We're big fans of smoothie and acai bowls — they're delicious, refreshing, filling, and almost like having dessert for breakfast! There are a few tricks to making sure your smoothie bowl has the right consistency, proportions, and nutrition. Let's take a look.
Consistency and Proportions
To take your smoothie from drinkable to spoonable, you want to make sure you're using enough frozen fruit to create a frosty, thick, fro-yo or soft-serve ice-cream-like consistency — that comes down to your ratio of solid to liquid.
I typically eyeball my proportions, but the OGs at Sambazon make a classic "Rio Bowl" with two frozen acai packs, half a banana (fresh or frozen), and 1/8 cup of apple juice (approximately 250 grams of solid to 30 grams liquid). That's roughly an eight to one frozen fruit to liquid ratio — eight parts frozen fruit, one part liquid. What you decide to use for each component is up to you!
Make sure you're using a crunchy granola so your smoothie blend doesn't turn it into mush (this is especially important if you pour your smoothie over the granola, as opposed to topping it with granola).
If you're replacing a meal with an acai bowl, you'll want to keep your nutrition and macronutrients balanced. Because smoothie bowls are inherently fruit based (read: carbs), you'll want to be mindful of how you're getting your fats and protein.
Fats. Fats aid in satiety, which can keep you feeling full. Since fruit doesn't bring much fat to the table naturally, you can add healthy fats by using coconut milk for your liquid, sprinkling shredded coconut (or other nuts) on the top, or adding a spoonful of nut butter as a topping.
Protein. Subbing almond milk for your liquid is an easy way to add in protein. The nut and nut butter topping suggestion can also be a simple and delicious way to get more protein, and you can also sprinkle chia seeds on top of your bowl. Still need more grams? Add a scoop of protein powder to your smoothie blend (you might need a bit more liquid when you do this) or add in some tofu. You can also add protein (and fiber!) with a nut- or quinoa-based granola — I like KIND's gluten-free banana nut cluster granola, which has oats, millet, quinoa, amaranth, and buckwheat.
Carbohydrates. You don't really have to worry too much about adding carbohydrates, since the fruit and granola have you covered. If you're trying to cut carbs, sub a nut milk for fruit juice, limit your granola proportions, and cut down on sugary toppings when you can. Swap a honey drizzle topping with something lower in sugar, like bee pollen, or skip it altogether.
Vitamins and Minerals. Acai is a superfood, loaded with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. If you still want to pack a bigger punch, you can up your vitamin and mineral content by using spinach, kale, or other leafy greens.