• Yemila Lowry, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

How to Create a Healthy Smoothie Bowl

A great way to begin your day and even fuel your muscles after an intense workout is a nutrient-rich smoothie bowl. Most bowls are packed with antioxidants, protein, good carbohydrates and good fats, vitamins and minerals. While others are simply a chocolate milkshake served in a bowl, tasty nonetheless. So, how do you determine which bowls are healthy for you?

Let’s first break down “What is a Smoothie Bowl”

The main ingredient is going to be any kind of fruit, based on your preference. That can be strawberries, banana, blueberries, peaches, pineapples and so forth. Then milk, water or a milk-substitute is added to it to help liquefy the texture. Lastly, toppings are added such as granola, coconut shavings, or chia seeds.

However, not all bowls are created equally aka healthfully. Some have a concentrated amount of sugar, others lack fiber or even protein.

“So, how can I create a healthy smoothie bowl?” Great question. Follow these steps to ensure your bowl is well balanced and nutrient-rich.

1. Choose fruits higher in fiber. These are your berries, apples, pears, kiwi, oranges, or bananas.

2. Add in a leafy green. Include spinach, kale or Swiss chard.

-- If you’re trying to gain weight add ¼ of an avocado.

3. Choose a low-fat liquid. This can be water, coconut water, skim milk, almond milk or rice milk.

-- If you’re trying to gain weight try whole milk or hemp milk.

4. Add ice if the fruit isn’t frozen and blend until smooth.

5. Lastly, add your toppings. Try granola, chia seeds, fresh mint, dried fruit (cranberries, goji berries, dates, or apricots), nuts (pistachios, walnuts, cashews, or pecans), pomegranate, fresh fruit, or peanut butter (or any nut


-- If you’re trying to lose or maintain your weight, be aware of your serving size. Dried fruit and nuts can easily pack a lot of calories if you’re not careful, so start with a tablespoon of each.

Why are smoothie bowls healthy?

They are a great source of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals! That means it’s naturally a superfood with a boost of energy. They can offer a good amount of fiber (great for weight loss and colon health), heart healthy fats, and a great post-workout meal (just make you add a source of protein listed above).

Where can I find one?

We’re so fortunate to have an array of healthy options here on campus, one of them being Jamba Juice. Our Jamba Juice is located at the Student Wellness Complex (SWC), building 61, as soon as you walk in on the left. They have a variety of smoothies, breakfast wraps, protein bars, and of course smoothie bowls. Remember, stick to my suggestions to ensure you’re getting a well-balanced meal.

Also, you can always modify the smoothies listed on the menu. Don’t feel obligated to order what’s only on the menu and let them know that Yemila sent you! 😉

How to Build a Better Bowl Event

Make sure to stop by our smoothie bowl event THIS Thursday, September 28th at the SWC from 4-6pm to learn more about mouth-watering nutritious bowls. Feel free to ask questions or share your favorite recipe. Look out for more events happening during Healthy Campus Week and make sure to tag @healthy_osprey and @UNFdining using #UNFhealthycampus for a chance to win $100 TARGET gift card…HOLLA!

Until next time, Stay Healthy Ospreys!

Much love,

Yemila Lowry, RDN

#healthyincollege #smoothiebowl #nutrition #unfdiningservices #universityofnorthflorida #jambajuice #foodgroups

UNF Dining Services' Dietitian

Email Yemila: y.lowry@unf.edu

Bldg 8/1210-J

1 UNF Drive, Jacksonville, FL 32224