The well-fed student: Smoothie bowls

Smoothie bowls are one of my favourite breakfasts: they’re basically like a fruity ice cream/soup. They taste like a dessert but you don’t get the sick feeling that comes after a bowl of actual ice cream, and they are full of goodness to give you a morning glow. If I’m honest, though, smoothie bowls are my go-to breakfast for when I’m hungover – they are cold and refreshing, and you feel like you are filling yourself with vitamins to counteract all the toxins in your bloodstream.

You might have seen smoothie bowls before, possibly on Instagram, where they are a favourite of health food bloggers. You can make them in all kinds of exciting colours depending on what you put in them, and top them with fruit and various super foods to make them look like a work of art – they’re guaranteed to rake in the likes. They taste great on their own, but I usually leave some banana slices to put on top, and sprinkle on some nuts, seeds, dried fruit and sometimes some granola if I have some.

Here is my budget-friendly smoothie bowl recipe, complete with two portions of fruit, and topping suggestions below.


1 large banana

¾ mug of frozen berries

1 tablespoon of peanut butter/almond butter

¼ mug of liquid – I would usually go for almond milk or coconut milk, but juice, coconut water, cow milk or even just water can work well too.


[1] Put ¾ of the banana in a blender (saving a quarter to have on top), and add the frozen berries, nut butter and liquid. It will blend up better if you ensure that the banana is nearest the blade.

[2] Blend!

[3] Pour into a bowl and artfully place slices of the remaining quarter of banana on top, along with your other topping choices…

Topping suggestions

A sprinkle of nuts and seeds.

More fruit; frozen or fresh berries, sliced kiwi, satsuma segments.

Dried fruit eg. Raisins, dried apricots, mango or goji berries.

70+% cocoa dark chocolate, chopped (contains antioxidants and is mildly caffeinated), or even cacao nibs (bits of the raw cocoa bean – tastes like incredibly dark chocolate).

Another spoonful of nut butter (for extra protein and good fats).

Coconut flakes or desiccated coconut.


Additional smoothie bowl ingredients

Once you’ve gained some confidence in smoothie bowl construction, you might want to spice it up a bit. Try adding a teaspoon of ground cinnamon or ginger, or a drop of vanilla essence. If you want to invest in a ‘superfood’ powder, I would recommend a tablespoon of hemp protein powder for a natural protein boost, acai berry powder for its density in vitamins and antioxidants, or lucuma powder for its subtly sweet flavour and high iron and fibre content. You can get these from health food shops in Leeds such as Millie’s or Out of this World, or online from Amazon.


Patsy O’Neill


Image courtesy of

Leave a Reply