I used to be a smoothie bowl naysayer. I could never understand how you could get away with putting a smoothie in a bowl and calling it a meal. Well, that was until I decided to try one.
I was in Da Nang, a vegan-friendly beach destination in Vietnam (read this guide here). It is really hot there, which led me to crave a lot less stodgy food. Suddenly a cold smoothie bowl sounded quite appealing. So I ordered one. A peanut chocolate smoothie bowl, to be exact.
And well, I’ve been eating them every morning ever since. No exaggeration!
I was wrong to doubt the power of a smoothie bowl. It is not at all like a normal smoothie that you’ll drink out of a glass or through a straw. No, this is more reminiscent of ice cream. But for breakfast.
My own recipe is inspired by the smoothie bowls I enjoyed in Da Nang. They are luxurious but very nutritious. I’m certain you’ll enjoy it too!
Why eat this peanut chocolate smoothie bowl?
I may have mentioned that this chocolate smoothie bowl is just like eating ice cream, but when it comes to nutrition it is far removed from it. This chocolate smoothie bowl uses very little sweetener, just a dash of maple syrup, and the main ingredient is frozen banana, not cream.
The simple ingredients somehow magically come together to form a creamy almost ice cream-esque consistency that is flavoured using natural healthy ingredients.
Included within this list are cacao powder, which is naturally high in magnesium and zinc, and peanut butter, a great source of healthy fats and plant-based protein.
It is also an incredibly flexible recipe that you can adapt to suit your tastes and needs. So, if you prefer a different nut butter, that’s absolutely fine, you can sub like-for-like. Or, if you want to add in some extra nutritional ingredients like flaxseed, then that is also absolutely fine!
What ingredients do you use?
The ingredients inside this peanut chocolate smoothie bowl are really quite simple. Here is all that you will need to create this recipe:
- Frozen bananas: frozen is key, if they aren’t frozen then you won’t achieve an ice cream consistency
- Plant-based milk: in order to achieve a creamy consistency, good quality plant-based milk is required, like oat milk or coconut milk
- Cacao powder: opt for organic cacao powder, not cocoa powder, as it is much more nutritious
- Maca powder: a vegan superfood that is great for energy, but you don’t need to use it if you can’t get your hands on it!
- Maple syrup: this natural sweetener is a much healthier alternative to refined sugars, plus you don’t need very much of it to sweeten the smoothie bowl. If you don’t have any, you can also use agave or another natural liquid sweetener.
- Peanut butter: add a nutty flavour with this protein-packed healthy fat! You can substitute it for other nut butter like hazelnut (for a Nutella-style smoothie bowl) or almond butter.
Optional smoothie bowl ingredients
There are many other ingredients you can add to this chocolate smoothie bowl recipe, but I would recommend keeping it simple and only trying out one variation at a time. This recipe is really tasty and luxurious, despite it being made from healthy ingredients like banana and cacao powder. Any changes to the recipe may affect the end result.
Here are some optional extras that I have tried out in this recipe and have enjoyed eating:
- To add a dose of plant-based omega-3 fatty acids sprinkle in some ground flaxseed
- If you are looking for nifty ways to increase your protein then add a few scoops of your favourite vegan protein powder to this recipe
- Try adding a mushroom powder to your smoothie mix for an adaptogenic breakfast
- If you want a caffeine hit, stick in a teaspoon of instant coffee or sub some of the plant-based milk for brewed coffee
How do you make a chocolate smoothie bowl?
It is really easy to make this peanut chocolate smoothie bowl. Simply follow these steps and spoon away!
1. Freeze the bananas
The key to making a delicious smoothie bowl is in the frozen bananas. So you will want to start the night before chopping the bananas into thin slices and freezing them. Make sure to spread them out in a container or freezer bag so that they don’t freeze in large chunks.
2. Blend the ingredients together
Put the frozen banana slices into a high-powered blender (here are my favourite blenders) along with the other smoothie bowl ingredients, including the plant-based milk, cacao powder, peanut butter, maca powder and maple syrup.
Pulse the ingredients together until they begin to blend together. If your blender is struggling then give everything a mix before pulsing it together again until it starts to form a smooth thick liquid. If it is too thick then add a splash more plant-based milk to the mix.
Read my Nutri Ninja Blender review and find out how it coped with this chocolate smoothie bowl recipe!
3. Serve the chocolate smoothie bowl
Using a rubber spatula, decant the blended smoothie bowl mix into your favourite breakfast bowl. Spread it out evenly so you have a flat base on top. Add your toppings to the smoothie mix and eat!
With this peanut chocolate smoothie bowl, I like to keep my toppings simple – just a sliced banana and a sprinkle of granola. Here is a full list of really tasty smoothie bowl toppings you can try:
- Granola: a good quality granola adds a nice crunch to the chocolate smoothie bowl
- Nuts & seeds: try this breakfast topper by Wellnoa or sprinkle on some chia seeds
- Fruit: I like to use sliced banana but you can play around with other fruit toppings like mango
Peanut chocolate smoothie bowl
- ½ Banana
- 1 tbsp Granola
- 1 tsp Chia seeds
Freeze the banana
- Starting the night before you want to make the smoothie bowl, slice your banana and spread it out into a container or freezer bag. Make sure to keep a thin layer of banana so it doesn't freeze into large chunks.
- Place the sliced banana into the freezer and allow it to freeze overnight.
Blend the smoothie bowl
- Place your frozen banana and all of the other smoothie bowl ingredients into a high-powered blender
- Start by pulsing together the ingredients a few times until the mix starts to blend together
- Continue blending the mix until it starts to form a thick liquid that resembles ice cream. It should be a light chocolatey brown colour.
- If your blender is a little bit old or not as powerful as you'd like, take a few moments to mix everything around inside the blender using a spatula before blending again. If it really struggles, add a splash more plant-based milk.
- Use a rubber spatula to decant the smoothie mix into your favourite breakfast bowl before adding your desired smoothie bowl toppings