How to build a better bowl

Gorgeous nourish bowls are so much more than a salad. Also known as Buddha bowls or abundance bowls, these popular meals give you a bounty of plant foods in one dish.

This hot menu item is a great healthy choice when eating out, but what’s even better, is that nourish bowls are quick and easy to make at home too.

There’s no need for a recipe — this is the perfect dish to use up leftovers and whatever veggies you have in your fridge — you just need to build a good balance of protein, carbohydrates, greens, other vegetables and healthy fats.

Here are the 6 simple steps to building the perfect nourish bowl:
  • Step 1 — start with a base of good quality carbohydrates. Ideally look for wholegrain options like brown or wild rice, quinoa or soba noodles, as these tend to be low GI and give you longer-lasting energy.
  • Step 2 — Top your base with 2–3 cups of salad greens for loads of nutrient rich goodness. Think spinach, rocket, lettuce and mixed leaves and don’t forget those zingy fresh herbs like mint and coriander.
  • Step 3 — Continue the build with half a cup of protein. If you are building a meat-free bowl, ideal protein options are tofu, tempeh, beans, lentils, and eggs.
  • Step 4 — More veggies! This time it’s not the leafy greens but veggies like pumpkin, capsicum, carrots, edamame, tomatoes, and cucumber. Add in half a cup of your favourites. They can go in raw for added crunch or roasted and caramelised for big, bold flavours or a blend of both. Aim to mix up the colours for more nutrients.
  • Step 5 — Don’t forget some healthy fats to bring the dish together and boost the flavours. It’s hard to go past some creamy avocado and the crunch of nuts and seeds.
  • Step 6 — Top it all off with a few spoons of dressing. This can be as simple as extra virgin olive oil and a squeeze of lemon or for a bigger punch choose one of the many options of tasty Asian dressings.

Once you’ve got the basics, you can power up your bowl game with some smart nutrition pairings. Some foods work better in pairs helping your body unlock and more easily access vitamins and minerals.

Here are a few delicious combinations to try:
  • When you pair sweet potato (a source of vitamin C) with spinach (a source of iron) it can help improve your iron absorption.
  • Pairing a healthy fat with some vegetables helps with your vitamin absorption. Carrots contain vitamin A, while asparagus is rich in vitamins E and K. These vitamins are fat-soluble so when consumed with good fats like those in avocado, nuts and seeds, it is easier for your body to absorb these vitamins.
  • Mushrooms, kale and haloumi make excellent bowl ingredients and they also bring out the best nutritional qualities in each other. Mushrooms are rich in vitamin D while kale and haloumi are rich in calcium, both of which help to build strong bones and healthy teeth.

The final tip for building a better bowl is to keep all the different ingredients separate, rather than mixing them together. While your bowl doesn’t need to be Instagram worthy, we do eat with our eyes and research has suggested that eating delicious looking food can leave you feeling more satisfied.

Why not give our Nourish Bowl recipe a try.

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