How to create delicious, thick & creamy smoothie bowls every time!!
Alright! it's smoothie bowl week! I'm a little bit excited because this is one of my favourite topics! As you can tell by my instagram feed I'm pretty obsessed over smoothie bowls because their delicious, energising, hydrating, and I can put all my superfoods in one bowl which makes life so much easier.
Smoothie bowls are undoubtedly a staple in my diet now. I have them most mornings in the warmer months and find their really versatile because you can create lots of different flavour combinations to keep life interesting, and I can add in my OMS daily - flaxseed oil.
But I know they can be quite tricky to get right at first I certainly had a few "runny ones" in the beginning haha until I mastered them and there's definately a few tricks!
So I'll take you through what I do...
first get PREPARED - the staples
BANANAS & MANGO
- Frozen banana's are the main base of a smoothie bowl so always have them in the freezer, just put a whole bunch in the freezer on shopping day so you have them at hand come the morning (if your going to have lots that is). I'll explain how to get the skin off further down the post.
- Frozen diced mango is the 2nd creamiest fruit to always have in the freezer. I find mangos seem to go with everything in a smoothie bowl - acai, dragon fruit, cacao, green powders, it works with all of them much like bananas.
- Then any additional frozen berries you might like to add including frozen blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, cherries and frozen smoothie packs which I highly recommend.
- These include Acai, Kiwi or Pink Pitaya (dragon fruit) frozen smoothie packs which you can get at most health food stores.
- A nut milk of preference, I use almond milk, and/or coconut water. Using nut milk over coconut water will be a creamier option.
its all about that base
building a good smoothie bowl starts with a good base
- Frozen bananas - at least 1 medium or large, slightly thawed, skin removed and diced
- Frozen diced mango -1 cup
- Flaxseed Oil - about 20-30 mils - OMS'ers will have this at hand and they make smoothie bowls lovely, glossy and creamy but you can make them without it.
- 1 frozen smoothie pack - Acai, Kiwi or Pink Pitaya (dragon fruit) - dice or break up
- Nut milk of preference, I use almond milk
Optional additional frozen berries or greens when you don't have smoothie packs - 1 cup of any of the following
- Frozen Blueberries
- Frozen Strawberries
- Frozen Blackberries
- Frozen cherries
- Fresh baby spinach leaves
Then everything else is really just extra
extras - superfood boost
Depending on what flavour your going for you can add any of the following super foods to supercharge your day
- Maca Powder - energising and a caramel colour so it won't spoil the colour
- Baobab powder - i've yet to use but want to try it
- Cacao Powder - dark so use sparingly, great for chocolate or nut butter inspired bowls
- Acai Powder - energising brain food - one of my fav's!
- Gubinge Powder - vitamin C rich
- Moringa Powder (use sparingly - a green powder with quite a strong earthy flavour)
- Coconut water kefir - about 20mils (probiotics, great for gut health)
- Marine collagen (healthy hair, skin and nails) - usually 1 or 2 sachets
- Raw nut butters - almond, macadamia, cashew - if you want a nutty flavour, great with cacao
- Dates pitted
- Maple syrup
- Sea salt
Any of the following
- Any fresh fruit you like - fresh blueberries & strawberries are really good
- Chia seeds (my fibre go-to)
- Bee Pollen - little sweet palettes of nutrients
- Buckinis - crunchy, gluten free type muesli you can get at the health food store - Loving Earth do some great ones
- Coconut flakes (not OMS)
- Cacao nibs (i'm addicted to these - like raw chocolate chips)
high speed blender
I use a Nutri-bullet 900W which literally pulverises everything to a thick creamy texture. However a Vitamix is ideal, they're used in cafes and restaurants and are industry standard but a whole lot more expensive. Otherwise just make sure you have a good high speed blender that makes things super creamy.
GET STARTED - tips & technique
1. LET IT SLIGHTLY DEFROST first
Get your banana and frozen smoothie packs, mango and/or berries out of the freezer (basically all the frozen elements of your smoothie bowl) and place on the bench to slightly soften for about 5-10minutes depending how warm your house is. But don't leave it too long, it's a fine line. After about 5-10min chop your banana in half and take the skin off, you'll know it's ready when the skin comes away kinda easily and the banana feels soft but still frozen, then chop it into discs and add it to your blender along with your other diced frozen fruit. Smaller bits make for better blending, dice up your smoothie packs too.
2. FLAXSEED OIl
By adding about 20-30mil mil of organic flaxseed oil I find it gives my smoothie bowls a lovely rich creaminess and glossiness that I can't achieve otherwise.
It's also great for brain health because our brains are made up of mainly fat and all the insulation around the axons and neurons in our brains are made-up of this fat, known as the myelin sheath. This allows brain signals to travel fast and uninterrupted - hence it's importance for someone with MS. 20-40mil is an OMS daily requirement, so by having it in the morning in a smoothie bowl I'm done for the day and don't need to worry about it.
3. NOW Add your additional goodies
Any extras you want to chuck in like marine collagen, superfood powders like acai, maca etc, coconut water kefir, all that stuff add it in now. If you add too many different colours you will end up with a muddy brown bowl. To keep your bowls lovely and vibrant work with a flavour theme that won't muddy the flavours or colour. In saying that cacao and acai work well together in flavour and colour and are super energising, but otherwise cacao will make everything brown (to be expected).
4. AS LITTLE LIQUID as possible
Only add a splash or 2 of almond milk and/or a splash of coconut water, if your ingredients are softer than you want try not to add any liquid at all and see how it blends, you can always add more but you can't thicken it again.
5. Begin your labour of love
Once you have all your ingredients in your blender, start blending. If you have a regular blender or a nutri bullet like me you'll need to stop the blender (best practise - turn it off at the wall) and push everything down with a spatula a few times and give it a mix. Keep blending until its all well combined. I repeat this about 2, sometimes 3 times, it really is a labour of love and patience but its worth it. Vitamix blenders come with a blender stick so you can push it all down while its blending.
6. top with goodies
Chia, buckinis, cacao nibs, fresh fruit are all great options but its really just up to what you feel like.
in a nutshell
The staples - always have these on hand in your freezer
Frozen bananas, frozen diced mango, frozen berries, frozen smoothie packs like acai, pitaya and kiwifruit
building your bowl
- 1 frozen diced banana & 1 cup frozen diced mango as the base
- add 1 frozen smoothie pack of choice or 1 heaped cup of frozen berries
- 20 mils organic flaxseed oil - optional but makes them glossy and creamy
- a few good splashes of nut milk like almond or you can use coconut water
Blend in your high speed blender stopping to scrape the sides down if needed, until combined and smooth.
Scoop out into a bowl and top with anything you like - fresh fruit, rawnola, chia seeds, cacao nibs etc.
Let me know how you go! or tag me in your creations @stayinghealthywithms I'd love to see them.
For recipes and inspiration check out my instagram feed linked below and click on a smoothie bowl you like the look of - the recipe should be in the comments section. I've also added my go-to acai, pink pitaya and tropical bowl recipes to the blog as well.