11 Smoothie Bowls You Want Right Now

It's getting warmer, and hot oatmeal, or scrambled eggs, just don't have the same breakfast appeal. Rather, a cool smoothie bowl, with fruit, nuts, and grains, sounds much better. The prices, though, when buying them, gives me sticker shock. How about making your own smoothie bowls?

Here is the basic concept for the smoothie bowl, in case you haven't tried one yet.

Your smoothie is made a little thicker, either by not adding as much liquid, or by adding other ingredients (avocado, banana, nut butters, etc.) to make it thicker. Think "spoonable." Toppings are then added, which usually consist of sliced fruits, seeds, nuts, grains, granola, and maybe some small sweets like cacao nibs or flaked coconut. Like a lunchtime power bowl, they are usually artfully concocted, so that they look decorative and appealing. This time in prep, plus the sometimes expensive toppings, are what drive those high take-out smoothie bowl prices. Here are 12 delicious, healthy, and frugal smoothie bowls that you can make right at home.

1. Healthy "Peach Pie"

This peach pie smoothie bowl reminded me of summertime at my aunt's house, where we'd eat fresh peaches with cream at breakfast. You don't need fresh peaches, though, for this bowl. In fact, frozen ones work better when making a smoothie. To keep things frugal, check your pantry for nuts before you buy more, as most nuts have a shelf life of less than a year.

2. Peanut Butter and Banana

Bananas are one of the most inexpensive fruits to buy. When on sale, buy extras, slice, and freeze. You'll be glad you did when you want to try this peanut butter and banana bowl. To keep it more frugal, skip the chia seeds, which are expensive, and use your favorite nuts.

3. Creamsicle Bowl

Remember cxreamsicles, or "Fifty-Fifty" bars? I still love those things. Try making a creamsicle bowl, smoothie-style! I love this recipe because this is all stuff I have around the house, so I can easily satisfy a "popsicle" craving with something much healthier.

4. Healthy "Apple Pie"

Apples are another wallet-friendly fruit, and they keep well, so you'll want to bookmark this apple pie smoothie bowl. I substituted granola in place of the rolled oats; it was delicious. Keep it even more frugal and learn to make your own Greek yogurt. (I make my own, and it's simple, and so much cheaper.)

5. Blackberry Bowl

One of my favorite berries are combined here with shredded coconut in this blackberry smoothie bowl. Although expensive in grocery stores, you can forage for free! In summertime, go berry picking, then wash and freeze. Berries freeze very well. Or, look for a U-Pick farm and take your kids along.

6. Green Smoothie

My friend Chuck drinks a green smoothie every day (and he did lose a lot of weight). It gets a little boring, though, so he was glad that I shared this recipe for a green smoothie bowl. Keep it frugal: Buy your spinach in a bunch, and wash/dry it yourself, rather than buying the "prewashed" in the small bags.

7. Carrot Cake

I love carrot cake, but it is usually really fattening (which seems so wrong). Good news, because this carrot cake smoothie bowl has the flavors — but it is so much healthier. The spices (cinnamon, ginger, cloves) are spot-on for carrot cake flavor, and the toppings seal the deal.

8. Chocolate and Fiber

I loved the ingenuity here of combining oats and quinoa for more fiber and texture in this healthy chocolate smoothie bowl. To keep it easy, make a larger batch of the porridge so that you have it on hand.

9. S'Mores

Kids love these s'mores smoothie bowls, and so do big kids, like me. Using yogurt instead of ice cream keeps the calorie count down, a little.

10. Oat, Coconut, and Banana

This is another recipe I love because the ingredients are things I have on hand. I can whip up an oat, coconut, and banana smoothie bowl at the drop of a hat. However, I must confess: I did not use a vanilla bean. Just toss in a quarter teaspoon of vanilla extract. (Sorry, Martha.) I also like that this is not overly sweet, unless you use a lot of syrup.

11. Cherry Bowl

Cherries were on sale today at the market, and so I grabbed a bag, hoping that I could find a smoothie bowl recipe to suit. As luck would have it, yesterday I bought a bag of cacao nibs. What a glorious combination in this dark cherry smoothie bowl! My husband and I ate it for dessert. What a treat.

Tips for keeping your costs down: Watch for fruit to go on sale. Chia seeds are really expensive, so if you have a friend who also loves to use them, consider splitting a package of them. Don't limit yourself to the type of nuts in a recipe. Use what you have, or what you need to use up. Experiment!

What's your favorite smoothie bowl?

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Smoothie bowls are a delicious treat, but can be an expensive option when you go out. Here are 12 delicious, healthy, and frugal smoothie bowls that you can make right at home. | #smoothiebowls #smoothie #smoothierecipe

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