morning has just felt like a struggle. Tuesday morning I woke up grumpy and tired and uninterested in going to work but then, like a damned miracle, I made this smoothie bowl and it turned my day around. Before 7:00 am! It's that good.
If you're not familiar with matcha, it's a powdered green tea that's made from grinding the whole tea leaf, so you are actually eating tea leaves rather than just steeping the leaves in hot water like you do with traditional tea. It has stellar antioxidant content, and more importantly, amazing flavor (if you've ever had green tea ice cream that delicious taste is matcha). And that's what this smoothie bowl tastes like. If you've ever had Pinkberry's green tea flavor, that's what I immediately thought of when I tasted this straight out of the blender. Like ice cream for breakfast, but healthy and vibrant and packed with the nutrients and energy you need to get through a day that you'd much rather spend in your bed. I'm in love. I buy my matcha from Thrive Market, and it looks like this:
I'll be honest, this smoothie bowl takes a few more minutes than a bowl of cereal, but really only a few and it's time very well spent. And you don't need to make it look this pretty, if you're not in to that sort of thing. Here's what's in it:
Matcha Smoothie Bowl (makes one large smoothie or two smaller ones)
One tablespoon of matcha
Two handfuls of spinach
One banana (frozen, if possible)
1.5 cups of unsweetened vanilla almond milk (I measured! Just for you.)
2 medjool dates, pitted
Handful of ice, to thicken (add last)
Toppings (I've been loving berries and hemp hearts, but you could also try granola--I LOVE Paleonola, also available from Thrive Market, coconut butter, honey, bananas, mango, etc.)
*a note: I tried adding avocado to this, and I really wouldn't recommend it. The flavors are pretty subtle and the avocado was recognizable, in a bad way. So skip that.
Add your ingredients to the blender, starting with the spinach and adding everything except the ice. You're probably going to need a spoon to help push your ingredients down once or twice (with the blender off) to get these ingredients to mix well, because the liquid content is a little lower to avoid a really thin smoothie (since you eat this with a spoon). That said, I put the extra smoothie in a jar and took it to work today so I can attest that it's also delicious to sip. Once your ingredients are well blended (look for consistent color, you don't want chunks of spinach) add your handful of ice and blend again until the ice is crushed and blended with the smoothie. Pour into a bowl and top with your favorite ingredients.
Some fun facts about this superfood breakfast: the matcha has a high Vitamin C content, which allows your body to absorb the iron in the spinach. It also has caffeine, so you probably want to skip your coffee (or adjust your intake accordingly, but you're definitely getting caffeine from the matcha). Matcha has also been shown to encourage high metabolism and discourage fat storage in some studies--I'm not hanging my hat on any of that, but with the sky-high antioxidant content and fruit and veggie boost you're getting from this smoothie bowl, you're definitely doing your body a favor. And it's SO GOOD. Also, if you've never tried hemp hearts that's another ingredient I'd recommend adding to your shopping cart. They're an amazing vegan protein source, and they're easy to sprinkle on this bowl (or yogurt, or cereal/oatmeal, or you could throw them in your favorite smoothie). I buy them at Costco.
Enjoy! Or come to my house for breakfast. Or dinner. This is all I eat now. (Kidding. Settle down.)