A smoothie bowl is a super thick smoothie that’s served in a bowl and eaten with a spoon. The best part are the smoothie bowl toppings! With 31+ nutritious topping ideas, we’ve got you covered.
Smoothie bowl topping ideas aren’t hard to come by. Just take a peek in your pantry and you might be surprised what pops out at you.
Look for crunchy items like granola, naturally sweet ingredients like dark chocolate, or protein-rich ingredients like nut butter or chia seeds. The list goes on and on!
It’s best to use healthy ingredients and whole foods for your smoothie toppings. Here’s plenty of options to get you started.
Healthy Smoothie Bowl Toppings:
Granola is all about that oatey crunch! It’s typically a combination of oats, nuts, seeds, and dried fruit.
Not all granola brands are created equal though. Some pack in plenty of feel-good nutrients and other brands are like sugar bombs with lots of added sugar. Be sure to check the label for the ingredient and nutrition information.
Also when comparing brands, be sure to compare the same serving size. If one serving size is 1/3 cup and another is 1/2 cup, the nutrients won’t be a side-by-side comparison. Look for whole food ingredients like oats, nuts, chia seeds, millet, and flax seeds.
Here are a few of my favorite granola brands:
- Purely Elizabeth Granola – Any flavor!
- Kind Healthy Grains – Oats & Honey and Dark Chocolate are a few of my faves!
- Made Good – You can buy a large pack of granola minis at Costco. They come in individual sized packs so they’re already portioned for you.
Berries are a good source of fiber, antioxidants, and immune-boosting vitamin C! Antioxidants protect your body against free radicals which cause oxidative stress. Oxidative stress can damage cells and lead to cancer or other chronic diseases.
Their sweet-tart flavor and bright hue makes a perfect smoothie topping! I like to dice strawberries up first to make them smaller. The four most common berries to use are:
If you love the flavor of coconut, then your in good company! It’s tropical flair is perfect for smoothie bowls. It’s best to go for unsweetened options, but sweetened coconut ingredients work too. Just use them sparingly. Here are a few coconutty options for you:
- Coconut chips – You can find these sweetened or unsweetened.
- Shredded coconut – It’s best to use unsweetened or use a mixture of sweetened and unsweetened.
- Toasted coconut – You can buy coconut already toasted or toast your own in the oven.
- Unsweetened coconut chunks
I don’t recommend sweetened dried coconut chunks, as they’re usually high in added sugar. One serving can pack in 20 grams of added sugar!
My absolute favorite smoothie bowl topping! I buy these in bulk because I dig them so much. I put them in granola, desserts, smoothies, salads, cereal, and yogurt. I need an intervention!
Thankfully, cacao nibs have an impressive nutrient profile. They’re low in sugar and high in protein, fiber, and healthy fats. They have an intense chocolatey flavor that’s slightly bitter and a tad sweet. And that crunch! SO good.
Seeds are a great source of healthy fats, important vitamins, minerals, and disease-fighting antioxidants. They’re also a good source of plant-based protein.
Seeds add texture to an otherwise creamy smoothie. Here are a few options to get you started:
- Chia seeds
- Hemp seeds
- Sesame seeds
- Sunflower seeds
You can find these seeds at well-stocked grocery stores or health stores like Whole Foods. Costco sells a big bag of hemp hearts for a great price.
Nut butter is a great addition to smoothie bowls. And it doesn’t just go with chocolate or peanut butter flavored ones. Nut butter tastes surprisingly delicious with berries, fruit, and green smoothie bowls too. It’s hard to go wrong here.
Nut butter is another great source of plant-based protein and satiating calories. There are plenty of options too! Try one of these:
- Peanut butter
- Almond butter
- Cashew butter
- Pistachio butter
- Sunflower seed butter (Technically not a nut but a great option for nut allergies.)
For the healthiest option, stick to dark chocolate. Milk chocolate has more sugar and additives. Look for high-quality dark chocolate bars or chips with at least 60 percent cacao! I personally buy 80 percent cacao bars, but that’s too bitter for some.
Use a sharp knife to chop the chocolate finely, then sprinkle on top of your smoothie bowl.
- Dark chocolate shavings
- Mini chocolate chips
- Chopped dark chocolate
Another great option for added crunch! Research studies suggest eating nuts may help reduce your risk of chronic diseases and health conditions.
I like to buy nuts in bulk at Costco and use them to top my smoothies, salads, and yogurt. There are plenty of options! Chop them up first to get a bit of nutty crunch in each bite.
- Sliced almonds
Fresh fruit is always a good topping! It adds natural sweetness without any added sugar, plus it’s loaded with antioxidants.
You can chop, finely slice, or cut it into chunks first. Pineapple, banana, and mango pair well with coconut on tropical smoothie bowls. You can mix and match them as you please! It’s hard to go wrong with fresh fruit.
- Sliced bananas
Pomegranates are in season October through January. They hold hundreds of bright red seeds called arils. Each seed holds a bit of sweet pomegranate juice that pops in your mouth as you eat it. They’re refreshingly sweet and perfect for smoothie bowls!
They’re low in calories but nutrient-dense, with plenty of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants!
I highly recommend buying a whole pomegranate versus the prepackaged seeds. On more than one occasion I had to throw my seeds out because they fermented in the package!
Bee pollen is a mixture of nectar, honey, flower pollen, wax, and bee secretions. Bee pollen has gained popularity because it’s jam-packed with amino acids, vitamins, lipids, and nutrients.
It has a slightly chewy texture and floral taste. You can find it at local health food stores. Bee pollen is not vegan and if you have an allergy to bees, you should avoid bee pollen.
Cereal is a great way to add texture to your smoothie bowls. Keep in mind, some cereals are much healthier than others! If you’re looking for a healthy topping, skip sugar cereals with empty calories or use them sparingly.
- Cheerios – They now have a million flavors!
- Muesli – Similar to granola with oats, nuts, and seeds, but it’s typically raw and unsweetened or lightly sweetened.
- Life multigrain cereal
- Barbara’s Peanut Butter Puffins
- Nature’s Path Crunchy Cinnamon Cereal
- Kashi GO Honey Almond Flax
Dried fruit adds texture too, but instead of crunch, a chewy sweetness! It tastes great alongside nuts or granola. Watch out for dried fruit with lots of excess sugar. Your best nutritional bang for your buck will be unsweetened dried fruit.
Target has a lot of good options!
Here are a few of my favorites:
- Dried cherries
- Dried cranberries
- Dried figs
- Dried apricots
- Golden raisins
Freeze-dried fruit has a light and airy but crisp texture. It can also be pulsed into a flavorful powder. The nice thing about freeze-dried fruit is it doesn’t typically have any added sugar.
Target carries a lot of good options for freeze-dried fruit.
- Freeze-dried strawberries
- Freeze-dried blueberries
- Freeze-dried mango
- Freeze-dried raspberries
- Freeze-dried peaches
Basic Smoothie Bowl Ratio:
If you’re new to smoothie bowls, they’re super easy to make! It’s basically just an ultra thick smoothie. To achieve the thick texture, you use less liquid than a regular smoothie.
Here’s a basic smoothie bowl ratio to get you started:
- 2 cups of frozen fruit (Berries, strawberries, bananas, pineapple, etc.)
- 1/2 cup of liquid (Plant-based milk, regular milk, orange juice, etc.)
It’s best to use a high-speed blender with a powerful motor so you don’t overwork the motor.
At first it won’t do much. You have to stop the blender and use a spatula to scrape the fruit toward the blade. Blend again and add a splash more liquid until the fruit begins to move and blend into a smooth but thick mixture.
You may have to blend, stop, and scrape more than once. Don’t be afraid to add a bit more liquid if needed. For a creamier smoothie bowl, use 3/4 cup of frozen banana and 1 1/4 cups of frozen berries or fruit.
Once your smoothie bowl is done, add all your smoothie bowl toppings and dig in!
Smoothie Bowl FAQs:
The opportunities are endless! It depends on what you’re looking for. For added crunch, try nuts, granola, cereal, cacao nibs, freeze-dried fruit, or coconut chips. For added sweetness, try fresh berries, sliced bananas, chopped dates, or chopped dark chocolate.
The key to a thick smoothie bowl is using frozen fruit and less liquid. Fresh fruit contains more than 80 percent water and naturally thins out a smoothie. Frozen fruit keeps it nice and thick. Use just enough liquid to get the frozen fruit moving in the blender so it can blend into a smooth scoopable mixture.
A smoothie bowl is only as healthy as the ingredients that go in it! Try to stick to whole foods with minimal added sugar like frozen fruit, plant-based milk, nut butter, unsweetened yogurt, and greens. Avoid concentrated fruit juice, canned fruit in syrup, ice cream, and other unhealthy ingredients.