If you haven’t heard of smoothie bowls, now is most definitely the time for you to hop on the trend! So exciting, stunningly gorgeous and absolutely delicious, smoothie bowls are my absolute favourite breakfast to make when I’ve got time on my hands. Although they may be time-consuming, the array of colours and toppings creating a beautiful, instagramable photo make them completely worth it!
I discovered smoothie bowls a couple of years ago and, since then, I have been going absolutely crazy experimenting with different fruit combinations and toppings to make the most delicious smoothies imaginable! It did, however, take me a while (and lots of failed attempts) to figure out the best consistency for smoothie bowls, which is where this post would have come in handy!
In this post, I’m going to share with you the basics for making the perfect smoothie bowls, with tips and flavour ideas along the way.
I like to think of the components of a smoothie bowl as being three things:
The base (mixed with the liquid)
The liquid (such as milk, tea, water, juice, yoghurt) is blended up with the base (any combination of whole foods e.g.- frozen fruits and veggies) and then topped with an array of toppings. Below I have listed some common foods for each component:
The liquid (one or more of the mixed together):
• Milk (or alternatives)
• Iced tea
• Iced coffee
• Fruit/veggie juices
• Nut butter
The base (multiple of these):
• Other fresh or frozen fruit (absolutely anything)
• Fresh or frozen veggies (typically avocado, spinach, kale, zucchini- but could be anything)
• Flavourings (honey, cinnamon, vanilla extract, lemon juice, nut butter)
Toppings (around 2-5 of these):
• Nut/ nut butter
• Coconut flakes
• Fruit slices (e.g. sliced peaches or mango)
• Chocolate chips
Once you’ve decided on your combination of the liquids, the base and the toppings, you’re ready to start making the smoothie bowl. I’ve looked long and hard for the perfect ratio of liquid-to-base to create a smoothie that would be thick enough to hold toppings, however there is no standard ratio. This is because different combinations hold different amounts of liquid- which is ultimately the factor that determines how runny a smoothie will be.
For example, a smoothie bowl made of green tea and fresh melon and pineapple would be very thin because both melon and pineapple are quite juicy fruits. However, a smoothie bowl made of yoghurt, frozen berries and banana would be thicker because frozen fruits produce thicker smoothie bowls than fresh ones, and berries and banana tend to have less juice in them anyway.
Therefore it is impossible to come up with the perfect ratio for the smoothie part of your bowl. However, my rule of thumb is to start with 1-part liquid combination (for example yoghurt with a splash of milk) and 2-parts base combination (for example frozen berries and frozen mango).
Blend your liquid and your base up by putting your liquids nearest the blades (usually at the bottom of the blender) and then your base on top of that. This is because the blades will find it more difficult to blend solids up if they are not surrounded by liquids. Once I have blended my smoothie up, I test the thickness of it to see if it’s thick enough to support my toppings, and I adjust accordingly.
If the smoothie appears too thin, add more of your thickest fruit (e.g. banana). If this doesn’t help, or if your smoothie is nearly thick enough, you can pour the smoothie into the bowl and place in the freezer for 5-8 minutes to harden the top slightly so that it will be sturdy enough to hold your toppings. This is especially useful when you want to photograph your bowl because it holds the toppings for longer. Freezing the bowl for a few minutes is something I tend to do even if at first glance my smoothie appears thick enough.
Once you are happy with the taste and consistency of your smoothie, you’re ready for toppings. This is my absolute favourite part because each topping adds another unique flavour to the smoothie bowl! And who doesn’t love an abundance of exciting flavours?! Some of my favourite toppings are shredded coconut, frozen berries, sliced strawberry and pomegranate seeds.
Arrange the toppings on top of your smoothie bowl, snap a pic and enjoy!
Below are a few of my favourite smoothie bowl combinations if you’re stuck for ideas. I’d love to hear some of yours in the comments!
• Oat milk, greek yoghurt, frozen berries, frozen banana, topped with: sliced strawberry, chia seeds, shredded coconut
• Milk, coconut yoghurt, frozen raspberries, fresh pineapple, topped with: pomegranate, granola, shredded coconut
• Milk, orange juice, frozen mango, frozen cherries, topped with: frozen/fresh cherries, mixed seeds, a scoop of greek yoghurt
The art of making smoothie bowls is to experiment- experiment with flavours and with colours and with textures. The joy of it is that you can’t really go wrong!
Happy smoothie bowling!