How to Build the Ultimate Smoothie Bowl ~ everything you need to know to put together a beautiful and healthy breakfast!
You’ve heard about them, you’ve probably seen them, but have you tried making a breakfast smoothie bowl for yourself? They’re not just pretty faces, they really make a lot of sense, especially in the hot weather when there aren’t a lot of great choices for the most important meal of the day. I’m going to take you through the basics, using some of the prettiest bowls out there as our guides. There are lots of ways to build a great smoothie bowl — you can customize it to your taste and dietary needs. They can have a pure fruit smoothie base, or they can be made more filling with grains and seeds like oatmeal and quinoa, or chia. They can be as thick or as thin as you want, dairy or vegan, sweet or sugar free. You can use frozen fruit and ice for a frosty bowl. The toppings are where your creativity really comes into play, and they can be almost anything. Each bowl becomes a unique little work of art.
Enlighten Smoothie Bowl from The Simple Veganista
Julie from The Simple Veganista gets that gorgeous color, above, from a mix of berries, and she uses banana and a bit of ice for a thick, spoon-able consistency. Because fruit is lacking in protein, she likes to add a scoop of almond or peanut butter to the blender, and she suggests adding a scoop of protein powder for an even bigger boost.
Coconut Berry Smoothie Bowl from Taste and Tell
Deborah from Taste and Tell has just released her book “Best 100 Smoothies for Kids” and she turns her talents to the more adult smoothie bowl above. One of her secrets is freezing bananas when they are just under-ripe because you’ll get all the creaminess without the overpowering flavor that the super ripe ones have. I think that’s a great tip!
Vanilla Smoothie Bowl with Dark Chocolate and Blueberries from Eat Better Not Less
Nadia from Eat Better Not Less uses vanilla whey in her smoothie bowl, which she says makes it especially great as an after workout snack, as well as for breakfast. It’s sugar, gluten, and dairy-free, and I think that chunk of dark chocolate on top is pure genius.
Cacao Hemp Quinoa Breakfast Bowl from Tasty Yummies
Beth’s breakfast bowl is made with quinoa and hemp milk, both of which are considered complete proteins. She created her recipe because regular juices and smoothies weren’t giving her the ‘oomph’ she needed in the morning. Raw cacao gives it a chocolatey kick.
Pomegranate Mango Smoothie Bowl from sobremesa
Amy from Sobremesa makes a gorgeous sunset hued bowl blended from frozen mango and pomegranate juice, sweetened with a little honey. I love the contrasting colors in the toppings. She recommends starting off with a frozen ‘fibrous’ type of fruit, like banana, pear, mango, peach etc. in order to get a nice thick texture to your smoothie. If you want to use avocado, which doesn’t freeze well, she suggests adding ice to the bottom of the blender first.
Blackberry Yogurt Breakfast Bowl from The View from Great Island
My own breakfast bowl is on the simple side, I just blended up frozen blackberries and yogurt and topped it off with whatever fresh fruit I had around the kitchen. There’s aren’t any fancy superfoods in this one, but it still makes a really healthy breakfast, and is a lot more fun than drinking a smoothie out of a glass! To freeze fresh fruit I peel and chop it in bite sized pieces, then lay it out on a baking sheet lined with a silicone sheet. I put the whole tray in the freezer and leave it until the fruit is frozen solid. Then I scoop the fruit into a zip lock freezer baggie and pop it back into the freezer. The silicone mat keeps juicy fruit from freezing to the pan.
Arugula Romaine and Pear Smoothie Bowl from Vanille Vert
Nathalie from Vanille Vert makes an unusual bowl that’s full of fiber from leafy greens — it will give you that ‘full’ feeling longer. She suggests using fruit in moderation in smoothies, and balancing out the sweetness with a protein source like nuts and seeds. Her power smoothie bowl has got all the nutrient groups represented!
Vegan Blackberry Coconut Smoothie Bowl from Hello Natural
Ana from Hello Natural loads her bowl with her favorite summer fruit, blackberries, and loves the combination of the berries with creamy coconut milk. I’m pretty sure you couldn’t tell from the vivid magenta that she’s hiding fresh spinach in there.
Superfood Chocolate Smoothie Bowl from Broma Bakery
Sarah at Broma Bakery cleverly uses a little bit of cocoa to sweeten loads of healthy ingredients in her superfood bowl. It’s thickened with avocado and banana.
Green Matcha Breakfast Smoothie Bowl from Food to Glow
Kellie from Food to Glow is a cancer nutritionist who makes a nourishing (and eye-popping) bowl made with brilliant green matcha powder in a yogurt base. She tops it with a beautiful contrast of blood oranges.
Chia and Almond Breakfast Bowl from A Tasty Love Story
Josephine of A Tasy Love Story is a big believer in eating a healthy breakfast, and the base of her bowl is a chia seed and almond milk ‘pudding’ that can be made ahead and kept in the fridge for days, so you’ll have no excuse to skip it. The chia seeds gradually thicken the milk (dairy or not) base and form a pudding texture. I love the color wheel of toppings she chose.
Sprouted Buckwheat and Coconut Breakfast Bowl by Ashley Neese
Ashley uses freshly sprouted buckwheat and pumpkin seeds as a base for her bowl. She’s a big believer in using frozen berries during the out of season months because they are flash frozen at the peak of freshness and are a better choice than expensive imported fruit. She garnishes with a sprinkle of anti-inflammatory turmeric for a bit of flavor and color.
Summer Acai Bowl with Toasted Buckwheat Granola from Half Baked Harvest
Tieghan from Half Baked Harvest tops her fruity acai bowl with a hearty buckwheat granola. Acai is an Amazonian super fruit that usually comes frozen or in powdered form. You can also find the whole berries in dried form for garnish. She likes the earthy crunch of buckwheat groats as a substitute for oats in granola, and she even eats them raw, as a snack!
Blueberry Almond Quinoa Breakfast Smoothie Bowl form Food Faith Fitness
Faith from Food Faith Fitness makes a brilliant blue dairy-free bowl loaded with blueberries blended up with almond milk and quinoa. It proves that you don’t always have to use lots of different kinds of ingredients to get a fabulous result The toasted almonds scattered on top add a lot of flavor and the mint leaf is the perfect accent.
Mixed Berry Smoothie Bowl from What’s Gaby Cooking
Gaby’s bowl is another straightforward fruit centered recipe, with blended berries, a mix of fruit on top, and a lot of crunch from a ready-made granola. It just goes to show that whether you go with exotic ingredients or just whatever is in season in your area, you can create a pretty, healthy, and super delicious breakfast in a bowl — so dust off your blender and see what you come up with!
*If you make a breakfast smoothie bowl make sure to grab your phone and snap a pic. Tag @theviewfromgreatisland on Instagram so I can like and comment on your photos!