Acai Bowls

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.

a top-down photo of acai bowl garnished with fresh fruit

Sometimes Mr. K. and I fall into unhealthy eating spirals and need to reset on 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 have been all the rage for the past two 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. Plus, you can customize them with your favorite toppings.

a close-up photo of an acai bowl

What is Acai?

Acai berries are grown in Brazil and are considered a super-fruit 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 Acai

I buy frozen acai puree 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.a photo collage showing two brands of acai frozen packets

I recommend buying unsweetened pure packets. One package usually comes with four packets of puree and costs between $5 to $7. I usually use two packets at a time blended with other fruit to make two fairly decent sized acai bowls.

How to Make Acai Bowl

An acai bowl is very similar to a smoothie except it’s thicker and served with different kinds of toppings. The recipe I’m sharing is made with coconut milk, bananas, and other frozen fruit, but feel free to switch things up to suit your tastes.

Acai Bowl Ingredients

Acai

I like to use two packets of frozen acai puree, which is 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 a 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 mangos. Frozen strawberries, raspberries, or blackberries would be delicious, too.

All you do is place the ingredients in a high-powered blender and puree them. Pour the puree into bowls and then you’re ready to add some toppings.

Toppings

Unlike smoothies, acai bowls often have toppings and there are so many ways to customize your acai bowl 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.
  • Granola
  • Shredded coconut
  • Sliced almonds or other nuts

a close-up overhead photo of an acai bowl topped with fruit and nuts

Acai Bowls

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Course: Breakfast, Snacks
Cuisine: American
Servings: 2 bowls

Made with the super fruit from Brazil, these acai bowls are slightly thicker than a regular smoothie and topped with fresh fruits, granola, and nuts for a healthy breakfast or snack.

Ingredients:

  • 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

Optional Toppings

  • fresh fruit of your choice
  • granola
  • shredded coconut
  • sliced almonds

Directions:

  1. 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.

  2. Pour into bowls and top with granola, fresh fruit, shredded coconut, sliced almonds, or whatever else you desire.

Notes:

I prefer to use 1/2 of a medium-sized banana, but a whole one will make your base thicker and sweeter.

I like coconut milk, but another liquid of your choice such as soy milk, almond milk, or regular milk will work well, too.

You can add other frozen fruit to change the base flavor of the smoothie and make it sweeter, but this is optional. I like to add blueberries or mangos.

The nutrition estimate does not include the additional 1/2 cup of frozen fruit or the toppings. I used the Sambazon brand of acai. If you use a different brand the nutrition estimates may vary.

Nutrition Facts
Acai Bowls
Amount Per Serving (1 bowl)
Calories 182 Calories from Fat 67
% Daily Value*
Fat 7.4g11%
Saturated Fat 3.9g24%
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.1g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.2g
Sodium 17.5mg1%
Carbohydrates 28.9g10%
Fiber 3.5g15%
Sugar 20.2g22%
Protein 0.9g2%
Vitamin A 400IU8%
Vitamin C 7.4mg9%
Calcium 30mg3%
Iron 1.1mg6%
Net Carbs 25g50%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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. All images and content are © Kirbie's Cravings.

 

14 comments on “Acai Bowls”

  1. I’ve been seeing these bowls everywhere. We have local cafe that serves acai bowls (shocker) haha! I haven’t tried one, your recipe looks delicious! 

    • you should definitely try one! it’s similar to eating a smoothie with a spoon, but a little bit thicker, and lots of yummy granola in it =)

  2. I have not tried acai bowls, so thanks for the recipe. BTW, there’s lots of other (yummy) reasons to go to Hawaii: Poke, plate lunches, maladadas, …

  3. hmm the acai prices don’t seem too bad if you can make two bowls with two packets. i have frozen blueberries at home that need to be used so i think i’ll surprise the husband/relatives with this for labor day! 🙂

    • Yeah, it really depends on how much fruit you add to your packets. if you don’t add anything, then 2 packets is about one big bowl, but if you add other fruits (which helps the flavor and adds a natural sweetness), you can make two bowls. especially if you already have fresh and frozen fruit, which I always do, it’s pretty cheap to just buy the packets rather than going out to buy the bowls at a cafe.

  4. I love a good acai bowl for breakfast or lunch on the weekends. Since I love them so much, I have to make them at home otherwise I’d go broke! Have you tried making pitaya bowls? I always want to buy the frozen packs at the store but I’m not sure how it would taste at home. The recipe calls for banana and I’m afraid the banana will overpower the dragon fruit flavor

    • I have made pitaya bowls =) I actually love them even more because of the pretty pink and the natural sweetness of pitaya. I did it with 1/2 a banana, and I don’t think it overwhelmed. One full banana might be too much though.

  5. TC is obsessed with acai bowls. I ought some frozen acai packs at Costco for her so she could make her own. I don’t remember the brand though.

  6. Your bowls look so delicious!!!! They’re making me want to leave work ASAP and make myself one….

  7. I know this is an older thread, but I was wondering if you have a preference of acai brands: Do you like the Sambazon or the Amazon Planet frozen acai better? I can’t get Amazon Planet locally, so I would have to order it, but I like the fact that they use no fillers at all in their unsweetened acai. Sambazon always tastes too tart for me (the citric acid, I think).

    • I like them both. Though I usually get Sambazon as I can get it in bulk at Costco. In terms of sweetness, they seem to be about the same for me.

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