When you discover a good thing, it can be hard not to dive in headfirst! Tell everyone you know, and buy, buy, buy. I fell into this trap when I discovered an irresistible smoothie bowl (shout-out to Cafe Astoria in St. Paul, MN!). Everything was so beautiful and delicious that I ate it twice, the same weekend, alone. It was that good.
The obvious hurdle is that dining out regularly isn’t sustainable, especially if you’re tight on time, money, or calories. So, what do you do? Find a way to mimic the goodness! The real deal will still be my ultimate go-to for special weekend meet-ups, but I’m pretty satisfied with this system for the average morning at home.
Smoothie Bowl Steps
Make your base
Smoothie bowls are very similar to smoothies, they’re just consumed in a different way (spoon, not straw), and include additional toppings and texture. So, start with your favorite smoothie recipe, blending fruit, some greens (spinach, kale), ice, milk (soy, almond), juice (orange, pomegranate, carrot) or yogurt (greek), and a little healthy sweetener (agave syrup, maple syrup, honey). Have fun with it and try your favorite flavors. You can even make two different smoothies to combine in the same bowl for more interesting bites. Keep thickness in mind overall, as you won’t want it too soupy.
Choose colorful fruit toppings
The trick is in the toppings. Consider your base and then add complimentary (but not necessarily identical) fruit like blueberries, strawberries, bananas, passion fruit, and raspberries. This is your chance to try something new or uncommon. When’s the last time you had a kiwi? Try a little on top.
Add some crunch
Texture is key. You don’t want everything to be smooth, so add some healthy seeds (chia, sunflower, hemp, etc.), grains (granola, oats), and/or nuts (walnut, pumpkin, almond). A little unsweetened coconut flakes sprinkled on top is a nice finishing touch.
Watch the sweetness
Beware of sweetened yogurt, high-calorie granola, and other unnatural, processed ingredients. Stay as fresh as possible, and know that you’ll get a lot of sweetness from the smoothie and additional fruit toppings. You may even find you want a dollop of crème fraîche or plain greek yogurt on top to tame things!
Have fun with the design
Just like the “recipe,” which can be varied in a million ways, have fun with the assembly. Pro tip: It usually looks nicer if toppings are added in chunks, in their own space; and it’s best if the heaviest items go last. You can always mix it and lose the pretty when eating!
Admire your creation. Then dig in!
That’s it. Whether or not your final bowl is Instagram-worthy, you can pat yourself on the back for starting the day with a healthy breakfast. Way to go!