Strawberry Kombucha Smoothie Bowl
I do most of my day-to-day, non-farmer’s market shopping in two places: Westside Market and a semi-creepy health food store on my block called Elm Health. A while back, I mentioned that I’m the resident weirdo at Westside Market, but I feel as if I’ve managed to maintain relatively normal person status at Elm Health over the years.
Sadly, that is no longer the case.
Until recently, I only went to Elm Health like twice or thrice (“thrice” is an amazing word) a month when I needed a trendy superfood or mildly obscure natural product that they don’t carry at Westside. Like bee pollen. Or an industrial-sized plastic bucket of Dead Sea bath salts. And to be perfectly honest, I’ve always kind of dreaded my trips there. The store smells like vitamins and patchouli, and I swear they change the layout bi-weekly just for fun. I’m forever doing deep-breathing exercises to keep myself from screaming, “WHERE’S THE DAMN TAHINI TODAY, YOU CRAZY HIPPIES??!”
Anyhoo, I wasn’t enough of a regular at Elm to be recognized (which was probably a good thing). Then, circa early February, I started drinking a lot of kombucha. I’ve always been a fan of the fermented tea’s unique flavor and probiotic/immunity boosting magic, but I’ve really upped my consumption in the past couple months. I’m deeeeep up in this kombucha phase right now, and the truth is, Elm Health is a real-life kombucha wonderland! So, I live there now.
I’m the weird kombucha lady.
There’s a long story involving me zoning out in front of the mesmerizing kombucha display last week and accidentally singing some VERY sexual hip hop Pandora lyrics aloud while blocking a team of employees from restocking the hummus shelf, but we don’t have time to get into those dirty details today. Let’s just say that I have accepted my role as Elm Health’s weird kombucha lady, and I will continue to make regular pilgrimages to procure the stuff for daily guzzling and Strawberry Kombucha Smoothie Bowls. (Worth it.)
I’m not sure why I didn’t start putting kombucha in my smoothies sooner, but I’m thrilled to report that it’s a pretty serious game changer. I know the kale/nut butter/nut milk combo is all the rage, but for those that prefer something a little fruitier and more refreshing, this beautiful bowl is guaranteed to hit the spot. Sweet and tangy with a kick of kombucha’s trademark acidity, it’s begging to be topped with all manner of tropical-themed goodness (so many options!!). Plus, it’s packed with vitamin C, antioxidants, omega-3s, and probiotics to give your energy levels, immune system, and general glow a solid boost.
I’m sure you’re familiar with the smoothie bowl concept, but just in case you’re a smoothie bowling virgin, here’s the deal. A smoothie bowl is not exactly the same as a regular smoothie. It’s significantly thicker—closer in texture to soft serve—and “the point” of serving it in a bowl/eating it with a spoon is that you can add all manner of pretty and nutritious toppings that you’d be unable to suck through a straw. In short? It’s got a little more heft and a lot more sex appeal. Yassss, etc.
Now that we’re on the same page, let’s talk technique. Because you want the base of your smoothie bowl to be super thick, you’re going to need some patience and a tiny bit of elbow grease to get things smooth. If you have a Vitamix, put that black plunger thingie to work, and if you don’t (no judgment), stop your blender periodically and give the ingredients a good stir. It will probably take a few minutes to blend, and you may be tempted to add more liquid. RESIST THE URGE. If you add more kombucha, you’ll end up with a regular sip-able smoothie, which is not what we’re going for here! Just breathe and keep blending. (I feel like that should be on a t-shirt.)
Once you get things blended, transfer your delicious kombucha-spiked base to a bowl and get as weird as you like with toppings. I’ve listed some of my favorite additions to this particular smoothie bowl in the recipe below, but it’s really a choose your own adventure sitch. And there’s absolutely no pressure to recreate my fancy topping designs, friends. Although decorating smoothie bowls is my favorite form of morning procrastination—it’s actually rather meditative—I recognize you may not have the time or patience to make kiwi fans or artfully sprinkle bee pollen. Whatever. Just throw a handful of your favorite treats on top and dig in. (If you’re on a tight schedule in the am, assemble your smoothie bowl in a Tupperware container, or layer smoothie and toppings in a plastic cup, and take it on-the-go.)
Peace and Friday love.
Weird Kombucha Lady
1 cup frozen strawberries
¾ cup frozen mango chunks
½ large banana (fresh or frozen)
½ tablespoon chia seeds
½ tablespoon extra virgin coconut oil (optional)
½ cup strawberry-flavored kombucha (or kombucha of your choice), I like GT's Kombucha
Unsweetened shaved coconut
Place all the ingredients in a high-speed blender. Blend until smooth. (This may require stopping the blender a few times, and giving the ingredients a stir.)
Transfer to a bowl and add toppings of your choice.
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