Breakfast is one of the most challenging meals of the day. When my schedule is busy, finding time to eat something nutritious rather than reaching for a cereal bar can be almost impossible. Skipping breakfast is the last thing I want to do, so I’m constantly looking for easy and healthy recipes to get me up and running first thing after I wake up.
Smoothie bowls are the perfect balance between convenience and nutrition and can be customized to make use of whatever I have left in the fridge. All you need is a blender and a little creativity.
What are smoothie bowls, you ask? It’s simply a smoothie served in a bowl rather than a cup and topped with tons of nutrient-rich toppings like almonds, chia seeds, and fresh fruit!
I know…making anything from scratch in the morning seems tough, but I want to make eating healthy as easy as possible for you guys. Here are some of my favourite smoothie bowl recipes to give you a great place to start.
But first, let’s take a look at how to create the healthiest smoothie bowls possible.
Smoothies are as healthy as you choose to make them. If you add a bunch of sugar, honey, or other sweeteners, you’ll end up creating a high-calorie sugar-bomb that will make you crash after an hour or two. Check out my previous post about which toppings and ingredients you need to avoid.
To make smoothie bowls truly healthy and nutrient-rich, you’ll want to incorporate low-calorie fresh ingredients. Use frozen fruit and low-fat and low-sugar yogurts to add a bit of creaminess. If you need to satisfy your sweet tooth, toss half a banana into the blender.
If you’re looking for a vegan smoothie bowl recipe, forgo the dairy yogurt and use a splash of your favourite nut milk and use a whole banana to make the bowl a bit thicker and creamier.
Smoothie bowls are always better when made fresh, but if you’re short on time in the mornings, make a few bowls ahead of time.
Pop the smoothies into the freezer to keep them for up to a week and take them out of the freezer as needed. All you need to do is pull your chosen flavour out and let it defrost in the fridge overnight.
Now, let’s take a look at some of the most delicious and healthy recipes you can enjoy each morning.
Getting enough fresh greens can be tough, but adding leafy greens like spinach, kale, and even collards to your smoothies is a great way to get your daily dose. This smoothie incorporates spinach, blueberries, and pineapple for sweetness.
Blend frozen blueberries, frozen pineapple, and a generous handful of fresh spinach together. Dilute with your choice of milk to create a delicious creamy breakfast. I prefer using a unsweetened almond milk.
If the blueberries are too tart, add sweetness by adding a banana or a drizzle of honey. Just take care to use moderation. Too much honey will increase the calorie count of the smoothie bowl. Top with fresh pineapple and blueberries, shredded coconut, and hemp seeds.
Over the last few years, acai has become incredibly popular due to its high concentrations of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Blend one packet of frozen acai juice or puree with the fruit of your choice. Mixed berries are always a safe bet.
Add half a banana for sweetness and a splash of almond milk to make the mixture blend smooth. Top the bowl with your favourite nuts for protein, granola for crunch, and fresh raspberries for an additional antioxidant punch. For more inspiration, check out this post!
Tropical smoothie bowls are the perfect way to enjoy a taste of summer year-round and tropical fruits like mangos are full of wonderful nutrients. Blend frozen mango and pineapple with coconut milk and half a frozen banana. If the smoothie is too thick, dilute the mixture with ice or your choice of milk.
To make the smoothie even more nutrient-dense, try blending a bit of kale or spinach with your fruit. If you’re looking for a fun way to make the smoothie even creamier and thicker, blend half an avocado with the fruit and greens.
As for tropical smoothie bowl toppings, go wild! Top with shredded coconut, fresh mango, and fresh pineapple if it’s available. If not, add crunch and fibre with chopped apples, slice up a kiwi, or top with sliced banana for added sweetness.
This strawberry smoothie bowl recipe is high in vitamin C, making it an ideal choice during cold and flu season. Blend together half a frozen banana with at least one cup of strawberries and a handful of pomegranate seeds. Not sure how to get the fruit out of a pomegranate? Check out this helpful video.
To get the rich green colour, blend at least a cup of spinach with the fruit. If you want to add a boost of natural caffeine to the smoothie bowl recipe, toss a teaspoon of matcha powder in the smoothie. Matcha is a type of green tea that’s packed full of antioxidants and adds a vibrant green colour to any smoothie.
This smoothie bowl recipe is based on one of my favourite drinkable smoothies. It tastes more like a dessert than a healthy breakfast, which makes it the perfect treat for that midweek slump. Unlike most bowls, this one uses two layers.
The bottom layer is the cheesecake layer. Use 1/3 cup of oat flour, 1 tbsp natural peanut butter, 4 tbsp mashed banana, ¼ tsp vanilla extract, cinnamon to taste, and a pinch of salt. If you have celiac disease, make your own flour out of certified gluten-free oats. Mix the ingredients together and cover the bottom of your smoothie bowl.
For the chocolate layer, blend together frozen banana, cacao powder, and unsweetened almond milk. The banana mixed with cacao powder makes the entire bowl taste like a delicious chocolate mousse cheesecake. Top with a dollop of peanut butter and some tasty cacao nibs for crunch.
Orange juice based smoothies are definitely on my avoid list, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy fresh oranges as part of your clean eating routine. Blend together frozen peaches and fresh orange slices. To thicken this smoothie bowl recipe, add a whole frozen banana to the mix. If it’s still too runny, add a dash of oat flour.
Because the fresh orange slices are so full of juice, you shouldn’t need to add much in the way of liquid. However, you may want to add a cup of ice to the blender just to give the bowl that refreshing coldness you expect from your smoothie. Top the smoothie bowl with fresh berries, fresh sliced peaches, and hemp seeds.
The more vibrant a smoothie bowl looks, the more fun it is to eat. Combine frozen banana, fresh kale, avocado and a teaspoon of greens powder like spirulina to get that rich and creamy green colour.
Then, add one cup of frozen pineapple for sweetness. Top the smoothie bowl with fresh raspberries, sliced banana, sliced kiwi, and chia seeds for added B vitamins.
Mixed berries combine raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, and blueberries for a wonderful sweet and tart taste. Use one cup of frozen mixed berries, half a cup of frozen peaches or pineapple for added sweetness, and a dash of your choice of milk.
Top your berry bliss bowl with fresh berries, pumpkin seeds, and sliced peaches if they’re in season. If fresh fruit is hard to find, you can use dried fruit. Just make sure the dried fruits you choose don’t have any added sugar or preservatives.
Everyone has different tastes and some smoothie bowl recipes will be less appealing than others. If you hate a particular fruit or type of greens, don’t be afraid to use these substitutions:
Fresh or rehydrated dates
Remember, these recipes are just a guide. You’re free to make a smoothie with whatever you have on hand in the freezer. The only limit is your creativity.
Also, avoid added sugars and fruit juices as they can quickly turn even the healthiest breakfast smoothie bowl into a calorie-dense meal that will leave you feeling weighed down for the rest of the day.
Instead, stick to whole fruits, unsweetened milk and milk alternatives, and let the sweetness of the fruit shine through.
Do you have a favourite smoothie bowl recipe? Have you found the perfect substitution for your least favourite leafy greens or fruit? Share it with us in the comments below!