Bright Breakfast Buddha Bowl with Frontier Bites (Gluten Free, Vegan Option)

There's something addictive about a meal that includes a little bit of everything. Tender sweet potatoes with crispy chickpeas. Creamy avocado with crunchy sauteed vegetables. Now, I'm no expert or trend analysis...but I'm betting that killer combos like those why "buddha bowls" have recently exploded in popularity.

For those who don't know, buddha bowls are basically the kitchen sink of meals - and they boast as much variety as they do fans. According to the Urban Dictionary, a "buddha bowl" is defined by only being "packed so full, it has a rounded ‘belly’ appearance on the top much like the belly of a buddha.” That gives a new meaning to a food baby, right?

In this case, though, I'm leaving the savory road behind and trying on a new kind of buddha bowl: a bright breakfast version. Instead of leafy greens and grains, a creamy green smoothie serves as the base. And, instead of vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds or dressing on the top, there's the ultimate texture trio: juicy berries, creamy sunflower butter and - my latest addiction - crunchy Frontier Bites.

Ready to find out what the buddha bowl buzz is really about? Then keep scrolling to see my recipe for a Bright Breakfast Buddha Bowl. Of course, the best thing about buddha bowls is their personalization, so think of this as more of breakfast inspiration...but if you want a delicious (yet secretly veggie-packed) meal, follow these recipes and you'll have a winner!

Ingredients for One Breakfast Buddha Bowl:

Green nice cream:
 - 1/2 one frozen banana
 - 1-2 small frozen zucchini or squash (depending on how sweet you want it)
 - Large handful of spinach or other leafy green
 - 1 TBSP chia seeds (I love MammaChia)
 - Enough liquid to blend (I use a mix of coconut milk and cooled, brewed tea)
 - Optional: turmeric, cinnamon, spirulina, vanilla, and a pinch of nutmeg

Bright Breakfast Buddha Bowl with Frontier Bites (Gluten Free, Vegan Option)

To make the base of your buddha bowl, simply blend all of these ingredients in a high-powered blender (both my Nutribullet and my Vitamix have worked). One extra pro tip is to put the bowl you plan on using in the freezer as you make your smoothie. Then, when you pour your smoothie inside, it'll stay colder (and thicker) longer. Next comes the fun part: choosing your toppings - and with buddha bowls, the more the merrier!

With buddha bowls, the goal is to have a mix of different textures and flavors. So, I've listed out some options in groups of "chewy," "creamy" and "crunchy." And if you have your own favorite toppings, of course, add those in!

Topping Ideas for Your Gluten Free Buddha Bowl: 

Chewy Buddha Bowl Toppings:

Oatless oatmeal clusters. If you want to make your buddha bowl more winter-friendly (or just can't go without your oatmeal in the morning), look no further than this crunchy alternative to your usual creamy oats. It also doesn't hurt that you can make this topping in under five minutes (thank you, microwave) and that it stays good overnight. Smoothie + (oatless) oats = chewy heaven!

Raisins or other dried fruit. Okay, I'm addicted. I've been going through handfuls of raisins every day for a few months now, and I don't see that stopping anytime soon. Feel free to sprinkle on whatever dried fruits are calling your name. For a tropical twist, use dried pineapple or mango. Or, you can use my personal favorite: dried figs.

Bright Breakfast Buddha Bowl with Frontier Bites (Gluten Free, Vegan Option)

Mini (or regular) pancakes. I always love enjoying pancakes for breakfast, but I hate making them that morning...which is why I try to have a stack of my baked mini pancakes on-hand to eat alone or on top of a smoothie. If you've ever wondered what clouds taste like, these sweet, chewy treats are exactly how I imagine them..

Creamy Buddha Bowl Toppings:

Berries and banana hearts. Fruit is the healthiest candy there is...and you can use whatever fruit you happen to have in your fridge. Bananas add a creamy factor while berries like strawberries, blueberries and raspberries offer a tart punch. For extra foodporn swag, cut yours into shapes like hearts or even stars.

Drizzle of So Delicious yogurt (or your own favorite yogurt). Yogurt will always be my go-to night snack, but I have some Instagram friends who are queens at making everything from words to hearts with yogurt in the smoothie bowls. While I'm not at that level, yogurt can add a sweet hint - especially if you include tarter fruits (like cherries and blackberries) in your buddha bowl.

Bright Breakfast Buddha Bowl with Frontier Bites (Gluten Free, Vegan Option)

Sunbutter swirl. Kick up the protein and your buddha bowl flavor by adding a few swirls of sunflower butter (or your favorite nut butter) on top. Trust me: that moment you get a bite of smoothie, berries and sunbutter all at once is sooooo worth the work.

Crunchy Buddha Bowl Toppings:

Homemade granola. So, I've basically lost count of how much granola I eat each week, but I'm pretty sure I'm probably made of at least 33% granola. Feel free to use your favorite store-bought variety or check out my recipes - which range from green smoothie granola to coconut berry to tropical. Enough different flavors to please even the pickiest of taste buds.

A sprinkle of chia seeds. No explanation needed!

Magic shell. Ironically enough, this crunchy element is about as easy as a recipe can get...but it definitely looks magical when you pour it over your buddha bowl! Simply mix a small portion of coconut oil (around 1 TBSP or so) with a pinch of cacao powder (or another powder like acai, maca or spirulina). Then, pour it over your cold smoothie and watch it freeze!

Bright Breakfast Buddha Bowl with Frontier Bites (Gluten Free, Vegan Option)

Frontier Bites. I've perhaps saved the best topping for last. A few weeks ago, Frontier Bites reached out and asked if I'd like to sample their bites - and, of course, I said yes! I fell in love with this "gerbil food" (as my dad lovingly calls it) from first bite, mainly because of its simple ingredients. Just 8 natural ingredients (like puffed millet and brown rice, nuts and seeds) and 0 refined sugars! So far, my favorite flavor is the Macadamia Pineapple Coconut...but I'm also loving their two new flavors: Cashew Cranberry Orange and Pumpkin Seed Apple Vanilla Bean (a mouthful, but also their first nut free option).

While Frontier Bites taste delicious on their own, I think combining them with a creamy element - like yogurt or a smoothie - makes them even better. The Almond Blueberry flavor won over my gluten-lovin' dad, so this treat isn't just for celiacs either. It also doesn't hurt that Frontier Bites is from Colorado, where I now live. Colorado companies for the win! (Note: Frontier Bites do not contain dairy, but they do contain honey. For a totally vegan buddha bowl, just remove these!).

Bright Breakfast Buddha Bowl with Frontier Bites (Gluten Free, Vegan Option)

All of these toppings options go to say that your bowl size is the limit to designing the buddha bowl of your dreams. It really is hard to mess up a buddha bowl, especially if you stick with ingredients you know you'll love.

One of the best things about buddha bowls, though, is that they aren't just tasty. They're also a sneaky way to enjoy a serving of veggies, plenty of plant-based protein and a few delicious treats for the soul. I'll just wrap this up by saying that if eating buddha bowls really was inspired by I know the secret to his calm, wise life!

*I received products from Frontier Bites without charge in return for a review. However, all ideas, opinions and recipes are my own.*

*Also found at What'd You Do, Melt in Your Mouth, Made By You, Totally Terrific Tuesday, Create Link Inspire, Tasty Tuesday, Turn it Up Tuesday, Share Fest!*

What would you top your Breakfast Buddha Bowl with? Have you ever heard of or tried Frontier Bites? Tell me your thoughts below!


  1. Just wanted you to know that I featured this on the Create Link Inspire party. I also added it to my Instagram post. I loved that you linked it up. What a great recipe. Thank you!

    1. Thanks for the feature, Rachel, and for letting me know! :)

  2. I have never added zucchini or squash to my breakfast bowls but this looks so good that I want to try! :)

    1. Definitely! Once you start adding them to your breakfast bowls, you won't turn back!


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