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ATK Kids

For Spoonable Smoothie Bowls, Use a Food Processor (Not a Blender)

A blender won’t get the job done as quickly—or as well.
By Published Sept. 23, 2022

I like to think of smoothie bowls as a smoothie’s more decadent form—like a bowl of ice cream is to a milkshake.

The main difference between a smoothie and a smoothie bowl is the thickness—a smoothie is slurpable, while a smoothie bowl is scoopable. 

And the key to achieving the perfect texture in a smoothie bowl is passing on the blender and reaching for the food processor.

A great smoothie bowl, such as our Acai Smoothie Bowls in ATK Kids’ The Complete Cookbook for Teen Chefs, uses frozen rather than fresh fruit—the firm, icy fruit is key for thickness. Given that smoothie bowls contain less liquid than a smoothie, the mixture of frozen acai puree, frozen mixed berries, and frozen mango chunks in this recipe is too much for a blender to handle. 

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Enter the food processor, which creates a much stronger vortex to puree the fruit. It will get you a thick, smooth final product—not a chunky, watery one.

A banana and a bit of honey and salt also contribute to the thickness and flavor of our smoothie bowls, as does yogurt. It’s key to use plain (not Greek) yogurt—with less liquid than plain yogurt, Greek yogurt would actually end up making the smoothie bowl too thick.

The toppings are what really make your smoothie bowl a masterpiece, and there are endless possibilities. Try fresh whole fruit such as blueberries, raspberries, or blackberries. Slice up some strawberries, bananas, peaches, or kiwi. Add a tropical touch with fresh mango or pineapple. Granola, pepitas, sunflower seeds, sliced almonds, chia seeds, or flaxseeds all add some crunchy contrast. Make a sweet final touch with shredded coconut or coconut chips, a drizzle of extra honey, or maple syrup. Feel free to mix and match until you find your new favorite.

Acai Smoothie Bowls

Serves 2

  1. Fill medium bowl with warm water. Place 1 (3½-ounce) pouch unsweetened frozen acai puree in water and thaw slightly, about 2 minutes.
  2. Add acai puree to food processor, breaking apart any large pieces. Add 1 cup (5 ounces) frozen mixed berries and 1 cup (5 ounces) frozen mango chunks and lock lid into place. Pulse until fruit is finely chopped, about twenty 1-second pulses.
  3. Scrape down sides of processor bowl with rubber spatula. Add 1 ripe banana, peeled and broken into pieces; ½ cup plain yogurt; 1 tablespoon honey; and ⅛ teaspoon salt. Process until smooth, about 1 minute, stopping halfway through to scrape down sides of processor bowl.
  4. Divide smoothie between 2 serving bowls. Add your favorite toppings. Serve.

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