Acai bowls are similar to smoothies but they are thicker and served in a bowl. You can top them with all sorts of delicious toppings like fresh fruit, granola, and nuts. It’s one of our favorite ways to get a healthy start to the day.
Sometimes Mr. K. and I fall into unhealthy eating spirals and need to reset our diets. He’s not really into detox programs like juice cleanses, but he loves acai bowls and pitaya bowls so that’s our go-to when we feel like we need to eat a little healthier.
Acai bowls are thick smoothie bowls and have been all the rage for the past few years and seem to be offered at every juice, coffee, or health-conscious cafe in San Diego, with prices ranging between $6-8. But it’s actually really easy to make your own acai bowls at home and they are much cheaper than the ones I see at cafes.
This acai bowl recipe is the one I use most often, but it’s really easy to customize it based on your own tastes. You can easily change the fruit mix-ins and toppings and never have it the same way twice.
- Acai: I like to use two packets acai puree, which you can find in the freezer section. It’s enough to make two generous acai bowls. It’s a good idea to run the acai packets under warm water for a few seconds before opening them. This makes it easier to break the frozen puree into pieces before you process it in the blender.
- Bananas: I like to use one half of a medium-sized banana for two bowls, but if you prefer a thicker and sweeter acai bowl, I recommend using a whole banana.
- Coconut Milk: I love coconut milk, but you can also substitute soy milk, almond milk or regular milk.
- Frozen Fruit: I like to add half of a cup of frozen fruit and I often switch up the fruit depending on my mood. For this version, I added frozen blueberries, but I also love to use frozen mango. Frozen strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, and pineapple would be delicious, too.
Because fruit has natural sweetness, I don’t usually add sugar to the blended fruit. Instead, I might use a little honey as a garnish if I want a little sweetness for my bowl.
What is Acai?
Acai berries are grown in Brazil and are considered a superfood because of their high nutrient content, plus they are packed with antioxidants.
Acai has a reddish-purple color, which I love because it makes the acai bowls so pretty. Acai berries are sweet and taste like a blend of blackberries, blueberries and mulberries.
You can enjoy it all on its own or you can blend it with other fruits to create different flavors for your acai bowl.
Where to Buy It
I buy frozen acai in puree form at Whole Foods. There are two brands I like to buy: Amazon Planet or Sambazon. I also recently started buying the Sambazon brand from Costco.
All you do is place the ingredients in a high-powered blender and puree them. Pour the mixture into bowls and then you’re ready to add some toppings.
Unlike smoothies, acai bowls often have toppings and there are so many ways to customize them with different flavors and textures. Here are some of our favorite toppings:
- Fresh fruit like strawberries, grapes, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries. Or try sliced bananas, kiwi, or even avocado.
- Chopped nuts
- Shredded coconut flakes
- Sliced almonds or other nuts
- Chia seeds
Just be careful to not go overboard with the toppings if you are trying to eat lighter – they can really add up.
I hope you look for acai the next time you’re at the grocery store and use it to make these healthy fruit smoothie bowls. It’s one of our favorite breakfasts when we’re trying to eat better.
More Healthy Breakfast Recipes
- 2 packets of unsweetened frozen acai puree
- 1/2 medium banana see note
- 2 tbsp coconut milk see note
- 1/2 cup frozen fruit see note
- fresh fruit of your choice
- shredded coconut
- sliced almonds
- In a high powered blender, blend acai, banana, milk and frozen fruit (if using). Make sure to run frozen acai packets under warm water for about 5-10 seconds and break into smaller pieces before adding to the blender. Blend until consistency is slightly thicker than a smoothie.
- Pour into bowls and top with granola, fresh fruit, shredded coconut, sliced almonds, or whatever else you desire.
The nutrition information provided are only estimates based on an online nutritional calculator. I am not a certified nutritionist. Please consult a professional nutritionist or doctor for accurate information and any dietary restrictions and concerns you may have.