If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I’ve been addicted to acai bowls. The acai berries come from Brazil and they’ve been dubbed as one of the superfoods as the berries are loaded with antioxidant and other nutrients. I’m no expert on the subject, all I know is they are healthy and taste great! From what I understand, it’s extremely difficult to import the berries fresh and that’s why we can only find the purees in the frozen aisle.
Just a few pretty bowls I’ve enjoyed in restaurants and juice shops.
An acai bowl is essentially a smoothie bowl with two components: the acai base, and the toppings. The acai base is a mixture of blended frozen fruit (including the acai puree) and some form of liquid like soy milk. The toppings can be anything from fresh fruit to granola or nuts. There have been a lot of debates over how healthy an acai bowl is for you, as many of them are high in calories and sugar. I say, everything in moderation. Use real fruit, less banana, don’t use sweet fruit juice (like apple juice) in the acai base, skip the granola as toppings (most are high in fat) and use nuts or high-fiber cereal that’s low in sugar. Acai bowls can be very costly when purchased in a shop, and not all places make them as healthy as they should be, so make your own! Not only do you save money but you know exactly what you are putting into your body.
I buy the acai puree from the frozen aisle at Whole Foods market, they come in a bag with four 3.5 oz packets. I always buy the unsweetened ones as the other ingredients in the bowl will add plenty of sugar. If you cannot find acai puree, you can use acai powder and they are widely available in health stores. You can use any type of fruit and liquid of your choice for the acai base; I tend to stick to berries and bananas and use unsweetened non-dairy milk (nutmilk/soymilk/rice milk). How about adding in some homemade nut butter and matcha powder? Really, the options are endless!
This is the ratio I like but you can play around with the amount of liquid and frozen fruit to the consistency of your liking. Also, think about how you want to pair the toppings to the base. For example, if there are cacao powder and peanut butter in the base, don’t pair with fruit like mango or pineapple.
- 1 3.5 oz packet of frozen unsweetened acai puree (run under water for a few seconds and break it up to smaller pieces prior to using) If using powder, use 2 Tbsp.
- 1 cup frozen fruit (any combination of strawberry, blueberry, raspberry, blackberry, pineapple, mango, nectarine)
- 1/2 banana
- 1/2 cup liquid (I like unsweetened nutmilk, soymilk, fat free coconut milk, rice milk)
Optional things to add to the base:
- 1 tbsp unsalted nut butter
- 1/2 tsp raw cacao powder
- handful of spinach or kale
- 1/2 tsp matcha powder
- fresh fruit
- toasted coconut chips or shredded coconut
- chia seeds
- granola or high fiber cereal
- toasted pepitas
- bee pollen
- hemp seeds
- Blend all the ingredients in a high speed blender (like Vitamix) until thick and creamy. Use the tamper tool if needed, add more liquid if the consistency is too thick.
- Transfer to a bowl and add toppings. Enjoy!
Note: I like my acai base to be thick, so if you like yours to be of thinner, either use fresh unfrozen fruit or add more liquid.