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6 smoothie-bowl mistakes that food bloggers say are ruining your breakfasts — and what to do instead

Summary List PlacementSmoothie bowls can be as beautiful as they are delicious.  The blended treat can include fruits or vegetables, nuts, protein powder, and other common pantry staples, and there are seemingly endless ways to make them — which can be the overwhelming part. Insider rounded up some of the biggest...

Cinnamon Swirl Smoothie Bowl_5

Summary List Placement

Smoothie bowls can be as beautiful as they are delicious. 

The blended treat can include fruits or vegetables, nuts, protein powder, and other common pantry staples, and there are seemingly endless ways to make them — which can be the overwhelming part.

Insider rounded up some of the biggest mistakes people are making with their blended breakfasts at home.

Don’t skimp on proteins and healthy fats, like avocados 

Gillean Barkyoumb Ninja Kitchen Pic

As part of a recent Ninja Kitchen smoothie bowl-making event, host Gillean Barkyoumb, a registered dietitian, used Ninja Foodi Smoothie Bowl Maker and Nutrient Extractor to serve up a variety of creatively blended breakfasts.   

Barkyoumb told Insider that she uses the following formula to create a nutritious smoothie bowl: a protein, frozen fruit or vegetable, and healthy fat.

“If you add that all together, you’re going to get a great balance of nutrients,” she said. 

Smoothies can easily become filled with sugar and calories depending on what goes in them, so Barkyoumb suggested leaning into healthy fats like coconut cream or avocados.  

Nicole Renard, a former pastry chef and the blogger behind Nicole the Nomad, said her 2 million TikTok followers are shocked that she adds vegetables to hers — including frozen riced cauliflower and frozen butternut squash. 

“If you do about a half of a cup, you can’t even taste it, but it makes your smoothie bowl bigger,” Renard said, adding that frozen vegetables can make the smoothie more filling and nutritious.

Adding too much liquid can instantly downgrade your smoothie bowl

Putting too much water in the blender can be a fatal flaw. 

“You can always add more, but start with less so it stays thick,” Barkyoumb said. 

She and other food bloggers said that adding extra liquids to the ingredients can ruin a smoothie bowl’s otherwise thick consistency.

For the best consistency, Ashley and Taylor Johnston of the food blog and TikTok account Twin Coast recommended using a quarter of liquid relative to the other ingredients in the blender.

Using ice instead of frozen foods can also ruin the texture

Using frozen fruits and vegetables is key to getting a thick and creamy smoothie bowl, said the Johnstons.

Brooke Balady, who goes by the username @SaltyBrooklyn, frozen fruit chunks typically take longer to melt than regular ice cubes.

Don’t use green bananas in your smoothies — wait until they’re ripe

The smoothie-bowl professionals told Insider that bananas are a key ingredient

Hannah, the creator behind Smoothiest, a TikTok account dedicated to the blended treat, told Insider that using a specific type of banana can alter a smoothie bowl’s taste and texture.

“A less-ripe banana will create a starchy texture, while a super-ripe banana will create a creamy but somewhat soupy texture,” she said. “In my opinion, the right level of ripeness is when it’s not green, but doesn’t have brown spots, either.” 

Renard said that if bananas aren’t available to you, mangoes are the next best option. She also suggested trying frozen coconut cream cubes as a tasty banana alternative.

Using the wrong type of blender can cause a mishap

The type of blender used can make or break a smoothie bowl. 

You can make a smoothie bowl with any blender, but you also have to realize that your smoothie bowl won’t be as thick if you’re not using a high-speed blender,” Renard said.

Renard recommended using a high-speed blender, like the Vitamix, to get a creamy texture and consistency.

When it comes to smoothie-bowl success, patience is key

Renard said that rushing the blending process — which can sometimes be time-consuming — can lead to issues with the appliance in the long-run.

“As soon as I start the blender, I start it on low and then I quickly go up to high. A lot of people hang out in the medium range just because they get scared of the sound,” Renard said.

She continued: “You’re going to hurt your blender if you keep it on medium. The motor is grinding, and if you have it up on high, those blades are spinning as fast as they can go, and that kicks in the cooling system in your blender.” 

When a blender overheats, it can melt a potential smoothie bowl before it’s even done. 

But with a bit of patience, a colorful blend of frozen produce, and a creative eye, smoothie bowl-making can be a breeze.

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