Vibrantly colored and boldly flavored, this dragonfruit smoothie bowl recipe is topped with delicious crunchy pistachios, shredded coconut and dried goji berries.
Smoothie bowls are a thing of beauty, beautiful to look at, sure, but also satisfying to eat. The crunchy toppings give them a unique texture that’s missing from normal drinkable smoothies (and let’s be honest, the crunch is the best part!)
Melissa’s was far too generous when they sent me fresh dragonfruit for that shrimp taco recipe I posted a few weeks back. I had half a dozen fruits left and needed to something with them quickly before they went bad.
After a bit of thought, I figured I had three options: Smoothies. Sorbet. Or jam.
Ultimately I went with smoothies, or smoothie bowls to be specific, which are thicker fruit smoothies that you eat with a spoon. This particular smoothie bowl is made with pink dragonfruit (for color, mainly—it’s mostly flavorless on its own), mango, raspberries and banana as the main fruit base, with a bit of lime juice and ginger for an extra bright flavor.
I’ll admit, I was hesitant to jump on the smoothie bowl wagon because they seem kind of ridiculous (as so many Instagram-food trends are). But, after trying them for myself I’m totally sold. One of the reasons I was never satisfied with a smoothie for lunch is I really need something to chew, and liquid smoothies just don’t satiate my appetite.
But a smoothie bowl, on the other hand, is just asking for all sorts of crunchy toppings: from shredded coconut to chopped nuts to dried fruit or even homemade granola.
Rest assured that after I styled and photographed this beautiful bowl, I dumped about three times as many toppings on it before digging in (that’s Instagram vs reality for you!) I’m especially fond of puffed quinoa, which I added on after: it tastes a lot like rice krispies, just smaller.
More smoothie bowl topping ideas:
- Chopped nuts (such as cashews or pistachios)
- Shredded coconut or coconut flakes
- Dried fruit (such as goji berries)
- Freeze-dried fruit (such as raspberries)
- Puffed quinoa or brown rice
- Homemade granola
- Chopped fresh fruit
- Chia or hemp seeds
- Cacao nibs
- Pomegranate seeds
- Chocolate chips
The main difference between a smoothie bowl versus a smoothie is the thickness – you should be able to scoop it with a spoon.
The key to making a thick, spoonable smoothie is using pre-frozen fruit and very little liquid. Here I’ve only used 1/4 cup of coconut water in total to help blend it smoothly (most blenders won’t tolerate solely frozen fruit).
I find that I have to start out blending very slow, stirring with the tamper, until all the fruit is incorporated, then slowly increase the speed until the smoothie flows freely through the blender blades. Add a bit more liquid if you’re having trouble, but overall you want to use as little liquid as possible to retain the thick consistency.
You can also blend your smoothie bowl in a food processor, and this is preferable unless you have a high powered blender like a Vitamix (unfortunately, in this situation, regular blenders just won’t cut it).
If you’re short on time but long on overripe fruit, spend 20 minutes chopping and prepping all the fruit. Lay it in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet and freeze for a few hours until solid. Then portion out the fruit into reusable silicone bags, the perfect amount of fruit for 1 or 2 smoothies in each.
Then, when it comes time to make your smoothie, you don’t even have to measure. Just dump the whole bag in the blender, add your liquid and protein powder, and blend away.
This recipe will make one generous smoothie bowl, or, if you prefer the drinkable kind, add a bit more liquid to make 2 satisfying smoothies.
Also? Any leftover smoothie can be frozen into a delicious smoothie sorbet (just scoop and serve like you would ice cream!)
Dragonfruit Smoothie Bowls
Bold and flavorful dragonfruit smoothie bowls topped with crunchy pistachios, dried goji berries and shredded coconut (though you can customize the toppings however you’d like!) For a thinner drinkable smoothie, increase the liquid until desired consistency is achieved.
- 1 ripe banana, sliced and pre-frozen
- 1/2 cup pink dragonfruit, cubed and pre-frozen
- 1/2 cup ripe mango, cubed and pre-frozen
- 1/4 cup frozen raspberries
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 1/2 inch piece fresh peeled ginger
- 2 scoops unflavored protein powder (I like collagen or pea protein)
- 1 teaspoon dragonfruit powder (optional)
- 1/4 cup plain greek yogurt
- 1/4 cup liquid such as coconut water or almond milk, or more as needed
- dried coconut flakes
- chopped toasted pistachios
- crumbled freeze-dried raspberries
- dried goji berries
- dragonfruit (shaped with a melon baller)
- puffed quinoa
- Add frozen fruit to a high-powered blender or food processor along with lime juice, ginger, protein and dragonfruit powders, yogurt and liquid (for a traditional smoothie, add up to 1 cup liquid as desired to achieve a drinkable consistency).
- Start blending on low speed, using the tamper (if you have one) as necessary to keep the fruit moving, until fruit is incorporated. Slowly increase speed until the smoothie flows freely through the blade.
- Scrape into a serving bowl. Sprinkle with toppings as desired.