A fall inspired smoothie bowl made with frozen banana, pumpkin, cashew butter and vanilla protein powder. This pumpkin smoothie bowl is thick, creamy and tastes like liquid pumpkin pie.
I’ve been craving smoothie bowls lately, but fall is basically here so I decided to create a fall-inspired smoothie bowl. The easiest way to make something fall-themed? Add pumpkin and warming spices. Am I right?
Pumpkin adds so much nutritional value to this smoothie bowl, and when blended with frozen banana it works beautifully to create a thick and creamy base.
Why You’ll Love This Smoothie Bowl
It tastes like pumpkin pie in a bowl!
It comes together in no time at all… just add everything to a blender, blend until smooth, add your favorite toppings and serve.
The thick and creamy texture and sweetness almost makes it feel like you’re eating soft serve ice cream.
It’s dairy-free, vegan + gluten-free!
Are Smoothie Bowls Healthy?
Smoothie bowls are a great way to increase your fruit and vegetable consumption, which adds healthy nutrients, vitamins, minerals and fiber to your diet. With that in mind, smoothie bowls are also as healthy as whatever you put into them. If you add lots of processed sugar or unhealthy fats… well, you know where I’m going with this. Sticking with whole, non-processed ingredients is the way to go.
It’s important to also be mindful of the amount of toppings you’re adding, as well – the calories can add up fast without you realizing it. This bowl is 216 calories without toppings, so while toppings can boost the nutrients and calories to make a smoothie bowl meal-sized, you can definitely overdo it. Unfortunately – when it comes to smoothie bowls – there can be too much of a good thing!
frozen banana – the frozen banana helps thicken the smoothie and adds a little sweetness. Check out my guide for how to freeze bananas, which has lots of tips and tricks! Looking for a pumpkin smoothie without bananas? Try this pumpkin pie smoothie instead!
canned pumpkin – you can’t have a pumpkin smoothie bowl without it! Either canned pumpkin or homemade pumpkin puree works. If you’re using store-bought, make sure you pick up 100% pumpkin puree and not pumpkin pie filling. Pumpkin pie mix has added sugar!
cashew butter – I prefer cashew butter in this smoothie bowl because it’s extra creamy and adds a mild nutty flavor, so I highly recommend using it for the best results. That said, I’m sure using another nut or seed butter like almond butter or peanut butter would also be delicious!
pumpkin pie spice and ground cinnamon – these are a must for the pumpkin pie flavor! You can make your own pumpkin pie spice mixture or buy a pre-made pumpkin spice blend at the grocery store.
protein powder – I recommend vanilla protein powder. My favorite plant-based protein powder is Nuzest. Use code eatingbirdfood for 15% off your order!
water or almond milk – just a splash, if needed.
toppings – feel free to get creative here, but my go-to toppings for this bowl are banana slices, granola and pepitas (aka pumpkin seeds).
How to Make
I love smoothies because they come together so quickly! And this smoothie bowl is no different.
Place frozen banana chunks, canned pumpkin, cashew butter, pumpkin pie spice, and protein powder into a high-powered blender.
Blend until smooth, using your blender’s tamper to move the frozen banana around until processed completely with no remaining chunks.
The mixture should be thick, but add a splash of milk or water if you need to help blend it.
Scoop or pour your smoothie into a bowl, top with banana slices, pepitas and granola and enjoy! How simple is that?!
Okay, this is the fun part and the options are truly endless here! Get creative with your smoothie bowl toppings. Here are my go-to toppings:
banana – banana slices are the best smoothie bowl topping, IMO.
pepitas – the perfect compliment to a pumpkin smoothie bowl. Add healthy fats, fiber and texture with pepitas. Chia seeds, flax seeds or hemp seeds would be a good substitute.
coconut flakes – I love adding coconut flakes or toasted coconut to my smoothie bowls for added sweetness and crunch!
nuts – walnuts, cashews, pecans or almonds would be a great option for more crunch.
nut butter – I love adding a drizzle of cashew butter to this smoothie bowl on top!
chocolate chips – chocolate + pumpkin = the best combo ever.
sweetener – I find this smoothie bowl to be sweet enough, but if necessary you can drizzle some honey, maple syrup or monk fruit to sweeten things up!
How are smoothie bowls different from smoothies?
Smoothies and smoothie bowls are pretty similar, with nearly identical ingredients. The main difference lies in the thickness of the smoothie. A regular smoothie is thick but still liquidy enough to drink through a straw. A smoothie bowl is thicker and usually has delicious toppings added, requiring a spoon to eat it!
How can I thicken up my smoothie bowl?
Smoothie bowls are meant to be super thick and scoop-able with a spoon! Using frozen fruit and a small amount of liquid will help ensure your smoothie bowl ends up nice and thick.
One thing to note is that thick smoothie bowls are much easier to make with a high-speed blender that can process frozen fruit easily. These blenders typically come with a tamper, which is critical for pushing the ingredients around without the need for additional liquid. I’ve found that my Vitamix blender works great for smoothie bowls like this one, but it’s definitely an investment. If you’re looking for a budget-friendly option, check out the Ninja Foodi smoothie bowl maker.
Can a smoothie bowl replace a meal?
A smoothie bowl is made thick so it can hold hearty ingredients like nuts and granola, which add crunch and texture while providing sustained energy, healthy fats and protein to keep you full throughout the day. With a combination of fresh fruit and/or veggies and other healthy, whole food ingredients a smoothie bowl makes the perfect nutritious breakfast or post-workout snack. It can definitely be a quick and healthy meal replacement if it contains the right ingredients (and not too many of them).
Can I make a smoothie bowl in advance?
Yes! Just blend all your smoothie ingredients together, pour into a glass mason jar, cover and place in the fridge until ready to eat. Add your toppings when you’re ready to enjoy it!