We break down everything you need—from tools to toppings—to make the perfect smoothies bowl!
Smoothie bowls often look more like works of art than breakfast. These bowls of blended fruits, veggies, and superfood additions like maca, acai, seeds, and nuts are a popular way to start the day. Plus, they’re a great opportunity to load up on nutrient-dense, power-packed superfoods first thing in the morning.
With smoothie bowls, you have surface area to add delicious, crunchy, fruity, flaky, swirly toppings. You can even treat it like dessert. Try sweet, rich additions like chocolate syrup made with coconut oil, maple syrup and raw cacao, or dates blended with a bit of salt for a nod to caramel toffee sundae toppers.
You will need one, or both, of the following:
High-speed blender (for a thinner, more traditional smoothie texture)
Food processor (for thicker and more ice cream-like smoothie texture)
Smoothie Bowl Bases
These ingredients create an base that is creamy, nutrient-packed and also perfect for carrying other flavors without overpowering them. There is no wrong way to build your smoothie bowl, but to achieve rich, thick, and ultra-creamy results, you will want to start with a base of one or more of the following:
- Bananas: This yellow fruit offers potassium, magnesium, vitamins C and B6. (1)
- Coconut meat: The meaty part of a coconut offers an abundance of amino acids and mimics dairy like no other. Milky, creamy and a good fat source, coconut meat is stellar in a smoothie bowl. (2)
- Macadamia nut milk, hemp milk, and cashew milk: These milks are products of seeds and nuts, which are popular protein sources that keep your weight and blood pressure in check. There are so many varieties to choose from! (3) These milks are the creamiest options for smoothies. Freeze cubes of them overnight so that they are ready to pop into your blender at all times.
Fruits and Veggies Fit for a Smoothie Bowl
These are unlimited—add absolutely anything that you would like! Here are some of our favorite additions that we keep on hand:
- Frozen cherries
- Frozen blueberries
- Frozen raspberries
- Frozen strawberries
- Frozen peaches
- Frozen pineapple
- Frozen mango
- Turmeric root
- Ginger root
- Mint leaves
You will need a blending liquid like water, coconut water or your favorite nut milk to kick off the blending process. With a smoothie bowl, you will want to add as little liquid as possible to keep the integrity of the blend. Use the wand attachment that comes with a high-speed blender and stop to scrape and stir as needed. Use the freezer to set your mix if need be.
When it comes to boosting your health with superfood additions, you have endless options. Think hormone-balancing, energy-boosting herbs and powders. Healthy smoothie bowl additions include:
- Protein powder: When you find a clean source and flavor that you enjoy, protein powders can offer a smooth and tasty texture to your smoothie bowls.
- Collagen: We all like to look and feel our best, and collagen can boost your health and create a more youthful bounce to your skin.
- Activated charcoal: Detox with the intense addition of activated charcoal to your bowl.
- Maca powder: Energizing and hormone balancing, maca is great for stimulation and has even been known to be an aphrodisiac. (4) It offers a malty, almost vanilla note to smoothie bowls.
- Cacao powder: Raw cacao is lower in sugar than processed cocoa, and we enjoy it for its energizing kick. (5)
- Blue-green algae: For a smoothie fit for a mermaid, this brilliant hue will pack a ton of amino acids into your bowl. (6)
- Milk thistle seed: A high-powered blender will obliterate this liver-detoxing addition. It’s great for the morning after a holiday dinner or one glass of red wine too many. (7)
- Camu camu: This natural product has a bright and tropical flavor profile that is chock-full of antioxidants, and it’s also mood boosting. (8)
- Cinnamon: True Ceylon cinnamon is a very tasty way to help regulate blood sugar spikes.
- Dates: Sweet and packed with energy-boosting benefits, enjoy dates both inside and atop your bowl for a sweet kick.
How to Top a Smoothie Bowl
Here is your chance to make your smoothie bowl shine. Think of it like a frozen yogurt shop: You get to load on toppings knowing you won’t feel lousy after consuming them. Top your bowl with all of the crunchy delights you can think of! Here are some of our favorites:
Crunch and Texture
- Cacao nibs
- Freeze-dried or dehydrated fruit
- Unsweetened coconut flakes
- Brazil nuts
- Hemp seeds
- Chia seeds
- Sunflower seeds
- Pumpkin seeds
- Bee pollen
- Grain-free granola
- Trail mix
- Raw honey
- Raw almond butter, blended with a little water to make a sauce
Minty Cherry-Cacao Smoothie Bowl Recipe
Cherries are gorgeous tree fruits that are said to increase vital energy. This cherry-chocolate is already a classic flavor combo, but throw some mint in there and the whole thing sings.
Remember, not all chocolate is created equal. Chocolate is most beneficial in its raw form, rather than the sugar-addled, packaged bars that line the checkout stand. Fret not—you can find cacao nibs and powders at many grocery stores, and at your local health food shops.
Cook time 5 min
- 2 bananas, thinly sliced and frozen
- 1 cup frozen cherries, pitted and stemmed
- 1/3 cup cacao nibs
- 1 T cacao powder
- ½-1 cup almond milk
- 1-2 dates, pitted
- 1 handful of fresh mint leaves
- Toppings (optional): coconut flakes, sliced almonds, dark chocolate shavings
- Add all ingredients to a food processor. Let set up for one hour in the freezer and scoop like ice cream.
- Top bowl with desired toppings.
(You’ll Also Love: 15 Healthy Smoothies and Their Natural Benefits)