After contacting Gisele, my favourite person from Brazil, the home of the Acai Berry, I’m happy to say I now can teach you how to make an acai bowl – original style.
I bet not even the hippest California Sunshine Breakfast House can serve any better. Açaí na tigela, man!
What is acai?
Acai is a dark purple berry that tastes like a combination of wild berries, chocolate and soil, yep soil.
The berry is not sweet and you can’t just munch them like blueberries, because about 90% of it is the stone!
The berries grow on the acai palm tree, natively around the Amazon river in South America.
Since these trees need rainforest conditions, Brazil and surrounding countries are pretty much the only places where acai berries are cultivated.
Oh and Açaí is pronounced: ‘ah-sigh-EE’
Health benefits of acai berries
So you want to make an acai bowl, because you’ve heard of the amazing health benefits this so-called ‘superfruit’ brings along?
Well, here is what they do for you:
Acai berries are a rich in antioxidants (like other berries too). That’s great, because a diet rich in antioxidants seems to help prevent some of the effects of aging and against certain chronic diseases.
That’s also why marketing people love using that word. “High in antioxidants here, rich in antioxidants there.”
On top of that, acai berries are rich in fiber, protein and have high levels of heart healthy fats.
So, is the acai berry a superfood?
Yes it is. But so is any other berry! Give acai a shot if you’re after something new, for example our original acai bowl recipe from my Brazilian friend! Berries are full of polyphenols which seem to show benefits against many chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure – so feel great about snacking on some tasty berries 😉
Fresh, juice, puree or powder?
Acai berries come in many forms, but which is the best for making an acai bowl?
Fresh acai berries
Unfortunately, this option is not usually possible. Fresh acai berries will be difficult to get, unless you live in Brazil and happen to have a an acai berry palm tree growing close by. That you’re allowed to harvest.
They go rancid very quickly which is why they cannot be shipped fresh. But luckily there are other options!
Acai berry juice
Acai Juices are a bit of a problem too. At room temperature the juice quickly loses many of its beneficial nutrients.
So if you’re after the nutrients of these berries, making our acai bowl with juice isn’t the best option.
Frozen acai puree
Acai Puree works excellently for making an acai bowl. It’s usually sold in packs of 100 g/3.53 oz and costs you around $2.50 per pack.
High quality products are shock frozen right after harvesting to preserve as many nutrients as possible. Also, you shouldn’t find any additives or sweeteners in it.
Incredible but true: you can even buy frozen acai puree on Amazon (or this frozen no sugar pure acai)! The packs arrive frozen at your doorstep. (They put dried ice into the parcel. How cool is that? Literally, haha).
Acai berry powder
Yes, Acai Berry Powder works fine too! For a good quality powder you clock in at around $4.5 per ounce ($20 per 100g).
The product is dry-frozen, which basically means the pulp is frozen and then the water is removed. It’s a great way to preserve nutrients.
You can buy acai powder online. If you do, make sure you pick a good quality product like this one (Amazon Link)!
Acai Capsules will not serve for an acai bowl. Plus, there are some naughty scams out there trying to sell you acai berry capsules as a miracle weight loss product.
And they’re not tasty either. For that reason we’ll skip them.
Looks all good, but why is acai so damn expensive?
It’s not because it’s a mystical super berry which is arduous to grow and painfully harvested. Actually it’s a cheap, abundant product in Brazil.
How to make an acai bowl at home
And now the real fun begins!
The typical Brazilian Acai Bowl is called Açaí na tigela and pretty much consists of frozen acai berry pulp and a dash of guarana syrup.
It’s served with some granola and a few slices of banana on top. You’ll find it everywhere around the beach areas in Brazil.
Since guarana syrup is hard to find, the closest you can get to that recipe is by using these packs with guarana extract (Amazon Link).
We’ll make a healthier breakfast version of this classic replacing the guarana syrup and granola. Healthier, but awesome. It’s all you could wish for in an acai bowl!
Dark purple colour, lovely ice-creamy texture, refreshing and sweet, but filling. All in all this DIY acai bowl is a really tasty and feel-good breakfast.
Our super simple recipe will show you how to make an acai bowl with frozen acai berry puree or with acai powder. Here’s our tips on getting the most out of each version:
Tips to make an acai bowl with frozen acai
Frozen acai puree will likely come in a sachet which you need to keep in the freezer until it’s time to use. Don’t let it defrost before making your acai bowl or it could turn out runny!
To make it easier to get out of the sachet, simply run it under room temperature or lukewarm water.
You should also break the block of frozen acai up, to make things easier on your blender.
Tips to make an acai bowl with acai powder
Because you won’t be using a frozen block of puree, it’s important to add ice when using acai powder to achieve that thick, creamy texture.
Using frozen bananas and berries as we have in our recipe below will also help you to avoid a runny acai bowl.
How to make an Acai Bowl
- To get it really ice-creamy first peel and put the banana into the freezer for two hours.
- To make the acai bowl add frozen banana, berries, acai puree, rolled oats, soy milk and maple syrup into the blender and blend until smooth. If you use a frozen pack of acai puree make sure you break it in a couple of places before you throw it into a blender (put it under a hot tap water for a couple of seconds before breaking). If you go the powder + ice cube route be sure your blender can handle it!
- Now garnish as you wish and enjoy!
What our readers are saying
I made this this morning… so delicious!!Susan ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Thanks so much for posting this recipe! It’s so simple and I already had a couple of these ingredients in my home. I’ve made these bowls a couple of times already and they are just so delicious. Looking forward to trying other variations of this.Theresa ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Frequently asked questions
We’ve answered some of the most common acai bowl FAQ’s, but if you can’t find an answer to your question let us know in the comments.
Do acai bowls have dairy/ are they vegan?
Our DIY acai bowl has no dairy in it as we use soy milk, so it’s completely vegan. However, acai bowls in the wild may be made with dairy milk.
Can you freeze them or keep them overnight?
Acai bowls are best freshly made, but if you’re short on time or have leftovers you can certainly store them in an airtight container in the freezer. You will then need to let the mixture defrost overnight in the fridge before tucking in.
Do they go bad?
Much like smoothies, acai bowls definitely have a shelf life. You may also find that an acai bowl melts if stored in the fridge rather than the freezer. However, you should be able to store it in an airtight container (or even thermos) in the fridge for 1-2 days, and longer in the freezer.
What toppings work well?
One of the wonderful things about acai bowls is how versatile they are! In our recipe we chose mango, coconut flakes, chia seeds and chopped almonds. Any kind of chopped nuts, seeds, fruits or granola will likely work beautifully.
As you see making an acai bowl is really easy! And since these berries have gotten quite popular in the last couple of years many food bloggers have been doing their version of this tasty and healthy breakfast treat.
And last but not least check out the best 8 acai bowl recipes I could find in the whole wide internet:
- For a quick healthy brekkie: An Acai Bowl Recipe for a Super Healthy Breakfast
- For a slow Sunday morning: Irish Porridge with Acai Berry Ripple and Pistachio Cream
- With some greek yogurt in it! Quick and Easy Acai Bowl
- Finished with fruity, crunchy toppings with this Acai Berry Bowl
- Ever used a pineapple as a smoothie bowl? Check out this Tropical Acai Bowl!
- Or try out this Summer Acai Bowl out of a coconut!
- If you’re interested in an acai & chia combo for breakfast (not a super quick recipe though).
- Not an acai bowl, but I thought you would like it: Acai Bowl Cheesecakes!
Right then, I’m pretty sure you’re now sorted regarding anything and everything around acai – enjoy! 🙂