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Have you ever had fresh dragon fruit, also known as pitaya? Keep in mind there are different varieties of this exotic fruit, all of which have different colors and slightly different tastes. Regardless of this, they are all great to be used in this colorful and healthy dragon fruit smoothie bowl recipe!
This dragon fruit smoothie bowl is great for supporting overall health but is especially optimal for endurance athletes needing extra carbs to fuel their training. The protein powder added to the bowl is helpful in balancing the sugar spike for those sensitive to the carbs in fruit. Moreover, it will also help in building and retaining muscle mass, and feel more satiated for longer (check out also my 9 Pegan and high-protein smoothies recipes).
Plus, this smoothie bowl is totally banana-free (except for the toppings, which are all optional), which is great for people who cannot have it, or do not like its taste!
My tip: how to make a thick smoothie bowl
A tip for the smoothie bowl novice: use the least amount of milk and other liquids possible so the smoothie is thick enough for the garnishes to sit on the top. You might even want to put it in the freezer for a bit before topping it!
Ingredient Selection Tips
Dragon Fruit (Pitaya)
Dragon fruit is also known as pitaya.
When buying one, look for fruit with bright, evenly colored skin. If it has too many brown blotches, or if it has a dry, wrinkled stem, it could be overripe.
Press your finger into the skin of the dragon fruit. Ripe fruit will give slightly to the pressure, much like a ripe avocado or mango. If your finger presses into the fruit too easily or the fruit is too hard, choose another one.
Also, smell the dragon fruit, looking for a light and tropical aroma. This is a sign that the flesh inside will be sweet.
A ripe pineapple should be green and yellowish in color – firm but still slightly soft to the touch. It should also have a sweet and strong scent, especially at the base of the pineapple.
Avoid pineapples that smell of mold and are mostly brown in color. The fronds should not fall apart when you just touch them, because that is a sign that it is overripe. But on the other hand, it should be easy to pull them out.
Always try to find unsweetened almond milk, as there is no need for unnecessary sugar.
Noteworthy Health Benefits
Dragon fruit is very high in nutrients and low in calories. It is also filled with dietary fiber, and rich in beneficial plant compounds such as polyphenols, carotenoids, and betacyanins.
Dragon fruit is full of antioxidants (vitamin C, beta-carotene, lycopene, and betalain) which means that it can help with fighting some chronic diseases such as cancer, heart disease, arthritis, and diabetes.
Eating this interesting fruit may strengthen your immune system and boost low iron levels. It is a good source of magnesium and it promotes a healthy gut.
Pineapple is a great source of vitamin C, B vitamins, fiber, and minerals like manganese. Here are some health benefits of eating this juicy, delicious fruit:
- The Manganese in Pineapple Promotes Healthy Bones
- Eating Pineapple May Aid Your Digestion
- Eating Pineapple May Enhance Your Weight Loss
- Pineapple Has Cancer-Fighting Properties
- It Can Help Boost Immunity
These little ones are full of healthy fats, magnesium, iron, and zinc, but also calories( 1 oz=150cal), so consume thoughtfully if you are watching weight.
They also contain a lot of antioxidants, potassium, folate, and vitamin B2.
Some of the health benefits of consuming pumpkin seeds are:
- They reduce the risks of certain cancers
- They may help to improve prostate health
- These seeds reduce heart disease risk
- They help maintain healthy bones
- They help regulate blood sugar levels
- Pumpkin seeds may improve sperm quality
- They may help improve sleep quality
Balanced Plate for Performance Goals
While any food can fit into your menu for performance goals, some recipes can contribute to a better-strategized menu than others. Below you can see how this recipe can fit into your goal. If this recipe has unique benefits, it is best cut out for the goal(s) with a star next to it.
The chart below changes dynamically based on the goal you have selected.
|LEAN PROTEIN||HEALTHY FAT||HEALTHY CARBS||VEGGIES|
|1-2 palms||1-2 thumbs||1-2 cupped handfuls||1-2 fists|
However, everyone is different! Use the Precision nutrition calculator I use with my clients to calculate suggested macros custom for you. For more information on using this hand estimation system, click here.
For more info on types of foods for proteins, fats, carbs, and veggies, read my article Formula for the Perfect Healthy Meal. This article will also help you figure out what foods to eat more and less of.
Protein: Protein Powder
The protein powder in this bowl should be sufficient for a meal for most people, but feel free to add more if your protein needs are higher.
Fat: Coconut Flakes & Pumpkin Seeds
You may taper up or down the amount of these two ingredients to meet your fat needs. Both are healthy fat sources, however, dense in calories if you are concerned with weight loss.
Carbs: All The Fruit
This recipe has a ton of fruit, making the recipe very carbohydrate heavy. They are all amazing sources of carbohydrates though. Fruit is more filling when consumed whole, making the fruit garnish more beneficial for weight loss. For endurance goals though, blending fruit is excellent for digesting its nutrients for energy more quickly. Blended fruit also allows endurance athletes to get more carbs and energy without feeling too full.
Veggies: Needs to Supplement
This recipe does not contain any vegetables. For this reason, you should plan to get plenty at other meals that day! If you want to incorporate veggies into this meal, however, and don’t mind a little green in your smoothie, you could add spinach to the blended fruit!
Additional Meal Tips for Weight Loss
Go light on the coconut flakes and pumpkin seeds in this recipe, as they are a dense source of energy (calories). You will also want to limit the fruit you garnish the bowl with. Banana is the densest source of calories from fruit in this recipe.
Additional Meal Tips for Endurance
This recipe is excellent for endurance! As not all of the fruit is blended, you may want to allow up to two hours for your body to digest this smoothie bowl before doing your training. If you don’t have that much time to digest your food, blending all of the ingredients (into a basic smoothie) may be a smarter route. Also, be aware of how your body responds to consuming high amounts of fiber before a workout. Some people will have digestive distress, while others won’t.
Additional Meal Tips for Building Muscle
You will likely want to add more protein powder to this recipe. If in a cutting phase, you may also want to cut back on the fruit.
Additional Meal Tips for Improving Health
This recipe is excellent for your health, as it contains many fruits of different colors. Varying your colors of fruits and veggies helps you get a vast profile of phytonutrients that help your body perform at its best and ward off cancers and diseases. If you don’t mind a little green in your smoothie, you could add spinach to the blended fruit!
Diet Preference Tweaks
Reduce fruit and consider adding more protein powder to help balance your sugars during digestion. Those who are really sensitive to sugars in their diet (from even fruit sources) should be cautious or even avoid making this recipe.
Pina Colada Dragon Fruit Smoothie BowlYum
- Blend together the frozen pineapple, the vanilla protein powder, and the almond milk until everything becomes creamy.
- Put the smoothie in a bowl, and top it with some fruit of choce, coconut flakes, and pumpkin seeds.