Want to know how to make a smoothie bowl? Learn some tips and tricks for 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 is that they’re a little thicker, eaten with a spoon, and often topped with things like nuts, fruit, or granola.
Are Smoothie Bowls Healthy?
Well, that all depends on what you put in them. Some 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’s dairy-free and contains no added sugars.
What to put in your bowl
There are so many smoothie bowl ingredients and toppings to choose from, the combinations are endless!
Even though there are many ingredient options, I tend to make the same basic recipe shell which includes:
- dairy-free unsweetened milk, water, or coconut water
- frozen or fresh fruit
- half a frozen banana
- a handful of fresh greens
- 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 health benefits such as reducing inflammation, helping prevent cardiovacular disease and containing antioxidants like anthocyanins, which may protect your cells from free radical damage. Berries may improve blood sugar and insulin response when they’re included in smoothies, plus they are 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 sometimes also add in some optional powders for a health boost such as:
- powdered greens
I get questions on what protein powder I use all the time. 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 added (stevia and monkfruit are 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, I buy a huge bunch every week. It’s best to let them ripen before freezing them to they’re at their sweetest.
I also use frozen fruit to make the smoothie bowl thicker… though you can use fresh fruit and 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
If you make this recipe and LOVE IT, please give it 5 stars ★★★★★!
How To Make Smoothie Bowls
- 1/4 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk plus more if needed
- 1 handful greens such as spinach, baby kale, etc*
- 1/2 frozen banana
- 4 slices frozen zucchini or some frozen cauliflower**
- 1/2 cup frozen fruit(s) of choice (my go to is a mixture of organic berries)
- 1 serving plant-based protein powder (see container for how much is one serving)***
- Toppings see above for ideas
- Start by blending the milk with the greens first. For me, this makes the smoothie bowl less grainy espeiclly if your blender isn't a high-speed one but you can skip this step if you want though.
- Add the other ingredients and blend till smooth. Add more milk if needed or you want a less thick smoothebowl.
- Top with any tasty topping you want! I love adding a drizzle of nut butter at the very end.
Mary Ellen Valverde MS, CNS, LDN is a Licensed Nutritionist and Certified Nutrition Specialist who empowers vegans to feel confident creating sustainable habits that align with their values and health goals. She shares easy plant-powered food to nourish your body + satisfy your tastebuds. Mary Ellen’s recipes and nutrition info have been featured on Yahoo News, Parade, VegNews, LIVESTRONG, Dr. Axe, Greatist, LIVEKINDLY, Brit+Co, Well+Good, and more. She lives in NJ with her husband & two sweet shih tzus, Firenze & Sophie.