How to Make a Smoothie Bowl: Recipe and Video - Pamela Salzman Skip to content

How to Make a Smoothie Bowl: Recipe and Video

I live and teach in Los Angeles where people grab onto a food fad and hold on for dear life. Until the next cool thing comes around. Acai bowls were all the rage a few years ago.  Maybe they haven’t made it to your neck of the woods yet, but no matter because you can make one yourself.  Not only are acai bowls delicious, but they are a pretty healthy snack.  It’s almost like a not-as-sweet soft serve made with frozen acai, frozen bananas and frozen strawberries plus a little juice or almond milk to help blend it.  But it’s the toppings (like granola, coconut, nuts, banana) that make an acai bowl even more delicious because of the contrast in textures. And then when acai bowls weren’t exciting enough, pitaya bowls came onto the scene.

And then someone figured out that you could pour your smoothie into a bowl and top it with any number of great toppings and eat it with a spoon instead of a straw.  Genius.

Most people seem to make their smoothie bowls pretty liquid-y, but slightly thicker than a normal smoothie, at least so the toppings don’t sink.  I personally like them as thick as an acai bowl or soft serve.  I taught these in my breakfast classes last year and everyone preferred the thicker versions.  There is no right or wrong way to do it.  BUT, if you want to eat this as a meal replacement, I recommend getting some protein in the smoothie or in the toppings.

Protein could be:

  • nuts or nut butter
  • seeds, like hemp, flax meal, sunflower, pumpkin or chia
  • protein powder

how to make a smoothie bowl | pamela salzman

These are some of my recent creations that I have posted on Instagram and Facebook, but like I said — there are infinite possibilities.  Watch my video if you’re a visual learner and also because I show you how to make a smoothie bowl in a Vitamix and a food processor.

And if you really need an actual recipe just to get you started, see an example below. Or just make your favorite smoothie with a little less liquid, pour it into a bowl and add lots of toppings!  Have fun and stay cool!

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Smoothie Bowl
  • 3 ripe bananas, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces, about 2 cups (if you’re using a Vitamix or another high-powered blender, you can cut bananas into larger pieces), FROZEN or 1 ½ ripe bananas, frozen and 4 frozen figs
  • 1 cup frozen strawberries
  • ¼ - ½ cup unsweetened almond milk or milk of choice (or even more if you want a pourable smoothie)
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract (optional)
  • sweeten to taste with a few teaspoons (more or less) of raw honey, Grade A maple syrup or a couple drops of stevia, if necessary (you might not need any)
  • Toppings: bee pollen, hemp seeds, raw cacao nibs, toasted coconut, chopped walnuts or almonds, granola
  1. Place bananas and strawberries in the bowl of a food processor or Vitamix or other high-powered blender. Add almond milk, vanilla and sweetener to taste. Process until smooth and creamy. I find that the food processor needs a little more liquid and a few more seconds to achieve the desired consistency, which is like soft serve ice cream.
  2. Transfer the ice cream to bowls and serve immediately with toppings, if desired. If eating this as a meal for breakfast, try to add protein toppings such as nuts or seeds or add a scoop of protein powder to the blender. If you use a sweetened protein powder, add a handful of ice to the blender so the smoothie is not too sweet.
  3. You can also store the smoothie bowl in the freezer for another time, but you’ll need to allow it to sit on the countertop to soften up for a few minutes before eating so that it’s scoopable.
  4. Notes: these measurements are flexible. Use more strawberries if you like or sub blueberries.
Notes: these measurements are flexible. Use more strawberries if you like or sub blueberries.

Another variation: chocolate smoothie bowl – use 4 frozen bananas, 2 Tbs. raw cacao powder, ¼ - ½ cup almond milk, ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract, sweetener if necessary

Mocha smoothie bowl: make chocolate smoothie bowl with 2 teaspoons instant coffee powder

Chocolate peanut butter smoothie bowl: make chocolate smoothie bowl with 2 Tablespoons (or more) natural peanut butter.


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  1. what I meant , want to prepare them ahead of time and keep them refrigeratored to sell and take out to put toppings on so is there a certain temperature the I should keep refrigerator at so they can enjoy thank you

  2. Hi, is the trick to making it a thick texture by using frozen fruits and at what temperature can you keep a bowl infrigerator to just out toppings on them to make to keep almost ready to eat. Thanks

  3. hi. do you freeze your coconut manna? i just made your avocado/blueberry smoothie bowl in the video and it is delicious but my nutiva coconut manna was not chunky like yours in the video, it was a more solid butter.

    • I keep my coconut manna at room temp. Sometimes the oil separates out and the coconut butter gets a little crumbly.

  4. Hi Pamela – LOVE the video. Do you use regular ripe bananas, or overripe ones (like you might use for banana bread)?

    • Thanks, Jennie! I freeze any bananas that are well speckled or slightly overripe. 🙂

  5. Pamela! SOS… You had a smoothie bowl posted on instagram just yesterday that had a banana, peanut butter, and white beans in it. I came back to the site today and can’t find it! Would you mind just giving a quick reminder of what’s in that one? If I sound desperate, it’s because I am. I must have that recipe!

    • LOL! Ok, first of all, I never follow a recipe when I make a smoothie bowl. I always wing it. Trust yourself that you can, too! I posted general measurements on Insta. Here they are again: 1 frozen banana cut into chunks, 1 tbs (maybe more) creamy peanut butter, 2tbs flax meal, 1/4 cooked white beans, + homemade almond milk and topped with blackberries, raw cacao nibs and hemp seeds. Just use enough almond milk to get the machine moving everything around and then add more if you want it looser. It’s delicious!

      • Thank you! I made a batch for my kids and I yesterday, and it turned out amazing. It’s those white beans that are new to me and such a cool way to add protein. We topped it with coconut sugar, cocoa powder, hemp seeds and blackberries. Seriously delicious and just looks and FEELS like dessert!

        • Yippee! So glad you gave it a go. I know, white beans seem weird, but they have zero flavor and blend up so creamy. Plus you add protein and bulk without having to add more fruit. 🙂

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I come from a large Italian-American family with 28 first cousins (on one side of the family!) where sit-down holiday dinners for 85 people are the norm (how, you might ask – organization! But more on that later …).

Some of my fondest memories are of simple family gatherings, both large and small, with long tables of bowls and platters piled high, the laughter of my cousins echoing and the comfort of tradition warming my soul.

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