I love smoothies. Not only are they so colorful and pretty but they also taught me the joy of eating and making breakfast. I was not a breakfast person for a very long time. When I was a teenager in Korea, I wanted to sleep more rather than to have breakfast, and the fact that I had to spend the entire day from 7:30am until 10pm at school and a cram school in 11th and 12th grade did not encourage me to eat breakfast. Sadly this is very common for Korean kids.
And from that point, my habit of skipping breakfast continued throughout my university years in London. I was a design student and like many of my classmates, I was (and still am) a night owl, who was either working on a project or partying till late and sleeping during the day. Things got even unhealthier when I got a job as I still didn’t eat anything in the morning except for super strong black coffee. And at some point in my early thirties, my body gave up. I suffered from gastritis with terrible stomach cramps and discomfort for months, and when my weight was down to less than 49kg/108lbs (I’m about 170cm/5′ 7″), I realized that I had to make some big changes.
The first thing I did was start eating breakfast. I’d either buy something on the way to work or prepare something the night before. And my go-to was yogurt-based fruit smoothies. Needless to say, it was a healthy and delicious choice, and something about the bright color and the sweet and tangy scent of the smoothie helped me get all the right energy in the morning. And after cutting down my caffeine intake, I desperately needed something to wake me up.
Fast forward to a few years back when I started working from home and was able to take my time making and eating breakfast, smoothies came to be the staple that I enjoy playing around with and taking photographs. Here are some of my favorites, maybe with slightly unusual twists but still delightful.
Summer in a bowl – A marriage between Mediterranean and tropical fruits
Pomegranate and Greek yogurt (2:1 ratio) base with passion fruit, more pomegranate, crushed pistachios, mint, and a drizzle of maple syrup. I made this bowl when I was in Seoul, and fruits like pomegranate and passion fruit are tricky ingredients to find in Korea. Luckily I was able to buy frozen ones that look and taste almost as good as fresh ones. Bowl like this needs a little shade of green and crunchiness; that’s where mint and pistachios come in. I was curious about this Mediterranean and tropical fruit combo, and I can tell you that it is fantastic!
Yogurt and blueberry smoothie bowl with a twist
Delicious and nutritious breakfast that will make you feel nourished and energized. Do you wanna know what the twist is? It’s goat cheese! I don’t know why I hadn’t thought of this earlier, it’s such a great idea if I must say so myself 😉 Creamy tangy goat cheese not only adds beautiful richness and savoriness but also makes the smoothie much more substantial.
- 2 cups. Greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup. goat cheese
- 2 1/2 cup. frozen blueberries
- 125g/4.4oz. fresh blueberries
- 1-2 tsp. honey drizzle
- A sprinkle of crushed pistachio
Berry smoothie in Korean puffed rice cracker bowl
Greek yogurt and frozen blueberries smoothie with fresh strawberries and blueberries on traditional Korean puffed rice crackers “ppeongtwigi”. Who knew this mildly sweet and light-as-air rice snack could be a perfect smoothie bowl? Anyone in my generation or older who grew up in Korea will remember this puffed rice snack. It was the ultimate street food. Although it disappeared a long time ago, I still have a very clear memory of a street vendor’s loud shout “It’s about to puff” followed by the even louder noise of a rice puff machine going off, which sounded like a small bomb explosion. The scary noise of my childhood is no longer around, but I was glad to find out that the delicious puffed rice snacks still are.
I accidentally found this nostalgic snack while shopping for a Christmas party some time ago in Hong Kong. I served them together with other party foods that I prepared without much explanation to my non-Korean friends. And they started eating these crackers with all kinds of stuff I never thought possible, like basil mint pesto dip, antipasti, pate, and even caviar. I learned the unlimited potential of this humble street food right there and then.
A smoothie bowl for two
- 2 cups Greek yogurt & 2 cups frozen raspberries
- 3 ripe figs
- a handful of blackberries
- a handful of blueberries
- a little bit of dark chocolate (70-85%)
- a sprinkle of toasted coconut flakes
Adding dark chocolate to the smoothie bowl was a slightly unusual move for me. I hate the feeling of blood sugar spikes that makes me sluggish all day so I am pretty careful eating anything sweet for breakfast (I reserve my belly for desserts in the evening instead :-)). But I wanted to share this bowl with my chocolate loving husband, who eats his dark chocolate every single day. And I must say the dark chocolate was such a game-changer. It adds a pleasant contrast of flavor; it’s like having your fruits with coffee in the morning, and it gives you the energy boost you need without high sugar intake – totally my kinda breakfast! Not to mention this was such a pretty bowl to look at, and I couldn’t help making recipe art with it. Please check out this page if you want to learn more about them. Wall art prints and a wide range of fun products are also available on my Redbubble Shop.
Eat more smoothies and be happy and healthy!