DIY Wednesday: Build A Smoothie Bowl

I know I’m late to the smoothie bowl action.  It’s been a thing for awhile and I just recently joined in on the hype, but better late than never, right?

If you’re totally confused as to what a smoothie bowl is, don’t worry it couldn’t be easier.  It’s a smoothie that you put into a bowl.  Mind blown, I know.  Smoothie bowls tend to be a little thicker than a typical smoothie and can’t be eaten with a straw.  You need a spoon for these bad boys.

Which is part of why they are so awesome.  It’s kind of like having ice cream for breakfast and who doesn’t want that?  The other part of why they’re so awesome?  They are a great way to get a lot of nutrients.  So basically, you have a nutrient-packed meal in a bowl that you eat with a spoon that is kind of like ice cream.

Excited yet?

You should be and for those of you who are about to tell me, “Smoothie’s are just sugar bombs masquerading as healthy”, you’re right.  Sort of.  It all depends on how you make your smoothie and that is what my post today is all about.  Building a smoothie that isn’t just sugar in smoothie form.

There are three parts to building my smoothie bowl, so let’s get started.

The Frozen

We start with the frozen part of our smoothie bowl.  This is what’s going to make it thicker than a regular smoothie as well as keep it cool without adding extra ice which can make it watery.DIY Wednesday: Build A Smoothie Bowl | Life Healthfully Lived

  • Frozen Leafy Greens.  I like to use kale or spinach and sometimes both, but you can use whatever greens you would like.  Try collard, beet, turnip, or even mustard greens.  You could also add in frozen green vegetables like broccoli or peas, totally up to you.  I like to use frozen greens because they are cheaper and easier to find as well as make my smoothie bowl nice and thick.  I like to use 2 cups so I’m getting a good dose of healthy vegetables.
  • Frozen Fruit.  I have been using a 1/2 cup of blueberries and a 1/2 cup of cranberries plus one small frozen banana.  If I have some frozen cherries, I’ll throw a few of those in as well.  I like to choose fruit that naturally has a lower sugar content, plus I like the tartness of the cranberries.  The banana adds a nice creaminess and a little bit of sweetness to the mix.  You could also try strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, pineapples, or mangoes.  Try to keep your fruit to around 1 cup so you aren’t putting in too much sugar.

The Fresh

Moving on, we have the fresh part of the smoothie bowl.  These are the things that are going to get blended in that aren’t frozen.DIY Wednesday: Build A Smoothie Bowl | Life Healthfully Lived

  • Canned Pumpkin.  I love pumpkin and usually add 2 to 3 tablespoons into my smoothie.  It helps smooth out the texture and adds a lot of nutrition.
  • Small Avocado. I put one whole avocado into my smoothies.  Yes, a whole avocado.  Now it’s usually fairly small and probably adds up to 1/2 a cup, but don’t start freaking out about the fat content.  Avocados are a good fat which is essential to your health.  Plus they make the smoothie nice and cream and not at all like guacamole.
  • Flax and Chia Seeds. I add a tablespoon of each to give my smoothie fiber which helps slow down the absorption of the sugar in the smoothie.  They also thicken it even more and you can always use more fiber in your diet!
  • Full-Fat Coconut Milk.  I only use a splash or two of this, just enough to get the smoothie moving as it’s blending.  If this were just a regular smoothie, you would use probably 1 cup to make it thinner.  I also like using coconut milk because it’s another good fat but you could use soy, almond, or any other non-dairy milk that you prefer.

The Mix-Ins/Toppings

To be honest, these are my favorite things about a smoothie bowl.  You can use whatever you have on hand or whatever toppings you’re feeling that morning.  These ones are my go-to lately.DIY Wednesday: Build A Smoothie Bowl | Life Healthfully Lived

  • Cacao Nibs.  Like chocolate, but better.  I love these things and sometimes have to hold myself back from drowning my smoothie in them.  I just tell myself they’re just like vitamins.  Tiny, chocolate vitamins
  • Goji Berries.  Another tart berry that is full of good for you stuff, I like adding in 1 tablespoon of dried goji berries for a nice chewy texture.
  • Hemp Seeds.  No, these won’t make you high and you can’t make a necklace out of them, but they will provide you with a good dose of protein and a nice little crunch to your smoothie.
  • Peanut Butter.  There is no question, there will always be peanut butter in or on my smoothie.  If you can’t do PB, try almond butter, sunflower butter, or even tahini.
  • Cinnamon.  This adds a little sweetness and a whole lot of nutrition.  Did you know that cinnamon can slow your bodies insulin absorption so that you keep your blood sugar levels even?  That’s a very good thing.

And that’s it!  That is what has been going in my blender for the past month or so and I have been enjoying every frosty spoonful.  The great thing about this breakfast is you can tailor it to your needs and tastes whenever you need.  Just make sure that you use more greens than fruit, add a little protein and fat to help keep you satisfied, and don’t go too crazy with your toppings!

Build Your Own Smoothie Bowl

DIY Wednesday: Build A Smoothie Bowl | Life Healthfully Lived

Real Talk: I took this smoothie bowl picture right before I ate and I was hungry. This is as good as it gets when Katie gets hangry!

  • 2 cups frozen greens (spinach, kale, collard, broccoli, peas….)
  • 1 cup frozen fruit (blueberries, strawberries, cranberries, cherries, bananas, mangoes…)
  • 2 tbsp canned pumpkin or butternut squash
  • 1 small avocado
  • 2 tbsps flax or chia seed or both
  • splash or two of coconut milk (almond, soy, rice, oatmeal, or whatever non-dairy milk you prefer)
  • toppings of your choice (nut or seed butter, cacao nibs, goji berries, raisins, hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds, cinnamon)
  1. Starting with the greens on the bottom, load everything into your blender except the toppings.
  2. Blend everything together until thick and smooth.  You may need to add a little more milk to make everything come together.
  3. Scoop into a bowl and put on your toppings.  Eat and enjoy!DIY Wednesday: Build A Smoothie Bowl | Life Healthfully Lived


Have you ever had a smoothie bowl? What do you like to put into your blender?