From green to classic pink, and liquid to sorbet style, smoothies are one of the most versatile foods you can prepare. The leading appeal of a smoothie is just how little time and preparation it requires. An entire well-rounded meal can be made with little skill, a simple blender, and can fit into your favourite travel mug.
However, while there are hundreds of recipes to follow online that will give you rich and tasty smoothies, I find the best ones always come from my own experimentation in the kitchen! So, even though I am providing you with a ~recipe~ for a smoothie bowl, consider it more of a starting point for your adventure with a blender. I should also note that although this recipe is not vegan or nut-free, I will be adding TONS of suggestions that eliminate the need for any animal products or nuts. Lastly, this is a smoothie BOWL which means that it is going to be very thick (so it may take a longer to blend) and I would recommend serving it with a bowl and spoon instead of the traditional cup and straw. However, there are several changes that I will be discussing that can make this smoothie runnier and perfect for sipping!
**Serves one person and prepares roughly 300ml**
- Just under 200ml of frozen blueberries (roughly ¾ cup)
- 10-15 cut up pieces of frozen mango (I understand that this is in no way a standard measurement and may seem confusing at first. But, if you buy a bag of frozen mango, you will see that they usually come pre-cut into standard cube-sized pieces)
- 1 regular-sized banana
- Roughly 2 tablespoons of your choice yogurt (I use 2% Balkan yogurt because that is usually what is available to me at home)
- 1-2 tablespoons of chunky almond-butter
- 1-2 tablespoons of chia seeds
- I like to top mine with GoLean cereal
All the Changes you can Make to Personalize this Recipe:
When I first started making smoothies, they were very rudimentary and consisted of four ingredients: a frozen berry mix, banana, yogurt, and some nuts to top it off. However, I quickly realized that while they were very yummy, my smoothies didn’t have great nutritional value and were not going to do much to keep me satiated throughout the day. So, I started experimenting and looked for inspiration from other recipes. I took what I liked most from all the recipes I found and made this! The smoothie provides an excellent source of protein from the nut butter and chia seeds, is high in essential vitamins and amino acids from the fruit and bananas, has a good source of fat and gut microbiota from the yogurt and the cereal adds a healthy helping of whole grains.
Make It Vegan:
The yogurt is what will need to go if you want to make this smoothie vegan. You can replace it with your choice of vegan yogurt (i.e. soy or almond-milk yogurt) or vegan milk (i.e. almond, cashew, oat, or flax milk). Just note that if you chose to swap out the yogurt for milk, it will likely make the smoothie a little more runny (although that is not necessarily a bad thing given how thick the original smoothie can be).
Make it Nut-Free:
I myself am part of the nut-free club as I am allergic to peanuts. So, although this smoothie is completely within my dietary restrictions, I sympathize with those who have to avoid all nut-butters because of their allergies. A safe substitute for the nut butter would be wow butter which is an imitation peanut butter or even tahini! However, tahini can be quite bitter so I am not sure how well it would work in a smoothie.
Go Crazy with the Toppings:
Changing up the toppings is really what is going to make this smoothie your own! Although I only add cereal as my topping, there are so many cool ways that you can jazz up the smoothie. You could add fresh berries, different nuts like shaved almonds and walnuts, or even a dollop of ricotta cheese (it’s yummier than you think!!). Arranging them in different patterns is also going to give your bowl that *Instagram-able* look and make it more fun to create.
Swap up the Fruits:
If you walk down the freezer aisle at your local grocery store, you will notice that it is packed with just about every frozen fruit imaginable. Companies are also starting to sell smoothie mixes where they package different frozen fruit together that are sure to be an excellent combination in a smoothie. Any and all of these would be great swaps for the fruit I use in my smoothie and can help you create a completely different bowl by changing only a few key ingredients!
I hope you enjoy making this smoothie and swapping up my ingredients for your favourite ones to make the ultimate smoothie bowl!