You’ve probably had acai bowls at juice and smoothie shops, but making your own at home is actually really easy! In this post, I’m showing you the easiest way to make your own acai bowl and sharing my favorite ways to customize them based on what you like and what you already have in your kitchen.
What is Acai?
First, what the heck is acai (pronounced “ah-sigh-EE”)? The acai used in acai bowls comes from acai berries. These berries, which look similar to purple grapes, come from South American acai palm trees. The acai berries are soaked in water, then the pulp is separated, pureed, and pasteurized.
Health Benefits of Acai
Acai berries are often given the “superfood” crown because of their health benefits. Here are a couple.
Antioxidants: Like all berries, acai berries are loaded with antioxidants that aid in bolstering the immune system, protect against free radicals, and counteract inflammation in the body.
Fiber: One acai berry puree packet contains 3 grams of fiber, which helps fill you up, balance blood sugar, and keep boil movements regular.
It’s important to note that there is very little scientific evidence to support the array of bold health claims related to acai berries. Most likely, they act like any other berry (blueberries, raspberries, etc.). They are certainly an antioxidant-packed fruit, but they don’t have any magical powers compared to other berries.
What is an Acai Bowl?
An acai bowl is just like a smoothie bowl. The base is made from acai puree and other ingredients blended like a thick smoothie. It is poured into a bowl and topped with an array of toppings like granola, sliced fruit, nuts, and seeds.
Where to find acai for acai bowls
The most common way to make acai bowls is to use acai berry puree. You can find frozen acai berry puree packets in the freezer aisle near the frozen fruit at many grocery stores. Some acai berry purees contain additional sweeteners and other ingredients, so look for unsweetened acai berry puree with nothing else added. My favorite brand is Sambazon. I use their Unsweetened Frozen Acai Superfruit Packs to make my acai bowls at home.
Acai Bowl Ingredients
Frozen acai puree is the star ingredient! Look for it in the freezer section of your grocery store near the frozen fruit. It comes in individual packets. If you have trouble squeezing the puree out of the packet, run it under warm water for a few seconds first.
Banana and other fruit
The best acai bowls are nice and thick, so use frozen banana chunks. You can also add other frozen fruit to the base if you’d like. Try frozen berries, cherries, mango, or pineapple.
You will need a little bit of liquid to get things moving in the blender, but add your liquid of choice slowly. You want the acai bowl base to be as thick as possible! Use any liquid you have. I prefer soy milk for the added nutrition, but other plant-based milks, fruit juice, coconut water, or water also work.
The sky is the limit when it comes to toppings! Have fun adding your toppings in lines or little piles on top of your acai/fruit base. Classic acai bowl toppings include granola, sliced fruit, nuts, and seeds. See below for more ideas.
Topping Ideas For Acai Bowls
- Your favorite granola
- Sliced bananas
- Sliced strawberries
- Sliced figs
- Blueberries, raspberries, or blackberries
- Chopped pineapple or mango
- Hemp seeds
- Ground flaxseeds
- Chia seeds
- Toasted coconut flakes
- Cacao nibs
- Chocolate chips
- Edible flowers
How To Make Your Own Acai Bowl
It’s easier than you think to make your own acai bowl at home! Just follow this simple recipe, and make swaps based on what you have on hand in your kitchen.