Learn how to make a super thick smoothie bowl with this simple recipe! It’s easy to customize with a creamy texture and plenty of toppings.
What is a smoothie bowl?
A smoothie bowl is a thick smoothie that’s scooped into a bowl and served with a spoon and toppings. It should be very thick with a creamy texture and scoopable consistency. It’s not meant to be drank with a spoon like a regular smoothie.
You can make a smoothie bowl in any flavor you want, just like a regular smoothie!
How do I make a thick smoothie bowl?
The main difference between a smoothie and a smoothie bowl is the amount of liquid you add. A smoothie bowl requires far less liquid since you want it to be scoopable.
The key is to start with less liquid, then add a little bit more at a time until you reach the desired consistency. You will need to blend for a few seconds, then stop the blender to scrape the sides with a spatula.
Any frozen smoothie recipe can be turned into a smoothie bowl! Just start with less liquid than the recipe calls for and gradually add more until you reach a thick consistency.
Thick Smoothie Bowl Ratio:
For a basic smoothie bowl, start with:
- 2 cups of frozen fruit
- 1/2 cup of liquid
You can also add:
- 1/3 cup of yogurt (for creaminess)
- 2 tablespoons of nut butter (for protein)
- a handful of greens (for nutrients)
You will most likely need more liquid than 1/2 cup, but it’s a good starting point. You combine both the liquid and fruit in a blender and blend for a few seconds, then stop the blender and use a spatula to push the fruit towards the middle of the blender.
Blend again, adding a splash more liquid as needed, until the smoothie begins to rotate in the blender and blend into a smooth but very thick consistency! You may have to stop and scrape multiple times.
What kind of blender should I use?
It’s best to use a high-speed blender for a smoothie bowl. A high-speed blender is a blender that has a powerful motor with super sharp blades. Blenders range from 200 to 1400 watts, with the Vitamix rocking 1400 watts.
If you can’t afford a Vitamix, that’s okay! I also have a 1000 watt Ninja that I bought for 75 bucks 8+ years ago and it’s served me well. I use it daily with minimal issues. If you buy a cheap blender but it only lasts two years, in the end you’re not saving money.
Thick Smoothie Bowl Tips:
- Use frozen fruit! Frozen fruit is what thickens the smoothie mixture. Fruit contains a substantial amount of water (like 80-90 percent) so fresh fruit will thin out your smoothie bowl some.
- Use a frozen banana for a creamier texture. For a creamy texture, use 3/4 cup of frozen banana and 1 1/4 cup of berries/fruit. Just cut a banana into chunks, place it in a freezer bag, and freeze overnight.
- Start with less liquid, then add more as needed. I start with 1/2 cup of liquid, then add more if needed. If you add too much, the smoothie won’t be thick!
- Stop the blender if the fruit isn’t moving, then scrape down the sides of the bowl to move it toward the center. Or if your blender has a tamper, use it to move the fruit. You may have to blend, stop, and scrape multiple times. If the fruit isn’t blending, add a splash more liquid to get it moving.
Thick smoothie bowls are easy to customize!
- Liquid – You can use regular milk, orange juice, plant-based milk, a combination, or the liquid of your choice. Check out my favorite liquid bases here! I love to add a splash of lime juice for a bright pop of flavor.
- Yogurt – For a creamier smoothie bowl. I prefer to use unsweetened Greek yogurt, but you can use any kind or sweetness you like. Just beware of too much added sugar.
- Nut butter – For some additional protein and nuttiness! Peanut butter tastes surprisingly good with strawberries and mixed berries. Think peanut butter and jelly vibes.
- Greens – Baby spinach is a good one because the leaves are tender and mild so they blend up nicely. It’s nutrient-dense with vitamin A, vitamin K, folic acid, and iron.
- Protein powder – Add a scoop of protein powder for an extra boost of protein. You may need a splash more liquid to compensate.
- Sweetener – If the smoothie isn’t sweet enough, add a teaspoon of maple syrup or honey.
How to make a thick smoothie bowl:
Smoothie bowls are super simple! The key to a thick smoothie bowl is less liquid and frozen fruit.
Combine ingredients: In the base of your blender, combine the frozen fruit and liquid of your choice.
Blend, stop, and scrape: Blend for a few seconds until the fruit stops moving. Stop the blender and scrape down the sides of the blender. Add a splash more milk if needed.
Repeat until smooth: Repeat the process until the fruit starts moving slowly and blends into a thick, smooth mixture. You may have to stop and scrape several times. I usually add a few more splashes of milk too.
Thick Smoothie Bowl Toppings:
Toppings are the best part! They add crunch, sweetness, and nutrients. Here’s a few of my favorites:
- Granola – I’m a big fan of Purely Elizabeth and Kind granola. Be sure to check the ingredients as some brands pack in a lot of added sugar.
- Nuts – Walnuts, pecans, slivered almonds, pistachios, cashews, or peanuts add a nutty crunch and plant-based protein.
- Fresh berries – Strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries add sweetness and essential vitamins.
- Unsweetened coconut – You can use sweetened if you prefer.
- Seeds – Hemp, chia, flax, and pumpkin seeds are all great!
Smoothie Bowl Ideas:
Here are a few variations to get you started:
- Strawberry Orange Banana: 1 1/4 cup of frozen strawberries + 3/4 cup of frozen banana + 1/2 cup of orange juice
- Mixed Berry: 2 cups of frozen mixed berries + 1/2 cup of unsweetened almond milk
- Chocolate Peanut Butter: 2 cups of frozen bananas + 2 tablespoons of peanut butter + 1/2 cup of almond milk + 1 tablespoon dark cocoa powder
The amount of liquid you add is key. A regular smoothie requires more liquid so it will be thin enough to drink through a straw. A smoothie bowl is meant to be scoopable and thus needs less liquid. You want to use frozen fruit to thicken it and just enough liquid so it can blend. If you have a lower powered blender, you may need more liquid to get it to blend. Just add more as you go until you achieve a thick and smooth texture.
Either you added too much liquid or you didn’t use frozen fruit. Too much liquid is the most common culprit. You only need enough liquid to get it to blend and no more.
More Smoothie Recipes:
Thick Smoothie Bowl
- high-speed blender I used a 1000 watt Ninja blender
- 2 cups frozen fruit For a creamier texture, use 3/4 of frozen banana and 1 1/4 cup of berries/fruit
- ½ cup liquid of choice Orange juice, milk, or almond milk are good options.
- ⅓ cup yogurt
- Place the fruit and liquid in the base of a high-speed blender.
- Blend for a few seconds, then turn off the blender. Scrape down the sides of the blender and blend again for a few seconds.
- Add a splash more liquid and blend. Repeat this process until the fruit begins to move with the blades and blend into a smooth but thick mixture.
- Scoop the smoothie into a bowl and serve with your favorite toppings!
- For a creamier texture, use 3/4 of frozen banana chunks and 1 1/4 cup of frozen berries or fruit.
- You can add 1/3 cup of yogurt for a creamier texture.