The Smoothie Bowl Basics.
What is a Smoothie Bowl?
A smoothie bowl is pretty much what it sounds like- a smoothie, in a bowl. It’s a combination of whole foods; fruits or veggies, and superfoods blended together to create an ice-cream like texture. Once all your ingredients are blended up, you’ll pop your smoothie into a bowl, and top it with a combo of fresh fruits, granola, seeds, honey etc.
We first discovered smoothie bowls in a small island in the Phillipines, called Siargao. Siargao is famous for being home to the iconic Cloud 9 surf break in General Luna. The island itself is incredible, and it was by far one of the best trips we’ve ever done. Siargao is tiny, and the restaurant or bar selection is pretty limited, although the places that are there are generally of surprisingly high quality. Overall, we loved the food there.
On the main road of the island, near Cloud 9 and overlooking the beach, is a spot that specialises in smoothie bowls & coffee. It’s called Shaka, and is actually co-owned by a South African (small world, right?). Their smoothie bowls are world-class. With a wide variety of the perfect, ice-cream like texture, combinations between sweet & salty, home-made crunchy granola, and flower-shaped fruit, you’ll find yourself returning every morning of your stay. Image credits: @shaka siargao
Why we Love them.
Ever since we returned from the Phillipines, we’ve been on a mission to create our own bomb-ass smoothie bowls. We returned home to Hong Kong at the time, with a suitcase full of the most insanely good granola, and minds set on mastering smoothie bowls.
It wasn’t easy in the beginning, let me tell you. It took loads of fails, bowls coming out too watery, or too saturated, or just tasting terrible. But, after a bit of perseverance and a lot of playing around with different ingredients, I’d say we’ve got it down.
We love smoothie bowls because of the obvious health benefits. When made correctly, they’re packed with nutrient-rich, energy-producing foods to keep you going during a day out in the surf. An added bonus? They taste like ice-cream. Ice-cream for bloody breakfast. Sweet deal.
What are the Basic Ingredients in a Smoothie Bowl?
1. Frozen Banana
So here’s what we’ve discovered after making many, many smoothie bowls: frozen banana is your best friend. It’s what creates the ice-cream like texture.
We freeze our bananas whole, and always have a freezer stocked with whole frozen bananas. When it comes time to whip up a bowl, we run the whole banana under very hot water, cut it in half, and cut the peel off with a sharp knife. One large frozen banana is usually enough for one smoothie bowl.
2. Something Sweet
Another non-negotiable for a smoothie bowl is something sweet. Without including either a sweet fruit like pineapple, berries, or orange, or some raw honey or a few stevia drops- your bowl can end up tasting super bitter. No one wants bitter ice-cream for brekkie.
To give your smoothie bowl an extra nutritional kick, try and add superfoods where ever you can. Here’s a list of popular superfood ingredients used in smoothie bowls:
- Fruits – berries, apples, citrus fruits, papayas, plums
- Seeds – chia, flax, sunflower, hemp, pumpkin, sesame
- Vegetables + Greens – Swiss chard, cabbage, broccoli, beets, bok choy, kale, mushrooms, spinach, radishes, collards, mustard/turnip greens, sprouts, sweet potatoes, watercress, squash, zucchini, pumpkin
- Nuts – almonds, brazil nuts, cashews, pecans, pistachios, walnuts
- Grains + legumes – amaranth, brown rice, buckwheat, millet, quinoa, steel cut oats, mung beans, spelt (not gluten free)
- Herbs + Spices – cinnamon, ginger, turmeric, garlic, cayenne pepper, fenugreek
- Other + Supplements – maca, raw cacao, sea vegetables, goji berries, chlorella, spirulina, wheatgrass, barley grass, cultured foods (like sauerkraut, miso, tempeh)
List courtesy of https://veganchickpea.com
Warning! Be careful with the amount you use of certain superfoods. Just because it is good for you, doesnt mean it tastes good. Ingredients like spirulina and maca powder, in our humble opinions, taste like dishwashing liquid. So try and use small amounts, and make sure you have enough sweetness from other ingredients to balance it out.
Top your smoothie bowl with good-quality granola, a selection of seeds, fresh banana slices, berries, mango, desiccated coconut, chia seeds, or pretty much anything your heart desires. Here’s our recipe for home made honey-baked granola. It’s a winner, I promise.
When should I eat a Smoothie Bowl?
All day, every day. JK- They’re great for breakfast, or on a hot summer’s afternoon. Word of warning, though, smoothie bowls tend to be packed with natural sugar from fruit. While this is obviously way better for you than refined sugar or candy bars, it’s still sugar, so try not to overdo it. Make sure you use a combination of balanced ingredients. We love JSHealth’s approach to eating everything in moderation- check out her site for some well-balanced smoothie bowl recipes.
Our All-time Favourite Smoothie Bowl Recipe:
Right, now that we’ve given you alot more information than you needed, let’s dive into our all-time, ultimate smoothie bowl recipe.
We own a surf lodge, and this smoothie bowl is one of our absolute winning breakfast options. We’ve had guests order the same breakfast for 5 days in a row, just because this one is so good.
(Makes 1 smoothie bowl)
- 1.5 Frozen bananas
- Almond Milk (a splash)
- 1 Scoop chocolate protein powder (We use Wazoogles)
- 1 Tablespoon of chia seeds
- 1 Heaped tablespoon of raw peanut butter (We use Oh Mega’s)
- 1 Tablespoon honey or 3 drops of stevia liquid
- A handful of honey-baked granola
- A Teaspoon of honey to top your bowl
- Optional: 80% Dark chocolate (1 block is enough!)
Chuck everything into a sturdy blender, and blend until it forms a smooth, ice-creamy texture. We recently switched from Nutribullet to Omniblend, and it’s been dreamy.
Here’s the trick: The amounts for the ingredients are not definite. You’ll have to do what works best for you and your blender. So if the texture is too thick, add a little more almond milk (always start with just a splash, and you can add slowly from there). If it’s not sweet enough, add a bit more honey or stevia. You get the drill.
Pour the mixture into a bowl, and top with crunchy honey-baked granola & a sprinkle of grated 80% dark chocolate- yum!