The food trend about bowls is still very popular and has many variations and definitions. Especially healthy bowls like the Buddha Bowl, a protein bowl, variations of smoothie bowls and real fitness bowls are increasingly offered in lunch restaurants or to go. But there are also plenty of great ideas for making your own healthy bowl at home - whether sweet or savoury. But beware because occasionally the bowls are only supposedly healthy and end up being full of hidden calories.
The word bowl ultimately just means bowl. In the context of healthy dishes, however, the term has gained more and more meaning of its own: Healthy bowls are called savoury, but also sweet dishes that are nicely arranged in a single large bowl and often mixed together afterwards. For example, in hearty fitness bowls, a base such as rice or quinoa often serves as a good source of carbohydrates. This base is then topped with leafy salads, crunchy vegetables, seeds or seeds and a protein such as salmon or chicken. The whole thing is usually topped with a delicious sauce.
The trendy Buddha Bowl can look something like the bowl just described. A specific feature of the Buddha Bowl is that it is really a mix of different small side dishes. Originally, it is also vegetarian, but there are now vegan versions and those with meat and fish.
Healthy bowls as a sweet variant have become known mainly as smoothie bowls or yoghurt bowls. Here, too, there are numerous variations - but caution is advised because not all of them are as super healthy as they are advertised to be: They often contain a huge amount of sugar or fructose, which can have many negative effects on health.
Savoury protein bowls should always have a good amount of a quality protein source:
Three hard-boiled eggs, 150 g of sautéed or cooked chicken breast fillet, turkey or the same amount of beef strips are good options. Smoked salmon, tuna, flambéed salmon or prawns or, as a vegan option, tempeh or fermented tofu (only recommended if you have a healthy gut and only in fermented form) are also examples of good protein sources for a healthy protein bowl.
Then add a selection of briefly sautéed or steamed - but still crunchy - vegetables: broccoli, bimi, cauliflower, peppers, bamboo shoots, fennel or green beans are all very suitable. Green leafy vegetables such as spinach, baby spinach, rocket, endive, lamb's lettuce, wild herb salad and co. are also a great addition to the Protein Bowl.
Various natural nuts such as walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, cashews or pumpkin seeds, poppy seeds, sesame seeds and linseeds are a good and healthy source of fat in the protein bowl and make a delicious topping for the healthy bowl.
Various salad or dipping sauces can serve as dressing.
If you have little body fat around your middle, exercise a lot or want to support your sleep hormones in the evening, you can supplement the protein bowl with a good source of carbohydrates: rice, sweet potatoes, potatoes, quinoa or millet are wonderful. If you eat a healthy protein bowl at lunchtime and sit at a desk all day, it is better to leave out the carbohydrates, as these can have a negative effect on blood sugar levels and therefore energy levels.
Sweet healthy bowls with protein appear further down in the text.
High-Protein Bowl Recipes
Whether it's a Buddha Bowl or simply a combination of the above-mentioned components, there are numerous recipes on social media channels, on the internet and in recent cookbooks. A simple example recipe for a healthy protein bowl looks like this:
Warm High-Protein Chicken Bowl:
Cook 60 g basmati rice (not too soft and do not stir in it) and season with salt. Keep the finished rice warm in the pot.
Cut 150 g organic chicken breast into small pieces and fry in 1 tsp pasture butter in a well coated pan until hot, season with salt, pepper and curry spice and check whether the meat is cooked through. Keep warm briefly and set aside.
Put the rice in the bottom of a large bowl.
Then place 2 handfuls of baby spinach in a large bowl, add 1 carrot, 1 tomato and 1/4 cucumber cut into small pieces and place each on top of the lettuce, nicely arranged around the edge, in the bowl. Now place the finished chicken nicely arranged on a free spot in the healthy bowl.
Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of sesame seeds over the egg white bowl and season everything with spices, a little rice vinegar and sesame sauce.
Fitness Bowls for every occasion & time of day
The trendy bowl dishes used to be known in restaurants as fitness plates or fitness salads. Today - slightly changed - they are rather called fitness bowls. A fitness bowl and a protein bowl are actually very similar, or can also be defined as partly synonymous. If you look back to the fitness bowl, you could still distinguish that the fitness bowl is lower in carbohydrates. Strictly speaking, a fitness dish is a dish that aims to keep the figure slim and defined or to contribute to body fat reduction. Accordingly, a fitness bowl must also always be a protein bowl because protein is essential for building muscle.
Looking slim and defined is basically all about building muscle. But if you want to save a few calories and carbohydrates, you can have healthy salad bowls. These go at any time of day because high-protein and low carbohydrate keeps blood sugar stable and still gives the body enough energy for a fit, balanced day.
Healthy bowls for lunch?
Healthy vegetable bowls without a lot of carbohydrates are especially useful at lunchtime. This way, blood sugar levels are not unnecessarily spiked, and especially if you sit a lot during the day, you simply don't need the carbohydrates. Antipasti vegetables on a bed of lettuce with goat cheese, one or two boiled eggs and walnuts is a filling healthy lunch bowl.
Healthy bowl for dinner
In the evening, bowls can have a small rice base or be supplemented with pieces of sweet potato, small potato cubes or quinoa. The good fibre-rich carbohydrates help the nervous system to shut down and promote regeneration during sleep. Protein, a few good fats and vegetables or salad should not be missing either, of course. By the way, garden cress or broccoli sprouts are also great toppings for the bowls.
Healthy bowls for weight loss
The following Fitness Bowl is a super filling meal for stable blood sugar and supports a diet that has body fat reduction as a goal.
Healthy Salad Fitness Bowl with Tuna - Mediterranean:
Place 3 handfuls of Organic Leaf Lettuce Mix in a large bowl. Add 2-3 tbsp pitted olives, 1/2 chopped cucumber, 4 halved date tomatoes, 30 g diced feta and 4 halved artichoke hearts (from a jar in brine) over the lettuce in the bowl.
Open 1 can of tuna in sustainably farmed water and drain off the juice. Spread the tuna over the rest of the ingredients in the fitness bowl.
Sprinkle 1 tsp dried Italian herbs, 3 pinches salt, some pepper, 1-2 tbsp olive oil, 1-2 tbsp balsamic vinegar and 1 tbsp nuts of your choice (e.g. walnuts, pecans or hazelnuts) over the bowl.
The perfect breakfast for an energetic start to the day without a midday slump later on consists of protein, healthy fats and fibre as well as vitamins in the form of vegetables or soft fruits. This ensures stable blood sugar, which counteracts energy lows and cravings. A healthy breakfast bowl is therefore a protein-rich breakfast bowl without sugar, many carbohydrates or sugary fruits such as banana, mango etc. A smoothie bowl therefore only makes sense if it is mixed because of berry fruit - which has a good fibre-carbohydrate ratio and contains little sugar. Two examples of healthy berry smoothie bowls follow below.
For breakfast, yoghurt, or quark bowls are also excellent. Unsweetened coconut yoghurt, goat's yoghurt or sheep's curd can serve as a base. This base tastes delicious when mixed with ground vanilla and vegan protein powder. The yoghurt bowl can then be garnished with roasted nuts or seeds and fresh berries.
A great recipe for a healthy chocolate smoothie bowl for breakfast is the Chia Chocolate Pudding from the Cooking and Nutrition book FIT@HOME.
Chia pudding with cinnamon and chocolate - the healthy chocolate bowl
FOR 1 PERSON - PREPARATION: 15 MIN. - INFUSION: MIN. 1 H
PER PORTION APPROX. 375 KCAL
Chop 5 g chocolate (95% cacao), add 2 tbsp chia seeds, 1 tbsp raw cacao (alternatively unsweetened cacao powder), 10 g rice protein, ½ tsp cinnamon powder and erythritol (optional) to a bowl and mix.
Add 80 ml unsweetened cashew drink and stir well. Wait 5 min until the pudding has already swollen a little and then add 25 g creamy coconut milk (shake well beforehand). Stir well again and leave the pudding in the fridge for at least 1 h or overnight.
Before eating the pudding, sort out 50 g raspberries and garnish with 20 g almonds:
Super delicious berry bowls
Conventional smoothie bowls are not recommended, as they often have an extremely high sugar content. An açaí bowl can contain 3 bananas and 4 dates, which is clearly too much and can only be useful for athletes after a workout.
Berry bowls, however, have much less sugar, more fibre and even fewer calories. In combination with good fats, for example from avocado or nut purée, and some protein powder, they are super suitable as a small meal or snack. A healthy smoothie bowl with berries is therefore preferable to a bowl of tropical fruits.
The Supz Collagen Berry Smoothie Bowl is quick to make, contains all the valuable nutrients and tastes fresh and fruity …
The creamy Supz collagen smoothie berry bowl with coconut yoghurt:
Add 30 g Supz Collagen powder with 100 g unsweetened coconut yoghurt, 50 g frozen raspberries, 25ml water, 1/2 tsp ground vanilla and 1 tsp psyllium husks to a stand mixer. Blend with the Ice Crush function until creamy and pour the mixture into a pretty bowl.
Garnish the healthy yoghurt smoothie bowl with 5 g chopped 90% chocolate, 1 tbsp grated coconut and 1 tsp cashews!
Conclusion on healthy bowls & fitness bowls
There are countless variations for fitness bowls and healthy bowl recipes. The base should always consist of salad and vegetables as well as high-quality protein and contain a little bit of good fats. In addition, the bowl is supplemented with good carbohydrates depending on your needs, personal circumstances (exercise, body fat content, genetics and co.). Great toppings like sprouts, seeds, nuts, herbs, fresh berries and homemade sauces can be added at the end.
But beware; especially when eating in supposedly healthy restaurants, the bowls and their sauces tend to be full of hidden additives, sugar, low-quality fats or calories.