Here’s a guide for making a thick and creamy acai bowl at home! This recipe tastes amazing… just like a bowl from a smoothie shop. It’s also packed with antioxidants!
If you’ve never heard of an acai bowl you’re probably wondering what the heck this is and how do you pronounce it! For starters, you pronounce acai “ah-sah-ee”. This recipe is basically a fancy smoothie bowl!
Instead of using just frozen berries and banana like I did for my healthy smoothie bowl recipe, I added in some frozen acai berries.
What is Acai?
Acai berries are a dark purple fruit that’s native to the Amazon region and packed with antioxidants. In their natural state, acai berries are low in sugar and have a decent amount of fat. You’ll typically found acai that has been processed into a pulp and frozen at the grocery store. But be sure to check the package label because some brands do add sugar to the acai. You can also buy acai powder, which is usually in the supplement section.
Are Acai Bowls Healthy?
Yes! Like I mentioned above, acai is loaded with antioxidants and a healthy little super-fruit! Watch for added sugars in your acai mixture and make sure your bowl is well rounded with protein, fat and fiber for a filling snack or meal.
Acai berries are loaded with antioxidants! Just make sure you are using unsweetened acai berries for this recipe.
What You Need for This Acai Bowl Recipe
unsweetened acai packets – these packets are simply acai puree that has been frozen. I personally like the Sambazon brand and always buy the unsweetened variety. The sweetened packs have a lot of sugar added!
frozen banana – be sure to freeze your bananas after they’ve been peeled. You can freeze them in chunks or chop it into chunks after freezing. Frozen banana adds natural sweetness to the smoothie bowl and makes it thick and creamy. If you don’t love bananas, you can use 1 cup frozen mango instead!
non-dairy milk – I like to use unsweetened almond or oat milk, but you can use any type of milk you have on hand. You only need a little bit of liquid for this smoothie.
frozen mixed berries – You can use whatever type of frozen berries you have on hand. I usually use a frozen berry blend, but using either frozen blueberries, strawberries or raspberries works great. You can also use fresh fruit, but frozen fruit does keep the smoothie bowl consistency thicker.
peanut butter – look for a natural peanut butter where the only ingredients are peanuts and salt. You can also use a different type of nut or seed butter like almond or cashew butter.
vanilla or chocolate protein powder – I recommend Nuzest protein powder. You can use my code eatingbirdfood for 15% off your order.
Added sweeteners: Some acai bowl recipes call for an added sweetener like honey or maple syrup, but I don’t find that necessary here. The acai, banana and berries will make the bowl plenty sweet!
How to Make the Açaí Bowl Thick
Smoothie bowls are meant to be super thick and scoopable with a spoon! Using frozen fruit and a small amount of liquid will help ensure your smoothie bowl ends up nice and thick.
One thing to note is that thick smoothie bowls can be hard to make unless you have a high-powered blender with a tamper. The tamper is critical for pushing the ingredients around and you definitely need a machine that has power when you’re working through this amount of frozen fruit. I’ve found that my Vitamix blender works great for smoothie bowls like this one!
Top It Off!
Feel free to get creative with your toppings! Most smoothie shops create a pretty design on top of the bowls with a row of sliced bananas, fresh berries and a sprinkle of chia seeds, coconut flakes and even cacao nibs. Of course you can get creative with your favorite toppings. Here are some ideas.
sprinkle on granola or unsweetened coconut flakes for some crunch.
add extra fresh berries – a sliced strawberry or fresh blueberries work great!
fresh banana slices look lovely spread in a row on top.
sliced kiwis (or kiwi flowers) make for such a pretty acai bowl topper.
add a sprinkle chia seeds or flax seeds for a little extra protein and fiber.
add a drizzle of nut butter on top. I love using peanut butter or almond butter.
For an extra fancy acai bowl, arrange the toppings into rows across the top!
1Tablespoonpeanut butter, (or nut butter of choice)
1 scoopvanilla or chocolate protein powder, (optional)
toppings of choice: a drizzle of nut butter, granola, berries, banana slices, chia seeds etc.
Let frozen acai packets sit out at room temperature for a couple minutes, just enough for the packaging to loosen. Remove from package and cut or break the frozen pack into pieces.
Add acai, milk, banana chunks, berries, peanut butter and protein powder into your blender.
Pop the lid on your blender and begin on low, slowly increasing speed as everything starts to combine. Use the tamper on your blender to push things around. This might take a bit just because everything is frozen and the smoothie bowl will be thick (but this is what we want)!
Once everything is combined and smooth, scoop your blended smoothie into a bowl and top with granola, banana slices, fresh fruit and an extra drizzle of peanut butter, if desired.
Thick smoothie bowls can be hard to make unless you have a high-powered blender with a tamper. The tamper is critical for pushing the ingredients around and you definitely need a machine that has power when you’re working through this amount of frozen fruit. I’ve found that my Vitamix blender works great for smoothie bowls like this one!
Banana – don’t like banana? Swap the banana for 1 cup frozen mango.