How to make an Acai Bowl + 8 Insanely Creative Recipes!

How to make an Acai Bowl + 8 Insanely Creative Recipes!

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Acai bowl is ready in the wooden bowl on the white table

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!

But first let’s answer a couple of important questions on acai berries and then dive into how to make a proper acai bowl.

What is acai?

Fresh acai berries and plant
Left photo by Forest Starr and Kim Starr, right photo by Eli Duke

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 😉

Blended acai 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

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

Acai 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

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.

The price goes up because of the processing, transportation and tax. And a good deal of the price is a profit margin, I’m sure.

Acai bowl topped with mango, nuts and coconut is on the white table with almonds in the bowl and mango on the chopping board with table spoon

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.

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4.91 from 21 votes

How to make an Acai Bowl

What are the health benefits? Is it really a superfood? Which product to buy? How to make an original Brazilian Acai Bowl? All answers inside!
Course Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine Vegan
Time 5 minutes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 1 bowl
Calories 374kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 handful berry mix, frozen
  • 1 banana (frozen)
  • 1 pack acai puree (or 2 tsp of acai powder with 3-4 crushed ice cubes)
  • 3-4 tbsp rolled oats
  • cups soy milk (or rice milk, just keep it gluten-free if needed)
  • 1 tsp maple syrup (or honey for non-vegans)

For garnish

Instructions 

  • 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!

Notes

Thanks Gisele for passing over so many awesome acai recipes! Besos 😀
If you liked this acai bowl then you’ll definitely need to try our Avocado Fitness Smoothie, this Natural Chia Seed Energy Drink (originates from the ancient Mexican Tarahumara tribe), a superior Blueberry Banana Protein Smoothie, sweet and tangy Quinoa Chickpea Buddha Bowl and the ultimate guide on How to Make a Burrito Bowl.

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
How to make an Acai Bowl
Serving Size
 
465 g
Amount per Serving
Calories
374
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
9
g
14
%
Saturated Fat
 
2.1
g
13
%
Sodium
 
92
mg
4
%
Potassium
 
765
mg
22
%
Carbohydrates
 
64
g
21
%
Fiber
 
10.1
g
42
%
Sugar
 
31.7
g
35
%
Protein
 
10
g
20
%
Vitamin A
 
850
IU
17
%
Vitamin C
 
34.7
mg
42
%
Calcium
 
90
mg
9
%
Iron
 
2.3
mg
13
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Show us your version!Tag @HurryTheFoodUp on Instagram and hashtag #hurrythefoodup.

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. 

Spoon of blended acai

8 more acai bowl recipes

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:

  1. For a quick healthy brekkie: An Acai Bowl Recipe for a Super Healthy Breakfast
  2. For a slow Sunday morning: Irish Porridge with Acai Berry Ripple and Pistachio Cream
  3. With some greek yogurt in it! Quick and Easy Acai Bowl
  4. Finished with fruity, crunchy toppings with this Acai Berry Bowl
  5. Ever used a pineapple as a smoothie bowl? Check out this Tropical Acai Bowl!
  6. Or try out this Summer Acai Bowl out of a coconut!
  7. If you’re interested in an acai & chia combo for breakfast (not a super quick recipe though).
  8. 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! 🙂

About Hauke Fox

I'm always on the lookout for these damn smart recipes. You know, those that only take a few minutes to put together and taste delicious. Vegetarian Cooking at home is a way to take back control over what I eat. I don't like what many companies do to animals and the environment with their products.

This article has been medically reviewed by James Bell

Healthy, nutritious and absurdly tasty food? That’s what I’m all about. I love recipes which are full of flavour but are good for you too. My job in family medicine led me to become a nutrition professional as well, with an aim to get people healthier just by the food they eat.

36 comments

  1. If only acai wasn’t so expensive! I also never see the good frozen packs around here :/

    • I just bought the frozen Acai in Publix or try your supermarket in the frozen fruit section ! Hope this helps

  2. Wow this looks delicious…I love the colors!

  3. 5 stars
    I’ve been using the powder for a while, but I definitely know more about it now. Great post!

  4. Love this quick recipe! Thanks for the additional links for more Acai bowls.

  5. Love how you included all those options on how to use Acai. I tend to lean towards using the frozen packaged berry but the power is so much easier and cost effective. Either way, I love acai bowls and looking forward to trying your Fall Inspired Bowl.

  6. 4 stars
    this was infactone of the srumptious recipe i ever had.Seriously great

  7. I made this with the frozen Acai package and Almond Milk instead of soy but my mixture came out a bit liquidy instead of thick. Is it because my banana wasn’t frozen enough? Thank You!

    • Hi Rebecca, yes very likely! Otherwise, what you can do with the next batch is slowly pour in the milk while everything else is already blending. It’s also very possible that some acai package brands contain more water than others. I hope your second round turns out better 🙂

      • Thank You so much! I tried as you suggested and poured the milk slowly and freezing my banana longer and it came out better. =)

  8. 5 stars
    I just wanted to say thanks for spreading so much goodness in the world. What you are doing goes beyond nutrition. It spreads the hope of a better tomorrow where humans do not spread suffering and live in harmony with nature and all the animals on this earth.

    I am convinced that 100 years from now, humans would look back at our time and think of us as savages destroying the planet and killing animals for food when we have so much better options for our health and the health of our planet and all the other species living peacefully on this earth.

  9. 34 grams of sugar?? Is that just natural sugar from the berries? I guess you could cut back on the maple syrup or honey also……

    • Hi Ashlea! Yep the sugar is nearly all from the fruits and berries, so it is indeed natural sugar. Yes, you could definitely cut down the bit from the syrup too – it does take the edge off any sharp tangs from the fruit, but you could try it without the syrup first and see how it goes 🙂

  10. Seems like you could mix acai powder with water and freeze it in ice cube trays. Would be much more cost effective with similar results. Anyone tried it?

  11. Could you make this the night before and leave in the fridge for breakfast the next morning?

    • Hi Katie! We’d probably say to stick with making it as you go – leaving it overnight means it will get watery from the ice. It wouldn’t be quite the same then. I hope that helps!

  12. 5 stars
    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.

  13. 5 stars
    Thanks for sharing! I will enjoy trying several of these recipes!

  14. 5 stars
    Is the acai powder is still consider as real acai and not fake? Sorry for my question, I’m just into acai bowl really bad. I kinda feel to make it on my own and I search it on Google how. Just curious about the powder base. Just wanna make sure its healthy to use it.

    • Hi Mitch! Yes absolutely, the powder is pretty much the dry-frozen fruit with the water removed 🙂 so it’s just a very practical way to use it!

  15. 4 stars
    Looks DELICIOUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

  16. 5 stars
    I made this this morning… so delicious!!

  17. 5 stars
    Do you have any tips on freezing the mixture for meal prepping?

  18. If I use the powder and ice cubes what would you suggest as quantities of each to match the frozen puree ? Thank you, Kathleen

  19. 5 stars
    My Family Loved it. I am definitely sharing Guys, Thanks For sharing this Great Recipe. this recipe and this website with my friend. Hope they also love it. Thank you again for sharing such a great recipe.

  20. Why do you have to put the rolled oats? Do you have to put the rolled oats? Thank you!

    • Hey Amanda! The rolled oats get blended in with all the other ingredients. No, technically you don’t need them but they’re filling and full of goodness, so if you’ve got ’em I’d say throw ’em in!

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