Want to know how to make a smoothie bowl? Learn some tips and tricks for a great-tasting and healthy bowl! Use your favorite milk, fruit, protein powder, and toppings to make your own tasty version.
I have to tell you, I'm obsessed with vegan smoothie bowls. I've been making them for the past few years, but lately, I've been upping my game. I've posted some of my creations on Instagram, and I thought I'd share with everyone how to make smoothie bowls just like I do!
What Is a Smoothie Bowl?
A smoothie bowl is similar to a smoothie in that it combines fruits (and sometimes veggies) with a liquid and is blended until smooth. The difference between a smoothie bowl and a regular smoothie is that bowls are a little thicker, eaten with a spoon, and often topped with things like nuts, fruit, or granola.
Are Smoothie Bowls Healthy?
Well, they should be, but it all depends on what you put in them! Some smoothie bowls can be extremely healthy, while others can be full of sugar and dairy.
When making a healthy smoothie bowl, you want to include natural ingredients such as raw or frozen no-sugar-added fruit, unsweetened non-dairy milk or water, greens, and sugar-free, plant-based protein powder. If you're adding yogurt, be sure it contains no added sugars.
What to Put in Your Bowl
There are so many smoothie bowl ingredients and toppings to choose from, and the combinations are endless! Even though there are many ingredient options, I tend to make the same basic recipe, which includes:
- Dairy-free unsweetened milk, water, or coconut water
- Frozen or fresh fruit
- Half a frozen banana
- A handful of fresh greens or a scoop of a greens powder
- Frozen zucchini or cauliflower (trust me, you can't taste it)
- Sugar-free plant-based protein powder
- Lots of fun toppings
My main fruits are berries such as blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries. Berries have many potential health benefits. For instance, they may help with reducing inflammation. They also contain antioxidants like anthocyanins, which may protect your cells from free radical damage. Plus, they’re full of fiber and other nutrients.
In the warmer months, I do pineapple, kiwi, and mango. I like to switch things up from time to time with the fruit I choose.
I also sometimes add in some optional powders for a health boost, such as spirulina, chlorella, and powdered greens. My favorite greens powder is Live it Up Super Greens, which is packed with superfoods, probiotics, and digestive enzymes.
I get questions all the time about what protein powder I use. There are many factors that can go into your decision-making, such as price and availability. When purchasing a protein powder, I look for:
- No sugar or stevia added (monk fruit is fine)
- At least 20g of protein per serving
- Ingredients that you can pronounce/know what they are
A few brands I enjoy are Nuzest, Sunwarrior, and Vega.
How do you Thicken a Smoothie Bowl?
There are a few ways to thicken smoothies.
A frozen banana really adds to the thickness and the creaminess. I'm so obsessed with frozen bananas that I buy a huge bunch every week. It's best to let them ripen before freezing them so they're at their sweetest.
I also use frozen fruit to make the smoothie bowl thicker, though you can use fresh fruit. I do especially enjoy the fresh stuff as a topping for the bowls.
Frozen zucchini can make for a thicker smoothie too. Plus, it will add more nutrients and fiber to your bowl. Slice zucchini, freeze it, and add it to the blender. I promise you won't taste it!
By using a lesser amount of liquid, you'll get a thicker smoothie. I use the bare minimum I can to blend.
Toppings Make All The Difference
I find that these smoothie bowls fill me up much longer than my regular smoothies because of the toppings. Some of my favorite toppings are:
- Fresh fruit
- Grains such as toasted buckwheat or popped quinoa
- Seeds - I especially like hemp seeds (they're a complete protein) and chia seeds (for omega-3s)
- Low-sugar cereal or granola such as my healthy granola or my chocolate buckwheat granola
- Shredded coconut
- Jams such as my strawberry chia jam and blueberry chia jam
- A drizzle of nut butter - I've been really loving almond and cashew butter.
- Sometimes even a protein ball or two, such as my vanilla almond balls or vegan cookie dough balls
How To Make Smoothie Bowls
Author: Mary Ellen Valderde
This recipe template can create hundreds of smoothie bowls. Use your favorite milk, fruit, protein powder, and toppings to make your own tasty version.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★ 5 from 3 votes
NOTES: The nutrition info for this smoothie bowl uses unsweetened almond milk, berries, 1.5 scoops of Sunwarrior protein powder, and does not include toppings.
*If you find the greens don't blend as well as you'd like, try blending the liquid and greens first, then adding the other ingredients.
**I will sometimes sub a few pre-steamed frozen cauliflower florets instead of the zucchini (or even along with the zucchini). Both make the smoothie creamier - trust me, you can't taste them.
***Protein powder servings are usually 1-2 scoops, depending on the brand.