This EASY acai bowl recipe takes just 5 minutes to make! Read on for everything you need to learn how to make an acai bowl: what they are, how to make them, acai bowl calories and nutrition, 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 baked apple oatmeal bars, creamy sour cream eggs, and of course, a sweet cream cold foam coffee), but you can also enjoy them as an easy lunch with some ricotta toast or avocado toast. 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.
And if you want the convenience of getting Daily Harvest smoothies shipped to your door, you can read my full review on what to order.
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. If you live in Southern California and you don’t know what an acai bowl is, then you might be alone. (Not really though because plenty of people in my office didn’t know what it was when I was eating it.)
We can 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.
Estimated reading time: 10 minutes
Table of Contents
- What is Acai?
- Acai Bowl Pronunciation
- Health Benefits of Acai
- What Is an Acai Bowl?
- What You’ll Love About Acai Bowls
- Acai Bowl Ingredients
- How to Make Acai Bowl
- Are Acai Bowls Healthy?
- Acai Bowl Ingredient Ideas
- DIY Acai Bowl Topping Ideas
- Acai Bowl Calories + Nutrition
- Can You Buy Acai Bowls at the Store?
- More Healthy Smoothie Recipes
- More Healthy Recipes
- It’s 5pm. Are you still wondering what’s for dinner?
- Helpful Tools to Make Acai Bowls
What is Acai?
Acai is a superfood berry from the Amazon 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.
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.
What Is an Acai Bowl?
An acai bowl is essentially a thick smoothie made from acai puree and served in a bowl with ALL the toppings.
There are a ton of different varieties and types of acai bowls and they are served with a variety of toppings. Go check out acai bowl menus for some ideas!
What You’ll Love About Acai Bowls
- Super yummy!
- A fun way to eat smoothies
- Endless customizations
- Nutritious and light breakfast or snack
- Just 5 minutes total time
- Naturally gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan-friendly
Acai Bowl 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:
- Acai 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, so I’ve included it here, but you can also use other fruit – see below.
- 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.
- Milk – I’ve used almond milk, but you can use your milk of choice. See below for some ideas and be sure to use a non-dairy milk alternative if you want a dairy-free option.
How to Make Acai Bowl
While the possibilities are endless, I wanted to stick with the classics for this diy acai bowl. The homemade acai bowl ingredients you use are up to you, but I’ll share the basics with you.
A homemade acai bowl is 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. Blend together the frozen acai packet, frozen banana, milk of choice, and sweetener if using until smooth and thick.
- Add toppings. Transfer the acai berry mixture toppings to a bowl and top with the desired toppings. in this acai bowl recipe are very basic (sliced banana, berries, and granola) but I’m sharing a whole list of ideas below.
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.
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.
Acai Bowl Ingredient Ideas
As I’ve mentioned, these bowls are totally customizable. Here are some alternatives to the blended portion of the acai bowls and topping ideas are below!
- Liquid – Cows milk, hemp milk, almond milk, coconut milk, coconut water, juice, etc.
- Protein – Protein powder, yogurt, or nut butters will give your acai bowl extra staying power.
- Sweeteners – Honey is popular, but maple syrup, agave nectar, or apple juice would also work well.
- Fruit – Berries, banana, mango, pineapple, pitaya, papaya, passion fruit, etc. Frozen berries work really well to keep the mixture thick.
- Extras – Cacao, almonds, almond butter, peanut butter, spinach, frozen riced cauliflower, etc.
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 – Blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, kiwi, and sliced banana are popular toppings.
- Granola – Make your own or use your favorite store-bought granola.
- Nut butters – peanut butter, almond butter, cashew butter, or even chopped nuts…anything goes!
- Fun extras – Cacao nibs, cocoa powder for dark chocolate flavor, coconut flakes, goji berries, bee pollen, spirulina, etc.
- Seeds – Chia seeds, hemp hearts, pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, etc.
- Sweetener – Honey or agave.
Acai Bowl Calories + Nutrition
There are 278 calories, 8.3 grams of fat, 6 grams of fiber, and 2.9 grams of protein in this homemade acai bowl. It’s a healthy breakfast, but be sure to add enough protein, fat, and calories in toppings so it’s satisfying. (Or about that, calories are always an estimate!) Check out the nutrition label below for the exact details. I used a fairly basic acai recipe using acai, almond milk, a banana, and a touch of honey.
DIY acai bowl nutrition facts will vary depending on what you put into your bowl! And you can create your own perfect bowl based on what you are looking for.
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.
More Healthy Smoothie Recipes
If you like this homemade acai bowl recipe, you might also like some of my other smoothie recipes:
- Healthy Peanut Butter & Jelly Smoothie
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Smoothie
- Tropical Smoothie
- DIY Smoothie Bombs
- Blueberry Bliss Smoothie
- Simple Green Smoothie
More Healthy Recipes
I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that if you like acai bowls…you also like quinoa! Here are a few nutritious lunches and dinners to try:
It’s 5pm. Are you still wondering what’s for dinner?
Menu Plans by My Everyday Table can help you out.
The plan addresses three major issues when it comes to weeknight dinners: having a plan, time, and one family meal.
You’ll save time, save money, waste less food, and feel calm when 5pm hits because your dinner is already planned.
Helpful Tools to Make Acai Bowls
- Blender – I use this blender on a daily basis, you’ll want a high-quality blender to make a super thick acai smoothie bowl.
- Protein Powder – My all-time favorite protein powder because it adds ZERO flavor and ZERO weird, chalky texture.
- Peanut Butter Packs – Save some $ and bring your own pack of peanut butter.
Learn how to make an acai bowl at home with simple ingredients you can find at any store! Covering all the FAQs, including are acai bowls healthy?
- 7 oz. frozen açaí puree
- 1 frozen banana
- 1/2 cup frozen blueberries
- 1/2 cup frozen strawberries
- almond milk
- Toppings: sliced fruit, berries, honey, granola, peanut butter, etc. (See whole list of ideas above)
- Blend together açaí, banana, blueberries, strawberries, and almond milk until desired consistency.
- Transfer to a bowl and top with desired toppings.
- Nutrition facts do not include toppings.
Keywords: smoothie, acai bowl, how to make an acai bowl
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Photo Credit: All photos in this post were take by Loren at Sweet Rustic Bakes