Pitaya Smoothie Bowl
by Pamela Salzman
Smoothie bowls are a phenomenon that have really stuck. They are basically thick smoothies that are poured into a bowl, finished with a variety of toppings, and eaten with a spoon. The key is to make the consistency of the smoothie base thick enough that your toppings won’t sink. The problem with store or restaurant-bought smoothie bowls is that they are usually loaded with fruit and fruit juice, making these bowls super high in sugar and calories. I prefer to make them at home where I have some tricks up my sleeve for bulking up the smoothie without the added sweet stuff. These all revolve around frozen, ripe bananas, which make the creamiest smoothie bowls. But you can easily use one of the fillers I mentioned below and sub in a different fruit like frozen figs. That said, I never make a smoothie or a smoothie bowl the same way twice! Feel free to start with these measurements and adapt as you become more familiar with making them.
2 ripe bananas, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces, frozen or 1½ ripe bananas, frozen
and 2 frozen figs*
How to Make
1. Place bananas and strawberries in the bowl of a food processor, 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 anywhere between a thick smoothie and soft serve ice cream.
2. Pour the smoothie into 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.
*Or remove 1 banana and substitute any of the following, which are all neutral in flavor, but high in nutrition and low in sugar:
1/2 cup or more of cooked white beans, like cannellini
1/2 cup or more of cooked oatmeal
1/2 cup or more of steamed, cold cauliflower
1/2 cup cooked pumpkin, sweet potato or carrots
1/2 cup organic tofu, any variety
1/2 an avocado, peeled and pitted
If you’re using a Vitamix or another high-powered blender, you can cut bananas into larger pieces, and can use the smaller quantity of liquid.
*Note: these measurements are flexible. Use more strawberries if you'd like or sub blueberries