How To Make An Acai Bowl (Homemade Acai Bowl Recipe)
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The acai smoothie bowl trend has been HOT in recent years! I bet you’ve seen them sold at a painful price in your fave cafés, as the most incredible new superfood to hit the market. We have too – which is why we decided to learn how to make an acai bowl at home! Cheaper and guaranteed healthy!
First things first: what is an acai berry? Acai is a dark purple berry that tastes like a combination of wild berries, chocolate and soil, yep soil.
The berries grow on the acai palm tree, which is native to 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.
Açaí bowls are a popular snack in Brazil – eaten kind of like we eat ice cream. And like ice cream, they are not always healthy! The favorite toppings in Brazil are usually condensed milk, sweet powdered milk, maybe some chocolate and granola.
There is often fresh fruit too, like banana or strawberries, but an açai bowl is definitely NOT always treated as a ‘health food’, the way we think about it!
However, the acai berry has incredible health benefits and when served with banana, coconut flakes and chia seeds, like our very easy acai bowl recipe, it sure is healthy!!
You can pick up acai packets in the grocery store these days! A frozen acai packet is the most common form, and the frozen fruit contains as many nutrients as the fresh berries! Alternatively, try acai powder and 3-4 ice cubes.
The banana is added to the blender with the pureed acai berries, to add some healthy potassium and filling fibre. If you want your acai bowl to be super ice-creamy, a great way to achieve this is by freezing the banana!
Frozen Berry Mix
Also added to the high-speed blender, to bulk out the acai berries, add flavour and vary the nutritional profile.
Oats add more fibre to your acai bowl, to make it more filling than fruit alone!
This makes your bowl creamier! You can also use almond milk, oat milk, coconut milk! Or just stick to dairy!
Maple syrup / honey
There is no added sugar in this homemade acai bowl recipe – we stuck to natural sweeteners.
These make a delicious topping, with a rich, nutty flavour!
A super healthy addition to the bowl, and one that will keep you full for hours!
Tropical Fruits – ie. Mango
With their healthy profile, vibrant color and delicious flavour, mangos are great thing to top your acai bowl with. But don’t be afraid to experiment – the choice of toppings is endless!
How many calories in an acai bowl?
This really depends on what toppings you choose, but if you follow our recipe you should end up with approximately 374 kcal. It also contains 10g protein per serving.
A quick overview of the nutritional profile of this healthy breakfast:
Health Benefits of Acai
What actually makes a healthy acai bowl so good for you? What is it about those funny little berries? Acai berries have a pretty unique nutritional profile. They are rich in heart healthy fats, but contain relatively few calories. They contain little protein, but still have 19 different amino acids! They also contain more antioxidants than most berries.
So while you won’t be smashing through your protein intake (unless you add protein powder or maybe peanut butter to the mix), you will be getting a big helping of the fat, fibre, and nutrients you need to be healthy!
They are actually the perfect weight loss breakfast – 374 kcal, 9g fat, 10g fibre is a great balance, which will keep you going until lunchtime. Check out our 7 Day Free Weight Loss Plan to see how you could work this acai bowl into a weight loss diet.
How to make an acai bowl
- Prep: Throw the frozen berries, acai, banana, non-dairy milk in a blender and whizz until smooth! (If you are using frozen acai, make sure you break it up into a few pieces before chucking it in the blender. If you are using the powder and ice cube combo, make sure your blender can handle the ice!)
- Serve: Pour the smoothie mix into a bowl and top with your favourite toppings! Simple!
Acai Bowl FAQs
Can I make them ahead?
I wouldn’t recommend blending the acai base ahead of time as it can lose its creamy texture when refrozen.
However, a cool meal prep idea is to prep your frozen acai, banana, berries etc in zip lock bags, keep them in the freezer, so you can just add it all to the blender when you’re ready!
You could do the same for toppings – ie. pre-chopping fruit and making sure you are stocked up on dry toppings at the start of the week.
What is an acai bowl made of?
The base is made of acai berries, usually blended with other fruit and plant milk or juice, to give a smooth texture and to bulk out the berries (which can be quite expensive!) The toppings are where you can get creative!
What liquid do you use for acai?
Milk or fruit juice are good liquids to use in your acai berry base. You don’t need too much though, as the frozen berries themselves will release water once you start blending them. Be wary of adding fruit juice and check the sugar of any milk alternatives – you could end up with a far higher sugar content than you intended!
Is it cheaper to make acai bowls at home?
Yes! Naturally, any acai bowl in a cafe will have a big markup. You may pay more upfront to buy the ingredients for acai bowls, because you will have to buy enough for multiple bowls. But the individual cost will undoubtedly be lower.
What is in the bottom of an acai bowl?
The bottom of the acai bowl is the acai berries! These are usually blended with a mixture of other berries, maybe a banana and some milk. You are welcome to experiment with this base, only the acai berries have to stay!
Acai Bowl Variations
This recipe is already vegan! It uses plant milk and maple syrup, though you are welcome to use dairy milk and honey if you aren’t vegan.
For those of you who are gluten-free, just make sure you use gluten-free oats. The rest is good to go!
The fat content is pretty reasonable, but if you want to lower it, replace the chia seeds, coconut flakes and nuts with lower fat alternatives, like more fruit.
If you need higher fat, a dollop of peanut butter never goes amiss! You could also add ripe avocado to the smoothie base – their bland flavour should be masked by the berries, banana and syrup!
There are endless variations of toppings. Try sprinkling some granola and sliced banana – this is the basic traditional acai bowl you can buy on any Brazilian beach! Let us know your favourite combinations in the comments!
More breakfast bowl recipes
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 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Before I go – let me address the elephant in the room! It’s pronounced: ah-sigh-ee!
- To get it really ice-creamy first peel and put the banana into the freezer for two hours.1 banana
- 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!1 handful berry mix, frozen, 1 pack acai puree, 3-4 tbsp rolled oats, ⅔ cups soy milk, 1 tsp maple syrup
- Now garnish as you wish and enjoy!coconut flakes, chia seeds, fruits, mango, almonds, chopped