How to Build A SMOOTHIE BOWL {Plus our favorite recipes and ingredients to use}

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Honestly, I think if I had to choose one thing to eat for the rest of my life, it would be SMOOTHIE BOWLS!!!

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I really don't know how I survived before I knew about them, or how anyone does actually? Maybe they are not.. maybe we are all in some sort of semi-awake yet doormat state until the day our lives change when we start making and eating the all mighty nourishing and delicious smoothie bowl.

I think people think they are more difficult and complex than they really are, or that there is a specific recipe and way one MUST go about making one. This is NOT true, in fact what I have learned over my many years now of being a "smoothie bowl connoisseur" is that they are different everywhere, every smoothie bowl shop, every person, every region, all have a unique way to make smoothie bowls and that is what makes them so freaking amazing!

There are NO RULES.

In fact, the "rules" or guidelines should be broken whenever you want to suit your nutritional, taste and spur of the moment needs.. including what you happen to have in your freezer/fridge. 

Smoothie bowls can be eaten ANYTIME OF DAY or YEAR and are defiantly not just a breakfast!

Smoothie bowls make a great lunch or dinner, and even a really epic healthy nutrient packed dessert!!! See the bottom of this post for the most amazing, decent desert like smoothie recipes.. drool worthy..

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This post is my attempt to cover the basics of what I believe makes a really damn good smoothie bowl, it is just my experience and the way I make smoothie bowls, but clearly it is not the only way nor the best way.. it is just my way. And because so many people ask us about smoothie bowls, i figure it is worthy of an entire "How To" post!

I will start with what you need kitchen wise and why.

I will then cover the Building Blocks of Creating a Killer Smoothie Bowl time after Time!

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I will finish it off with some really great recourses, videos, channels and people to follow or watch so you can find even more out about the magical world of smoothie bowls. :) So let's get into it.


KITCHEN TOOLS NEEDED!

BLENDER or GOOD FOOD PROCESSOR

This is the model we have, this price is for the certified refurbished one, but still has an amazing 5 year warranty

I hate to tell you that blenders matter, but they do! However not having a good blender should not mean you don't make a smoothie in your cheap blender, it is still going to be good. However a good blender does make a really big difference. Over the years I have tried so many blenders, so many "good" blenders like the Blendtec, the Ninja, etc and I always go back to the Vitamix as the best one. It is just a beast and makes the smoothest, most creamy texture every single time. It can also make fours and pretty much everything. I got my Vitamix at Costco way back in the day when it was on-sale for $250, but you can get the same one on Amazon for $400, and the refurbished one for around $350. If you can afford one, do it. It is an investment and will last you so many years!!

If you cannot afford a Vitamix or if you have a small living space or travel a lot, a Nutri-Bullet is a really good option because it can make thick creamy nice creams and amazing smoothies.. this thing is seriously powerful!

A small yet powerful blender option that we love!

We have this one and we travel everywhere with it, love love love this thing. Another nice thing about it is you can make your smoothie for the day in it, screw a cap directly onto the container and take it with you. Super fast and practical. It also comes with like 5 cups/containers!

 

We were gifted a very similar model to this one for a wedding gift and we love this thing!

FOOD PROCESSORS, the thing is they are not necessary but they are super handy. Whenever we make large batches of banana nice cream (more than 2 servings) it is very helpful to use a good food processor because they can just make so much without over-heating. We love ours and use it for all sorts of things, and you can make smoothies in it, but it doesn't make them very well, I would use a Vitamix for your smoothies and a Food Processor for your thick ice cream style smoothie bowls.

 

Other than this you really don't need anything else besides a good knife to cut fruit, a chopping board and a fun bowl to eat it out of!!! 


BUILDING BLOCKS OF A SMOOTHIE BOWL

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  1. GRANOLA OR SOMETHING CRUNCHY
  2. THE SMOOTHIE
  3. TOPPINGS GALORE!

GRANOLA CHUNCHY GOODNESS

I am a HUGE fan of crunchy stuff in my smoothie bowl, and my favorite thing is a good healthy whole-food granola... my turmeric-cacao-granola is my go-to that I make weekly at our house! I am a huge believer in oil-free granola which is really hard to find, so I make it myself and it is so easy and cheap.

There is something so fun about eating a smoothie bowl with some crunch too it, so I really don't think this is a good step to skip.

If you don't want a traditional crunchy granola, you can try this really yummy SOFT Date+Oat raw Granola recipe (recipe video right below) from Feasting on Fruit! This also makes a really yummy no-bake cookie or snack food on the go :)

Sometimes we opt out of Granola because we are just out of it, and in those occasions we eat PUFFED CEREAL! WE LOVE PUFFED CEREAL! 

Our favorite one is by Natures Path Organic's, a single ingredient Puffed Kamut, so good, so crunchy and light..

This is exactly what we get, we even buy it by the case like this! SO GOOD!


THE SMOOTHIE

Now this is the fun part, the substance, the healing powers, the nutrient power-house that will leave you energized and ready to smash the day!!! 

Smoothies are just the best way to get in so many nutrients, FIBER, WATER, vitamins, minerals, greens and other stuff you know you should eat but don't have time to eat on their own.. sneak them into a smoothie and its a done deal.

We usually make some sort of a variation to our RECOVERY SMOOTHIE RECIPE but sometimes we change it up and make something really decant or different.

It doesn't matter how you make your smoothie, it can be thick like ice cream, it can be banana nice cream, or it can be a more liquid smoothie. It is up to you, you can break the rules, you can bend the rules, actually there are no rules! Just mess around, try out different things and find something you love.

WHAT I ALWAYS PUT IN EVERY SMOOTHIE:

  1. 1-2 bananans (fresh or frozen)
  2. Something frozen (frozen banana, berries, mango, cauliflower.. yes cauliflower.. see my recovery smoothie recipe post to find out why)
  3. Something fresh (pineapple, pear, ginger, 
  4. Greens
  5. Berries
  6. 1 orange

With those essential ingredients I tweak the recipe every time. It is helpful to have about 1 cup of something frozen and 1 cup of something fresh to make a nice creamy smoothie. If it is all frozen it is too hard to blend and too cold, and if it is all fresh it is warm, too liquid and gross. If you don't have frozen bananas don't stress, but you MUST HAVE FROZEN BERRIES THEN. And frozen berries are the way to go anyway because they are cheaper and make all smoothies better and more nutrient dense.

GREEN SMOOTHIES DON'T HAVE TO ACTUALLY BE GREEN!

When I say green smoothie, I usually just mean that it has greens in it.. but sometimes it is green... When I do not add blueberries my green smoothies are green. If I just use mixed tropical fruit, strawberries and greens, the smoothies turn out super bright green!

Lately we have been making OATMEAL SMOOTHIE BOWLS by making a big warm bowl of steel cut oatmeal with sweet potato and then pouring green smoothie over the top! This way we get in our warming whole grains (and we literally stay warm in the freezing winter temps) AND we get to eat greens for breakfast. That is essentially the role of the green smoothie over the oatmeal, to pack in greens, nutrients, and to replace a non-dairy milk that I would usually pour over my oatmeal. So give that a try if you want to step up your oatmeal game!

HERE ARE MY CURRENT 2 GO-TO SMOOTHIES

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OUR GO-TO-GREEN SMOOTHIE RECIPE

  • 2 bananas
  • 1 orange
  • 1/2 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1/2 cup frozen mango or fresh pineapple
  • 2 tbs ground flax seeds (or whole flax seeds if you have a high-speed blender)
  • 1/4 inch slice fresh ginger root
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • the remaining blender space crammed full with greens of choice (power greens, kale, spinach)
  • 2-3 cups water, coconut water or half water half non-dairy milk.
  • BLEND LIKE CRAZY AND ENJOY!
  • (SERVES 1 Hungry Runner like Me.. if I am eating this over a huge oatmeal bowl I will only eat 1/2 over it and then save the second half for later that day. But if eaten as a smoothie bowl I eat it ALL)
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PURPLE GREENS MONSTER BREAKFAST SMOOTHIE RECIPE (Hidden greens)

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  • 2 bananas
  • 1 orange
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1/2 cup frozen mango, pineapple or another banana
  • tons of kale (like 3 big handfuls)
  • 2 tbs ground flax seeds (or whole flax seeds if you have a high-speed blender)
  • 1/4 inch slice fresh ginger root
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • the remaining blender space crammed full with greens of choice (power greens, kale, spinach)
  • 2-3 cups water, coconut water or half water half non-dairy milk.
  • BLEND LIKE CRAZY AND ENJOY!

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TOPPINGS & GOODIES

You can't just make a smoothie and call it a smoothie bowl without the TOPPINGS! It is all about the toppings, guys.. seriously. it is just yet another opportunity to PACK IN MORE NUTRITION from things like Nuts and Seeds! 

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Walnuts Rule the Nut world, they are packed with Omega-3's, Protein, vitamin C, Vitamin B, calcium, chromium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, vanadium and zinc. We eat a big handful of RAW Walnuts every day in our breakfast bowl, and suggest that everyone does.

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Pumpkin Seeds are insane too, they are pack in protein and an array of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.. not to mention they are absolutely delicious on smoothie bowls.

Other seeds like chia seeds and hempseed are also amazing and yummy but are more expensive and it seems like you get less nutrients for your $ with them compared to Walnuts and Pumpkin seeds. But eat what ever nuts and seeds you love and add them to your smoothie bowls!

Our FAVORITE TOPPINGS ARE:

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  • Raw Walnuts
  • Pumpkin Seeds (Skout Backcountry cinnamon sugar ones are our current favorite)
  • Sliced Apple
  • Sliced Banana
  • Chia Seeds
  • Granola or Rolled Oats
  • Puffed Kamut Cereal
  • Sliced pineapple
  • Blueberries
  • Sliced Strawberries
  • Chia Seeds
  • Shredded coconut
  • Grapes
  • Almonds
  • Nuttzo 
  • Peanut Butter 
  • Steamed Sweet Potato

IT IS TECHNICALLY NOT REALLY A TOPPING (because it does not sit on top) BUT WE LOVE STEAMED SWEET POTATO IN OUR BOWLS!! 

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We eat the cinnamon sugar ones on smoothie bowls, but they only have the sea salt ones on amazon, which are also amazing!


DESSERT SMOOTHIE BOWLS

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PEANUT BUTTER SWEET POTATO BANANA NICE CREAM SMOOTHIE BOWL

This one will blow your mind, we eat this often over pancakes but also it makes an incredible smoothie bowl! :)

  • 1-2 frozen bananas
  • 1/2 cup frozen cauliflower
  • 1/2 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1/2 cup steamed sweet potato
  • 2 TBS flaxseeds
  • 2 TBS Peanut butter powder or Nut Butter like Nuttzo
  • about 1 cup non-dairy milk of choice added 1/4 cup at a time until it is perfect.
  • BLEND UNTIL THICK AND CREAMY! (If using a blender you will need to use the tamper because this is a thick one, it may be wise to use a food processor if you do not have a tamper on your blender.)
  • ENJOY as a delicious, thick creamy and nutrient packed healthy ice cream to make a smoothie bowl out of!!
 This is a CHOCOLATE MILK-SHAKE SMOOTHIE BOWL from my sisters cafe Bunkhouse Coffee Bar in Jensen Beach Florida! She makes killer bowls! 

This is a CHOCOLATE MILK-SHAKE SMOOTHIE BOWL from my sisters cafe Bunkhouse Coffee Bar in Jensen Beach Florida! She makes killer bowls! 

CHOCOLATE MILK-SHAKE SMOOTHIE

  • 3 frozen bananas
  • 1/2 cup frozen cauliflower
  • 1/2 cup frozen strawberries (optional, but I always want berries in smoothies)
  • 1-2 cups coconut milk like Silk (in a carton- drinking stuff not canned)
  • 3 heaping TBS cocoa powder 
  • 2 TBS flaxseeds
  • Start by adding everything to the blender except the coconut milk, then add it slowly as you begin to blend so that it can reach a super thick consistency! 
  • THIS ONE IS INSANE GOOD!

CHOCOLATE MINT SMOOTHIE BY FEASTING ON FRUIT:

BANANA FREE SMOOTHIES BY FEASTING ON FRUIT..

For all you wierdo's who don't like bananas!

3 HEALTHY BREAKFAST SMOOTHIE BOWLS by RawVana 

Well you guys, that is all I got for you for tonight. I really hope you feel super stoked to go shopping and get ingredients to make your first smoothie bowl, or perhaps to just start eating more of them!

As a runner, they are an amazing way to stay nourished and love what you eat. 

Download our Free Smoothie Guide for more recipes from us and of course if you want to get even more recipes and support us, purchase our cookbook! Over 120 of our favorite recipes in there from oatmeals, pizza's, scalloped potatoes, falafel and desserts!