If you’ve read my post on smoothie bowls, you’ll know that I CANNOT resist the opportunity to experiment with a new fruit or liquid to develop a new, delicious, flavour combination in a smoothie! I mean- who doesn’t love a good smoothie bowl?!
Incase you’re new to the term ‘smoothie bowl’, let me fill you in. A smoothie bowl is essentially a super thick smoothie filled with goodness- whole foods, frozen fruits and veggies, nut butters, the list goes on- and topped with an array of nuts, fruits, seeds, grains, nutter butters and basically anything you want. So long as they’re thick enough to hold the toppings and to be eaten with a spoon, they can be as thin or thick as you want. However, this said, they are commonly quite thick.
I started experimenting with smoothie bowls a couple years ago, but more often than not, mine turned out too thin. In this post I’m going to share with you the best ways to thicken a smoothie to make it thick enough to hold toppings on a smoothie bowl.
If you’re unfamiliar with the basics for making a smoothie bowl, I have a very detailed post on it here. Otherwise, keep reading!
There are two main ways that you can approach thickening a smoothie- both of which I will cover in this post.
The first is to choose ingredients which will provide you with the thick smoothie you’re aiming for, and prepare them in such a way that once you’ve blended them all together your smoothie will be nice and thick.
The second is to choose whichever random ingredients you like, blend them together, and then test the thickness, adjusting accordingly by adding additional ingredients- or more of ones you have already used.
There are certainly overlaps between these two methods, and I always find it helpful to incorporate both when I am making a smoothie bowl. For example, first I choose ingredients which will work well together to produce a thick smoothie bowl, then I prepare them so that when blended they will be as thick as possible, and finally once I have blended them I might also add additional ingredients or more of ones I have already used to make the smoothie even thicker.
So let’s take a look at the first method.
This approach is basically picking certain ingredients and preparing them correctly so that they will make your smoothie as thick as possible. The best ingredients to pick are the less juicy fruits and veggies which will provide for a thicker smoothie. Some examples of these are:
To prepare these ingredients correctly they are best frozen, and I like to have them chopped up small before I freeze them so that I don’t have to do this before when I take them out of the freezer to make the smoothie. Your liquids- for example yoghurt or your milk of choice- can also be frozen; or at least part frozen, however this isn’t as essential. It is important that everything is diced small enough so that your blender will not struggle with it.
It is also important to use the right amounts of these ingredients- typically more frozen fruits and less of the liquid. If you have a particularly juicy fruit- for example pineapple or watermelon- you can substitute out some of the liquid for this fruit.
The second approach is to use whatever ingredients you like- thick or not, and frozen or not. (However, this said, as a rule to go by, frozen fruits are pretty much always better for making smoothies, whether they’re juicy fruits or not.) Once you’ve made the smoothie you can then test the thickness and then thicken accordingly.
The best three ways of thickening your smoothie are:
- Adding a thickening fruit- most commonly frozen bananas
- Adding solid ingredients- for example rolled oats
- Placing it in the bowl and then in the freezer for around 5-8 minutes (this makes the top a little more sturdy so that it is able to hold the toppings more easily)
As I mentioned earlier on in the post, I like to combine these two approaches to thicken my smoothie as much as possible. However, from experience, I have found that the first approach is somewhat more effective than the first.
Hopefully these tips will help to thicken your smoothie bowls and make them perfect for holding toppings!