I never got into breakfast smoothies because I always found myself ravenously hungry shortly after drinking them. This would usually lead to me making up for it with a huge lunch. So much for healthy. This smoothie recipe is hearty enough to keep me full without feeling gross. The base is also thick enough to be used in smoothie bowls! Adding those toppings in really helps hold me over.
Have you ever made a smoothie bowl only to find that all your toppings slowly sink to the bottom? This recipe is just the fix. I topped mine with lots of summer fruit, edible flower petals, bee pollen, cacao nibs, chia seeds, and a touch of granola to make it extra nourishing and pretty to look at!
This smoothie base makes enough for 2 large smoothie bowls
- 2 cups fresh spinach
- 1 cup almond milk
- 1/2 large avocado
- 1/2 cup frozen mangoes
- 1/2 cup frozen strawberries
- 1/4 cup yogurt
- 3 tbsp peanut butter (or any nut butter)
- 1 tsp freshly grated ginger
- 1/2 fresh squeezed lemon
The avocado, yogurt, and peanut butter all add some serious substance to the smoothie. You could add half a banana to really thicken it up, but as I’m allergic to bananas I opted to leave it out. I used lemon and ginger for a little morning pick-me-up. I’m also a fan of using ginger for its anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants. I prefer not to add water or ice because it quickly separates from the solids. Emitting ice from your smoothie will keep it thick and help it store nicely for a day or two in the fridge if you have extra.
You could basically throw everything into a blender, select smoothie mode and let it do it’s thing, but the order in which you put everything in does help speed things up and ensure it blends evenly. Toss in the softer ingredients first: spinach greens, ginger, lemon juice, yogurt, avocado, peanut butter, frozen fruit, and finally add the almond milk.
Once the base is done, pour it into a bowl. Then cut up your fruit into small bite-size pieces and have some fun arranging them. Easy!
The crunchy toppings I chose add texture, flavor, and extra nutrients. You’re probably familiar with the benefits of chia seeds, and possibly cacao nibs, and granola is no foreign ingredient. Bee pollen, however, was something new to me…
I picked up my bee pollen while in Napa at a farmers’ market out of pure curiosity. The beekeeper said that these tiny bee pollen packets are a mixture of plant pollen and some kind of bee spit. Yum.
The granules are carried by worker bees on their hind legs, collected as food for larvae. She explained that they safely remove the granules using a special screen they place over the hives. Bee pollen is considered a super food for the many nutrients that they pack and she suggested using about a teaspoon on top of yogurt once a day to help reduce allergies.
I sampled a few granules and discovered the pollen had a unique texture- somewhere between soft and chalky, the outer coating dissolving slightly on contact with my tongue. They had a floral taste and were just slightly sweet.
I bought a jar and looked into it some more. Bee pollen is considered a super food by some as it’s comprised of everything the body needs to survive- simple sugars, protein (in higher density than any other animal source), minerals and vitamins, fatty acids, and other components.
It’s also touted for it’s natural allergy relief, which works in the same way that ingesting honey from local bees is supposed to introduce the pollen to your body in a way that will make you less prone to seasonal allergies. Bee pollen can trigger an allergic reaction in some, so I would suggest trying just a little bit of it before using it daily or regularly.
There are plenty of other tasty and nutritious toppings you can choose to customize your smoothie bowls to your taste. I hope you give it a try and enjoy the fun of making it your own!