Making Acai Bowl at home is so easy with just few ingredients! Topped with fresh fruits, granola, this bowl is packed with nutrition and makes a filling breakfast! Even better, you can make these in 10 minutes!
On our last trip to Hawaii, one of the things which really caught my attention were the Acai Bowls. They were so widely available on the island with all sorts of toppings.
I had Acai bowl everyday for my breakfast while I was in Oahu for a week. While some were okay, some not so great and some absolutely delicious. One of my favorites was in Haleiwa – it was so good that I had it two days in a row!
So once I was back, I really craved for them and figured that I need to learn how to make these at home. Turns out they are not difficult to make at all!
What is Acai?
Acai berry is a fruit that grows on acai palm tree and is native to Central and South America. In recent times, they have gained huge popularity all over the world as a “superfood” due to their health benefits .
Among several other health benefits, the most important one is that these berries are loaded with high amount of antioxidants. If you compare it to say blueberry (which is also rich in antioxidant), acai has three times more antioxidant.
The most common way to enjoy them that has caught everyone’s attention are the acai bowls.
What Is Acai Bowl?
It’s basically a thick smoothie made with acai, some other frozen fruits and blended with a liquid.
Now, that liquid can be anything from juice to milk to coconut water.
The thick smoothie is topped with several yummy toppings and that’s what makes a Acai Bowl!
You need very few ingredients to make these bowls at home. And you can find these ingredients in the frozen section of stores like Whole Foods etc.
- Frozen Acai: there are two types of frozen acai packets available in the market- one without sugar and one with sugar. You should choose the one without sugar if you want to avoid extra sugar. But if you prefer sweeter taste, then you can use the one with sugar too.
- Banana: we need frozen banana to add creaminess. I just freeze a ripe banana overnight before using in the recipe. Peel the banana, cut into 4 pieces and then lay on parchment paper and freeze for 1 hour. Once they are little firm, then transfer into a zip lock and freeze overnight before using.
- Berries: you can use a mix of berries, I used a mix of raspberries, blackberries and blueberries. Again, the berries have to be frozen. You can either freeze at home or buy store bought frozen berries like I did.
- Coconut water: the liquid that I have used here for blending everything together is coconut water. You can use any other liquid like apple juice, milk, even yogurt.
- Toppings: and here’s the best part about these bowls- the toppings! You can load these up with pretty much anything you like. I have used fresh strawberries, banana, papaya, granola, dried coconut slices and honey!
Step by Step Instructions
1- To a high speed blender add frozen acai, frozen banana and frozen berries.
2- Add coconut water (start with 1/2 cup and add the remaining 1/4 cup if needed).
3- Blend until everything is well blended and smooth. We want the smoothie to be very thick and smooth.
4-Transfer the smoothie to a bowl. Top your acai bowl with fresh fruits, granola, honey or your choice of toppings!
Tips & Notes
- Use a high speed blender here like Vitamix or Blendtec. You want the mixture to get smooth without the fruits getting liquid-y. If the blender isn’t high speed, then it would take a long time for everything to get smooth and the mixture might not have that thick consistency by then.
- Get creative with your toppings– some other topping ideas include bee pollen, hemp seeds, goji berries, peanut butter, almond butter, chia seeds, sliced almonds and of course any fresh fruits that you have or you enjoy!
- You have to serve these acai bowls right away. The smoothie will continue to melt and so it’s best enjoyed as soon as you blend it.
- There are two types of frozen acai packets available in the market- with sugar and without sugar. Choose the without sugar one if you want to just use the natural sweetness and not add any added sugar.
- Frozen acai packets can be found in frozen sections of grocery stores. One popular brand is Sambazon which I have seen at Whole Food and PCC. Trader Joe’s also has their own brand of frozen acai.
Frequently Asked Questions
Skip honey and use agave or maple syrup to make it vegan. Also make sure the granola you are using is vegan.
Not really, while the berries have several health benefits, it ultimately depends on the type and amount of toppings you add. Lot of sugary granola or peanut butter can make it quite calorie dense. Also it has lot of fruits and even though it’s natural sugar, it’s still sugar so if you watch your sugar then keep an eye on that too.
Not really. As I mentioned before they are still rich in sugar. So you have to watch the portion size (of acai bowl and of you meals in general) and follow a healthy lifestyle if you want to lose weight.
You can substitute each 100 gram packet of frozen acai with 1 tablespoon of acai powder to make these bowls.
Yes this recipe is because I used gluten-free granola so just make sure the granola you are using is gluten-free.
More Smoothie Bowls
- Mango Smoothie Bowl– make this smoothie bowl using the sweet mangoes in season during summers!
- Banana Chocolate Smoothie Bowl– if you love chocolate for breakfast, then this is for you!
- 200 gram acai, frozen 2 x 100 grams packets of frozen acai, I used Sambazon Organic Acai packets
- 1 medium banana frozen
- 1 cup mixed berries frozen
- 1/2-3/4 cup coconut water or you can use apple juice
- strawberries, banana, granola, honey for topping
- To a high speed blender add frozen acai, frozen banana and frozen berries.
- Add coconut water (start with 1/2 cup and add the remaining 1/4 cup if needed) and blend.
- Blend until everything is well blended and smooth. We want the smoothie to be very thick and smooth.
- Transfer the smoothie to a bowl. Top your acai bowl with fresh fruits, granola, honey or your choice of toppings! I used fresh strawberries, papaya, banana, coconut slices, granola and honey. Enjoy immediately!
- The calorie mentioned is an estimate only for the smoothie base. Does not include the toppings.
- This recipe serves 2-3. It will make 2 large acai bowls or 3 medium size acai bowls.