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Nutritious & Delicious Acai Bowl Recipe

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Need a morning pick-me-up or a post-workout refuel? Look no further than this energizing acai bowl recipe! Packed with superfoods and bursting with flavor, these bowls are a nutritious and delicious start to your day. The fruity base and creamy and crunchy toppings is the ultimate way to nourish your body and satisfy your taste buds. We’ll go over all the details – what they are, how to make them, nutrition and health benefits, and the best toppings to make the best acai bowl at home!

Acai bowls are a great way to start your day (just like my breakfast meal prep, whipped cottage cheese, and yogurt parfaits), but if you’re looking for a heartier breakfast, try my steak and egg bagel sandwich, salmon and lox bagels, brown sugar cinnamon oatmeal, or peanut butter toast next time.

If you have no idea what an Açaí bowl is (technically it’s açaí but I’ll use acai)…know that you are not alone. I probably wouldn’t know either except that I worked in the natural food industry for five years (meaning you see everything out there!)…and then I lived in West Hollywood, California. And in LA, acai bowls are available at every juice bar. And said juice bars are on every corner.

So we’re going to start at the beginning. There’s a lot to cover so scroll on through, or click on the specific section in the table of contents to jump to the section you’re interested in.

Acai bowl with granola, blueberries, and strawberries.
Photo Credit: Loren Runion for My Everyday Table.

Estimated reading time: 10 minutes

What is Acai?

Acai berries is a “superfood” from the Amazon rainforest and acai bowls are thick smoothie bowls that are served with toppings like fresh fruit, granola, and coconut. Traditionally, the bowls are simple with sliced banana, granola and some guaraná syrup for some sweetness.

Now that they’ve gotten so popular, there are many different variations. The Bowl in Naples, Florida is one of our favorite spots to grab an acai bowl on the way to the beach on vacation, check out their acai bowl menus for some ideas and inspiration!

Acai Bowl Pronunciation

Wondering how to pronounce acai?

Repeat after me: ah-sigh-ee.

Health Benefits of Acai

When acai came onto the health food scene years ago, it was touted as a superfood. The term superfood doesn’t actually have a legal definition and is used more for marketing, but in my opinion ‘superfood’ means that a food has high levels of vitamins, nutrients, antioxidants, healthy fats, etc.

So what are the real acai benefits? Acai is rich in antioxidants, fiber and healthy fats.

Acai has very little naturally occurring sugar – each serving of 100 grams of puréed acai contains 0-2 grams of sugar. For comparison, 100 grams of bananas contain about 12 grams of sugar.

Acai bowl gif

What You’ll Love About Acai Bowls

  • Delicious and nutritious
  • A fun way to eat smoothies
  • Endless variations and topping combinations
  • Ready in just 5 minutes
  • Made with simple ingredients
  • Naturally gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan-friendly

Ingredients

While you can find acai bowls with ALL sorts of crazy ingredients (spirulina or bee pollen anyone?), you can also keep it really basic like we’ve done here:

  • Açaí packets – Look for the frozen acai puree packets, not acai powder. You will find them in the frozen fruit section of your store. The Sambazon brand is a popular and high-quality choice. You can also find the pouches of acai puree at Trader Joe’s and Costco in the freezer section.
  • Banana – This is a classic addition, and it helps to add natural sweetness, thickness, and flavor. I recommend frozen banana slices for easy blending and to keep a thick texture.
  • Berries – For some extra natural sweetness and flavor and nutrition, we’re also blending the acai base with frozen blueberries and strawberries. You can use youf favorite berries and just like the frozen bananas, it helps to use frozen berries to keep the texture thick.
  • Honey – Acai is low in sugar, so I think it helps to have a bit of natural sweetness either from fruit, honey, or a combination of both. Add sweetener to taste, you can adjust according to your preference.
  • Liquid – I’ve used almond milk, but you can use your milk of choice – dairy or non-dairy. You can use coconut milk, coconut water, apple juice, or any other fruit juice.
Acai bowl ingredients

DIY Acai Bowl Topping Ideas

There are so many ways to add some fun and exciting toppings to your acai bowl at home! Here are a few ideas:

  • Fresh fruit – Fresh berries (blueberries, strawberries, raspberries all work well), kiwi, and sliced banana are popular toppings.
  • Granola – Use homemade granola or your favorite store-bought granola. You could also use muesli or even a crunchy cereal.
  • Nut butters – Peanut butter, almond butter, cashew butter, or even chopped nuts…anything goes!
  • Fun extras – Cacao nibs, cocoa powder for dark chocolate flavor, chocolate chips, coconut flakes, goji berries, bee pollen, spirulina, etc.
  • Seeds – Chia seeds, hemp hearts, pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, will all add a nutrition boost and some major crunch.
  • Sweetener – A drizzle of honey, maple syrup, or agave all work well to add sweetness.
  • Creamy topping – Add a scoop of Greek yogurt or coconut whipped cream for some creamy flavor that will really make this taste like dessert!

How to Make Acai Bowls

Homemade acai bowls are really easy to make, and the ingredients and toppings are up to you. Since it is naturally really low in sugar, you might need to add a little honey or agave to sweeten it up, or maybe the toppings will add enough. You can always try it without and then drizzle with honey if you need it.

Blend. In a high-powered blender, add the frozen acai packets, frozen berries, frozen banana, liquid of choice, and sweetener if using. Blend until smooth and thick.
Assemble bowl. Transfer acai mixture to a shallow bowl.
Add your favorite toppings. Drizzle with honey and peanut butter and top with sliced banana, fresh berries, and granola. (See list above for more topping ideas!)
Acai bowl gif

FAQs

Are acai bowls healthy?

I don’t usually like to get into healthy vs NOT healthy foods, because I think all foods can fit within our diets and the term healthy doesn’t mean much. If you are a vegan, then yes, this would be healthy; and if you are keto, then no, this wouldn’t be healthy. It’s all relative and individual.

But I know you are wondering, fine, but are acai bowls healthy?!

Yes, acai bowls can be healthy! They also have a reputation for being really high in sugar, but it really depends on what you put into them. If you’re concerned, make it at home so you know just what is going into them.

When I get them at smoothie shops, I like to make sure I’ve got some that are blended with a nut butter and then I’ll also add a scoop of peanut butter on the top so that it is filling enough for a meal.

The nutrition in acai bowls will vary depending on what you put into your bowl and how you top it! You can easily create your own perfect bowl based on what your needs are.

How many calories in acai bowls?

There are about 350 calories in this basic acai bowl – not including any toppings. It’s a nutritious breakfast, but be sure to add enough protein, fat, and calories in toppings so it’s satisfying enough for a meal.

Can you buy acai bowls at the store?

Yes! There are a few different prepared acai bowls that you can buy at the grocery store and they just need to thaw a bit or defrost before eating.

I’ve tried the Trader Joe’s acai bowl and it was delicious, though too low in calories to be considered a meal, unless you’re adding a big scoop of nut butter to the top.

And I’ve heard great things about the Sambazon acai bowls.

Bowl of acai smoothie and toppings with a spoon.

Storage Instructions

Acai bowls are best eaten immediately or they’ll melt! 🙂

What to Serve with Acai Bowls

Do you need to serve a side with acai bowls? It’s up to you! For some people, a smoothie may have the calories to be a meal, but isn’t as satisfying as eating (chewing!) a meal, so it will really depend. If you need to add some sides, here are a few ideas!

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Acai bowl at home with fresh toppings.

More Healthy Smoothie Recipes

If you like this homemade acai bowl recipe, you might also like some of my other smoothie recipes:

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Acai bowl with granola, blueberries, and strawberries.

Homemade Acai Bowl Recipe

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Description

You’re going to love this energizing acai bowl recipe! Packed with superfoods and bursting with flavor, these bowls are a nutritious start to your day. 


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 7 oz. frozen açaí puree
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1/2 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1/2 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1/2 cup milk

Acai Bowl Toppings (See more ideas above in post)

  • sliced fruit
  • fresh berries
  • drizzle of honey
  • granola
  • peanut butter

Instructions

  1. In a blender, add açaí packet, frozen banana, blueberries, strawberries, and almond milk together until smooth. Add in more milk tablespoon by tablespoon if you need to loosen the smoothie up a bit, but you do want to keep it thick! 
  2. Transfer to a bowl and top with toppings as desired.


Notes

  • Nutrition facts do not include toppings.

Keywords: acai bowl, how to make an acai bowl, homemade acai bowls

Food styling and photography by Loren Runion

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Comments

  1. Kristen

    I just discovered Sambazon’s acai bowls last week so am happy to see your recipe! After trying the Sambazon acai sorbet, I wanted to recommend it to everyone I knew (it probably helped that it was 90 degrees that day)! Now I definitely want to buy the acai smoothie packs to make a few bowls…and who knew it had so little sugar? Thanks for sharing the inspiration!

  2. Lori

    I’ve been waiting for this post! Well, you know my first experience with açaí bowls was when we lived in Brazil. I am loving that I can get the bowls now that we are in California. The açaí we ate in Brazil came in really elaborate parfaits. The one I loved had star fruit and coconut pieces. The puree was also so concentrated that it almost turned your mouth black even with the mix ins. I’ve noticed they are a little lighter around here. Oh, and I tried buying the berries once at a market that imported them from the north of Brazil to the south where we lived. They are small, but have a massive seed inside. It was like a stone. I still have no idea how they process the berry to get the puree! Your combination is gorgeous. Love the photos!

    • Emily

      Glad to have your Brazilian expertise! I was hoping you would weigh-in. I think I’ll try some more elaborate bowls next time.

  3. Anita

    Does anyone how many calories an Acai ‘classic Bowl’ have? we have a new JUJU Bar close to where I work?

    • Emily

      Hi Anita,

      I have the nutrition facts for this particular bowl listed above, but there isn’t a standard recipe as the ingredients and toppings can vary, so it might be hard to find an exact answer.

  4. Kelli

    I’m just discovering these and can’t wait to try and make them at home! This might be a silly question but where do you find the frozen purée? Most of what I’m finding is powder.
    Thanks!

  5. Robyn

    I bought some açai powder ……can I still make an açai bowl.??
    What can I mix the powder with …..yogurt ?.?
    Hope to hear from you
    Thankyou

    • Emily

      Hi Robyn, I haven’t used the powder, so I’m not exactly sure, but I would use it in a smoothie with lots of berries. It will be different but should still give it some acai flavor!

  6. Arlene

    Thanks so much! I followed your recipe and it came out great. I thawed the packets first. So it wasn’t thick. Will leave frozen next time.

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