How to Make an Instagrammable Smoothie Bowl 

In case it isn’t obvious already from my Instagram feed, I love making smoothie bowls. Smoothies in general are an excellent way to consume fruits, veggies and pack vitamin and mineral rich foods into your diet. It’s also a healthy way to satisfy your sweet tooth, if you’re anything like me. My personal preference is to make smoothie bowls!

The difference between a smoothie and smoothie bowl is that smoothie bowls usually have a thicker texture, are eaten with a spoon, and you can add a variety of toppings to them. I have a lot of fun styling mine, and I would say smoothie bowls are one of my areas of expertise. So, by popular demand, I’m sharing all my secrets and answering your questions so that you can master beautiful smoothie bowls at home too!

Quick disclaimer but ALL smoothie bowls are beautiful and Instagram worthy because all food that nourishes us is beautiful, amirite? 🙂 This is just how I like to do it, and these are my tips from a food styling and food photography standpoint.

If you learn to make smoothie bowls at home, you’ll not only save yourself a lot of money (they’re often overpriced at cafes!) but also be able to control exactly what goes in them (not all smoothies are healthy). The best part, in my opinion, is that you get to decorate them too. I’ll share tips on how to make your smoothies healthy, and sneak veggies in to make them nutrient dense in another post, but today we’re just talking styling.

Here are some tips, secrets and things I think about when I’m making my smoothie bowls:
P.S. please keep in mind some of these measures and steps are very extra and unrealistic for everyday life, but as a food stylist, I do these things because it’s my job 🙂

 

Texture

First thing’s first. If you’re making a smoothie bowl, you have to get the texture right. In order to style your bowl, the texture needs to be thick enough to hold up your toppings instead of sinking into the smoothie. The way I achieve the thick texture is by using little to no liquids in my smoothie bowls.

Typically, when you make a smoothie, you add some kind of liquid to blend, but in order to thicken your smoothie, you should stick to using frozen fruits and veggies only. The best way to do this is to use frozen bananas, because they blend into a really creamy consistency. You can also use other fruit as well but you may need to add a little bit of nondairy milk to add some creaminess. For example, blending frozen berries only will result in an icier, sorbet-like texture.

I use a Vitamix blender, which is strong enough to break down and blend frozen bananas straight from the freezer. I also use the tamper it comes with, to push the mixture down and help the blender along. If you’re using a different kind of blender, I recommend pulling your frozen fruit out of the blender a few minutes prior to let it thaw a bit before blending your smoothie. This makes it easier on your blender, and you can also chop your frozen banana pieces into smaller pieces first to help it too!

Using protein powder also adds thickness and almost a fluffiness to the texture of your smoothie. I usually like to add a vegan protein when I need a little bit more thickness for food styling purposes. I like to use a vanilla protein when I’m trying to maintain the true colour of the smoothie (since the vanilla protein is usually white/neutral in colour), or chocolate protein. Watch out for protein powders with added greens in them for styling purposes as the green can affect your colour. 

Non-dairy yogurt also works well in terms of adding both thickness and providing a white/neutral base to allow colours to pop more. Go for a vanilla or unflavoured/plain flavour for best results.

Colour

You can easily achieve any colour you’d like using food colouring, but I stay away from anything unnatural in my food. Instead, I use fruits and veggies to achieve my colourful bowls. In general, smoothies can turn brown really quickly when you add too many ingredients, so if I’m focused on the colour of my smoothie bowl, I’ll usually stick with a very neutral base. Here are some natural combos I like to use to naturally colour my smoothie bowls.

PINK: raspberries, strawberries, pitaya, beet powder, pomegranate, cranberries, watermelon, hibiscus
RED: cherries, blood oranges
ORANGE: oranges, mango, papaya, sweet potato, turmeric, persimmon, canataloupe, pumpkin, passion fruit
YELLOW pineapple, mango, yellow watermelon, yellow kiwi, peaches, turmeric
GREEN: spinach, spirulina, green veggies, kiwi, matcha, avocado
BLUE: blue majik spirulina, butterfly pea tea
PURPLE: blueberries, blackberries, purple sweet potato, red grapes
BROWN: cacao, chocolate protein powder (sometimes if you add too many things it turns brown haha)
BLACK: black sesame, activated charcoal

There are many different ways to achieve the colour you want using natural sources. If you’re looking to achieve a pastel or vibrant colour, keep your base very simple (just bananas or white/neutral fruit), and start with smaller amounts of your coloured fruit until you reach the desired colour.

In general, I like to stick with 1-3 colours that complement each other well, including toppings. This makes for a more cohesive look overall. You can also opt for contrasting colours for a vibrant look too!

Toppings

Since we’re working with something frozen, it’s important to work as quickly as possible. I always have my toppings picked out prior to making my smoothie, and when I’m feeling really extra, I’ll have the jars of toppings lined up, lids off and ready to go so I waste no additional time once the smoothie is blended and in the bowl. The more the smoothie melts, the more the toppings will sink into it.

Some great toppings I like to add include: toasted coconut chips (these also help to hold up heavier toppings sometimes), edible flowers and flower petals, granola and frozen frosted berries.

This question was one of the most common questions: how do you achieve the frosted berry look? It takes a bit of an extra step but in order to achieve that look, you simply place fresh berries in the freezer, as if you’re making frozen berries yourself. When you pull your fresh frozen berries out from the freezer, use a spoon or utensil to place them, because any contact with your fingers will ruin the effect. Allow it to sit for a few seconds and you’ll see the frost appear. Bagged frozen berries will not have the same effect.

Also, keep colour in mind when you’re thinking about toppings.

Bowl

The type of bowl you use can make styling and photographing easier. If you want to make sure your smoothie bowl design is more visible, I’d go with a wider, flatter bowl. This will also give you more surface area to get creative with your toppings too!

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Home is where the flower infused, anti-inflammatory, adaptogen laced, pastel coloured smoothie bowls are. Full day of recon and catch-up today 👩🏻‍💻 recipe on the blog for this sunshine healer and link in bio! ✨ & Quick reminder to #TakeTheVegPledge with me for #VegWeek2018 (April 16-22). Click the link in my bio or story highlight to eat plants with me and DM if you pledge! So excited to be able to share this resource during earth month 🌎💓! You’ll get recipes, helpful tips, fun discounts and the best resource to guide you if you’re interested in trying it out. #edibleflowers #smoothiebowl #antiinflammatory #adaptogens #dairyfree #vitamix #nicecream #vegan #veggiekins #iamwellandgood #thechalkboardeats #goopmake

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More tips

If you need to buy yourself time, pop your smoothie bowl in the freezer before styling with toppings to allow it to stay frozen longer. You can also get away with using heavier toppings if you freeze the base first. I typically don’t do this because sometimes the smoothie will oxidize and colour may change, or it will develop a layer of frost on top, but it can definitely save you some time.

Try swirling 2 smoothie colours of smoothie, or adding non-dairy yogurt to achieve a fun pattern on top of your smoothie bowl.

Both cauliflower and yellow squash are great veggies to add in that won’t impact the colour of your smoothie bowl much.

Don’t add things that don’t make sense. Try to keep your ingredients and toppings realistic.

And lastly, sometimes less is more! Sometimes toppings can overwhelm a bowl and crowd the overall look of the smoothie. You might want to let the colour of the smoothie base shine, and use toppings sparingly. Most importantly, play around and find what works best for you 🙂

 

I hope you find these tips helpful and if you try any of them out, be sure to tag me on Instagram @veggiekins or use the hashtag #veggiekins so I can see your creations!
Stay tuned for another smoothie blogpost covering tips for how to make sure they’re H E A L T H Y too.

For recipe inspiration, check out my smoothie archive and smoothie bowl pinterest board.

Love & smoothie bowls,

 

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Filed under: Food, Live

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BY Remy • September 27, 2018

How to Make an Instagrammable Smoothie Bowl | Smoothie Styling Tips

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  1. Nilly says:
    Hi Remy~ Even though I don't have an instagram account and I don't even take pictures of my bowls, I started styling the toppings I use all cute since I discovered your youtube channel haha :^) I think having cute smoothie bowls is my way to treat myself, so thank you xx p.s, I don't get notifications from your blog no matter how many times I sign up my email :( Is there a way to fix that?
    • Remy says:
      Hi Nilly! I love that!! I totally think styling your smoothie bowls is a treat for yourself. It's nice to put loving energy into the food we eat :) Go you! Also, I'm working on putting together a weekly newsletter that will go out sharing all the content I post in a week, so stay tuned! Sorry about that!! Thanks for your patience! <3
  2. Shishoka says:
    wow! thank you so much for the tips! You should definitely make a series about these kind of things~
  3. Beth says:
    Oo this was really cool, thanks! Definitely gonna go make a smoothie bowl now😂😆

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Hi there, I’m Remy! Welcome to Veggiekins Blog, home to nourishing vegan + gluten-free recipes and tips to live your best balanced and holistic life. I’m a human on a mission to empower you to be well and be kind to your mind, body and soul with the healing power of plants.

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COPYRIGHT © 2020 Veggiekins   ☼   Website by Sunday Stories