It's one thing to slurp a colorful and nutrient-dense smoothie in the morning, but how about a smoothie bowl? Smoothie bowls let you eat your smoothie with toppings—be it vibrant fresh fruit, a dollop of almond butter, or crunchy coconut flakes—like a healthy version of a sundae. They're easy to make and look beautiful, too. And even better: They're a tasty way to fuel up with a load of nutrients, fiber, and protein.
1. Making the Smoothie Bowl Base
Pictured recipe: Green Glow Smoothie Bowl
The key to a good smoothie bowl base is to keep the texture thick, almost like ice cream. Use these tips to get it just right:
Use frozen fruit.
To keep the smoothie bowl from being too runny, use as much frozen fruit and as little liquid as possible.
- Frozen bananas are helpful to create a creamy, frozen base: Just cut leftover or overripe bananas into chunks and freeze in plastic bags to keep them smoothie-bowl ready.
- Other frozen fruits are easy to find at the grocery such as frozen pineapple, frozen mango, and frozen berries.
Invest in a high-speed blender.
The best tool for a smoothie bowl base is a high-speed blender, which quickly and easily blends frozen fruit. If you don't have a high-speed blender, a regular blender works as well, but you may need to stop and scrape the jar of the blender more often while blending.
Make the color pop.
Pictured recipe: Power Pink Pitaya Smoothie Bowl
Making a beautiful smoothie bowl base is half the fun, so use brilliantly colored ingredients for your smoothie. These exotic ingredients can help to infuse color into your smoothie bowl:
Pitaya: Dragonfruit, otherwise known as pitaya, makes for a stunning hot pink smoothie. It can be found as a frozen puree at grocery stores and online.
Spirulina: Spirulina is a blue green algae powder that's renowned for its health benefits; it adds a brilliant green color to a smoothie bowl. You can find spirulina online and in many grocery stores.
Acai: Acai is the berry of a South American palm tree; it's now sold as a frozen puree at groceries and online due to the popularity of acai bowls.
2. Topping the Smoothie Bowl
Pictured recipe: Green Smoothie Bowl
Your artistic flair gets to shine when topping your smoothie bowl. A few guidelines to follow:
Go big with colors.
Fruit adds a burst of color to your bowl. Complementary colors work well (like red strawberries against a green smoothie bowl), or try monochromatic (red raspberries against a pink smoothie).
Add a protein punch.
When serving a smoothie bowl, think about balancing fruit with protein to keep things filling. Especially if you have a smoothie made fully of fruit with no nuts, think about adding a dollop of almond butter or a handful of nuts as a topping.
Sprinkle some sparkle.
Small ingredients like shredded coconut, chia seeds, or bee pollen add a playful touch (the bee pollen looks like glitter). Sprinkle as designs or free-form over the entire bowl.
Smoothie bowl topping ideas to get you started:
Berries: raspberries, blackberries, blueberries
Fresh pineapple or diced mango
Sliced peaches, plums, or pears
Seeds: pepitas, chia seeds, flax seeds, hemp
Chopped or sliced nuts: almonds, pecans, walnuts, cashews, macadamia nuts
Dollop of nut butter: peanut, almond, or cashew
Shredded coconut or coconut flakes
A drizzle of maple syrup, honey, or agave
A pinch of cinnamon, nutmeg, or cayenne
3. Serving the Smoothie Bowl
Pictured recipe: Overnight Oats Blueberry Smoothie Bowl
The key to serving a smoothie bowl is to serve it as soon as possible. Once the smoothie is blended, it immediately starts to melt. A few tips for smoothie bowl serving:
Freeze the bowl.
Freeze your serving bowl while making the smoothie. This will help to slow down the melting process once your smoothie hits the bowl.
Prepare and arrange all your smoothie bowl toppings before you blend the smoothie, including washing and chopping fruit. This way, you can immediately top and serve the smoothie bowl once the smoothie is ready.
That's it! You're ready to make a smoothie bowl. Now get blending!