5 easy tips to help make the best smoothie bowl ever, by focusing specifically on consistency, clean, healthy ingredients, & delicious toppings!
I remember when I made my first smoothie bowl a few years ago…I was SO proud of it, but honestly it didn’t look anything like the one I’m sharing with you today. Making a good smoothie bowl takes practice…it takes figuring out the right proportions to avoid a soupy mess haha! Now I have to be honest, smoothie bowls aren’t my absolute favorite thing in the world, but they’re Devin’s favorite! I have made him a smoothie bowl for breakfast for years now, so it’s safe to say I’ve gotten a lot of practice!
While I much prefer starting my day with my go-to spirulina smoothie, Devin prefers his in a bowl. Like I said, I have a picture in my head of the first smoothie bowl I made for Devin & I…remember it being good, but nothing exceptional – I sprinkled a few walnuts & granola on top & called it a day. When making a smoothie bowl, it all comes down to proportions..there has to be a perfect balance between your frozen fruit & the liquid you add in order to achieve a thick consistency. I’ll go over all the steps I use below that help me perfect the consistency – don’t worry! They’re super simple & make a world of a difference!
Over the years though, I’ve tried multiple ways of making these bowls, including using frozen açaí. Now I’m sure you’ve all heard of açaí, especially because I feel like that’s the ingredient that made smoothie bowls SO popular! EVERYONE wanted an açaí bowl! But I personally don’t care for it…I think a true açaí smoothie bowl is too watery & almost has an icy flavor for whatever reason.
Through my own trial & error, I’ve found that plain old frozen berries work the best. I get a big bag of them at my local grocery store & that’s what I use in Devin’s smoothie bowls. Usually I go with a bag of mixed berries with some frozen mango in there as well, but as long as you have mixed berries, you’ll be good to go!
And toppings, of course!
If you’ve ever had a good smoothie bowl, you know how important the toppings are – in my opinion, I think they’re almost as important as the smoothie itself! But again, it’s all about finding the right ratio! For me personally, Devin too, I LOVE a good crunch & I want almost every bite to have a little crunch to it. I also like adding in a nut butter for a little extra healthy added fat & for some additional creaminess! There’s so many options to choose from when it comes to toppings! If you keep scrolling, you’ll find a list of toppings idea too!
So let’s get into it! Below I’m sharing 5 easy ways to make the best smoothie bowl, my go-to smoothie bowl recipe, & a list to give you some topping inspiration!
5 Easy Ways to Make The Best Smoothie Bowl
1. LESS LIQUID
The less liquid you use, the better. The majority of smoothie bowl recipes that I’ve read, usually call for 1 cup of liquid, whether it’s almond milk, coconut milk or coconut water etc…it’s too much! All you need is 1/2 cup, max! You can always add in more once you start blending. It’s best to start with too little liquid, than too much, because it’s more difficult to fix a runny smoothie than to thin out a smoothie that is too thick!
2. ALL FROZEN
For my smoothie bowls, I ONLY use frozen ingredients! I use a blend of frozen berries & 1/2 frozen banana for each smoothie bowl. The frozen fruits help create a thick & creamy consistency. Adding in room temperature fruits, especially bananas is going to alter the texture of the smoothie.
And although I recommend only using frozen ingredients, NEVER add actual ice in your smoothie bowl! It will ruin the consistency!
3. ADD SUPERFOODS FOR THICKNESS
In every smoothie bowl, I add a tablespoon of ground flaxseed & a 1/2 tablespoon of chia seeds. Not only are both amazing superfoods & instantly make the smoothie more filling & nutritious, but they also help thicken up the consistency of the smoothie!
4. A GOOD BLENDER
Before I got a Vitamix two years ago, I used a KitchenAid blender & I was able to make relatively good smoothies, but nothing like I’m able to make with my Vitamix. I graciously received my Vitamix as a gift from my mom, but I would 100% spend the money over & over again. It’s an investment for sure, but I cannot recommend it enough! Especially if you enjoy smoothies or just cooking/creating recipes in general, it’s so worth it! On average, I use my Vitamix about 3x a day!
With my Vitamix, I’m able to control the speed of the blender & I’m able to use the tamper to continuously push the smoothie down towards the blade. When I make my smoothie bowl, I am never able to just turn on the blender & let it go to town. I have to use the tamper which helps stop any air pockets that form when blending. If you aren’t using a Vitamix blender, you’ll have to stop the blender & scrape down the sides of the blender with a spoon & push everything down towards the blades. You’ll have to repeat this process maybe a few times until everything is blended thoroughly.
5. A CLEAN PROTEIN
The secret ingredient to my fluffy, thick smoothie bowls is for sure the clean protein powder that I add. Before I mention the name, I want to preface it by saying that I personally do not eat the smoothie bowls that I make. I enjoy making & drinking my spirulina smoothie every morning & I make Devin, my fiancé, this exact smoothie bowl each morning. It’s his favorite thing to eat for breakfast & like I said, I’ve been making them for him for years now! I have mentioned here on the blog that as of January 2019, I have gone vegan…Devin however is not solely plant based anymore.
So with that said, I add a Pure Bone Broth Protein powder by the brand Ancient Nutrition to Devin’s smoothie bowl every morning & that is the different maker. Not only does the addition of the protein powder, which isn’t even a full serving size…I only add about 2 tablespoons…gives the smoothie SO many health benefits & it creates the most amazing smoothie texture.
If you do consume animal products or aren’t entirely plant based…this is a really great option for a clean protein with minimal ingredients. It actually only has one ingredient – pure chicken bone broth protein. In this post, I go over the many benefits of bone broth or in this case, a bone broth protein powder, but before you overthink anything, you cannot taste chicken or any weird tasting protein flavor in the smoothie. Like I mentioned, I’ve been making this smoothie for years, & have tried it first hand before going vegan, so I can personally attest to this! You barely even notice it’s there, but that’s also why I recommend not adding in the full serving size that the container of the protein powder recommends!
As with everything, I am very finicky about ingredients. You don’t want your protein powder to contain a ton of additives, extra sugars, gums, or fillers. And you actually don’t even want it to contain a long list of healthy things either like fruits or vegetables! Why? Because the more ingredients the protein has, the more difficult it becomes for you body to digest it! So less ingredients the better!
If you are plant based, like I am, I would highly recommend checking out Nuzest for a plant-based clean protein powder option! I’ve tried two of their protein powders & have really enjoyed both! You can use code MADI15 for 15% off!
Smoothie Bowl Recipe:
- 1 TBSP ground flaxseed
- 1/2 TBSP chia seeds
- 1.5 cups of frozen mixed berries
- 1/2 frozen banana
- 1/2 cup dairy free milk
- 2 TBSP protein powder
Add everything to a high speed blender & blend until everything is smooth! Scoop the smoothie into a bowl & add preferred toppings!
Smoothie Bowl Topping Ideas:
- sliced banana
- fresh blueberries
- shredded coconut/coconut flakes
- cacao nibs
- raw almonds
- raw walnuts
- sunflower seeds
- pumpkin seeds
- more chia seeds
- a drizzle of honey
- a scoop of nut butter
I obviously don’t put all of the above on Devin’s smoothie bowl…but I do choose about four to five of the toppings listed above to use in his daily bowl, not including the nut butter. Granola, almonds, walnuts, cacao nibs, & coconut flakes are my most used toppings & I almost always drizzle a little almond butter on top for a little extra healthy fat!
Toppings really do make a difference between a sub-par smoothie bowl & one that is exceptional. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want my toppings to sink to the bottom & I don’t like when there’s not enough crunch! The mix of textures, flavors, & crunch is what makes a good smoothie bowl down right delicious! So whatever you choose to add to your smoothie bowl, toppings wise, make sure you add enough!
More Healthy Breakfast Ideas:
If you tried this Smoothie Bowl, or any other recipe on the blog, let me know if you enjoyed it by leaving a comment below!