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What is a Smoothie Bowl [+ How to Make a Smoothie Bowl]

Louise | July 8
What is a Smoothie Bowl and How to make a smoothie bowl #paleo #recipe #food

Smoothie bowls are all the rage on Instagram – they definitely make pretty photos that fit well in a square frame!

But if you’re not caught up on this craze, then you might be wondering what is a smoothie bowl and how you can create your own version of one.

So, in this post, we’ll go over what is a smoothie bowl (hint, the name is a dead giveaway) as well as show you step by step how to create your own and what toppings to add for the best results. (We’ll also tell you two big mistakes to avoid when making your smoothie bowl.)

What is a smoothie bowl

As the name suggests, a smoothie bowl is essentially a smoothie poured into a bowl and eaten with a spoon instead of drinking it from a glass.

Here’s our Matcha Ketogenic Smoothie Bowl recipe made with matcha coconut yogurt and topped with coconut flakes, goji berries, cacao nibs, and chia seeds. As you can see, it’s a smoothie base poured into a bowl and topped with a variety of ingredients and made to look pretty.
Topped with coconut flakes

Why would you put a smoothie into a bowl?

I suspect smoothie bowls arose due to how pretty they look on Instagram but I’d like to think it’s instead from a desire for a healthier oatmeal or porridge breakfast whereby you can still add cool toppings but avoiding the grains. (The truth is that many smoothie bowl recipes use oatmeal as an ingredient and often use granola as a topping so they’re not all grain-free.)

The rise of “superfoods” has also helped to fuel the smoothie bowl trend as many superfoods are in forms (like powders or small pieces or are different fruits or vegetables) that make it easy to stick into a smoothie or else they’re colorful (e.g., blueberries, acai berries) and make photos of smoothie bowls look vibrant.

Many restaurants (like By Chloe in New York City and Good Life Eatery in London) now offer smoothie bowls as a breakfast option, and larger chains are also catching on. Jamba Juice (a smoothie chain) offers smoothie bowls but calls them Energy Bowls.

So, it looks like this smoothie bowl trend is set to stay for a while.

However, if you’re looking to stay Paleo but still enjoy smoothie bowls, then watch out for the ones you can buy at restaurants as they typically contain not only oats and granola but also peanut butter, added sugar, and dairy ingredients. We suggest you try your hand at making your own smoothie bowl instead. And if you’re sticking to a ketogenic or autoimmune protocol, then you can definitely still enjoy smoothie bowls, but you’ll need to watch out for which ingredients you can use to make them.

How are smoothie bowls different from regular smoothies?

There are 2 main differences between smoothie bowls and regular smoothies:

  1. Thicker Smoothie – The smoothie base in smoothie bowls is often thicker than the ones you typically drink so it’s more like a soup you can eat with a spoon than a thin smoothie you drink through a straw.
  2. Colorful Toppings – Regular smoothies don’t typically have any toppings, but the main feature of a smoothie bowl is the toppings you can add to them. Superfoods are often used in smoothie bowls, with acai berries being one of the most popular ingredients (they’re known simply as acai bowls!). But they’re also a great way to showcase interesting ingredients like bee pollen and lúcuma powder.

Why should you make a smoothie bowl?

We take a practical approach to things and there’s definitely no need to put your smoothie into a bowl, but making your own smoothie bowls can be a lot of fun. It’s good to use your creative juices sometimes (even in the mornings!), and it’s a fun activity deciding which toppings you want to put on your smoothie bowl to make it look pretty. If you have kids, then decorating a smoothie bowl can be a great way to get your kids involved in making their own breakfast.

How to make a Smoothie Bowl?

If you want to try making your own smoothie bowl for breakfast, then follow our instructions below for creating one (there’s also a pinterest graphic at the end you can pin to remember all the ingredient options). We’ve included a bunch of different ingredients below for both the smoothie base and the toppings.

If you’re looking for Paleo smoothie bowl recipes instead (or to help you determine how much of each ingredient you’ll need), then check out our list of delicious smoothie bowl recipes here..

Paleo Smoothie Bowl Recipes #paleo #smoothie #bowl #recipes

How To Make A Great Smoothie Base

1. Make Sure The Smoothie Is Thick

You want to make sure your smoothie base is nice and thick so that it can hold up all the toppings. To keep it thick, make sure to use ingredients like bananas (can be frozen), mango pieces (can be frozen), coconut yogurt or coconut cream, avocados, chia seeds, nut butters (like almond butter), or ice cubes.

smoothie bowl thickening ingredients - infographic #paleo #primal #smoothiebowl #recipe

2. Add Liquid To Make The Smoothie Blend Easier

Use a good blender as you need to make a thick smoothie, but to make sure everything starts blending, add in some liquid like coconut milk, hemp milk, almond milk, coconut water, kombucha, or water.

smoothie bowl liquid ingredients - infographic smoothie bowl ingredients - infographic #paleo #primal #smoothiebowl #recipe

3. Make The Smoothie Base Flavorful and Colorful

Then to give your smoothie lots of flavor and color, add in delicious berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries), matcha powder, maca powder, cacao powder, different greens like spinach and kale, ginger, or other fruits (like acai berries, pitaya, or pineapple pieces).

smoothie bowl ingredients for color and flavor - infographic #paleo #primal #smoothiebowl #recipe

4. Make The Smoothie Base Extra Nutritious

For extra nutrition, you can add in greens powder, lucuma powder, coconut oil, spirulina, or pure whey protein powder.

Smoothie Bowl Topping Options

Some smoothie bowl toppings help add color, others add lots of flavor or nutrition, and others are great for adding crunch. Of course, some of them do all of these things.

Toppings That Add Color

Lots of different fruits sliced or cut into small chunks help to add lots of color to a smoothie bowl. Use contrasting or complimentary colors to the color of your smoothie base. Try using several different colors and placing them in different patterns.

Here are some toppings that help add color: blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, sliced strawberries, sliced bananas, goji berries, kiwi slices, pomegranate seeds.

Smoothie Bowl Topping Options - Fruits For Color #paleo #primal #smoothiebowl #recipe

Toppings That Add Flavor or Nutrition

Lots of foods that are considered superfoods make excellent toppings to add extra flavor and nutrition.

Here are some superfood toppings (they also help to add crunch to the dish): pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, cacao nibs, coconut flakes or shreds, bee pollen.

Toppings That Add Crunch and Texture

Here are some toppings that add crunch and texture: almonds, brazil nuts, hemp hearts, sesame seeds.

Smoothie Bowl Toppings For Crunch and Nutrition #paleo #primal #smoothiebowl #recipe

How To Make A Smoothie Bowl Infographic – Please Pin

Here’s a graphic to share on Pinterest or if you want embed it onto your blog (use the embed code below).

how to make a smoothie bowl infographic #paleo #primal #smoothiebowl #recipe

2 Mistakes To Avoid When Making Your Smoothie Bowl

Not Making The Smoothie Base Thick Enough

1. One of the biggest mistakes when making a smoothie bowl is not making the smoothie base thick enough. If you do that, then your toppings will sink into your smoothie like in the photo below. That makes for a sad looking smoothie bowl.

mistakes with making smoothie bowls\

Not Having Enough Different Toppings

2. The second mistake to avoid is not having enough different toppings. The fun in making smoothie bowls is in the toppings, so make sure you get a good selection to add on top. Fresh fruits, nuts, and seeds are all popular choices. Check out all of the options we mentioned above. Just make sure to chop up your fruit into thin slices or small chunks to make it easy to put on top of the smoothie base (smaller pieces also ensure that they’re not too heavy and so don’t sink into your smoothie).

It’s Your Turn – Make Your Own Smoothie Bowl

We hope you have fun creating your own smoothie bowls – there are endless options! If you need some ideas to get you started, then check out our list of Paleo smoothie bowl recipes here.

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Brenda - July 8

Is there a giveaway associated to this post?

    Louise Hendon - July 9

    No there isn’t, sorry.

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