Photo: Caitlin Bensel; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis; Food Styling: Anna Hampton

Say goodbye to boring breakfast (or snacks!) for good by making smoothie bowls. What could be better than whipping up your favorite smoothie recipe and topping it with crunchy granola, sliced fruit, chopped nuts, and raw coconut? Think of smoothie bowls as the perfect personalized way to start the day while packing in fiber, healthy fats, and fresh fruit and veggies. Follow these foolproof tips to achieve your best smoothie bowl. 

April 13, 2017

If you asked anyone on the Cooking Light staff, they'd agree that everything just tastes better in bowls. There's a reason we love oatmeal in the morning, salads for lunch, and grain bowls really any time of day. Our newest bowl obsession? Smoothie bowls. What could be better than a creamy smoothie base showered with your favorite toppings such as fresh fruit, sweet and salty granola, and healthy fats from chia seeds and raw coconut? However, smoothie bowls can be diet pitfalls if you add too much of one thing or a soupy mess if the consistency of the smoothie isn't right. Follow these tips to ensure a balanced breakfast that all takes place in one beautiful bowl. Grab a spoon! 

  • Your Blender Matters 

Trust us, it's worth investing in a high-powered blender. Once you've had a perfectly blended thick and creamy smoothie, you'll never want to go back to your cheap blender that results in a grainy, semi-blended mess. Achieving the perfect puree is definitely the first step to building your best smoothie bowl. Here is one of our favorite blenders on the market to get you started. 

  • Skip Fruit Juice 

To avoid packing in unnecessary sugar, switch fruit juice out with coconut water or alternative milks. When choosing an alt-milk, go for the unsweetened varieties. 

  • Up The Creaminess 

Add half an avocado or frozen banana to ensure your smoothie bowl will be creamy when pureed instead of icy. You can also add a dollop of Greek yogurt but make sure to keep the smoothie mostly fruit and veggie based. When you are ready to pour your smoothie base into the bowl, you'll want the consistency to be so thick and creamy that it will need to be scooped out of the blender. No soupy smoothies here. 

Photo: Caitlin Bensel; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis; Food Styling: Anna Hampton

  • Frozen Fruit 

My secret to not only the best smoothie bowls but best smoothies in general? Freeze everything. Keep peeled bananas in a plastic bag along with any fruit you'd like to incorporate. You can be even more prepared with these make-ahead smoothie packs.

  • The Greens and Veggies

To add fiber and protein to your smoothie bowls, keep fresh spinach on hand. Even though fresh fruit in smoothies is good, you want to avoid smoothie bowls with only fruit. Stay satiated and energized throughout the day by adding fresh greens to your smoothies. Fresh spinach blends right into any bowl along with massaged kale and riced cauliflower. If you want to add an extra kick of fresh flavor, add some diced cucumbers. Bonus points if they're frozen. 

Sara Tane

  • Secret Ingredients

Brighten your smoothie bowl and give yourself a boost of energy by adding fresh mint and minced fresh ginger. The mint will add the right amount of brightness to wake you up and the ginger will keep you feeling energized. The best combination with mint and ginger is a handful of frozen berries, banana, and spinach. A dash of cinnamon also never hurt to add a kick of spice when blending a banana-based smoothie. 

  • Topping Textures 

Strike the perfect balance of toppings and keep sugar in-take in check by using homemade granola , unsweetened flaked coconut, fresh fruit, goji berries, raw almonds or nuts of your choice, chia seeds, bee pollen, and cocoa nibs. Think of your smoothie as base for portioning out your favorite toppings. Make sure that fresh fruit takes up the most space, then any seeds or nuts and finish with granola or nut butter.