Berry-Chickpea Smoothie Bowl

Berry-Chickpea Smoothie Bowl

My grandparents always use the saying “Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper.” But, for my whole adult life, I’ve pretty much done the exact opposite: I’ve skipped breakfast, eaten a small lunch and then had an enormous dinner at like 10 p.m. So, recently, I’ve been trying to eat healthy breakfasts, and it feels so much better…

Do you ever make smoothie bowls? They take five minutes to make, incorporate whatever ingredients you have around the house and are good for you. Also, they look like works of art! The recipe below uses protein- and fiber-rich chickpeas. (Sounds weird, tastes delicious.)

Berry-Chickpea Smoothie Bowl

Berry-Chickpea Smoothie Bowl

You will need:

1 cup of berries, fresh or frozen
Half a banana
1/3 cup chickpeas, cooked or low-sodium canned
1/2 cup milk, any kind
Garnishes of your choice, such as chia seeds, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, dried cranberries, coconut, granola and sliced banana (We got the seeds and dried fruits from the Whole Foods bulk bins.)

Add all ingredients except garnishes to a blender, or use an immersion blender, and combine until smooth.

Top with garnishes and serve right away in a bowl.

Berry-Chickpea Smoothie Bowl

The U.S. Dry Pea & Lentil Council and Pulse Canada, two farmer-funded non-profits, recently told us about their Pulse Pledge. You commit to eating a meal that includes a “pulse” (a sub-category of legumes that includes dry peas, lentils, chickpeas and beans) once a week. We’ve been making vegetable chili, hummus and these smoothie bowls — hearty food that fills you up and boosts your energy. To raise awareness about pulses, which are healthy, affordable and sustainable, the United Nations has officially named 2016 the “Year of Pulses,” and I’m happy to be a part of it. You can find out more about cooking with pulses and the Pulse Pledge here.

Berry-Chickpea Smoothie Bowl

Are you into smoothie bowls? What recipes do you make with pulses?

P.S. The best South Indian dahl and a comforting vegetarian chili.

(Recipe adapted from The Sprouted Fig. Photos by Yossy Arefi for Cup of Jo. This post is sponsored by the U.S. Dry Pea & Lentil Council and Pulse Canada, which work with growers, processors, warehouse workers and sellers of pulses in the U.S. and Canada. Thank you for supporting the organizations that support Cup of Jo.)

  1. Ashley says...

    My 2 year old is so picky!
    I love doing banana, spinach, avocado (because she won’t touch the 5 different ways I have offered avocado regularly), blueberry, almond milk
    I will have to try chickpeas now!

    I refuse to eat canned food, but don’t have an hour to cook them.
    Has anyone found a quick alternative at the grocery store?!?!

  2. Oh I love the idea of using chickpeas! This is not something I have thought of before. I often add lots of nuts, seeds, and sprouts, but I will add chickpeas to my list. Thank you!

  3. katharine hitchcock says...

    Does anybody know the brand of the spoon featured in the very first picture?? I can’t seem to figure it out in my googlings…

  4. Jessica says...

    It poured out fine from the blender but I left it in a bowl for a few minutes while I assembled a salad and when I came back to it, it had congealed and the liquid separated. Not sure what I did wrong…

  5. chickpeas have been everywhere in my life recently!

  6. Arianna says...

    saw this yesterday and thought I can do that! and i’m happy to say i did. very yummy breakfast!

  7. Millie says...

    I made this for my family this morning after seeing it yesterday! Thanks for the recipe. It was a big hit all around! (My kids loved that they could each pick their own toppings.) :)

  8. Smoothie bowls are a staple in my house- love them! I’ve never thought to put chickpeas in one though…definitely going to have to try this out. Thanks!

  9. Loves this! beans are so good for you! They’re a HUGE reason why the Mediterranean Diet is so healthy and has created populations of nonagenarians and centegenarians- the majority of their protein came from beans, pulses and seafood, with meat being consumed on rare occasions.

  10. I definitely want to try this! I usually have some a couple toasts drizzled with olive oil (sometimes I add some crushed tomato, cheese or ham), a glass of milk and a small sweet something. Your bowl looks so healthy and yummy!

  11. Cousa says...

    As a woman grown up in the Mediterranean culture, I always found the idea of having smoothies or fruits for breakfast a bit funny. We usually have lots of different cheeses (feta, emmental, vintage, all of them!), veggies (tomatoes are favorites of everyone), eggs and sucuk, a kind of like a chorizo, but Turkish version. Bread and savory pastry is always a nice option. And of course we drink lots of black tea.

    When I tell this to my international friends they think we are crazy for eating cheese, something they eat with wine, in breakfast. It’s amazing how each culture categorizes food differently.

    I loved how easy and creative this recipe is, but I think I’ll make it for after dinner dessert. Thanks Joanna!

  12. kara says...

    I love the idea of chickpeas in a smoothie! Last night I tried frozen beets as the veggie in my smoothie and it was beautiful and refreshing. (Also love that you’re partnering with the US Pea and Lentil Council. I’m a dietitian, and it’s so important to support our fruit and veggie growers. Whole foods are the way to go.)

  13. katy says...

    I would have NEVER thought to add chickpeas to my smoothie! I love this idea so much, especially adding the garnishes and eating from a bowl. I just became vegan recently and have been looking for new ways to enjoy breakfast without eggs. This is perfect, can’t wait to make this m morning ritual. xo

  14. Caz says...

    I usually make smoothies with berries, banana, raw baby spinach, greek yoghurt and almond milk. I’d never have thought to put chickpeas in though! What a great idea! I’m a big fan of getting protein at breakfast because I hate feeling hungry (and, inevitably, hangry) 2 hours later. I’m going to try this tomorrow :)

  15. Definitiv trying this out tomorrow morning. I always wanted to try one of those fancy smoothie bowls but I never had all the ingredients at home. But I have everything for this recipe at home and the idea ok chickpeas in a smoothie sounds exciting.

    • Ok, whoa quite a lot of spelling mistakes in my comment above. But I just had to comment again because it’s just so so good. If you make it with frozen berries it nearly tastes like ice-cream, ice-cream for breakfast. So great.

  16. Love me some chickpeas! Creative breakfast idea. Always looking for ways to change it up!

  17. We eat a lot of pulses in our house, my two teenage boys are now use to beans being substituted for meat in most meals – chickpeas are a favourite especially in a curry (channa dal) but would NEVER have thought of putting some in a smoothie – GENIUS!

  18. Awads says...

    We’ve always been pulse-eaters, without actually knowing pulses were a thing! This is in heavy rotation, only we double it for our family of 3 b/c it is perfect for breakfast the next day with a fried egg on top!

  19. This looks delicious! I’m addicted to the acai bowls from Juice Generation. I’ve been meaning to try making them at home.

  20. ashley says...

    What’s the hand blender you guys are using? I have been thinking of getting one as I don’t think I need some crazy gadget that takes up a ton of counterspace.. but have always wondered if hand blenders would be powerful enough to blend icy fruits, etc for smoothies?

  21. Emily says...

    Yum! As a vegetarian, I love lentils and chickpeas. I could eat hummus every day, and I have a super simple really tasty lentil/tomato stew recipe from the Eat to Live cookbook that I love. So filling and delicious!

    I love chia seeds in the MamaChia drinks, but I’ve been nervous to try anything with them on my own — they seem intimidating for some reason! Do you need to do anything with them first, or do you truly just eat them raw like that?

    • Dee says...

      Eat them raw. Or you can also incorporate it before blending. Chia seeds is also super good on overnight oats, soak in milk along with oats overnight. That way, they become jelly-like in texture. Hope this helps!

  22. Delicious and Beautiful!!
    Coincidentally, last night we were discussing with my husband what we should be giving to our kids for breakfast. This smoothie bowl seems like the answer. Sounds like this would be the ideal breakfast!!
    I just hope they want to give up their chocolate milk with toast and jam for this much more nutritious option.
    By the way, chick peas for breakfast, sounds great!!


    • Katherine says...

      I often make frozen berry smoothies for my boys and add a big spoon of unsweetened cocoa for my chocolate lover. I might also add a little maple syrup or a spoon of jam to bring out the sweetness. But really, berry and chocolate are made for each other!

  23. Emma says...

    I signed up for the Pulse Pledge a few weeks ago! It’s actually been a super-simple thing to incorporate into our week – we’ve had lentil dahl, black bean burritos, rice and beans…super tasty, healthy, and cheap! Thanks for the ideas for a pulse-friendly breakfast!

  24. Emily says...

    I’ve been in the market for an immersion blender but am overwhelmed by options and reviews. Do you like yours? If so, what brand is it?


  25. I literally cant leave the house if I haven’t had breakfast – butttt, this doesn’t mean its always very interesting, usually porridge, or scrambled eggs, so this smoothie bowl looks amazing, so versatile! x

  26. Linda K says...

    Kudos to a Canadian sponsor for figuring out a ton of Canadians follow your blog. Trying this tomorrow am…

  27. Maire says...

    If I have some time on my hands, I love to make moussaka, substituting cooked lentils for the meat. So delicious!

  28. Rachel K says...

    I’ve never thought of using chickpeas in smoothies – great idea and can’t wait to try it!

  29. The immersion blender is my favorite kitchen tool and yet I have never once thought of using it to make a smoothie. Facepalm! This is so genius and a major tip of the day. Thank you!

  30. Mtn Momma says...

    Joanna! I’m not sure if those are your hands… but if they are, it looks like you haven’t been chewing your nails, right on girl!
    Smoothie bowls are a morning staple in our house, my husband loves them and so does my 15 month old. We also sometimes blend in an egg, avocado or even a few almonds for a little extra crunch.
    Also worth seriously checking out; acai bowls. Mindblown next level stuff. I usually crave chocolate at about 9pm… an acai bowl nicely fills the void. Pure acai Amazon berries & a banana, but tastes rich and chocolatey. Same as the smoothie bowls, you can add a handful of nuts, some shredded coconut, you name it… Sambazon acai frozen packs can usually be found in the frozen fruit aisle. The unsweetened ones are sweet enough for our family. Amazing antioxidant qualities. We live in Canada where the days are short and dark from October to March. Beautiful and snowy, but cold and it’s easy to lack vitimin D and slip into a dark place. Something so simple as a healthy smoothie bowl, or some acai makes a big difference for our little familia….!

  31. Kate says...

    This is our go to split pea soup recipe –

    But lately I’ve been digging lentil soup, cooked slowly all Saturday and Sunday and then used for lunch the whole week. I start with the recipe linked above, sub in lentils for split peas, omit the meat, use veggie broth and add a bunch of chopped kale or chard.

  32. Julia says...

    I thought Cup of Jo was a safe space – the one blog where I would not be inundated by smoothie bowls. They. Are. Everywhere. Kidding aside, though, I will admit that this one looks pretty realistic and approachable. No bee pollen or chocolate protein powder or tiger nuts, just easy pantry and fridge items most of us have on hand.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      hahahaha your comment made me so nervous at first! hahahaha

  33. Oooh this looks so good! Definitely going to make it.

  34. Dewey says...

    Love this idea, but one point: be sure to grind up your flax! If you eat it whole, your body can’t break through the coating and you end up (not to put too fine a point on it) pooping out the whole seeds. Once you smash it, though, you can access all the nutrients.

  35. Jennifer says...

    We’re a vegetarian family and so we eat A LOT of lentils and beans and chickpeas. But my three year old is picky and so I’ve resorted to hiding them in his food so I don’t have to deal with the complaining.

    I add chickpea flour to pancakes to add protein, it is impossible to tell the difference when you split it half and half with all-purpose flour. I make tomato sauce for spaghetti with cooked red lentils blended into it. I make shepherd’s pie with brown lentils instead of meat. And my husband and I loved smashed chickpea salad sandwiches.

    (I am also a smoothie devotee. My one year old and I split a green smoothie every morning. He’s basically getting his entire life’s worth of kale in these early years, just in case he gets picky later on, too!)

    • Madie says...

      Thanks for the tips! Will have to try the chickpea flour.

  36. Okay, I’ll admit that I got up and made this for my breakfast before I even finished reading it… It was delish.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      so glad to hear it!

  37. We absolute love pulses here in France! If I am in a hurry I simply roast tomatoes, garlic and chickpeas with a little olive oil, I love using heavy cooking dishes such as Le Creuset for this, it adds to the flavour somehow. Add a sprinkle of herbs and cook for half an hour, quick, healthy and delicious with no effort. Also I had never had a smoothie bowl until our eldest daughter who is 19 made them for us for breakfast at Christmas, we were all hooked, my favourite is with frozen red berries, bananas and chia seeds as a topping!

  38. I’m vegetarian, so lentils and peas support me all day erry day. But who knew that peas and lentils had a whole council supporting THEM?! I find this information to be utterly adorable.

  39. Catie says...

    What a great idea! I love the high-nutrient-impact/low price point of pulses, and the recipes look delicious. There’s a reason people are still eating these millennia after they were first cultivated…(okay, several)