Smoothie Bowl Secrets You'll Wish You Knew Sooner

If you have never tried a smoothie bowl, you don't know what you're missing. These decadent treats can feature a blend of whole foods, including frozen fruit, vegetables, grains, avocados, and more that get blended together (via Delicious Living). You end up with a thick, creamy bowl of goodness with an ice cream-like texture that gets topped off with whatever your heart desires: fruits, nuts, seeds, and more. You can eat this with a spoon and treat it as a refreshing mid-day snack or as a quick and wholesome breakfast. 

While the process of making one of these bowls seems simple, falling into preparation traps proves easier than expected. Smoothie bowl pitfalls range from not using properly frozen ingredients, resulting in a watery bowl, all the way to blending the wrong colors of foods together, ending with a brown smoothie bowl (via Life Is No Yoke). 

In order to help you make the perfect smoothie bowl, Ninja Kitchen's Smoothie Bowl Sommelier, Gillean Barkyoumb, MS, RDN offered up some tips that guarantee a smoothie bowl you can feel proud of and truly enjoy eating.

The optimal way to plan your smoothie bowl

Planning out your recipe makes life that much easier. "There is a right way and a wrong way to make a smoothie bowl," Barkyoumb explained to Mashed. "The last thing you want is a runny, melted meal that doesn't give you the nourishment you need to take on the day."

"Use less liquid initially to create a thick, creamy texture," Barkyoumb continued. "You can always add more liquid if needed." She uses the Ninja Foodi Smoothie Bowl Maker and Nutrient Extractor to blend through her thickest ingredients and get the perfect texture. This way, Barkyoumn explains, "You're bound to pass the flip test (when you flip your bowl upside down and nothing spills out!) every time."

As you think about texture, make sure to keep your protein source in mind. "For protein, you can use protein powders like whey or a plant-based alternative," Barkyoumb said. "You can also drizzle a nut butter on top to get in some extra protein as a topping. Shoot for 15-20 grams of protein."

Don't forget your veggies during this stage, either. Smoothie bowls are a great place to "hide" vegetables, according to Barkyoumb. "My favorites are frozen spinach or frozen riced cauliflower. You can buy pre-packaged frozen vegetables to use or cut up fresh veggies into quarter-sized pieces and store in freezer bags."

Now that you have the base of your smoothie bowl ready to serve up, you can start thinking about how you can decorate the top!

A smoothie bowl ready for the spotlight

Once you have your smoothie bowl blended and plated, you can now think about what toppings go perfectly with the meal. "When choosing toppings, go with a variety of tastes and textures," Barkyoumb explained. "Crunchy, sweet, savory, fresh, dried, shaved, crumbles — all of the above! Prep your toppings and non-frozen ingredients before taking out your frozen ingredients so they don't start thawing before you make your bowl."

With all of your toppings set before you, don't forget to show off some of your creative prowess. "To make your smoothie bowl really shine, sprinkle each topping in vertical lines, create fun zig-zags with fresh fruit, or drizzle with your favorite nut butter or sweetener," Barkyoumb said.

After following each of these steps, your imagination's the limit when it comes to how fancy you want your bowl to look. Regardless of decoration, you can build the best-tasting smoothie bowl to rival any restaurant after taking in Barkyoumb's advice.